If you are contemplating getting a Chihuahua puppy or you are already a proud owner of one, you may be wondering just how big your canine is going to get overtime. This information is useful for a whole lot of reasons.
Having an average size in mind will help you decide the right accessories to buy, an estimate of food your pup is likely to consume, and a whole lot of other things.
So how big do Chihuahuas get? The long-haired Chihuahua and the short-haired Chihuahua are the two variations of the Chihuahua that are recognized by the AKC and UK Kennel Club. Both varieties are usually around the same size as both weigh between 3 – 6 pounds (1.36 – 2.72 kg) and while there is no specified height for the breed, they usually grow as tall as 6 – 9 inches (15.24 – 22.9 cm).
There are two aspects of the size of a Chihuahua, the expected size that meets the breed standard and the actual size of each Chihuahua.
The purpose of this article is to show you everything you need to know about the potential size of your Chihuahua puppy, what to expect, and why you should be conscious of their size.
How Big Do Chihuahuas Get When Fully Grown?
Chihuahuas are unarguably one of the world’s smallest breed of dogs. There are not many smaller dogs than the Chihuahua, and even in their matured stage, they are still pretty little. Usually, there are differences in size between male and female dogs, but this is not the case for Chihuahuas.
There are hardly any physical differences between male and female Chihuahuas, so their sizes are always recorded as the same. At full maturity, Chihuahuas will weigh as much as 6 pounds (2.72 kg), and will usually be between 6 – 9 inches (15.24 – 22.9 cm) in height.
Show Chihuahuas are meant to maintain the size as mentioned above. However, household or pet Chihuahuas can weigh as much as 10 pounds (4.5 kg). There are generally no height restrictions for Chihuahuas anywhere, so it is not uncommon to find some that measure up to 15 inches (38.1 cm).
After Chihuahuas are fully grown, usually when they are about one year old, they should measure up to the weight/height mentioned above. A lot of factors will significantly influence the size your dog will get to.
Aside from genetic factors, a healthy diet plays a great role in how your puppy will grow. If your Chihuahua were not nursed adequately in the first few weeks after birth, it would not grow quickly.
Also, after weaning, a healthy diet will affect the rate at which she grows. Your Chihuahua will grow smaller if she is not fed well enough or is fed low-quality food. And she is sure to become obese if she is overfed.
Medical conditions are another factor that will affect your Chihuahua’s growth as sickness in puppyhood will make her smaller.
Average Height and Weight by Age: What to Expect?
Chihuahuas are very tiny at birth but grow bigger within weeks. Chihuahuas do most of their growing before their sixth month and then add a bit more height and weight before becoming one year old.
Due to how small they are when they are born, Chihuahuas’ weight is measured in ounces and not in pounds. I have put together a table showing Chihuahuas’s growth progression from the day they are born until they are fully grown.
|2.5 – 5.5 ounces
(0.07 – 0.16 kg)
|7 – 21 ounces
(0.2 – 0.6 kg)
|11 – 33 ounces
(0.3 – 0.93 kg)
| 4 – 6 inches
(10.2 – 15.2 cm)
|15 – 45 ounces
(0.4 – 1.3 kg)
|4.3 – 7 inches
(10.9 – 17.8 cm)
|20 – 59 ounces
(0.6 – 1.67 kg)
|4.5 – 7.5 inches
(11.4 – 19 cm)
|24 – 70 ounces
(0.7 – 1.98 kg)
|5 – 8 inches
(12.7 – 20.3 cm)
|26 – 78 ounces
(0.73 – 2.2 kg)
|5 – 8 inches
(12.7 – 20.3 cm)
(8 – 12 months)
|2 – 6 pounds
(0.9 – 2.7 kg)
|6 – 9 inches
(15.2 – 22.9 cm)
The table shows the average size of a Chihuahua, which means some may weigh more and have more height. So, when and if your puppy grows to be over 10 inches (25.4 cm), or above 6 pounds (2.7 kg), you should know it’s no cause for worry.
