Chihuahuas are known to be the smallest dog breed in the world, weighing not more than six pounds. But, despite being small in size, a Chihuahua has a huge personality, which makes them one of the most popular dog breeds. They are fun and loving dogs who undeniably love being with their humans.
They feature a round apple-shaped head, erect ears, and round, expressive eyes. They have a straight, short coat that comes in a variety of patterns and colors. Their small and compact body makes them excellent travel companions and ideal city pets.
|Dog Breed Group||Toy|
|Weight||not exceeding 6 pounds|
|Friendly with family|
|Friendly with kids|
|Friendly with strangers|
|Friendly with other dogs|
Related article: Best Dog Food for Chihuahuas
There are two existing theories as to the origins of the Chihuahua dog breed.
The first of which is that they’re descendants of the Central or South American dog breed named Techichi. Historical evidence suggests that Chihuahua-like dogs existed way back in the 9th century based on some Toltec carvings. It was believed that when the Aztecs conquered the Toltecs, they also absorbed the Techichi dogs.
The Aztecs believed that these dogs contain mystical powers that could heal the sick or see the future. So, these dogs were used in many of their rituals. However, when the Spaniards conquered the Aztecs in the 1500s, the Techichi faded.
The second theory is that Spanish traders brought small hairless dogs from China to Mexico and bred them with the native dogs. The breed result was the Chihuahua.
Not one of these theories is proved to be true. However, the fact remains that Chihuahuas were discovered in the 1850s at the Mexican State of Chihuahua.
It was only in 1890 when the dog was shown to the US. And by 1904, the American Kennel Club finally registered the dog as a breed.
The Chihuahua’s popularity rose in the 1930s and 1940s when they were associated with the famous bandleader, Xavier Cugat. And since the 1960s, they continued to be one of the most popular dog breeds featured in TV shows, movies, and films until today.
Chihuahuas’ temperament can vary, and this may depend on the genetic characters of their parents. They can be lively or placid, bold or timid, stubborn or eager to please, feisty or mellow, and confident or nervous.
But the American Kennel Club describes them as charming, graceful, and sassy. They are comical, entertaining, and expressive little dogs. In other words, they have big personalities.
Chihuahuas make excellent companion dogs, and they’re incredibly loyal. They love attention and surely love being with their humans. However, if you have little children, make sure not to get them near your Chihuahua as these dogs can become feisty.
They are alert and suspicious to strangers, which makes them excellent watchdogs. They may end up snapping at them, but most of the time, they are also willing to make friends. This is if they are given early socialization to people and other animals.
You can also expect your Chihuahua to bark at larger dogs. And sometimes, they would wish to dominate you as well.
So, make sure to train them at an early age to maintain their excellent temperament. Though they are easy to carry, don’t baby them too much. Let them walk at their own two feet so he’ll become confident and stable. While, of course, maintaining a close eye on him.
Added to that, don’t laugh if he shows signs of aggression. This might look cute, but he’ll assume that this is okay, and his bad temperaments will only progress. So make sure to control him and show him that you’re the one who has a say.
Though a toy dog, this isn’t a dog for just anyone. They need someone who will stay close to them and give them attention. At the same time, they also need someone who can bring them to walks and keep them active.
Chihuahua Care Requirements
- Nutrition: Chihuahuas can be very sensitive when it comes to their food. You need to serve them with high-quality food that contains the right balance of protein, healthy fats, and essential carbs. You should also watch their calorie intake per day. Just like any small dogs, Chihuahuas are easy to overfeed. So, calculate their calorie intake based on their age, health status, and activities. You can also ask your vet for advice. For high-quality proteins, you can get this from beef, chicken, or fish—mix in some carbohydrates, too, such as brown rice. You can also add some fruits and vegetables for a source of fiber.
- Grooming: Chihuahuas come in two coat varieties – smooth coat and long-haired. Though both shed occasionally, the grooming needs differ. For the short-haired Chihuahua, occasional brushing will do, while the long-haired would require a once-a-week brushing to avoid mats and tangles. Baths should be done occasionally too, and you must use warm water. Chihuahuas aren’t good with the cold. Check the ears regularly and make sure it’s clean to avoid any infection. Don’t forget to trim the nails too so your Chihuahua won’t be in pain during his walks or run.
- Exercise: Although Chihuahuas make excellent lapdogs, they need to be active as well. They love to run and play, and this is beneficial to help maintain their weight. A few minutes walk a day will also suffice. But make sure not to over-exercise them. Once he starts panting, it’s time to go home. You can also create indoor activities that will keep him entertained inside your home.
- Health: Chihuahuas are one of the dog breeds with a long life span. However, they, too, are prone to some health issues. Encephalitis, an enlargement of the head, is one serious condition Chihuahuas are prone to. They are also born with a soft spot in the head, which may not close even if they mature. So extra care is needed to avoid any head injury. Eye injuries are also common as they have large, bulging eyes. So, as an owner, you need to keep protruding objects at the dog’s eye level away. They may also suffer from physical deformities, obesity, and diabetes. Chihuahuas also don’t do well in cold. So make sure to keep them warm at all times.
- Lifespan: The life expectancy of Chihuahuas is 14-16 years.
- Ren: The famous hyperactive cartoon Chihuahua with an equally, crazy cat friend
- Angel: The Chihuahua from the movie Beverly Hills Chihuahua
- Gidget: A Chihuahua that appeared in Taco Bell ads
- Tinkerbelle: Paris Hilton’s Chihuahua; even made appearance in several reality shows with Paris
- Tito: The scrappy little Chihuahua from the Disney film Oliver & Company
- Moonie: Also called Bruiser woods in the movie Legally Blonde; Elle Wood’s famous Chihuahua
- Wheely Willy: The paraplegic Chihuahua who was also the subject of two bestselling storybooks
- Midget: The first Chihuahua registered by the AKC
- Rozavel Miguel: Dined in the British House of Commons
Fun Facts About Chihuahuas
- Chihuahuas came from Mexico and were named after the state, Chihuahua.
- They are the smallest dog breed in the world.
- They might be small, but they’re a feisty dog breed.
- Most Chihuahuas are born with a molera or a soft spot in the head (opening in the skull); sometimes, this doesn’t close.
- Their coat comes in a variety of styles – nine colors and six markings.
- They don’t do well in cold climates.
- They have two different head shapes – apple or deer-shaped.
- Chihuahua is the first dog breed that dined at the British House of Commons.
- They are life-savers despite their small size.
Check Out Other Toy Dog Breeds:
Affenpinscher, Brussels Griffon, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Chinese Crested, English Toy Spaniel, Havanese, Italian Greyhound, Japanese Chin, Maltese, Miniature Pinscher, Papillon, Pekingese, Pomeranian, Pug, Shih Tzu, Silky Terrier, Toy Fox Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier