Chihuahuas may be known as the smallest dog breed, but they have huge personalities stuffed into their tiny bodies, and their charisma makes them very appealing to people. Their upright ears, expressive eyes, and sassy expression make them even more adorable.
Fun-loving and friendly, both male and female Chihuahuas are excellent choices for a pet. As puppies, there won’t be much of a striking difference between them, but as they grow older, notable differences between the two start to appear.
Knowing these differences can help you make one of the most critical choices you will have to face, whether to have a male or female Chihuahua.
You may find yourself wondering which puppy is best for you? Will there be much difference in temperament, health, and trainability if you get either a male or a female? Will their gender affect how they interact with others?
If you want a Chihuahua that’s loyal to everyone in the family, quick to train, and gentle around other pets, then you may want to get a male Chihuahua. But if you want a Chihuahua that’s more playful, cautious around strangers, and gentle around kids, then you may want to get a female Chihuahua.
If you are looking to bring a Chihuahua home, I wrote this comprehensive guide to give you some insight into the main differences between having a male or female Chihuahua.
Height: 5 – 9 inches (13 – 23 cm)
Weight: 2 – 6 lbs (0.9 – 3 kg)
Puppy Price: $500 – $1,500
Lifespan: 12 – 18 Years
- Charming, graceful, and sassy.
- Takes time to learn.
- Easily get distracted and harder to train.
- Loves to please his owner.
- Likes being babied.
- More playful and energetic throughout life.
- Slightly more food motivated.
- Reaches physical maturity quicker.
- Reaches mental maturity slower.
- Excels at protecting the whole territory or whole family.
- More attention-seeking.
- Clingy most of the time.
- Harder to train him to walk off-leash and stay close to you.
- Gets along well with female dogs.
- Less suspicious of strangers.
- More likely to bond with all family members.
- Tends to be a bit messier and more maintenance required.
- Clumsy around kids.
- Easier to socialize with people.
- Less likely to get along with other dogs or animals.
Height: 4 – 7 inches (10 – 18 cm)
Weight: 2 – 6 lbs (0.9 – 3 kg)
Puppy Price: $500 – $1,500
Lifespan: 12 – 18 Years
- Charming, graceful, and sassy.
- Fast learners.
- More focused and easier to train
- Slightly less desire to please her owner.
- More independent.
- Tends to be less playful all the time.
- Slightly less food motivated (except when pregnant).
- Reaches physical maturity slower.
- Reaches mental maturity quicker.
- Excels at protecting one person (her owner) in the territory.
- Less attention-seeking.
- Respects your time alone.
- Easier to train her to walk off-leash and stay close to you.
- Gets along well with male dogs.
- More suspicious of strangers.
- Tends to bond with one person in the family.
- Tends to be cleaner and less maintenance required.
- More cautious around kids.
- A bit harder to socialize with people.
- More likely to get along with other dogs or animals.
A male Chihuahua is slightly taller than their counterpart by about two inches. An adult male Chihuahua can grow up to 9 inches in height. However, their weight never exceeds 6 pounds because of their small body structure.
Female Chihuahuas, just like other dog breeds, are slightly shorter than males. An adult female Chihuahua can grow up to 7 inches, and their average weight ranges from 4 to 6 pounds.
Because of their size, it may be hard to tell the sex of a newborn Chihuahua. Some people mistakenly identify the female’s vulva for a penis because it seems larger than expected.
To tell them apart, roll your dog over carefully, and if you see an opening near its anus, you have a female Chihuahua. But if you see a tiny penis near the belly, then you have a male Chihuahua.
RELATED: How Big Do Chihuahuas Get? Puppy Growth Chart and FAQ
Chihuahuas have earned their reputation as a top toy dog because of their gracefulness and loyalty to their owners.
Although they are known to be cautious and reserved with strangers, they make excellent watchdogs to people they know. Their alert expression and terrier-like attitude indeed make them feisty despite their size.
In terms of temperament, males and females are both playful and comical, but they also have subtle differences. Bear in mind that the most common issues regarding their behavior may be directly related to whether or not your Chihuahua is neutered or spayed.
Read on to know more about how spaying and neutering can affect both male and female Chihuahua’s behavior and temperament.
Male Chihuahua puppies are typically more affectionate than female puppies. They are more loyal and protective of their owner and family members. They also tend to create a more special connection with them than their female counterparts.
