10 Incredible Chihuahua Facts

Written by Emmanuel Kingsley
Published: June 30, 2022
© TanyaCPhotography/Shutterstock.com
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Let’s talk about man’s best friends, the animals that always have our backs—dogs. More specifically, we’ll beam our spotlight on the most popular dog breed among celebrities—the Chihuahuas. It’s not difficult to understand why Chihuahuas are an all-time favorite. They’re cute, loyal, charming little dogs that make fantastic family pets.

Chihuahuas are the most miniature dog breeds in the world, so tiny that they can fit in a  purse. The varieties of this breed include short hair, long hair, apple head, deer head, pear head, mini, and fawn Chihuahuas. Did you know that the world’s oldest living dog is a Chihuahua from Florida? We’ll discuss more facts about Chihuahuas below.

1. Chihuahuas Take Their Name From Chihuahua, Mexico

A chihuahua chewing on its back paw
Chihuahuas are named for the Mexican state of Chihuahua.

©kamilpetran/Shutterstock.com

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Chihuahua (also called “the big state” or “the great state”) is the largest state in Mexico. It spans 95,543 square miles (247,455 square km) in area. Chihuahua means “between two waters” in Nahuatl. Chihuahua dog breeds got their name because Chihuahua, Mexico, is where they were first noticed. That was in the mid-19th century. Many people also love to name Chihuahuas “Chico,” meaning boy. Common Chihuahua names are Bella, Charlie, Coco, Cookie, Daisy, and Bella. Many trace the origin of Chihuahuas to the Toltec people of Mexico, who kept small, mute dogs named Techichi. 

2. Chihuahua is One of the Hardest Words To Spell 

Chihuahua is one of the hardest and most misspelled words people search on google. That’s not surprising as the word sounds like “Chuh-wa-wa.” Other difficult-to-spell words include pneumonia, beautiful, Gesellschaft, tetradrachm, and juamave.

3. Chihuahuas Have The Biggest Brain

It is no news that Chihuahuas are the most miniature dog breeds on Earth. Shockingly they also have giant brains for their size. Despite how tiny they appear, their brain-to-body ratio is alarming. To understand this, the great dane and alsatian are many times larger than Chihuahuas. However, these three dog breeds have the same brain size.

4. Some Chihuahuas Are Blue and Pure White 

The most common Chihuahua colors are brown, black, cream, red, and fawn. However, there are chihuahuas with rare colors like blue. Yes, grayish-blue Chihuahuas exist, and their color is courtesy of a recessive gene. This means that parents with this recessive gene can produce a blue-colored Chihuahua regardless of their color.

There are also pure white Chihuahuas, the rarest color of this breed, with no black skin pigments. Pure white Chihuahuas have pink inner ears with light-colored noses, nails, and eyes. Interestingly, there are up to 30 numerous colors of chihuahuas.

5. Chihuahuas Do Well As Watch Dogs

Chihuahuas standing on bench
Chihuahuas make for great guard dogs despite their size.

©iStock.com/Lesia Kapinosova

While Chihuahuas are small dogs, their size doesn’t make them timid. They’re highly unpredictable and brave dogs that are good at hiding their fear. One may often see a Chihuahua annoying bigger dogs when the dogs intimidate them.

Chihuahuas may not be the best choice of guard dogs. However, they have a strong sense of hearing, making them excellent watchdogs, and it is an advantage to their owners as they typically bark loudly when they sense a stranger approaching. This dog breed makes such excellent watchdogs that there’s a Chihuahua in the Japanese police force named Momo. Chihuahuas have been pretty helpful in rescue missions.

6. Chihuahuas Are Prone To Dehydration 

Chihuahua basking in sun by basket of flowers
Too much bathing can cause skin irritation for a Chihuahua.

©iStock.com/Irina Nedikova

Chihuahuas need lots of water because they can quickly get dehydrated. That’s because they tend to pass out water very quickly. Chihuahuas don’t also do well with too much bathing as it can irritate their skin and make it dry. 

A good rule of thumb is to bathe Chihuahuas twice monthly or when they get dirty. Owners should also use lukewarm water with quality shampoos to maintain their coats.

7. Smooth Coat and Long-Haired Chihuahuas Have Deceptive Names 

When one hears of long-haired Chihuahuas, it’s easy to assume that they’re challenging to groom. That’s false! Long-haired Chihuahuas are as cute as they are easy to maintain. The dog breed hair is soft, fine-textured, and smooth to the touch. Chihuahua owners don’t have to trim their hair.

On the other hand,  smooth coat Chihuahuas, one of the most common breeds, don’t always have smooth hair. Nevertheless, they are also easy to groom.

8. No Other Dog Breed Undergoes Cesarean Section Like Chihuahuas  

Take or leave it, many dogs usually undergo c-sections to reproduce successfully. Common breeds in this category include Boston terriers, French bulldogs, St. Bernards, Mastiff, German Wirehaired Pointers, etc. Many Chihuahuas will also need to undergo cesarean operations because pregnancy can be tough on them.

Although their gestation duration is about two months, Chihuahuas are prone to numerous risks during this period. They’re also at significant risk of complications during delivery because of their small size. Chihuahuas have big heads compared to their narrow hips. A Chihuahua will typically give birth to 2-5 puppies in a single litter. However, some of them produce up to ten.

9. After Pit Bulls, Chihuahuas Are The Most Euthanized Dogs Worldwide 

When we say an animal has been euthanized, we mean that it’s taken an overdose of barbiturates (euthanasia) to stop its heart. Many dog owners do this when their pets are in pain or terminally ill. Apart from being the most common breed of dogs in shelters, pit bulls are also the most likely to be euthanized. Next after them on the list are our lovely Chihuahuas. 

There are many reasons for this. First, there’s a negative stereotype surrounding Chihuahuas. Many think Chihuahuas are “big dogs in a small body” or “bad dogs.” They don’t like them because they believe that they’re aggressive.

However, Chihuahuas are just misunderstood dogs that require proper training and socializing. Without these, Chihuahuas become very protective of their owners and fearful of strangers. In such situations, they can become aggressive as a defense mechanism and bite the perceived threat.

10. Smooth Coat Chihuahuas Can Birth Long Coat Puppies 

Smooth coat chihuahuas can have recessive genes that make them give birth to long coat chihuahuas. However, the opposite is hardly true as long-haired chihuahuas are very unlikely to produce smooth-coat puppies.

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The Featured Image

Deer Head Chihuahua outdoors, during evening sunset
Deer Head Chihuahua outdoors, during evening sunset
© TanyaCPhotography/Shutterstock.com

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