Your Guide to Owning a Chihuahua

Chihuahua Guide
Image Credit: FurBallFun.

Chihuahuas, known for their small size and big personalities, are a beloved dog breed that can make a wonderful addition to your family. Whether you’re considering bringing a Chihuahua into your home or already have one, this comprehensive guide will provide valuable information about these curious and devoted dogs. 

From their origins and physical characteristics to their health, behavior, and care, this guide has everything you need to know about Chihuahuas.

Chihuahua Overview


Chihuahua Origins

Chihuahuas have a fascinating history that traces back to ancient Mexico. They are believed to be descendants of the Techichi, a small dog breed that existed as far back as the 9th century in Mexico. Techichis were so cherished in Mesoamerican culture that they were depicted in paintings and artifacts. 

After the Aztec civilization fell, Techichis retreated to the Mexican countryside. It wasn’t until the 19th century that Chihuahuas gained recognition beyond Mexico, and they evolved into the breed we know today, heavily influenced by Eurasian breeds.

Chihuahua Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Carnivora
  • Family: Canidae
  • Genus: Canis
  • Scientific Name: Canis lupus familiaris

Chihuahua Facts


  • Common Name: Chihuahua
  • Fun Fact: They are so small that they can fit inside of a purse or bag
  • Diet: Omnivore
  • Lifespan: Up to 18 years
  • Weight: 1-6 lbs (male and female)

Chihuahua Physical Characteristics


Skin Type

Chihuahuas have hair, not fur. Their coat can vary from smooth to long-haired.

Lifespan

Chihuahuas are known for their relatively long lifespan, often living up to 18 years or more with proper care.

Size

Chihuahuas are one of the tiniest dog breeds, with males and females weighing between 1-6 lbs. Their height typically ranges from 5 to 8 inches.

Chihuahua as a Pet


General Health

Chihuahuas are generally healthy dogs, but they can be prone to specific health issues such as dental problems, heart diseases, eye conditions, epilepsy, low blood sugar, patellar luxation, and more. Regular veterinary check-ups are essential to ensure their well-being.

Energy Level

Despite their small size, Chihuahuas can have a high energy level and enjoy playtime and exercise. Daily walks and indoor play sessions are essential to keep them happy.

Do Chihuahuas Shed A Lot?

Chihuahuas have minimal shedding, making them a suitable choice for people with allergies.

Training a Chihuahua

Chihuahuas are intelligent and can be trained with patience and positive reinforcement. Early socialization and obedience training are recommended.

Tendency to Chew

Like many small breeds, Chihuahuas may have a tendency to chew on objects. Provide them with appropriate chew toys to satisfy this behavior.

Chihuahua and Children

Chihuahuas can be good family dogs but require gentle handling due to their small size. Children should be taught to be kind and careful around them. It’s advisable not to leave Chihuahuas alone with very young children to prevent accidents.

Yappiness / Barking

Chihuahuas are known for their vocal nature and can be prone to barking. Proper training can help manage excessive barking.

Separation Anxiety

Chihuahuas are known to develop separation anxiety if left alone for long periods. They thrive on human companionship.

Preferred Temperature

Chihuahuas are sensitive to cold weather due to their small size and short coats. They are more comfortable in warm climates.

Exercise Needs

Chihuahuas have moderate exercise needs. Daily walks and playtime are sufficient to keep them healthy and happy.

Friendly With Other Dogs

Chihuahuas can get along with other dogs, but early socialization is crucial to ensure they are comfortable around larger breeds.

Toys For Chihuahuas


When it comes to Chihuahuas and their toys, remember that these small dogs are known for their tough chewing habits. To ensure a safe and enjoyable playtime, always choose the right-sized toys for your pint-sized pup. Many reputable brands like West Paw, Kong, and Playology offer various sizes for their dog toys, making selection easier.

Chihuahuas can be quite tenacious with their chewing, so I recommend checking out our article on indestructible dog toys for durable options. By picking the correct size and durable toys, you’ll keep your Chihuahua entertained and safe during playtime.

How Much Does A Chihuahua Cost?


Acquiring a purebred Chihuahua from a professional breeder can cost at least $500 or more.

Chihuahua Behavioral Traits


Chihuahuas are known for their unique behavioral traits:

  • Curious and Devoted: Chihuahuas are curious by nature and form strong bonds with their owners. They are loyal and thrive on human interaction.
  • Alert: Despite their small size, Chihuahuas make excellent watchdogs and are quick to alert their owners to potential dangers.