Males tend to be calmer, more comfortable to get along with, and are more loving than the females. They always crave attention and affection, and they always want to please their owner, which makes training them easier.
But they are also easily content. They can be left in one corner of the room and not be aggressive while you watch TV, read, or do household chores.
As they grow into adults, their temperament changes slightly. They may become slower to respond and start to challenge dominance over their owner, but they never become too aggressive.
However, it is essential to know that male adult Chihuahua’s temperament largely depends on whether they are neutered or not.
Unneutered male Chihuahua puppies tend to become confrontational. They start to display ‘marking’ behavior or spray their urine to show ownership in the house’s areas like the carpet, sheets, and sofa.
They also have unmanageable control over their hormones, meaning they may run a lot, have the urge to chase female Chihuahuas and hump male or female dogs.
Ultimately, unneutered male Chihuahuas also have a higher risk of developing illnesses that can affect their health.
Female Chihuahua puppies make loving and loyal family companions. They are generally calm and less rowdy than their male counterparts, making them an excellent choice for families living in smaller homes or apartments.
However, because of their innate maternal instinct to protect their young, female Chihuahuas tend to bark more than males. They are also usually moodier and tend to have more temperamental personalities. They may also become bossy and assert their dominance over the males.
They may seek attention from their owners but are likely to be more demanding than their male counterparts. They love being on their owners’ lap and being close to them most of the time.
Being unspayed has little effect on an adult female Chihuahua’s temperament. Unspayed female Chihuahuas go through their adolescent phase with minimal changes in their behavior.
But expect them to have bouts of mood swings when they are in heat. Their heat cycle usually occurs every six or nine months and can last for about a month. They may become messier as blood mixes with their urine during their heat cycle.
Unspayed female Chihuahuas may be a target for male dogs. Male dogs can smell when females are in heat, even from ten feet away. They have a higher tendency to run away to find a male mate when they are in heat.
Still confused about whether a male or female Chihuahua makes the best pet? Watch this video to find out more.
Chihuahuas have vibrant personalities, and their intelligence is not to be taken for granted. They are enthusiastic learners and can match-up with large dog breeds in terms of obedience and training.
With proper training and socialization, any Chihuahua makes the perfect pet. Their tiny but power-packed size makes both male and female Chihuahuas have a seemingly endless amount of energy.
What makes a difference is each gender’s ability to sit back and relax, which I will discuss in detail.
Besides their affectionate nature and their love to please their owners, male Chihuahuas are generally fast learners. They respond well to commands and are quick to learn. Once a command is learned, they are most likely to obey it every time.
They also crave positive reinforcement in the form of praise and rewards when training, do not expect them to respond to harsh treatment.
Male Chihuahuas generally have a lower tolerance for sitting still for long periods. They often challenge authority by growling, nipping, barking, or ignoring commands when they get bored. This may be addressed with proper and consistent training.
Female Chihuahuas are generally quick learners, but they are often more difficult to train to obey. They take time to respond to commands and require more patience in teaching them.
Training them requires consistency. Once a command is learned, it is more likely that they may not always obey.
They also love being praised and rewarded. Female Chihuahuas generally need more positive reinforcement than their male counterparts. They are less concerned about being dominant over their owner when they get bored and usually only assert their power over other dogs.
Both male and female Chihuahuas pose an equal risk for primary health concerns because of their size.
Chihuahuas are mainly prone to developing hydrocephalus and eye injuries later in life. They also love a warm climate and may have a hard time surviving in cold weather.
In terms of other health issues that will affect both male and female Chihuahuas are directly associated with whether or not their sex organs were altered. To know more about the effects of not having your Chihuahua undergo neutering and spaying, read the next section.
Male Chihuahuas, like other dog breeds, are at risk for developing cryptorchidism. This is the medical term for an undescended testicle in dogs.
If one or both of the testicles are not removed from inside the body, it can lead to cancer and an increased chance of having behavioral problems like aggression, mainly due to high testosterone levels.
Another disease that male Chihuahuas may develop is prostate cancer that can quickly spread to other body parts. Prostate cancer is also the leading cancer type in almost all dog breeds. The risk of having this type of cancer and other diseases may be reduced by neutering.
Neutering a male Chihuahua also decreases the risk of developing more aggressive behaviors such as marking, humping, chasing female dogs, and disobedience.
Just remember that neutering must be done when your Chihuahua is fully mature or around 18 months old. Doing it earlier will lead to his underdevelopment and can significantly affect his temperament.
