Chihuahuas go under the classification of "toy breeds." They are the smallest breed of dog in the world. They are in fact, the only "natural" toy breed. That is, they are naturally small and aren't a result of "breeding-down" larger breeds, as were other toy breeds.

Chihuahua can be smoothcoats or longcoats. Interestingly, there is no breeding distinction made between the two in the United States, since in the States, both smoothcoats and longcoats can occur in a litter; however, in the United Kingdom, smoothcoats and longcoats are considered two different breeds and are never interbred.

The breed standard, disqualifies any dog over 6 pounds from the conformation ring, however, they can weigh up to 9 pounds or more.

One of the Chihuahua's most distinctive characteristics is its head, which is well-rounded and referred to by breeders as an "apple-dome" type skull. In contrast, its muzzle is extraordinarily tiny in contrast. Pink noses are sometimes found on blonde Chihuahuas.

Another distinctive physical feature of the Chihuahua is the ears: large, held erect, and flaring to the sides at an angle of about 45 degrees, the Chihuahua uses its ears to express a variety of emotions and responses.

The eyes, usually dark and luminous, are wide-set. Again, blondes may have lighter eyes. Tears are often produced in abundance to keep the large eyes lubricated, and it is not unusual for tears to fly from a Chihuahua's face when it shakes its head during play.

The back should be level and the rib-cage rounded. Some Chihuahuas may actually have barrel-shaped rib-cages, but professional breeders find this undesireable. The hindquarters are muscular and thin.

The Chihuahua has dainty feet. The tail is longish carried either in a sickle fashion or in a loop with the tip touching the back.

Finally, coat color: there are a variety of shades, including brindle, blonde, black, brown, fawn, blue, and "splashed." It is interesting to note that Mexico prefers the jet black with tan markings, and the black and white spotted; the United States overwhelmingly prefers the solid colors, especially fawn.


I hear from experienced Chihuahua owners that each dog of this breed has their own unique personality, this is a very individualistic breed. However, a few generalizations can be made. Chihuahuas are graceful, energetic, and swift-moving canines. They have often been described as having terrier-like qualities; that is, the qualities of being alert, observant, and keen on interacting with their masters. They are extremely loyal and get attached to one or two persons.

These tiny dogs are certainly unaware of their diminutive stature. They can be bold with other dogs much larger than themselves, and protective of their masters. They are fiercely loyal to their masters and wary of any strangers or new guests introduced into the household, which the Chihuahua considers to be its personal domain. For these reasons, Chihuahuas make good watch dogs (not guard dogs, though!).

The Chihuahua needs a great deal of human contact: touching, petting, and general attention. If the Chihuahua does not get this, she or he will use various attention-getting tricks until you give them attention.They are highly intelligent, and devise clever ways of getting your attention. An example is one of mine will twang the spring door stop if I am on the phone to long. Some owners who have had other, more independent breeds may find the Chihuahua too needy. However, Chihuahuas give a lot of love and affection in return for your care.

Keeping more than one Chihuahua can greatly ease the dog's stress when left alone each day if the owner works. (They will compete for your attention when you get home, though!)

Because they are by nature gentle, loyal, and sweet-tempered, Chihuahuas are ideal for single people, the elderly, the handicapped. They will keep you company for hours by lying on your lap or beside your if in bed, and treat you like royalty. No one with a Chi in their household will ever be truly alone!


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