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Chihuahua dogs and puppies

Learn all about Chihuahuas, including history, appearance, temperament lifespan, health and care needs, suitability for children and more.

About The Chihuahua Dog Breed

The Chihuahua is the smallest breed of dog, although their personality is anything but pint-sized. As many Chihuahua owners will attest, every Chihuahua is an alpha-dog.

The Chihuahua has a clouded history and although an old breed, they are relatively new to the United States and Canada. The Chihuahua is a saucy, devoted pet that needs lots of love but only a few other requirements. Exercise and grooming are minimal, but feeding his temperamental palate can be a headache.

This tiny dog is well suited for apartment dwellers and ideal for the elderly. The Chihuahua’s distinctive features and bubbly personality make this small-scale pet a wonderful companion.

Chihuahua Video Playlist

Just Chihuahua Puppies 2020 Wall Calendar (Dog Breed Calendar)

Just Chihuahua Puppies 2020 Wall Calendar (Dog Breed Calendar)

If you thought adult Chihuahuas were cute and tiny, get a load of these little guys and gals! Twelve dazzling, full color photos typify all that is great in these little dogs. The large format features daily grids providing ample room for jotting app

List Price: $ 14.99

Price: $ 14.99 

chihuahua puppy in flower pot

Chihuahua Dog Breed Facts

The Chihuahua is the smallest breed of dog and is named after the state of Chihuahua in Mexico. Chihuahuas come in a wide variety of colors, and two coat lengths.

Hypoallergenic: Yes
Life expectancy: 12 – 20 years
Mass: 1.5 – 3 kg
Origin: Mexico
Temperament: Lively, Playful, Devoted, Alert, Quick, Courageous, Clannish
Did you know: Chihuahua is the fourth-most popular dog breed by registrations worldwide.


Chihuahuas For Adoption By Owner

All About Chihuahua Dogs & Puppies

Chihuahua in a teacup

History of the Chihuahua Dog Breed

The exact history of the Chihuahua is mostly unclear. Many historians believe that the Chihuahua is a descendant from an ancient breed called the Techichi which was kept by the Aztecs. Others contend that the Chihuahua was brought to North America by Spanish traders and was crossed with other unknown breeds.

Still other experts claim that the Chihuahua is a descendant of a small, hairless dog from China, that crossed the land bridge spanning the Bering Strait and later mixed with the Techichi.

What is known with certainty is that three tiny Chihuahuas were found in 1850 in Chihuahua, Mexico – hence the name, and were brought to the United States. Since that time, this diminutive, spirited dog has seen a meteoric rise in popularity and has become a favourite of families and celebrities alike.

Cute Chihuahua Wearing a Dress

 Chihuahua Appearance

What does a Chihuahua dog look like?

There are two varieties of Chihuahua; the Smooth Haired Chihuahua and the Longhaired Chihuahua.  Both the Longhaired Chihuahua and the Smooth Haired Chihuahua are very small and compact dogs that are slightly longer than they are tall.

The head of the Chihuahua is rounded, sometimes described as apple shaped, and the large ears stand erect and point slightly outward. The Chihuahua’s eyes are wide set, coal black and round and its tail is moderately long and will curl upward and over the back.

The coat of the Smooth Haired Chihuahua is very short, straight and glossy. The Longhaired Chihuahua sports a coat that is generally straight, although some have been known to have a wavy texture. Usually the Longhaired Chihuahua has an undercoat. The chest on the Longhaired Chihuahua is a white and fluffy mane, and this feathering extends to the legs, feet and tail.

Chihuahua Dog Breed Photo

Personality and Character of the Chihuahua Dog Breed

What kind of temperament does the Chihuahua have?

Despite its tiny size, the Chihuahua packs a hefty personality and courage to befit a dog triple his weight. The Chihuahua is intensely loyal, which makes him (if only in his mind) a splendid protector. The Chihuahua fancies himself to be king of his castle and other pets, particularly cats, need not apply.

