The Chihuahua is the smallest breed of dog and is named after the state of Chihuahua in Mexico. Chihuahuas come in a wide variety of colors, and two coat lengths.
Chihuahuas are the smallest breed recognized by some kennel clubs.
There are two varieties of Chihuahua – the Smooth Coat (shorthaired) and the Long Coat (longhaired). Both the Smooth and the Long Coats have their special attractions and are equally easy to keep clean and well groomed The UK Kennel Club considers smooth and long coat Chihuahuas two distinct breeds; matings between the two are not eligible for KC registration.
Dogs of either coat type may be identified as either “apple head” or “deer head” Chihuahuas, particularly in the United States. Apple heads have rounded heads, close-set eyes, and relatively short ears and legs. Deer heads have flat-topped heads, more widely set eyes, larger ears, and longer, more slender legs. While deer heads were popular in the mid-twentieth century, current breed standards defined by registries such as the American Kennel Club specify the apple head conformation.
How a Chihuahua behaves depends on the genetic temperament of his or her parents and grandparents. However, as with all dogs, socialization and training are very important. Like many small dogs, Chihuahuas are less likely than large dogs to be given obedience classes, socialization, or appropriate exercise and training. Frequent victims of “small dog syndrome,” in which owners feel no need to provide the kind of training and socialization routinely provided for larger dogs, untrained Chihuahuas suffer the same predictable behavior problems as other untrained dogs regardless of the breed. However, they thrive well when given appropriate socialization and training.
Breed standards for this dog do not generally specify a height; only a weight and a description of their overall proportions. Generally, the height ranges between 15 and 23 cm (6 and 9 in); however, some dogs grow as tall as 30 to 38 cm (12 to 15 in). Both British and American breed standards state that a Chihuahua must not weigh more than 2.7 kg (6 lb) for conformation. However, the British standard also states that a weight of 1.8–2.7 kg (4–6 lb) is preferred. A clause stating that ‘if two dogs are equally good in type, the more diminutive one is preferred’ was removed in 2009.The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) standard calls for dogs ideally between 1.5 and 3.0 kg (3.3 and 6.6 lbs.), although smaller ones are acceptable in the show ring