Chihuahua Information & Reference
Why Chihuahuas MUST move quickly, duck overhead movement (pancake), and other breed characteristics that enable the world's smallest dog to survive!
What To KnowAbout Chihuahuas
by Top Chihuahua Breeders and Fanciers
Here is my response to an old Canine Chronicle interview. It will help every judge and prospective owner understand Chihuahuas in order to judge them correctly and appreciate their uniqueness. Why must a Chihuahua move quickly? and constantly? Why is he programmed to fear overhead movement? Why does he bark (sound the alarm) at any perceived threat?
1. WHAT IS THE SINGLE BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION ABOUT YOUR BREED?
That Chihuahuas are delicate and need to be pampered.
2. WHAT IS THE CHIHUAHUA'S MOST DEFINING PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTIC?
The head. Any other dogs with that apple shaped head are genetically linked to the Chihuahua (as so many breeds are) but without exception, the ChiChi head, including molera and open topskull, is absolutely unique in all of dogdom. Other breeds have large, round eyes but none have that short little button nose and softly luminous eyes that gives the Chihuahua that one-of-a-kind baby doll expression. The one that saved him from slaughter...
3. WHICH BEHAVIORAL CHARACTERISTIC MOST TYPIFIES THE CHIHUAHUA?
Their ridiculously fearless attitude with other dogs large or small, i.e. their "terrier-like qualities" in a tiny little body.
4. WHAT IS THE MOST COMMON JUDGING MISTAKE IN CHIHUAHUAS?
Beginning the judging exam with the hand held higher than the dog’s head. No dog likes that approach but in one that can be snatched up by a hawk, it stimulates the inherent instinct to duck down. Approach the table with hand held low, palm up, and rest your hand next to the dog for an instant so that he can see what it is.
Chihuahuas have vision problems? Of course not but the handler often has the dog strung up or bait shoved in the mouth so he doesn’t recognize the thing hovering over him as a friendly hand.
5. WOULD YOU PREFER THE BREED BE JUDGED STANDING OR MOVING?
Moving. Again, too many handlers have not read the standard and don’t realize the critical importance of a survival skill like “alert, swift-moving” so they want the dog to stand perfectly still like a little statue. You can not evaluate the static Chihuahua any more than the breed could have survived without being programmed for constant motion. To be quick and aware was to evade an predator - or the Conquistadors' cooking pot!
6. WHAT COSMETIC ALTERATIONS SHOULD JUDGES KNOW ABOUT?
No incentives pertain to this Toy breed. Tail carriage has a lot of latitude, dentition isn't the end of the world in any toy breed, and any color is correct in the Chihuahua so there is very little reason to alter anything.
7. WHAT IS OF GREATEST CONCERN TO BREEDERS TODAY?
Exaggerated heads. The hallmark of the breed can destroy it. The tiny button (called a nose) stuck on a paper plate profile that contains dangerously large eyes mounted on a misshapen topskull should be of great concern to judges as well as breeders.
8. WHAT IS THE MOST ENDEARING QUALITY OF YOUR BREED?
Although they are the most “pack oriented” Toy breed I know, the Chihuahua will forsake the company of any dog, any time, under any circumstance in order to be in a human lap.
9. WHAT ARE THE THREE WORDS THAT BEST DESCRIBE THE CHIHUAHUA?
Most Ancient Lapdog
Defining The Chihuahua Breed Standard - a candid, insightful look at points in the breed standard
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