The chihuahua is the smallest of all dogbreeds, but don’t let their size fool you; they are small dogs with a BIG personality! Chihuahua’s are courageous, lively and proud and are usually very strong willed. Their sassy and funny personalities are unmatched by any other breed. They are extremely affectionate and become very attached to their owners, which makes them excellent companion dogs.
- Altough chihuahua’s are smart, they can be very stubborn and therefore sometimes difficult to train.
- They do love long walks and have lots of energy, but they do not require a lot of exercise.
- Chihuahua’s love sunny climates and warmth, some of them, especially the smoothcoats, may need a jacket to go outside during cold winters.
- Like any other toy breed, there is a fine line you need to walk where you need to protect their safety, yet require them to stand on their own feet and be well-behaved.
- Chihuahua’s tend to recognize their own breed of dog and do not tolerate other dogs as easily as they do their own, which why it is very important to socialize a chihuahua as a puppy with other (larger) breeds.
- Due to their small size, chihuahua’s can be incredibly fragile. You can seriously injure or kill a Chihuahua by simply stepping on him. For this reason chihuahua’s aren’t the most ideal companions for young children.
- Chihuahua’s have a long life span, a well bred chihuahua can easily reach the age of 14 — 18 years old.
The Breed Standard
FCI-Standard N° 218 / 15.09.2010 / GB
TRANSLATION : Chris Seidler.
ORIGIN : Mexico.
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE OFFICIAL ORIGINAL VALID STANDARD : 28.07.2009
UTILIZATION : Companion dog.
FCI-CLASSIFICATION F.C.I. : Group 9 Companion and
Section 6 Chihuahueño. Without working trial.
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY : The Chihuahua is regarded as the smallest pedigree dog in the world and carries the name of the largest state of the Mexican Republic (Chihuahua). One assumes that these dogs used to live in the wild and, at the time of the Toltec civilization, were captured and domesticated by the natives. Representations of a Toy dog called « Techichi » which lived in Tula, were used as decorations on town architecture. These statues are very similar to the present day Chihuahua.
GENERAL APPEARANCE : This dog has a compact body. Of great importance is the fact that his skull is apple-shaped and that he carries his moderately long tail very high, either curved or forming the shape of a semicircle with the tip pointing towards the loin region.
IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS : Length of body slightly greater than height at withers. Desired, however, is an almost square body, especially in males. In bitches, because of the function of reproduction, a slightly longer body is permitted.
BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT : Quick, alert, lively and very courageous.
CRANIAL REGION :
Skull : Well rounded apple head (a characteristic of the breed) .
Stop : Well marked, deep and broad as the forehead is rounded above the set-on of muzzle.
FACIAL REGION :
Nose : Any colour permitted. Moderately short, pointing slightly upwards.
Muzzle : Short, straight seen from side, broad at set-on, tapering towards the tip.
Lips : Lean and close fitting.
Cheeks : Only slightly developed, very clean.
Jaws/Teeth : Scissor or pincer bite. Overshot, undershot, as well as any other anomaly in position of upper or lower jaw must be strictly penalized.
Eyes : Large, roundish in shape, very expressive, not protruding, perfectly dark. Light eyes permissible, but not desired.
Ears : Large, upright, widely open, broad at set-on, gradually tapering towards their slightly rounded tip. In repose inclined laterally forming an angle of 45°.
NECK : Upper profile slightly arched. Medium length. Thicker in dogs than in bitches. Without dewlap. In the long-haired variety, the presence of a neck-ruff with longer hair is highly desirable.
BODY : Compact and well built.
Topline : Level.
Withers : Only slightly marked.
Back : Short and firm.
Loin : Strongly muscled.
Croup : Broad and strong; almost flat or slightly sloping.
Chest : Ribcage broad and deep, ribs well sprung. Seen from front, roomy but not exaggerated. Seen from side, reaching to elbows. Not barrel shaped.
Underline and belly : Formed by a clearly tucked up belly. Slack belly is permitted but not desired.
