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Chihuahua Breed Description

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Breed Organization

Chihuahua Club of America

Native Country

Other Names

Life Expectancy
Approximately 14-17 Years

Litter Size
Average 1-4 Puppies

Breed Group

General Description

Chihuahuas are very small dogs, and are the smallest breed recognized by some kennel clubs. Chihuahuas come in virtually any color combination, from solid to marked or splashed, allowing for colors from solid black to solid white, spotted, sabled, or a variety of other colors and patterns. Colors and patterns can combine and affect each other, resulting in a very high degree of variation. Common colors are fawn, red, cream, chocolate, brown, mixed, white, and black. The Kennel Club in the United Kingdom and the American Kennel Club in the United States recognize only two varieties of Chihuahua: the long-coat, and the smooth-coat, also referred to as short-haired. Chihuahuas do not breed true for size, and puppies from the same litter can mature drastically different sizes from one another. Typically, the breed standard for both the long and short coat chihuahua will be identical except for the description of the coat. Chihuahuas have large, round eyes and large, erect ears, set in a high, dramatically rounded skull.

Breed Standard

Head: Well-rounded "apple-dome" skull. Parietal fontanelle remaining. Pronounced stop. Nose fairly short and slightly pointed. Thin cheeks. Slight prognathism may be allowed. Nose dark black or lighter, depending on coat color.
Ears: Large, very widely spaced. Carried erect in action. Carried at a 45 degree angle at rest.
Eyes: Well spaced, not greatly protruding. Luminous black, brown, blue, or ruby.
Body: Cylindrical, compact, longer than it is tall. Round, well-proportioned neck. Slender shoulders. Muscular hindquarters.
Tail: Moderately long. Carried curled over the back or hanging loosely to the side. Well-furnished with hair; hairless is also allowed.
Hair: Long, wavy (rare variety). - Short, dense, glossy. A small collar on the neck is prized.
Coat: All colors and combinations are allowed. The most common and most prized colors are fawn or brown, chocolate, brindle fawn or brown, white, cream, silver fawn, silver grey, black and tan, and black.
Size: 16 to 20 cm.
Weight: 0.9 to 3.5 kg.


This ancient breed was named after the region in northern Mexico where it might have originated. The Chihuahua's origins are uncertain. He might have been brought to Mexico by the Chinese; yet it is more likely that he descended from various Aztec ancestors, including the Techichi. The Chihuahua was a favorite sacred animal of the Aztecs, who consumed the dogs as holy food and sacrificed them to the gods. The Chihuahua also brought good luck to the home. Several specimens are thought to have been brought to Spain during the Spanish conquest. The Chihuahua was first bred in the United States in the nineteenth century. The breed soon became highly prized and was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1904.


Stout, quite hardy, bold, and very lively, the Chihuahua is fairly independent, courageous, proud, and strong-willed. He is very attached to his owner, even possessive. He is not very good with children. Quite vocal and sometimes aggressive toward strangers, he makes a good watchdog. He needs firm training. Chihuahuas that are their human's pack leader tend to be fairly dog-aggressive. An owner who realizes this and treats the Chihuahua no differently than they would a large breed, becoming a clear pack leader, will get a different, more appealing temperament out of this wonderful little dog, finding it to be a good little child companion.

He is an apartment dog who needs daily walks. He is sensitive to cold. His eyes need regular attention, and his teeth should be checked regularly for tartar build-up. He needs regular brushing.


Watchdog, Pet.


Collapsing trachea. heart problems, hydrocephallic, and patellar luxation. Other health concerns include eye problems and hypoglycemia. Chihuahuas are very fragile dogs whose bones can break easily.

The Chihuahua has some predisposition to several neurological diseases, among them atlantoaxial instability, ceroid lipofuscinosis, congenital deafness, congenital hydrocephalus, muscular dystrophy, necrotizing meningoencephalitis, and neuroaxonal dystrophy.

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