Let's talk Smooth-Coat Chihuahuas

Petite yet mighty, Smooth-Coat Chihuahuas are the tiniest of breeds yet possess a big heart. Instantly identifiable by their apple-shaped head and doe-eyes, their devoted stare conveys the mammoth warmth found within. Chihuahuas are fiercely loyal, great for city or country homes, and with proper care, live very long healthy lives – often two decades or more. The breed also comes in a long-coat version.

Official name: Smooth-Coat Chihuahua

Other names: Chiwawa, Chi

Origins: Mexico

Chihuahua adult in black and white on a white background
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* We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behavior. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations. Every pet is different, even within a breed. This snapshot of this breed specifics should be taken as an indication only. For a happy, healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socializing your pet as well as meeting their basic welfare needs (and their social and behavioral needs). Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child. Contact your breeder or veterinarian for further advice. All domestic pets are sociable and prefer company. However, they can be taught to cope with solitude from an early age. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or trainer to help you do this.
Illustration of beige Long Coat Chihuahua
13 - 23 cm13 - 20 cm
1 - 3 kg1 - 3 kg
2 to 10 months10 months to 8 years
8 to 12 yearsFrom 12 years
Smooth Coat Chihuahua running over grass

Get to know Smooth-Coat Chihuahua

All you need to know about the breed

“Best buddy” is the ideal phrase to describe the Smooth-Coat Chihuahua, the ideal companion dog. Loyalty is a given for a breed that easily cozies up but is always on alert where their owner is concerned. Barking at strangers may happen with the Chihuahua but it’s hardly cause for concern. They’ll soon be diverted by another nonstop activity. Playtime is anytime as far as they’re concerned!

The power-packed personality of the Chihuahua breed is evident in their official ranking: They currently hold 11th place on the American Kennel Club’s annual list of most popular breeds.

The breed never grows past 3 kilograms – 6 pounds – so taking them pretty much anywhere is doable.

When it comes to dogs, we’re often advised to watch children for fear that the dog may hurt them unwittingly. But because this breed is so small, children are the ones who could actually harm the Chihuahua without meaning to. They can be fragile so keep a watchful eye. Indoor play is ideal as are small dog parks. Mental stimulation is great for the Chihuahua breed, and games are an ideal pastime, too.

Far from being a hulking security dog, Chihuahuas can be just as protective of their flock. They tend to be reserved with strangers, but this wariness falls away once a new relationship is formed.

Beige Smooth Coat Chihuahua puppy with mother

Two facts about Smooth-Coat Chihuahuas

1. Don’t spoil them too rotten

Believe it or not, Smooth-Coat Chihuahuas can gain weight easily. With a wee body, one too many snacks can quickly add up. Use a handful of kibble as a treat, taken from their daily meal allotment. The official breed classification puts the Chihuahua at 2.72 kg, tops.

2. So small in a big world  

The Chihuahua personality is a bold one for sure: Not to be dismissed, they’ve been known to challenge dogs multiple times their size. Teaching your new dog a new trick – how to get along with others – will be key to proper socializing as they grow.


History of the breed

Many wonder where the diminutive Chihuahua comes from. The dog hails from 12th-century Mexico during the time the Aztecs conquered the Toltec civilization, and the Techichi dog, a denser ancestor of the Chihuahua breed. The Techichi was lighter and more agile than the current Chihuahua size, if that’s even possible for such a petite breed of dog.

Throughout the centuries, the Chihuahua persevered, eventually gaining huge popularity in the U.S. in the mid-1800s when Americans discovered them in their area of origin, Chihuahua, the Mexican state that borders Texas. The Techichi was then renamed and the Chihuahua breed flourished north of the border.

Smooth-Coat Chihuahuas can be clannish, tending to stick with their own kind. Not bred for a particular job, Chihuahuas function best as a family dog and of course make a superb travelling partner. For that, they’re just the right size: The Chihuahua dog breed is considered the smallest in the world, maxing out at just over 2.72 kg, or 6 lb.


From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Smooth-Coat Chihuahuas



Wide-set ears with erect positioning, tapering to a tip.


Distinctive apple-shaped head


Compact body with short, firm back, solid muscularity.


Smooth firm, fine-haired coat, thin undercoat.


High curved tail that forms semicircle or curlicue.
Chihuahua standing on hill looking into distance

Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Smooth-Coat Chihuahua

This is one dogged dog

The headstrong Smooth-Coat Chihuahua temperament and willful determination is surprising, given their compact size. But small can still mean mighty when it comes to getting their way. The Smooth-Coat Chihuahua is smart and will outsmart you if you let him! The solution: Early education of your puppy to make sure they know who is in charge. Training your Smooth-Coat Chihuahua well can offset any tenacious streak they may have and instill good behavior all around.

Too much exercise wears them out

The Chihuahua breed is a high-energy one for sure, but don’t mistake this characteristic for your Smooth-Coat Chihuahua’s desire to take super long walks or play endlessly. A small body means that less is more. Simple indoor activity is best on a daily basis for the Smooth-Coat Chihuahua dog, and they’ll get more mileage out of shorter strolls in the end. And as with all smaller dogs, if they get too tired, you can just pick them up and put them in a carrier the rest of the way home!

