Chihuahua

Toy Group

Three Chihuahuas in front of a white background

Height at Shoulders

5-8 in

Weight

<6 lbs

Life Expectancy

14-16 yrs

History

The Chihuahua is such an old breed that its origin story is a bit murky. Historians agree that Chihuahuas originated in Mexico and are most likely descendents of the Techichi, a popular companion breed in the Toltec civilization. The Techichi can be dated back to at least the 9th century, but it is possible that drawings on pottery from Colimo dated back to 300 BCE may depict the breed. It is believed that once the Aztecs conquered the Toltecs during the 12th century, the Techichi was bred down to create the smaller Chihuahua. When the Spanish conquistadors conquered the Aztecs in the 16th century, Chihuahuas became more rare, mostly existing in small, remote villages. When the breed gained popularity in other countries during the 19th century, it earned its name after many of the dogs were found in the State of Chihuahua. The Chihuahua is the smallest breed of dog in the world.

Breed Characteristics

While not all Chihuahuas will display the exact characteristics typical of the breed, most share a personality and temperament can be generalized by the characteristic rankings below. 

Intelligence

Affection Towards Family

Friendliness Towards Strangers

Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

Exercise Needs

★★★★★

★★★★☆

★★☆☆☆

★★☆☆☆

★★★☆☆

Energy Level

Sensitivity

Noise Level

Prey Drive

Shedding

★☆☆

★★★★★

★☆

★☆

★☆☆

Intelligence

★★★★★


Affection Towards Family

★★★★☆


Friendliness Towards Strangers

★★☆☆☆


Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

★★☆☆☆


Exercise Needs

★★★☆☆


Energy Level

★☆☆


Sensitivity

★★★★★


Noise Level

★☆


Prey Drive

★☆


Shedding

★☆☆

Common Traits

Very people-oriented and affectionate, but are known to bond especially hard to one person

Wary of strangers and make great watchdogs

Prone to shivering if they are cold, excited, or scared

Can be stubborn and willful, but are easy to train if you convince them it's their idea

Sassy and have a "big dog personality" which can get them in trouble if they act tough to bigger dogs