Originally bred in Mexico and listed in the Toy group, the ChiChi as he is commonly referred to as, is a big dog in a tiny package. The Chihuahua is the smallest breed in the world, ranging in weight between a scant 2 pounds to upwards of 12 pounds, and standing approximately 6 – 9 inches tall. Having gained popularity with both the Taco Bell commercials and as the steadfast companion known as Bruiser in the movie Legally Blonde starring Reese Witherspoon. The Chihuahua is a popular pet for those looking for a conversation piece, much to the chagrin of the breeds devoted breeders who work hard to educate the public on the joys and shortfalls of this adorable little dog.
The Chihuahua makes up for his lack of size with his big attitude. Contrary to what many people think, this is not a lapdog and not a breed to shrink from confrontation, real or imagined. The breed is intensely protective of his people and property, ferocious towards dogs he doesn’t know, and ready for action at moment’s notice. Small enough to be litterbox trained and needing virtually no space to thrive, the Chihuahua is known to choose a favorite person, to whom he will devote his life to. To prevent him from becoming overly attached to a single person, early socialization and proper training is highly recommended to ensure a well-balanced companion dog.
The breed comes with two different coat varieties, smooth coat which is shorthaired, or long-haired. Both coats offer minimal shedding and are easy to care for with simple brushing to remove dead undercoat and prevent matting on the long-haired version. Colors are as diverse as are eye colors, with both solid colors and bi and tri colors permissible. It is a long-lived breed, enjoying an average lifespan of 12 – 18 years.