Helping cats and dogs live their healthiest lives.
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Chihuahua adult in black and white on a white background

Chihuahua

The Chihuahua is widely regarded as the smallest pedigree dog breed in the world.

About the Chihuahua

There are two distinct varieties of the breed – the short-haired Chihuahua and the long-haired Chihuahua – each with their own distinct temperament. Chihuahuas can become very devoted to one person.

Due to their size and fragile build, it is important to make sure children are taught how to handle these dogs properly. Their temperaments can vary quite drastically, with some being particularly challenging to train.

Source: key facts and characteristics sourced from Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)

Breed specifics

Group
FCI Group 9, AKC Toy Group
Size category
Very Small
Avg life expectancy
14–18 years

Alert / Lively / Confident / Even-tempered / Friendly

Key facts

  • Needs little exercise
  • Suitable for small homes
  • Great companion
Breed origins illustration

Origins of the breed

The Chihuahua carries the name of the largest state of the Mexican Republic. Although the breed originates from Mexico, it’s thought that China and the U.S.A. also had a part to play in the development of the Chihuahua breed. 

The most popular theory is that Chihuahuas descended from the Techichi, a companion dog that was favoured by the ancient Toltec civilisation in Mexico. Representations of this Toy dog were used as decorations on town architecture. These statues are very similar to the present-day Chihuahua.

Health condition

Chihuahuas belong to the brachycephalic family that have as physical features a flat face and short nose due to their flat and wide skull shape. These anatomical attributes can cause some health issues like skin, eye and breathing problems as well as a poor ability to tolerate heat. For all brachycephalic breeds, we advise you to choose a dog with physical features that are not over-exaggerated, to buy from a responsible breeder and to seek counsels from your veterinarian. 

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A healthy start to life

Puppyhood is a time of massive physical and behavioural change, and a steep learning curve for new owners. Find out how you can provide your puppy with the best start to life so they develop into strong, healthy dogs. 

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Lifetime of health

Get advice and information on how to provide the best care for your dog at every stage of life.

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