Animal stories: Chihuahua

Chihuahuas are the smallest dog breeds in the world and can even stand on all fours in a person’s palm. They have a distinctive apple shaped skull. Puppies have a soft spot or “molera” on the top of the skull. The bone usually closes the gap by adulthood. The cheeks and jaws are lean, while the nose is moderately short. They have round, large, very dark eyes, sometimes dark ruby or luminous in colour. The trademark large ears are held erect. The body is stout, longer than their height, and their tail is curled over the back or to the side.

Chihuahuas tend to bond closely with one or two people. With the owners, they would be curious, lively and intelligent, as well as deeply and constantly affectionate. However, the breed does not take kindly to strangers and can appear nervous, yappy and even get irritated. Chihuahuas must be socialised as early as possible or will become very anxious in new environments and will not get along with other pets and will be risky around children. On the plus side, the dog is very territorial and will make a good guard dog, although some find the Chihuahua’s barking excessive. The Chihuahua hates the cold and may shiver. It will tolerate and even appreciate a warm sweater on cooler days. They are good little dogs for apartment life. They make excellent, loving companions for single people and the elderly.

Average size

The Chihuahua is 6-9 inches tall and weighs ideally between 1-3kg.

Coat colour

It comes in a variety of colours from fawn to black including sand, chestnut, silver and steel blue.


It is a clever breed and can take well to training if it is begun early on. Some Chihuahuas have been trained to use a cat tray, while others are never house trained at all. It is entirely up to the owner to put some time in from day one of the puppy’s arrival.

Food requirements

Chihuahuas should be given two to three small meals per day rather than one large one. They can eat dry food as well as tinned food and seem to enjoy crunching up the hard



About 15 or more years.

Pet grooming

These breeds need grooming once a week. The smooth, short-haired coat should be gently brushed occasionally or simply wiped over with a damp cloth.

The long coat should be brushed daily with a soft bristle brush. They should be given a bath once a month, taking care not to get water in the ears.

Country of origin

Mexico: The Chihuahua are the oldest breed on the American continent that may go as far back as 5th century. Native to Mexico, nonetheless it seems to have been introduced by the Chinese. It was only brought to Europe at the end of the nineteenth century. The Chihuahua is named after the Mexican state of Chihuahua where it was brought to the rest of the world by travellers. This breed is believed to have been sacred to the Pre-Columbian Indian. The modern Chihuahua was first exported to America. Theory has it that the modern breed developed from the ancient strains of the Techichi, mixed with small dogs of Mexico, Arizona and Texas. The breed rapidly gained popularity and is much loved pet all over the world today.