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55+ Facts About Chihuahuas That You May Not Know

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55 Facts About Chihuahuas That You May Not Know

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Chihuahuas are fascinating little dogs, aren’t they? I know I am totally in love with the breed.

So, I decided it would be fun to gather together 55 facts about these wonderful little pups. Many are from our weekly newsletter, but some aren’t.

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I’m sure many of you know some of them, but there may be some surprises for you. So, here are our favorite facts about Chihuahuas.

Check out our main post that showcases all our chihuahua facts articles!

1-You should never attach a leash to your Chihuahua’s collar because their little necks are fragile. Instead, get a harness to attach the leash on to.

2-Chihuahua noses can be different colors, including black, brown, gray, and pink. Sometimes they can be two tones too. (My Lucas has a dark brown and pink nose).

3-Completely white Chis are the rarest of all the colors.

4-Chihuahuas used to be larger than the now-standard 2 to 6 pounds. It is believed they were bred with the Chinese Crested to make them smaller.

5-Chihuahuas started becoming really popular as pets in the 1960s.

6-The average size of a Chihuahua litter is four pups.

7-The folks in the US first became aware of Chihuahuas when they found them in the Mexican state of Chihuahua around 1850. They soon became popular among the border states of Texas, Arizona, California, and New Mexico.

8-The Chihuahua Club of America was founded in 1923.

9-Remember the Taco Bell dog? Her real name was Gidget, and she was in hundreds of commercials (not all for Taco Bell). She lived till 2009 and died at the age of 15.

10-Ever wonder why there are long hair Chis and short hair ChisPapillons were bred with short hair Chis to make long hair Chis.

long haired Chihuahua and short hair Chihuahua

11-Chihuahua puppies are born with floppy ears. They start standing erect as they get older. If they aren’t up by six months of age, they probably aren’t going to go up.

12-Chis with floppy ears are not the standard in the breed, but they can still be purebred Chihuahuas and have ears that lay down instead of standing up.

13-Chihuahuas come in over 30 different varieties and colors! That’s a lot of variety!

14-The Aztecs believed the early ancestors of the Chihuahua had the power to take a disease from a human and transfer it to themselves as a way of protecting their owner. That myth is still alive and well today.

15-The ancient Aztecs also thought Chihuahuas could take away their sins.

16-Along with being called the Arizona dog, Chis were also called the Texas dog in their early days in the USA.

17-Chihuahuas are such a loyal dog that they have been actually known to die of a broken heart when their owners die. Now that’s loyalty!

18-Chihuahuas were used as hot packs in ancient times. Maybe that’s why they always want to be sitting on us.

19-Chihuahuas are considered a ”natural” dog because their coats are not sheared or clipped, and their tails and ears are not docked.

20-Believe it or not, most long hair Chis shed less than short hair Chis. Long coated Chihuahuas shed twice a year, and during that period, they can shed a lot, but if you keep them brushed, it shouldn’t get out of control. Short coated Chis shed all the time.

long hair tri color chi

21-A legend of an Aztec princess during the time the Aztecs ruled the Mexican states that she kept over a thousand tiny dogs (believed to be the ancestors of today’s Chihuahuas) and each dog had its own servant. After the dog died, the servant was killed so she could continue to serve the dog in death.

22-The dog species that originally made up the Chihuahua breed are often debated. One theory is that Fennec foxes helped to develop the breed. This is plausible. In 1980 a Fennec fox was successfully bred with a Chihuahua.

23-Though both apple-headed and deer-headed Chihuahuas are popular today, the CCA (Chihuahua Club of America) states that the standard of the breed is the Apple-headed Chi.

24- In over 100 years of the show’s history, a Chihuahua has never won Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Show.

25-The Chihuahua has the largest color combinations of any breed. Chihuahuas can come in just about any color combination. The color varieties are as big as you can imagine. Their hair also comes in longshort, or mid-coat. It can be wiry or silky and can be a single coat or double coat.

26-The Aztec Indians wiped out the Toltec nation during the 12th century but spared their dogs, which were called the Techichis. They admired the dogs because their “job” was to guide their owner’s soul to safety in the afterlife. They kept the dogs so they could help them reach the afterlife when they died. Unfortunately for the dogs, when an owner died, he was burned, and so was the dog.

27-Long haired Chihuahuas have their own lingo for their hair. Their tail hair is called the Plume. The hair on their legs is called Furnishings. And the hair falling from their ears is called Fringe.

28-Did you know that two short-haired (or the correct term is smooth coated), Chis can produce long-haired Chi puppies. Yep, they can. It has to do with the fact that all Chihuahuas have dominant and recessive genes, so there is a chance to produce both long and short haired Chis from parents who are both short haired ( or both long haired).

