October 28, 2022 - 3 min read
A small tan Chihuahua with large ears and a soft expression lies on a white background.

Vital stats

  • Breed type: Companion
  • Size: 6 - 10 inches
  • Weight: 1 - 9 pounds
  • Lifespan: 10 - 18 years


  • Size

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  • Intelligence

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  • Trainability

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  • Exercise needs

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  • Good with kids

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  • Levels of shedding

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  • Good for new owners

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  • Overall health of breed

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Chihuahuas are a small dog breed with lots of personality and character. They’re one of the most popular breeds in the world.

Originally from Mexico, their name is taken from the Mexican state of Chihuahua. They have a long history that stretches back to the Toltec and Aztec civilizations of Mexico.

It’s believed that Chihuahuas are the descendants of a small dog called the Techichi, which was kept by the Toltec people as far back as the 9th century. The Techichi was a larger and heavier breed than today’s Chihuahua, whose size is the result of targeted and selective breeding.

The Chihuahua temperament and characteristics

Despite their small size, Chihuahuas are quite active and energetic; they love to run and play.

They may look sweet and cuddly, but they also have a bold and fiery temperament that can be surprising to people not familiar with the breed.

One noticeable feature is their bark. Chihuahuas bark a lot! They’re often described as having “Small Dog Syndrome." In other words, they can be easily agitated, and they aren’t afraid of barking at much bigger dogs.

Despite their size, they make surprisingly good guard dogs, as their loud bark can be legitimately intimidating (and can easily attract their owners’ attention).

Chihuahuas like to form very close bonds with their owners or a particular person within a household, but this does mean they can sometimes be less interested in strangers or even wary of them.

Chihuahuas make great family pets, but they need good early socialization and training; without this, they can behave aggressively toward strangers and other household pets.

When introducing a Chihuahua to the family home, they should be handled by different members of the family so that they quickly become familiar and comfortable with each person. If there are other pets in the home, they should be allowed to interact with them, but they should be closely supervised so the pets become used to each other.

Chihuahuas are highly intelligent, which makes them easier to train than some other breeds. Like all dogs, they need regular exercise, but they don’t need as much as some larger breeds. A minimum of half an hour of exercise every day should be enough for them to remain happy, healthy, and frisky.

Chihuahua coats and colors

Black and Tan Chihuahua

Chihuahuas have two coat types: short-haired (sometimes called smooth) and long-haired. Each comes in a variety of colors that include:

  • Black

  • White

  • Fawn

  • Chocolate

  • Grey

  • Silver

It can take up to two years for long-haired Chihuahuas to develop their full coat. Their coats need brushing at least once a week, and they’re likely to shed some hair around the house.

Remember that Chihuahuas are one of the smallest dog breeds in the world. Whatever hair they do shed will be relatively minimal compared to larger breeds.

Short-haired (smooth) Chihuahuas require less grooming, but their short coats mean that they may get cold in winter, which is something to be aware of.

How much does dog insurance for Chihuahuas cost?


When you get your pet insurance quote from ManyPets, you'll be asked to choose your dog's breed from a list. There are two different types of Chihuahua you can choose from. “Chihuahua” and “Chihuahua-long-haired.” (We also have an option for “Chihuahua Mix.”) 

The most common selection is simply “Chihuahua,” for which our average monthly premium is $34. That's less than the average 2022 premium across all dog breeds and ages, which was $37 per month.

This low cost says a lot about just how healthy Chihuahuas are, since breeds that are more prone to health conditions tend to cost more to insure.

Keep in mind that these are just averages based on data from all customer premiums. Your pet's age and location will heavily affect your monthly price, and your pet's premium may differ from the average. Get more information about insuring your Chihuahua today.

Just remember: It’s a good idea to purchase dog insurance when your Chihuahua is still young. That way, you're far less likely to encounter any pre-existing condition exclusions, and your dog will still be covered if these conditions develop later in their life.

What are the most common Chihuahua health issues?

Chihuahuas may face several health challenges unique to their breed. Here are a few:

  • Dental disorders (e.g. tooth decay and periodontal disease)

  • Heart problems: (e.g. heart murmurs and congestive heart failure)

  • Luxating patella

  • Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD)

  • Eye issues (e.g. dry eye, glaucoma, and cataracts)

  • Hip dysplasia

  • Obesity

Learn more about common Chihuahua health concerns and how you can take action to keep your pup healthy.

Chihuahuas popularity

Frequently asked questions about Chihuahuass

How many puppies does a Chihuahua have?

The average size of a Chihuahua litter is normally between one and three puppies.

Why do Chihuahuas shake?

Chihuahuas have a reputation for sometimes being nervous and shaky. When they shake, it’s normally due to a physical or emotional response.

Cold weather is one of the most common reasons for shaking, and short-haired Chihuahuas are more likely to react to the cold.

Chihuahuas have naturally high metabolisms, which means they burn energy at a high rate. This high metabolism can make them shiver when they get excited or anxious.

Nerves are another reason for shaking. As with all breeds, Chihuahuas need good early training and socialization. Without this, they may be fearful and anxious around people and other animals.

Why do Chihuahuas sleep so much?

Chihuahuas are a lively and energetic breed and it’s natural that they will want to sleep after tiring themselves out.

As they grow older they are more likely to need more sleep after exercising and playing.