Chihuahuas are one of the tiniest and most adorable-looking dog breeds out there; however, they are not every dog lover’s cup of tea. Despite their incredibly small size and apparently meek demeanor, they actually have really big and bold personalities that have taken households by a storm.
Chihuahuas are quite a fascinating dog breed with eccentric personalities and exhibit amazing qualities such as loyalty, devotion, friendliness, and compassion. These qualities make them great pets and excellent companion dogs in the world. They are also quite diverse in terms of their sizes, colors, coats, and shapes.
Experts have classified Chihuahuas as a part of the top ten watchdogs because they quickly form strong bonds and attachments with their owners, as a way of guaranteeing them full safety and protection. Interestingly, Chihuahuas gained great popularity especially after being in celebrity hands like Reese Witherspoon and Paris Hilton.
Note: If you’re bringing a new dog home, check out my article, “8 Steps to Bringing a New Dog Home”. We also have an article all about spaniels! Check it out here.
The History of Chihuahua
The origin of Chihuahuas has always been a matter of confusion and debate because there are several theories according to which Chihuahuas have originated from different parts of the world.
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One of the most plausible theories says that Chihuahuas are descendants of the Techichi breed, an ancient race of dogs that were kept by the people of the ancient Toltec civilization. They were initially popular as companion dogs after which they began to be sold to passerby travelers. They were commonly found in the Mexican state of Chihuahua which is primarily how they got this unique name.
The first act that contributed to their worldwide popularity was when American visitors who visited Mexico during the late 1800s brought these cute little dogs back home with them.
Common Features and Characteristics
A typical Chihuahua weighs up to 3 to 6 pounds on average with a rare exception where the healthier Chihuahuas manage to weigh around 12 pounds or more. They are widely known for their confident and bold personalities with a hint of affection and sensitivity, together which make them all-rounder kind of dogs.
One of the most important requirements for Chihuahua dogs is early socialization because they need all kinds of exposure to other dog breeds, sounds, sights, different people and experiences in order to grow into more well-rounded dogs.
This is also essential because most Chihuahuas, if not properly introduced to their surroundings tend to be unruly, aggressive and stubborn. Lack of proper socialization can also result in them being too timid and apprehensive.
Types of Chihuahua
There is undoubtedly one official breed of Chihuahuas; however, there are further different types of Chihuahua that are categorized according to their coats and shapes. Read on to find out the different types and their specific defining features and characteristics.
This breed of Chihuahua gets its name from its super short and smooth coat that has short hairs compared to its long-haired counterpart. This suggests that the smooth-coat Chihuahua requires less combing, grooming and virtually no trimming.
However, these dogs tend to shed a lot which makes them unsuitable for all those people who have dog hair allergies.
Smooth-coat Chihuahuas have originated from Mexico, and their breed goes as far back as the 5th century to the times of the Mayan Civilization. They are some of the smallest kinds of Chihuahuas with a very fine, smooth coat and an apple-domed skull.
They typically weigh between 1-3 kg and measure between 15-23 cm at the withers. They also belong to the toy group and are popularly used in show-rings and as true companions by most people.
This is a clever dog breed that can quickly adapt to extensive training methods. In terms of personality, these Chihuahuas are able to form great bonds with people, however, can end up being nervous and shy among strangers.
They are generally very lively, curious and overly affectionate. An important thing to keep in mind with this breed is that they must be socialized in the initial stages only because new environments can make them very anxious and unapproachable. However, these digs shed a lot o
This breed is also called the “toy-sized long-haired Chihuahua” with varying hair length and also a variety of different colors. It is one of the most recognized and popular among all other Chihuahua breeds.
As their name suggests, these Chihuahuas have long, velvety hair that is amazingly soft to the touch and beautiful to the sight. This gives them quite a distinctive appearance and makes, in turn, making them popular for their looks.
The Long-Coat Chihuahuas usually have slightly wavy or flat long coats and come in colors ranging from fawn to black. They are defined as dainty, compact dogs that weigh between 1.8-2.7 kg and typically measure 15-23 cm.
This ancient breed has descended from Mayan dogs in South America and also from the Techichi dog family in the Toltecs of Mexico. According to historical records, the long-coat Chihuahua was mentioned in a letter that was written by Christopher Columbus to the King of Spain.
