Chihuahua Breed Standards - show vs. pets

The Chihuahua is in the "Toy Group". The diminutive size and winsome expressions of Toy dogs illustrate the main function of this Group: to embody sheer delight. Don't let their tiny stature fool you, though - - many Toys are tough as nails. If you haven't yet experienced the warning barking of an alert Chihuahua watch dog, just wait. Chihuahua dogs will always be popular with city dwellers and people without much living space. They make ideal apartment dogs and terrific lap warmers on nippy nights and are very loyal to their owners. We advise everyone to seriously consider getting this breed, when appropriate, if for no other reason than to minimize some of the problems inherent in canines such as shedding, creating messes and cost of care. And training aside, it's still easier to control a six-pound dog than it is one more than ten times that size.

Show Quality

General Appearance: A graceful, alert, swift-moving little dog with saucy expression, compact, and with terrier-like qualities of temperament.

Color: Any color-Solid, marked or splashed.

Weight: A well balanced little dog not to exceed 6 pounds.

Proportion: 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.

Expression: Saucy.

Eyes: Full, but not protruding, balanced, set well apart-luminous dark or luminous ruby. (Light eyes in blond or white-colored dogs permissible.)

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.

Muzzle: Moderately short, slightly pointed. Cheeks and jaws lean.

Nose: Self-colored in blond types, or black. In moles, blues, and chocolates, they are 3self-colored. In blond types, pink nose permissible.

Bite: Level or scissors. Overshot or undershot bite, or any distortion of the bite or jaw, should be penalized as a serious fault.

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 curly, with undercoat preferred. Ears fringed. (Heavily fringed ears may be tipped slightly if due to the fringes and not to weak ear leather, never down.) 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.

Disqualifications: Any dog over 6 pounds in weight. Broken down or cropped ears. In Long Coats, too thin a coat that resembles bareness.

Pet Quality

We don't breed for "teacup" size. "Teacup Chihuahua" is just a name people have put on the tiniest dogs, generally to charge more money. The Chihuahua is listed as a toy breed, not Mexican, miniature or teacup. Most people don't realize how hard it is to raise the tiny Chihuahuas. They generally have more health problems and hypoglycemia is not uncommon. They also need to be lifted on to and off from furniture, and carried up and down stairs, as a fall can severely injure or even kill them.

Chihuahuas can range in size from under two pounds to over twenty pounds. We strongly recommend, for most people, a puppy that will be just a little bigger than show size and especially for families with younger children. A five to ten pound Chihuahua is not a big dog, and is generally much easier to raise. Chihuahuas have a long lifespan of at least 12 years. Some even into their 20's, so be aware that when you are adding a Chihuahua to your family, you're adding a friend that will bring you a lifetime of joy.

The disposition and temperament is more important than size or show standards when selecting a companion dog or family pet. Every breed of dog has specific tarts that define the breed such as color, size, activity level, loyalty, intelligence, aggressiveness, gentleness, etc. Each of these tarts can vary widely within a specific breed. Selective breeding is a process of selecting the mates that produce the desired tarts and avoiding weak or bad tarts. This takes time, patience and understanding to develop the "perfect" dog. Happy Trail Chihuahuas is focused on breeding for temperament within the 4-9 pound range in size. From time to time we will have pups under 4 or over 9 pounds (adult size). Our puppies make great loyal companion, watch dogs and friendly, yet protective family pets. Common to the Chihuahua breed is the dog's puppy like, active life style, for most of its adult life and lack of fear. Chihuahuas may be the smallest in stature among all dogs, but they are one of the biggest in their own thinking and how they relate to other dogs, surroundings, strangers or threats. When breeders take the time to train and socialize Chihuahua pups very early, they make one of the best pets and companions dogs in all the canine world.

The main differances between pet dogs and show dogs.

View our latest Chihuahua puppies.