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The Chihuahua is the smallest breed of dog in the world and takes its name from the Mexican city of Chihuahua.  Read more about the Chihuahua in our breed profile.

History Of The Chihuahua

Despite being named after a Mexican city and associated with South America, the Chihuahua is thought to have been bred by the Aztecs or Incas and pictures of dogs resembling the Chihuahua appear in ancient paintings in Mexico. The Chihuahua was discovered in Chihuahua State in the 1850s and the first Chihuahuas reached America in the late 19th century and these are the ancestors of all Chihuahuas in the USA and Britain today.  The Chihuahua was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1904 and in 1949 the British Chihuahua Club was formed.

Characteristics Of The Chihuahua

The Chihuahua is a small, dainty dog with a domed skull with a short and pointed muzzle. The eyes are large and round, and the ears large and carried upright when alert. The body has a deep chest and the tail is carried up or over the back. The body is fine boned but muscular. The Chihuahua can be smooth coated or long coated and exists in a variety of colours.

Height Of The Chihuahua

The Chihuahua stands 6 to 8 inches inches from the ground to the top of the shoulder.

Temperament Of The Chihuahua

Chihuahuas are graceful, intelligent, loyal, curious, mischievous, bold, alert and swift moving. They make good companion dogs and love attention although they tend to dislike strangers and can even be grumpy or bad tempered when provoked being yappy and snappy. For this reason they are not ideal for households for small or boisterous children and are best suited to single owners or couples, rather than families. Chihuahuas have a distinct dislike of dogs of other breeds but like other dogs of their own breed. Despite their small size they tend to be territorial and make a good guard dog.

Requirements Of The Chihuahua

The Chihuahua has a small appetite and requires little exercise. It is best given two to three small meals per day rather than one large one. Early socialisation and training is recommended.

Health Of The Chihuahua

Chihuahuas can be prone to cleft palate, collapsed trachea, corneal dystrophy, shoulder dislocation, hydrocephalus (water on the brain) and slipped stifles (a knee injury caused by joint weakness).

Lifespan of the Chihuahua

The average lifespan of the Chihuahua is 12 to 16 years.