Apparently, it was also him who brought this dog back to Europe. Soon enough, this dog breed gained significant popularity in America, where it was first known as a “Texas Dog” or an “Arizona Dog”.
Long-Coat Chihuahuas have a very feisty, confident and courageous personality. They are also known to be very loyal, kind, and gentle to their families.
They are a great breed to have as pets because have a tendency to get attached to their owners very quickly. Interestingly, these Chihuahuas pick a favorite member of the family who they follow around pompously.
Apple Head Chihuahua
This dog breed is said to deserve great honor and respect primarily because it is believed to surpass all the other Chihuahuas in terms of their excellence.
It is widely acclaimed that apple-head Chihuahuas are what should come to mind every time you hear the word “Chihuahua”. In essence, they reflect the real and true standards of the Chihuahua breed.
Apple Head Chihuahuas get their name interesting and unique from their apple-shaped head with a 90-degree sloping forehead. This angle is called a “stop” which is basically the point where the muzzle meets the forehead. They are a resilient breed that was discovered by the Americans in the 1800s.
After being registered by the American Kennel Club in 1908, apple head Chihuahuas became quite a Hollywood sensation and were greatly adored by families as pets and companions.
These dogs belong to the Toy breed and typically weight about 3-5 pounds and grow to an average height of 5-8 inches. They normally have a lifespan of 10-18 years. These dogs are the smallest of their kind and have dark, glowing and lovable eyes.
Their coats may have long or short hairs which are one of the most distinguishing features among all Chihuahua breeds. Their coats typically sport six different colors, including cream, chocolate, gold, black, white and fawn.
This Chihuahua breed is famous for its charming and adorable temperament and does really well in family settings. They do need lots of obedience training and proper socialization in order for them to socially amicable and playful.
Deer Head Chihuahua
This Chihuahua breed also gets its unique name from the shape of its head which is similar to that of a deer or a hound. Just like the apple-head Chihuahuas, the deer-head Chihuahuas also have a sloped angle which is at 45-degrees, where its relatively long snout meets the skull.
While the head is their most distinctive feature, one can also tell them apart from other Chihuahuas by their Postage ears, long body, long legs, and a narrower snout.
A healthy and a well-bred Deer Head Chihuahua can live up to 15-20 years and tends to weigh between 4-7 lbs, making it slightly heavier than its apple-head counterpart.
They come in a variety of different colors with fawn being the most common and popular. These dogs have these larger-than-life personalities with a great aptitude for loyalty and devotion. They tend to latch on to one person of the family member in particular and prefer to hang around them only.
Interestingly, they will exhibit great obedience to this specific person and may even defend him or her against anything and everything.
Their temperament is best defined as affectionate, stubborn, dominant and unruly. However, with the correct kind of training and socialization, they can be great contenders for many people as companions and lapdogs.
These Chihuahuas are named so because they are actually small enough to fit into teacups and can even fit the palm of your hand. They are smaller than regular dog breeds since they weigh less than five pounds and are smaller than nine inches once they are fully grown.
The exact origin of Teacup Chihuahuas has been quite a debatable matter, but there is certainly no doubt that they are an ancient breed. According to historical records, teacup Chihuahuas are said to have come from the ancient Techichi dogs that were found during the Toltec civilization near Mexico City.
Apparently, the Aztecs turned these dogs into a smaller size when they conquered the Toltecs. This smaller breed was then crossed with an oriental hairless dog species, resulting in the modern Teacup Chihuahua breed.
Since teacup Chihuahuas don’t take up a lot of space and look like puppies all their lives due to their incredibly small size, they appeal to a lot of pet owners and pet enthusiasts. However, they can’t be held on to for a long time because they come with a fair share of health problems that considerably reduce their average life expectancy.
This Chihuahua breed has stirred up a lot of debate in earlier times because many people used to believe that it is not an actual separate ‘Chihuahua’ breed and has often been referred to as a ‘mythical’ type of dog breed. Their name comes from their fawn color so it is argued that any type of Chihuahua could classify in this group given that they have a fawn-colored coat.
Fawn is one of the more popular and common colors found among Chihuahuas so it is typically believed that any Chihuahua dog can be called a “fawn Chihuahua” considering their fawn color.
