• Chihuahua - Short coat
  • Chihuahua - Long coat
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General description

Chihuahuas perfectly adapt to life in apartment and with the family. This breed has little tolerance for both cold and hot temperatures and it is not so friendly with other dogs. A Chihuahua is not particularly inclined to escape and has a generally good health. This type of dog displays average energy levels and no excess strength during playtime and daily activity. Caring for a Chihuahua means focusing on its health conditions, whilst the breed sits within the average as far as feeding and coat care expenses.

Chihuahua in short

Aspect and attributes

Characteristics accepts by FCI:

  • Colors: red, fawn, sesame, white, pinto, grey, grizzle, black, blue, yellowish, dark, light, pepper and salt, harlequin, apricot, silver, brown, liver, lemon, orange, charcoal, mouse, cream, chocolate, tan, cinnamon, seal, sable, gold, purple, ruddy, bronze, lilac, buckskin, sand
  • Hair: smooth, silky, short, long
  • Coats: double coated

Chihuahuas have a unique look. The size of this breed is small but linear. A Chihuahua's body and legs are well proportioned, and don't display excess muscularity or fat. The main peculiarity in a Chihuahua is the head which is regular in shape and round, featuring a muzzle that does not protrude.

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Costs and maintenance

**Maintenance costs for a Chihuahua are quite average. This type of dog doesn't consume large amounts of food and doesn't require special care of its coat, also thanks to the Chihuahua's favorable size. Owners should focus their attention on their Chihuahua's health conditions by having their dog checked by a vet on a regular basis so that any of the most common issues affecting this small breed can be assessed.

Maintenance cost within average

Characteristics Summary


Suitability to apartment life

As all very small dog breeds, the Chihuahua is an ideal candidate to live in apartment. This type of dog will easily adapt to any size of environment and won't require special care as far as its living space during day or night. In this respect, the Chihuahua is probably the best choice when there is no access to ample space or a home in the countryside. Nevertheless, this aspect should be given consideration when living in an apartment block as a Chihuahua may cause disruption within the neighborhood due to its tendency to be quite vocal under certain circumstances.

Maximum suitability for apartment life

Tolerance for solitude

No chance with a Chihuahua in this respect. A breed like the Chihuahua requires regular attentions and may display distress on its own developing an inclination to certain issues such as separation anxiety. Leaving your Chihuahua alone for too long will translate in releasing your pet from responsibilities that should instead be closely monitored as well as enabling it to develop inadequate behaviors at home or in the off-limits spaces within the house.

Very low tolerance for solitude

Suitable as first pet

As far as a Chihuahua's ability to adjust living with an inexperienced owner we can pretty much relax. Chihuahuas display no particular requirement during training and, once they are adequately taught their responsibilities they are capable of interacting with the owner in various contexts, especially in environments amongst other people who may not exactly be dog friendly.

Very suitable as first pet


The Chihuahua is a very brave breed that doesn't really behave submissively. So much courage in such a small dog is a feature not to be underestimated as it enables the Chihuahua to respond well in a high number of situations. Firstly, this trait can release the owner from behaving in a specific way without risking to affect the Chihuahua's temperament, and secondly it is a guarantee when interacting in fairly noisy environments, maybe even in the presence of very young kids.

Very tolerant temperament

Tolerance for cold temperatures

The level of tolerance to cold temperatures is absolutely below average in a Chihuahua. This type of dog displays unique physical features that are not suited for cold climates. This aspect should be thoroughly considered by Chihuahua owners who should assess when the daily walk is possible in a cold environment and when this should be avoided or organized with the requirement of adequate clothing for their pet.

Very low tolerance for cold temperatures

Tolerance for high temperatures

A Chihuahua's physical build doesn't help adjusting to overly hot temperatures. As many other breeds displaying similar features, the Chihuahua may struggle in excessively hot or humid environments due to the structure of its respiratory system. Too short to adequately cool down the air going into the lungs. This factor should always be taken into account by considerate owners during the warmest days of the year.

Low tolerance for high temperatures

Friendliness and sociability

Affection towards family

As a perfect pet companion, the Chihuahua is capable of developing a wonderful and affectionate bond with its family. This kind of relationship is consistent for the Chihuahua as it needs lots of attention and will do anything in order to spend the most amount of time with the owner and family members. A natural inclination that will bring a Chihuahua to follow its family even in the oddest places inside the house. This is where your pet will require a bit of discipline.

Absolute affection towards the family

Friendly towards children

Chihuahuas will also display this inclination to share their everyday life with children. This type of dog has a natural feeling of belonging and forms a special bond with kids. The ability to play with children should always be monitored by an adult who should focus on the Chihuahua's wellbeing as this breed is harmless but physically quite delicate and subject to potentially serious injuries.

Absolutely friendly with children

Relationship with strangers

The Chihuahua is quite a suspicious breed. This trait will show quite clearly when a Chihuahua finds itself greeting visitors at home or even outdoors when facing people that may be interacting with the owner. As with many other types of dog, the Chihuahua will also need actual exposure so that it can learn to socialize with other people starting as a puppy.

Low tolerance for strangers

Friendliness towards other dogs

The Chihuahua's weak social nature can be explained with the jealousy this breed can develop. Other dogs getting close to the owner may become an issue. A Chihuahua entering a family that already owns a dog or even accepting another pet's arrival may often be challenging for this breed. This trait can only be fixed through early exposure to other dogs in order to teach your Chihuahua how to behave around them.

