CHIHUAHUAS FROM HEAD-2-TOE A BREED THAT IS WAY MORE THAN JUST AN APPLE-ROUNDED FATED HEAD
by Joao Machado
I have been honored to be invited to judge many Chihuahuas in special- ties as well as in all-breed shows around the world in the past years as a breed specialist. These specialty shows, as well as all-breed shows, took place in Australia, Japan, South America, Eastern Europe, Scandina- via, and in the US. It’s undeniable, the privilege and opportunity to study and evaluate the breeding stock as well as the development of the breed in these different regions. Likewise, as with any other breed that becomes popular, breed type and quality can be compromised, and Chihuahuas faced their fate of popularity world- wide in many ways. For many breeders, exhibitors, and judges, our Chihuahuas should be evaluated, bred by, and prized as a head breed only. However, this breed is way more than just its head. Those ignoring the amazing quality features of this breed such as temperament and the physical conformation that allows them to be a swiftly moving little dog, for example, aremissing the point andmight be putting the preser- vation of this breed at risk. Fortunate- ly, I was able to see and judge great examples of the breed, which shows to me breeders are working really hard
to produce top-quality specimens, improving important characteristics of the breed related to health, struc- ture, expression, and temperament. During my learning process of this breed, I noticed that the lack of cri- teria in selecting the right combina- tions is still the main reason behind both conformation and temperament
issues. Having said that, I had been asked if it is difficult to judge Chihua- huas. My answer to this question was: Yes, it is. The breed is definitely not easy to judge. Taking into account one characteristic only (to the detriment of others, equally important to the breed) may be a common mistake in the evaluation.
46 • T op N otch T oys , S eptember 2021
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