Raising Chihuahuas

Photo by Chihuahua Acres
Photo by Chihuahua Acres

Chihuahuas - Nature's Fierce Babies

Chihuahuas have a legendary dual nature- they're nature's forever babies with a sweet, affectionate nature. They love to be carried and pampered, and most don't mind looking a little silly at times, hence the propensity for some chihuahua parents to dress them up. The chihuahua is perfect for single people for that reason- they're babies who don't need a babysitter or a college fund.

On the other hand, chihuahuas can be one of the most fierce of all breeds. They don't tend to be physically dangerous, however, but instead imploy several ways to intimidate their foes. Chihuahuas are known for scaring dogs 10 times their size with incessant barking and growling, staring down and an aggressive stance. I've seen chihuahuas frighten away a German Shepherd and even a Great Dane.

The dual nature of the chihuahua makes it one of the most popular breeds among people who love small dogs. Chihuahuas make excellent watch dogs, and will aggressively defend their owner. They tend to form strong attachments to their owners and have trouble maintaining attachments to people outside their human pack.

Photo From the Cute Project
Photo From the Cute Project

Chihuahuas Need Special Care

As a small dog, chihuahuas are generally easy to care for. They do, however, need some special care because of their size. Chihuahua puppies are extremely small. When they reach the age that they are no longer dependent on their mothers and are ready to be adopted, they usually weigh less than a pound. Their slight weight makes them vulnerable to injuries.

The first danger to chihuahuas, particularly puppies, is falls. A couch or a bed is probably too high for a chihuahua puppy to fall from and escape bruises or injuries. If you leave a chihuahua puppy alone on a couch or bed, block him in with a pillow or something else that will keep him from falling.

Another danger is items being dropped on the chihuahua. There have been chihuahuas killed by items being droped on their heads. One young chihuahua was killed when its owner accidentally dropped a can of food on its head. When chihuahuas are in the house, be careful when carrying anything remotely heavy. If there's any danger of dropping something, close the chihuahua into another room to avoid the danger.

Finally, chihuahuas are vulnerable to being stepped on. Chihuahuas can be injured by a mistep, particularly if they are young. Puppies can be so tiny that it's possible to simply not see them napping on the floor. When you have a puppy in the house, walk lightly and don't wear shoes inside. This will prevent you from stepping too heavily on the dog if it should happen.

The Tiny Chihuahua

Photo by Chihuahua Acres
Photo by Chihuahua Acres

Keeping Chihuahuas Comfortable

Because they are so small, and many have short body hair, chihuahuas tend to get cold in cooler climates. Remember that they are originally from Mexico and were bred for hot weather. If your climate is cold, you might want to provide your chihuahua with a sweater. Though it may look at little silly, a sweater can provide them with some of the warmth they need to be comfortable.

Chihuahua Sizes

Though the teacup chihuahua isn't a recognized breed, it describes some of the smallest chihuahuas. Full-grown chihuahuas that are 3 pounds are not unusual. The average size is about 4-5 pounds, but it is possible for them to get as large as 10 pounds. The smallest chihuahuas are the most vulnerable to injuries and more care should be taken to avoid injuries.

Long Hair and Short

Photo from Encyclopedia Britannica
Photo from Encyclopedia Britannica

Types of Chihuahuas

There are really only two official types of chihuahua - long haired and short haired. The short-haired variety has short, smooth hair that is extremely easy to care for. Though the shirt-haired variety will shed in the spring and fall, most of the year the coat requires little maintenance. The long-haired chihuahua's coat can be smooth or curly. Often the long coat needs a little more maintenance, such as occasional brushing to keep it from becoming matted. The coat may not shed more, but it will seem like more because of the longer hair.

The other "types" that people talk about, deerhead and applehad, are not officially distinct varieties. But, there is a broad range of head shapes within the breed of chihuahua. The ones called appleheads have very round heads with short snouts. Deerhead chihuahuas have longer, thinner heads that do resemble deer.

