Chihuahua: breed characteristics, education, care& diet

The Chihuahua (also called "Chi" for short) is considered the smallest dog breed in the world. Despite its size, this dog is known for its courageous and very lively character. Here you can find out everything about temperament, characteristics and breed-specific information.

Chihuahua: Profile

  • breed: Chihuahua
  • Origin: Mexico
  • Weight: 1 to 3 kg
  • Height at withers: 33 to 40 cm
  • Life expectancy: 12 to 15 years
  • Coat: short or long
  • Color: solid color, with markings or spotted – white, Brown, black, tan, red, cream
  • Character: brave, strong-willed, lively, loyal, attentive, people-oriented

Chihuahua: History

The Chihuahua probably originates from Mexico, where Toltecs and Aztecs kept it as a domestic dog. legends say that Chihuahuas were not only considered sacred sacrificial animals, but were idolized by Aztec chiefs because of their bright eyes and round head and even accompanied them to the grave. The animal should show them the way through the underworld to paradise, on condition that the owner has treated the little dog well during his lifetime.

The breed status of the Chihuahuas has its origin in the middle of the 19th century. Century in the USA. Shortly after, the little dogs spread all over the world. 1904 is a first breed description in the magazine "Our Dogs" Documents. This one comes from the vaudeville artist Rosina V. Casselli, who trained Chihuahuas for her performances. In the same year followed the first registration in the US stud book. In Germany, the first dogs of this breed were registered in 1956.

The Chihuahua belongs to FCI group 9, section 6, FCI standard no. 218 assigned. He is the smallest dog breed in the world.

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Chihuahua: breed characteristics

Nature and character

The small Chihuahua is instinctively choosy when it comes to whom it gives its affection to. Once he has made up his mind, he is very attached to his favorite and remains loyal, even if he is cared for by several people. His nature is lively, alert, brave and restless. He faces even the biggest dogs boldly and fearlessly.

Owners should pay attention to a consistent education of the small pet, because otherwise you are quickly confronted with a moody and stubborn little tyrant, which expresses any displeasure with a loud, nervous yelp. With appropriate discipline and clearly set limits, the Chihuahua is very attentive, teachable and clever.

The breed needs a lot of attention. If the Chihuahua is spoiled and pampered too much, however, he quickly shows jealous and possessive. Long-haired specimens usually have a gentle, agreeable disposition, while short-haired Chihuahuas often behave energetically and try to take over the pack leadership.


The Chihuahua is the smallest dog among all dog breeds and reaches a maximum shoulder height of 20 cm and a body weight of up to 3 kg. It has an apple-shaped head with prominent beady eyes, a tail curved over the back and large ears reminiscent of bat wings that protrude strongly from the head. His physique is compact and well proportioned. The small dog has slender yet muscular legs.

The coat can be smooth, wavy long or short depending on the breed and can come in many different colors. Colors like black and white but also many shades of brown, red and cream possible.

Chihuahuas with long hair come from a cross with Papillons and have a bushy tail and ears and densely hairy legs.

Education of the Chihuahua puppy

Puppies of this breed need a loving but still consistent education. Small Chihuahuas should never be coddled, because then they quickly become capricious and disobedient. Otherwise, Chihuahua puppies are extremely adaptive and clever.

Since small dogs tend to bark a lot and frequently, z. B. if someone rings the doorbell or passes by the apartment, you should consistently counteract this behavior in the Chihuahua puppy and show him that barking is not desired.

In addition to housetraining and learning various commands, the little ones should be familiarized with other dogs from the very beginning. They must learn to get along well and appropriately with other dogs, even if they are larger. Since the courageous Chihuahua tends to overestimate itself, it must know its limits well. Attending a dog school can be beneficial to their education.

Activities with the Chihuahua

The almost 20 cm small Chihuahua needs a lot of movement as well as mental demands. He does not want to be carried around permanently in a bag, but prefers walks in the forest, ball games or specific training.

The activity should always be adapted to the physical abilities of the small dog. Chi can generally be used for any dog sport where the emphasis is on agility and intelligence rather than endurance and strength.

