Although much of the Chihuahua’s history is based on speculation, most believe that the tiniest of the toys descended from the Techichi, a dog ancient Aztecs used as companions and in religious ceremonies. The Chihuahua of today, both smooth- and long-coated varieties, differs from the native dog, perhaps due to breeding with dogs introduced by New World explorers. Thanks to its size and saucy personality, the Chihuahua is one of the most popular breeds in the U.S.


Tiny, 6 to 9 inches, less than 6 pounds.


Any color.


Lively, alert, and swift, with a Terrier-like sense of confidence and self-importance. Intense devotion is common. Some bark.

Energy level:

Medium to high.

Best owner:

A gentle person with time for daily companionship.


Little exercise or grooming needed, but warmth is appreciated; urban living suits its minimal space requirements.

Life expectancy:

16 to 18 years.