|Size:||Small, 15cm – 22cm|
|Coat:||Chihuahuas can be smooth-coated or long-coated. Both types require grooming at least once a week.|
|Exercise:||Adult dogs need up to 30 minutes a day. Soft wide collars should be used as Chihuahuas can have fragile windpipes.|
|Life span:||Usually 12+ years, although they can live as long as 20.|
|Breed group:||Originally bred to amuse their owners and look beautiful, Toy dogs are usually small, attractive and extremely faithful, making them charming, loyal companions.|
Chihuahuas thrive on attention and make good pets for first-time owners.
A Chihuahua’s personality can range from feisty and outgoing to shy and timid. Even though they are the smallest dog breed, they are intelligent and fiercely loyal to the people they love.
Often labelled as ‘a big dog in a small dog’s body’, a Chihuahua’s protective tendencies mean that they may try to ward off larger dogs or people they don’t know. But their bark is quite literally worse than their bite, and they’re generally fun-loving and enjoyable companions.
To help encourage their growth, Chihuahua puppies should be kept on a consistent feeding routine, with three meals spaced out evenly throughout the day until they’re 12 months old.
Due to their small size, an adult Chihuahua’s weight can easily creep up. Vets recommend feeding fully-grown Chihuahuas a high-quality pet food twice daily, using the information on their food packaging to determine portion sizes and making sure to consider their age, size, and daily activity. Vets also advise keeping food rewards and treats to a minimum.
Chihuahuas may be small, but they have plenty of energy and need at least 30 minutes of daily exercise. Stick to short bursts of play until about three months old to help your growing Chihuahua puppy build up endurance, and ensure their growing bones and joints aren’t overexerted. You can introduce walks to your pet’s routine from about four months old, and experts recommend using a harness to avoid any damage to their delicate spine and windpipe. Chihuahuas also benefit from mental stimulation – indoor games, such as hide and seek, are often a hit.
Chihuahua training can begin from around four months old, and will help your pet grow into a well-rounded, social dog. Clever and independent, this breed can prefer to take things at their own pace, but give them time and be patient and they’ll soon respond to commands and even tricks. Use our puppy training tips as a guide to help lay the foundations for good behaviour.
Chihuahuas will happily accompany their owners anywhere, and dislike being left alone. If you’ll be away for more than two or three hours, arrange for someone to check in on your pet and make sure to leave a few favourite dog toys to help keep them occupied and burn off energy.
Both long-haired and short-haired coats are common in this breed, and each type needs to be brushed at least once a week. There’s no need to bathe your Chihuahua more than once a month, and you can wait even longer between cleaning sessions if your pet mostly stays indoors.
Chihuahua grooming should include checking their skin for any lumps or signs of parasites. Take the opportunity to also check your pet’s eyes for redness or any discharge, and inspect their ears for signs of infection such as a strange smell or black or brown wax. Find out more dog health tips to help your pet stay in the best condition.