Average size of a chihuahua

It is known that chihuahuas are small dogs but how big is a chihuahua? Many owners when adopting a chihuahua puppy may wonder about the size of the adult dog. To answer this question, this post will talk about the characteristics of these small dogs that ended up gaining a place in many homes around the world.

Average size of a chihuahua

On average, a Chihuahua dog can be 5 to 8 inches long. These dogs are very small and are perfect for living in environments with little space, such as apartments, lofts, kitchenettes, and smaller houses.

Why is dog size important?

The dog size of a breed has been standardized to identify dogs that exhibit physical deviations that are not accepted by the breed-specific organization. So, these dogs cannot compete and many of them may even be banned from taking their pedigree.

In addition, the size can help many owners in choosing the dog. For example, when a person lives in a small apartment, it is likely that they will not choose to adopt a Labrador, who needs a lot of space to play and run. But this owner can choose a chihuahua dog. Being a smaller dog, it can adapt to smaller environments.

The dog’s height can also indicate malformations and even endocrine and genetic diseases. Therefore, a veterinarian should be consulted for examinations so that the dog is properly diagnosed and treated. The sooner a dog is treated, the lower the chance of the disease getting worse, thus keeping the animal at the appropriate size for the breed.

About the Chihuahua breed

One of the theories about the origin of the Chihuahua believes that these dogs lived wild in Mexico. These small dogs were captured and domesticated by the indigenous people of the region.

Physical characteristics

The head is very round and small, and the eyes are round. The ears are large and are always on alert. It is a dog with a compact body, short and muscular limbs, its tail is moderately long, carried high, arched or in a semicircle.

The Chihuahua’s coat can be short-haired or long-haired and can be found in many shades and combinations except for the merle color.

Behavior / Temperament

Chihuahuas have a strong personality. They are small dogs but agile, alert, restless and very courageous. It’s a dog that can bark a lot. They can react to any strange movement, always calling the tutor’s attention. Therefore, it is considered a good guard dog.

Breed health

Chihuahuas are very healthy animals, but they need to do physical activities such as playing and going for walks to burn off some energy. This breed can have some genetic diseases such as:

  • Patellar deviation;
  • Cryptorchidism;
  • Hydrocephalus.

Patellar deviation is a disease where the animal may limp and feel local pain, as the patella leaves the anatomical place, which may lead to injuries from temptation and other complications.

Cryptorchidism is the disease present in males where one or both testicles are not observed in the scrotum. The puppies are born with the testicles in the cavity and until 8 months these testicles tend to be in the scrotum.

After 8 months of the absence of one or more testicles the animal is considered cryptorchid. In these cases, castration of the animal is indicated, since the testicle in the cavity has a greater predisposition to become a tumor that can worsen the health of the animal.

Hydrocephalus, on the other hand, has no well-described causes. It is the disease that happens in the intra uterine life where there is a large accumulation of liquids in the puppy’s skull. Thus, the bitch may have difficulties when giving birth to the animal in a natural way, being a necessary cesarean section. Puppies often die due to neuronal complications generated by hydrocephalus.

Dogs with these genetic disorders are discouraged from breeding. And there must be veterinary monitoring for better resolution of the cases.

These animals do not have so many reproductive problems, but gestational follow-up with a veterinarian is advised due to the high incidence of hydrocephalus, which can lead to dystocia, resulting in the mother and the offspring’s death.

Animals must have a routine of being vaccinated and dewormed. In addition to care with ectoparasites such as fleas and ticks. When these preventive cares are not applied, the animals can present health problems.

Illness, happiness, excitement, or fear can cause the animal to shiver; this same sign can be seen when they are cold. If constant tremors are observed, a veterinarian should be sought.

General Care

Short-haired dogs do not need clipping, while long-haired animals may need clipping. Bathing these animals must be done constantly and they must have their fur brushed at least twice a week.

Baths in this breed are indicated with specific shampoos for dogs and neutral shampoos. Bathing should be done very carefully, especially to avoid getting water into the ear. The animal must always be very dry after bathing to avoid the growth of microorganisms that can lead to dermatitis.

Brushing the dog’s teeth is necessary to prevent tartar buildup. Brushing the teeth should be done every 48 hours, using specific toothpaste for dogs. As for nail clipping, the nail should be cut once or twice a month. Cutting the nails prevents the animal from getting hurt or even hurting the tutor.


Chihuahua dogs are small dogs that can average between 5 and 8 inches in height. They are dogs that adapt very well to environments with little space such as apartments, lofts, and small houses. Chihuahuas have remarkable physical characteristics, and their behavior makes them one of the favorite dogs of families these days.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Average size of a chihuahua


How heavy is a chihuahua?

The Chihuahua’s weight should be between 1 and 3 kg.

How long does a chihuahua live?

Chihuahuas usually live between 12 and 20 years, depending on their genetics and general care.

Do the chihuahua bark a lot?

Yes, because they are dogs that have great hearing and any noise they find suspicious they will bark. Thus making them good dogs to guard.


CBKC – Brazilian Canine Confederation, 2015 Official Breed Standard: chihuahua. Available at: https://cbkc.org/application/views/docs/padroes/padrao-raca_187.pdf, accessed January 22, 2022.

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