29-A Chihuahua’s resting heartbeat is between 100-140 heartbeats a minute. A human’s resting heart rate is between 60-100 beats a minute.

30-Despite their bravado, Chihuahuas are the smallest dog in the world.

31-Chihuahuas are the ultimate snob. They generally do not like other dogs, but if there are other Chihuahuas around, they will hang out with them and snub any other breed of dog nearby. I wonder if it’s because they are just more comfortable with dogs their own size.

32-Chihuahuas can range from 1 to 10 pounds. But the standard for the breed is between 2 to 6 pounds.

33-Chihuahuas are one of the most long-lived breeds out there. A Chihuahua lifespan averages between 12-15 years, but some have been known to live well over 20!

34-Chihuahuas are a descendant of the Techichi dog. The Techichi dog didn’t bark at all and was considered mute. Other breeds of dogs that are thought to make up a Chihuahuas descendants are the Perro ChihuahuenoMaltese Pocket Dog, the Papillon, and the Chinese Crested.

35-In the 1800’s it was rumored that Chihuahuas were actually a cross between a rodent and a dog!

36-Did you know Marilyn Monroe owned a Chihuahua? She did! But the details about this Chi are hard to find. No one seems to remember what gender it was or the name of the dog. Although a reader told me that she read that the dog’s name was Maf after hearing Frank Sinatra talk about the Mafia.

37-Other stars to own Chihuahuas are Reese Witherspoon, George Lopez, Rosie O’Donnell, Mickey Rourke, Madonna, Brian Littrell, Jennifer Lopez, Jamie Lee Curtis, Paula Abdul, Kimberly Stewart, Britney Spears, Sharon Osborne, Katherine McPhee, Anne Heche, Hillary Duff, Christina Rici, Alyssa Milano, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Paris Hilton.

38-Just like human babies, Chihuahua puppies have a soft spot on their heads called a Molera that usually closes up after a year. Sometimes they will have that soft spot all their life.

39-Considering their body size in relation to their brain size, Chihuahuas have very large brains.

40-It’s really easy to overfeed your Chihuahua, and they probably don’t need as much food as you are feeding them. Most Chihuahuas don’t need more than half a cup of food for the entire day.

Chihuahua with food

41-The largest recorded littler of puppies born to a Chihuahua was ten puppies. That’s a lot of pups for a Chi mama!

42-The Toltec and Aztec Indian tribes in Mexico considered Chihuahuas to be sacred. Unfortunately for the poor Chihuahuas, though, that meant they were sometimes used as sacrifices in religious ceremonies.

43-In 1904, a Chi named Midget was the first Chihuahua to be registered with the AKC. He was owned by H. Raynor of El Paso, Texas.

44-Despite being prone to chills and shivering due to being cold, many healthy adult Chihuahuas enjoy playing in the snow. This is okay as long as the Chihuahua only stays out about  20 minutes in above freezing temperatures and is kept on a leash or supervised in a safe, enclosed area.

45-Some says that Christopher Columbus believed this breed was mute when he first came across them. The facts are just a little bit different. Historians agree that he must have been surprised by his discovery of the Chihuahua, a dog never previously seen by the Europeans. However, he didn’t make a written record that the dogs were mute. He must have come across a Chi that was a bit shy, and he did make a note in his journal that the breed seemed rather quiet.

46-A A popular urban legend says that chihuahuas can cure asthma. (Not true, I still have asthma. Lucas, you aren’t doing your job!)

47-Chihuahuas first appeared in artwork 300 BC.

48-Chis should always be supervised when outside. Because of their small size, they have been known to be swooped up by eagles and hawks, attacked by wolvescoyotes, and even alligators.

49-There are many stories about unscrupulous ‘puppy’ sellers having sold rats to naive customers, passing them off as Chihuahua puppies. There is at least one documented case from Brazil in which a person paid $487 for a rat after being told it was a Chihuahua.

50-Since this breed is such a tiny dog, a miniature teacup Chihuahua is a redundant term. They are  ‘teacup’ sized’ though this terminology is a marketing term and not an official canine classification.

Mother Chi with puppy

51-Chihuahuas have more Cesarean sections than any other breed due to the newborns’ extremely large head in relation to their body and the narrow width of most Chi females.

52-Female Chis shed more than males. They shed even more if they have not been spayed because of the hormones. They will also shed more than normal after delivering pups.

53-There is some belief that Chihuahuas may have some roots in the Mediterranean and became established on the island of Malta. A small dog similar to a chihuahua lived there that had a Molera (soft spot on the head). Chis are the only breed with that trait.