Chihuahuas need early socialization especially if other small creatures will be living within its domain. This rule applies especially to children who may think this tiny dog has a temperament to match. The Chihuahua has a reputation for being a saucy, sometime yappy pet. For this reason, the Chihuahua is better suited in homes without children.

Conversely, some Chihuahuas are markedly timid and tremble at the mere suggestion of another animal. This trembling has also been linked to the fact that these tiny tire biters are very susceptible to cold and to stress. The savvy Chihuahua owner will note that this trembling can also be an effective begging device. This trembling, when paired with a faint whimper, and limpid, melancholy eyes will render the owner powerless against surrendering the choicest bite of steak.

Mercifully, the Longhaired Chihuahua tends to have a somewhat more mellow temperament. The temperament of your Chihuahua will depend on its parents, the breeder’s commitment to early socialization and your training.

Chihuahua Dog Breed Photo

 Chihuahua Dog Breed Health Issues

The Chihuahua has several health concerns related to its size. To begin with, Chihuahuas have picky eating habits that can lead to malnutrition. The old adage that children and pets will eat if they are hungry simply isn’t true for a Chihuahua.

Their diets will need some coddling and you will need to have fresh, tasty morsels available several times daily. Leaving food to slowly crust over in a dish on the kitchen floor will simply not do. And, this is not just a matter of stubborn dog versus increasingly frustrated owner. A Chihuahua can suffer from hypoglycemia and malnutrition if they refuse food for too long.

Patellar luxation is a condition that can be mostly prevented if you prevent your Chihuahua from jumping onto beds, couches and the like. Because they are so small, Chihuahuas joints have difficulty absorbing the impact weight of its body. Try using doggy steps or some contraption designed for this purpose. Again, you will need to train your Chihuahua to use this apparatus.

Interesting, some Chihuahuas have gluttonous tendencies and will gain weight quickly with high fat, and sugary foods (who can’t empathize with that?). Excess weight in Chihuahuas can lead to joint problems along with breathing difficulties and shortened life spans.

Other health concerns in Chihuahuas: pulmonic stenosis, hydrocephalus, patellar luxation, and KCS

Photo of a chihuahua doing tricks

Training Chihuahuas

Are Chihuahuas Easy to Train?

The Chihuahua is a trainable pet, but is your patience up to the task? The Chihuahua is a temperamental breed that will learn quickly and then be bored, so effective Chihuahua trainers move quickly through the process. And, try to train your Chihuahua before meals. Food is seldom an incentive for Chihuahuas and you stand a fighting chance only if your dog is hungry and the treat appeals to him.

The most important tip is with respect to the leash and collar. The Chihuahua is a small dog and a choke leash can easily damage the trachea of these dogs. Do not ever use a choke leash on these dogs. Instead, use a harness when training or walking.

This next tip may feel like a setup, but its not. Because Chihuahuas are headstrong and stubborn, attempting to train him with militaristic commands will be doomed to failure. He will simply refuse and quickly lose interest. Instead, you demonstrate the acceptable action yourself (see what I mean?) and reward him amply with praise when he repeats this action. Don’t have your Chihuahua repeat the action or behavior dozens of times; he’s got it. Keep the training sessions short and have fun.

Finally, your Chihuahua will be immeasurably cute so don’t let his puppy antics cloud your vision of a well behaved pet. For a finicky eater, the Chihuahua can develop a refined taste for carpets, socks and most disturbingly, very expensive shoes. Clearly, training your Chihuahua early is a financial must.

 Chihuahua Dog Breed Care

chihuahua puppy in flower pot

Exercise Needs

The Chihuahua always seems like he is in a great hurry; dashing from one place to the next, seemingly in search of something vitally important. This dance from room to room is actually all the exercise a Chihuahua needs. He does enjoy a short walk outside, but the Chihuahua cannot tolerate cold weather, and particularly when the walk involves icy sidewalks. The Chihuahua is a decidedly indoor dog.

If the weather is agreeable, the Chihuahua will enjoy a romp in a fenced garden. He is a not a great fan of fetch or other games, but the Chihuahua can play along if you make it worth his while with a tasty treat. That being said, the Chihuahua is a notoriously finicky eater; if the food is unappealing, this breed will refuse to eat.

