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Chihuahua Characteristics That Will Surprise You: Unveiling Tiny Secrets

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Chihuahuas are a small breed of dog that originated in Mexico. Chihuahuas have a rich history and are believed to be descendants of the Techichi, a companion dog revered by the ancient Toltec civilization.

Chihuahuas gained popularity in the United States during the early 20th century and have become one of the most beloved dog breeds.

Fawn chihuahua next to ruler.

Despite their small size, Chihuahuas possess a unique set of characteristics that make them stand out among other breeds. In this article, we will explore some surprising traits of Chihuahuas that will surely amaze you.

Size and Appearance

One surprising aspect of Chihuahuas is their wide range of sizes. While the average weight of a Chihuahua is between 2 and 6 pounds, some individuals can weigh as little as 1 pound, while others can weigh up to 12 pounds. This size variability adds to the charm and appeal of the breed.

Chihuahuas also have distinct physical characteristics. They have large round expressive eyes and can convey a wide range of emotions.

Additionally, their coat variations are remarkable. Chihuahuas can have smooth coats, long coats, or even a combination of both. More rare is some may have wiry coats.

Though “fawn” is the most common color, they come in a wide variety of colors and combinations of colors.

The variety in their appearance makes them visually captivating.


Chihuahuas are known for their boldness and confidence, which can sometimes be surprising given their small stature. Despite their size, they possess a fearless nature and are not easily intimidated. This confidence is one of the reasons why Chihuahuas make excellent watchdogs.

Another surprising trait of Chihuahuas is their loyalty and protective nature towards their owners. They form strong bonds and are fiercely devoted to their human companions. Chihuahuas will go to great lengths to protect their loved ones, often disregarding their own size and safety in the process.

Chihuahuas also have a strong desire for companionship. They thrive on human interaction and enjoy being a part of their owner’s daily activities. This need for companionship is what drives their surprising bond with their owners. Chihuahuas have a knack for understanding their owner’s emotions and providing comfort when needed.

TemperamentEnergy Level
Bold and confidentBalanced energy level
Loyalty and protective natureEnjoy playtime but also relaxing
Desire for companionshipLove for cuddling and affection
Understand owner’s emotionsUnderstand the owner’s emotions
Fawn chihuahua running in grass.

Energy Level

Contrary to popular belief, most Chihuahuas are not constantly hyperactive. While they do have bursts of energy and enjoy playtime, they are also capable of relaxing and being calm. Chihuahuas have a balanced energy level that allows them to be playful when needed but also enjoy downtime with their owners.

Additionally, Chihuahuas have a surprising love for cuddles and affection. They are known to enjoy snuggling up with their people and seeking warmth and comfort. This affectionate nature makes them wonderful companions, especially for those who appreciate a lap dog.


Chihuahuas are highly intelligent dogs that possess quick learning abilities and problem-solving skills. Despite their small size, they are capable of learning a variety of tricks and commands. Chihuahuas excel in obedience training and can easily pick up new behaviors.

Their intelligence also translates to adaptability in various situations. Chihuahuas are quick to adjust to changes in their environment and can thrive in different living conditions. This adaptability makes them suitable for urban apartments as well as rural settings.

barking chihuahua wearing dress.


One characteristic that may surprise some people about Chihuahuas is their vocal nature. Due to their small size, Chihuahuas have heightened alertness and tend to bark more frequently than larger breeds. They have a keen sense of hearing and are quick to sound the alarm when they sense something out of the ordinary.

It’s important to note that excessive barking in Chihuahuas can have various reasons behind it. It can result from fear, insecurity, boredom, or even a way to seek attention. Understanding the underlying cause of excessive barking is crucial in managing and training Chihuahuas to control their vocalization.


Chihuahuas can initially exhibit shyness and fearfulness towards strangers and other animals. This tendency is partly due to their small size and innate instinct to protect themselves. However, with proper socialization, Chihuahuas can overcome these tendencies and become well-adjusted and confident dogs.

Early socialization is essential for Chihuahuas to learn how to interact positively with people and other animals. Exposing them to different environments, experiences, and individuals from a young age can help them build confidence and overcome any potential fear or aggression issues.

Effective socialization techniques for Chihuahuas include controlled introductions, positive reinforcement, and exposure to various stimuli. Gradual exposure to new people, places, and animals can help Chihuahuas become more comfortable and sociable.

Older female veterinarian with chihuahua.

Health Considerations

Like all dog breeds, Chihuahuas have certain health considerations that potential owners should be aware of.

One common health issue in Chihuahuas is dental problems. Due to their small mouths, Chihuahuas are prone to dental disease, including tooth decay and gum infections. Regular dental care, such as brushing their teeth and providing appropriate chew toys, is essential for maintaining their oral health.

Another health concern for Chihuahuas is patellar luxation, a condition in which the kneecap dislocates from its normal position. This can cause discomfort and lameness in Chihuahuas. Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce the risk of patellar luxation.

Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is another condition that can affect Chihuahuas. Due to their small size and high metabolism, Chihuahuas are susceptible to sudden drops in blood sugar levels. It’s important to monitor their eating habits, provide regular meals, and seek veterinary care if any signs of hypoglycemia are observed.

Chihuahuas are also prone to certain heart conditions, such as heart murmurs and congestive heart failure. Regular veterinary check-ups and proper care are crucial for detecting and managing these conditions early on.

The Fearless Chihuahua

Chihuahuas may be small in size, but their confidence and fearlessness often surprise people. Take the case of Sarah and her Chihuahua, Buddy.

Sarah had always been hesitant about getting a dog due to her fear of larger breeds. But when she came across Buddy at a local shelter, she instantly fell in love with his adorable face and decided to give him a chance. Little did she know that Buddy would change her perception of small dogs forever.

