• Overview

    Chihuahuas have the important distinction of being the world’s smallest dog. They only weigh between 3 and 6 pounds and stand about 6 to 9 inches tall. Their feisty personalities take up much more room than their teeny bodies, so even if you can’t always see them, you will always know when they’re around.

    Chihuahuas are constant companions and consistent entertainers. They are wonderful pets for owners who don’t mind keeping a watchful eye on a teeny tiny affectionate little dog who won’t ever want to leave their side.

  • Personality

    Chihuahuas are such popular dogs because of their adorable size but also because of their endearing personalities. They almost always seem to be excited about something, and they delight in being cuddled, carried and doted on by their owners. Beware of over-indulging their every whim, however, because spoiled Chihuahuas can quickly turn into demanding princes and princesses. Chihuahuas love receiving attention from humans, and they often bond very closely to one person. They are affectionate and dependent dogs who prefer to spend as much time as possible around their owners. Despite their small size, they need lots of exercise and activity to stay both mentally and physically fit. Even if they resist playtime or walks, it’s important to make sure they stay healthy and active.

    Although these busy little pooches can seem a tad hyperactive, all that hustling around is not without good reason. Chihuahuas are incredibly aware of their surroundings because they rely on their alertness to protect them from much larger threats. Because they’re always on the alert, they can appear tentative or high strung around strangers. Make sure to socialize them with other dogs and humans so that they understand their size and learn the difference between friend and foe. Socialization will also help them become used to new environments, which can be stressful for Chihuahuas.

  • Coat Care

    Chihuahuas are found in two different coat types that are each equally well-bred and prized in the show ring. Long-coated Chihuahuas have soft, long coats that feel smooth to the touch. Some lie flat against the body, but others are curly coats that stand off slightly. The body hair is smooth and soft with a ruff at the neck. Long-coated Chihuahuas have plumed tails and longer, fringed hair around the ears, frilled hair underneath the stomach and feathered “socks” and “pants” on the feet and legs.

    Smooth-coated Chihuahuas have a much more basic coat. It is smooth, shiny and close-fitting. Smooth-coated Chihuahuas also have a thicker ruff around the neck. They have furry little tails and thin hair that coats their faces and ears. Dogs with both coat types develop their large, bat-like prick ears as they age. They are found in most solid colors with a wide variety of markings. Colors like black, white, fawn, chocolate and silvery gray are popular, and many are seen in tri-color or merle and brindle patterns.

    Chihuahuas’ distinct appearance comes predominantly from their very small size, but it is also defined by their unique head shapes. Chihuahuas have the largest brains, relative to their size, of any dog. Their heads, shaped like apples or like deer’s heads, surround and protect their large brains and make them look much different from other tiny breeds like Toy Fox Terriers or Miniature Pinschers.

    Long-coated Chihuahuas need some extra attention when brushing. Brush carefully around the ears, feet and tail to remove any tangles and make sure that the hair does not collect dirt. Smooth-coated Chihuahuas can be brushed with a rubber brush or grooming mitt when they shed. Make sure to check the areas around their eyes and ears to keep them clean and free of infection. Trim the hair around these areas and around the foot pads if it is necessary for your Chihuahua to say comfortable. Chihuahuas shed periodically throughout the year, but they blow their coat more heavily twice a year. Comb your Chihuahua with a small flea comb to help keep shedding under control.

    Bathing these tiny dogs is easy – just dunk them in the sink!

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This grooming information is for a Chihauhau with a smooth coat.  If your dog has a long hair coat, go back to the “Care For My Dog” selector and (1) choose Chihauhau from the breed pull-down menu and then (2) choose “Long Hair” from the “Coat Type” menu.

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This grooming information is for a Chihauhau with a smooth coat.  If your dog has a long hair coat, go back to the “Care For My Dog” selector and (1) choose Chihauhau from the breed pull-down menu and then (2) choose “Long Hair” from the “Coat Type” menu.


Hair Clipping

This grooming information is for a Chihauhau with a smooth coat.  If your dog has a long hair coat, go back to the “Care For My Dog” selector and (1) choose Chihauhau from the breed pull-down menu and then (2) choose “Long Hair” from the “Coat Type” menu.

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Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.

Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience.  As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.

You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.

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Eyes / Ears

Not all breeds and coat styles require routine trimming in and around the eyes and ears but all should undergo regular inspection and cleaning around these sensitive areas. Doing so will help prevent the development of infections that could seriously damage these amazing organs.

It is always important to routinely clean your dog's eyes and ears, and examine for potential infections. Some smooth-coated dogs, like Basenjis and Boxers, and dogs with large ears, like Weimaraners and Great Danes, have sensitive ears that should be checked  weekly for infection and cleaned with a cotton ball. Gently wipe a cotton ball moistened with mineral oil, olive oil or witch hazel in your dog's ear, being careful to avoid the ear canal. Never use a Q-Tip, which could cause damage to the inner ear if your dog suddenly shakes or jerks his head. Bushy hair growth within the ear can be thinned with tweezers or blunt scissors. Use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around the eyes, ears and face. If you have a small dog, like an Italian Greyhound, take special care to  clean around their eyes with a cotton ball or soft cloth and use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around their eyes to make sure they are comfortable. Dogs with facial wrinkles, like French Bulldogs and Boston Terriers, should have their faces wiped down at least weekly to prevent infection.

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Chihuahuas have sensitive little teeth that require brushing multiple times a week.