TAIL : Set on high, flat in appearance, of moderate length; broad at root, tapering gradually towards the tip. Tail carriage is an important characteristic of the breed : when the dog is moving it is carried either high in a curve or in a semicircle with tip towards the loin region, which gives balance to the body, it should never be carried between the hindlegs nor curled below the backline. The hair on the tail depends on the variety and is in harmony with the body coat. In the long haired variety, the tail coat forms a plume. Tail is pendant in repose and forms a slight hook.
General appearance : Forelegs seen from the front form a straight line with the elbows. Seen from the side, they are upright.
Shoulder : Clean and moderately muscled.
Upper arm : Good angulation between shoulder-blade and upper arm.
Elbow : Firm and fitting close to body, which ensures free movement.
Forearm : Straight and of good length.
Metacarpus ( Pastern) : Slightly sloping, strong and flexible.
Forefeet : Very small and oval with toes well apart but not splayed (neither hare- nor cat-foot). Nails particularly well arched and moderately long. Pads well developed and very elastic. Dewclaws are not desirable.
General appearance : Hindlegs well muscled with long bones, vertical and parallel to each other with good angulation at hip, knee and hock joints, in harmony with angulation of forequarters.
Metatarsus (Rear pastern) : Short hocks with well developed Achilles’ tendons; seen from rear, they are well apart straight and vertical.
Hind feet : Very small and oval with toes well apart but not splayed (neither hare- nor cat-foot). Nails particularly well arched and moderately long. Pads well developed and very elastic . Dewclaws are not desirable.
GAIT / MOVEMENT : Steps are long, springy, energetic and active with good reach and drive. Seen from rear, hind legs should move almost parallel to each other, so that the footprints of the hind feet fit directly into those of the front feet. With increasing speed, the limbs show a tendency to converge towards the median plane (single track). Movement remains free and springy without visible effort, head raised and back firm.
SKIN : Smooth and elastic all over body.
Hair : In this breed there are two varieties of coat.
- Smooth-haired : Coat is short, lying close all over body. If there is an undercoat, the hair is somewhat longer; sparse coat on throat and belly permissible; slightly longer on neck and tail, short on face and ears. Coat is glossy and its texture is soft. Hairless dogs are not tolerated.
- Longed-haired : Coat should be fine and silky, smooth or slightly wavy. Not too thick undercoat desired. Coat is longer, forming feathering on ears, neck, rear of front and hind legs, on feet and on tail. Dogs with long billowing coat will not be accepted.
Colour : All colours in all possible shades and combinations are admitted, except merle colour.
SIZE AND WEIGHT : In this breed only the weight is taken into consideration, not the height.
Weight : Ideal weight : between 1.5 and 3 kgs. Weight between 500 gr. and 1.5 kgs tolerated.
Subjects weighing less than 500 gr and more than 3 kg shall be disqualified.
FAULTS : Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
- Missing teeth.
- “Double teeth” (persistence of temporary teeth).
- Pointed ears.
- Short neck.
- Long body.
- Roach or hollow back (Lordosis or Kyphosis).
- Steep croup.
- Narrow chest, flat ribcage.
- Tail : incorrect set-on, short or twisted.
- Short limbs.
- Out at elbow.
- Too close behind.
- Narrow skull
- Eyes small, deep set or protruding.
- Long muzzle.
- Under or overshot mouth.
- Unstable stifle.
DISQUALIFYING FAULTS :
- Aggressive or overly shy.
- Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified
- Deer type dogs (dogs with an atypical or extremely stylized structure: refined head, long neck, slender body, long limbs).
- Dogs with an open fontanel.
- Drop ear or short ear.
- Deformed jaws.
- Extremely long body.
- Absence of tail.
- In the long- haired variety : Dogs with very long, fine and billowing coat.
- In the smooth-haired variety : Bald patch (alopecia).
- Merle colour.
- Subjects weighing less than 500 gr and more than 3 kg.
N.B. : Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.