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This article also relates to: Chihuahua (Long Coat) and Chihuahua (Smooth 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, with proportioned limbs and are common in a variation of colours, from chocolate brown to 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, 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 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.

Because no breed is without its weakness...

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

20th Aug 2013
Ina Gorvett
  • VioVet Customer Since: May 2013
  • From: Bedfordshire, 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.

5th Nov 2013
Teresa Whitehurst
  • VioVet Customer Since: November 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

16th Nov 2014
Shelagh Staines
  • VioVet Customer Since: September 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.

22nd Feb 2015
Doreen Burrows
  • VioVet Customer Since: November 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.

20th Jul 2016
Helen Angel
  • VioVet Customer Since: June 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

19th Mar 2017
Julie Melvin
  • VioVet Customer Since: March 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.

11th Aug 2017
Julie Kelly
  • VioVet Customer Since: August 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.

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