Small Dog Breeds > Chihuahua

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The Chihuahua has the distinction of being the smallest dog breed and has an apple-shaped head. It takes its name from the Mexican state of Chihuahua. The breed comes in many variations, including colors, coat lengths (short-haired and long-haired), sizes, and head shapes. It’s theorized that the breed’s ancestors predate the Mayans. Dogs resembling the Chihuahua are found on the Great Pyramid of Cholula.

This breed has no standard height range. However, they typically range between 6 and 9 inches at the withers with 12 to 15 inches being the high range. They weigh no more than six pounds.

A Chihuahua’s temperament is greatly influenced by the temperament of its owner. Chihuahuas are generally not good for households with small children as they can be easily provoked to attack. They’re also fiercely loyal to their owners. This breed often doesn’t always get along with other breeds and thrives in the company of other Chihuahuas. They tend to do better in households children over 13 years of age. The dogs love to burrow into clothes hampers, under covers and beds, pillows, and blankets to create dens.

Chihuahuas can shiver when excited, cold, or stressed. Short-haired varieties may require boots or sweaters in cold weather. When cold, the dogs will seek sunshine or warmth in peoples laps, under blankets or on furniture.

Coat and Color

The long haired dogs have smoother hair and downy undercoat which causes them to have a fluffy appearance. Counter-intuitively, the long-haired dogs shed less hair than their short-haired counterparts.

There’s probably no color combination or pattern that the Chihuahua doesn’t come in. The most common colors include creme, chocolate, white, black, mixed, fawn, and red.

Chihuahuas require minimal grooming and no trimming.
Height 12-15" at the withers
Weight up to 6 lbs
Life Span 7-10 years
Temperament Highly influenced by owner, loyal
Hypoallergenic No
Unlike most other breeds, Chihuahuas require expert veterinary care for things such as dental care and birthing. The dogs are prone to genetic illnesses such as seizures and epilepsy. Puppies that have abnormally large heads during infancy may suffer from hydrocephalus, which is extremely painful for the dogs. Symptoms include a patchy skull plate and lethargy. The prognosis for hydrocephalus is usually negative. Take care not to overfeed your Chihuahua as doing so can shorten its life and result in diabetes. Making sure your dog gets sufficient exercise is paramount. Overweight dogs can fall prey to chronic bronchitis, tracheal collapse, joint injuries and a shorter life span. Other ailments the dogs may suffer from include hypoglycemia, eye infections, luxating patellas, and heart-related disorders (heart murmurs and pulmonic stenosis). Warning signs of hypoglycemia include uncoordinated walking, sleepiness, lethargy, and spasms of the neck.

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