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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

Tips for Dealing with Fleas on Dogs
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Lisa

Saturday 10th of August 2019

Hi Cathy I really enjoyed reading the facts. I love my little Scooter so much. He’s white with some brown markings. And he is deaf. A lot of white dogs/animals in general who are white are deaf. It has to do with the pigment in their skin, or something like that. Anyway thanks for the newsletter. Lisa & Scooter

teresa coulter

Sunday 15th of December 2019

i wish I could get one of dwarf chiuluia I can teach dog of sign language I am deaf so I need one of those it hard for me to find one easy for help I did to my dog one I teach my dog she is hearing and do good learn fast for stuff and ask me go potty I say oi same as cookies or something I say sit etc she did know what cookiws is what like treat bones or stuff lol I say come with me bed she come to me and watch me like if happen of my health

Cathy

Saturday 10th of August 2019

Your'e welcome Lisa!

Dixie Greschuk

Friday 9th of August 2019

Cathy, what is moderation? It says my post is awaiting moderation, lol

Dixie Greschuk

Friday 9th of August 2019

I am sending giant congrats to our unbelievably beautiful CHI OF THE WEEK, Pudding. What a sweat puppy she is! I know her owner is very proud of her. Lucas is his usual handsome self, love him!!! My dogs would not use the car seats. I think we introduced them to the seats too late in their life. Should have done that while they were puppies. Thanks to Cathy for all the great information!!

Cathy

Friday 9th of August 2019

Pudding really is unbelievably beautiful Dixie. My site hold comments in moderation until I approve them because of spammers trying to add junky comments. But you've been a long time commenter and it shouldn't be holding yours in moderation.

Tuesday 6th of August 2019

I enjoyed your article on Apple heads v. Deer heads and wanted to send you some pictures and now I seem unable to get back to that link. Anyway my current Chihuahua is a male called Mr. BB because after I got him at eight weeks he began eating a lot and became a big boy - at a mature weight of ten pounds. I believe he’s a Apple head but not sure. He could be a Deer head with broken ears. Picture attached.

I also had another Chi named Bella Nina who died at seven from Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis. I believe she was a Deer head. Attached is picture of her with my Rat Terrier, Queenie. Please confirm whether Mr. BB and Nina are Deerheads. Thanks in advance. Also attached is a picture of another one of my Rat Terriers, Minnie, who I think must have a lot of Chihuahua in her. She is eight pounds and I think has a beautiful Deer head face. Great personality.

Cathy

Tuesday 6th of August 2019

I did get your photos and will answer your questions just as soon as I get a few spare minutes.

Krista

Monday 4th of March 2019

Many of your origin facts are incorrect, although common. I suggest confirming facts with some Aztecs, they actually do know the breeds history and origin better than settlers (regardless of how “expert” they are).

Cathy

Monday 4th of March 2019

I don't know any Aztecs to ask. Are they even still around? I thought they had all died out or were absorbed in other cultures. Anyway when doing research, I didn't see any facts of the breed from the Aztec's point of view. If you know where I can find them, please let me know Krista.