There are many theories about the origin of the Chihuahua. It’s now pretty well accepted that they are from Mexico, but that’s where the similarities between theories stops. The most accepted version is that the Chihuahua is descended from a dog breed that was favored by the Toltec civilization. The Chihuahua is the smallest breed recognized by most kennel clubs. They weigh between four to six pounds. There are two varieties: short and long coated.
The Chihuahua is a loyal little dog. But they are known for being feisty and prolific biters. There are genetic lines of Chihuahuas that are more social and friendly and other lines that are more antisocial. Socialization and training can’t overcome genetics in this case. But that doesn’t mean that socialization and training are a lost cause. Even friendly Chihuahuas can turn nasty if not given the right upbringing. Chihuahuas are notoriously difficult to house break, so you will have to be extra consistent and vigilant if you want your Chihuahua to pee outside. Chihuahuas are full of personality for their small size. One famous Chihuahua is the Taco Bell dog, a female Chihuahua named Gidget. Her adorable like mugshot become immediately associated with Taco Bell.
Best lifestyle for this breed
Because of their tiny stature, many people tote these dogs around in their purses and treat them like dolls or toys. This is NOT good for the Chihuahua. They learn no obedience and no boundaries. This can make the dogs crazy! No animal does well with no restrictions. On a more positive note, Chihuahuas are typically quite playful with their families. Chihuahuas love to be warm. They will find any little patch of heat or sunshine and bask in it like a lizard. Due to their small size, Chihuahuas live a very long time. Many Chihuahuas can make it well into their teenage years.
There are engravings of short legged hunting dogs in the tombs in Egypt, but it’s not likely that the modern Basset Hound was the dog they were drawing. Modern Basset Hounds are from France. They are a short legged scent hound used to hunt rabbits. The Basset Hound is easily identified by its short legs and enormous, long droopy ears. They look like a Bloodhound with its legs cut off. Same fold filled face and long ears. Even though they are short, they are not small. Basset Hounds usually weigh between forty and seventy pounds!
The Basset Hound is friendly and playful. They get along well with children and other pets. One consideration for the Basset Hound is that their ears are a bit high maintenance. Their ears are so long that they do not allow air to circulate very well. This can lead to infections. It’s important to keep them clean and dry. It’s best to help the dog by keeping their ears up and off the ground and more importantly out of their food. Puppies can trip over their ears easily, and although it’s cute, it can cause permanent problems for the dog.
Best lifestyle for this breed
Basset Hounds are not particularly high energy, and don’t require excessive exercise. They would do well in an apartment setting or less active family situations. Basset Hounds are great with children and get along easily with other dogs and pets. Basset Hounds are typically clownish and goofy, lovable and kind. They have no qualms about making friends with anyone, so they would make terrible guard dogs. They can always be found wagging their tails. Like all scent hounds, they enjoy tracking so it’s best not to let them off a leash or loose in an unfenced area unless you want to go on a very extended walk. They will drop their nose and not lift it up until they’ve crossed four states.
Dog Super Senses
It’s not news that dogs have a super duper sense of smell! But they also have super hero quality hearing
Physiological details for smell
Dogs have 300 million olfactory receptors, while humans only have six million. That’s a whopping 25 times as many receptors, making their smelling ability about one hundred thousand times stronger than a human’s. In the dog’s brain, the area devoted to analyzing smells is forty time larger than the same area in humans! That’s some intense sniffing brain processing going on! Also a dog sniffs differently than humans do. A dog has a whole area inside their nose devoted just to processing odors on the wind. Some of the air they inhale doesn’t even go to their lungs, about twelve percent. This air goes into a special area dedicated to smell processing.
Which breeds can smell the best?
The Beagle, Basset Hound, and Bloodhound have the world’s best sense of smell. In one study, a mouse was put into a field. The Beagle found it in one minute. The next closest contender was the Fox Terrier…at fifteen minutes! Bloodhounds are famous for their sniffer. All of the folds in their face and those big ears stir up even the faintest whiffs of odor. The Bloodhound also has enormous nasal passages. They can track a person even when the trail is several says cold.
Dogs also have super hearing abilities. A dog can hear frequencies of sound about twice that of humans. There is a reason dogs react to noises humans can’t even hear. Dogs can hear well above the frequencies of sound humans can hear. Dogs can also distinguish sounds at four times the distance a human can. This makes them super heroes with super senses! Dogs also have eighteen muscles that control their ears, allowing them to use them like radar antenna, scanning to better hear the noise that caught their attention.
Dalmatians: Fire dogs!
The image is iconic: a carriage drawn by horses, with fire fighters on board accompanied by a black and white spotted dog. Yep, those are Dalmatians! The Dalmatian is a very old breed from Croatia, specifically from an area called Dalmatia.
Why is the Dalmatian used as a fire dog?
The Dalmatian has a long and rich history of being a guard dog and later as a carriage dog. The Dalmatian would accompany a carriage as it traveled around, running either alongside the horses or underneath one of the axels. When firefighters used to travel to fires on horse drawn carriages, the Dalmatian transitioned from its job as a carriage escort to that of fire dog! The Dalmatians were trained to run in front of the carriage, clearing the way and guiding the firefighters and horses to the fires. In addition to their carriage assistance duties, Dalmatians were also intense guard dogs. The horses and fire equipment was very expensive, so the dogs were also used as guard dogs for the fire houses. No one wanted to tangle with a Dalmatian.
Their role in fire houses today
Even though today Dalmatians are not used in fire houses as they originally were intended, they are still employed as mascots and ambassadors. Sometimes the dogs are used to teach fire safety to the public. They are a big hit with kids. This is most common in the United States. The Dalmatian also accompanies another iconic carriage team: the Anheuser-Busch dog. Yep, the mascot for Budweiser is a spotted Dalmatian! Knowing that Dalmatians tend to be suspicious of strangers, the dogs that are used in fire houses or for Anheuser-Busch are likely heavily socialized as puppies and selected for their friendly dispositions. Their spotted coats makes them unique distinctive!