Chihuahua Maintenance and Grooming


Chihuahuas have specific grooming needs:

  • Coat Type: Chihuahuas come in both smooth and long-haired varieties. Regular brushing is necessary to keep their coat in good condition.
  • Dental Care: Chihuahuas are prone to dental problems, so regular tooth brushing is essential to maintain their oral health.
  • Baths: Bathing should be done as needed, typically every 4-6 weeks, to keep them clean and odor-free. Be sure to use a pet-friendly shampoo when bathing. Tip: wash your chihuahua in the sink as opposed to the bath; they are small enough to fit, and it’s easier on your back.
  • Nail Trimming: Regular nail trimming is required to prevent overgrowth and discomfort. Learn the proper steps to nail trimming so you don’t cause your pup to be in pain.
  • Ear Cleaning: Check their ears regularly for dirt or wax buildup and clean them as necessary.

Chihuahua Exercise Requirements


Chihuahuas have moderate exercise needs:

  • Daily Walks: Daily walks of around 30 minutes provide them with the physical activity they require.
  • Playtime: Interactive play sessions with toys and games indoors or in a secure outdoor area are essential for their mental and physical stimulation.

Dogs Similar to Chihuahuas


If you’re interested in Chihuahuas, you might also like these small dog breeds:

Famous Chihuahuas


Chihuahuas have made their mark in pop culture with some famous examples:

  • Gidget: The Chihuahua from Taco Bell commercials.
  • Moonie: Star of the Legally Blonde films.
  • Tinkerbelle: A social media sensation with a large following.

Popular Names for Chihuahuas


If you’re looking for a name for your Chihuahua, consider these popular choices:

  • Bella
  • Coco
  • Lola
  • Daisy
  • Peanut
  • Luna
  • Chloe
  • Lucy
  • Max
  • Charlie

Chihuahua FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)


Here are answers to some common questions about Chihuahuas:

How long do Chihuahuas live? 

Chihuahuas have a relatively long lifespan of 14 to 16 years, with some living up to 20 years with good care.

Are Chihuahuas good pets? 

Chihuahuas can make excellent pets for those seeking a small, loyal companion with a big personality.

What problems do Chihuahuas have?

Common issues include dental problems, fragility, and reserved behavior around strangers.

Are boy or girl Chihuahuas better? 

The choice between a male or female Chihuahua depends on personal preference and the need for neutering or spaying to address certain behaviors.

How big do Chihuahuas get? 

Chihuahuas typically weigh up to 6 pounds and stand around 8 inches tall.

Types of Chihuahuas


There are two main types of Chihuahuas recognized by the American Kennel Club: short-haired and long-haired. However, there are also several subtypes of Chihuahuas that are distinguished by their head shape or size.

Chart of Chihuahua Types

Chihuahua TypeFeatures/Description
Short-Hair ChihuahuasHave a smooth, single-layer coat that is easy to care for. They are the most common type of Chihuahua.
Long-Hair ChihuahuasHave a double coat that is soft and silky. They require more grooming than short-haired Chihuahuas, but their long coats can be quite beautiful.
Apple Head ChihuahuasHave a rounded head with a very short muzzle. This is the most common head shape in Chihuahuas.
Deer Head ChihuahuasHave a longer muzzle and larger ears than apple-head Chihuahuas. They are also slightly taller and thinner.
Teacup ChihuahuasSimply Chihuahuas that are smaller than average. They typically weigh less than 6 pounds.
Pear-Headed ChihuahuasA rare type of Chihuahua with a pear-shaped head. They are not recognized by the American Kennel Club.
Color-Named ChihuahuasIn addition to these subtypes, Chihuahuas can also come in a variety of colors, including fawn, black, brown, cream, and white.

It is important to note that some of the subtypes of Chihuahuas, such as teacup Chihuahuas and pear-headed Chihuahuas, are more prone to health problems than others. If you are considering getting a Chihuahua, it is important to do your research and choose a reputable breeder.

Chihuahuas: Tiny Dogs with Big Personalities


I hope this guide has given you a paw-sitively paw-some understanding of Chihuahuas! Whether you’re thinking about bringing one of these tiny terrors into your life or you’re already lucky enough to have one, remember that every Chihuahua is a unique individual with its own quirks and personality. The key to a happy and healthy life together is to build a strong bond and provide proper care.

Here’s a tip from a human who has been owned by a Chihuahua for many years: Chihuahuas love to cuddle, so make sure to give them plenty of belly rubs and ear scratches. They also love to play, so be sure to set aside some time each day to run around and chase balls with them. And don’t forget to feed them a healthy diet and take them to the vet for regular checkups.

With a little love and care, your Chihuahua will be your best friend for many years to come.

Corey Turner
Corey Turner, owner of FurBallFun.com, draws on a lifelong love for dogs and extensive pet ownership to offer a unique perspective in the pet industry. With a successful background in project management, he excels in critical analysis, precise attention to detail, and quality assurance. This expertise allows him to effectively differentiate true value from marketing hype in the pet sector. Corey’s contributions have been featured in various publications including Rockery Press Guide Books and WealthofGeeks.com. During his free time, he enjoys disc golfing, rock climbing, and bonding with his cherished FurBall friend, Harvey.