light brown chihuahua running on grass

The Chihuahua: thinking about getting a Chihuahua? reading-time-icon 2 min read

Chihuahuas are known for their curiosity. Despite their small size, they’ve grown greatly in popularity over the last few decades, especially in big cities.

Let’s take a closer look at the Chihuahua.

Place of origin: Mexico, named after the Mexican state of Chihuahua

How big do Chihuahuas get? 15 – 25cm

How heavy are Chihuahuas? 2 – 3kg

Life Expectancy: 12 – 20 years

Colour: White, Black, Fawn, Chocolate, Cream, Gold


Please note: A dog’s exercise, training/stimulation and grooming requirements can depend on several factors such as age and health. The same goes for ongoing costs of ownership. For advice on one specific dog, we always advise chatting with a vet.


How much exercise does a Chihuahua need?

Despite being lively, energetic dogs that seem to be in constant motion, Chihuahuas don’t need a lot of exercise. Half an hour a day should suffice, although they can go for longer if you’re a keen walker.

A Chihuahua is well suited to elderly owners, owners with disabilities, or owners who live in big cities. If you’re keen to exercise your young Chihuahua, keep a close eye on them and be sure not to wear them out with too much rigorous activity.

Training: how to train a Chihuahua

Despite their dominant, often possessive character, training a Chihuahua may not be as tricky as it seems. Owners may need to maintain an authoritative attitude towards their Chihuahua, without being aggressive.

Chihuahuas are intelligent, energetic and unpredictable. If you have young children or other pets in your household, a Chihuahua may not be the breed for you.

ginger chihuahua looking up

Grooming: do Chihuahuas shed?

Chihuahuas come with two different coat types – smooth and long.

Grooming a Chihuahua takes relatively little work, roughly a few minutes a week. Brush them with a rubber grooming mitt or a short-pinned brush for a smooth-coated Chihuahua.

Chihuahuas moult small amounts of hair throughout the year, perhaps more heavily during the spring and autumn.

Occasional baths and optional trimming every 1-2 months will keep your pet’s fur in tip-top condition. Complete your Chihuahua’s grooming routine with regular tooth brushingnail clips and ear checks.

Chihuahua temperament, socialising and ideal home environment

Chihuahuas are fearless but often wary of strangers. They make the perfect companion for single owners (and make fantastic guard dogs – even if they are small.) Their stature means they don’t need a great deal of exercise and are therefore well suited to life in a flat/apartment.

Given time and enough exposure, there’s no reason a Chihuahua won’t feel comfortable in a household with other pets or children. However, if you have young children, consider the vulnerability of a Chihuahua’s small size. They may not be the best pets for active, boisterous households.

Cost of owning a Chihuahua

When you’re considering the lifetime cost of owning a Chihuahua, remember to take into account:

Need more info?

For more info on finding the best dog breed for you and your lifestyle, have a chat with your vet.

Find your nearest vet using our Find a Vet page, or speak to a vet online using Online Vets.

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