This article also relates to: Chihuahua (Smooth Coat) and Chihuahua (Long Coat)

The Chihuahua originates from...

Unlike most other canine breeds whose ancestry is known, the history of the Chihuahua remains a mystery. Popular speculation attributes the Chihuahua to Mexico, where uncovered ancient figurines offer an insight into the evolution of the breed, whilst suggesting they were selectively bred as a companion dog in the Toltec civilisation. The Chihuahua is also mentioned in early colonial records, which refer to miniature, partially hairless dogs at the beginning of the 19th century.

The Chihuahua is characterised by...

There are two common breeds of Chihuahua: the Smooth Coat and the Long Coat. Both types are well defined and are common in a variety of colours, from chocolate brown and fawn, to mottled white and black. The Chihuahua has a short snout and a relatively long tail in relation to its overall size. Perhaps the most characteristic feature of the Chihuahua is in fact, its size, with the breed measuring an average of 15cm tall.

The average Chihuahua...

Despite its reduced size, the Chihuahua is a notoriously protective and feisty breed, content to exercise in small outdoor areas such as back gardens, and is companionable with other animals. With a characteristically loud bark, the Chihuahua will make itself heard in order to gain its owner's attentions. Susceptible to over-feeding, the breed's healthy, average weight is between 1.8-2.7 kg. When shown appropriate care, the Chihuahua has a life expectancy of up to 15 years.


Whilst minimal care requirements exist with this breed, the Chihuahua is susceptible to a number of health complaints; anything from genetic neurological disorders, to hypoglycemia and various weight-dependent illnesses. Notably, the Chihuahua is the only canine breed to be born with an incomplete skull, in the same way that human babies are. This is not a defect, however exaggerated care needs to be ensured in the first six months of life in order to prevent injury to the un-formed membrane. Chihuahuas can also suffer from a myriad of weight-related complaints, including dental disease, hypoglycemia, joint deterioration and chronic bronchitis. Feeding a Chihuahua human food is not encouraged, as the breed's reduced size means that even the smallest amount of fat can lead to weight gain.

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Our Chihuahua owners' thoughts

Added on 20/08/2013
Joined 29/05/2013
From Aberdeenshire, United Kingdom

I have two Chihuahua crosses who are completely different is looks, size and temperament.
Alfie is a Chihuahua cross with a miniature long haired Dachshund that needs grooming most days. He weighs 8.6lbs (3.9kg). He is highly strung with a nervous disposition which may be genetic but more likely due to being a rescue dog. He is very fast when he gets excited and has caught several mice! As with most Chihuahuas he is noisy and protective with the added bit of him that is Dachshund trying to be domineering. He is a lovely lad but needs a firm pack leader to keep him in his place.
Peppa is also a Chihuahua cross but with what we do not know as she is a rescue dog, some suggestions have been; a Yorkie, cairn terrier, jack russell. She has lovely soft fur that needs grooming every day, a bit like shih tzu puppy fur. She weighs 5.2lbs (2.4kg). She is a hunter through and through who thinks nothing of falling in water and getting dirty! She is laid back, friendly, obedient and loves attention, but like Alfie she is very noisy.
Both my dogs need lots of exercise and play time, so long walks and lots of toys plus a garden with lots of different areas for them to explore.
I do not think they would be good for an elderly person or young family to keep. We are an all adult family who treat both dogs with the same commands, and respect and treat them as dogs who need to know their place in our pack, to be happy and content.

Added on 05/11/2013
Joined 02/11/2013
From Staffordshire, United Kingdom

I have 3 chihuahuas 2 long hair 1 short hair all boys who love and look after each other they play lots sleep lots and are very protective with us and each other all 3 have different ways not the same in anyway they soon let us know if someone is coming they are very good watch dogs. We love them to bits they are our world there's nothing nicer than having lots of cuddles and yes kisses with them. They are so funny at times watching them play and the things they get up to. Sadly we have just recently found out 1 has started with epilepsy at the age of 5 years but this doesn't stop him too much and our other 2 are like little mothers to him and keep checking if he's ok on a bad day and wow be tide any other dog if they think he's weak they are straight by his side Bless Them

Added on 16/11/2014
Joined 08/09/2011
From Hertfordshire, United Kingdom

Down sized from a Golden Labrador , found the transgression hard at first as knew nothing about Chihuahuas . Very fussy eaters ,with delegate tums, after a dog that would eat anything and every thing. Very loving ,they adore cuddles but can be very possessive at times. As a eldery owner I fined them just right ,though they love walking , can tolerate a small amount of exercise. Would have another with no hesitation.

Added on 22/02/2015
Joined 16/11/2009
From Lincolnshire, United Kingdom

Annie is a Chihuahua cross at the moment she is a bundle of trouble, but all puppies are, she is a loving little bundle,bursting with energy.

