The Coats and Colorations of Chihuahuas

October 8, 2009

While most people may think of Chihuahuas as having the distinctive fawn or cream colorings, these dogs actually come in an array of colors. If you are looking at the prospect of getting a Chihuahua puppy, you are in for quite a variety of color selections, which is a result of the interbreeding of coat colors in the parents.nuqnqbahunsh

Various Colors:
Chihuahuas come in almost every color, you oftentimes see fawn, solid brown, solid white, solid black, cream, chocolate, blue, silver, sable or they can be tricolor or even have patches of several different colors. Bridles Chihuahuas are a mix of two or three color combinations.

Quality of the Coat:
The two coat qualities a Chihuahua might have are smooth and long haired. The more common Chihuahua coat is the smooth coat, which is short, glossy and evenly textured over the body. They have a furry tail, which is the preferred standard of the breed. The feet of a Chihuahua should also have feathering and there should be a tuft of fur around the neck. The hair on the head and ears should be sparse or scanty.

A Long Haired Chihuahua may have either curly or smooth hair. The hair is slightly longer and has an undercoating beneath.

The Role of Genetics:
It is always important to have an idea about the genetics of a breeding Chihuahuas. You should become familiar with bloodlines of both the male and female.

Genotype (Genetic Traits You Cannot See):
You should also note that the smooth coating of a Chihuahua is a result of a dominant gene or genotype. The long hair coat results because of a recessive gene.

Phenotypes (Genetic Traits You Can See):
A Phenotype is actually something you can see on the dog, but that does not negate the fact that a genotype at a molecular level (unseen), may actually harbor either a recessive or dominant gene. Thus when time for breeding, if you are simply seeking a phenotype characteristic, you may be surprised if you breed together two smooth coated (dominant gene) Chihuahuas and they produce a long hair puppy.

A puppy with a smooth coat (phenotype, which can be seen) is said to have a heterozygous genotype and both the male and female contribute a dominant gene.

If one of the parents has a dominant gene, while the other has a recessive gene, yet the puppy still has a smooth coat, the puppy has a heterozygous genotype in its bloodline.

If two smooth coated parents have a heterozygous genotype, this means they both carry dominant and recessive genes in their bloodlines. In cases like this, the puppies may be born with either long haired or smooth coats.

Some breeders have concerns about the interbreeding of long haired and smooth coated dogs. They fear that the dominant smooth coat may soon disappear. However, as was explained previously, heterozygous genotypes may still result in smooth coats. Other breeders believe this is a fear that is unfounded right now.

Grooming a Chihuahua:
Grooming your Chihuahua requires minimal effort. You only need to do a bi-weekly brushing of a long haired Chihuahua using a soft bristled brush. The long haired Chihuahua bib (or front of the chest), tends to become dirty and matted if not properly cared for. The anal area underneath the tail might become matted with feces and you will need to keep it clean by bathing the dog or clipping off the hair, which alleviates the problem completely.

You will need to brush a smooth coated Chihuahua weekly.

Bathe your Chihuahua at least once a month and be mindful not to get any water or shampoo into the ears, these little dogs are fragile and subject to inner ear infections.

With minimal effort you can keep your Chihuahua happy, clean and well groomed.

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