Chihuahua – Characteristics, Temperament, Health, & Training

Chihuahua Characteristics

A dog looking at the camera

The Chihuahua is a small-sized dog that has erect bat-like ears sticking up from its head. This breed has large eyes that are very appealing, and this dog also sports a very long neck. The tail of the Chihuahua is another distinguishing feature because, rather than arching over or to the side of its back, it curves up towards its shoulder blades. At full size, an adult Chihuahua should measure between 6-9 inches in height at the withers. Also, while many people think these dogs weigh only a few pounds when they are fully grown, some can actually tip the scale at up to 6 pounds!

The coat on Chihuahuas comes in a wide range of colors and patterns including solid colors like white, black, brownish reds (known as ‘chocolate’), copper-colored, sable, fawn, apricot, gray, or silver. Other color patterns that can appear on Chihuahuas are black and white (known as ‘tuxedo’), black with tan points (called black tri-color or simply tri-color), rust and white (‘rustico’), cream-colored with dark ears (‘cookie’), and brindle. However, it’s important to note that some of these colors are not allowed in certain breeding standards for the Chihuahua.

Chihuahuas also have smooth coats which are short, fine, glossy, soft to the touch, and easy to maintain. Because these dogs come in such a wide variety of coat colors and patterns though there is no “one” standard type of Chihuahua coat. In addition, some Chihuahuas can have long coats which is another variety they come in.

Chihuahua Temperament

A close up of a dog looking at the camera

In the world of dogs, Chihuahuas are considered to be one of the most even-tempered and friendly breeds out there. This is a very sociable dog that gets along well with everyone from children, other pets in your household (such as cats), and strangers that it meets when you take it for walks. Owners who may not want a dog that will bark or harass people when they pass by outside will find their Chihuahua ideal because these dogs don’t typically do this behavior unless they feel threatened. In fact, Chihuahuas are so socialized that they are among the more confident toy breeds out there too.

Chihuahuas are also very intelligent dogs that have all of the qualities that people look for in a companion dog. They are playful, curious, and love to learn new things even though they are considered to be headstrong by some Chihuahua owners. When you take your Chihuahua on walks make sure to use proper training methods or he will quickly try to dominate you or other members of your household with his stubborn behavior!

Another interesting part about how Chihuahuas act is during playtime. This is because these little dogs seem unable to ever keep still for very long. They appear as if their legs can’t stop moving whenever they are awake! Because of this, Chihuahuas can be seen jumping up and down and prancing all over the place.

Chihuahua Health Problems

It’s important to know that Chihuahuas come with a lot of health problems that include everything from minor to life-threatening issues. Some of the diseases or conditions that can affect these dogs include:

Luxating patella (dislocating kneecap)

Collapsing trachea (weak windpipe)

Hydrocephalus (water on the brain caused by blocked ventricles or an obstructed flow of cerebrospinalcerebral spinal fluid that surrounds the brain


Eye problems, including glaucoma, cataracts, corneal ulcers, and retinal dysplasia

“Wryneck” or wobbler syndrome (affects the vertebrae of the spine)

Heart disease, most notably cardiomyopathy (an enlarged heart that doesn’t function properly)

Diabetes, a disease where your dog can’t regulate his blood sugar levels well and starts to show symptoms like increased drinking and urination, weight loss, abdominal mass, and more

Mange (parasitic skin infections caused by mites)

Ear problems including hematomas or ruptured eardrums

In addition to these health problems, Chihuahuas are also more prone than other dog breeds to experience heatstroke. Another thing to note is that Chihuahuas become obese very easily so it’s important to keep your dog at a healthy weight by measuring his food portions and exercising him regularly.

Chihuahua Training

Since Chihuahuas are intelligent dogs that have a lot of energy, they need to be given the right kind of training. These dogs respond best to positive reinforcement which is where you give your dog praise whenever he responds to what you say correctly. Clicker training can also be effective with Chihuahuas because this technique uses a distinct sound to mark when your dog does something right and responds with a reward afterward.

If you find that your Chihuahua is becoming stubborn and refusing to listen to your commands, you can always try what’s known as the “alpha roll” technique where you hold him down on his back and look into his eyes. Most dogs don’t like this method but Chihuahuas are more socialized than other breeds so they aren’t as likely to respond badly to this training trick.

Since your Chihuahua is small, you need to take extra precautions when it comes to how you discipline him if he misbehaves. If you try toand use physical punishment on your dog, such as hitting him, you could seriously injure him since he is so tiny. If you insist on using this type of training with your Chihuahua, please seek the assistance of a professional so that they can give you advice on how to do it properly.

The most effective way to train your Chihuahua is through positive reinforcement and the proper use of treats, verbal praise, and other forms of feedback. Chihuahuas respond especially well to this type of training so you should take advantage of the fact that it doesn’t require a lot of physical strength or aggression on your part.

As you can see Chihuahuas are very interesting dogs in their behavior and in how they are treated. While they are good for apartment living, these dogs do need to get outside and socialize with people on a regular basis. Training your Chihuahua with positive reinforcement is very easy and doesn’t require too much of your time.

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