While most people are familiar with Chihuahuas with distinct fawn or cream colorations, these little dogs actually come in a variety of colors. If you're looking at the prospect of brining a Chihuahua home, you're in for quite a variety of potential colors as a result of interbreeding of coats.
Chihuahuas come in any color, often you will see fawn, solid brown, solid black and solid white, cream, chocolate, blue, sable, silver or they can be tricolor or even have patches (splashed or spotted) of several colors. Brindles are a mixture of two or three colors.
There are two coat qualities, smooth and long haired. The dominant Chihuahua coat of course is the smooth coat, which is short haired, glossy, and textured evenly over the body. The furry tail is the preferred breed standard. The feet should also have a feathering and there should be a cuff of fur around the neck. However the hair on the head and ears of the Chihuahua is rather scanty or sparse.
Long haired Chihuahuas can have curly or smooth hair. The hair is slightly longer with an undercoat beneath.
It is important to have an idea about genetics in order to breed Chihuahuas. Familiarize yourself with both the stud and dame's bloodlines.
You should know that the smooth coat of a Chihuahua is produced by the dominant gene or genotype, while the long haired coat is actually a recessive gene.
Phenotypes are actually the coat you see on your dog, but that does not preclude the fact that the genotype at the molecular level (not seen) may actually carry either the recessive or dominant gene. Thus when breeding, if you are simply looking for phenotype characteristics you might be surprised if two smooth haired (dominant gene) Chihuahuas produce a long haired coat pup.
A smooth coat pup (phenotype - what you can see) is said to have a homozygous genotype when both the male and brooding bitch contributed dominant genes.
If only one of the parents donated a dominant gene while the other a recessive gene, yet the pup still has a smooth coat, the pup is said to have a heterozygous genotype.
If two smooth coats breed but both parents have a heterozygous genotype, meaning they carry both dominant and recessive genes, the pups can in fact come out with either long haired or smooth coats.
Some breeders are concerned about interbreeding long and smooth coat Chihuahuas fearing that the dominant smooth coat will soon disappear. However, as explained above, heterozygous genotypes can still produce smooth coats. Other breeders believe that this fear is unfounded at this time.
Your Chihuahua requires minimum grooming. You only need to brush a long haired Chihuahua a few times a week with a soft bristled brush. The long haired Chihuahua bib (front of the chest) tends to get dirty and matted if not taken care of. Also the anal area under the tail may get matted with fecal matter and you will need to keep it clean by bathing or clipping the hair to avoid the problem.
You should brush your smooth haired Chihuahua once a week.
Bathe your pet once a month, but be careful not to get any water in the ears; these fragile animals are subject to ear infections.
With minimal maintenance you can keep your pet clean, well groomed, and happy.