Grooming Your Chihuahua

The degree of grooming required by your Chihuahua depends on whether you have a Smooth Haired or Longhaired variety. If you had the grooming foresight to select the Smooth Chihuahua, your duties are minimal; an occasional brush and a monthly bath. Be sure to rinse all traces of shampoo from your Chihuahua, as even small traces of the residue can irritate his skin.

Another bathing tip is to dry your Chihuahua carefully. His will likely run away hysterically from a hairdryer, but his tendency to get easily chilled means you should be attentive in your attempts to dry him thoroughly.

On the other hand, the Longhaired Chihuahua will see a regular, more comprehensive grooming regime. The mane may need special attention as this area is prone to matting if not regularly brushed. This area may also have food remnants from when your Chihuahua last deemed the menu adequate. The tail and its feathering can retain memories of that menu also, so do be vigilant.

Chihuahua Nutrition

Chihuahuas are notoriously picky eaters. This can be very frustrating to the owner, who may have invested hundreds of dollars trying different brands of kibble hoping that one will pique their dog’s interest.

Chihuahuas attach themselves to their favorite human like a barnacle. They want to be up in your lap constantly, doing what you are doing. This extends to eating, in the Chihuahua’s mind, so hand-feeding can be a solution to the feeding issue, if you have the time and circumstances for it.

Make sure your Chi has plenty of fresh water available. Try to offer healthy treats like fresh vegetables and fruit (they love carrots, peas, melon, apples and other healthy fare.

Making a little “kibble topping” can help make your dog’s kibble more tempting. Simply boil about 1/4 pound of lean ground beef and 1/4 cup frozen peas and carrots with 2 cups of water until a brothy soup is created. You can keep this in the refrigerator and spoon a little warmed up soup over your dog’s kibble before serving.

Recommended Chihuahua Kibble and Diet

Royal Canin Adult Chihuahua Dry Dog Food (10 lb)

Royal Canin Adult Chihuahua Dry Dog Food (10 lb)

  • Royal Canin Chihuahua Adult dry dog food is designed to meet the nutritional needs of purebred Chihuahuas 8 months and older
  • Exclusive tailor-made kibble helps Chihuahuas easily pick up and chew their food
  • Helps reduce stool odor with highly digestible proteins and precise fiber content
  • Supports coat health with omega-3 EPA and DHA and biotin
  • High palatability with exceptional aromas and flavors to satisfy picky appetites

Royal Canin knows what makes your Chihuahua magnificent is in the details. While Chihuahuas might be one of the smallest breeds in the world, these protective little pooches have big nutritional needs. They can benefit from the right diet to aid dige

List Price: $ 46.99

Price: $ 40.49

Royal Canin Puppy Chihuahua Dry Dog Food (2.5 lb)

Royal Canin Puppy Chihuahua Dry Dog Food (2.5 lb)

  • Royal Canin Chihuahua Puppy dry dog food is designed to meet the nutritional needs of growing purebred Chihuahuas 8 weeks to 8 months old
  • Exclusive tailor-made kibble helps Chihuahua puppies easily pick up and chew their food
  • Helps protect puppy’s developing immune system and natural defenses with an exclusive complex of antioxidants including vitamin E
  • Helps reduce stool odor with highly digestible proteins and precise fiber content
  • High palatability with exceptional aromas and flavors to satisfy picky appetites

Royal Canin knows what makes your Chihuahua puppy magnificent is in the details. While Chihuahuas might be one of the smallest breeds in the world, these protective little pooches have big nutritional needs. They can benefit from the right-sized pupp

List Price: $ 19.79

Price: $ 19.79

Purina Pro Plan With Probiotics Small Breed Dry Dog Food; SAVOR Shredded Blend Chicken & Rice Formula – 6 lb. Bag

Purina Pro Plan With Probiotics Small Breed Dry Dog Food; SAVOR Shredded Blend Chicken & Rice Formula - 6 lb. Bag

