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Chihuahua, Toy Group, Breed Standard

Did you know?

The Chihuahua comes in two varieties: long and smooth coat.
The Chihuahua is graceful, alert, and swift.

This breed is clannish, recognizing and preferring his own kind. As a rule, he does not like dogs of other breeds.
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, among the ancient Toltec tribes and later among the Aztecs. Archaeologists have discovered remains of this breed in human graves in Mexico and in parts of the United States.

The modern Chihuahua is quite different from his early ancestors, with his variegated colors ranging from snow white to jet black. Mexico favors the jet black with tan markings, and the black and white spotted. The United States prefers the solid colors.

So you want to own a Chihuahua?

The Chihuahua's size makes it a wonderful dog for people who live in small city apartments. The breed is very hardy and adaptable, but it must live inside a home or an apartment, the Chihuahua should not live outside. Chihuahuas are good travelers and can easily go anywhere with their owners.

General Appearance

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

Size, Proportion, Substance

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. Disqualification Any dog over 6 pounds in weight.


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 self-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. Disqualifications Broken down or cropped ears.

Neck, Topline, Body

Neck Slightly arched, gracefully sloping into lean shoulders. Topline Level. Body Ribs rounded and well sprung (but not too much "barrel-shaped"). 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 Cropped tail, bobtail.


Shoulders Lean, sloping into a slightly broadening support above straight forelegs that set well under, giving a free play at the elbows. Shoulders should be well up, giving balance and soundness, sloping into a level back. (Never down or low.) This gives a chestiness, and strength of forequarters, yet not of the "Bulldog" chest. Feet A small, dainty foot with toes well split up but not spread, pads cushioned. (Neither the hare nor the cat foot.) Pasterns Fine.


Muscular, with hocks well apart, neither out nor in, well let down, firm and sturdy. The feet are as in front.


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 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. 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, with terrier-like qualities.


Any dog over 6 pounds in weight.
Broken down or cropped ears.
Cropped tail, bobtail.
In Long Coats, too thin coat that resembles bareness.

Approved September 11, 1990
Effective October 30, 1990

73 Posts
Thank you for posting that information! I tried to see if I could find any pictures or any other information on Chic's among the Aztecs. But, I couldn't find out!

Thanks again!

51 Posts
I know I read this information in the past when I first got Oliver, but I was thinking it said none over 8 lbs., but it's 6. Oops, Oliver weighs 8 lbs. - do I need to put him on a diet? Actually, I really am a little conscious of this and do not want him to get over 8 lbs anyway --- I think he looks better between 6 and 7 lbs but he does like to eat and I just have to be careful. I have friends who have a chi and it is 12 or 13 lbs. and the poor little thing can hardly walk, has trouble breathing, can't get up on anything to sit by them etc. I just want to be careful about that. I do buy really good premium, natural dry food for Oliver and take him for a walk every night (well not so much this past winter) but now we are walking again with spring and maybe he'll lose that one lb. and get down to 7 again. Maybe his mom will lose some weight too. :lol:
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