Comments 61 comments

Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 9 years ago from Georgia

That second picture is too cute. The pup's head is too big for its body. Ha.

I like the breed, but I'll stick with yorkies as my small dog of choice. They have similar temperaments as chihuahuas though.

Laurie Stroupe profile image

Laurie Stroupe 8 years ago from Ararat, VA

We raise long-coat Chihuahuas and absolutely love them. They are beloved pets who have trained us to be great Chihuahua owners. They let you know what they want and how they should be treated. Their range of vocalizations is amazing. Sometimes you can almost feel as though you are in conversation with them! Our problem - the kids want to keep one from every litter.

Katie 8 years ago

Great page. I have two Chihuahuas and love them very much.

Jessica 8 years ago

I actually have a "Chorkie". She is a mix between a black short-haired Chihuahua and a tan and black Yorkshire Terrier. Her hair is a good 2 and a half to 3 inches long, shorter than her moms and longer than her dads. She is completely black, but has some spots of tan around her mouth. And i know this sounds bad but when i read the part about them falling, that reminded me one time when she was like 3-4 months and she was in a purse and she dropped like 4 feet and landed on her back. she totally freaked me out because she had just jumped, but nothing happened to her, in fact when we got home after that she was running around the house like crazy. Chihuahuas are very speedy dogs :P just another thing its nice to look at both breeds because the picture with the long haired and short haired chihuahuas you could easily see that my dog is slightly taller. shes only 2.5 pounds and fully grown. just felt like sharing good article.

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Beaks 8 years ago from USA Author

That sounds adorable! I've never seen one before.

Rickie 8 years ago

At first I wasn't sure I would like having a Chihuahua, preferring the very large dogs instead but where we lived at the time we weren't able to have a large dog so we adopted our first Chihuahua, Toto in 1993 when he was 3 yrs old. When he was 8 1/2 yrs old we got Rocky(Monster). Toto passed on in June 5, 08. Just recently we adopted our 3rd Chi.

The baby was born on July 3, 08 and the adoption took place when she was 6 1/2 wks old. We named her Kandi and what a sweet little ball of energy. Our other adopted kiddo's, Rocky(Monster) and our Russian Blue kitty - Ms Beasley, get along very well with her but at times they feel the need to 'warn' her not to come too close.

Toto and Rocky(Monster) have changed my mind concerning Chi's and that's why we searched for another after our Toto passed on. Kandi promises to be a good example of the great breed that Chihuahua's are.

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Beaks 8 years ago from USA Author

A lot of people are converted after they get their first Chi. They get a bad rap with so many people that I think too many people are reluctant to get one and find out how wonderful they are.

mariane14 profile image

mariane14 8 years ago from USA

i like chihuahua's. i played with it when i was i my friends home..

lisa 8 years ago

i have 2 chis,

they're the most adorable, healing dogs i have ever had. They sleep in my, or one of my my 4 daughters beds, they understand everything and can feel our fealings. After being a long time lover of larger dogs, i am totally converted to these armpit nuzlers. Soon i hope to breed my tea cup sized chi's, our chi's are always fashionatable because my 4 daughters love to buy them the most adorable little outfits. lots of love lisa from the Soth Africa

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Beaks 8 years ago from USA Author

They really do feel your feelings. They sense what's going on and they love to comfort you when you're feeling low. I've never had another breed of dog that could do that.

zayna 8 years ago

who ever thinks these types of dogs r ugly is da most stupidest person in da world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mallory 8 years ago

I luv Chihuahuas!! I have 1 myself she has had puppies 1 time now shes pregnant again i so excited

chihuahua clothes 8 years ago

Chihuahuas are definitely my favorite dog breed!

Irritated Owner 8 years ago

I also have a Chi I adopted just over a year ago and am actually clueless on what you all are saying. My boy is one of the worst dog's I have ever had and does not understand my feelings what so EVER! He knows right from wrong and still tends to do bad and dis-obey all that I say.

