Named after the Mexican state of Chihuahua, the world's smallest dogs are popular pets not just because of their intelligence and grace but also because of their famous small stature, which makes Chihuahuas versatile additions to smaller homes. Although there is only one official type of Chihuahua, there is a range of variations to the breed pertaining to physical characteristics such as color and coat type.
The Chihuahua, officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1904, is classifiedd as a toy breed. Chihuahuas should weigh no more than 6 pounds. Chihuahua heights range from 6 to 9 inches at the wither or shoulder, and breed standard requires that the body length -- measured from the shoulders to the buttocks -- and height cannot be the same. Instead, the body length should be slightly longer than the height. A Chihuahua fitting the standard, then, could be as as little as 7 inches long to as much as 12 inches long.
Nancy Lovering is a writer, photographer and teaching assistant. She took novel writing at Langara College and photography at British Columbia Institute of Technology. She obtained her teaching assistant certificate through Delta School District Continuing Education. She previously worked as an assistant controller while in the Certified General Accountants program, and has training in dog psychology through Custom Canine Teaching Ltd. in Vancouver, BC.