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 (round)
- Short, stocky body that is just slightly longer than his tail
- Large, dark and 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, this is ideal for you.
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 it 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 also 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 along 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.)
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.
Chihuahuas are not good with children.
Wrong. As long as you socialize your Chi to young children and ensure that the children treat him right, they will be very loving with young ones.
Be careful! We shouldn’t let small children accidentally hurt our Chis, either.
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.
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 practises 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.