Chihuahuas can have a few health issues

Small dog breeds can be prone to hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. It’s easy to think Chihuahuas’ little bodies don’t need a lot to go on but too-long a stretch between meals and your dog may have a serious dip in energy. Stick to regular meals and food packaging guidelines. The breed can have cardiac concerns such as narrow heart valves or aortic valve disease, eye disease, and patellar luxation (loose kneecaps). Regular veterinarian checkups can stem any problems before they start. They are also known as a brachycephalic breed, characterized by a flattened snout and nostrils. Breathing difficulties – especially in too-hot or too-cold weather – can be common. Many dogs that have brachycephalic airway obstruction syndrome can also show signs of gastrointestinal distress. Take extra care to have your Chihuahua fully examined by a veterinarian regularly.

Healthy diet, healthier dog

When choosing food for a Chihuahua, there are many factors to consider: their age, lifestyle, activity level, physiological condition, and health including potential sickness or sensitivities. Food provides energy to cover a dog’s vital functions, and a complete nutritional formula should contain an adjusted balance of nutrients to avoid any deficiency or excess in their diet, both of which could have adverse effects on the dog.
The following recommendations are for healthy animals. If your dog has health problems, please consult your veterinarian who will prescribe an exclusive veterinary diet.
Clean and fresh water should be available at all times to support your dog’s urinary health. In hot weather and especially when out exercising, bring water along for your dog’s frequent water breaks.

A Chihuahua puppy’s requirements, in terms of energy, protein, minerals, and vitamins, are much greater than those of an adult dog. They need energy and nutrients to maintain their body, but also to grow and build it. Until they are 8 months old, a Chihuahua puppies’ immune system develops gradually. A complex of antioxidants - including vitamin E - can help support their natural defences during this time of big changes, discoveries, and new encounters. Their digestive functions are different from an adult Chihuahua’s, too: their digestive system is not mature yet so it’s important to provide highly digestible proteins that will be effectively used. A balanced intake of fibres, such as psyllium, can help facilitate intestinal transit and contribute to good stool quality.

Similarly, a puppy’s teeth – starting with the milk teeth, or first teeth, then the permanent teeth – are an important factor that needs to be taken into account when choosing the size, form, and hardness of kibble. This growth phase also means high energy needs, so the food must have a high energy content (expressed in Kcal/100g of food), while concentrations of all other nutrients will also be higher than normal in a specially formulated growth food. It is recommended to split the daily allowance into three meals a day until they are six months old, then to switch to two meals per day.

The main nutritional goals for adult Chihuahuas are:

Maintaining an ideal body weight by using highly digestible ingredients and keeping the fat content at a sensible level

Preserving the health and beauty of the skin and coat with the enriched provision of essential fatty acids (especially EPA-DHA), essential amino acids, and B vitamins.

Protecting their very delicate jaws. Chihuahuas have a strong predisposition to accumulating dental tartar. By reducing tartar formation on the teeth, which is responsible for dental plaque, kibble containing calcium chelators plays an essential role and helps combat oral disorders. The size and shape of the kibble should be very small and adapted to the miniature jaw of Chihuahuas in order to avoid problems with picking up food. This may also stimulate their fussy appetite.

After 8 years old, Chihuahuas start facing the first signs of ageing. A diet enriched with antioxidants helps maintain vitality, and key nutrients, such as taurine, help support good cardiac function. Ageing is also accompanied by the modification of digestive capacities and particular nutritional requirements, so food for ageing Chihuahuas should have the following characteristics:

vitamin C and E content. These nutrients have antioxidant properties,
protecting the body’s cells against the harmful effects of the oxidative stress
linked to ageing.

High-quality protein. Contrary to a widely held misconception, lowering the protein content in food brings little benefit in limiting kidney failure because older dogs are less efficient at using dietary protein than younger dogs. Reducing the phosphorus content is the only way of slowing down the gradual deterioration of kidney function.

A higher
proportion of the trace elements iron, zinc and manganese to maintain good
condition of the skin and coat.

A higher
quantity of polyunsaturated fatty acids (borage oil, fish oil) to maintain the
quality of the coat. Dogs normally produce these fatty acids, but ageing can
affect this physiological process.

As they age, dogs increasingly suffer from teeth problems. To ensure they continue to eat in sufficient quantities, the shape, size, and hardness of their kibble needs to be tailored to their jaw. A formula that contains calcium chelators will support dental health by reducing tartar formation.

Although important throughout the Chihuahua’s life, cardiac health becomes more important as the dog ages. A blend of nutrients, such as taurine and EPA-DHA, will help maintain cardiac health in mature Chihuahuas.


Caring for your Smooth-Coat Chihuahua

Grooming, training, and exercise tips

As a small dog, hikes and morning runs are ruled out, but there is plenty of activity the Smooth-Coat Chihuahua can get up to every day. Like any dog, they need moderate exercise to keep in good health. Short jaunts around a few blocks will work to keep them in good shape. The life expectancy of the Chihuahua is a long one; keep them fit all those years with appropriate activity, like simple play indoors and fun games of fetch.

Keep the coat of the Smooth-Coat Chihuahua in shape by grooming it a few times per week; doing so will help dispose of old hair and make way for new, and keep their coat its shiny best. Shedding is luckily not an issue for the breed. Routine nail trims should be maintained as well as the regular brushing of teeth to stave off any periodontal problems. Daily brushing removes dental plaque but preventing periodontal problems may be best done through the care of your veterinarian.

The devoted, smart Smooth-Coat Chihuahua is a delightful dog to have around. An intense loyalty means they’re motivated to please, and will definitely respond well to obedience training. Instilling good habits in your Smooth-Coat Chihuahua from a young age will yield the best results and curb the tendency to be overly assertive.


All about Smooth-Coat Chihuahuas

  1. Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/
  2. Royal Canin Dog Encyclopedia. Ed 2010 and 2020
  3. Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/
  4. Royal Canin BHN Product Book
  5. American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/

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