Chihuahuas are the world’s smallest breed and can also fit in a tote bag.
They may be small in size but their personality is completely contradictory.
They are confident and loyal.
A. Quick Facts:
Average weight: Not exceeding 6 Pounds
Average height: 5-8 inches
Life expectancy: 12-14 years
Dog Group: Toy group
Dog Ranking: 33/193 (America)
Colors: Black, Black & Tan, Blue, Blue & Tan, Chocolate, Chocolate & Tan, Cream, Fawn, Red, Fawn & White
B. At A Glance:
- Size (1/5)
They can be categorized as small dogs.
The adult can maximum reach a height of 9-10 inches.
Its size plays a great factor in portability of the dog.
- Affection Level (5/5)
It is pocket-sized and can be deeply affectionate toward family members.
It is often seen that Chihuahuas choose one favorite member among the members of the family.
It would prefer that one member and get onto their laps to find a comfortable space.
It may even get protective about that particular member at times.
- Apartment Friendly (5/5)
It is highly apartment-friendly and known to be a city dog.
They are best suited for small spaces because of their small size.
Keeping them in the yard would require supervision as it can be an easy target for preying birds and animals.
- Cold Weather Tolerability (1/5)
Chihuahuas are prone to frostbite and have low cold weather tolerability.
A place with chilly weather may require you to buy sweaters for your pooches.
They are not very fond of rain which means you have to buy raincoats for them.
-1°to 15° C is the suitable cool temperature for your Chihuahua.
Any temperature below that would need the dog to stay indoors covered inside blankets.
- Hot Weather Tolerability (2/5)
They have an undercoat and are slightly more tolerable to heat as compared to cold.
But remember too much of heat can cause discomfort to them.
15°C to 21°C is the suitable heat for the breed.
Anything beyond this requires caution towards the pooch.
- Barking Tendencies (5/5)
It may be small in size but is confident and behaves just like a terrier.
It can be very barky around strangers and new things.
It barks to show its presence.
Taking them outdoors will mean you will be the subject to control their barking.
- Cat-Friendly (3/5)
Chihuahuas get along with cats.
If cats are introduced to the dogs at a young age, they are likely to stay friendly with each other.
Both pets need to get acquainted with each other before living together.
The size of the breed acts as a positive aspect of getting a cat as a companion.
Larger cats may try to scare away the pooch.
Even genes of the parent chihuahua are important to determine the behavior of your pooch.
Not all dogs are the same and their behaviors may differ.
- Dog-Friendly (3/5)
Chihuahuas do not get along with other dogs.
It may start barking if introduced to huge dogs.
Socialization plays a vital role in getting along with other pets.
But even after socialization, some dogs turn out to have bad temper around other animals.
Breeders who do not pay attention to the behavior of parent genes end up making a new generation with a bad temper and socialization issues.
It likes to stay alone as indoors is its best place to be.
However, it remains to be friendly with other dogs of the same breed.
- Exercise Needs (1/5)
The dog would need 20-30 minutes of exercise every day.
Most of its exercise gets completed inside the house.
Following the family members in and around places completes most of its exercise for the day.
It is very agile and can excel in obedience sports if trained.
- Grooming Needs: (1/5)
This small breed doesn’t need painful efforts for grooming.
It comes in two types of coats- smooth and long.
Grooming of the hair depends on the type of dog you own.
Other factors like nails, ears, paws, teeth should be kept in check.
- Playfulness: (3/5)
The personality of the chihuahua would depend on the amount of socialization it was exposed to in the early years.
If it was kept indoors most of the times then it would turn out to be introverted and moody.
Don’t leave it outdoors alone because it can become an easy target for preying animals.
- Trainability (3/5)
They are not easy to train.
It needs to learn basic manners for living in a household.
These animals are very clever and can trick you instead of getting trained.
It is highly alert with its standing ears and bright eyes.
Chihuahuas are known to prefer one family member over others.
They try to be with them most of the time and can act protective of them.
Being a favorite person, this family member can help to train the dog.
- Intelligence (4/5)
They rank 67th in the smart dog list which means they are still smarter than bulldog and mastiffs.
The breed is moderately intelligent and bold.
It would need 40-60 repetitions to start following instructions.
It assumes itself to be greater than its actual size and acts strong around other dogs.
Some dogs may perform well in the obedience training whereas others may act stubborn.
- Mouthiness (3/5)
This breed has less tendency to chew on objects.
During puppyhood, most of the pups are likely to get involved in teething, nipping and chewing.
The breed, in general, doesn’t prefer chewing as such.
- Price group (4/5)
A well-bred chihuahua would cost $400- $1200.
It may be slightly small but is popular because well-known celebrities own a chihuahua.
It is quite easy to maintain because of its stature and less grooming needs.
C. About Breed:
Chihuahuas are sassy, energetic and graceful small dogs with a great personality.
