Chihuahuas belong to the toy group and are used as companions and seen in the show-ring.
< £4 per week
These little dogs are relatively easy to feed. As a breed they are known to suffer from hypoglycemia so it is advisable to feed 2 small meals each day.
A puppy will cost from £600 upwards.
> 15 years
Chihuahuas are extraordinarily long lived, 20 years not being uncommon and some are reported to live as long as 24 years.
Average Litter Size
A litter will normally be 2 or 3 puppies.
General Physical Description
Weight Height Range
These dogs measure between 15 to 23cms at the withers and weigh ideally between 1 to 2.7kgs as per The Kennel Club Breed Standard.
There are some hereditary pitfalls with this breed, as with any breed. Almost all small breeds have a tendency to get subluxating patellas, probably due to stress injuries from leaping off the furniture - enormous jumps for such tiny creatures. Many small dogs also have weak tracheas. Chihuahuas, more particularly, suffer from cleft palate, hydrocephalus (excess water on the brain) and hypoplasia of the dens - a lack of development in the second vertebrae, leading to skull instability. Haemophilia, a blood clotting disorder carried by the females and manifesting in the males, also occurs.
Pulmonic stenosis, heart valve problems
shoulder luxation, hypoglycemia, hypoplasia of dens
Susceptibility To Illness
The Chihuahua has a colourful, almost hair-raising past. The breed may go as far back as 5th century Mayan Civilization. Pyramids in Chichen Itza, Yucatan, have carvings of small Chihuahua like dogs. At the Monastery of Huejotzingo, between Mexico City and Pubela, there are more Chihuahua images in the Toltec stones used to build the monastery. These date from the 9th century. It is known that a small dog, called a 'Techichi', was an important part of Toltec and Aztec cultures. Techichi were the pets of the wealthy and were an essential facet in the religious practice of these ancient Indian cultures. The dogs were cremated with the dead in order to take on the deceased's sins so that the person could enter the next world without angering the gods. The dogs were also supposed to guide the deceased through the underworld and fight off evil spirits. Some people believe that the Chihuahua is the product of breeding between the Techichi and a small, hairless dog from Asia that would have entered the Americas across the Bering Strait. Whatever the origins, the devastation of the Central American civilisations was reflected on the dogs and this small, religious figure of the canine world was nearly lost. Chihuahua is a state in Mexico and it is from this state that the modern Chihuahua was first exported to America. Theory has it that the modern breed developed from the ancient strains of the Techichi, mixed with small dogs of Mexico, Arizona and Texas. The breed rapidly gained popularity and is a much loved pet all over the world today. In
A clever breed, the dog can take well to training if it is begun early on. Some Chihuahuas have been trained to use a cat tray, while others are never house trained at all. It is entirely up to the owner to put some time in from day one of the puppy’s arrival.<
Chihuahuas have a distinctive skull that is very rounded or 'apple domed' with or without a molera (persistent frontal fontanel.) The cheeks and jaws are lean, while the nose is moderately short. In the dark coated dogs, the nose should be black but the nose can be pink in blonde dogs. Large, erect ears flare out at a 45-degree angle from the skull. Quite full, yet not protruding eyes should be set well apart and be dark in dark coated dogs, ruby in lighter coated dogs. The bite of the teeth should be level. As the head is held high, the neck is slightly arched and set on sloping shoulders. A Chihuahua should be slightly longer backed than it is tall and the back should be level. Legs are straight and the hindquarters are muscular with the hocks set well apart. The back should remain level as the dog moves. A sickle shaped tail or a tail that loops over the back, with the tip just touching the back is desirable. The feet should be dainty, set well below slender ankles, and the toes should be well divided. The long coated Chihuahua should have a flat or slightly wavy coat, preferably with an undercoat. The ears should have a fringe, a substantial ruff must encircle the neck and the legs should be well feathered. The tail should be plume
Country Of Origin
20 - 40 minutes per day.
The Chihuahua can adapt to however much exercise you would like to give it, within reason. Chihuahuas tend to have bursts of energy where they play excitedly, but do not need a lot of walking. It is recommended that Chihuahuas wear a harness instead of a collar due to their fragile tracheas (windpipes.)
Distress if Left Alone
Guard Dog Suitability
Risk of Sheep Worrying
Tendency to Bark
Level of Aggression
Compatibility With Other Animals
Suitable For Children
General Character And Temperament
Personality wise, the Chihuahua tends to bond closely with one or two people. With its master/mistress the Chihuahua will be curious, lively and intelligent, as well as deeply and constantly affectionate. However, the breed does not take kindly to strangers and can appear nervous, yappy and even snappy with the uninitiated. Chihuahuas must be socialised as early as possible or they will become anxious in new environments and will not get along with children and other household pets. On the plus side, the dog is very territorial and will make a good guard dog, although some find the Chihuahua's barking excessive. They are a clannish breed and enjoy being in a pack of Chihuahuas. They adapt quite well to flat dwelling and make excellent, loving companions for single people and the elderly.
Once a week
Requires Professional Groomer
Grooming is not a demanding chore with the Chihuahua. The long coated needs a good brushing and combing once a week. The bib or ruff of the long coats may need a wash as it can attract food leftovers. Chihuahuas do shed, but being small, there isn't much hair to lose. It is a good idea to brush a Chihuahua's teeth daily as, with all small breeds, they are prone to a heavy tartar build up.
The Chihuahua comes in a variety of colours from fawn to black.
Suffers From Allergies