Chihuahua – Full Breed Profile

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Chihuahuas are small dogs with big hearts. They are fast to make a stand for their rights and alert their humans on first danger. Read on for more about wonderful Chihuahuas.
Dog Breed Group:
Companion Dogs
6 inches to 9 inches tall at the shoulder
3 to 6 pounds
Life Span:
10 to 18 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

The Chihuahua is a little famous dog breed that is also known as the purse dog.

Due to their size, they are often seen carried around in big purses. However, no matter how small in size the dog might be, he should be treated as a large dog, otherwise, they may develop a famous small dog syndrome.

This syndrome is something that no dog owner wants to deal with.

Officially the smallest breed, the Chihuahua is famous for having a well-balanced body and an apple head.

They usually don’t weigh more than 6 pounds. They may come in a small package, but they sure have a big dog personality.

Overall, this is a charming breed native to Mexico. They are easy to train as long as you start the training process on time.

The Chihuahua is a great watchdog, but they may become excessive barkers if not taught to moderate this need.

Overall, this is a healthy breed, but they still may have space to inherit a particular disease. This is why it’s important to deal with responsible breeders only and to provide regular veterinarian check-ups.

This dog is prone to obesity, and nutrition is something that should be taken seriously with this breed.

Their bodies aren’t designed to carry a lot of weight, and just a few extra pounds can put a lot of stress on their bodies.

So, with this tiny breed – moderation is the key to a healthy and happy life.

Quick Facts

Real name: Chihuahua
Origin: Mexico
Breed type: Companion Dogs
Weight: 3 to 6 pounds
Height: 6 inches to 9 inches tall at the shoulder
Lifespan: 10 – 18 years
Litter Size: 1 – 3 puppies is an average; some may deliver 10 puppies
Color: Any color
Coat: Short-haired (smooth coat) and long-coat

Chihuahua History

Today, Chihuahuas are seen everywhere. They are so well-known that they are among the most popular dogs across the globe. This popularity that they enjoy today wasn’t present years ago.

In fact, until the 20th century, these small dogs were a gem.

A few centuries ago these dogs were raised and sold as food by Aztecs, and there are historical records that support this claim.

These records talk about the small and nearly hairless dogs at the beginning of the 19th century, which later on became known as Chihuahua.

Ever since these records were found, people associate this small dog with lost civilizations.

Still, its prehistory is a big mystery although it’s known that the first Chihuahua is associated with the people of Mexico.

Its also known that Toltech were linked with the Techichi, a significanly larger version of today’s Chi. Once the Aztecs conquered the Toltech, they refined this breed into a smaller and lighter dog.

These little dogs continued living and developing until the 1800s when Americans began to show interest in this small breed. In fact, they found many specimens in the States of Chihuahua.

The first Chihuahua registered by AKC was named Beppie and it was in far 1908. This breed reached its fame in the 1940s and 50s and they have been extremely popular ever since.

Television and modern culture did a huge part in popularizing this breed.

Chihuahua Physical Appearance

This is a small size dog, for more small living spaces and city strolling. They’re graceful and swift when it comes to movement.

These small size dogs are compact, well-built, and muscular for their body size. They do not exceed 6 pounds, which is why they should never be overfed.

Their bodies aren’t built to carry extra weight.

Chihuahuas are known for their apple-like head and big eyes that only add to their calm personality. They may have or not molera.

Good to know: Chihuahua is a single breed, with up to seven varieties.

Eyes are always full and round, which ears are large and of erect type. The muzzle is short and slightly pointed. Jaws are small, and cheeks are lean.

Ribs are well sprung, while shoulders are lean.

Feet are small and well split up. The coat should be of soft texture. When kept the right way, the coat is always glossy.

The coat may be of the short and longer version, while too thin coat in long coats isn’t allowed.

Chihuahuas may come in any color. They may be small, but they definitely have a big dog personality and attitude.

Chihuahua Personality

Some dogs just have a big personality, and Chihuahua is one of those dogs.

They may seem pushy to some and overly sassy, but they are in fact just making a stand for themselves. There is a lot of vivid personalities and strong attitude packed into that small body.

They may seem scared a lot, but they are just adapting to the world and things that are much better than them.

These dogs are loving toward their people and they will show it. However, they won’t tolerate being treated like small size dogs.

Never try to pick them up, especially if that Chihuahua isn’t your dog. They will love long walks at a slower pace and spending time indoors cuddling.

Since they are highly portable due to their size, people often choose to place them into a tote bag, so they could move around the city faster.

This is definitely a small breed with a big dog personality and make sure that you treat them as such. They are highly alert and as such, they are tiny, but great watchdogs.

They’re quick learners and highly intelligent. They are no strangers to competitive dog sport, like agility.

Although they have big dog personalities, these dogs are still very sensitive. They may not be the best choice for families with young children.

Younger children tend to see dogs as moving toys and can be rough when playing with them. This is why it’s important to educate your children on how to behave around dogs.

It’s important for children to understand that they should be gentle and kind to the dog, any dog, of any size and temper.

It’s also important to teach them basic dog rules and why they shouldn’t disturb dogs while eating, drinking water, or chilling in their spots.

Last, but not least – explain to your children why pulling a dog’s tail is a big no-no.

Chihuahua Training

The Chihuahua is an alert dog who is a quick thinker and learner. This breed is eager to please, and as long as you can provide regular training with positive reinforcement training methods, you will have a well-behaved dog.

This breed knows taht they’re small and that people tend to protect them extra, which is why they will try to outsmart you and get things their way.

Make sure that you provide enough toys and other training items that can make the process easier.

Puppies can learn basic commands at eight weeks and this is the period where you should focus on implementing early training techniques.

Never let your Chihuahua puppy get away with something just because they are cute and small.

They do have a bit of ‘terrier’ temperament, but they still need an experienced owner who will know how to organize proper training and exercise time.

Chihuahua Exercise

This small dog will surprise you when it comes to their energy levels. To keep this breed happy and entertained you should provide enough exercise time.

Thanks to their size, they can get enough exercise in a very small space. Make sure that you know the proper indoor games to keep your Chihuahua happy and both physically and mentally satisfied.

They will challenge you and you should know how to respond to them. Don’t push your Chihuahua to do too much.

Over-exercising isn’t something that should be an option, no matter how big the dog might be.

Make sure that you know how much exercise your Chihuahua needs. If you are not sure, talk with your veterinarian for straightforward tips.

Chihuahua Grooming

Smaller the dog, more limited grooming obligations? Not the case here, because owning Chihuahua means that you need to deal with differnet grooming needs.

Chihuahua comes with two coat varieties and each type comes with different needs.

The very first step is having the right grooming tool on hand, to keep your Chihuahua’s coat clean and smooth.

The smooth-coat Chihuahua will need occasional brushing, while the longhaired type should have his coat brushed at least once a week – this is the best approach to avoid mats or tangles that can put stress on both the owner and the dog.

Good dental care is a must, while the rest is basic care.

Check gums and eyes are regularly. Make sure that you know how to clean a dog’s ears and provide regular veterinarian check-ups.

Chihuahua Health

Chihuahuas are in general healthy dogs. If you are dealing with responsible breeders, the chances of getting a healhty dog are at maximum.

If you are dealing with puppy mills, the chances of not getting healthy puppies are really high.

Responsible breeders will always present you with medical documentation on the puppy, let you meet the dog’s parents, and show you the facilities.

If you are not experiencing this procedure, know that you are dealing with puppy mills, and you should walk away. Like in any other breed, dogs can develop some health issues over time.

This is why doing genetic health screening is important, next to regular veterinarian check-ups.

During their lifetime, Chihuahuas usually experience heart problems, eye disease, and patellar luxation. In some, idiopathic epilepsy may also occur.

Chihuahua Nutrition

How you feed your dog matters. Nutrition is one of the most important factors when it comes to keeping your dog healthy and happy.

Know how much you can and should feed your dog to provide all the necessary nutrients.

Keeping a dog at optimal weight level is everything when you have this tiny dog. extra treats can easily and fast put extra pounds on your dog’s joints which will lead to additional health-related issues.

Treats are important when it comes to training, but you should serve them in moderation. Avoid giving human foods which is bad for dogs, and know which are safe and which are bad.

If you have any concerns about your dog’s weight, nutrition, or overall health, talk to your veterinarian.

10 Facts About Chihuahuas

Some facts on this breed are well-known and accepted, while some are so well hidden that people tend to miss them.

Here are some known and less known facts to help you understand Chihuahua better:

  • Chihuahuas are named after Chihuahua, Mexico
  • Long coat and smooth coat are the only official varieties
  • The Chihuahua is officially the world’s smallest breed
  • The Chihuahua Club of America was founded in 1923
  • For years people believed that Chihuahuas could easily cure asthma
  • Chihuahua is an ancient name. It comes from a Nahuatl word, meaning “between two waters.”
  • Chihuahuas live long. They tend to live between 15 to 20 years, making them one of the longest living dog breeds.
  • Chihuahua is the world’s smallest dog by height and length
  • In the early 1800 and 1900s Mexico, it was common to receive Chihuahuas in bouquets of flowers as a part of the groom gifting the bride
  • Not that long ago, Chihuahuas used to climb trees and have more of a cat-like behavior

The Bottom Line

If you are thinking about getting this small dog, you should know what to expect. Always do compile research on the breed so you can know what to expect.

This dog is a great choice if you already have dog experience and you are city-based.

If you want a companion dog that is easy to move around, and you aren’t afraid of stepping on him, then Chihuahua is definitely a breed to think about.

They are loyal, have great traveling companions, and just need regular exercise, without long training sessions and outdoor time.

If you want a breed that will live long, then Chihuahua is for you.

However, if you find it hard to deal with physically fragile, strong barking needs, and passion toward breaking house rules, then you should rethink your decision on welcoming Chihuahua into your home.

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