Lora 8 years ago

my 8 week old chihuahua is such a swwetheart! she loves my kids and my cats. sh is such a joy to have!!

Daniel 8 years ago

I just got my first Chi 4 days ago. his name is Leonidas. I hurt my shoulder real bad in a Motto Cross accident so I have been healing up at the house. Leo & I have been having a great time getting to know eachother. he is just over 6 weeks old. I never thought I would own a Chi. I am real glad a friend of mine gave him to me. Told me having him around would make me feel better. We are having a great time, I hope we have many years together.

Carolyn 8 years ago

dude these dogs are like amazin but i dont hav a dog so i am trying to get u no the old folks into getting me one man!!! i hav ALL cats man its its not that cute anymore so i want one dang DOG! teeeee he hee!

car car 8 years ago

i want a chi so bad they're adorable i read this and now i no whut to do with my new dog if i get one i doubt tho well ill get one when i mi=ove out ugh! i such a cluzts so ill have to be carefull

lizzy 7 years ago

i have two cute chihuahuas and i love them to death!!!!!!

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Beaks 7 years ago from USA Author

They are very inexpensive right now because of the ercession, as strange as it is to say that. I got a new Chihuahua puppy two months ago for about a third of what they normaly go for locally. It's a good time to get purebreeds in general because of the lower prices.

Sandra Godin profile image

Sandra Godin 7 years ago from Connecticut

Great article-- I have a good friend who has two teacup chihuahuas rescued from a puppy mill raid. They are now therapy dogs working in a truancy prevention program, and they are both hugely popular with the children, and extremely effective in their work- the program has had an amazing success rate! That over top top cuteness factor never hurts. . .

milly 7 years ago

i have a male and female chihuahua that i am thinking of breeding, any tips would be greatly appreciated! they make life more exciting and definatly put a smile on my face! especially when they think its christmas when u come home!

Allison 7 years ago

i have two chi. i luv them to death

Amy 7 years ago

i want 1

7 years ago

chihuahuas are adorable

C. Betancourt profile image

C. Betancourt 7 years ago

My little Princess Fiona recently suffered from a fall. Poor Fiona fractured four small bones in her left paw and wore a cast for eight weeks! It was incredibly sad and unfortunately way over priced. Poor thing was practically sedated for a month. She is doing great now and especially loves wearing clothes! She loves camping, taking baths, and listening to your every word. Simply irreplaceable!

diana 7 years ago

hi ich liebe hunde

mat 7 years ago

hey i have a really cute chi named bruno like the mafia bruno he wakes me up all the time.

sierra 7 years ago

i love them alot...........LOVE IT

sanjeev bhadresa of teacup chihuahuas 7 years ago


Some lovely photographs on your hub!

Another thing to be aware of, particularly with the smaller chihuahuas are blood sugar disorders. Their blood sugars can fall sometimes after playing and so it can sometimes help to offer them something to eat or drink if they look more lethargic.

Gabrielle 7 years ago

Wat een lieve hondjes zeg!!!

echt schattig:D

tiara 7 years ago

the white chihuahua in the oink sweater is so adorible.is she free? poor thing:(

tiara  7 years ago

awwww so cute .in the pink sweater. LOVE HER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

kendra 7 years ago

just got a chi yesterday shes sooooo tiny nd cute:) nd not so bad $700

Nick 7 years ago

Please do not breed your chihuahua. There are so many dogs that are homeless right now that will have to be put to sleep. Anyone that is looking for a dog, please go to your local shelter.

brenda 6 years ago

i need advice...i recently purchased 2 chihuahuas, male and female, littermates....i have since read on the internet that it is the worst thing that anybody can do...raising 2 littermates...

they love each other so much but they love me, husaband, and grandchildren also...

are bad times ahead? any suggestions for raising littermate


although it seems to be going well, i am worried...they are pretty much together all of the time and get a lot of outdoor exercise...

