Weight: 3 to 6 pounds
Height: 15 – 23 cm
Color: white, black, tan and many other colors
Life span: 12 – 20 years
How a Chihuahua turns out depends mightily on the genetic temperament of his parents and grandparents. However, as with all dogs, socialization and training are very important. Like many small dogs, Chihuahuas are less likely than large dogs to be given obedience classes, socialization, or appropriate exercise and training. Frequent victims of "small dog syndrome" in which owners feel no need to provide the kind of training and socialization routinely provided for larger dogs, untrained Chihuahuas suffer the same predictable behavior problems as other untrained dogs regardless of the breed. However they thrive well when given appropriate socialization and training.
This breed requires expert veterinary attention in areas such as birthing and dental care. Dental care is a must for these small dogs, whose jaw size makes for weaker teeth. Although daily brushing provides the best preventative measure, feeding a dental diet or using dental chews for dogs is an effective approach pet owners can take to help prevent and control accumulation of plaque and tartar to avoid consequences of severe periodontal disease. The best physical characteristics of dog food to contribute to cleaning a dog's teeth would be food that is large and dense, that way there is more time spent chewing which leads to the surface of the teeth being cleaned.
Chihuahuas, and other toy breeds, can be affected by hydrocephalus. Chihuahua puppies with hydrocephalus have an abnormally large head, are lethargic and do not grow at the same pace as their siblings. A true case of hydrocephalus can be diagnosed by a veterinarian, though the prognosis is grim.