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Chihuahua Dog Breed Information

Size 6-9 inches (15-23 cm)
Weight 3.3-6.6 lbs (1.5-3 kg)
Origin Mexico
Color Brown and white; red and white; black, white and brown
Lifespan 12-15 years
Suitable As Family dog, therapy dog
Personality Brave, confident, suspicious, friendly

Chihuahua Photo: martynanysk/Shutterstock

Breed Characteristics

The Chihuahua is the smallest dog breed in the world. It looks incredibly cute, gets on well in an apartment and can even learn to use a litter box. Although this dog is so small, it is surprisingly brave and even makes a good watchdog. Whenever a stranger is at the front door, the "Chihuahua" alarm (= barking) starts.

While they’re quite reserved with new people, they are open hearted and friendly to other pets and dogs in the house. In puppy age, they can become quarrelsome, so it is very important for them to be socialized properly.


Exercise Needs and Training

The Chihuahua is one of those dogs that quickly learns new tricks, e.g. paw, turn around, slalom, jump through your arms, crawl and sit up. Training isn’t just fun, it also comes with another benefit: when a Chihuahua is anxious and nervous in a new environment, chances are that showing off its tricks will calm and relax it. The reason? Its attention is no longer on uncertainty, but on something that makes it feel happy and safe.


Little dog, short walkies? It is true that they don’t need a lot of exercise, and because of their small size. But Chihuahuas want to go for a walk, too. They want to breathe fresh air, romp around outside and run. Sure he does not run as long distances as a Jack Russel, but you should not underestimate his need for exercise either.

Top Activities

Dogdancing, Find the Treat

Chihuahua Photo: padu_foto/Shutterstock

Pros and Cons


  • Small and easy to carry
  • Suitable for smaller homes
  • Can use a litter box
  • Can come with you on trips
  • Doesn’t shed a lot
  • Easy grooming
  • Good guard dog


  • Not a “beginner” dog
  • “Delicate”
  • Barks often as wary
  • Can be aggressive
  • Doesn’t deal well with cold


Chihuahuas have either an apple or a deer shaped head. It is more bulbous and rounded (apple) or narrow with a long nose (deer). The dogs have large ears. Their coats can be short or long and their colors are diverse. They can be white, black, cream, tricolor etc. Chihuahuas were bred smaller and smaller over time. Originally Chihuahuas were significantly larger.


Health and Care

Grooming a Chihuahua is uncomplicated and requires a minimum of time. Comb the coat once a week and you're done.

Chihuahua Photo: julijacernjaka/

History and Origin

It is known that the Chihuahua originates in Mexico. And that the breed was named after the largest state in Mexico. Everything else has yet to be established. It might have descended from the Techichi, a companion dog of the Toltecs (a culture in Central America, 10th-12th century).

Cruel Breeding

Chihuahuas are very long living and healthy dogs. Nevertheless, this breed is considered as animal cruelty. Why? The dog's size has been bred smaller and smaller. As a result, they developed health problems. The skull is deformed, the eyes protrude and the skullcap is very thin (sometimes even open). This can very easily cause life-threatening injuries to the dog. Also, the breed often has problems with its joints and kneecaps. This is because their bones are very thin and fragile. The breed often suffers from heart diseases, too.

Chihuahuas are wonderful dogs. But getting a puppy means accepting two things: First, owning a dog in poor health and second, with every puppy sold even more are bred. Supply meets demand. If you have fallen in love with the breed you could adopt an animal from a shelter. This way, you don't support breeding. And there's more to it: You give a lonely dog soul a warm, loving home. If you treat your dog with care, your four-legged friend can enjoy a long and happy life. Or you open your heart to another, healthier breed.

Fun Facts


Chihuahuas have set all kinds of records. The smallest police dog was Midge. He helped as a narcotics detection dog and was 11 inches (28 cm) at its withers. The "shortest" Chihuahua had a body length of 6 inches (15.2 cm) from nose to tail tip. The smallest dog in the world is Chihuahua lady Milly. She measures only 3.8 inches (9.65 cm) at its withers.

How to Pronounce Chihuahua

There is one thing we still have to clarify: How do you pronounce the name? The Chi is like a soft "She". The „h“ is very soft and rather breathy. The "a" is almost an o (like in palm). The u is almost not heard. So you could write it down like this: She(h)a(h)a.

Brain Size

In relation to its body size, Chihuahuas have the largest brain of all dog breeds.

Comparable Breeds

Chihuahua Chihuahua - Photo: Aaron Amat/Shutterstock


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