CHIHUAHUA.jpg
Breed Group Group 12: Companion and Toy Breeds
Sub-group 12-A: Americas and Caribbean Breeds
Origin Country Mexico
Weight Males: 1-7 pounds. Females: 1-7 pounds.
Height Males: 5-10 inches. Females: 5-10 inches.
Other Name(s) Chihuahueno
Breed Type Pure
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Chihuahua

Breed Group Group 12: Companion and Toy Breeds
Sub-group 12-A: Americas and Caribbean Breeds
Origin Country Mexico
Weight Males: 1-7 pounds. Females: 1-7 pounds.
Height Males: 5-10 inches. Females: 5-10 inches.
Other Name(s) Chihuahueno
Breed Type Pure
click here for FULL BREED STANDARD

Breed Spotlight

Origins

For well over a century, researchers have argued about the Chihuahua’s exact origins. Some experts say that the breed’s descendants arrived in the Americas with the Spanish armies of Hernando Cortes around 1519, and those specimens bred with the native pariah dogs. Others speculate that the Chinese—a people noted for their fascination with producing miniature breeds—exported the Chihuahua’s ancestors to the Americas long before European explorers stepped foot on the New World’s soil. Still, some experts argue that the Chihuahua’s ancestors were here in the Americas all along—bred by the Aztecs and Incas and utilized as a source of food, sacrificial offerings to the gods, and vermin control. While all versions of the Chihuahua’s story are possibilities, none of these rumored origins has concrete, historical proof. History does, however, record that early Chihuahua specimens were imported to the United States in the 1850s, and that the breed was named after the Mexican state, Chihuahua, from which they were first sent.

Breed Characteristics

Head: The Chihuahua skull may range from just slightly brachycephalic, to somewhat Mesaticephalic. It is moderate in size, and in proportion to the rest of the body. The head is clean-cut without excess skin or wrinkle. CKC recognizes two varieties of the Chihuahua based on skull type; the apple-head and the deer-head.
Apple–head: The skull is broad, rounded, "apple-dome" skull.
Deer-head: The skull is still broad and rounded, but slightly less “appled,” or domed than what is seen in the apple-head variety. NOTE: The deerhead variety should never appear wedge-shaped, long, or flat when viewed from the side, or narrow when viewed from the front. It should never resemble that of a Miniature Pinscher or Terrier, but should still remain distinctly Chihuaua-like.
Eyes: Moderately large in size, but not protrusive or bugged. Open oval to round in shape. Eye color may range from blue to dark brown, in accordance to the coat. Preference is given to darker eye color. The eye rims are well-fitted and well-pigmented. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes. The whites of the eyes should not be visible when the dog is looking forward.
Ears: Large in size, set between the ten o’clock and two o’clock position when in repose, or the eleven and one o’clock position when alert. Shaped like an equilateral triangle. The ears are never long, overly large, or broken.
Muzzle: Shorter than the topskull. The muzzle is full, deep, and broad. Upper and lower jaws have good bone substance, appearing strong and well-developed, never long, narrow, snipey, or weak.
Nose: The nose is well-pigmented and black, or self-colored according to the coat. The nostrils are well-opened.
Neck: Of a moderate length to allow for proud head carriage, strongly-muscled, with a slight arch. The neck tapers smoothly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. The neck is clean-cut, without excess skin, throatiness, or dewlap.
Chest: Deep, broad, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows.
Body: Compact, solid, and good substance. The body is never racy or refined. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters.
Feet: Oval to round, compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads.
Tail: Set high on the croup, thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. Carried in accordance with the dog’s mood and energy level, often at back level or higher, but never tucked. Of a medium length, with the tip of the last vertebrae extending to the hock joints when held down. The tail may be straight, or gently curved to form a “sabre,” “hook,” or “sickle.”
Movement: Smooth, flowing gait with graceful movements. The characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither moving in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the fore and hind limbs will converge to the center line of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the fore feet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hind feet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.
Temperament: “Saucy,” alert, terrier-like, and intelligent, making for a great family pet. Due to their human’s tendency to “spoil” them, the Chihuahua should be trained and well-socialized from an early age! Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.
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Breed Standard

BREED GROUP 12: Companion and Toy Breeds

Proportions: Slightly off-square with length of the body, measured from the point of the forechest to the point of the rump being just slightly greater than the height at the withers. The ideal body height to length ratio is between 10:8 and 10:9. Females may be slightly longer. The body is well-put together, with sturdy substance and medium bone.