Suitable sports for the Chihuahua


"Agility" means "agility or "nimbleness. This dog sport is a varied obstacle course, which the dogs run through under the guidance of their humans. It comes equipment such as z.B. hurdles, footbridge, tunnel or seesaw to use. The different obstacles are completed in different order. It depends above all on speed, dexterity and good leadership in the dog. Master and dog must harmonize in agility, complement each other and be able to rely on each other.

However, the hurdles must not be too high for the small dog. Otherwise, the training can also be wonderfully supplemented with intelligence games and tricks.

Dog Dance

In dog dance, dog and owner move together rhythmically to music. The dog owner guides the quadruped with voice commands and body signals. Both partners are challenged physically and mentally. The acquisition of tricks and choreography is based on trust and harmony between man and dog.

Typical tasks of the dancing sport are z. B. Running slalom, around the human’s legs, walking backwards or sideways, jumps, turns, paw work, and maneuvering.

Dog Dance is a well-balanced and varied training, in which many muscles and body parts of the dog are addressed, which he would not otherwise use consciously. The dogs improve their coordination in terms of body awareness, balance and movement.

In many parts of Europe international DogDance tournaments take place regularly.

Chihuahua: Care

The silky coat of the Chihuahua should be combed once a week with a soft baby brush.

Like many small breeds, Chihuahuas are prone to dental problems. It is advisable to start brushing his teeth regularly when he is a puppy. Similarly, a varied diet contributes to dental health.

In the cold season it is best to protect the small dog from cold and wetness with a dog coat.

Chihuahuas are prone to tear stains under the eyes. Keepers should therefore also pay attention to the area below the eyes. The eyes should be clear and not watering. There are special tear stain removers to remove tear stains.

When checking the ears, make sure that they do not smell and that the inner ears do not show any deposits or dirt.

The claws of the Chis grow very fast. If you can hear them clicking on the ground, they are too long and should be trimmed. However, caution is required, because in the claws run nerve tracts. If the claws are cut too short, this can lead to great pain.

Chihuahua: Nutrition

When feeding the Chihuahua, the size of the food is especially important. The individual kibbles of dry food must be small enough to be chewed in the dog’s mouth. Experts recommend a mix of dry and wet food. The dry food takes care of the teeth and the wet food keeps the water balance of the Chihuahua at a high level.

Especially in such small dogs, the wrong diet can quickly have fatal consequences. Intolerances are manifested by diarrhea and vomiting, which can quickly lead to life-threatening dehydration in small animals. The Chihuahua dog food should therefore contain particularly high-quality ingredients, which one could also eat as a human being without hesitation.

Chihuahua: Typical diseases and breed-related problems

Dental diseases

The particular shape of the head of the Chihuahua often leads to tooth misalignment, which promotes reduced abrasion when chewing and thus tartar formation. The consequences are inflammation of the gums, damage to the periodontium and loss of teeth.

Another breed-typical disease is milk tooth persistence. In this case, the milk teeth are still present, although the permanent teeth are already coming in. In this case, the milk teeth should be extracted by the veterinarian to avoid chronic inflammation in the area of the jaw and the mucous membrane of the mouth. Leaving a milk tooth can also lead to serious changes in the permanent tooth.

To prevent tartar, daily brushing of teeth is very important for representatives of this breed. The dog should be accustomed to toothbrush and toothpaste already in the puppy age. For this purpose soft dog toothbrushes as well as special dog toothpaste are suitable.

The prevention of tartar can also be promoted by the diet. The texture and consistency of special dry kibbles can cause greater mechanical abrasion of the teeth, helping to clean the tooth surface. In addition, increased fiber content provides greater mechanical abrasion. Additives such as polyphenols and zinc salts inhibit bacterial growth. Ätheric oils in moderation have an antibacterial effect.

Urinary stones

Due to a genetic defect, the Chihuahua is prone to the formation of urate stones. This type of urinary calculus forms when the pH of the urine is acidic. The urate stones are manifested by symptoms similar to cystitis. A diseased dog suffers from bloody urine, frequent urination and pain when urinating. In the worst case, the urinary stones can lead to obstruction of the urethra, especially in the Chihuahua male dog.

The pH of the urine is influenced by the food composition. Accordingly, adapted feeding can inhibit the formation of urinary stones.

Owners should ensure moderate protein intake as needed. Protein sources such as muscle meat, dairy and egg products are recommended. Other protein sources such as offal (liver, kidney) and certain types of fish (sardines, anchovies) should be avoided, as they have a high purine content and therefore promote the formation of urate stones.