Added on 20/07/2016
Joined 07/06/2011
From Hertfordshire, United Kingdom

I have 7 Chihuahuas you cant just have one . my oldest is 15 my youngest 10 months . they are all are so different but every one is affectionate loving and so funny they are very clever dogs and can be taught tricks very easy . they are not just yappy lap dogs like so many people think they are amazing little dogs and I love mine with all my heart

Added on 19/03/2017
Joined 19/03/2017
From West Dunbartonshire, United Kingdom

We decided to change to a smaller breed - previously had a grey hound. We have a short haired 8mth pup. Clover is a lovely little dog. Not too much barking - though let's us know if someone is at the door! Very affectionate little dog who loves to play or cuddle up close. Our cat Sam loves her and our 9 year old daughter adores her - great with kids. A little stubborn - grinds to a hault if she doesn't want to go in the same direction when walking - thankfully easy to lift. Clover loves being off the lead - though we now need to watch for big dogs. It's really important to get them out to socialise with other dogs so they aren't scared.

Added on 11/08/2017
Joined 11/08/2017
From United Kingdom

We have never owned such a lovely clever girl like Ria. She is a lovely little thing but a Rottweiler in disguise. She is very protective of her garden and car but will be quick to bring you a toy if you visit us. Because she is so pretty other people are too full on and she can snap, so we have to warn people. She has also had some health issues insurance is a must with such a little lass. I would not recommend a Chihuahua with children they are not toys to be dressed up or pulled about, but if you want a lap dog who gives off so much love you can't go wrong. Like all dogs raise it properly and you have a friend for life.

Added on 01/09/2019
Joined 01/09/2013
From Durham, United Kingdom

I have a rescued Chihuahua cross. I haven’t a clue what she’s crossed with as she’s 10” tall, floppy ears, long haired & ginger type colour, but she’s definitely got the Chihuahua breed in her 😁. When I got her 3ys ago at the age of about 4, she’d never been in a house so not house trained, never been on a lead or socialised or anything 😞 she was hard work at first but she’s now great & I love her to bits 🐕😍. The only thing I can’t get her out of is when on walks she turns into a Rottie - really lunging, barking & snarling at any other dogs no matter what their size or breed, & if they come anywhere near her & don’t catch her in time she really ‘goes’ for them 😡. I have tried everything I can think of to stop her doing this but without success 😞 any ides would be very grateful 😀, or would another Chihuahua make a good companion for her ??. Overall she’s great & I wouldn’t part with her for the world, I love 💕 her to bits. Xx

Added on 18/10/2019
Joined 18/10/2019
From Hampshire, United Kingdom

I bought my boy a year ago when he was 5 and retired from showing , he came to me having no command or social skills don’t think he had ever been let to run free so he was a challenge at first , he’s intelligent and affectionate, now he has command skills and has come on leaps and bounds socially he is an absolute joy , he loves to run , will walk miles , people walk past smiling at him , he’s my lad

Added on 04/02/2020
Joined 14/09/2016
From Lancashire, United Kingdom

I have a long legged tall lean long haired male chi.. He's so sweet and laid back..i also have a tiny female who's like a Lil dumpling lol.. She's a proper diva and deffo rules my male chi.. There complete opposites.. Iv always been a rottweiler owner my Lil girl talked me into a chi when I lost my big boy.. I'm glad I rescued both my chi's there quality Lil dogs.. They sleep 1/2 the day then night time becomes there mad Ed time.. Zoomies.. Play.. Fighting.. I wouldn't swap either of them for the world.. Oh n there both very very vocal lol I'm glad my neighbours love them.. People constantly say chi's are hard to toilette train.. Well there not.. I live in a flat and they were both fully outside trained in 12 weeks.. They never have accidents.. Fab Lil dogs :)

Added on 04/04/2020
Joined 31/03/2020
From Bedfordshire, United Kingdom

I have 4 chihuahuas, aged 8, 4, 3 and a new puppy. Our family always had large breeds, German shepherds, pointers and my first own breed was a lab. I got a chihuahua and.. well now I have 4! Speaks for itself really. Hilarious, quirky, fully of personality, affectionate, headstrong, hardy, faithful little bundles of love. Though they tolerate other breeds, it's just that, tolerate, there is an unspoken club for chihuahuas where they instantly love their own. They seem to love one person in particular, and like the rest of the family, in my experience. Not to be mistaken for a handbag toy, these hardly little beauties have done many a hike with me and still had lots of energy left by the end of it (far surpassing mine!)
Would not reccomend for a house with kids, where you dont want to be alerted when the wind blows, where you're out for long periods, or like to have your own personal space. That's a definate no no when you have a chi!

Added on 02/07/2020
Joined 23/08/2012
From United Kingdom

I adore chihuahuas. I have looked after a few over the years and I admit one has to be disciplined with a chi as they are no different from large dogs..... they are full of love and my Zuzu is the most friendly dog ever, having mixed with other dogs from the moment I brought her home.....

Added on 15/06/2021
Joined 15/06/2021
From Stirlingshire, United Kingdom

I have 2 smooth coat girls, mother and daughter, and just the spitting image of each other down to the pink mark on their noses. Previously have owned 6 at one time and a great wee pack, knew who was boss, ME, and efinately listen, like everyone else, noisy when the see someone due to the protective/possessive streak but also because they want to be noticed. A neighbour described them as the rottweilers of our street, as a joke be abuse he thinks they are funny. Another person said they were 12 foot Irish wolfhound in their heads, so true, so true. So very loving and nothing beats cuddling with them. I'm noticing more about them every day but mostly due to losing my boy to heart failure earlier this year, you need to recognise all the noises they make and figure out the ones that aren't usual. I love my chi's, and I would have loads of them.