A female Chihuahua may feel withdrawn, anxious, or more uninterested than normal when it enters its heat cycle due to the changes in her hormonal levels.
Like most female dogs, Chihuahuas face the possibility of developing mammary cancer, cysts, and tumors.
They are also at risk of their uterus being infected with pyometra, which could lead to their death if not immediately addressed. Therefore, spaying is a sensible option to minimize these risks.
Another reason to consider spaying female Chihuahuas is that unspayed females will have their periods every five to seven months, and they can last for 2-3 weeks.
This means that their genitals will become swollen. It could also be messy during their period as they will also start to lick their genitals and bleed a lot.
If you do not plan on breeding your Chihuahua, spaying may reap great perks.
Chihuahuas, quirky and comical as they are, are generally good-natured with children. Both male and female Chihuahuas are full of enthusiasm.
It is suggested that Chihuahuas live with families with quiet, older children who already know how to interact with them appropriately. Children over ten years old are considered to be mature enough to handle the vulnerabilities of Chihuahuas.
Most Chihuahuas may easily get overwhelmed with loud conversations, yelling, running, and other quick movements that younger children often make. They also easily hurt themselves as they are at greater risk of being run over by bigger animals or children.
Male Chihuahuas are more playful than females. This playfulness may sometimes become too much and may harm them if they get strained.
It is crucial to train them properly so that they will know their boundaries, like when to stop playing or which part of the house they can play in. Giving a male Chihuahua his space or crate inside the house may help set routines and avoid rough play.
Known to be protective and more serious, female Chihuahuas are less playful but gentler than their male counterparts. They may play with children for about twenty minutes before slipping away. Female Chihuahuas prefer being at their owner’s side most of the time.
With this, children must be taught when they should not play with their Chihuahua. Pushing them to play may result in aggression towards the children.
Ultimately, no matter how young or old the children are, never leave them unsupervised to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling. Teach your children how to properly approach and touch the dog. Remind them not to touch the dog while sleeping or eating.
With Other Dogs
Male and female Chihuahuas generally adapt well to living with other dogs, given that they are appropriately acclimated or that they grow together in a house.
However, extra precautions are needed when you try to mix them with larger dogs. Make sure that the larger dogs are calm, good-natured, and well-socialized. Chihuahuas can get hurt by big dogs by accident.
Generally, because of their size, Chihuahuas look like prey animals. When they move quickly, it can trigger the instinctive chasing behavior in other dog breeds initially bred to hunt and chase prey, an instinct often seen in terriers, retrievers, and hounds.
Male Chihuahuas generally get along well with other dogs. Although they may become aggressive at first, they quickly become at ease with other dogs if properly introduced.
They do not assert their dominance over other dogs and are usually calm, easygoing, and do not care whether they are the alpha dog or not. Overall, the male Chihuahua’s fun and playful personality make them more friendly with other dogs.
The female Chihuahua’s protective and strong-willed nature make them fiercer with other dogs, especially with female dogs. They often assert themselves despite their size and put up a brave front with other dogs.
They show toughness on the outside, but they may feel anxious or even frustrated while they are surrounded by dogs much larger than them.
If this happens, you may reassure your Chihuahua that she is being protected against other dogs and that you are in control of her safety and security.
With Cats and Other Pets
In general, Chihuahuas, given their body structure of having bold, protruding eyes, are more prone to eye injuries.
If you have cats at home, you might want to consider thinking things over before getting a Chihuahua. Not only are cats bigger than Chihuahuas, but they also tend to scratch.
However, all hope is not lost as Chihuahuas get along very well and become great companions with pets inside their own family, especially if they are introduced at a young age and grow together. They may even boss other pets around despite their tiny size.
The male Chihuahua’s fun-loving character makes him an ideal friend to other pets in the house. His happy-go-lucky personality, sociability, and quickness in learning a command affect how he responds to other pets in the house.
This means that male Chihuahuas may find it easier to adapt and live with other pets in the house, as they are less suspicious than females.
The female Chihuahua’s high-mindedness and tenacity to her owner make her very alert and highly cautious of other pets.
Females tend to be more assertive of their position in the house and show their dominance by barking and making their territories known. They also generally have the urge to become the ‘alpha’ in the household.
This means that female Chihuahuas may take a significantly longer amount of time to get accustomed to other pets and may show a dominating attitude towards them.
This is why early socialization is crucial for them. Being properly socialized with other pets early on in life dramatically reduces the development of anxiety and aggressiveness.
