Chihuahua Breed | Description, Temperament, Images, & Facts
October 8, 2023
The Chihuahua breed is simply captivating. From their small size and vibrant personalities to the wide range of coat types and colors, they have it all.
These pint-sized pups are not to be underestimated. They excel in dog sports like agility and obedience, earning prestigious ranks among the top ten watchdogs recommended by experts.
But what truly sets Chihuahuas apart is their unwavering devotion to their human companions. They shower love on everyone - even those new to pet parenting.
Plus, they require minimal grooming and exercise, making them perfect for apartment living. You'll be amazed at how effortlessly they blend in with the whole family.
Just a gentle reminder though, young ones should be taught how to interact kindly with these small bundles of joy.
CHIHUAHUA QUICK FACKS
6 to 9 inches
3 to 6 pound
Black, white, brown, blue, brown, chocolate, grey, fawn
Seniors, families with older children, apartment dwellers
Anxious, gentle, playful
Luxating patellas, collapsed trachea, hydrocephalus
Discover the amazing qualities of raising a Chihuahua on our paw-rating scale from 1 (low) to 5 (high).
Our team of pet experts, including a dog trainer, veterinarian, and behaviorist, carefully evaluated these attributes.
Remember, every Chihuahua, even within the same breed, is wonderfully unique and might surprise you!
Chihuahuas are the perfect choice for anyone living in an apartment. These small dogs can adapt easily to living in small spaces and they are extremely low maintenance. Chihuahuas tend to be loyal and affectionate to their owners which makes them the perfect companion as they do not require a lot of space to be happy.
Novice dog owners
Owning a Chihuahua can be a rewarding experience, but it's important to understand that these pint-sized pups require a lot of care and attention. Due to their small size, Chihuahuas are prone to health issues like dental problems and require regular vet checkups.
Additionally, Chihuahuas are notoriously temperamental and can be difficult to train. For these reasons, it's recommended that Chihuahuas are only adopted by experienced dog owners who are equipped to handle their unique needs.
Chihuahuas are known for their tiny size, but also for their sensitive nature. Despite being small, they have big personalities and are fiercely loyal to their owners. These little dogs have a reputation for being highly attuned to their surroundings and the emotions of those around them.
This sensitivity can make them wonderful companion animals, but it also means they require special attention and care. From ensuring they get enough attention and socialization to monitoring their diet and providing a safe, secure home environment, owning a chihuahua is a responsibility that requires a deep commitment.
Also read: Why are Chihuahuas so mean?
For some Chihuahua owners, leaving the house can quickly turn into a nightmare. Separation anxiety can take hold of these small dogs, causing them to become distressed when their owner leaves. This is a common issue with Chihuahuas, and it can be difficult to combat.
Also read: Why is my Chihuahua crying?
Tolerates cold weather
For the Chihuahua, comfort and happiness often depend on something that we may not even think about - the temperature outside. Chihuahuas are known for being one of the most temperature-sensitive dog breeds out there.
If the temperature drops below 25 degrees, these little pups can become quite uncomfortable. So, if you're thinking about taking your Chihuahua out for a walk on a chilly winter day, make sure to bundle them up nice and warm!
Alro read: Why do Chihuahuas shake so much?
Tolerates hot weather
Chihuahuas are known for their ability to handle warm temperatures with ease. They are built to withstand high temperatures thanks to their short coats and small size, which allows them to regulate their body temperature more efficiently.
While other dogs may pant and seek shade, Chihuahuas can be found basking in the sun and soaking up the heat.
Affectionate with family
When it comes to loyalty, Chihuahuas are among the top contenders in the dog world. Chihuahua dogs have an immense capacity for attachment, forming intense bonds with their owners that border on the obsessive.
So much so that they will go to great lengths to keep their owners close, even if that means fiercely guarding them against other people and pets.
While this level of protectiveness might seem over-the-top to some, it's simply a reflection of the deep love that Chihuahuas feel for their human companions.
Chihuahuas may not be the most suitable choice if you have young children at home. While they can be social and engaging, they may have a tendency to snap at kids, and their small size puts them at risk of injury during rough play.
However, if you have older children in the household, a Chihuahua could be a wonderful addition to your family. If your children are responsible and kind, they can provide the love and attention that these dogs crave.
Known for their tiny size, Chihuahuas get along surprisingly well with other canines. In fact, some owners choose to have multiple Chihuahuas, who travel around the house in a sort of tiny pack.
