The Chihuahua dog is the smallest dog breed in the world. These small dogs have an outsized personality and are courageous, intelligent and loyal.
Chihuahuas come from Mexico, and were first domesticated by the Toltec people. They were bred for companionship at the end of the 1800s, and have since become very popular, especially with celebrities.
Physical characteristics of the Chihuahua
Chihuahuas have big, erect years and large, wide eyes. Their coats can be either short or long in length. They come in a variety of different colours.
Height: 5 to 8 inches
Weight: No more than 6 lbs
Lifespan: Between 14 and 16 years
Chihuahua personality and training
These small, sensitive dogs are sometimes described as terrier-like. Due to their suspicious natures, they make brilliant watchdogs. They thrive on companionship and affection, yet normally bond with a single owner. You will often find your Chihuahua following you around, and they'll love going everywhere with you (even if it means being carried in a purse) - hence the nickname of a “handbag dog”. Chihuahuas need early socialisation for them to grow into well-rounded pets. They are friendly with children, but do better with older kids, if only on account of their size.
These dogs are intelligent, so are capable of doing well in obedience. However, they are willfull so you must start early!
Grooming a Chihuahua
Both coat varieties are pretty low maintenance, though the long haired variety will require more attention. Both varieties are considered moderate shedders.
Chihuahua exercise requirements
These little dogs are active and bubbly, but they don't require too much exercise. A half hour walk a day should be enough for them to stretch their little legs out.
Chihuahuas are inclined to illnesses that sometimes affect small dogs. Tracheal collapse, luxating patella, hypoglycaemia and dental problems are common.
Top 5 best Chihuahua mixed breeds
If you love the pocket size of Chihuahuas, but don't know about their confident and stubborn personality, you may want to look at a Chihuahua cross breed instead.
The Chiweenie: Chihuahua x Dachshund
Dachshunds and Chihuahuas are quite similar in personality, so you'll be getting double the trouble with this mix. This is a loveable pup who wants nothing more than to be by your side. However, Chiweenies are stubborn and can suffer from "small-dog syndrome" if they are not properly socialised or trained from a very young age. They'll need a bit more exercise than your average Chihuahua - you're looking at 30-60 minutes a day of active walkies. This mix does best with an adult or even elderly couple or a person living alone.
The Chi-Poo: Chihuahua x Poodle
A Chi-Poo is a good choice for someone who wants a Chi who's a little more trainable! Indeed, these dogs are intelligent and learn fast. However, socialisation is of the utmost importance, as they often bond with a single person and act wary and even defensive around strangers. They have a lot of energy, so you'll need to commit at least 45 minutes a day to active exercise. These dogs are goofy in personality, and, when brought up in the right environment, can make great family pets too.
The Chug: Chihuahua x Pug
This mix is a great choice for those who want a small lap dog with a more laid-back attitude than the Chihuahua. Indeed, the Chug is known for its sociable nature: it gets along with other pets and humans alike! They are friendly and easy to please - they'll be happy in pretty much any living situation, as long as it's with you. Purchasing a Pug mix should always be a well thought-through decision though, as they are a brachycephalic breed, which inevitably means respiratory problems.
The Chorkie: Chihuahua x Yorkshire Terrier
Chorkies are loving, loyal, bubbly, energetic, and goofy. They are fairly easily trained, and can make fantastic apartment dogs. They do, however, need a significant amount of socialisation to prevent jealousy-related aggressiveness developing in their adult years. They are very small dogs and as such, do better with adult or teenage owners than with small children. They are not aware of said size, so need to be closely watched, especially when interacting with bigger dogs.
The Jack-Chi: Jack Russell Terrier x Chihuahua
This might be the most energetic of all the Chihuahua mix breeds! Though small in size, Jack-Chis need at least 45 minutes to an hour of active exercise a day, which should be combined with mental stimulation too. Without it, these intelligent dogs can become quite destructive, and because they love to bark and dig, this can be quite troublesome. Be consistent with your training - these dogs can definitely outsmart you! With the right socialisation and training, they can make good pets for active, outdoorsy families.
Haven't found the one you're looking for yet? Here are some other popular Chihuahua crosses:
Boston Huahua – Boston Terrier x Chihuahua
Cheagle – Chihuahua x Beagle
Chi-Chi – Chihuahua x Chinese Crested
Chi-Chon – Chihuahua x Bichon Frise
Chi-Spaniel – Chihuahua x Cocker Spaniel
Chatterdale - Chihuahua x Patterdale Terrier
Toxirn - Cairn Terrier x Chihuahua
Chigi - Chihuahua x Corgi
Italian Greyhuahua - Italian Greyhound x Chihuahua
For the right kind of owner, a Chihuahua cross can be a fantastic companion!
Check out these other mixed breeds:
- Everything you need to know about the Pomeranian cross
- Everything you need to know about the Rottweiler cross
- Everything you need to know about the Golden Retriever cross
- Everything you need to know about the Dachshund cross
- Everything you need to know about the Labrador crossbreed
- Everything you need to know about the Border Terrier cross breeds
- Everything you need to know about the Border Collie cross
- Everything you need to know about the Beagle cross
- Poodle crossbreeds: everything you need to know
- Everything you need to know about the Husky cross
- Everything you need to know about the Shih Tzu cross
- The Jack Russell cross: everything you need to know
- Everything you need to know about the Dalmatian cross
- Pug cross: everything you need to know
- Everything you need to know about the French Bulldog cross
- Everything you need to know about the German Shepherd cross
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