The whole point of the article and the table is to give you a general idea of what to expect of your Chihuahua’s size. So, if your Chihuahua is meant to be a family pet and he turns out to weigh over the 6 pounds mark, then his weight is perfectly balanced.
Factors That Can Affect the Size of Chihuahuas
A purebred Chihuahua will grow at a steady pace until he reaches his full size at maturity, just as portrayed in the table. However, there might come a time when your puppy noticeably increases or decreases in size due to certain factors.
Here are some factors that influence or affect the growth and size of Chihuahua puppies:
- Genetics: This is the most influential factor determining the rate at which a Chihuahua puppy will grow. Their genetics determines the potential adult size of your Chihuahua as a result of the type of gene they have and how these genes interact with each other. Genes are passed from parents to pups so you can have a quick look at Chihuahua’s future by looking at his parents. Although this will not give you the exact size of Chihuahua at adulthood, it will give you an idea of how big/small/tall/short your puppy will be.
- Nutrition: A mother’s milk contains all the nutrients a Chihuahua puppy needs, such as fatty acids, amino acids, protein, calcium, phosphorus, sugar, etc. Hence, a puppy who nurses properly for an adequate amount of time will receive all the nutrients it needs to grow. However, after they are weaned off their mother’s milk, they still need these nutrients to grow fast. A well-balanced food that contains the right ratio and type of nutrients should be substituted for the milk, without which the puppy will grow slowly.
- Physical Activity: A Chihuahua needs regular exercise to build muscles and get strong bones, but too much exercise can lead to stunted growth. The growth plates of a growing Chihuahua puppy can be badly fractured with too much exercise. The growth plates (epiphyseal plates) are where the puppy’s leg bones develop and grow, so intense physical activity can damage those delicate structures. This will cause your puppy to stop growing altogether or grow incorrectly.
- Hormones: Hormones play a crucial role in the growth of your puppy. Your Chihuahua’s growth hormone levels will affect his growth either positively or negatively. The pituitary gland is responsible for the production of growth hormones, and if it doesn’t produce enough, your Chihuahua puppy will grow very slowly to smaller adult size.
- Health: Sicknesses and diseases can affect the growth of Chihuahua puppies. The presence of endoparasites like hookworms, whipworms, and roundworms living in your puppy’s intestinal tract will harm their growth. These endoparasites limit the amount of food and nutrients the infected puppy takes, hence limiting his growth potential.
At What Age Do Chihuahuas Stop Growing?
It is no news that smaller dogs stop growing sooner than bigger dogs do. The same is true for Chihuahuas, who reaches maturity in a couple of months after birth.
Like every other type of dog breeds, Chihuahuas’s growth and development are more noticeable when they are puppies. This means that at the point where they become adults, they have already stopped growing.
It typically takes a Chihuahua 8 to 10 months on average to stop growing taller and 9 to 12 months to max out on their weight potential. Most of the Chihuahua’s development and growth will occur prior to his eighth month, but he will keep developing (only at a slower pace now) even after this time.
A lot of changes can still occur after a Chihuahua will reach adulthood at 12 months. Reaching the adult stage does not put a stop on the development of muscles. And the development of muscles means that their weight can still change even though they have become adults.
Will My Chihuahua Still Grow After Being Neutered/Spayed?
Your Chihuahua will continue to grow irrespective of neutering/spaying. However, performing these procedures at the wrong time can affect your Chihuahua’s growth. According to professionals, females should be spayed between 2 to 3 months old. And males should be neutered between the 2 to 6-month window.
Some studies have shown that early neutering/spaying has caused some joint issues which affect growth, but this only affected larger breeds. So, on this note, Chihuahuas can be neutered/spayed without adverse effects on their growth.
Why Is My Chihuahua Puppy Not Growing?
