Chihuahua: Tiny package, big personality

Chihuahua History

Chihuahuas are recognized as the smallest dog breed and, although experts continue to debate, this breed is believed to date as far back as the ancient Aztec civilization, which itself became extinct in the 1500s. After similar dogs were discovered in the Mexican city of Chihuahua in 1850, this tiny canine began to join households across the border in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.

As one of the oldest dog breeds, Chihuahuas were first registered by the AKC in 1904. Since then, the Chihuahua has experienced a popularity boom by producing much-loved companions for over a century. Today’s Chihuahua is smaller in size, yet quite mighty in personality. A Chihuahua’s lifespan can be up to 18 years, so regular preventive care visits to your veterinarian are important to maintain lifelong health.

Lively Lapdog

As a member of the Toy Breed Group, the Chihuahua continues to fulfill his calling as a companion dog. Its compact size has enabled this breed to gain international appeal as carry-on, go-everywhere pets. The Chihuahua’s overall personality can be quite varied, although it is generally categorized as similar to a terrier, since it shares the same alert and lively temperament. Breed experts view Chihuahuas as having individualized personalities, no matter if the dog is long- or short-haired, male or female. Even littermates are known to demonstrate completely unique behaviors from one another.

Chihuahuas are quick, aware and have a tendency to be protective. Since they are so small, this courageousness is usually demonstrated by barking, but they are equally acknowledged for being devoted and quite loyal to their human counterparts. The breed is quite intelligent and shows natural curiosity as well as the uncanny ability to anticipate the next moves of those close to them. Somewhat stubborn and sassy, this tiny dog breed can be trained by owners who practice patience and consistency.

Chihuahuas can live in tight city spaces or big suburban yards, though they prefer to be inside on someone’s lap. They are a best fit for families with calm or older children and fondly continue the tradition of their original purpose – companionship.

Low Activity Level

Most comfortable being indoors, Chihuahuas do enjoy short walks and abbreviated outside playtime. They are not fans of cold weather and can easily be prone to the negative effects of snow and ice, due to their stature and size.

Nutritional Needs

Not surprising, Chihuahuas are known for their fussy and inconsistent appetites. Owners can appease their finicky appetites by choosing a dog food with highly digestible proteins, in a highly palatable formula with a combination of flavors and aromas to stimulate their appetite, delivered in a very small kibble that is easy to break and chew.

Banfield Pet Hospital lists these as some of the more common health conditions for Chihuahuas:

  • Periodontal Disease
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Urolithiasis
  • Mitral Valve Disease
Learn more about ROYAL CANIN® Chihuahua dog food, exclusively designed for the pure breed Chihuahua.