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Your Chihuahua Information Center

Welcome to Your One-Stop Chihuahua Information Center

The spry, intelligent, and loyal Chihuahua is a highly adaptable dog breed that requires a loving household in order to thrive. As the smallest dog in the toy group, he is lively and playful yet can be nervous or shy without socialization.
We encourage owners and potential owners to learn all that they can, in order to provide a safe, happy, and healthy home.
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New Right Now:

The Chihuahua New Year's Resolution Challenge - Make sure that this year is the healthiest one yet by choosing at least one of these resolutions for your puppy or dog. 

Also New:

Chihuahua Bad Breath - If a lot of stink is coming out of that little mouth, see top tips to remedy bad breath asap.
Chihuahua Shivering - It may not be what you think. See why Chihuahuas shake and tremble, and what to do.
When a Chihuahua is Clingy - Update - Cuddling and staying close is normal for this breed, but some Chihuahuas are so clingy, that's it's not healthy. See how to build self-esteem and encourage a bit more independence.
How to Train a Chihuahua to Stop Barking - Major Update - A super detailed, wildly helpful article that teaches you exactly how to handle different types of barking; for both puppies and adults. 
Major Update - The Chihuahua Allergies section has been completely rewritten, for super-helpful, detailed advice and step-by-step guidance to treat and fix allergies for good.  
When a Chihuahua Has a Bad Odor - This covers all possible bad smells, with exact steps to resolve it and get your Chi back to smelling fresh and clean. 
The Best Shampoos for a Chihuahua - Based on the current status of your Chihuahua's skin and coat. Also covers the importance of conditioners and coat sprays. 
How to Stop a Chihuahua from Marking - If your puppy or dog is peeing all over the house, follow these effective steps. 
5 Steps to Stop a Chihuahua from Eating Poop- If your Chihuahua is eating feces, his own or that of another dog, these 5 steps will nip it in the bud. 
When a Chihuahua Dislikes the Car - If your Chihuahua gets motion sickness or does not tolerate the car well, these tips can turn things around. 

Statistical Information

Pronounced: Chee-wah-wah
Nickname: Chi
Family: Companion
Breed Group: Toy
Varieties:   Coat: 2- long and smooth (short)
                   Head: 2- apple (only the apple type fits the conformation standards) and deer (unofficial) See: Apple head VS Deer head
Area of Origin: Mexico (now proven true due to DNA testing) See: Origin
Date of Origin: Discovered in Mexico in 1850
Ancestor: Mexican Techichi dog
Date of Recognition: 1904
Height: 6-9 inches (15.2-22.9 cm)
Weight: 2-6 lbs. (.9 kg-2.7 kg)
Additional Size Notes:
AKC - No official minimum weight, this dog should not weigh more than 6 lbs (2.7 kg)
UK - 6 lbs (2.7 kg) with 4 -6 lbs. (1.8 - 2.7 kg) preferred
FCI (EUROPE) - 3.3 to 6.61 lbs. (1.5 to 3 kg)
CKC (Canadian Kennel Club): 1-6 lbs. (.5-3 kg), 2-4 lbs. (1-2 kg) are preferred.  
Life Expectancy:14-18 years See: Life Span
Average Litter Size: 1-3
Well-Known Bloodlines: Davishall, Ouachitah, Dartan, Hurd, Heatherly, Schroeder, Pittore, Collin-Dells, Stonehill, Jo-El, Maximillion, Misty Meadows
Breed Qualities: Loyal, energetic, playful, closely bonds with humans, alert, moderate shedder
Popularity: Consistently in the top 12 most owned breeds, U.S.,Canada and UK
Intelligence: #67
Maturity Rate: Adult at 1 year mark

Popular Sections

Feeding your Chihuahua

Learn how this high energy dog requires the right balanced diet for proper nutrition and to maintain a healthy weight What, how much and how often to feed a Chihuahua.
Chihuahua Health - Both daily care and breed specific issues for all owners to be aware of. 
Essential Supplies - The things you'll need for optimal healthy, comfort and happiness. 

Chihuahua Color Information

This breed can be found in many different colors, both solids and parti's. Also, with a variety of markings. 

The following are some of the more popular colors:
  • Cream: A soft, light tan 
  • White: A Chihuahua of pure solid white will have no other colors in his genetic makeup. 
  • Blue: Blue is a diluted black; skin pigmentation is blue (eye rims, lips, nose, paw pads) 
  • Red: A dark orange
  • Chocolate: A rich, medium brown 
  • Merle: Acceptable in the US; a pattern of color with streaks or splotches over the coat 
  • Brindle: This is actually a pattern of striping.
  • Sable: This refers to dark tipped hairs. Sable may be present on any base color. 
Read more: Colors


The Chihuahua is considered to be a moderate shedding dog. A puppy will go through a stage in which puppy fur will shed off and give way to his adult coat. This process begins at the age of 5 to 6 months.