54-Chihuahuas are the second most euthanized breed in shelters. Pitbulls are the first.

55-Chihuahuas can love everyone in their family, but they usually bond very strongly with one person.

Bonus Fun Chihuahua Facts

56- Did you know that there has been mention of an earlier version of the Chihuahua that is much larger than the Chihuahua we see today? It is said that this dog breed shrunk in size when it was crossed with a smaller hairless dog from Asia.

57- While they may have a tiny body, they have the biggest brain in the dog world. They are incredibly easy to train and are very smart. Some may argue that this dog breed borders on genius!

58- Tiny dogs are often considered to be the most aggressive toward humans and those not in their dog breed because some feel they are trying to compensate for their small size. For this reason, the dog owner is urged to socialize their Chihuahua early on with other people and animals.

59- We mentioned earlier how they were known in Texas and Arizona, but did you know that a feral pack of Chihuahuas actually took over and terrorized a town in Arizona back in 2014? More than 6000 calls by residents were made to animal control. The feral pack was blamed on the animals not being spayed and neutered which allowed them to run rampant and mate as they wanted.

60- The Chihuahua falls under the toy breed group and is classified as a lapdog companion according to the American Kennel Club.

Interested in a Chihuahua puppy for your family? We hope you were able to learn a bit more about this breed. They may be small but are fiercely loyal and make great watchdogs. They often prove to be affectionate housemates and are highly intelligent. Training is easy because they are such quick learners.

So, if you want a dog that you can form a close bond with that is loyal to you, then the Chihuahua is definitely the dog breed to consider adding to your family.

A Chihuahua is a Chihuahua no matter if they have long hair, a short coat, or are a different color. Go ahead and share your Chihuahua stories with us below in the comments!

Hope enjoyed all these Chihuahua facts. I enjoyed compiling them for you.

Here are a few related posts you might also like:

50 Interesting Facts About Dogs

History and Origins of Chihuahuas

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Lloyd

Sunday 7th of March 2021

I have a chihuahua also. He's pretty jumpy. Sometimes when he's excited he howls. It's a funny hi pitch. Sometimes he tries to squeeze behind me in the seat while I'm driving. I remember one time, he ate something that made him break out into little bubbles. Like someone randomly put those tiny packing bubbles under his skin. He used to be able to jump very high, but after he got neutered, he got chubby [He got over it within 6 hours.

Cathy

Sunday 7th of March 2021

He sounds like quite the character. Do you have any idea what he ate to make him have bubbly skin?

Richard L

Wednesday 6th of January 2021

Thanks for the interesting read. Just to let you know that my chi is a great boy. Picked him up at shelter when he was only 4 months old. Got an older female lab, and he followed her everywhere and learned to go outside to do his business from her. Only had two small accidents in the beginning. And I take him out around 9 to go before he climbs into bed with me, and usually makes it til 8 or 9 in the morning before he wakes up and is ready to go out again. Thought there would be a problem early on,but he is well adjusted and no potty problem whatsoever.

Richard L

Friday 8th of January 2021

@Cathy, He's the best. I have two wonderful fur babies that I am thankful for. And having an adult dog around really makes it easier to train little ones.

Cathy

Wednesday 6th of January 2021

You are really lucky Richard! He sounds like a wonderful little guy.

Gloria Blair

Thursday 31st of December 2020

I have a chihuahua name CeCa she has been in my family for 7 years old,one day she got up and would not have anything to do with me she is scared of me I have never hurt her anyway what can I do to make her love me again

Cathy

Thursday 31st of December 2020

That is so weird. I wonder if she had a nightmare about you and didn't realize it was a dream. The only thing I can think of is just continue to be sweet and gentle to her but don't try to force her to come to you. Hopefully she will come around.

Vicky

Saturday 19th of December 2020

Per some elderly people my father grew up around they said if we got a chihuahua it would cure my brothers asthma and allergies. My dad got our first chihuahua. My brother was not sick again with his asthma or allergies until he left home. I'm a believer.

Cathy

Monday 21st of December 2020

Dang, I wish it would work for me! I still have asthma and allergies.

Roxy

Wednesday 16th of December 2020

thank you for these interesting facts! when it comes to size, I have to say that my Hector gets along much much better with bigger or even big dogs, rather than small ones. He's very dominant, with small dogs, even fellow chihuahuas, he always tries to dominate them, he makes himself big by sticking out his ches and standing very erect, growls and lets them know who's the boss :-) he has a lot more respect for bigger dogs. he also prefers the big ladies, especially labradors and golden retrievers.

Cathy

Wednesday 16th of December 2020

That's really interesting Roxy!