sabrina 6 years ago

I have one chihuahua, she is my first and just turned a year old. I love her so much!!!We got her after our Boston terrier passed away and she is just the most loving thing ever.

unique  6 years ago

to those of you wanting to breed you tiny chi's please think

about them instead of your self it is so hard for a tiny dog to give birth natural you could lose ur beloved baby and her babies it will end up being the worst thing you have ever done it is very expensive for the vet to do a c-section please get your tiny chi's fixed the are prone to cancers if not fixed around six months also they can not push a baby down the birth canal there hind ends are not wide enough to give birth. u could lose both how sad would you be then it's much better to take the money you would spend at the vet and save a life from a pound or humane socitiy think about all the cute lil' baby's that have no home please get your babys spayed or nutured read about chi's and breeding them online and u will see what im saying and about the litter mates as lone as there fixed they will be great together and keep each other happy and have a friend for life :) i have three appleheads one is 1.9 lb oni and i almost lost her and did lose JERSEY rip i miss you jersey girl :( i have two 4 lb ones a merle named merl and a lil girl kookie there my babys

17jesusochoa 6 years ago

Any one that can help me!!!!!!

Okey I found a puppy purebred tiny chihuahua and i took it home I all ready have a chi poo puppy but my chi poo is a male and the chihuahua is a female but the chi poo keeps bugging her biteing her butt/tail and she get s mad but also she won't eat anything need help she is so skinny

chelly 6 years ago

All of those dogs were so cute !!!!!!

Peanut 6 years ago

I have a long haired male Chi - he's 4 months old. So far, all I have seen from him is love, love, love. I take him to the park, he loves people, children and other dogs. He has no bad temper at all. Independent and never whimpers. Please folks - the dog is a reflection on YOUR efforts.

1. The first night he came home he was put into his own bed. No fuss. Just went to bed and left him. Not a single whimper.

2. They want to be treated like dogs, not an accessory. Just because they fit in a bag please don't treat him like a toy. They are DOGS.

3. I taught him to sit in the first week and use the peepee pads. He walks the leash too. You must be patient and consistent.

4. I taught him to GO TO BED when he does a pee or something else wrong. He now goes automatically if he pees even a drop. He knows.

5. People expect dogs to know what to do. This means you are a stupid human. Shame on you. Go to YOUR bed.

6. My Chi loves playing with other dogs, big or small.

7. I cannot believe how much I love him and how much my husband loves him. He is bonded to me but goes berserk when husband comes home. Pure joy.

8. I have oceans of patience and I completely get that he needs to be taught / shown the way. Please do the same and get one because you want a dog, not a fashion statement.

kayla 6 years ago


Vinny 6 years ago

I currently have 3 chi's one male one female and a 2 day old male puppie she gave birth to by caesarian. I didn't even know she was pregnant until 2 hours before she gave birth as she showed none of the usual signs of pregnancy she started panting and i took her to the vet the next thing we have a new addition, on the vets advice we got her sterlized at the same time ! We brought them home on the same day and so far she has been amazing and behaving typically as a new mother, surprising after 24 hours she was miving running eating and behaving as normal playful self. The father has been redpectful and curious while keeping his distance, i think he is trying to figure everything out.

Chi's were not my choice of pet due to the stereotypical thoughts and imagines but my growibg family are the most well behaved funny affection inspiring exciting most amazing companion you could have no matter what age or situation because they seemto make everything better !! But it really is true that a pet is a relection on the human it takes time and patience love and unlimitless attention - but what they give in return is worth it !!!!

stellas mom 6 years ago

I've had a chi now for 4yrs. I also have 3 other dogs. Stella came to me at 8wks by a family member. I was not a chi person, but, wow shes my baby and I enjoy her so much shes always with me wrapped up in her blankie. Talk about a forever baby Stella is she looks in your eyes and understands every word you say. I am a chihuahua lover forever.

ashten 6 years ago

i am getting a chihuahua july 27th she is going to be one of the tiny ones im so excited iv nvr had a chihuahua before iv always been the german shepardand lab and poodle kinda person, but im sure she will be great...