For adults, the details of the shedding process are vastly different, depending on the coat (long or short) and gender. If there is substantial fur loss without apparent reason, this may point to a medical issue.

Males: Once reaching 18 months of age, a male's coat will stay relatively the same for its life.

Females: Hormonal fluctuations and the change of seasons often affect a female's coat. Females will also shed after delivering a litter and her coat will re-grow back in about 6 months.She will also shed when she is in season. Stress can affect the degree of shedding as well.

Both Genders: Aesthetics will affect the coat. See: Hair Loss and Shedding
Chihuahua dog licking

"A dog's head tilt is like kryptonite to humans. We're powerless to it. "


All of the grooming elements will come together to keep a Chihuahua well-groomed, odor free and with healthy skin, coat and teeth.

Considered to be a low maintenance dog, there are still some important grooming tasks that should be done on a regular basis.

This includes:
  • Baths - This can be a great time to bond with your Chihuahua. Learn the best techniques to wash your Chi and avoid dry skin issues. 
  • Brushing - While owners will be spared the extra brushing that long haired dog require, proper grooming helps maintain good health and hygiene. 
  • Eye care - You'll want to keep the eye area clean of discharge and keep tear stains at bay
  • While dewclaws are often removed as early as 3 days old, nail trimmings are important. Keeping nails short will avoid issues that range from ingrown nails to displaced gait. 


Did you know that at least 20% of all dogs suffer from some type of allergy? It is a flea allergy that is the most common, but there are many other triggers that can affect a Chihuahua.

There are 3 main groups of triggers:
  • Environmental - Dogs can be allergic to inhaled airborne elements such as pollen and weeds. A dog may show symptoms even when indoors. 
  • Contact allergies - This is anything that the dog comes into contact with such as cleaners in the home or chemicals that had been applied to grassy areas of the yard. 
  • Food - Chihuahua puppies can be sensitive to certain food elements and older dogs can develop an intolerance. 
Some of the symptoms are: Excessive itching, dry skin, fur loss, coughing, sneezing, wheezing, mucus discharge, vomiting and/or diarrhea.

Read more: Chihuahua Allergies 

Dental Care

This breed is prone to dental issues that include tooth infection and gum infection. This can lead to secondary infection and loss of teeth.

Canines do not develop cavities in the way that humans do; however both plague and tarter do build up over time. Chewing on hard treats does help to loosen plague, but will not clean the teeth enough to prevent issues from developing.

As bacteria builds up, teeth weaken and bone is gradually destroyed, resulting in either loss or the need for extraction. Tooth loss for an older Chihuahua can cause disturbances in abilities to eat and cause quite a bit of discomfort.

Following a schedule of dental care should be part of routine care provided for a Chihuahua and is an important part of having a healthy dog. Training a Chihuahua to sit still for this grooming element is best done when the Chi is still a puppy. Becoming acclimated to having his mouth manipulated will lead to good habits as he grows older.

female Chihuahua puppy laying down


The Chihuahua can be a very vocal breed. In fact, excessive barking is a top concern for owners of both puppies and dogs. However, training can be very successful when certain guidelines are followed.

Out-of-control barking can be traced to different triggers:

1. Wanting attention - And if it's given, barking may continue as soon as you have to walk away. 

2. Pent-up energy - Without enough outlets, this can manifest as barking and otherwise rowdy behavior. 

3. Boredom - This is typically not a dog that can just 'be'. 

4. Overreaction to stimuli; this can be when people visit the house, or while out on walks. 

Read more about Chihuahua Barking
male Chihuahua puppy laying down

Teething, Nipping and Biting

This breed has a reputation for being nippy, however nipping issues arise for various reasons that affect just about all dog breeds.

Training to stop this behavior is an important element of Chihuahua care; if this issue is not addressed it can be the foundation for a life time of unacceptable behavior that disrupts the entire household.

A Chihuahua may be:
  • Teething - this phase generally starts at the age of 4 months and may last until 8 months old. See: Teething
  • Chewing on unapproved items 
  • Snapping at any family members, visitors, people or other animals Stay informed regarding these topics and read about training and ways that you can help your Chihuahua. 
See: Biting


This is the smallest dog breed in the world; so could there actually be a tinier "teacup" version that is smaller than this 2 - 6 pound dog?

This section discusses what happens when a Chihuahua is smaller than the breed standard and important health facts that owners of smaller Chi's should know about. Information regarding breeding practices, and more. 

Read more: Teacups


Each holiday that you spend with your Chihuahua is a great opportunity for close bonding and having fun. And some occasions do come along with challenges.

From birthdays, to Christmas, New Year's to Halloween, you're sure to find interesting info on the Chihuahua Holidays page.

Separation Anxiety

This affects over 50% of all dogs that are left home alone. This emotional experience can occur in as little as 1 hour, with most dogs displaying negative behavior after an average of 4 hours.

The stress of being alone can trigger destructive behavior, excessive barking and even affect behavior once owners have arrived back to the house.

