Chihuahua information

Chihuahua basics

Where are Chihuahuas from?

The Chihuahua has been around for centuries. There are Aztec carvings of the “Techichi” breed that look just like the modern Chihuahua. Dog historians have theorized that the modern Chihuahua is a result of cross-breeding small, hairless dogs from the Toltec Mexican tribe and the Aztec Techichi breed. Some others hypothesize that early versions of this breed came to the Americas with the Spanish in the 16th century, or even earlier from China.

How many types of Chihuahuas are there?

There are two types: long-coated and smooth-coated Chihuahuas.

Which breeds mix with Chihuahuas?

  • Pomchi (Pomeranian + Chihuahua)

  • Corgchi (Corgi + Chihuahua)

  • Chug (Chihuahua + Pug)

  • Cheagle (Chihuahua + Beagle)

Chihuahua appearance

Chihuahua size (height & weight)

Chihuahuas are extremely small, weighing 2-7 lbs and reaching 6-9 inches high.

What colors do Chihuahuas come in?

Chihuahuas come in a wide variety of colors, both solid and merle, among them fawn, white, black, red, and chocolate.

How much do Chihuahuas shed?

Chihuahuas shed less than other toy varieties. Their shedding is moderate overall, but nothing that a regular brushing can’t soothe!

Do you need to groom a Chihuahua?

Like with any small breed, their small jaws make for weaker teeth. Regular teeth cleaning is essential for Chihuahuas. Their coat doesn’t take much grooming, even the long-haired varieties just need the occasional brushing.

Chihuahua temperament

How much do Chihuahuas bark?

Chihuahuas are territorial dogs, and usually only accept strangers once they’ve been proven acceptable by their owners. Like most dogs, they have a tendency to bark at loud noises and intruders. However, they can be discouraged from excessive barking with proper training and exercise.

Are Chihuahuas good with kids?

Chihuahuas are devoted, energetic dogs, but they are also more fragile than their confidence belies. They can get along with children but children must be taught to be very gentle with them because their tiny bodies are susceptible to injury.

As with any breed, it is recommended that your child is always supervised when interacting with your Chihuahua to keep both the child and dog safe.

Are Chihuahuas good family dogs?

Chihuahuas are lap dogs by nature, and often more loyal to one family member than all. They don’t require much exercise, and are therefore suitable pets for small apartments and urban living.

Are Chihuahuas good with cats?

Chihuahuas are energetic and confident with people and other dogs, though you’ll likely notice that they will generally ignore a cat. As always, it’s best when the dog is introduced to the cat at a young age and socialized properly.

Are Chihuahuas easy to train?

Chihuahuas may give off a self-important ‘tude, but these lil’ creatures are highly intelligent and very responsive to training, especially when given at an early age!

Chihuahua health

Despite their diminutive size, Chihuahuas have a fairly sturdy construction, and are subject to relatively few major health problems — certainly fewer than may afflict other dog breeds.

What diseases are Chihuahuas prone to?

  • Eye problems: The Chihuahua’s large, protruding eyes make them prone to eye injuries including; scratched corneas, proptosis, displacement of the eyeball out of the socket; corneal ulcers; and dry eye.

  • Legg-Calve-Perthes: This is a condition that causes the head of the femur (located in a dog’s hind leg) to spontaneously degenerate. Over time, this will lead to erosion of the hip joint and arthritis. A Chihuahua suffering from Legg-Calve-Perthes will become lame, limps while walking, and experiences pain when moving the hip joint. Surgery is the most effective treatment for the disorder.

  • Patellar luxation: Also known as slipped kneecaps, patellar luxation is a common problem in many dog breeds. It occurs when slight abnormalities cause the knee joint to slide in and out of place. This can cause pain and occasional lameness. Surgical treatment is available for severe cases although many dogs lead normal lives without treatment.

  • Portosystemic Liver Shunt: Portosystemic shunt (PSS) is a hereditary issue that obstructs proper blood flow to the liver. Since the liver is responsible for detoxifying the body, PSS sends the toxins in unfiltered blood to the heart, brain and other body parts. Signs can include, but are not limited to, behavioral changes, loss of appetite, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), jaundice, urinary tract problems, vision problems, and stunted growth. PSS can be life-threatening if not treated early. Antibiotics, and diet changes can help in the short term, but surgery is the only permanent treatment for the problem.

  • Open Fontanel: Much like human babies, Chihuahua are born with a soft spot on the top of their head. In most puppies the soft spot will close as he matures, but sometimes the skull does not form properly and the spot does not close fully. This leaves a vulnerable spot on the dog’s head into adulthood. Chihuahua’s with open fontanel’s can lead normal lives, but extra care should be taken as an accidental blow to that spot could result in death.

  • Pulmonic Stenosis: This heart defect occurs when a malformation of the pulmonic valve (the structure that connects the pulmonary artery to the right ventricle) prevents blood from flowing properly through the heart. The poor blood flow may create an obstruction and making the heart work harder. Often times this causes the heart to become enlarged and leads to heart failure.

  • Others: Hypothyroidism, a thyroid malfunction that results in low hormone production and could cause obesity, low energy, and a brittle coat; tracheal collapse, where the trachea (or windpipe) flattens and makes it difficult for air to enter the lungs properly; hypoglycemia, a treatable but potentially fatal disease that causes low blood sugar; mitral valve disease, a condition where the valve directing blood from the left atrium to the left ventricle begins to fail and eventually leads to heart failure; and periodontal disease also affect Chihuahuas. Special attention should be made to grooming their teeth, ears, and eyes to avoid some of these issues. Also, because of their domed skulls, Chihuahuas are at a high risk of epilepsy.

Adopting a Chihuahua

How much does a Chihuahua cost?

You can adopt a Chihuahua at a much lower cost than buying one from a breeder. The cost to adopt a Chihuahua is around $300 in order to cover the expenses of caring for the dog before adoption. In contrast, buying a Chihuahua from breeders can be prohibitively expensive. Depending on their breeding, they usually cost anywhere from $500-$1,500.