Which Is Better for a Family?
This is a difficult question to answer, as both male and female Chihuahuas make great family pets. Their fun and eccentric personalities, coupled with their cute size, make them ideal companions everywhere.
That’s why this male versus female question is highly personal and subjective. To help you decide whether to get a male or a female, you first must know the advantages of having either gender in a family environment.
Advantages of Male Chihuahuas in a Family Environment:
- Typically more loyal and more affectionate
- Very active
- Easier to train and
- Always obey learned commands
- Quiet and calm
- Easily content
- Not moody
Advantages of Female Chihuahuas in a Family Environment:
- They do not demand much attention
- Alert and protective
- Does not test their dominance over their owner
- Less rough
- Sunny and sweet
- They do not mark or hump
If you are thinking of bringing a Chihuahua into your home and are still wondering if a male or female would best suit you, keep in mind the details listed above.
Just bear in mind that a dog’s behavior is influenced significantly by genetics and the kind of environment he was raised in. These may or may not be a hundred percent true, particularly if you take a closer look at the nature of the individual dog and not merely gender.
Past experiences may also affect the choice of your dog’s gender. If you’ve had more comfortable training experience with male dogs in the past, you will more likely prefer to have another male.
But if your previous male dogs were aggressive and disobedient, you would most likely choose a female this time.
Regardless of gender, every dog needs to be properly socialized to people, other dogs, cats, and others in their environment to minimize aggressive behavior. With the right amount of socialization, training, love, and care, any dog can perfectly fit into any family.
Which Is a Better Guard Dog?
Chihuahuas have a very great sense of smelling and hearing. Their sensitivity to smell is 100,000 times more potent than humans, and their sensitivity to sound is ten times stronger than humans. Their antenna ears and their alert personality make them an excellent guard dog.
Both male and female Chihuahuas are known to be protective of their owners. They can smell a stranger from 5 feet away and send a warning by barking a lot.
They are also very agile and active because of their size. This agility enables them to run to their owners fast enough for their owners to take immediate actions to prevent further threats to the family and their territory.
However, it is essential to remember that Chihuahuas are not enough to keep threats away. While they are great for alerting their owner, they are not meant to do heavy guard work.
Although they can bite, their compact body makes them prone to being easily kicked, twisted, and thrown out by potential burglars or any larger dog.
To help you decide which gender is the best fit for you, here are some of the known advantages of having a male or female Chihuahua guard dog:
Advantages of Male Chihuahua Guard Dogs:
- Taller and bigger.
- They can be trained easily.
- Generally quicker and more agile.
- Better at protecting an entire territory, home, or property.
Advantages of Female Chihuahua Guard Dogs:
- Louder barkers
- Better at protecting a specific person in the family
- More cautious and suspicious of strangers
- Better at protecting a small territory
If you want to protect your entire home, a male Chihuahua would be an excellent choice for a guard dog as they are generally quicker and more active, and they are more inclined to protect all family members.
However, female Chihuahuas are louder barkers and are more alert to strangers and are more inclined to protect one person in the family.
Males are perfect for the general protection of the family members and the entire house, while females are considered to be perfect for the protection of a specific person in the family.
Ultimately, it is worth noting that both male and female Chihuahuas are likely to be aggressive to strangers outside their known family members who could create an alarm. It would be better to have a bulkier, stronger, and heavier dog to do heavy guard work duty.
This article discussed some essential factors to consider in choosing a gender for your next Chihuahua puppy. Various advantages and disadvantages of having each gender were also presented to help you decide whether you will have a male or a female Chihuahua.
Having a solid understanding of what you can expect from both males and females and the responsibilities that come with these expectations can help you decide the gender you will bring home.
More importantly, remember that when choosing your pet, find a pet that matches your lifestyle. You may watch how breeders handle, treat, and train their Chihuahuas for you to have an idea of what kind of puppies they will produce.
Keep in mind that the type of environment in which a dog was raised significantly affects his temperament and behavior.
Finally, if you feel a special connection to a particular gender of dog, follow your instinct. Choosing a Chihuahua gender that you have a connection with can make you raise your dog to be affectionate, pleasant, confident, and emotionally connected to you.
My name is John Carter and I absolutely love pets, especially cats and dogs. I’ve got a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and have several years’ experience working in animal shelters and rescues. My passion for animals started at a very young age as I grow up on a farm with several horses, cows, cats, chickens, and dogs on our property.