Breed Information

Chihuahuas: 101 Is a Chi the right dog for you? Got your heart set on a puppy or are you open to the possibility of offering a home to a chi in need? We'll give you a complete look at this breed, including where and how to purchase one.

chihuahua flag

The painting above is availabe in garden flag size below. 

"Even the tiniest Poodle or Chihuahua is still a wolf at heart”

-Dorothy Hinshaw Patent (author)

Watch Dogs- This breed will wholeheartedly enjoy it's position as your bodyguard. You couldn't ask for a better alarm dog. 

Size- While Chihuahuas in the show ring are no more than 6 pounds, a pet quality dog can weigh twice as much. Temperament and health, as opposed to size, should be the first consideration. Looking for a teacup pup? Check here first.

Friendly- A 'people friendly' Chi is easy to achieve with lots of diverse socializing. By nature, most would be timid and/or passive-aggressive if left to their own free will.

Trainability- They're quick learners and they're eager to please. Training sessions work best when you limit the time you spend teaching new tricks to around 10-15 minutes per session. Because Chihuahuas are a toy breed, house training may not come as easy as you like. We highly recommend these positive training techniques.

Loyalty- They are extremely loyal, but often devote themselves to only a single person. Though it's cute, unquestionably when a tiny dog fearlessly protects the lap of his chosen owner, but encouraging this behavior is stressful for the dog. Cute or not, the dog should be taken seriously and discouraged from too much unnecessary and overzealous protective behavior for his own mental well-being. Learn some basic training techniques here.

Excitability- More excitable than you might think, they can be aggressive and are not suitable for homes with small children. They also have no regard for the limitations of their own size and have no problem chasing or starting trouble with larger or more dangerous animals. For this reason, never leave your chi unharnessed outside the confines of your home.

General Breed Health- High risk of poorly bred and puppy mill dogs in this breed. See more below in Health Issues, below. 

NOT non-shedding- We do have a whole page devoted to non-shedding small breed dogs, however, the chihuahua is not one of them. If dog hair is a huge problem for you, regardless of whether you choose a long-haired chihuahua or shorthaired, you will have to deal with some degree of shedding. 

Other Pets and Children- Regarding other pets, Chihuahuas can be very possessive. Socializing early and often is highly recommended if possible. Adopting an adult dog means you'll already know if the dog is tolerant of other animals. Where Children are involved, toy breed does NOT mean 'kid-sized'. Fearfulness can lead to snapping. Never allow a small child to mistreat or mishandle this fragile little dog. 

Chihuahuas are extremely puppy mill prone.

There are thousand of really good and deserving chihuahuas, right now, dying needlessly in shelters. Meanwhile, puppy mill dogs suffer unimaginable abuse in order to over-produce puppies for the uninformed masses who are unknowingly paying large amounts of money to prolong their suffering.

This small, fragile and loyal dog is one of the most-often-killed breed in shelters. In fact, they are second only to pit bulls in the canine species.

Please watch the video we've included below. It's far from being an isolated case. There are over 10,000 puppy mills in the United States alone. These so-called businesses sell puppies online AND supply the pet store with puppies. 

Please don't be fooled by cute pictures on a web page. Even felons are allowed to own cameras. 

Breeders may not be felons, but a vast majority ARE preying on unsuspecting consumers and hiding their shameful behavior behind pretty backdrop settings adorned with pearls, bows, teacups and soda cans. Don't allow yourself to be their 'mark' simply because of your love for this or any other breed.






Teacups are not for Chihuahuas and labeling them as such only perpetuates the stigma that larger chihuahuas are inferior. Read our

Even MORE About Chihuahuas… 

Frequent grooming- The long haired varieties of this breed needs regular grooming and brushing. Their hair can become very matted, but care should be taken in bathing. Harsh shampoos can can take the natural sheen from long coats and cause dry itchy skin. The smooth coat variety is much lower maintenance.

Behavioral Issues- Toy breeds are among the hardest dogs to housebreak and the Chi is no exception. You shouldn't be surprised by accidents (or on-purposes). Very small dogs also have very small bladders.

Separation Anxiety is common. Dogs show frustration by destructive chewing or barking or by hiking their leg on your potted houseplant.

