How many Chihuahua facts do you know? I bet some of my favorites will surprise you! It’s easy to fall in love with these dainty dogs, but they aren’t just a pretty face. This breed has an amazing history, and although small the world is packed with fascinating Chihuahua facts!
1. Chihuahuas came from an ancient breed
The breed’s origins are steeped in mystery. But it’s widely believed that Chihuahuas are direct descendants of the Techichi.
A small dog of Chinese ancestry that dates back to Mayan times. It’s possible that explorers bred the Techichi with a small hairless dog, and the Chihuahua was the result!
2. They get their name from Chihuahua, Mexico
Chihuahua is Mexico’s largest state. It borders Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico. It’s known for its diverse landscapes, including Copper Canyon in the Sierra Madre Mountains.
American tourists fell under the spell of these petite pups during the 19th century. Since many of the breed were found in the State of Chihuahua, this naturally became their name.
3. Many cities celebrate the Chihuahua on Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Mayo is celebrated more in the US than it is in Mexico. Chandler, Arizona and Denver, Colorado celebrate by hosting an annual Chihuahua race!
4. Chihuahuas are the world’s smallest dog breed
Chihuahuas are members of the toy group of dog breeds. The standard size for the Chihuahua is between 5 to 8 inches in height. Weight is of no more than 6 pounds.
In 2013 a Chihuahua named Milly was officially recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s smallest living dog. She was only 3.8 inches tall when fully grown!
5. There are two official Chihuahua varieties
The two varieties of Chihuahua are the smooth coat and the long coat. The American Kennel Club classifies both types as one breed, while in the UK they’re considered two separate breeds.
6. Long-haired Chihuahuas shed less
A long-haired Chihuahua will actually shed less than one with a short coat! However, long-haired Chis do need to be brushed daily to keep their coat from tangling and to remove any dead hairs.
7. Chihuahuas enjoy a long lifespan
One of the most cheerful Chihuahua facts is that these feisty little dogs have a life expectancy of 14 to 16 years. That’s a long time in dog years!
8. Brainy Chihuahua facts
When it comes to brain size in relation to body dimensions, Chihuahuas have the largest brains of all dog breeds. That’s right, the smallest pup has the relatively biggest brain! But that’s not necessarily a good thing.
Their fragile necks have a lot of work, and in some cases skull size can put pressure on their brain. With disastrous results.
9. Chihuahua puppies are born with a molera
Like human babies, Chihuahua puppies are born with a soft spot on the top of the skull called a molera. It usually closes within a year, but some dogs will retain the molera throughout their life. It poses no health problems and doesn’t affect the breed standard.
10. There are deer head and apple head Chihuahuas
At some point in their genetic evolution the breed separated into two variations: the apple head and the deer head. The apple head Chihuahua has, unsurprisingly, an apple shaded skull. He is also distinguished by having more prominent, close-set eyes, and shorter ears and legs.
Deer head Chihuahuas have facial characteristics that resemble a young deer. A longer muzzle and ears, flat-topped heads, more widely set eyes, and longer legs are other deer head Chihuahua characteristics.
Only apple head Chihuahuas meet the breed standards and can be shown.
11. Gidget was the real name of the Taco Bell Chihuahua
Do you remember the Taco Bell Chihuahua? From 1993 to 2004 a Chihuahua named Gidget was the restaurant chain’s mascot. Originally cast as the lead dog’s girlfriend, Gidget instead got the starring role. This doggy actor went on to appear in Legally Blonde 2.
12. Celebrities love Chihuahuas (and Chihuahua Facts!)
Even the rich and famous have a soft spot for these adorable pups. Madonna, Demi Moore, Britney Spears, Reese Witherspoon, Sharon Osborne, and Mickey Rourke. They all love them!
13. There is no such thing as a Teacup Chihuahua
One of the important Chihuahua facts to keep in mind when looking for a puppy is that they are all teacup sized. Although there are some who have smaller dimensions than the standard size.
14. Chihuahuas have birthing issues
Lots of Chihuahua moms suffer from dystocia , which means they have a difficult time giving birth. The newborn’s large head and the mother’s small pelvis don’t go well together. They lead to Chihuahuas having a high rate of Caesarean sections.
15. Dental crowding is a major breed problem
One of the most prevalent Chihuahua health facts is that due to having a small mouth they often have dental problems. This can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and even more serious issues like stroke.
A diet that avoids sugar and carbohydrates and regularly brushing their teeth can help. Sadly this study found that there are no absolute preventive measures. It’s important to have your pet’s teeth checked by the vet annually to avoid serious issues.
16. Chihuahuas are born with floppy ears
This is one of the cutest Chihuahua facts. Their ears will start standing erect around the age of 6 months. If they don’t, chances are they never will.
Floppy ears aren’t the breed standard, but they’re still purebred Chihuahuas.
17. The Chihuahua is one of the oldest official breeds
The Chihuahua was recognized as an official breed in 1904, making it one of AKC’s oldest official dog breeds.
18. A Chihuahua has never won the Westminster Kennel Club Show
When the AKC ranks the most popular dog breeds, those breeds compete for Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Eligible since 1904, the Chihuahua has never won, but they’re not alone. There are plenty of other popular breeds that have never received this illustrious honor . The Golden Retriever, the Labrador Retriever, and the Dachshund included.
19. Wild Chihuahuas have been spotted in the US
20. Chihuahuas are colorful
From blue brindled fawn to black sabled silver. Chihuahuas come in a wide variety of colors. There are also 11 recognized markings. Pure white Chihuahuas are the rarest color of all.
21. Little dog, big personality
The old adage, “don’t judge a book by its cover,” certainly applies to the Chihuahua. These little dogs have a reputation for being bossy, feisty, sassy, and noisy.
22. It has been rumored that Chihuahuas can cure asthma
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the bronchial tubes that affects millions of people. There are numerous medications to control the disease, but no known cure.
The belief that Chihuahuas can cure asthma has been around for a long time.
This widespread rumor may have been passed down from the Aztecs. They thought the Chihuahua had the power to transfer diseases from humans to themselves to protect their owners. Unfortunately, there is no evidence to back up this myth!
23. They’re snazzy dressers
When it comes to Chihuahua facts, this one is no surprise. Chihuahuas know how to wear an outfit. From elaborate costumes to a jaunty cap, there’s no doubt that these adorable pups look cuter than ever when dressed up.
Their small size and thin coat means they’re prone to getting cold. Chihuahua clothes are also functional and that darling outfit will keep them warm during the winter months. In the summer, protective clothing can prevent them from getting sunburned.
24. Chihuahuas and people have the same number 1 cause of death
A comprehensive 20-year study at the University of Georgia found that the leading cause of death in adult Chihuahuas is cardiovascular disease. A good diet, exercise, and regular visits to the veterinarian are the best ways to ensure a long, healthy life for your pet.
25. Two smooth-coat Chihuahua parents can have long-coat offspring
When it comes to Chihuahua facts, this is an interesting one. Two smooth-coated Chihuahuas can produce a long-coat puppy if they have the hidden long-coat gene.
Because the long-coat gene is recessive, two long-coat Chihuahuas, cannot produce a smooth-coat pup.