Dog Breed


Fits in your backpackConfidence KingLong-lived
Primary image of Chihuahua dog breed
Full Name
Alternate Names
Arizona dog, Texas dog
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Life Span
14 - 16 years
4 - 6 pounds

The Chihuahua dog is the smallest dog breed and a pure proof that size doesn't matter, when it comes to confidence and personality. The chihuahua's size does not stop them for being loud, confident and territorial. They quickly become attached to their family, and even jealous! What else can you expect from this small dog which is intelligent, fast at adapting, and so confident to to it off.

These dogs are the national symbol of Mexico and are one of the oldest North American dog breeds. They are known for their round head, erect ears and shining eyes. They are actually good guard dogs because they have a penetrating bark that they often use. Therefore, they are oftentimes preferred by older owners, as their quick bark can immediately bring attention to anyone at the front door or in the yard.

Chihuahuas do not do very well in cold weather, and oftentimes need a sweater if it gets too cold. However, they are great in hot weather, and are one of the longest lived dog breeds.

Bred For
Helpinh herd animals such as goats and sheep
    Family Considerations
    Child Friendly

    Is the Chihuahua good with children?

    Unfortunately, the Chihuahua is not automatically well suited with children and we would not recommend for homes with very small children unless early socialization with children is taken seriously.
    Stranger Friendly

    Is the Chihuahua friendly with strangers?

    The Chihuahua is not automatically friendly with strangers and we would not recommend for a living situation with frequent guests.
    Dog Friendly

    Is the Chihuahua friendly with other dogs?

    The Chihuahua is not naturally friendly with other dogs. There are always exceptions, but we would not recommend them for homes with other dogs, or if you intend on going to dog parks.
    Likes to Cuddle

    Does the Chihuahua like to cuddle?

    The Chihuahua likes to cuddle up every once in a while. They appreciate physical affection, but probably won't stay in your lap for extended amounts of time.

    Does the Chihuahua like to play?

    The Chihuahua is playful both as a puppy and as an adult dog. As they get older they may appreciate their alone time, and may not be in the mood for constant play, but certainly will have plenty of time for play as well.
    Service Dog Ability

    Does the Chihuahua make a good service dog?

    Historically, the Chihuahua has never been used as a service dog and really would not be a good fit.
    Overall Ease of Breed
    Ease for Novice

    Is the Chihuahua good for first-time owners?

    The Chihuahua is a good breed for first-time owners. A good fit for first-time owners are friendly breeds that are motivated to please their owner. This means they can be trained, and are rarely aggressive and overpowering.
    Training Potential

    How well can the Chihuahua be trained?

    The Chihuahua is about average when it comes to training potential. The Chihuahua can be seen in competitions and can have advanced training, but it would require much dedication and oftentimes professional training.
    Amount of Shedding

    Does the Chihuahua shed a lot?

    No! The Chihuahua does not shed very much, and can be an excellent fit for someone who suffers from dog allergies.
    Ease of Grooming

    Is the Chihuahua easy to groom?

    The Chihuahua requires very little grooming relative to other dog breeds, their coat is very low maintenance.
    Exercise Need

    Does the Chihuahua need a lot of exercise?

    The Chihuahua is a bit of a couch potato and although some exercise is still healthy, they need very little exercise relative to other dog breeds.

    How smart is the Chihuahua?

    The Chihuahua has average intelligence. They are smart and witty, but do not need to be constantly challenged mentally, as some other breeds.
    Amount of Barking

    How much does the Chihuahua bark? Does the Chihuahua bark too much?

    The Chihuahua barks all the time. They are big talkers, and want to show it! In general, barking and being expressive can be beneficial, such as for guarding property or livestock. But it is important to consider whether heavy barking suites your lifestyle.
    Guard Dog Ability

    Is the Chihuahua a good guard dog?

    The Chihuahua is not typically used as a guard dog, although they can be alert and oftentimes notify you if there is a stranger at the door or otherwise something to be concerned over.
    Tolerates Being Alone

    Is the Chihuahua good at staying alone? Is the Chihuahua independent?

