Chihuahua Breed Standard
American Kennel Club Toy Group
Registered in 1904
App: August 12, 2008 - Eff: October 1, 2008
Legend and history are rich
in tales of the ancestors of the present Chihuahua. He is described as a
popular pet, as well as a religious necessity. The Techichi, companion
of the ancient Toltecs, is believed to be the progenitor of the
Chihuahua. No records of the Techichi are, so far, available prior to
the 9th century, but it is probable his ancestors were present prior to
the Mayans. Dogs approximating the Chihuahua are found in materials from
the Pyramids of Cholula, predating 1530 and in the ruins of Chichen Itza
on the Yucatan Peninsula.
There is little question the Chihuahua’s principle home was present-day
Mexico but the breeds immigration to Europe may be the result of the
travels of Christopher Columbus. A historical letter written by Columbus
to the King of Spain makes reference to the tiny dog.
The Chihuahua as we know it today is a much more diminutive dog than its
predecessor. It is theorized that the Chinese Crested, brought from Asia
to Alaska across the Bering Strait, was responsible for the reduction in
size. Modern Chihuahuas are also found in a myriad of colors. The
Chihuahua is an older breed by American Kennel Club standards, first
registered in 1904.
A graceful, alert, swift-moving compact little dog with saucy
expression, and with terrier-like qualities of temperament.
Size, Proportion, Substance
Weight – A well balanced little dog not to exceed 6 pounds. Disqualification – Any dog
over 6 pounds in weight.
The body is off-square; hence, slightly longer when measured from point
of shoulder to point of buttocks, than height at the withers. Somewhat
shorter bodies are preferred in males.
Head - A well rounded "apple dome" skull, with or without molera.
Eyes - Full, round, but not protruding, balanced, set well
apart-luminous dark or luminous ruby. Light eyes in blond or
white-colored dogs permissible. Blue eyes or a difference in the
color of the iris in the two eyes, or two different colors within one
iris should be considered a serious fault.
Ears – Large,
erect type ears, held more upright when alert, but flaring to the sides
at a 45 degree angle when in repose, giving breadth between the ears.
Disqualifications – Broken down or cropped ears.
Stop – Well defined. When viewed in profile, it forms a near 90 degree
angle where muzzle joins skull.
Muzzle – Moderately short, slightly
pointed. Cheeks and jaws lean.
Nose – Self-colored in blond types, or
black. In moles, blues, and chocolates, they are self-colored. In blond
types, pink noses permissible.
Bite – Level or scissors.
or undershot, or any distortion of the bite or jaw, should be penalized
as a serious fault. A missing tooth or two is permissible.
Neck, Topline, Body
Neck – Slightly arched, gracefully sloping into lean shoulders.
Body – Ribs rounded and well sprung (but not too much
Tail – Moderately long, carried sickle either up or
out, or in a loop over the back with tip just touching the back.
(Never tucked between legs.) Disqualifications – Docked
Shoulders – Lean, sloping into a slightly broadening support above
straight forelegs that set well under, giving free movement at the
elbows. Shoulders should be well up, giving balance and soundness,
sloping into a level back (never down or low). This gives a well
developed chest and strength of forequarters.
Feet – A small, dainty
foot with toes well split up but not spread, pads cushioned. (Neither
the hare nor the cat foot.) Dewclaws may be removed.
Pasterns – Strong.
Muscular, with hocks well apart, neither out nor in, well let down, firm
Angulation – Should equal that of forequarters. The feet are
as in front. Dewclaws may be removed.
In the Smooth Coats, the coat should be of soft texture, close
and glossy. (Heavier coats with undercoats permissible.) Coat placed
well over body with ruff on neck preferred, and more scanty on head and
ears. Hair on tail preferred furry.
In Long Coats, the coat
should be of a soft texture, either flat or slightly wavy, with
undercoat preferred. Ears – Fringed. Tail – Full and long (as a plume).
Feathering on feet and legs, pants on hind legs and large ruff on the
neck desired and preferred. (The Chihuahua should be groomed only to
create a neat appearance.) Disqualification – In Long
Coats, too thin coat that resembles bareness.
Any color - Solid, marked or splashed.
The Chihuahua should move swiftly with a firm, sturdy action, with good
reach in front equal to the drive from the rear. From the rear, the
hocks remain parallel to each other, and the foot fall of the rear legs
follows directly behind that of the forelegs. The legs, both front and
rear, will tend to converge slightly toward a central line of gravity as
speed increases. The side view shows good, strong drive in the rear and
plenty of reach in the front, with head carried high. The topline should
remain firm and the backline level as the dog moves.
Alert, projecting the ‘terrier-like’ attitudes of self importance,
Disqualifications: Any dog over 6 pounds in weight.
Broken down or cropped ears.
Docked tail, bobtail.
In Long Coats, too thin coat that resembles bareness.