Head

General Appearance: The Chihuahua skull may range from just slightly brachycephalic, to somewhat Mesaticephalic. It is moderate in size, and in proportion to the rest of the body. The head is clean-cut without excess skin or wrinkle. CKC recognizes two varieties of the Chihuahua based on skull type; the apple-head and the deer-head.
Apple–head: The skull is broad, rounded, "apple-dome" skull.
Deer-head: The skull is still broad and rounded, but slightly less “appled,” or domed than what is seen in the apple-head variety. NOTE: The deerhead variety should never appear wedge-shaped, long, or flat when viewed from the side, or narrow when viewed from the front. It should never resemble that of a Miniature Pinscher or Terrier, but should still remain distinctly Chihuaua-like.
Expression: Alert and saucy.
Stop: The stop is definite, preferably forming a 90-degree angle between the topskull and muzzle.
Skull: The ideal muzzle-to-skull ratio is approximately 2:3, with the topskull being somewhat longer than the muzzle.
The ideal muzzle-to-skull axis is sharply convergent.
Muzzle: Shorter than the topskull. The muzzle is full, deep, and broad. Upper and lower jaws have good bone substance, appearing strong and well-developed, never long, narrow, snipey, or weak.
Lips or Flews: Lips are clean and fit tightly over the teeth and jaws.
Nose: The nose is well-pigmented and black, or self-colored according to the coat. The nostrils are well-opened.
Cheeks: Some padding of the cheek is present. The cheeks should not appear chiseled or coarse.
Dentition and Bite: Forty-two strong, clean, white teeth. Bite may be level, or scissor, or reverse scissor. Contact must be made between the top and bottom incisors.
Eyes: Moderately large in size, but not protrusive or bugged. Open oval to round in shape. Eye color may range from blue to dark brown, in accordance to the coat. Preference is given to darker eye color. The eye rims are well-fitted and well-pigmented. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes. The whites of the eyes should not be visible when the dog is looking forward.
Ears: Large in size, set between the ten o’clock and two o’clock position when in repose, or the eleven and one o’clock position when alert. Shaped like an equilateral triangle. The ears are never long, overly large, or broken.

Body and Tail

General Description: Compact, solid, and good substance. The body is never racy or refined. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters.
Neck: Of a moderate length to allow for proud head carriage, strongly-muscled, with a slight arch. The neck tapers smoothly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. The neck is clean-cut, without excess skin, throatiness, or dewlap.
Chest: Deep, broad, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows.
Topline: Level from withers to tail. The back is broad, strongly muscled, and straight, yet supple. The loin is taut and flat and level. The back is never long, swayed, or roached.
Croup: Flat and level with the back.
Underline: Slight tuck up present, or the underline may run parallel to the topline. The underline is taut and firm, without any indication of sagging or excess weight.
Ribs: Long, well-sprung, well-laid-back, oval-shaped, never barrel-chested or slab-sided.
Tail: Set high on the croup, thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. Carried in accordance with the dog’s mood and energy level, often at back level or higher, but never tucked. Of a medium length, with the tip of the last vertebrae extending to the hock joints when held down. The tail may be straight, or gently curved to form a “sabre,” “hook,” or “sickle.”

Forequarters and Hindquarters

Forequarters: Forequarters are always in balance with the hindquarters. Forequarters are well angulated with well laid back shoulder blades. Shoulder blades are approximately equal in length to the upper arm and forearm.
Elbows: Elbows are close to the body. The point of the elbows is approximately half the dog’s height at the withers.
Forelegs: Frontal View: Straight, of good muscle, moderate bone, and parallel to one another.
Side View: The forelimbs appear straight with strong pasterns.
Pasterns: Never weak or broken.
Hindquarters: Upper thigh and lower thigh are equal in length, strong, sturdy, of moderate bone, and well-muscled. Rear View: When viewed from the rear, the rear pasterns are parallel to one another. Side View: Good angulation will allow the rear toes to align with the point of the rump or within one to two paw-lengths behind the point of the rump, with the rear pasterns remaining perpendicular to the ground and parallel to one another.
Stifle Joint: Well-angulated with a good bend to well-let-down rear pasterns.
Angulations: Angulation of hindquarters is always in balance with angulation of forequarters.
Feet: Oval to round, compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads.

Coat

Skin: Well-fitted, yet supple. The skin should never obstruct the outline of the dog.
Coat Type: The Chihuahua comes in two coat varieties; the smooth-coat and the long-coat. Smooth coat variety: The coat is short, smooth, close to the body throughout. The texture is soft, glossy, with or without undercoat. If undercoat is present, coat will be slightly longer on neck, forming a light ruff, and on the tail. No fringe or feather permissible. Long-coat variety: The coat is short on the face, forehead, and front of the fore and hind limbs. The coat is longer on the neck, ears, rear of the front and hind limbs, feet, and tail, forming well developed fringe and furnishings. Undercoats may or may not be present. The coat should never abundantly thick, abundantly long, or silky.
Coat Color or Pattern: All coat colors and patterns are equally permissible. Large patches or amounts of white indicating homogenous merle genotype/phenotype are undesirable.

Movement

Smooth, flowing gait with graceful movements. The characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither moving in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the fore and hind limbs will converge to the center line of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the fore feet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hind feet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.

Temperament

“Saucy,” alert, terrier-like, and intelligent, making for a great family pet. Due to their human’s tendency to “spoil” them, the Chihuahua should be trained and well-socialized from an early age! Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.

Faults

All dogs should be in proper healthy condition, free from disease or defect. Any departure from this description is considered a fault. Unless altered, all male dogs should have two fully descended testicles.