But size doesn't seem to matter to these spunky pups - they are just as likely to form friendships with much larger pets, sometimes becoming inseparable.
If you're one of those people who thinks Chihuahuas and cats can't get along, think again. In some households, Chihuahuas and cats form an unlikely but strong bond that sees them become best friends.
It's heartwarming to see these two pets interact with each other, playing together and even becoming protective of each other. And if you're wondering how they manage to coexist without fighting, it's all about positive reinforcement and patience.
Chihuahuas are known for their natural reserve around strangers, and it's no joking matter. These pint-sized dogs are quick to put on a display of what can only be described as excited ferociousness when anyone dares to approach what they consider to be "theirs."
While it may seem amusing at first, this behavior can quickly lead to bigger problems. Left unchecked, your Chihuahua may soon start to dislike everyone in the world, and aggression or even biting could be the end result.
Also read: Why are Chihuahuas scared of everything?
Easy to train
Did you know that Chihuahuas, despite being ranked lower in a study on working/obedience dog intelligence, might just be playing tricks on us? They've mastered the art of fooling us into thinking they are not obedient.
In this study conducted by Dr. Stanley Cohen, Chihuahuas actually outperformed the Beagle and several other breeds. But here's the catch: obedience response may not be the best measure of intelligence in dogs. Just like us, our furry friends have unique personalities and motivations. Some may be incredibly smart but not motivated by the traditional training methods.
Let's not forget about all the variables at play when it comes to ranking IQs. Were the trainers equally skilled? Was the reward enticing enough for each individual dog? Did the Chihuahuas feel nervous during the testing? Genetics also play a significant role, as two Chihuahuas from different lines can have vastly different IQ results.
So, before we judge intelligence solely based on obedience, let's consider all the fascinating aspects that make our four-legged friends truly remarkable. After all, they're much more than just a number in a study!
Chihuahuas, oh those pint-sized pooches, have a distinctive bite that's quite different from other canines.
Despite their small stature, they're determined to act bigger than they actually are – it's like a Napoleon Complex! Picture this: these feisty little furballs fearlessly take on dogs four times their size, just to prove a point.
Yet, fear not! With proper socialization and discipline, this behavior can be curved in no time at all.
Also read: Why do Chihuahuas bite?
But, one thing that worries a lot of Chihuahua owners is their tendency to run away. These little dogs are surprisingly agile and quick, making it easy for them to dart out of an open door or slip out of a collar.
While not all Chihuahuas will run away, it's important for owners to take precautions to keep their furry friend safe and secure. From microchipping to keeping a close eye on them during walks, there are plenty of ways to lower the risk of your chihuahua wandering off.
Chihuahuas have a high prey drive. Their instinct might lead them to chase birds, squirrels, and rabbits on walks - not to mention the smaller animals like insects or even small rodents that they might find in the house.
Nonetheless, it is important to understand that this trait is highly individual. While some Chihuahuas might have a strong prey drive, others may not. So, it's always best to keep them on a leash during walks to prevent any accidents from happening.
Good as service dogs
It may surprise you to learn that Chihuahuas are indeed capable of being trained as service dogs. Contrary to the common misconception that they are simply small and yappy, Chihuahuas can be taught a range of tasks to provide assistance to their owners - from guiding people with vision impairments to alerting those with hearing impairments.
With proper training from a professional, Chihuahuas can be just as effective as larger service dogs. However, their small size also makes them perfect candidates for emotional support dog roles. They can easily curl up on a person's lap and provide comfort in a time of need, making them an ideal choice for those seeking emotional support from a furry friend.
We're all well-aware that Chihuahuas love to bark. In fact, they may have even coined the phrase "yappy dog." And while barking is a natural behavior for pups, our pint-sized friends can sometimes take it to the extreme.
When the barking becomes incessant, it can be a real issue for pet owners. So, what do we do when our Chihuahuas bark non-stop? Well, there are a few tricks to help curb the behavior.
While Chihuahuas may be cute and tiny, they have a reputation for being stubborn and aggressive. These little dogs can pack quite the punch, both in their bark and in their behavior. In order to tame a Chihuahua's wild side, it's crucial to start training them as early as possible.
Thankfully, with patience and consistency, even the most headstrong Chihuahua can learn to follow commands and become a loyal companion. Whether you're dealing with a feisty Chihuahua puppy or a rebellious adult, taking the time to coach your Chihuahua can help to prevent any potential behavioral problems down the line.