Chihuahuas have a low level of socialization

Care and health

Coat care and shedding

Chihuahuas have a fairly short coat even in the long-haired variety, which is also quite weak. This will become a problem in the most delicate areas of the house and with garments that attract more hair. Caring owners should monitor these events and the bond with their pet will benefit from this as it will need regular grooming to avoid shedding excessively, especially during times of the year when hair loss becomes more obvious.

Quite pronounced moulting

Salivation and drooling restraint level

A Chihuahua will rarely drool in excess and only during certain specific times of the day. This breed is capable of containing excessive drooling quite well and with moderation even in exciting situations or right before a meal. Quite a substantial benefit that allows a Chihuahua to enjoy a peaceful lifestyle and the owner to happily share the home environment with the pet.

Dribbling restraint within average

Easiness to clean

There are few arrangements required to keep your Chihuahua clean as this breed has very little requirements in this respect. Nevertheless, some duties are essential to keep your pooch clean in those delicate areas that are more subject to dirt during certain moments of the day. Regular inspections of the mouth area after each meal and the tail following a walk should be guaranteed as well as, obviously checking the Chihuahua's fur on a daily basis in case it was in contact with other dogs.

Chihuahuas are very easy to keep clean

Health and diseases

There are various diseases that may affect your Chihuahua although, if closely and regularly monitored this breed tends to have a decent health state throughout its entire life. Various conditions that may include luxating patella, hypoglycemia, pulmonary stenosis and tremors. Some of these issues are connected to the Chihuahua growing older and can be avoided by simply having your pet regularly checked by a vet.

Health state just under average

Tendency to gain weight

The breed features unique physical traits that remain the same throughout a Chihuahua's whole life. Amongst these we can mention the linearity and lack of issues relating to excess fat. Nonetheless, this aspect should be monitored with care as due to the Chihuahua's typical homely nature and inclination to a fairly inactive lifestyle weight gain could occur due to lack of sufficient physical activity.

Chihuahuas have a moderate inclination to gain weight

Learning skills

Intelligence and training

Responsiveness in this type of dog is supported by a lively kind of intelligence. This is the main reason behind a Chihuahua's talent. The diversity within a homely lifestyle which includes daily interaction with the owner enables a Chihuahua to improve certain skills that are quite unique in the breed. Chihuahuas are generally polite and this is another trait that allows to asses the level of intelligence displayed during training.

High level of intelligence displayed during training

Loyalty and inclination to escape

The Chihuahua is not usually a dog breed inclined to leave the premises. This type of dog will be quick to adjust to life indoors with the owner and to the frequency of encounters with other people and pets without displaying any symptoms of an inclination to escape. A Chihuahua's loyalty is proven by the daily relationship it develops with the master which is as much a skill as a necessity that defines this breed as absolutely loyal. Nonetheless, best to train your pet to walk on-lead in certain contexts.

Loyalty and inclination to escape within average

Inclination to bite

A skill that places the Chihuahua within average compared to other dogs. The chances of a Chihuahua biting are linked to the level of interaction with other living beings and to the owner's skill in recognizing which behaviors require some adjusting. There are no issues in this regard because once your Chihuahua has learned how to interact in certain environments it will be capable of self-controlling an undesirable or inadequate behavior.

Self-control and tendency to nip within average

Hunt drive

Chihuahuas are usually not inclined to hunt preys. This is more a trait that is driven by the level of curiosity and unique liveliness of the breed. This drive in a Chihuahua should be contained when it displays too obviously, especially during puppyhood. It won't normally become an issue however your pooch may react inadequately in environments amongst other pets or people.

Average hunting drive

Inclination to bark or howl

Despite what some may think, Chihuahuas are capable of controlling their own inclination to bark or howl better than other unsuspected breeds. This inclination to become vocal is linked to the context and it is usually a skill that manifests inside the house when your Chihuahua is intrigued by a stranger or an animal wandering around its territory. Such a disposition can be adjusted with the right type of training.

Average disposition to bark or howl

Exercise requirements

Energy level

The energy levels in a Chihuahua are quite obvious by simply observing its fragile physical build. Don't expect anything extraordinary from a dog breed with these physical traits. In this respect, it is interesting to clarify how a Chihuahua's ability to create energy is connected to its adjustment within the household environment. Obviously, this aspect should not become an excuse to allow your pooch to entertain an overly inactive kind of life.

Energy levels within average


The strength of this breed is inevitably connected to its physical attributes. Nevertheless, some owners seem to underestimate the true skills of a dog simply based on its looks. This is not always the case and even a Chihuahua will sometime require special care in relation to the ability to engage in powerful activities, especially within the home environment where there maybe delicate ornaments or objects that may be a potential danger to your pooch's wellbeing.

Low level of strength

Exercise requirements

Perfectly within average as many other breeds similar in size. Owners will often think that their pets need to exercise simply because otherwise may gain weight. This is absolutely not the case. Regular daily activity can satisfy a variety of needs: in a Chihuahua, this can help exercise certain delicate areas such as the joints which can become more than a concern to an inactive pet. Despite this, Chihuahua owners can relax as this breed will easily keep fit.

Average need for exercise

Tendency to play

The benefit of owning a dog this size is that it will always find interaction on different levels rewarding. Many other dog breeds that are larger in size than a Chihuahua are unable to develop a calm and playful interaction in the house. This factor may force owners to travel, especially when the house is small and without a backyard. On the other hand, these kind of games will be possible with your Chihuahua even in cozier environments like a room of the house, without any particular issue.

Strong inclination to play

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