Long hair chihuahuas are a purebred dog in the toy breed category. These dogs are rarely over nine inches tall and usually weigh less than two pounds. The long hair variety of chihuahua has a glossy, silky coat that fringes the ears and legs. They do not require extensive grooming, but regular bathing and brushing is necessary.
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Long hair chihuahuas are also known as long coat chihuahuas. These dogs have silky fur that may have a slight wave. Unlike smooth coat chihuahuas, long hair varieties have an undercoat (a short growth of hair partially concealed by the longer coat). The long coat gives the tail a plumed appearance. The ears and feet develop fringes and the neck has a fur ruff.
An essential part of grooming a long hair chihuahua is regular bathing. The longer hair of the chest can get food stuck in it, and the belly and leg fur can become soiled if the dog spends time outside. A once-monthly bath with a mild dog shampoo is sufficient unless the dog has fleas, in which case the owner should bathe it as needed. These dogs do not have an oily coat and more-frequent bathing can cause dry skin. During baths, do not get water into the ears. This can lead to an ear infection.
The long hair chihuahua needs to be brushed with a soft-bristled dog brush once a week. This will remove any knots in the fur and prevent matting. The brushing also catches hairs as the dog sheds, which will help keep fur off your furniture. Long hair chihuahuas do not require clipping, hair cuts (except to cut out any fur matting) or any other alteration of the natural coat. The American Kennel Club standard for this breed only requires that the coat appear neat.
Since chihuahuas are a small toy breed, they are susceptible to eye irritation from dust and dirt. This causes the eyes to tear up, which stains the fur under the eyes. During bathing, wash the under-eye area with the mild shampoo and comb out any crusted tears. After the fur dries, an application of petroleum jelly to the area will protect the fur and skin from further matting or irritation.
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