Chihuahua, tiny dog with a HUGE personality


With a weight ranging from 1 pounds (500 grams) to 6½ pounds (3 kilograms), Chihuahua holds the title of smallest dog in the world. That doesn’t stop this little package from being stubborn, confident, and bursting with a big personality. Yet, thanks to its intelligence and unwavering loyalty to its owner, it fits into any lifestyle.Get to know more about the Chihuahua, a breed that packs all the traits of a big dog into a small body.

Origin of the Chihuahua breed

Chihuahua got its name from its home turf, Chihuahua state in Northern Mexico. By the late 19th century, Mexicans began selling these tiny dogs to American tourists. Highly sought-after, Chihuahua quickly made its way to Europe. Fast-forward to 1904, and the American Kennel Club gave it official recognition.

Main characteristics

Chihuahua has an apple-shaped head with a short nose, big eyes, and bat-like ears that stand straight up. It has a compact and muscular body, and can have either long or short hair.

  • Chihuahua characteristicsHeight at the withers: for both male and female, 6 to 8 inches (16 to 21 cm).
  • Weight: for both male and female, 1 to 6+ pounds (500 g to 3 kg).
  • Fur: long or short. Soft, silky, and shiny.
  • Coat color: all colors and shades are accepted in the breed standard.
  • Life expectancy: between 15 and 20 years.

Chihuahua’s character and behavior

  • Behavior of chihuahua dogsSmall in size, it easily accompanies its owner on all travels in a comfortable and well-ventilated carry bag.
  • Most Chihuahuas are great walking companions, as their vivacity and light weight make them tireless (except for really small ones).
  • Easy to live with, it adapts well to apartment life as well as house life. Watch out though, this little watchdog loves to bark!
  • Independent at times, it knows how to stay alone and patiently awaits its owner’s return.
  • Both adults and children need to handle it carefully due to its small size, as a minor fall could cause serious fractures.
  • Its encounters with other dogs can sometimes be complicated. Indeed, being brave and fearless, it doesn’t always realize its small size and doesn’t shy away from confronting larger dogs. Proper socialization should be worked on from a young age.

Health, care, and diet of chihuahua

Most common chihuahua diseases:

  • Heart malformation.
  • Kneecap dislocation.
  • Hydrocephalus (neurological disease).
  • Alopecia (total or partial hair loss).
  • Eye irritations.
  • Eclampsia.

Good to know: Chihuahua feels cold easily. Don’t hesitate to make it wear a coat in winter.

Dentition to watch:

Taking care of a Chihuahua is simple, as it spends its time grooming itself and has no odor. A weekly brushing suffices to maintain its fur. However, like all small breed dogs, its teeth tartar up quickly. To prevent tartar, you can add seaweed-based abrasive powders (Prozym, Proden, Plaque off) to its food.

Delicate palate when it comes to food:

Chihuahua nutrition needsThis companion is not a glutton. It will often snub its kibble.

Don’t give in to its whims.

Its kibble size must be large enough for abrasive action and its composition suited to its age and lifestyle.

Chihuahua price

Between 1200 and 2000 dollars/euros.

Minimum average monthly budget: 30 euros

Smart tip

Never leave your Chihuahua unattended, as it’s a prime target for thieves.

Images: Pixabay: Alexandra Stockmar, Herbert, Guenther Lig, Teerasuwat Jiratarawat

Written by Lydie Dronet | With over 20 years in the field of animal care, Lydie shares her paws-on expertise and experience. Other topics she loves delving into are nutrition and the medicinal uses of plants.