How to Groom a Long Haired Chihuahua

How to Groom a Long Haired Chihuahua

Grooming your long haired Chihuahua doesn't have to be tough, but it is a part of a good health routine. Learn how to keep your Chihuahua's coat shiny and clean.

Long-haired Chihuahuas are simple dogs to groom and keep clean. Start grooming Chihuahuas when they are young so they become accustomed to the handling and the activity. The most important aspect of grooming a long-haired Chihuahua is cleanliness, and the ASPCA recommends bathing your pet at least every three months. Chihuahuas are often indoor dogs, but if they sleep in your bed or travel in cars regularly, you may want to wash them more frequently.


Brush the dog thoroughly to remove all loose hair and matted sections. Fill a basin or bathtub with approximately 4 inches of lukewarm water, and place a rubber bathmat or towel at the bottom of the tub to prevent the dog from slipping. Place your Chihuahua in the water, and wet all their hair using a plastic jug. Massage in a specially formulated dog shampoo, working your fingers through the hair from head to tail. If you live in an area where ticks and fleas are prevalent, choose a product that helps to repel them from the dog’s coat. Wash the top of the head and around the snout gently, taking care to avoid the dog’s eyes. Rinse well with the jug, and dry the dog with a big, soft towel.


Dry your Chihuahua naturally in the warm sunlight if possible because many dogs dislike the noise of an electric hairdryer. If the weather is cooler, you can dry your Chihuahua by lying the dog down on a towel on the bed. Take the hairdryer in one hand and set it on the lowest warm speed setting. Blow the dog’s stomach gently with the dryer held some distance away while stroking or reassuring the dog with your other hand. As the dog gets more comfortable with the dryer, bring it closer carefully and keep it moving to avoid concentrating the heat in an area. Shield the dog’s eyes and face with your hand while you blow dry the head and ears and avoid blowing into the ears. Lastly, monitor the heat of the hairdryer at all times so it doesn't overheat your little pup.


This breed of dog has a long coat of soft, fine guard hairs, which can take up to two years to develop to its full thickness and frequently has an undercoat. When the Chihuahua’s coat is completely dry, brush it gently using a pin brush or spinning pin brush with rubber tips to avoid irritating the skin. This removes dead hair and dander from the undercoat. Brush the coat afterward with a soft, natural bristle brush, which conditions and shines the coat, and end with a gentle combing using a double-sided comb. This helps to lift the hairs and comb them into place.


Use a hair clipper or shaver to trim the hair around the Chihuahua’s toes, as well as the extra hair growing between the pads underneath. Use blunt scissors for a sanitary clip for the area around the tail to keep it short and tidy. This will help to prevent feces from sticking to the hair. Cut the dog’s nails using a professional nail clipper, which commonly has safety guards that prevent you from cutting the nails too short. Clipping nails too short can cause damage to the blood vessel in the nail called the quick, which can be painful for the dog. Grind or file the nails after clipping to reduce the risk of splitting the nail and to smooth its sharp edges.

The Chihuahua: Tiny Dog, Big Personality

While many people make the mistake of judging Chihuahuas by their size, these little dogs are tougher than you might expect. Chihuahuas make good apartment dogs since they are usually no more than 6 pounds and can fit in just about anywhere. Chihuahuas are intelligent, and fun-loving, and make devoted companions that are equally happy to go for a walk with you or to sit by your side while you watch TV.


The exact history of the breed is uncertain, but according to the American Kennel Club, they may be descended from the Techichi, a tiny dog kept by the Toltec people in Mexico as long as a thousand years ago. At some point, these dogs may have been crossbred with the small, Terrier-type dogs of the Spanish Conquistadors, contributing to the tiny size and feisty nature of today’s Chihuahuas. During the latter half of the 19th century, American visitors to the Mexican state of Chihuahua encountered the breed and brought some of the little dogs home with them. At the same time, Chihuahuas were introduced to Europe, and they have remained popular throughout much of the world since that time.


Chihuahuas vary in size, from very small dogs weighing less than three pounds to those that reach the breed’s maximum size of six pounds. While some Chihuahuas may get even bigger than this, the Chihuahua Club of America and the American Kennel Club both disqualify any dog that does. Sometimes you may see Chihuahuas referred to as teacups or pocket dogs, but these are unofficial terms and simply mean that the dog is very small. Despite their size, these dogs need to learn good behavior just as the bigger dogs do, and Chihuahuas that have been allowed to get away with misbehaving may end up yappy and nippy and not well-behaved around people outside of the family or other pets. This is not the best breed to have around young children, since rough handling may injure a Chihuahua, but children 10 years old and older often do very well with this breed.


Chihuahuas are feisty dogs, very similar to Terriers in many ways. These little dogs don’t seem to be afraid of anything, and they make ideal alarm dogs, letting their owners know when a stranger approaches. It's important to protect Chihuahuas when they’re around other dogs since these tiny bundles of energy won’t hesitate to challenge other dogs of any size if they feel it is called for. The standard breed calls for Chihuahuas to project a Terrier-like attitude and display self-reliance, confidence, and self-importance, and dogs that have been raised with adequate social interaction clearly show these traits, though Chihuahuas that are not well-socialized may display lots of fear and even urinate when stressed. This is called submissive urination.