However, the fawn-colored Chihuahuas do have a distinct coat that could probably become a “thing” and classify them as a different breed altogether.
Pear Headed Chihuahua
These Chihuahuas have flat, pear-shaped heads that look fairly unusual compared to other Chihuahua breeds. They are referred to as a kind of a copy of dear-head and apple-head Chihuahuas, which is basically what resulted in them having bigger dimensions, flatheads, and very prominent muzzles.
Pear headed Chihuahuas are largely unpopular because of their shape and are most commonly found among various breeders.
However, these Chihuahuas make great companions and are quite an interesting and playful breed. You can carry them anywhere you go for they are also known to be good travelers.
The “Chillier” is a small statured cross between the Mexican Chihuahua and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. They are known for some of their most distinctive features like their incredibly large, bulging eyes, droopy Spaniel-like ears or the erect ones like that of a Chihuahua.
This breed has originated from the United States of America and has become one of the most favored Spaniel-Chihuahua dogs. This has led to their massive popularity and demand as companions, pets, and lapdogs. Chillier Chihuahuas are also quite reputed for their friendly, loyal and outgoing personalities.
These dogs have a mix of short and straight, and long and silky coats that sport a variety of different colors like black, brown, and cream. They are quite a small breed with an average weight of 6 to 12 pounds and an average height of 8 to 10 inches. In well-balanced and ideal growing conditions, the chillier Chihuahuas can live up to 10-16 years.
This Chihuahua Cavalier King Charles Spaniel mix tends to be a good family dog with a calm and friendly temperament. However, some times, these dogs can exhibit a mixture of both the parents’ characteristics. They might be very sweet and amicable like their King Charles Spaniel parent or display stubbornness and independent nature like that of a Chihuahua.
Overall, these dogs can be excellent companions and playmates for kids and can also end up highly possessive towards a particular member of the family.
This is known as the ultimate Chihuahua Dachshund mix that is quite popular, and much loved among most dog owners. They are a great option for all those people looking for a bodyguard dog but without the large physique.
The Chiweenie Chihuahua is also referred to as the perfect mix of the short, affectionate and compassionate Dachshund breed and the fierce as well as a feisty Chihuahua.
They are bred as companion dogs and toy breeds and have an average lifespan of 13-16 years. They typically weigh between 5-10 pounds and reach an average height of 8-12 inches. They sport a variety of different colors including black, brown, tan, blonde, and even sport multi-colored fur.
This breed originated in the early 1990s and went on to gain significant popularity over the last few years particularly in the United States. They have different origins since this breed is a cross or mix of two different dog species. While the Chihuahua has a Mexican descent, the Dachshund breed has come from Germany and holds a European descent.
Although these dogs have quite a small size, they have actually fairly bold souls and personalities. They are brave and fearless in the face of danger and will protect you from harm and strangers. They are incredibly loyal to their owners, and they normally bark way more as compared to other toy breeds, a quality that makes them the perfect dogs for guarding your home.
As the name obviously suggests, this breed is a pint-sized hybrid and a cross between the Mexican Chihuahua and one of the terrier breeds. While Chihuahuas are small dogs mostly bred for companionship, terriers are a group of dogs that are meant for working roots and hunting games.
Their nature and temperament greatly depend on the personality of their parents, the behavior training they are given and how well they are taught to socialize with people and other dogs. Put together; this hybrid mix is quite an athletic dog and full of energy.
They are super alert and intelligent, and also quite stubborn like their Chihuahua parent. Given that they retain their stubbornness, they can be very hard and challenging to train.
Check out our article about the body language of a dog in our “Expert Guide to Dog Body Language”.
The size of this breed is usually found to be 10-28 inches, and they typically weigh between 6-25 lbs. Their average lifespan goes up to 12-20 years, and they come in various colors including white, tan, brown, and even bi and tri color as a result of the different terrier breeds there are.
The Chihuahua-Terrier mix breed is suitable for active and adult-only homes because they can tend to have very diverse personalities that may not be entirely suitable for kids. Fascinatingly, since they are super energetic, they are also fatigue-proof and require more than 60 minutes of exercise and physical activity each day.
Now that you know all about the different types of Chihuahuas, the next time you come across one or wish to get one for a pet, you will be able to tell them apart and pick the one you like!
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