  • One (1) 6 lb. Bag – Purina Pro Plan With Probiotics Small Breed Dry Dog Food; SAVOR Shredded Blend Chicken & Rice Formula
  • Guaranteed live probiotics to support digestive health
  • Made with high-quality protein, including real chicken as the #1 ingredient
  • High nutrient density for higher metabolic rates found in small dogs
  • Vitamin A and linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid, help promote healthy skin and coat

Take care of the nutritional needs of your small-breed dog by feeding him Purina Pro Plan SAVOR Shredded Blend Chicken & Rice Small Breed Formula adult dry dog food every day. With real chicken as the #1 ingredient, this super-premium small-breed dog

List Price: $ 16.69

Price: $ 17.76

Eukanuba Breed Specific Adult Chihuahua Dog Food 3 Pounds

Eukanuba Breed Specific Adult Chihuahua Dog Food 3 Pounds

  • Contains One (1) 3-Lb. Bag Of Eukanuba Breed Specific Adult Chihuahua Dog Food (Packaging May Vary)
  • Eukanuba Chihuahua Dog Food Features 3D Dentadefense System, Which Is Proven To Reduce Tartar Build-Up In 28 Days
  • Our Premium Chihuahua Dog Food Offers A Specialized Fiber System, Made From Natural Beet Pulp And Prebiotic Fos, Which Promotes Nutrient Absorption And Healthy Digestion
  • Our Nutritional Dog Food Is Rich In Antioxidants To Support A Strong, Healthy Immune System
  • Eukanuba Adult Chihuahua Dog Food Contains Guaranteed Levels Of L-Carnitine Help Naturally Burn Fat

All dog foods don’t always fit all dog breeds. That’s why EUKANUBA Dog Food offers specially formulated nutrition for your adult chihuahua’s specific dietary needs. Made with guaranteed levels of L-carnitine to help naturally burn fat, EUKANUBA Bre

List Price: $ 13.49

Price: $ 13.49

Cute longhaired Chihuahua

Is a Chihuahua the Right Dog Breed For You?

The Chihuahua is a spirited and charming dog. His sassy and devilish personality will make a Chihuahua a marvelous pet and faithful companion. Perspective Chihuahua owners will welcome the minimal exercise needs and reasonable grooming.

If, on the other hand, small children or other animals are current family members your intention is for both of them to stay, then the Chihuahua may not be the breed for you. Or, if you can foresee a time when pleading with your Chihuahua to ‘eat-his-medium-rare-beef-tenderloin-with-a-mushroom-reduction’ will not be pleasurable for you, then perhaps another breed is better.

On the whole, Chihuahua owners report many years of companionship and high-strung fun. And, the Chihuahua’s loyal and charismatic personality will melt the heart of even the most reluctant puppy chef!

Adorable Chihuahuas in a tub

Frequently Asked Questions About the Chihuahua Dog Breed

Are Chhuahuas Hypo-Allergenic?

Yes. The breed is very small, so the addition of dust and dog dander into the environment is minimal. Give your Chihuahua a weekly bath with an anti-dander shampoo, vacuum and dust frequently, and consider using an air purifier in your home, but for many allergy sufferers, living with a Chihuahua is definitely do-able.

Are Chhuahuas Non-Shedding?

No – but the breed is very small, so the tiny amount of shedding they do should be a non-issue for most dog lovers. The long coat Chihuahua has a single coat, which is considered to shed much less than the smooth coat. Either will do fine, however, unless you are an absolute fanatic about dog hair.

Are Chhuahuas Good with Children?

No. These little dogs are really tiny, and can be harmed by the hug of a well-meaning toddler.  Being dropped can be problematic too, as Chihuahuas can be delicate.

Although Chihuahuas are very cute, playful and love their toys, they tend to be one-person dogs. It is common for Chihuahuas to nip and snarl at children to warn them away – because the Chihuahua does not want to be injured any more than you want him to.

These little dogs are best suited for people who have lots of time to spend with them. They are not happy left alone all day when you are at work. A retired or work-from-home dog lover is the best choice.

Chihuahuas – All About Chihuahua Dogs & Puppies

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