Chihuahua Breed Information, Facts, And Pictures
The Chihuahua is a popular breed that has captured the hearts of millions of owners around the world with its big, charismatic personality and playful behavior.
The Chihuahua dog breed‘s charms include their small size, big personality, and variety in coat types and colors. They’re all dog, fully capable of competing in dog sports such as agility and obedience, and are among the top ten watchdogs recommended by experts.
Although these are purebred dogs, you may still find them in shelters and rescues. Remember to adopt! Don’t shop if you want to bring a dog home.
Chihuahuas love nothing more than being with their people — even novice pet parents — and require a minimum of grooming and exercise. They make excellent apartment dogs who’ll get along with the whole family. Just make sure any children who approach know how to play gently with a small dog.
Evidence suggests that this breed descended from the ancient Techichi, which dates back all the way to the 9th century in Mexico. It was so popular at the time that it permeated many aspects of Mesoamerican culture in paintings and artifacts. After the conquest of the Aztecs, the Techichi retreated back to Mexico’s countryside. When it was rediscovered by the wider world in the 19th century, the breed had undergone significant change. In fact, the modern Chihuahua is largely Eurasian in origin. It is now a national symbol of Mexico.
he Chihuahua has a distinctive and unmistakable appearance: a rounded apple head, big bulging eyes, erect ears, and a small body and frame. There are generally two variations of the Chihuahua: the long hair and smooth coat. Both types actually have smooth fur around the body. The main difference is that the long hair Chihuahua has fringed ears, a fan-like tail, and feathering around the legs. The smooth coat has shorter hair around most of its body, but despite the name, part of the fur around the neck is actually rough to the touch. The white, tan, brown, or black coat come in almost any pattern or variation you can think of.
|Charismatic and friendly
The Chihuahua has a big personality that expresses itself in many different ways.
|Sensitive and fragile
The Chihuahua requires a firm but light touch.
The dog’s rather goofy personality conceals its alert and attentive demeanor.
This breed requires specific attention to the teeth.
|A good low-maintenance companion
This breed is happy to just chill out with its owner.
|Suspicious of strangers
This breed may not get along well with everyone it meets.
Chihuahua Size and Weight
The Chihuahua is one of the smallest dog breeds in the world. They are so small that they can fit inside of a purse or bag. Some dogs measuring less than 6 inches are sometimes called teacup Chihuahuas. This name is given because they can fit inside of a teacup. The teacup Chihuahua is not a unique breed or variation, but just a very small individual. There is also minimal difference in the size between the male and female dogs.
|Height (Male)||Up to 8 inches|
|Height (Female)||Up to 8 inches|
|Weight (Male)||Up to 6 pounds|
|Weight (Female)||Up to 6 pounds|
Despite the small size and apple head, the Chihuahua is actually a healthy breed with a long lifespan of some 14 to 16 years, but there are some serious health problems you should be aware of. These include heart diseases, eye conditions, epilepsy, low blood sugar, hydrocephalus (caused by the accumulation of fluids in the brain), and patellar luxation (in which the kneecap actually moves out of its normal location). Another potential problem is open fontanel in which the puppies’ soft spot on the top of the head doesn’t properly close, making it very vulnerable to accidents. Many of these health conditions are genetic in origin and can be minimized with a reputable breeder who screens for them. Cancer is also something you should look out for, especially in the dog’s old age. To sum up the most common health problems:
- Heart Diseases
- Eye Conditions
- Low Blood Sugar
- Patellar Luxation
The Chihuahua possesses a friendly and loyal personality that wants to please its owner, with whom it forms a very strong bond. Although feisty for its size, this breed exhibits rather goofy and playful behavior. One of its more appealing traits is its adaptability. It can easily relax and chill out with its owner, or it can enjoy some playtime and exercise. And for owners who want to train their dogs, the Chihuahua is actually quite diligent and receptive to commands. For all of its outgoing behavior around friends and family, though, this breed can be rather wary of strangers. It takes some time to really earn this breed’s trust. That is why the Chihuahua actually makes for a decent guard dog, despite its small size.
How to Take Care of a Chihuahua
The Chihuahua requires some special care due to its unusual physiology and behavior. The teeth in particular are an area of high concern and may require special attention from the vet. You will also want to socialize the puppy as early as possible to make it less wary of people. As always, you should plan for annual checkups at the vet to catch early health problems as soon as they arise.
The Best Dog Food for Chihuahuas
The Chihuahua’s recommended diet is no more than a half cup of high-quality dry food every single day based on its size, age, and activity level. Dogs susceptible to low blood sugar should eat a hearty meal ninety minutes before exercising to stay balanced.
You can also give it intermittent treats as part of a positive training regime. If the dog begins to gain weight, then you may want to cut back on the calories. The vet can help you find an appropriate diet regime for your dog. Legumes in dog food may lead to heart failure, so talk to your vet about legume-free dog food that may reduce your Chihuahua’s heart disease concerns.
A-Z Animals says that the best dog food for Chihuahuas is Royal Canin Breed Health Nutrition Chihuahua Adult Dry Dog Food. Have a look at our list of the best food for Chihuahuas here.
You and your Chihuahua both know your companion is basically royalty, so it’s perfect that Royal Canin makes dog food just for Chihuahuas and their particular health needs. There are no worrisome legumes, just a chicken, oat, and rice base brimming with taurine for the eyes, vitamins, and antioxidants. The glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate contribute to joint mobility, even as Chihuahuas age.
Contrary to popular belief, small size doesn’t necessarily an apartment dog make. Plenty of small dogs are too high-energy and yappy for life in a high-rise. Being quiet, low energy, fairly calm indoors, and polite with the other residents are all good qualities in an apartment dog. And you can find an awesome crate for your dog here to give them a little more personal space in your apartment.
Some dogs are simply easier than others; they take to training better and are fairly easygoing. They’re also resilient enough to bounce back from your mistakes or inconsistencies.
Dogs who are highly sensitive, independent thinking, or assertive may be harder for a first-time dog parent to manage. You’ll get your best match if you take your dog-owning experience into account as you choose your new pooch.
Some dogs will let a stern reprimand roll off their backs, while others take even a dirty look to heart. Low-sensitivity dogs, also called “easygoing,” “tolerant,” “resilient,” and even “thick-skinned,” can better handle a noisy, chaotic household, a louder or more assertive owner, and an inconsistent or variable routine. Do you have young kids, throw lots of dinner parties, play in a garage band, or lead a hectic life? Go with a low-sensitivity dog.
Some breeds bond very closely with their family and are more prone to worry or even panic when left alone by their owner. An anxious dog can be very destructive–barking, whining, chewing, and otherwise causing mayhem. These breeds do best when a family member is home during the day or if you can take the dog to work.
Breeds with very short coats and little or no undercoat or body fat, such as Greyhounds, are vulnerable to the cold. Dogs with a low cold tolerance need to live inside in cool climates and should have a jacket or sweater for chilly walks.
Dogs with thick, double coats are more vulnerable to overheating. So are breeds with short noses, like Bulldogs or Pugs, since they can’t pant as well to cool themselves off. If you want a heat-sensitive breed, your dog will need to stay indoors with you on warm or humid days, and you’ll need to be extra cautious about exercising your dog in the heat.