Your Chihuahua is stunted if it is not growing as it should. Endoparasites in Chihuahua puppies are a common reason for stunted growth. Hookworms, roundworms, and tapeworms sometimes attach themselves to the intestine of growing puppies and considerably slow their growth rate.
Liver shunt could also be the cause of stunted growth in your Chihuahua. Your puppy could have a liver shunt without showing more symptoms, so it’s easy to assume that malnutrition is the cause of stunted growth. Ensure you seek medical advice if you notice a stop in your puppy’s growth.
Is Your Chihuahua Overweight or Underweight?
It is very easy for Chihuahuas to gain weight. This is because they are so small that just a bit of overpampering can cause them to blow up. Giving them treats every time they beg for it or carrying them all the time instead of letting them walk can spell trouble for their size.
No matter how tempting, you must know when to draw the line between care and spoiling. You can spoil your Chihuahua to the extent that they won’t be able to perform common tasks.
You must keep your Chihuahua in shape and a healthy weight. I can’t stress this enough, because being overweight or underweight can spell trouble for your pet.
Being overweight or underweight can sometimes be a sign that your Chihuahua has some underlying health issues. And if you do not act quickly to bring it back to having a healthy weight, it could be at risk of developing some serious problems.
How to Tell If Your Chihuahua Is Overweight or Underweight?
Some causes of overweight and underweight in your Chihuahua could be very serious and would need immediate diagnosing. But what happens when your next vet appointment isn’t for another few weeks?
That means you must have a keen eye to tell when your Chi has lost too much weight or gained too much weight. And luckily, there are ways to do that without using a scale or visiting the vet.
One way to tell when your Chihuahua is overweight is by feeling its rib. When you feel your dog’s side with your hands, you should feel its ribs. If you can’t feel its ribs at all or can’t feel them well enough, your dog has too much fat in its body and is overweight. But if you feel too much rib without feeling enough fat in between, then your Chihuahua is underweight.
You could also touch its hips, spine, and shoulders to feel its bones. If you can feel the bones in these areas too well, then your Chihuahua is underweight. But if you cannot feel the bones due to too much fat covering the bones, then you have an overweight Chihuahua.
What to Do If Your Chihuahua Is Overweight or Underweight?
The first thing to do when you find out that your Chihuahua is underweight or overweight is to find out why. To be able to help, you must know what the source of the problem is.
A vet or pet nutritionist can help you in this regard. If the underlying cause of the shift in your Chihuahua’s weight is health-related, a vet can help you solve it.
However, if the cause is a high or low intake of caloric foods, you can be the remedy. You should only feed your Chihuahua high-calorie food when he is very active, then he can burn the excess. And low caloric food should be given when you have a lazy or inactive dog.
How to Measure Your Chihuahua’s Height?
It is important to track your Chihuahua’s size (particularly his height) if you want to assess his size progress at every point of his life. If your Chihuahua is a show dog, then you must know your dog’s exact height. This should not bother you at all because taking your dog’s measuring is very easy to get done.
All that is needed to get the accurate measurement of your Chihuahua is a level, tape, and a wall (which I’m sure you have). The measurement starts from the ground to the dog’s withers/shoulders.
To get your measurement right, your dog has to keep still. It’s either you find a way to hold him in place or get someone to help you hold him.
Let’s look at a step by step guide on how to accurately measure the height of your Chihuahua without stress.
Step 1: Let Your Chihuahua Stand Against a Wall
To get your Chihuahua’s accurate measurement, he needs to be standing as straight as possible. You must make sure your dog is not slouching or distracted. He needs to be placed against a wall or against a door frame on which you can mark his height.
Ensure your dog maintains a stance that is as square as possible and is standing on all fours. Make sure his feet are evenly spaced out and be apart at shoulder width.
Step 2: Learn the Position of the Chihuahua’s Withers
You will find the withers at the highest point of your Chihuahua’s shoulder blades. You will find it situated at the base of his neck, and that is the area you should feel around. Use your hands to find this point because your eyes may not locate the position of the withers.
