How Much Does a Chihuahua Cost?

Written by: Staff

The Chihuahua is known to be the smallest breed of dog and is named after the state of Chihuahua in Mexico.  According to most breeders, the costs will depend on the age, quality, gender, what paperwork is involved, where and who you purchase it from.

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How much does a Chihuahua cost?

On average, the price of Chihuahuas can vary anywhere from $100 for an older dog with no papers to as much as $1,300+; however, if you were to adopt a puppy from a reputable breeder, then it’s best to budget about $450 to $1,300, with females costing a few hundred more than males.  Also, don’t be surprised if you see specialty breeders selling “teacup Chihuahuas ” or a “Blue Merle” for as much as $5,000., for example, says their puppies will depend on the puppy’s size, sex, confirmation, disposition, intelligence and if they are pack leaders or followers.  Based on these factors, their dogs sell for anywhere from $400 to $1,200, with most pups in the $500 to $800 range.

According to one member on, they said the costs would depend on the quality of the dog; for instance, the body, face shape and how long the dog’s body is can all affect the cost of the dog.  Since the standards are quite strict, especially for those who want to show their dogs, many find it hard to find a Chihuahua of show quality will cost much more than a backyard breeder.

On, there were more than 1,000 listings at the time of this writing, and the costs ranged anywhere from as little as $100 to more than $2,000.

What is going to be included in the adoption fee?

Any reputable breeder should include any registration paperwork, a health checkup from a licensed vet, a health guarantee, and if the dog is going to be shipped, the breeder should include the travel crate.  Some rescue groups or breeders may also include the microchip, the spay/neutering and/or starter kit that includes starter food, toys, small accessories and coupons.

Once you have chosen a puppy you’re interested in, the breeder will offer a puppy contract and ask for a small deposit, usually around $100 to $250, to secure your puppy.  This fee will then be applied to the adoption fee once the sale is finalized.

What are the extra costs?

Recurring costs, as with any dog, need to be budgeted.  This will include the food, accessories, shelter, toys and routine/surprise vet visits.  The average healthy dog owner will spend about $600 to $800 per year, but if your Chihuahua were to come down with an illness, then the costs could be much more.

Shipping the dog via an airline can cost anywhere from $200 to $400, depending on the airline and distance traveled.

Tips to know:

The Chihuahua comes in a variety of sizes, head shapes, coat lengths and colors.  However, when shopping for one, you will find two common varieties:  the short coat and long coat.  As for the heads, there are two types:  the apple head and what’s known as the deer head.  The apple heads are round with a close set of eyes, shorter ears and smaller legs.  The deer heads have a flatter head and the eyes tend to be wider; the ears and legs also tend to be longer.

As for height, the Chihuahua can range anywhere from six to 15 inches tall, and most weigh less than six pounds.  Experts state that if a Chihuahua weighs more than 10 pounds, it is considered to be overweight.

This breed can come in just about any color combination, including solid colors, spots, sabled and/or random patterns.  Common colors include brown, chocolate, red, cream, white and black.  No color or pattern is considered to be rare or more valuable than others.

The average lifespan is 12 to 17 years when healthy.

Chihuahua breeds will have a varying temperament and are commonly known to be submissive, calm, independent and dominant.  Some Chihuahua breeds can be aggressive while some can be very gentle; this will all depend on the genetic temperament of the parents and grandparents.  Since these breeds can be provoked to attack quite easily, they tend to bad around younger children.

These breeds are known to be extremely loyal to one person and may not do well with strangers or other animals.

This breed is known to be affected by hydrocephalus, a condition where the dog doesn’t grow at the same pace as its siblings.  Chihuahuas are also prone to hypoglycemia and a collapsed trachea, according to professionals.  Overfeeding, another troublesome problem found among this breeder, can cause an increased rate of joint injuries, chronic bronchitis or tracheal collapse.

This is the smallest breed recognized by kennel clubs.

It’s highly advised you steer clear of those who say they have a “teacup” Chihuahua.  These breeds, while they may be rare, tend to have more medical problems such as retained baby teeth to the mouth size.

The UKC and AKC only acknowledge the micro-breeds in toy dogs as a regular dog.

How can I save money?

Consider checking with local shelters or specialized rescue groups to see if any older dogs are available for adoption.  Since these dogs are rather common, there could be a rather good chance that one is there.  Plus, this is a great way to offer an older dog a home for a lot less than that of a puppy.  Researching online you will find that older dogs are pretty common to find for as little as $100; in fact, at the time of this writing, we were able to find some puppies for free on local Craigslist listings.

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