Chihuahua – The Tiny Size Dog With a Big Heart

The Chihuahua has become a staple dog breed known for its diminutive size, determined personality, and upright ears. 

This breed hails from Mexico and is a purebred dog noted for encompassing balance, grace, agility, and the willingness to adapt. It’s this same hearty personality that makes the Chihuahua such a well-loved pet in the world of dogs.

Before determining whether or not the Chihuahua is a good dog breed for you, here’s an in-depth look into what the breed is all about.

Chihuahua Characteristics

Four different color chihuahuas on white background

Chihuahuas come in an assortment of colors, including black, tan, white, and splashed.  With radar dish ears, molera (where the frontal and parietal bones aren’t fused), and tiny size, this breed is often noticeable for its physical traits.

The average Chihuahua is measured to be 5-8 inches tall while weighing in at approximately 3-6 pounds.

It also has a lifespan of approximately 12-20 years.

Personality

Chihuahuas are fascinating dogs due to their personality.

They adore being around their owner and will often follow them around the house. Their whole-hearted personality adapts well to all types of surroundings, whether in an apartment or a larger home.

While this breed does take a bit of time to settle in, they adjust well and thrive after becoming a part of the family.

The main traits include:

  • Adaptable
  • Attentive
  • Loyal
  • Energetic
  • Brave

If you are a first-time dog owner, the Chihuahua is a beautiful dog breed and offers plenty of entertainment throughout the day. Whether it’s mingling with other pets or walking around with a strut, this is a dog that has quite the personality.

Due to their resilient personalities, Chihuahuas can easily spend 9-10 hours alone in a safe dog playpen or at home without supervision.

Apple Head Vs. Deer Head Chihuahuas

Apple head and deer head chihuahuas

It’s common for Chihuahuas to be split into two distinct categories – shorthaired vs. longhaired. 

However, enthusiasts often claim the real split is along the lines of Apple Head or Deer Head Chihuahuas.

1. Apple Head Chihuahuas

  • Dome/Apple-Shaped Head
  • Shorter Legs
  • Large Eyes
  • Short Jaw
  • Often Have Moleras

1. Deer Head Chihuahuas

  • Narrow-Shaped Head
  • Longer Legs
  • Smaller Eyes 
  • Longer Jaw
  • Rarely Have Moleras

While both have distinct physical differences, they also come with a long list of similarities. These include fur type, colors, and temperament.

Health

This breed tends to deal with “small dog” health issues prominent due to their genetic predisposition.

Some of these health issues include:

We highly recommend having semi-annual checkups with your veterinarian. Regular check-ins can help prevent long-term health issues before they spiral out of control. 

Since Chihuahuas are strong-hearted, they will try to gut it out, leading to worsening symptoms. It’s essential to save them from themselves in these situations to avoid long-term consequences.

One of the more significant advantages of owning a Chihuahua is they don’t need too much exercise. They can happily get most of their physical activity done within the confines of an indoor space, making them an ideal dog for apartments/condos.

Feeding Your Chihuahua

Chihuahua eating dry dog food

Chihuahuas tend to do well on a dry dog food diet.

This food should contain high-quality ingredients, minimal salt, and at least 33% protein for maximum results. Chihuahuas need a consistent diet to stay healthy due to their size.

If you give them too much salt, they can start to develop health concerns such as heart and kidney diseases.

Since Chihuahuas are small, they’re also prone to obesity.  It’s easy to overfeed them, leading to noticeable weight gain.

As with all dog breeds, Chihuahuas should never consume chocolate, grapes, caffeine, and onions, to name a few. Their little bodies are not biologically designed to handle these food types.

To avoid this:

These subtle changes will make sure your Chihuahua stays healthy year-round and ages gracefully.

Training Your Chihuahua

Hand training Chihuahua to shake hands

Chihuahuas are versatile, well-rounded dogs with a high IQ.

Due to this intelligence, they will test a dog owner’s patience. They become stubborn during training sessions and will often divert their attention to something else, causing frustration.

However, Chihuahuas are highly responsive to reward-based training (i.e., dog treats). Once you figure out what is best for your Chihuahua’s taste buds, everything else will fall into place.

Chihuahua Grooming?

Hands brushing long haired chihuahua

There are two types of Chihuahuas when it comes to their coats – shorthaired & longhaired. Each type has a separate and distinctive grooming process.

Shorthaired Chihuahua – Full Body Brushing (Once a Week)

Longhaired Chihuahua – Full Body Brushing (Three Times a Week)

We recommend you stay consistent with the brushing schedule. Regular brushing will make sure your pup’s coat remains healthy throughout the year.

When it comes to bathing, Chihuahuas are low-maintenance. It’s okay to bathe them every few weeks, but some dog owners may wait 3-4 weeks before doing so. It’s best to create a schedule and go from there.

In general, Chihuahuas are clean and will not have a lingering odor that makes it mandatory to bathe them regularly.

Please note, Chihuahuas tend to pick up skin abrasions from time to time. Although it’s more common in the shorthaired version of the dog, making it essential to pay attention to their body at all times.

Choosing a Chihuahua Breeder

When it’s time to find the right Chihuahua, it’s crucial to have a checklist in hand to observe the dog breeder’s practices. Although unique, Chihuahuas are also a popular breed, making it easier to find a good fit. 

The things to look for include:

  • Dog’s Energy Levels
  • Cleanliness of the Coat
  • Ribs Don’t Stick Out (Good Amount of Body Fat)
  • Clear Eyes (No Yellow/Red Shade)
  • Medical History

The average Chihuahua will cost approximately $500-$1,500, depending on the breeder’s standards.  

It’s important to note; you can find and adopt a Chihuahua for much cheaper. There are thousands of dogs looking for new homes, and it’s best to try to find a good fit through a rescue or dog shelter. We always like to recommend this option.

Final Thoughts

If the goal is to find a loving and loyal dog, then the Chihuahua will make an excellent fit. It will adapt well to any setting, whether it’s a small-sized apartment or a big house.

This dog breed is brave, intelligent, and a good fit for those wanting a pocket-sized breed that’s full of energy.

While they have small dog medical conditions and are difficult during training sessions, they are a joy to have around once they adapt.

With a Chihuahua, you are going to have the perfect companion. Let us know in the comments below your experiences with your new Chihuahua friend.

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