    The Chihuahua is very independent, and an excellent choice for someone who will not have the time to always be with their dog. This can be beneficial for a working dog on the farm, or even just a family that works the 9-5 and cannot work from home.
    Home and Environment Considerations
    Good for Apartment Living

    Is the Chihuahua a good apartment dog?

    The Chihuahua is an excellent dog breed for an apartment. Some daily exercise is still important, but if they get that then the apartment will be more than enough for them to call home.

    How big is the Chihuahua?

    The Chihuahua is one of the smallest dog breeds- suited well for apartment living and very convenient for travel.
    Tolerates Heat

    How much does the Chihuahua tolerate hot weather? When is it too hot for a Chihuahua?

    The Chihuahua can do very well in hot weather. Owners should still be aware of over-heating as this is one of the most common reasons for dogs going into the emergency room, but overall the Chihuahua can do well in hot climates.
    Tolerates Cold

    How much does the Chihuahua tolerate cold weather? When is it too cold for a Chihuahua?

    The Chihuahua does not tolerate cold weather at all, and we would not recommend having a Chihuahua if you live in a cold weather climate.
    Potential to Run Away

    Does the Chihuahua try to run away?

    The Chihuahua is very unlikely to run away. Of course, precautions should always be taken, and every dog is unique, but with a Chihuahua it is very likely they will naturally follow you, even when they are off-leash.
    Physical Characteristics
    General Health

    Is the Chihuahua a healthy dog? The health of a Chihuahua should be measured not just by how many years they live, but also by how many health issues they've had. It is important to know which health conditions your breed is prone to- hip problems, eye problems, bloating, and arthritis are all common dog health problems.

    The Chihuahua is very healthy, but it is still important to feed the Chihuahua high-quality food and to live a healthy lifestyle.
    Energy Level

    How energetic is the Chihuahua?

    The Chihuahua has a lot of energy and this needs to be considered before bringing the Chihuahua into your home. Can you give your Chihuahua enough exercise? They will need several small daily walks, or a large dog park trip to get all of the energy out.
    Amount of Drooling

    How much does the Chihuahua drool?

    The Chihuahua does not drool at all.
    Prey Drive

    Does the Chihuahua have a large prey drive? Does the Chihuahua like to chase birds, cats, and other small animals?

    The Chihuahua does not have a large prey drive towards birds or even cats, and can typically do very well living in the same home as them.

    Is the Chihuahua atheltic?

    The Chihuahua can have athletic moments, and bursts of speed, but does not have the endurance as other highly athletic dog breeds. They would do great for occasional jogs, but probably not the best for long-distance runs or anything more athletic than that.

Breed Variations

  1. Toy
  2. Toy Terrier
  3. Chihuahua
The Chihuahua is a purebred dog that belongs to the Toy Terrier sub group, which falls under the larger Toy dog breed group.
Toy group: Toy dogs are primarily characterized by their very small size. But don't let that fool you- if anything their personality and tenacity is higher than the average dog. In fact, even their protective instincts are above average! In fact, because of that it is crucial they get socialization with children and other dogs from an early age. Perhaps out of all dog groups, the toy dog group is the most difficult to put sub-groups into, since the sub groups also include larger dogs, and fall under other groupings. For example, the Pomeranian is a Toy Spitz dog, but there are also large Spitz dogs such as the Samoyed. Because the toy dog is both small and primarily bred for home companionship, they make excellent additions for a wide range of families. There are also practical benefits with toy dogs- they are great for apartment living, and traveling. Toy dogs are also loyal and love to cuddle, making them the ideal lap dog.
Toy Terrier sub-group: Expect craziness and cuteness all in one. The toy terrier is a toy dog that is very small, perfect for your lap, and will provide endless amounts of love. But at the same time, at their core they are a terrier- with a big personality and plenty of confidence that exceeds their size a hundred times over. They are very alert, so can even serve as a bit of a watchdog- certainly compared to other toy dogs. They were bred to hunt vermin, so they like when they have a job, and they have more energy than the average toy dog. Because of their proud personality, they may not be immediately friendly with strangers or other dogs.

Chihuahuas for adoption

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