Top Notch Toys - September 2021


by Richard Miller photos provided by the author

T he author needs no introduc- tion to the Chihuahua world. He has known the Chihuahua since July of 1957. He has bred, shown and now has judged the breed for 28 years. He also judges four of the AKC Groups (Hound, Terrier, Toy and Non-Sporting). He has judged exten- sively in the United States as well as many foreign assignments. The word “saucy” is used in the breed standard to describe expression. It is my opinion that saucy also describes temperament and body language. The dictionary uses several words to de- scribe saucy. I feel the word is best de- scribed whenwe think of an impudent child or a defiant child. I have used photos to show this quality to the best of my ability with photographs. Both of my examples are long-coated dogs, however, a smooth should have the same bold, inquisitive self-assured posture and expression. The correct attitude for an entry in the ring is, “Go ahead; make my day.” The Chihuahua breed standard does not discuss tail set, but it does men- tion tail carriage. Three carriages are correct (up, up and out or up and over with the tip just touching the back). A dog that carries its tail up and out tends to make itself look longer than it really is. A dog with this carriage is often harder to finish than his com- petition with either of the other tail carriages. The tail carriages of the

dogs used for my discussion of ex- pression have what most breeders desire. Knowing where the bone of the tail ends is an important factor. A long coat with a huge plume may have so much coat that the tail “appears” to more than touch the back. There should be no Pug/Basenji type tails nor should we see a tail dropping over the side of the dog like a Papillon. A tail held flat in the back similar to a Pomeranian is also faulty. A deserving Chihuahua should pos- sess a head that is described in the breed standard, however, an entry should not win on its head type alone. I have selected two head studies as examples of a quality head. Notice the head in profile. The muzzle does not appear too short or too long. The muzzle meets the skull in the de- sired perpendicular manner. Notice the underjaw of this example. The underjaw extends right out to the end of the muzzle. The eyes are nice and large and well set into the skull. The straight-on example shows the domed top skull. The correct Chi- huahua head is both rounded at the stop around to the ears and between the ears on top of the skull. With re- gard to grooming, I prefer to see a dog presented as natural as possible. This is purely my preference. You will see long-coats heavily groomed with no ear fringe inside the ear. Neither of these dogs are at attention. The ears

would be held much more closely to one another at attention. The word- ing “serious fault” is used in our stan- dard to describe a dog with anything other than a scissors bite or a level bit. Undershot, overshot and wry bites are serious faults too often seen in the show ring. The Chihuahua is to be only slightly longer than tall. Shorter backs are preferred in males. The black and tan tri-colored male that appears in this article is to be faulted for possessing

42 • T op N otch T oys , S eptember 2021

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