Despite his tiny stature, Buddy displayed a boldness that amazed Sarah. He fearlessly approached new people and confidently explored new environments.

Sarah soon discovered that Buddy was not easily intimidated, even when faced with larger dogs. His loyalty and protective nature towards Sarah were evident as he would bark and stand his ground whenever he sensed a threat.

Buddy’s fearlessness also extended to his playfulness. Sarah was pleasantly surprised to find that Buddy loved engaging in physical activities, such as chasing after balls and playing tug-of-war. However, she also noticed that Buddy had a surprising ability to relax and enjoy cuddling. He would curl up next to her on the couch, content to receive affection and provide comfort.

Through her experience with Buddy, Sarah realized that Chihuahuas have a surprising bond with their humans and a deep desire for companionship. Despite their small size, they possess a big personality and an unwavering loyalty. Sarah’s fears about owning a dog were quickly dispelled by Buddy’s confident and fearless nature.

This case study highlights the temperament of Chihuahuas and showcases their unexpected fearlessness and boldness. It serves as a reminder that appearances can be deceiving and that Chihuahuas are much more than just their small stature.

Fawn chihuahua wearing dress sitting in field of yellow flowers.

Exercise and Mental Stimulation

Chihuahuas may be small, but they have daily exercise needs that should not be overlooked. Despite their size, they have surprising stamina and enjoy physical activities.

Daily walks, play sessions, and interactive toys can help meet their exercise requirements and keep them physically fit.

When it comes to exercise, it’s important to choose activities that are suitable for their size and energy level. Chihuahuas can benefit from indoor play sessions, short walks, and interactive games that challenge their minds and keep them engaged.

In addition to physical exercise, mental stimulation is vital for Chihuahuas. They are intelligent dogs that thrive on mental challenges. Puzzle toys, treat-dispensing toys, and training sessions can provide the mental stimulation they need to prevent boredom and behavioral issues.

Training Tips

Positive reinforcement techniques are highly effective when training Chihuahuas. They respond well to praise, treats, and rewards. Consistency and patience are key when teaching them new behaviors and commands.

Harsh or punitive training methods should be avoided as they can lead to fear and anxiety in Chihuahuas.

Establishing consistent rules and boundaries is essential for Chihuahuas to thrive. They need clear guidance and structure to understand what is expected of them. Setting boundaries early on and reinforcing them consistently will help prevent unwanted behaviors.

Socialization exercises are particularly important for Chihuahuas to overcome any behavioral challenges. Gradual exposure to different people, animals, and environments can help them become well-rounded and confident dogs. Positive experiences during socialization will shape their behavior and help them develop into friendly and sociable companions.

Chihuahuas with Children and Other Pets

Contrary to popular belief, Chihuahuas can coexist harmoniously with children. However, supervision is crucial to ensure the safety of both the Chihuahua and the child. Teaching children to handle Chihuahuas gently and with respect is essential for a positive and safe interaction.

When it comes to other pets, Chihuahuas can sometimes display territorial behavior. Proper socialization and gradual introductions are necessary to ensure a smooth coexistence with other animals in the household. Giving each pet their own space and providing positive reinforcement when they interact calmly can help establish a harmonious environment.

Fawn chihuahua with pink background and pumpkins wearing orange collar .

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Chihuahuas possess a range of surprising traits that make them unique and endearing companions. From their boldness and loyalty to their surprising adaptability and intelligence, Chihuahuas are much more than their small size suggests. They require proper care, socialization, and training, but in return, they offer unwavering love and companionship.

For potential Chihuahua owners, it’s important to consider the breed’s specific needs and characteristics. With the right knowledge and dedication, Chihuahuas can bring immense joy and happiness to their owners’ lives.

Embrace the unique qualities of Chihuahuas and make an informed decision to welcome these amazing dogs into your home.


Why you should choose a Chihuahua over other breeds

Cathy signature with cartoon chihuahua
blond woman holding white chihuahua

Cathy Bendzunas

Pet Blogger

I have had dogs all my life. I have been a pet groomer, worked in a pet hotel, and a kennel, and have bred and showed dogs.

Richard & Teresa

Saturday 30th of March 2024

You have a nice site with much information.We are on our 2nd Chihuahua now. Our first Chi was a Deerhead female. Our new little girl is Alaska, a Blue Merle apple head and she came from a breeder in California that has had a few Merles.We were surprised when she hit 12.8 lbs as her parents are 5 and 6 lbs. We sent her DNA to Wizdom Panel and they confirmed she should be 11 to 22 lbs,100% Chihuahua. Your information seems to be very spot on. People should not get concerned unless they have a double Merle and then a good Vet should be able to advise you how to proceed. Thank you again for having all the info on these wonderful dogs.

Cathy Bendzunas

Saturday 30th of March 2024

Congratulations on your merle chi! Yeah, it's funny how a few chihuahuas can end up much bigger than normal.


Saturday 4th of November 2023

Hey Kathey How are you doing? I'm sorry I haven't talk to you. but I'm having some health problems. I just love your blog. I have a question. I had to take my chi. his name is harley. The vet told me that harley, had a herniated disc, probably from jumping off bed. Harley is 13 yrs. old.

Cathy Bendzunas

Saturday 4th of November 2023

I'm doing very well Shirley but I'm sorry you are having health problems Shirley. I'm sorry Harley has a herniated disc. That can be very painful. What was your question?


Friday 3rd of November 2023

Thank you for all this useful information!

Cathy Bendzunas

Friday 3rd of November 2023

You're welcome Derry.