Potential for playfulness
Chihuahuas come in both playful and laid-back varieties. While some Chihuahuas are bursting with energy, eager to play fetch and run around, others prefer to curl up on the couch and relax.
This is all due to their individual personalities and preferences, as well as their age and level of activity. Regardless of their playfulness, Chihuahuas are known for their small size and big personalities, making them popular pets for those who want a loyal companion that is easy to care for.
One thing that sets them apart from other small breeds is the fact that Chihuahuas are not known to be droolers. That’s right. Unlike some larger breeds, a Chihuahua won’t leave drool all over your car, clothes, or furniture.
Their small size and tendency to be neat and tidy make them an excellent choice for anyone who wants a furry companion that won’t leave slobber everywhere.
As small as they may be, Chihuahuas require lots of care when it comes to grooming. From keeping their coat tangle-free to trimming their nails, grooming helps keep these little pups happy and healthy.
Regular grooming sessions can also help you bond with your Chihuahua and serve as an opportunity to check for any potential health concerns. Plus, a well-groomed Chihuahua is simply irresistible with their shiny coat and bright eyes.
Overall, grooming your Chihuahua is an essential part of being a responsible pet owner, ensuring that your furry friend always looks and feels their best.
Read more about the hairless Chihuahua
Unfortunately, despite their small size and sometimes timid nature, Chihuahuas are not hypoallergenic. To be considered hypoallergenic, a dog would need to have little to no shedding patterns.
While Chihuahuas are easy to groom and take care of, they do shed - just like any other dog breed. However, if you're set on adopting a Chihuahua, there are a few ways to reduce allergens in your home, such as grooming your pup frequently and investing in an air purifier.
With proper care and nutrition, a chihuahua can live anywhere from 10 to 18 years. That means plenty of time for snuggles, playtime, and making memories with your furry best friend.
Read more about Chihuahua lifespan
Potential for obesity
Unfortunately, many Chihuahuas are facing a common issue today - obesity. It is important to keep our Chihuahua dog at a healthy weight to ensure a happy and long life. The good news is that obesity can be prevented.
Regular exercise and a high quality diet are key in preventing this issue. Make sure your Chihuahua gets plenty of exercise and is fed a well-balanced diet to keep them healthy and happy.
Chihuahuas are one of the most unique looking dog breeds out there. Despite their small size, their big, luminous eyes and expressive ears make them impossible to miss.
Their heads are shaped like apples, which gives them a cute and welcoming appearance. Chihuahuas are surprisingly sturdy for their size and can have either short or long hair, which comes in 30 different colors and 11 types of markings.
🐾 Ears: When a Chihuahua is alert, their ears stand tall and proud. In moments of relaxation, their ears have a bit more space between them. But when feeling fearful or submissive, those ears droop down.
🐾 Nose: Did you know that Chihuahuas have a nose that can either be black or match the color of their coat? For blonds, reds, blues, and chocolates, the nose blends right in. But for light-colored Chihuahuas, you might find a cute pink or tan nose!
🐾 Height: Male: 6-9 inches, Female: 6-9 inches
🐾 Weight: Male: 3-6 pounds, Female: 3-6 pounds
🐾 Coat lenght: The Chihuahua boasts two delightful coat variants. The smooth coat, with its short, glossy fur and a dainty ruff around the neck, exudes elegance. Meanwhile, the long coat entices with its wavy, silky texture, complete with a fluffy ruff, "pants" adorning their hind legs, and an irresistibly soft undercoat.
🐾 Coat color: Chihuahuas are the ultimate fashionistas, boasting over 30 dazzling coat colors and combinations. From classic Black and Tan to trendy Blue Brindled Fawn, they showcase a vibrant palette that includes Chocolate, Cream, Fawn, Red, Blue, and Black. These adorable Chichis can sport solid, marked, brindled, sabled, or even splashed coats, making them truly unique and stylish companions.
🐾 Tail: For Chi dogs with short coats, a furry tail is the go-to preference. But if they have long coats, get ready for a plumed tail complete with enchanting feathering.
Chihuahuas, those charming little scamps, possess mischief and braver that surpass their petite frames. They delight in playful romps and games, even if their energy levels dictate the duration. When the time for relaxation comes, they adore snoozing on laps and cuddling, as if it were their true purpose in life.
