Chihuahua vs German Shepherd

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:
14 to 16 years
Size:

Extra Small

Maintenance Level:

Medium

Shed Level:

Low

Best For

Chihuahuas are best for households with no small children or other dominant pets, and retirees or work-from-home parents who can provide lots of attention.

Chihuahua Temperament

Chihuahuas are charming little scamps with an eye for mischief and a sense of bravery that outsizes their physicality. They’re playful pups who enjoy a good romp or game, even though it may not last long (depending on their energy level). And they love to snooze on laps an...

Chihuahuas are charming little scamps with an eye for mischief and a sense of bravery that outsizes their physicality. They’re playful pups who enjoy a good romp or game, even though it may not last long (depending on their energy level). And they love to snooze on laps and cuddle—that is, after all, what they’re bred to do.

They like a lot of attention and are quite portable. But even though they’re easily carried, they do still need to learn how to walk on their own and be able to engage in normal dog behaviors, like sniffing, exploring and playing. In other words, don’t pop them in a purse or a stroller and tote them everywhere—unless, of course, it’s somewhere risky with lots of feet that could hurt a tiny paw, like an airport or street festival.

The Chihuahua dog breed is said to resemble a terrier with their demeanor and can become quite feisty, especially if they feel threatened. Some sites report that the Chihuahua bite force is 3,900 pounds per square inch (psi), but those so-called Chihuahua facts are wildly inaccurate, when a lion is only at 600 psi. (In truth, they usually inflict no more than a Level 1-3 bite, with no puncture deeper than half the length of one of their canine teeth.)

To help your Chihuahua puppy overcome a nipping or protective tendency, socialize them by safely and slowly introducing them to new people and places from the get-go and start training when they are young. Early training will also help this smallest of dog breeds become wonderfully friendly and receptive to all members of the family, including other pets.

Chihuahua Traits

Friendliness
Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Playfulness
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:
12 to 14 years
Size:

Large

Maintenance Level:

High

Shed Level:

Very High

Best For

German Shepherds are best for active households and experienced pet parents who are ready to train this highly-active pup.

German Shepherd Temperament

Born guardians, the German Shepherd’s best trait is their intense, unwavering loyalty to their families. (There’s a reason they make some of the best police dogs.) The fearless breed has also been known to put themselves in harm’s way before they let a family member get hur...

Born guardians, the German Shepherd’s best trait is their intense, unwavering loyalty to their families. (There’s a reason they make some of the best police dogs.) The fearless breed has also been known to put themselves in harm’s way before they let a family member get hurt.

Not surprisingly, friendliness is not the German Shepherd dog breed’s strong suit. They can be aloof, and you definitely have to earn their trust. Naturally wary of strangers, a German Shepherd will default to “guard dog mode” if they believe their family is in danger.

Early social interactions with kids, babies and other animals is also important if you want your German Shepherd to be well-behaved around guests. With the proper education, this easy-to-train pup can be a great family dog.

German Shepherds are born talkers. They will bark when they’re bored, and they’ll bark to alert you if something isn’t quite right. But training and exercise can help curb a lippy pup and keep their barking to when you need it the most.

These dogs are incredibly smart, and they are at their best when they have a job to do, whether working as a police or military dog, doing tracking or search and rescue, serving as a guide dog or at home practicing scent work or solving puzzles for a treat. And when they’re with their family, German Shepherds will let their silly side show as they flip their toys in the air and roll around on their backs.

German Shepherd Traits

Friendliness
Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Playfulness
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents
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