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Chihuahua laying on a white blanket with a blue background

When Chihuahua dogs come to mind, you might think of a few choice words – small, mighty, and absolutely adorable. These small size dogs came from a region just above South America to the United States; specifically emigrating from the Mexican state of Chihuahua — which is also the origin of their breed name. This was originally recorded as early as the mid-19th century A.D.  After this point, they quickly spread around the world as one of the most loveable and independent tiny dogs out there.

Read on to learn more Chihuahua fun facts, and see what makes this loyal dog so special.

Chihuahuas in the park

1. Chihuahuas are known for their big personalities and intelligence.

This noted intelligence makes them top contenders at agility challenges, dog sports, or competitive trials. Chihuahuas may be fiercely independent, but they can be trained with productive and individualized training sessions. Strategies to try for your Chihuahua can include positive reinforcement, shortened sessions, and consistent training schedules.

2. Many Chihuahuas have short hair and a smooth coat. 

There are several defining characteristics of Chihuahua breeds — most notably their uniquely shaped apple head, large eyes, large ears and smooth, short coats. Due to these characteristics, many of them are what is considered  a smooth-coated Chihuahua. While there are some exceptions to the rule as, these physical traits make Chihuahuas easy to pick out of a pack.

Chihuahua resting on a sofa

3. Long-haired Chihuahuas do exist (and they’re adorable!) 

Long-haired Chihuahuas don’t truly have “long hair” — at least, not what you’d expect to see on a Yorkie or Lhasa apso. Instead, these pups have longer hair than other pets in the breed type, featuring medium-length, fine, and shiny coats. If you’ve just purchased a long coat Chihuahua dog, don’t forget to stick to a regular brushing schedule. This can make the difference in coat and skin health.

4. Taco Bell employed a Chihuahua as its mascot. 

During the late 1990s, Taco Bell famously featured a Chihuahua puppy named Gidget as their main mascot of choice. The catchphrase for the gimmick (voiced by voice actor Carlos Alazraqui) was, “Yo quiero Taco Bell!” This marketing stunt has become a frequently referenced meme or joke over the years, preserving the memory on the internet for the younger generations. Gidget had a long and happy life after her time on television, eventually passing on in 2009.

5. Chihuahuas enjoy warmer weather. 

This may not surprise you due to their Mexican desert origins and their shorter coats. Many believe that this is the reason that these lap dogs love to burrow, keeping themselves warm and draft-free in the cooler months. A second theory could be their drive for survival, as they are smaller in body size than other breeds.

↘️ Before their discovery in Mexico, these dogs were thought to have been prevalent in the Aztec age and era, living primarily in desert climates and warmer areas. This may have influenced their climate preferences, even generations later. 

Chihuahua looking out of a vehicle window

6. A Chihuahua named Pearl is a Guinness World Record holder. 

Teacup Chihuahuas are generally known to be small, averaging a little less than 4 pounds each. A Chihuahua named Pearl actually won a Guinness World title for her stature as the world’s shortest dog in 2023, coming in at just 3.59” tall. This doesn’t mean anything related to temperament, however, as the smallest Chihuahuas often have a big personality!

7. Chihuahuas may not be compatible in families with small children.

People love Chihuahuas for their feisty temperament, independence, and spunky attitudes. However, this personality profile may not be a compatible option for those with very small children. These little dogs generally do better with pet parents who have a lot of time and energy to give them — giving them an environment free of sudden noises, roughhousing, or unexpected encounters with little ones.

Woman holding a Chihuahua outside

8. Chihuahuas are considered the world’s smallest dog breed. 

Chihuahua dog breed members are considered to be, on average, one of the smallest breeds of dogs, if not the smallest dogs in the world. Despite their smaller size, they still enjoy as much exercise as they can get, romping and playing with their owners as if they were a much larger dog. They are excellent companion dogs as well, with many considering them to be a perfectly sized lap dog.

Frequently asked questions

Do Chihuahuas have a soft spot?

Many pet parents may feel a “soft spot when petting their Chihuahua’s head. This is normal, and is considered to be a common feature of purebred dogs of this breed. Similarly to a baby, this spot should not be pressed or handled, as this can cause discomfort.

What breed types are Chihuahuas?

These often small spunky dogs are considered to be a part of the Toy Group, per the American Kennel Club breed standard. Members in this breed group are generally smaller than other dogs, and include other lap-dop type dog breeds such as the affenpinscher or the Chinese crested. 

What health problems do Chihuahuas face?

Every breed of dog has certain health problems that it may be genetically predisposed to. Chihuahuas may experience low blood sugar, patellar luxation i.e. when there’s instability between the thigh bone and the knee socket, and a genetically-influenced higher chance of heart failure. 

Do Chihuahuas need a lot of space?

Long-haired Chihuahuas, Apple dome Chihuahuas, deer head Chihuahuas, and all other types all require the same amount of space — significantly less than that of other breeds. Chihuahuas can do well in small homes, especially when socialized with the company of other Chihuahuas.

Why do Chihuahuas have larger ears compared to other features?

Experts believe that ear size is related to communication abilities and heat tolerance in these ancient breed members. Their ears can be an indication tool of their current moods and attitudes as well. Be sure to pay special attention to ear cleaning on your monthly bath rotation!