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Chihuahua Facts and Myths

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The Chihuahua breed is one of the smallest breeds currently known. These tiny pooches can be short-haired or have a longer, more lush coat.

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

If you adopt a chihuahua, you will be blessed with love and loyalty for years to come.
You may notice that, when your tiny pooch encounters a larger dog, he may not be aware that there is a huge size disparity.
Given his reactions to that larger animal, you may think he is defending you, your family and your home. He is, with all that bravery tucked into that tiny body.

Facts About this Breed

In size, this breed is one of the tiniest known to man—he only weighs between two and 8 pounds. His average height is also just as tiny—between six and 9 inches, total.

An idea of the breed’s traits:

  • Apple-shaped head (although there are deer head chihuahuas too!)
  • Short, stocky body that is just slightly longer than his tail
  • Large, round eyes
  • This breed’s muzzle is short and just slightly pointed
  • Cocky—they don’t realize their tiny size in relation to larger breeds
  • Energetic and lively, ready to play all day long
  • Not “yappy,” but will give you their opinions
  • Quick and nimble on their feet
  • Easily portable

While they aren’t “yappy,” they are outspoken and will let you know how they feel about their food and that visitor that just knocked at the front door.

This little breed is best suited for single people, those who are housebound and elderly people.

They don’t need to spend lots of time outside, exercising. If you are elderly or housebound, chis are ideal for you.

older lady woman holding chihuahua

In addition, Chihuahuas love to snuggle up to us, sleep by us or follow us from one room to the next.

If you are away, they will protect your home with every ounce of determination they have—they will bark at anyone who knocks at your door.

Because this particular breed is so small, they feel the cold more. Invest in a few small doggie sweaters, especially if you plan to walk outside.

Myths About the Chihuahua Breed

This special breed comes with a lot of myths. Let’s explore them.

Chihuahuas can be kept outdoors.

No! They cannot. They feel the cold easily and they much prefer closeness to their humans.

They love (crave) attention from us, so living inside is the best thing for them.

I don’t know if I like Chihuahuas. They yap so much and seem so high-strung.

Also false. Depending on how they have been trained, this breed can actually be very well-behaved and quiet.

If he is left alone to his own devices, then he will become loud and react strongly to stimuli in his environment.

They are wary of strangers and will bark at them. As long as we give them a good amount of attention and love, they will reward us with good behavior and lots of nose kisses.

Chihuahuas don’t need to be socialized.

Wrong! This goes to what we talked about above. They need to be given lots of attention from their humans—us.

They also need to be introduced to new situations. If we start socializing our pups at birth up to about 12 weeks of age, they will easily adjust. (We should allow him to be with his mom and dad for at least eight weeks after birth.)

chihuahua with pink sweater

Chihuahuas are sensitive to cold.

Yes, they are! Both the short and long-haired breeds feel the cold more. We shouldn’t take them walking outside when it’s between 35 and 40 degrees F.

If we have to, then walks should be short enough for them to do their business and they should wear a sweater.

little girl kissing chihuahua puppy

Chihuahuas are not good with children.

Wrong. As long as you socialize your Chi to young children and ensure that the children treat your chihuahua right, they will be very loving with young ones.

Be careful! We shouldn’t let small children accidentally hurt our Chis and never leave a young child alone with your small dog.

Chihuahuas aren’t safe around bigger animals.

False. We can train our Chihuahuas to be safe around bigger dogs. We need to train them to be watchful for big dogs running or approaching quickly.

Chihuahuas tend to shiver.

Yes. They aren’t always cold. It’s their high metabolism that makes them shiver. Also, if they are too excited, cold, scared or unsure they will shiver.

Chihuahuas are good watch dogs.

Definitely! Their high level of alertness and natural wariness around strangers makes them ideal watch pets.

Chihuahuas are so expensive.

Well, that depends. Buying from a conscientious breeder means you may pay $700-$1,200; adopting a shelter Chihuahua means you may spend $250, tops after all medical procedures are completed.

Chihuahuas don’t shed.

Wrong. We will find their hair all over our homes, especially at the beginning of spring and in the autumn.

sleepy chihuahua under blanket

Chihuahuas love to burrow.

Yes! Pile a few blankets in his favorite spot so he can slide under, warm up and nap.

Chihuahuas have lots of health problems.

False. They don’t have any more health problems than other breeds. Chihuahuas do tend to have some health issues though.

Many of the issues they do have comes from poor breeding practices and the ever increasing quest to breed a smaller chihuahua.

Chihuahuas don’t live very long.

False. Chihuahuas live longer than any other breed. Their average lifespan is now reported to be 12 to 20 years! But I have known some that lived even longer.

I don’t have to worry about my Chihuahua getting pregnant until she is a year old.

Wrong. Smaller dogs mature faster than larger dogs. A chihuahua can get pregnant as early as 6 months.

So have you heard any of these myths? If you know of any others that aren’t on here, let me know in the comments and I’ll add them to this post.

Terry Black

Wednesday 16th of November 2022

Love chiwahwas there like babies had one that passed away want another one


Wednesday 16th of November 2022

Yes, chiweenies are great little dogs!


Sunday 4th of September 2022

Hello I have 8 Chihuahuas Tiny is 13yrs black&tan Cocoa is 12yrs red&tan Rosie is 11yrs white Sable Bear is 10 yrs black Runt is 9yrs tan sable Dash is 7yrs tan Sable Pebbles 7yrs silver marble Prancer 3yrs black&tan longhair

My Chihuahuas are pretty healthy they have there oun personalities they are one big happy family yes they will let u know when someone is around,They are mice hunters to they will kill a mouse if it gets in the house lol,they all have there oun sweaters and coats when it gets cold for them,They have pillow and blankets to snuggle up in but most of all they love snuggling up to there momma in the bed. We also have Topaz a blue meral great Dane,plott mix she was raised with the chi's I think she thinks she is one but way bigger lol Like that movie the ugly dash hound,I take Topaz and Bear squirrel hunting with me Bear goes crazy for squirrels so never under estimate a Chihuahua they are smart longs u pay attention to them take the time to train them they are great dogs don't know what I do without my fur babies spoiled rotten I have all there paw prints and a picture of them, I can't imagine my life without them. My Chihuahua warriors


Sunday 4th of September 2022

It sounds like a wonderful life with all your fur babies Catherine!

Jane Freeman from KY

Tuesday 9th of August 2022

I enjoy your Tuesday letter with fun things about Chi’s and Chi mixes. Thanks for the Special Ed ! I hope you will be okay with any and all challenges you are facing. I pray you will find your steel and grow strong. Hang in there, Cathy.


Wednesday 10th of August 2022

Thank you Jane!

Rikki Wallace

Sunday 17th of April 2022

Yes very great for us like me I have MS and live alone now and when she hears any sound outside or anything in the next room she barks her little mouth off. IV had her since she was 7 weeks old so I'm all she knows and Shes so spoiled its not funny and when I say spoiled I meen it. I hold her dish when she eats and I don't mind or care she has her doggy treats her chew bones and her wet and dry dog food and clothing she's ready to go. Roxy is my little angel


Sunday 17th of April 2022

And glad you have each other Rikki!

Roy Norwood

Sunday 25th of April 2021

Chihuahuas are to most killed dog breed in kill shelters...


Sunday 25th of April 2021

Actually they are the second breed most likely to be euthanized. Pitbulls are the first.