Training can be implemented that allows a Chihuahua to learn coping skills and gain the self confidence needed to feel safe and secure during these times. Learn More: Separation Anxiety 


This is an emotional breed that is sensitive to his surroundings. Sometimes you may be dealing with a moody Chihuahua where you never know what to expect from day to day, or an excessively timid and super shy puppy or dog. 

Other times your Chi may be revved up and overly hyper.

Interesting Facts

  • Chihuahua’s brains are the largest of any breed, when compared to the size of their bodies. 
  • In 1997, a Chi named Gidget starred as the Taco Bell dog in global television commercials, thus bringing attention of the breed across the world.  
  • Not all Chihuahuas shake, but many do and it is considered to be a common trait, though not due to the widespread myth that this is due to having a high metabolic rate. Actual reasons for trembling include excitability, nervousness or feeling chilled. 
  • This breed is loved in Hollywood. Some celebrity Chihuahua owners are: Jamie Lee Curtis, George Lopez, Hillary Duff and the late, great Marilyn Monroe.
  • Many Chihuahuas have a molera. This is a soft spot on the skull where the bones have not fused together (similar to human babies). Back in 1933, the breed standard required a molera. Now, the Chihuahua Club of America (the parent club that writes the standard for the AKC) tells us that it may or may not be present (no favor is given to either in the show ring).
  • A Chihuahua is an adult at the age of 1 year old. While there is no official age that the Chi becomes a senior, most are declared to be seniors by the age of 10. With a rather long lifespan, this breed can live 14 to 18 years.

The Interesting Origin of the Chihuahua

The Chihuahua is named for the Mexican state of ‘Chihuahua’ that borders Texas, Arizona and New Mexico in the USA. Though it has long been theorized that the Chihuahua’s ancestors were from Chihuahua (the Mexican state), this has been confirmed by DNA analysis. 

It was long theorized that the Chihuahua's ancestor was the Mexican Techichi dog and now we know this to be fact. 

Any online sources or books that debate a Mexican origin for the Chihuahua are offering out-of-date information. In 2013, the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden released their findings regarding the ancestry of certain dog breeds. 

They compared mitochondrial DNA from Asian and European dogs, ancient archaeological samples from the Americas and certain American dog breeds. 

Among the breeds that that they tested was the Chihuahua, since its origins have long been debated. 

They proved that the Chihuahua does share a DNA type unique to the Mexican pre-Columbian samples, thus cementing the breed’s origins to be connected to the Techichi, a small desert canine that dates back to Mayan times. 

Crossbreeding the Techichi may have been done by the Toltec civilization with a dog that populated the mountains of Chihuahua, called the Perro Chihuahueno. 

Further development occurred when Spanish conquerors reached the New World, though it is debated which breeds were used; most likely it was a terrier-type dog.

The Chihuahua was officially recognized by the AKC (American Kennel Club) in 1904, with a Chihuahua named Midget being the very first to be registered. At that time, the club was only 20 years old (having been founded in 1882). And in 1904 only 52 breeds had been recognized thus far. 

The Chihuahua’s popularity took a while to form. This is because in the early 1900’s most people that owned dogs owned working dogs or guard dogs, not household pets. People living on farms used dogs to pull carts and herd livestock. Others owned dogs to chase away wild animals or possible intruders. 

Things began to change in the 1960’s when ‘dog ownership’ moved more into ‘pet ownership’. In 1964 the Chihuahua soared to popularity, becoming the 12th most registered breed. In this year, there were 161 recognized breeds. 

Since that time, the Chihuahua has held its place in the top 30. Ranking in 2013 was #22, in 2014 #24 and in 2015 #28. 

Though the ranking has dropped a bit, we must remember that more breeds are added as the years go by. There are 200+ breeds.

For 48 years since its inception into the AKC, both long and shorthaired Chihuahuas were categorized the same. In 1952, The Chihuahua Club of America, which writes the breed standard for the Chihuahua, voted to split the Chihuahua into two varieties. The same standard is used; however, the two varieties are long coat and smooth coat (short haired).

More Helpful Sections

  • How to take care of your Chihuahua when the seasons change? You'll want to follow appropriate Chihuahua summer care when the weather is hot and the sun is strong, and important guidelines for winter care to keep your Chi puppy or dog safe, happy, and healthy. 
  • Is it normal for a Chihuahua to have bad breath? You'll find information regarding the top reasons why this can happen, along with exact steps to remedy this issue. 
Chihuahua dog in red towel
  • Learn about the best methods to house train a Chihuahua puppy. When you know the rules and how to enforce them, it's much easier to train your Chi quickly and effectively. 
Chihuahua Puppy Vaccinations - The typical schedule to expect, possible side effects.
My Chihuahua Eats Grass - Why this is so common, what can happen & how to fix.
Best Carry Bags for Chihuahuas - Cute bags, slings, strollers and other carry methods.

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