As you might expect with dogs that originated in a hot climate, Chihuahuas are bothered by cold weather and should not be left outside when temperatures drop. Many owners find that their Chihuahuas are only too happy to share the bed with them, sliding under the covers and snuggling up to share as much body heat as possible. Due to their active nature, this breed enjoys having room to romp and likes to go for walks on a regular basis; but because of their small size, they don’t require nearly the same amount of space as larger dogs. Their grooming requirements are minimal, and a weekly brushing combined with regular toenail clipping and an occasional bath usually takes care of their needs. The smallest Chihuahuas typically need frequent feedings and special supplements to prevent hypoglycemia, but as soon as they reach three pounds, diet is not so much of a problem. Diet is especially critical in tiny puppies, and if not fed properly, they can become very ill and die in a matter of hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you supposed to trim a long-haired Chihuahua?

It is not necessary to trim a long-haired Chihuahua's coat, but it can be beneficial for their grooming and overall health. Long-haired Chihuahuas have a thick coats that can easily become matted and tangled, especially if they are not brushed regularly. Trimming their hair can help prevent matting and make it easier to groom them. If you choose to trim your long-haired Chihuahua, it is recommended to do so every 6 to 8 weeks, depending on the rate of hair growth. It is also important to use proper grooming tools, such as scissors and clippers designed for pet grooming, to avoid injuring your dog. Some long-haired Chihuahuas have a double coat, which should not be trimmed as it can affect the insulation properties of their coat and make them more susceptible to temperature changes.

Should you cut a long-haired Chihuahua for the summer?

Whether or not you should cut a long-haired Chihuahua's coat for the summer depends on a few factors, such as the climate you live in and your dog's individual needs. Long-haired Chihuahuas have thick coat that provides insulation and protection from both heat and cold. If you live in a hot and humid climate, it may be beneficial to trim your Chihuahua's coat to help keep them cool and comfortable during the summer months. However, if you live in a cooler climate, it may be best to leave your Chihuahua's coat intact to protect them from the elements. Additionally, if your Chihuahua spends a lot of time outdoors during the summer months, trimming their coat can help prevent matting and make it easier to groom them. It is always a good idea to consult with a professional groomer or veterinarian for advice on the appropriate grooming for your Chihuahua.

How often should a long-haired Chihuahua be groomed?

Long-haired Chihuahuas require regular grooming to keep their coats healthy and free from tangles and mats. The frequency of grooming required depends on the length and thickness of your Chihuahua's coat, its level of activity, and its lifestyle. In general, it is recommended to brush a long-haired Chihuahua coat at least once a week to prevent matting and tangling. For Chihuahuas with longer, thicker coats, more frequent brushing may be necessary, perhaps several times a week. Bathing should be done as needed, but not too frequently, as it can dry out the skin and coat. Additionally, you should check your Chihuahua's ears regularly for signs of infection or excess wax buildup and trim their nails every few weeks to prevent overgrowth.

Can you use a Furminator on a long-haired chihuahua?

Yes, a Furminator can be used on a long-haired Chihuahua, but it should be used with care. The Furminator is a specialized grooming tool that is designed to remove loose hair and undercoat from dogs and cats. It can be very effective at removing loose fur, but it should be used with caution on dogs with long hair to avoid damaging the coat or causing discomfort to the dog. When using a Furminator on a long-haired Chihuahua, it is important to use it gently and with a light touch, taking care not to pull or tug on the hair. It is also recommended to use the Furminator on a dry coat and to follow up with a slicker brush to remove any remaining tangles or mats. Note that excessive or improper use of a Furminator can cause damage to a dog's coat.

What's the best brush to use on a Chihuahua?

The best brush to use on a Chihuahua depends on their coat type and personal preferences. Chihuahuas can have both long and short hair, and each requires a different type of brush to keep their coat healthy and free of tangles and mats. For short-haired Chihuahuas, a soft-bristled brush or a rubber grooming mitt is usually sufficient to remove loose hair and keep the coat shiny and healthy. For long-haired Chihuahuas, a slicker brush or a pin brush is recommended to help remove tangles and mats, especially in areas with longer hair, such as the legs, ears, and tail. A comb can also be useful for removing smaller tangles and checking for fleas or other skin irritations. It is crucial to choose a brush that is appropriate for your Chihuahua's coat type and to use it gently to avoid causing discomfort or damage to the skin or coat. Regular brushing, at least once a week, is recommended to prevent tangles and mats from forming and to keep the coat healthy and shiny.

More on Grooming

Dog Grooming Tips To Keep Your Pup Healthy And Happy
How To Find The Right Pet Salon
How To Find Good Dog Groomers

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