Chihuahuas crave attention and have an excellent portability factor. However, bear in mind that they still need to learn to walk independently and enjoy typical dog behaviors: sniffing, exploring, and playing. So, refrain from constantly carrying them in purses or strollers, unless it's a precarious environment like a busy airport or bustling street festival where their tiny paws might be at risk.
The Chihuahua breed is often likened to Terriers for their demeanor and has the potential to become feisty if they feel threatened. Now, there's a common misconception that Chihuahuas have a bite force of 3,900 pounds per square inch (psi), supposedly stronger than a lion's 600 psi. But let's debunk those wildly inaccurate claims. In reality, their bites usually range from a Level 1 to 3 severity, with no punctures deeper than half the length of one of their canine teeth.
To nurture a well-mannered Chihuahua puppy who may have a tendency to nip or be protective, focus on socialization from the start. Safely and gradually introduce them to new people and places, while initiating training at an early age. These efforts will not only foster their friendliness but also help them develop a positive rapport with every family member, including other furry companions.
Also read: Chihuahua personality explained
CHIHUAHUA HEALTH ISSUES
Chihuahuas are generally a healthy breed. They can live impressively long lives, up to 18 years! However, as they age, it's important to be aware of potential health issues.
According to the Chihuahua Club of America, some of these issues include folic acid, heart disease, loose kneecaps (patellar luxation), hypoglycemia, and epilepsy. Besides, Chihuahuas may also deal with earwax build-up and dry skin. So, before bringing home a Chihuahua, make sure the breeder completes all recommended health tests by the OFA. And if you're adopting, don't forget to ask for any available medical information.
Now, let's talk about something interesting! Have you ever noticed that some Chihuahuas have a small hole, like a pencil eraser, on the top of their skull? It's called molera, and historically, it was considered a sign of breed purity.
But here's the catch—having molera doesn't mean they'll have health problems later in life. Whether they keep their soft spot or not depends on their size, genetics, and skeletal structure. Fascinating, isn't it?
FINDING A CHIHUAHUA
When bringing a Chihuahua into your life, preparation is key! Getting a Chihuahua is easy, but being ready is crucial. Dedicate time to teach basic obedience, socialize your adorable puppy with humans and furry pals, and master important skills like peaceful slumbers and potty training outdoors.
Let's discuss finding the perfect Chihuahua puppy or adult dog. Thanks to the internet, discovering one is just a click away. However, be cautious to avoid puppy mills and internet scams. Research reputable breeders, seek recommendations, visit before committing to payment, and trust your instincts.
Attention pet parents! If you're considering welcoming a delightful chihuahua into your family, it's important to take into account all the associated expenses. According to Rover's Cost of Pet Parenthood Survey, 33% of chihuahua owners anticipated spending between $250 and $500 upfront.
Surprisingly, 42% reported that the actual costs aligned with their budget, while 40% encountered higher expenses. In summary, a whopping 82% of proud pet parents spend less than $100 per month on their cherished chihuahuas.
Looking for Chihuahua breeders who meet strict requirements? Utilize the AKC search tool to locate a trusted Chihuahua breeder nearby. During your visit, don't forget to inquire about any health concerns in the dog's bloodline and discuss potential genetic tests you'd like to conduct.
Finding a Chihuahua can be a rewarding journey. Did you know that 61% of Chihuahua owners found their furry friends through adoption? Rescue pups come spayed, neutered, and up-to-date with shots, making them an excellent choice.
Many Chihuahua rescues are surrendered by caring owners, so they often know basic commands and are well-socialized. But don't worry if they need a little extra TLC! Reach out to a trusted dog trainer for helpful advice on teaching a dog who hasn't experienced much structure or providing support to a pup who may have been through tough times.
Looking to find the perfect Chihuahua rescue? We've got you covered! Check out our hand-picked favorites known for their friendliness and reliability. Making your search easier than ever!