Disregarding the hype- There is technically no such thing as a ‘tea cup’ breed of any dog. Likewise for 'pocket', 'mini' and 'toy' chihuahuas. These are invented terms used by irresponsible breeders to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers. More extremely shocking facts about teacup puppies

Cold Sensitivity- Never leave this dog outside in the elements for extended periods, with or without a sweater. 

This breed is not a good idea for people with small children. The smaller the dog, the more fragile he is. Even the most gentle of children can’t help mishandling a dog this small. 

They can also pack a serious bite despite their small size. All children should be supervised constantly around your dog to keep them both safe.

-Health Issues-

Hypoglycemia is a matter of concern for the owners of these small breed dogs. Often their tiny bodies are unable to properly regulate blood sugar. Symptoms range from lack of energy, shivering, loss of coordination to coma or even death. 

Patellar Luxation is a joint condition in which kneecaps pop in and out of place. The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) reports that about 6% of chihuahuas are affected in varying degrees, but that number could be much higher. 

Hip Dysplasia is a developmental subluxation of the hip joints which can eventually lead to arthritis and/or lameness. It's causes are genetic as well as environmental. A secondary concern of this affliction is osteoarthritis

Legg-Calvé-Perthes syndrome is yet another joint condition affecting the lives of these fragile dogs. Accoding the Orthopedic Foundation for animals a staggering 33.3% are currently affected. Legg-Calvé-Perthes syndrome is degenerative and leads to bone loss and collapse of the hip joint. Early treatment can help to prevent degenerative arthritis. 

The use of pet steps has been shown to significantly reduce the wear and tear on joints. Please consider them if you own or plan to own a small breed dog.

Problems with teeth often occur because their mouths are so small that overcrowding becomes an issue and can lead to many secondary health conditions. Overcrowding of teeth can result in excessive tartar and plaque build-up due to food being lodged between them. Bacteria from dirty teeth is like poison. Once it enters the blood stream it can cause heart, liver and kidney disease much faster in tiny dogs. 

And it get worse...

The health risks above are even greater, both in severity and numbers when you take the chance of buying a pet store puppy or a website puppy. 

And worse...

Buying just one puppy condemns the mother dog to her cage to await another heat cycle so she can be bred again.

Reality T.V.
I've seen it up close and watched hundreds of dogs in some of the worst conditions imaginable, suffering with the most heinous of injuries and it's everywhere. 

Puppy milll dogs live, eat, sleep, give birth and die in tiny cages filled with their own excrement (add your

own adjectives here for the people who could heartlessly treat them like disposable inventory). 

Be a part of the solution.

Check for a chihuahua near you in need of your kindness! There are thousands! 

For proof that you can rescue a great dog, check out our Chihuahua pictures page. It's loaded with examples of chihuahuas who were once in need of loving homes, plus links to help you find an adoptable dog near you!

Learn more about dog adoption. There is a great chihuahua near you in need of rescue and he's eagerly waiting to reward you for your kindness. The best dog in the world could be just down the road, in your very own town... and running out of time.

longhaired black and tan chihuahua laying with head on paws.

Our mission is to help dogs... Because we care. Deeply. Please let us know if there's any way we could have made your experience better. Helping you means helping dogs. 

We implore you to get involved, learn all you can about how to avoid puppy mill dogs and spread the word. Be a hero to dogs!


 Make Your Dog a Star!

Send us a picture of your dog along with any information you'd like to include, like his name, how you got him or any of the cute tricks he knows and we'll put the photo on the pages of our site!

12"x18" Garden Flag

Triple layers flag with the same image on both sides.


5 chihuahuas garden flag with dogs on animal print chair near fireplace, faux fur, candles and puppies resting. 12 x 18

As promised, "Faux Fur-Ever" by Brooke Faulder. This artwork was created by the primary author of this site. Find many other original artist items (by me) online by doing an internet search for my name. 

Flag size is 12x18". Flag stand is not included. This garden flag is premium quality, triple layers of fabric. The exact same image appears on both sides of the flag.

See more of the flags available on this site here or find many other original artist items (by me, Brooke Faulder) online by doing an internet search for my name.