Diabetes mellitus

The Chihuahua tends to suffer from diabetes. In this metabolic disorder, either too little insulin is produced (type 1) or the effect of insulin is reduced (type 2). As a result, the blood sugar level is elevated. The disease is expressed by symptoms such as severe thirst, frequent urination, fatigue and weight loss to corneal clouding. If left untreated, the disease can lead to serious physical damage, as the blood vessels and kidneys in particular are put under great strain.

In addition to regular insulin injections, it is important to adjust the Chihuahua’s diet so that the glucose surge after feeding is limited. Sugar-containing food with quickly available carbohydrate sources are to be avoided. More complex carbohydrates such as starches (rice, potatoes, pasta, corn, tapioca, millet, cereals) can be included in the diet, as the release of glucose is very slow. In general, the food should not exceed a starch content of 50% in dry matter.

Overall, the feed should have a constant composition with suitable components so as not to vary the insulin requirement. It is advisable to feed it in several small meals and at fixed times of the day.

Dog health insurance

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Does the Chihuahua fit to me?

Representatives of this breed are suitable as companion dogs for singles as well as for couples or families. A city apartment is no problem for the tiny animals. However, the little one should not be left alone for too long, because that means stress for him. Due to its small size, it is very easy to take it almost everywhere with you. So it is easy to provide him with sufficient exercise and occupation.

If the children of the family are still very small, the choice should better fall on another dog breed, because too loud screaming as well as excessive fussing can easily stress the Chihuahua and make it nervous.

Is the Chihuahua a family dog??

The Chihuahua is considered a companion dog and is ideal for small families with older children or single people. Small children often cause this breed stress and overwhelm him, which can lead to undesirable behavior. Therefore, the Chihuahua is better suited as a female / male dog or for a family with older children.

Interesting and worth knowing

Chihuahuas are among the dogs with the highest life expectancy and live on average 12 to 15 years, although a maximum age of 18 years is also not uncommon. The oldest Chihuahua ever lived lived to be an astonishing 24 years old.

The shortest Chihuahua had a body length of 15.2 cm, measured from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail. The smallest dog in the world is the Chihuahua bitch Milly with a shoulder height of 9.65 cm.

In relation to their body size, Chihuahuas have the largest brain among all dog breeds.

Where does the name Chihuahua come from??

The Chihuahua was named after the largest state in Mexico. At first, however, the four-legged friend in America was called "Arizona dog" or "Texas dog called. Among tourists it was known as the "smallest dog in the world" known.

FAQs about the Chihuahua

How many puppies does a Chihuahua bitch have??

A female Chihuahua gives birth to an average of three puppies per litter. In 2011 a Chihuahua litter of 10 puppies was recorded. The smallest of them weighed only 70 grams at birth.

How much exercise does a Chihuahua need??

The Chihuahua is a little bundle of energy and needs exercise. Since it is not only an active, but also very intelligent dog, it also needs appropriate mental exercises. Activities involving small tricks, for example, are ideal for keeping the chi sufficiently challenged.

How old does a Chihuahua become?

Small dogs are usually older than particularly large dogs. Chihuahuas usually reach an age between 15 and 18 years. Before buying such a dog, should be considered the long-term commitment.

How big and how heavy it will be?

A Chihuahua reaches a body size between 15 and 23 cm. It is thus considered the smallest dog breed in the world. The body weight is on average between 1.5 and 3 kg.

When is a Chihuahua full grown?

Chihuahuas are almost fully grown at the age of 6 months. However, they can be up to 3. In the second year of their life, they will gain between 10 and 20 percent in weight. More weight it should then no longer be, to allow him a long, healthy dog life.

How much does a Chihuahua cost?

If you are interested in a Chihuahua puppy, you should expect a price between 600 and 1.Calculate 500 euros. However, even high quality breeders often have cheaper puppies to offer, which for certain reasons fall out of the breed but at the same time are perfectly healthy. When buying, you should go to reputable breeders who know about genetics and preservation of the breed.

Chihuahuas are the most abandoned dog breed in America. Also in this country, the little dogs are found in animal shelters more and more often and are happy about people who give them a new home.

All information without guarantee.

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