Chihuahua Rescue and Transport (Several States):
- Website: Chihuahua Rescue and Transport (CRT)
- Emails: email@example.com (DFW Region), firstname.lastname@example.org (Southeast Region), and email@example.com (Midwest Region)
Texas Chihuahua Rescue (TXCR) – Texas:
- Website: Texas Chihuahua Rescue (TXCR)
Ay Chihuahua Rescue – Texas:
- Website: Ay Chihuahua Rescue
- Phone: 512-360-0850
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Socials: Facebook page
Enchantment Chihuahua Rescue, LTD – New Mexico:
- Website: Enchantment Chihuahua Rescue
- Phone: 505-275-7283
- Email: email@example.com
- Socials: Facebook page
Chihuahua Rescue of San Diego County – California:
- Phone: 858-256-9479
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Socials: Facebook page
Limbo Chihuahuas – Florida:
- Website: Limbo Chihuahuas
- Phone: 727-423-0226
- Email: email@example.com
- Socials: Facebook page
When it comes to Chihuahuas, whether a playful puppy or a captivating adult, it's easy to assume that their small size and portability means they're low maintenance.
However, these delightful dogs require daily exercise, regular grooming with particular focus on dental and eye care, as well as early socialization and training.
Let's not forget, they're dogs - not toys! The great news is that their petite nature makes grooming a breeze. Plus, they're clever little canines who thrive with proper training and socialization.
🐾 Grooming : Taking care of your Chihuahua involves regular grooming routines. Brushing and bathing are important, regardless of their coat length. Short-haired Chihuahuas need weekly brushing, while long-haired Chihuahuas require extra attention to prevent matting. Don't forget dental care - brush their teeth daily and schedule professional cleanings. Pay close attention to their eyes for signs of any issues.
🐾 Training: Chihuahuas are intelligent and trainable dogs that benefit from early training and socialization. They have a tendency to bark, but with the help of a certified trainer or behaviorist, their reactivity can be reduced.
🐾 Diet: To provide your Chihuahua with optimal nutrition, feed them high-quality dog food that meets AAFCO standards. Choose smaller-sized kibble for their tiny mouths and consider a food specifically formulated for Chihuahuas or small-breed dogs. Be mindful of portion sizes and avoid overfeeding or excessive treats. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the most suitable food, portion size, and feeding schedule based on factors like weight, activity level, and age.
🐾 Exercise: Chihuahuas need regular exercise, such as daily short walks and playtime in the backyard. Avoid strenuous activities to prevent fatigue and knee problems. Many Chihuahuas don't get enough exercise, so let them have their freedom to move and consider interactive toys for extra stimulation.
Right for you
You live in an apartment
You want a very small dog
You want a dog that doesn't shed a lot
Not right for you
You have little children
You don't want a yappy dog
You are very active
Chihuahua Breed FAQs
What are the most common Chihuahua mixes?
How long do Chihuahuas live?
Despite their size, Chihuahuas can live a long time, with an expected lifespan of 10 to 18 years.
Why do Chihuahuas Shake?
Chihuahuas shake for various reasons, including cold or fear, but there are other factors as well. Nervousness, anxiety, natural instincts, and excitement can all contribute to this curious canine quirk.
How do you spell Chihuahua?
Despite only being two word Chihuahua can be tricky to spell. It's not uncommon to see misspellings such as "cheewawa" or "chewawa." But fear not, for anyone struggling with the spelling, the correct way to spell Chihuahua is with a "u" after the "h" and two "a's" at the end.
Do Chihuahuas shed?
Chihuahuas do shed. However, their short hair doesn't require as much grooming as some other breeds. It's important to brush them regularly and, if you're sensitive to allergies, keep in mind that even though their shedding is minimal, they still have dander.
Are Chihuahuas smart?
Chihuahuas are often underestimated, but they are actually intelligent and full of personality. They are quick learners, excelling in agility, obedience, and search and rescue. While they can be stubborn, consistent training brings out their full potential. If you want a smart and spunky companion, a Chihuahua is a great choice!
What were Chihuahuas bred for?
Chihuahuas, one of the smallest and oldest dog breeds, have captured the hearts of dog lovers worldwide. Originally bred by the Aztecs in Mexico, they were primarily used as companions and lap dogs. Today, Chihuahuas remain popular for their feisty nature and adorable looks, continuing to be cherished as loyal companions.
How much does a Chihuahua cost?
Chihuahuas are generally affordable to purchase, but the cost can vary based on factors like pedigree, breeder, and location. Prices range from $400 to over $2,000. Additionally, consider ongoing expenses like food, medical care, and toys. Research can help find the perfect Chihuahua without overspending.
What do Chihuahuas usually die from?
Some of the most common causes of death in Chihuahuas include heart disease, liver failure, cancer, and kidney disease. In addition, these pups are prone to develop dental issues, respiratory problems, and joint pain as they age, which can exacerbate any pre-existing health conditions.