Chihuahua Traits & Breed Standards

Chihuahua StandardsThe Chihuahua is the smallest breed of dog in the world. According to the AKC (American Kennel Club), the Chihuahua can officially weigh between 2 - 6 lbs. The CKC (Continental Kennel Club) allows up to 7 lbs. for Chihuahuas. This weight standard is based on a healthy weight, and for the show ring.If your Chihuahua is getting a little chunky, it is still a Chihuahua just not a show dog Chihuahua.

The Chihuahua is usually an agile and graceful dog, capable of fast speeds for their small size and a considerable vertical leap. However, some of the smaller and more fragile types of this breed can be quite frail in the legs and as a result can become overly cautious in their own movements and may even appear clumsy at times. If your Chihuahua has long frail legs, you may want to take precaution with letting them onto tall furniture. Chihuahuas have been known to break their legs simply by jumping off of a couch.

Chihuahuas come in many different shapes and sizes, colors and hair styles, but the breed standards defined by the AKC are more strict. All the major kennel clubs in America (ACA, CKC, UKC, APRI) have similar guidelines for an ideal Chihuahua.

The Body - should be as short as possible when measured from the point of the shoulders to the point of the buttocks with a straight back.

  • The Neck - should be slender and slightly arched.Chihuahua Breed Standards
  • The Chest - should be deep, but not barrel shaped

The Head should be rounded with an apple-dome skull (click here to see all the different head shapes).

  • The Eyes - should be big, rounded, balanced, dark (except in light colored dogs) and set far apart.
  • The Ears - should be large and erect pointing out at a 45 degree angle off of the head with considerable breadth between the ears.
  • The Stop - (the front of the skull between the eyes) should be well defined, forming a 90 degree angle where the skull meets the muzzle.
  • The Muzzle - should be short and slightly pointed.

Coats - will vary depending on type. Either long hair or short hair but soft in texture with a preferred undercoat.

  • Colors - Any color is acceptable. Solid, marked, or splashed.

Apart from the acceptable kennel club standards, which are used for show dogs, a Chihuahuas body type can vary dramatically. A Chihuahua can have a cobby body with short legs, or a long, slender body with long legs. Some Chihuahuas can be shaped remarkably similar to a Dachshund, or have a build more like a Terrier. Each Chihuahua is unique and showcases the amount of genetic variability that is present in this most versatile breed.  

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