Chihuahua Alternate Names
Common nickname: Chi
Body: Small with well-sprung ribs.
Coat: Two types: Long coat and Smooth coat. Long-coated Chihuahuas have a ridge along their backline.
Color: Most all colors including solid, spotted, or splashed.
Ears: Large, erect, and flare to the sides.
Eyes: Large, full, and round.
Feet: Small, long, and dainty with well-defined toes and well-cushioned pads.
Head: Distinctively domed.
Neck: Somewhat arched and gently sloping into the shoulder.
Legs: Forelegs are thin, straight and set well under the body bearing most of the weight. Hind legs are straight and muscular with spring-like action.
Height is 5 – 8 inches
Weight is 3 – 12 pounds
Tail: Medium length and carried up or out, or curled over the back. Somewhat flattened in the Smooth Coated Chihuahua but less noticeable in the Long Coats.
Recommended for experienced dog handlers.
Not recommended as running partners.
The Chihuahua is a big dog in a tiny body with a clown-like personality. While fragile in structure, he is fearless when he senses danger. Depending on his upbringing and genetic background, the Chi can be quiet and reserved, noisy and nervous, self-confident or timid. Early obedience training and continued socialization will bring out the best in him.
Though good with children, much caution should be taken as the Chi can be unwittingly injured by a young, disrespectful child. It’s common for Chihuahuas to sustain injuries, such as broken legs and dislocated knee caps, from jumping off furniture, jumping out of high vehicles, and from being unintentionally stepped on by children or adults. He is often injured by people rolling onto him while in bed–sometimes fatally.
The Chi is a highly strung dog but very intelligent and full of surprises. They are known to be barkers but with early training this can be kept under control. This is a warm climate dog who will become chilled easily. Be sure to keep him warm with a sweater or coat during harsh weather conditions. Their affinity to bad weather can make it difficult to housebreak the Chihuahua. However, they can easily be trained to use an indoor litter box sparing them the need to venture out into frigid climates to do their duty.
One of the characteristics to this breed is that they are born with a hole or soft spot in their skull called a molera. In The Chihuahua Handbook, author D. Caroline Coile, Ph.D. says “The molera is an open space in the skull where the bones that normally fuse in most breeds remain open in many Chihuahuas. The molera, or open fontanel is typical. Its presence or absence should not bear upon decisions of quality.”
The Chihuahua is an intelligent breed of dog who will become easily bored if left without physical and mental stimulation. A bored Chi will become anxious possibly destructive. He will be happiest if provided with varied activities through exercise and training to keep his thinking mind occupied. Positive training methods, using treats for rewards, is best. No dog should be subjected to punishment-type obedience training. The Chihuahua will most certainly respond poorly to any kind of harsh treatment.
Chihuahua Breed Type
AKC Group: Toy Group
There are differences of opinion as to where the Chihuahua originated. Some say he was bred in Mexico and served as a delicacy on the food table. Others believe he originated in Europe as a lapdog, and still others believe he originated in Asia. No matter where he originated, The Chihuahua Handbook notes “three peculiar features distinguished these dogs: the molera, a flattened tail, and a notably long foot and toes.”
Chihuahua Care and Grooming
Exercise: Moderate exercise is sufficient to keep them fit and happy.
Grooming: Easily cared for by lightly brushing with a soft brush or wiping with a soft, damp cloth. Brush daily and more vigorously during shedding season (Spring time) with a rubber bristle brush. Keep his nails trimmed, his teeth clean, his eyes wiped, and his ears dry and clean.
Life Expectancy: 13 – 15 Years
Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
Seizures – said to be, in part, related to their distinctively domed head.
Tooth loss – some Chihuahua lines are prone to having poor teeth.
Your Chihuahua may have a bad reaction to the effects of anesthesia, vaccinations, and other drugs. Medication should be well controlled, carefully monitored, and only prescribed if absolutely necessary.
Chi dogs love to bask in the sun but can easily burn. Be sure they are provided with both sun and shade to rest in.
Chihuahua Country of Origin
Mexico / Europe / Asia – his origination is not clearly known.