Chihuahua

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3-6 lbs
6-9"
Mexico

The very smallest breed of dog in the whole world, the tiny Chihuahua is named after the state of Chihuahua in Mexico. Folklore and archaeology both indicate that Chihuahuas originated in Mexico; dog toys representing the Chihuahua have been found from Mexico to El Salvador, dating back to 100 AD. They can have long or short hair, with either “apple heads” (rounder heads, close-set eyes, and shorter legs) or “deer heads” (flatter heads, wider-set eyes, larger ears and longer legs). Apple headed Chihuahuas are currently more popular. They come in all colors and patterns; in the case of the Chihuahua, the color definitely does not make the dog. Their purpose is simply to be a companion, though if not carefully trained, they can decide for themselves to take on the role of guard dog and protector. Chihuahuas are sassy, loyal, and protective, and can have a hair-trigger tendency to snap, which makes them poor pets for small children. They are adamantly owner-oriented, preferring their own individual person over the rest of the family, and prefer to live with other Chihuahuas rather than dogs of other breeds.

Purpose
ceremonial, companion
Date of Origin
100 AD
Ancestry
techichi

Chihuahua Health

Average Size
Height: 6-9 inches Weight: 3-6 lbs
Height: 6-9 inches Weight: 3-6 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Patellar Luxation
Minor Concerns
  • Pulmonic Stenosis
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Tracheal Collapse
  • Heart Murmur
  • Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca
  • Molera
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Hypoglycemia
Occasional Tests
  • Cardiac
  • Knee
  • Eyes
  • Skeletal
  • Physical Examination

Chihuahua Breed History

The Chihuahua comes from the Chihuahua state in Mexico, thus its name. Both folklore and archaeological evidence, such as wooden toy Chihuahuas, dog effigy pots, and writings show that the Chihuahua and its ancestors had a firm, if sometimes frightening, place in Mexican culture. The Chihuahua descended from a native Mesoamerican dog called the Techichi, which probably dates back to around 300 BC; wheeled Chihuahua-representational toys date back to 100 AD. The Techichi was a small, mute dog sometimes used in sacrificial ceremonies in the Toltec religion. It was surmised by people that the small canine could guide the soul to the underworld, so every Aztec family was known to keep one. Sacrificed and buried with each deceased family member, it seems that the Techichis were cared for and adored by their families while in the home. The modern Chihuahua was quite rare until the early 20th century. They were registered with the AKC in 1904, and their popularity has grown tremendously since then. When Xavier Cugat made his Chihuahua a constant companion in public appearances, the breed captured the attention of the American public. Its popularity in the United States continues today. A Chihuahua starred in a Taco Bell commercial and ad, exclaiming “Yo Quiero Taco Bell!” By AKC ranking, it is the 30th most popular dog in the United States overall today, and it is one of the most popular dogs in Los Angeles, making endless appearances at brunches and in celebrity photos, toted around in fancy doggie tote purses. Tinker Bell, Paris Hilton’s dog, is a trendsetting celebrity Chihuahua who has spent enough time in the limelight to get a sunburn on her little nose. 

Chihuahua Breed Appearance

Small and graceful, the Chihuahua has an attractive, swift gait that shows the breed’s self-confidence and sense of self-importance. This spunky breed is cute and knows it; erect, perky ears sit atop a round head with eyes that are expressive. The muzzle comes to a slight point and the teeth meet in a level or scissors bite. The neck meets the shoulders in an elegant fluid slope.  Its front legs feature small, dainty feet with cushioned pads, yet this tiny canine has hindquarters that are muscular. The tail is moderately long. The chihuahua comes in two types, either the smooth coat or the long coat. The smooth coat variety of the breed is soft in texture while the long coat, also soft, is either flat or slightly curly, usually with an undercoat. The long coat also has feathering on the feet and legs, and a large ruff is sometimes found on the neck. The coat of either variety can be found in any color and may be solid, pied (mostly white), marked, or splashed (an example is fawn and white).

Eye Color Possibilities
Brown
Nose Color Possibilities
Black
Brown
Coat Color Possibilities
White
Blue
Cream
Red
Brown
Black
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Chihuahua Breed Maintenance

The coat of the smooth Chihuahua is easy to maintain. Brushing or wiping the coat with a damp cloth once a week will suffice. Caring for the long coat Chihuahua is also quite simple; a soft bristle brush works best and should be used several times a week. Neither short nor long coated Chihuahuas are hypoallergenic. Your Chihuahua can be bathed about once every month or two, but be sure to prevent water from getting in the ears. The eyes, ears, and teeth of this breed are quite vulnerable to infection, so should carefully be kept clean. The nails should be trimmed on a regular basis. This breed is considered to be a below-average shedder. This spritely dog enjoys walking and exploring, and should be kept on a leash when out and about. Sensitive to the cold, a sweater is a good idea on cool days. This breed is very good for apartment living as long as you can provide adequate exercise. The Chihuahua should be walked 20 to 30 minutes daily to keep in shape; many calories can also be burned through its stereotypical shivering. A body harness is suggested for this dainty breed rather than a collar, especially since tracheal collapse can be a concern. A normal Chihuahua needs to eat 1/8 to 1/4 cup of high quality food twice daily.

Brushes for Chihuahua
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Daily Weekly Monthly

Chihuahua Temperament

The Chihuahua is one of the most popular toy breeds because of its saucy personality and its devotion to its owner. This breed is usually reserved with strangers and can at times become jealous, but it is generally good with other dogs and pets in the home. It should be socialized at an early age to prevent aggressiveness with other dogs and timidity with strangers. The Chihuahua has been known to be temperamental. It may snap at children if it is being teased, and it is best for households with older, gentle children. This is a loyal dog of above-average intelligence that is quick to learn if a gentle, positive training approach is used. Some may be difficult to housebreak, and many owners decide to just paper train this breed. Chihuahuas have a medium energy level and low exercise needs; many are happy to be carried wherever their owner goes.

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
6 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
30 minutes

Chihuahua Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
0.8 cups
Daily Cost
$0.8 - $1
Monthly Cost
$20 - $30

Chihuahua Height & Weight

6 Months
Height: 4 inches Weight: 2 lbs
Height: 4 inches Weight: 2 lbs
12 Months
Height: 7 inches Weight: 3 lbs
Height: 7 inches Weight: 3 lbs
18 Months
Height: 7 inches Weight: 4 lbs
Height: 7 inches Weight: 4 lbs

Top Chihuahua Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Chihuahua breeders of 2017.
Natelsong Chihuahuas
Crescent City, California
Kesabrey Chihuahuas
Clearwater, Florida
Ka-Lynn's Chihuahaus
Peculiar, Missouri
Mataje Chihuahuas
Kingwood, Texas
Terlingua Chihuahuas
Columbia, Tennessee
Hollywood Chis
Altamonte Springs, Florida
Alfheim-Andromeda Chihuahuas
Lee Center, New York
Dralion Chihuahuas
Marcy, New York
Jenina & Joshua Fortner
Abilene, Kansas
Yingchuu Chihuahuas
Auburn, Washington

Chihuahua Owner Experiences