Step 3: Mark the Position of the Withers on the Wall
As I said, you will need a level to get the job done. A carpenter’s level is long enough to get the job done. Place the level across the withers of your Chihuahua so that the tip touches the wall. Ensure the level is straight, then indicate the point where the point of the level touches the wall. The spot that is marked is the height of your Chihuahua being projected on the wall.
Step 4: Use a Tape to Complete the Rest
Once you have marked the spot on the wall, you can move your dog away from where he was standing so you can get a clear space to complete it. Once your dog has moved away, you can then measure the point from the ground to the mark on the wall. The number you get is the height of your Chihuahua.
If you still couldn’t get the measurement right, this is a step-by-step guide with pictures to guide you obtain an accurate measurement of your Chihuahua’s height.
Size Information for Common Chihuahua Mixed Breeds
If you cannot get enough of Chihuahuas, you might know that this amazing dog has a lot of mixes. Chihuahuas have been mixed with other breeds, and this has created some very cool breeds.
Most of the mixes tend to keep most of the amazing qualities we so much love in our Chihuahuas. There are over 30 Chihuahua mixes out there, and if a purebred Chihuahua is no longer enough for you, you can check any of the mixes.
The mix between a Silky Terrier and a Chihuahua produces an adorable pet referred to as Silkyhuahua. This affectionate and lively dog doesn’t come over 10 inches (25.4 cm) in height and usually weighs between 5 – 10 pounds (2.3 – 4.5 kg).
Another cool mix is the Cairn Terrier and Chihuahua, which is called the Toxirn (cute name if you ask me). The Toxirn, which looks more like his Chihuahua parent, also comes in a small package. They can get as tall as 10 inches (25.4 cm) and weigh between 6 – 8 pounds (2.7 – 3.6 kg).
If you want a designer dog with a bit of spunk in his attitude, then think about the Scottish Terrier and Chihuahua mix. The combination of these two is called a Scotchi, which comes a little bit bigger than the average purebred Chihuahua. Scotchis weigh between 16 – 20 pounds (7.3 – 9.1 kg) and will come in height between 8 – 11 inches (20.3 – 27.9 cm) tall.
Intelligent, fast learners, and low maintenance, the Chipins are another small Chihuahua mix. Chipins are a result of the mix between Chihuahuas and Mini Pinschers. You’ll find most Chipins standing between 8 – 12 inches (20.3 – 30.5 cm) tall, and can weigh between 7 – 15 pounds (3.17 – 6.8 kg).
Chihuahuas and Italian Greyhounds are two dogs that come packed with lots of energy. The crossbreeding of these two breeds gave us the Italian Grehuahua, whose result is spectacular. Italian Grehuahuas are kind of slender and reaches a height of about 10 – 14 inches (25.4 – 35.6 cm), but weighs between 8 – 15 pounds (3.6 – 6.8 kg).
A Chion is a hybrid gotten from the mix between a Papillon and a purebred Chihuahua. Chions come with a host of the physical and temperamental traits of their parents and are lovable. They stand about 7 – 9 inches (17.8 – 22.9 cm) and weigh an average of about 6 – 8 pounds (2.7 – 3.6 kg).
My Final Thoughts
Chihuahuas are one of many breeds that are easy to own and have very large personalities. If you love smaller breeds, you can’t go wrong with the Chihuahua. But choosing this breed means choosing to be responsible for something so small and fragile.
Knowing the size potential of your Chihuahua will help you realize when anything is off. For instance, you can seek help if your dog does not grow to the required size. You’ll also know the kind of accessories you should purchase.
Chihuahuas, like every other dog, needs love, care, and attention. As long as you provide these basics, your Chihuahua is already on the path to having a good life. Your dog’s health matters and should not be taken lightly. Make sure you’re aware of your puppy’s hereditary, so you are equipped with information on how to care for it properly.