Chihuahuas generally range in size from 6 to 9 inches tall at the shoulder and weight anywhere from 3 to 6 pounds. However, some Chihuahuas can reach up to 15 inches at the shoulder. Breed standards generally do not recognize Chihuahuas that weigh more than 6 pounds.
Individual Chihuahuas can reach drastically different sizes despite belonging to the same litter. They do not breed true to size, and pet-quality Chihuahuas can often be seen with larger bone structure than show-quality dogs. British breed standards prefer smaller Chihuahuas, stating that if two dogs are otherwise equal, the smaller is considered superior.
While some breeders offer "teacup" puppies, potential owners should understand that these miniaturized Chihuahuas are often either the runts of the litter or the result of unethical and potentially fatal breeding practices. Some teacup Chihuahuas are produced through early malnutrition and starvation, permanently stunting their growth. They are also more prone to diseases due to their small frames and may suffer from hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, necessitating the need to be fed small meals several times throughout the day. Teacup dogs are also smaller and more fragile than their standard-sized counterparts and are more likely to be injured from rough handling or play.