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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Chihuahua Facts

  • Group
  • Toys
  • Affiliations
  • Height
  • There is no height requirement. The height must be in proportion to the weight, generally 6" - 9".
  • Weight
  • not exceeding 6 lbs.
  • Lifespan
  • 16 years | Add yours

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  • Exercise Requirement
  • Moderate - This breed enjoys typical daily activity
  • Training Requirement
  • Difficult to Train
  • Grooming Requirement
  • Easy
  • Colors
    • Various Colors
  • Breed Characteristics
    • Adapted to city living
    • Should sleep indoors

True Cost Of Ownership

Alternate Names

none known


It is widely believed that the Chihuahua originated in Mexico.

Date Of Origin

The date of origin is not known for sure, however experts on the matter put the date somewhere around the mid to late 1800's.


The history of the Chihuahua is vague. It is known that both the Toltec and Aztec cultures kept dogs, including a small breed called the Techichi in 900 A.D., however, it is uncertain whether these dogs are the ancestors of the Chihuahua. Some fanciers believe it is a descendant of dogs introduced by Spanish armies of Hernando Cortes in 1519. It was first seen by North Americans in the mid nineteenth century and brought to the U.S. shortly thereafter.


The Chihuahua is a very small dog that is slightly longer than it is tall. The skull is large and rounded, sometimes described as an apple head. The muzzle is short and slightly pointed and the eyes are large and full. The ears are large and erect with the tips pointing slightly outward. The tail is natural and moderately long, carried erect, horizontally, or in a loop over the back. There are two coat types: long haired and smooth. The long haired type is soft, flat or slightly curly, usually with an undercoat. A large ruff on the neck and feathering on the tail, feet, and legs is highly desirable. The smooth variety has soft, glossy, straight hair.


The Chihuahua is an alert and sensitive dog. It tends to dislike dogs of other breeds and requires socialization to be comfortable with strangers and children.


The Chihuahua is a companion dog but knows how to defend itself, even against somewhat bigger dogs. It needs exercise and is more durable then most imagine. It is a mistake to keep this dog cooped up in an apartment out of concern for its health. A happy Chihuahua is a well exercised and socialized one.

Health Concerns

Collapsed trachea, heart problems, hydrocephalic, hypoglycemia, luxating patellas.

Additional Information

The breed derives its name from the Mexican State of Chihuahua, where the earliest specimens of the breed were found.

Show Sources & Contributors +


The Howell Book Of Dogs

Publisher: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Author: Liz Palika

Dog Bible

Publisher: BowTie Press, 2005

Website: http://www.bowtiepress.com/bowtie/

Authors: Kristin Meuh-Roe, Jarelle S. Stein

Simon & Schusters Guide to Dogs

Publisher: Simon & Schuster inc, 1980

Website: http://www.simonandschuster.com

Author: Elizabeth Meriwether Schuler

The New Encyclopedia of the Dog

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2000

Website: http://www.dk.com

Author: Bruce Fogle

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