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Meet the breed: Chihuahua

Virginia Chavez is a Phoenix-based freelance writer covering pets and lifestyle in the Southwest. In addition to regular contributions both online and in-print, Virginia locally owns and operates two pet care and supply businesses. For t...

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

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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.

Other breeds you might like

Meet the breed: Chinese Crested
Meet the breed: Yorkshire Terrier
Meet the breed: Miniature Schnauzer

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