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A brown and tan Chihuahua
A brown and tan Chihuahua
Alternative names
Country of origin
Common nicknames
Classification and breed standards
FCI: Group 9 Section 6 #218  
AKC: Toy  
ANKC: Group 1 (Toys)  
CKC: Group 5 - Toys  
KC (UK): Toy  
NZKC: Toy  
UKC: Companion Breeds  
Not recognized by any major kennel club
This breed of dog is extinct

The Chihuahua is the smallest breed of dog and is named for the Chihuahua region in Mexico.


The standard recognized by the AKC (American Kennel Club) is only known as "Chihuahua", but they come in two varieties, the longcoat and the smoothcoat. According to AKC standards, Chihuahua should not weigh more than six pounds, although they often weigh more. They come in many colors, and are known for their large erect ears. Chihuahua puppies are often mistaken for hamsters because of their scrunched faces, extremely small size, and light coats.

Chihuahuas come in a wide variety of colors and sizes. Chihuahuas come in a wide variety of colors and sizes.


Although they are prized for their personality and loyalty, chihuahuas are not well-suited as small children's pets because of their size and physical fragility. However, their alertness, intelligence and size make them easily adaptable to a variety of environments, including the city and small apartments, and make for usually long lifetimes of 15 years or more of loving companionship. Negatively, they can be prone to being barky and high-strung. Many chihuahuas tend to focus their love and devotion on one person, becoming overly jealous of that person's human relationships. Male chihuahuas can be extremely difficult to house break.


They are thought to be descendants of an ancient, similar, but slightly larger breed associated with royalty in Aztec civilizations known as the Techichi. They are the oldest canine breed in North America.


This breed requires expert veterinary attention in areas such as birthing and dental care. They are also prone to some genetic anomalies, often neurological ones, such as seizure disorders and patella luxation. They are also known for their moleras and sensivity to eye infections.


"Teacup" and "Deer-faced" Chihuahuas

In recent years there has been an increase in the use of the terms "teacup" (or tea cup) and "deer" (or deer-faced) to describe Chihuahuas.

Along with "mini" and "tiny toy", "teacup" is sometimes used to describe Chihuahuas and other dogs that are very small. These and other terms are not officially used by any kennel club or reputable breeder. Chihuahuas naturally vary in size, and very small Chihuahuas are often runts, unhealthy, or undernourished, or, if otherwise healthy, may have shortened life spans and other health problems due to extreme dwarfing. They are not normally suitable for breeding, and may require special care.

"Deer" or "deer-faced" are terms that are sometimes used to describe Chihuahuas that do not have the breed-standard apple-domed appearance. These terms are also unofficial and have no real meaning.

Famous Chihuahuas

Taquito is the University of Puerto Rico's School of Medicine Volleyball Mascot Taquito is the University of Puerto Rico's School of Medicine Volleyball Mascot

  • Tinkerbell, Paris Hilton's pet
  • Scab, John Gebhardt's pet
  • Smoky, Eminem's pet
  • Bit Bit, Britney Spears' pet
  • Bruiser, Elle Woods' pet in the Legally Blonde movies
  • Gidget, the Taco Bell mascot
  • Ren Höek, of Ren and Stimpy fame
  • Wheely Willy, a motivational "speaker"
  • Tito from Oliver and Company
  • Taquito, the University of Puerto Rico's School of Medicine volleyball mascot
  • The Spooky Chihuahua from Invader Zim
  • Pepito, Xavier Cugat's chihuahua immortalized in the children's book Pepito the Little Dancing Dog: The Story of Xavier Cugat's Chihuahua.

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