Meet the breed: Chihuahua

Chihuahua

Choosing to add a furry friend to your growing household is a long-term commitment, and picking a breed that fits your lifestyle presents the key to a happy home. With over 160 American Kennel Club-recognized breeds, that decision can seem overwhelming. We're here to help you meet the breed that's right for you. If you're looking for a compact companion to add to your pack, find out everything you need to know about the Chihuahua.
Chihuahua | Sheknows.com

Breed

  • checkEasy grooming
  • checkPleasant temperament
  • checkLong lifespan
  • checkPortable
  • checkTerritorial tendencies

breeder

photo gallery

Overview

Don't let their compact size fool you — when it comes to Chihuahuas, big personalities come in small packages. Confident, intelligent and passionate, Chihuahuas love to play, cuddle and speak their minds when necessary. These little guys take loyalty to the next level. Primarily bred as human companions, Chihuahuas are known for attaching themselves to their owner. They can be protective, territorial and even jealous. Undeterred by their small size, Chihuahuas use their loud, high-pitched barks as a way of "guarding" their beloved masters.

Breed standards

AKC group: Toy Dog

UKC group: Companion Dog

Average lifespan: 12 - 20 years

Average size:  6 pounds and under

Coat appearance: Varies

Coloration: Tan, red, black, white or splash

Hypoallergenic: No

Other identifiers: Small frame and fragile head structure; ears are pointed and erect

Possible alterations: Head shape can be apple- or deer-shaped; coat can be long- or short-haired

Is this breed right for you?

Chihuahuas are a great fit for many, but households with young children may want to think twice about bringing home this tiny breed. Due to their size, Chihuahuas must be handled with gentle care and require constant supervision around young children. Chihuahuas make excellent companions for apartment dwellers and families with older children as they require little maintenance and space. Whether you opt for a pet with a smooth coat or a long-haired Chihuahua, grooming for this breed is fairly low-maintenance. Chihuahua owners should also beware of a soft spot in their dog's skull known as a molera. As the only breed born with an incomplete skull, it's important to treat this breed with extra-gentle care, especially during the first six months of growth.

chihuahua breed characteristics

A dream day in the life of a Chihuahua

Getting treated like the kings or queens they makes this tiny breed feel right at home. Chihuahuas love being carried around, and luckily, they're just the right size for it. Put this breed in a cute carrier, a stroller or gently carry them in your arms and consider their day made. This pint-sized pup is prone to suffering during extreme heat and cold so make sure they're appropriately dressed for the occasion.

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Comments

Comments on "Meet the breed: Chihuahua"

Maddie December 23, 2012 | 6:06 AM

That puppy is so cute! I want one just like it for Christmas.

Camille Toews January 12, 2012 | 4:49 AM

People who buy a dog as a fashion accessory, without researching the breed, or even knowing what dog "language" is, an dwho put clothing on their dogs, wven on a hot sunny day- for the sake of fashion, should be charged with animal abuse,as should the pet stores and breeders who cater to them. A dog is a dog. Certain breeds exhibit a predisosition to certain behaviours, but in the end, it is the quality of breeding stock, how soon the puppies are taken away from the mother (never before 8 weeks please), spayin gor neutering and how well the owners understand training that is crucial to being a responsible pet owner. Watch the Dog Whisperer as much as possible before evne thinking about getting a dog, and think about rescue over buying...there are lots of good dogs in shelters and foster care who need homes.

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