Precious and totable, chihuahuas have a special place in the North American lexicon. They make fabulous pets for on-the-go owners with space in their bag.
Weight – Female: 3-5 pounds; Male: 4-6 pounds
Height – Female: 5-7 inches; Male: 7-9 inches
Life Expectancy: 14-16 years
Group: Toy group
Temperament: charming, boisterous
Ease of Training:
Chihuahuas are well documented companion dogs native to Mexico. Bossy and sweet in equal measure, these tiny toy breeds are best for families with older children and no other pets, as they dote on their tight pack before enjoying a stranger’s smooch.
As the smallest breed, they also live way longer than many other dogs. They have been with humans for centuries, as the indigenous people of Central America crossbred native dogs with ones that migrated with them from Asia. Chihuahuas were worshipped and cherished, and today they are the tiny heart of their families.
Many assume such a small package would be a lazy type of dog, but chihuahuas are energetic and often compared to big dogs in personality, sometimes described as terrier-like. Young teens who can help in the care of a “chi” are a good match, and these dogs won’t overpower an older child or elderly person but still provide tons of antics to love.
Consider a chi to be equal parts guard dog and cuddle bunny; great for urban lifestyles and traveling parents. Train your chihuahua in the basics and you’ll be all set. They won’t be doing collie tricks but will remember to sit for a treat well into advanced age.
Chihuahuas have varying coat types from short and sleek to fuzzy and long. Colors can vary from white or brown spotted brindle, to red or even fawn with brown points. Brush and bathe with more frequency for longer hair, and always clean their big eyes and ears with a soft wipe to reduce tear stains and buildup.
Though portable, chihuahuas still need exercise. Fortunately, the space needed for their little trots is much smaller, so they’re suited to apartments and partially indoor lifestyles.
Chihuahuas may embody a bolder personality than their size, but care must be taken to protect their delicate and small bodies. Reputable breeders will be on the lookout for slipped stifles and joint problems, but insurance could help you manage a mild case for the duration of your dog’s life. Keep your chihuahua warm in the winter and cool in the summer.