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Beaks 6 years ago from USA Author

Good luck to you! They are the sweetest, most loving dogs imaginable.

tiffany 6 years ago

I've had had my Jackuahua, Eddie, for just a few weeks. He is amazing! I have severe epilepsy and wanted a dog that can sense when something is wrong with me. I didn't focus on the size of the dog, only on finding the one that is right for me. He can already tell when I'm about to have a seizure and is learning to use a special phone that's connected to 911. He can sit, lay down, and we're working on stay. He is very loving and wants to cuddle, but is also full of energy! He is very smart and has developed his own little personality already. I recommend that someone focus on finding the dog that's right for them, and expect to spend as much time as possible with them. They give just as much love as they get. I am very happy that I found Eddie and he looks super cute in his XX-small service vest!

austin 6 years ago

two german shepherds attacked my long hair today and broke his back so we had to put him down he was wonderful he had a one of a kind personality had him since i was 10 and im 19 now so im going to miss him a lot they are awesome dogs

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Beaks 6 years ago from USA Author

Oh no! That is so terrible! I hope they put down those German Shepherds. That is a travesty of justice if they didn't. You made me so sad. :(

Lori  6 years ago

I had adopted my first chihuahua in 2004 because I saw the Leave it to Beaver Episode Me and Poncho and just fell in love with them. Her name was Sierra Natasha (Natasha after her mother). I had her for five years and she passed away in April, 2010. I miss her sooo much. I have a maltese, Disney, and they were inseparable. She misses her friend, too.

Jonh nugen 6 years ago

oh, they are so cute. I just bought one from www.marylandchihuahua.webs.com ,they are so helpful.

Silver Poet profile image

Silver Poet 5 years ago from the computer of a midwestern American writer

Aw! So cute! Those pictures just made my day. :)

Shorty 5 years ago

They are all so very cute!!!!! I want to snuggle with them....

Vivi Mac 5 years ago

I have a large 2 year old Chi who even is tiny at 12 pounds. She is s beautiful chestnut color with lighy brown eyes & liver nose & mouth. Only patient people should own a Chi as house breaking can be a little hard. Once they get it they do great. I dearly love my constant companion Chiquita Banana! She loves me so much! I have hsd all breeds of dogs but Chid sre my favorite! Vivi Msc

nikki 5 years ago



Jamie 4 years ago

my friend Tim breeds chihuahuas and his girl juicy has just had a litter of 4. there is 3 girls and 1 boy. my husband and i have picked out 2 of the females to take home when they are ready April 1st. we have never been or ever considered being chi owners until my mothet-in-law purchased 2 females from this same breeder Tim..he is so great with his dogs it makes me want to cry..i am very nervous but glad Tim is not far..i have fallen in love with my mothet-in-laws girls. they are a short hair which is extremely tiny and a long haired which is just a bit larger. they cuddle and sleep with me. i have seen the smaller one go in sugar shock which was scary. everyone was warned of this and knew just what to do. i visit my girls regulars at tims they seem to know my voice and get so excited i can not wait until i have those sweet little faces ...i shall write again when i have had them for some time!

joshua 4 years ago

I have a tea cup chihuahua he is 9 weeks old and cant stay out from under our feet and my girlfriend accidentally stepped on him. Now he shakes a lot and when he lays down he holds himself up on his front legs. I am worried about him and have no way to take him to a vet does anyone know if he will be ok or not? :(

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Beaks 4 years ago from USA Author

Does he seem to be in pain? A lot of chihuahuas shake, but not being able to lay down sound like a serious problem.

chihuahualoverkarla 4 years ago

i have a chihuahua named gem and i love her

jennnifer 4 years ago

i am leaning about chihuahuhas at school

patty 3 years ago

I just love my chi his name is Bently and he just makes my day all of my kids are grown so now I don't feel like I have that empty nest feeling I would so tell anyone that these are the best little companions!!

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