Chihuahua puppies can fit in a pocket!
It is easy for dog owners to carry them to places.
They are highly alert and are a perfect fit for a small family.
They have a long lifespan as compared to other breeds.
D. Where Breed Came From:
History of the breed reveals that they found chihuahuas in Mexico.
It dates back to the 9th century where a figure similar to the chihuahua with ears standing up and the apple-shaped head was found in some of the carvings of the Toltec civilization.
The maximum height that a chihuahua can achieve is 10 inches.
It is best known to be a pocket dog.
It requires less space and is perfect for apartments and cozy homes.
It is the world’s smallest breed and easily be carried to places.
The size can make it vulnerable in the outdoor environment.
Its size adds up to the charm and gracefulness of the breed.
Training a chihuahua may be a hard row to hoe but consistent efforts and reinforcement will make it easier.
It may act a little fussy if their favorite person is not around them during its training.
Chihuahuas like living indoors so they wouldn’t need a long training.
Teaching them words like ‘No’, ’Stand’, ’Sit’ and basic house training would suffice.
Words like ‘No’ would help you to control your dog when there are visitors home and he starts barking.
It comes in two types of coats- smooth and long.
Chihuahua long hair doesn’t shed much but it needs regular brushing and grooming to avoid knots in the hair.
The smooth hair sheds more and requires little care with regards to combing and washing.
Their ears stand up and are subject to accumulating dirt.
So, ensure you clean them regularly with a soft moist material.
Teeth should be cleaned at least thrice a week to remove the bad odor and plaque build-up.
The pads of their feet have to be checked to see if there is something stuck and it should be cleaned.
The feet of the dog comes in contact with a lot of terrains and may get peeled off.
H. Common Diseases and Health Conditions:
Due to the popularity of the breed, many breeders breed the dog poorly and if the buyers are unaware of the points to be taken care of, they may suffer running to the vet several times.
Some of the common health issues with chihuahuas are Hypoglycemia, Patellar Luxation (slipped stifles), Heart murmur, and shivering.
Some more diseases which are less likely to affect are Pulmonic stenosis, collapsed tracheas, Hydrocephalus, and Open Fontanel.
¼ to ½ cups of high-quality dry food per day is recommended.
Size, amount of activity, metabolism, and age of the dog are the parameters on which the food of different dogs may differ.
Adult dogs have to be fed twice a day.
Younger dogs have to be fed around thrice to 4 times a day because of their growth stages.
Make sure you make a feeding routine and do not let the food lie in the bowl all day.
J. Vaccination and Care:
Vaccinations of puppies differ than that of adults.
If it is a puppy then the vaccines are classified into two types.
One being the 5 in 1 series and the other being 7 in 1 series.
These vaccinations boost the immunity and prevent chihuahua puppies from contracting diseases in the early growth stage.
If the dog was adopted in adult phase then the vet may give two shots for full immunity.
Vaccination for rabies is compulsory by law in some states.
K. Monthly Expense Estimation:
If buying a chihuahua then it may cost $500 to $1200.
Adopting one will require licensing and other medical costs.
Average monthly costing may approximately be $55- $85.
High-quality food and vet costs account for most of the monthly expenditure.
L. Behavior with:
The idea of leaving a chihuahua with young kids should be kept at the bay.
Kids may try to pick up the dog and would fail in doing so which would in turn damage the bones of the canine.
A child below 8 years should always be kept in supervision with the dog.
Some breeders don’t give out chihuahuas to people with younger kids.
Chis prefer to stay alone.
They get along with dogs of their own breed but are unlike to feel comfortable around other dogs.
A proper puppy socialization class may improve this behavior up to some extent but not completely.
You may have to choose between a chihuahua and a feline if you’re planning to keep them together.
Possibly because of their tiny size, everything else seems gigantic and thus they don’t get along with other animals.
Adult cats may try to hurt this small creature and so should be kept away from contact.
Their behavior may also depend on the way they were socialized.
To wrap it up, This can be your little bundle of happiness who require less space to fit in with you and can easily be accommodated in an apartment.
They can stay with you longer compared to other dogs.
Grooming wouldn’t be a matter of extra attention because of less amount of shedding hair.
If you’re adopting a dog then make sure it is dewormed and vaccinated.
Checking the past medical history of breeding would save time from your frequent vet visits and pooch tantrums.
It has less tolerability towards cold weather due to its small size.
Overall, it is the perfect breed if you’re planning to become a first-time pet-parent.
N. Fun fact:
Chihuahuas are the dogs with the largest brain!
Chihuahuas have the largest brain as compared to other breeds.
The head of the dog is comparatively heavier than the rest of its body which puts stress on its feeble neck.
Having the largest brain doesn’t necessarily mean that these dogs are intelligent.
The young ones also have heads larger than their body which makes it difficult for the mother to deliver and thus there are a greater number of cesarean births in this breed.