Chihuahua Breed - Dog & Puppy Information & Characteristics

Chihuahuas are tiny in size but full of personality. They are outgoing, charismatic, and graceful. While Chihuahuas are loyal and loving to their owners, this dog breed can be distrustful towards strangers. Now, if you are planning to adopt a pup from this breed, you might be concerned about how much space they need. If so, here’s some good news: Anyone living in an apartment can provide a home to Chihuahuas. Thanks to their petite size, Chihuahuas need very little space when they get the zoomies. Chihuahuas also prove to be one of the best breeds for first-time pet parents. So, if you’ve always wanted to care for a dog, getting a Chihuahua puppy might be the way to go.

Key specifications of a Chihuahua Dogs

As someone who wants to shelter a Chihuahua, you might want to know details about a Chihuahua’s lifespan, weight, height, and more.

Weight1.8 to 4.1 kg
Height6 to 12 inches
Lifespan12 to 20 years
CoatSmooth or long

Physical appearance of Chihuahuas

Chihuahuas have two types of coats: long with straight and soft hair as well as smooth with soft and glossy hair. Moreover, this dog breed comes in both solid and dual tones. Here’s a list of common coat colors in Chihuahuas:

  • Fawn
  • Brown
  • Fawn and white
  • Cream
  • Red
  • Chocolate and tan

Want to know the Chihuahua dog breed’s most uncommon coat color? You will rarely find Chihuahuas with a full white coat. Chihuahuas are known to have patterns like brindles on their fur. 

As someone who wants to bring a chi home, you would want to know how to identify a purebred Chihuahua. Here are some features of a purebred:

  • An apple-domed skull
  • Fine hair on the head and ears 
  • Big and round eyes
  • Large and erect ears
  • A furry tail

Chihuahua personality traits

The Chihuahua dog breed loves attention. Since they are loyal to their owners, they make for great canine companions. Don’t judge a Chihuahua by its tiny body for it has a strong spirit. Chihuahuas are generally outgoing, bubbly, and sassy. However, some can also be shy and reserved. And like every dog breed, Chihuahuas too need early exposure to new people, places, and other dogs. Anxious Chihuahuas can feel threatened around strangers, leading to growling and fear biting.

Chihuahuas can also be friendly towards other pets and babies, provided they are trained well. In fact, as a Chi parent, you might have to teach both your children as well as your Chihuahua to be nice and friendly with each other.

Chihuahuas can be quite expressive; hence, they might bark a lot to communicate their feelings. The common triggers among this dog breed are fear, separation anxiety, and the need for attention. However, proper training can ensure that your Chihuahua doesn’t get triggered easily.

Do Chihuahuas need training?

Since Chihuahuas are petite and cute, people believe that they cannot get into trouble. Hence, most dog parents do not put enough effort into training them. However, that is just a myth. Chihuahuas are stubborn which makes them hard to train, but early training lessons can help you shape their behavior easily.

Due to their affectionate nature, Chihuahuas can be an absolute delight. However, an untrained Chihuahua is highly prone to acting aggressively around new people and animals, especially if it already has a reserved personality. So, train your dog to avoid aggressive behavior like being snappy with kids, getting stimulated by noises outside, growling, etc. Training will not only help you control a Chihuahua’s temperament but also keep separation anxiety at bay. And if your Chihuahua is cooperative throughout the training session, pamper your fur baby with delicious dog treats.

How to care for a Chihuahua?

Want to adopt a Chihuahua? Here’s how you must take care of this lap dog:

  • Health issues

    Chihuahuas are generally healthy; however, they are prone to developing some genetic issues. Hypoglycemia, obesity, patellar luxation, mitral valve disease, and idiopathic epilepsy are a few common Chihuahua health problems you should know about. 

  • Grooming

    As mentioned above, Chihuahuas come in two types of coats. The grooming routine of a Chihuahua depends on their type of coat. If your posh pup has a smooth coat, regular bathing and occasional brushing can spruce up their look. Long-haired Chihuahuas are prone to matting. Hence, it is imperative to brush their hair once a week at the least. Moreover, the nails of a Chihuahua must be trimmed regularly.

    Do not forget to remove excess wax from their ears. It will help you prevent ear infections. Since Chihuahuas are also prone to dental problems, you must take good care of their oral hygiene. Brush their teeth regularly and consult a vet to provide your furry friend with treats specially formulated for their teeth.

  • Physical activity

    Chihuahuas love to lead an active life. Thanks to their compact body, this dog breed gets enough exercise within a small space. Short walks will help you keep the Chihuahua dog breed in good shape. Pick your Chihuahua up and carry them in your arms if they start panting. Furthermore, avoid taking them on brisk walks. Since they have tiny legs, Chihuahuas will have to overexert themselves to keep up with your speed.

  • Nutritional requirements

    Chihuahuas are omnivores and require a diet that includes muscle meat from beef, chicken, lamb, etc. In case you are feeding your Chihuahua with kibble or any other dog food, do not forget to check the list of ingredients. This breed is sensitive to chemical additives and fillers. Since Chihuahuas are prone to obesity, keep an eye on their calorie intake as well. 

A brief history of Chihuahuas

Like most dog breeds, the Chihuahua's origin is unclear. Some say that they descended from a Central/South American dog, Techichi. And other historians believe that Chihuahuas were brought to Mexico from China to breed with small native dogs. Interestingly, the Chihuahua dog breed has been named after the Mexican state of the same name.

Chihuahuas became famous in the United States of America by the 1800s. James Watson, an author and judge, purchased a female chi–Manzanita–in 1888. Over the years, many celebrities have been known to have parented Chihuahuas, including Demi Moore, Britney Spears, Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, Ashton Kutcher, and Paris Hilton.

Explore our breeds category page to learn more about different dog breeds and find your perfect companion.

FAQs on Chihuahua dog breed

Chihuahuas get along with other pets in the family (cats as well). However, it is imperative to introduce them to other dogs and pets at a young age. This training will help your Chihuahua puppy grow up into an amiable pet. 

Yes. Since Chihuahuas are loyal to their pet parents, they make for a good family dog. A well-trained Chihuahua will also get along with babies and other pets. However, it is imperative that you treat them with respect.

If there is enough food and water for them, a Chihuahua can stay alone for 9 to 10 hours. However, you need to ensure that the space is safe for them to be alone.

Yes. Thanks to their short hair, Chihuahuas with a smooth coat are one of the easiest dogs to groom. Just remember to brush their coat often and give them regular baths to ensure they stay clean.

Yes. Chihuahuas have a tendency of barking a lot. However, early training can help you ensure that this habit is well-managed.

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