Therefore, if I could list a point sys- tem for the Chihuahuas, six equal parts should be included: 1. The Head—including the teeth, eyes, and ears; 2. The Body—including the tail; 3. The Coat—for both coats; 4. The Legs; 5. The Temperament—Terrier-like qualities of temperament; 6. General Appearance and Action or Movement. There is no doubt that the Chihuahua head is the trademark of the breed. It is expected to combine all the important elements to create the desired “saucy” expression. What are these important features then? Certainly, it does not refer to having a well-rounded “apple dome” skull only. In fact, that is important too, but it is part of a combination; it comes together with full, rounded, luminous eyes (round luminous eyes are going away and this has to be brought back to the breeding programs), correct well-set, large ears (in harmony with the head), flaring ears (in the case of the long-coated variety), a muzzle moderately short, slightly pointed, and cheeks and jaws lean. These features will create the desired ex- pression of the Chihuahua. My pur- pose here is not to divide the breed into types, but to bring to attention and list the important characteris- tics that deviate from the standard concerning expression.
“I CAN’T STRESS ENOUGH THAT collaboration is key FOR ANY BREED DEVELOPMENT, AND CHIHUAHUA BREEDERS SHOULD PURSUE THIS GOAL.”
erately short, slightly pointed, and cheeks and jaws lean. The Chihuahua is exhibited in two varieties; Smooth Coat and Long Coat. The two varieties are based solely on coat, everything else is identical, i.e., the same breed under their coats. Chihuahuas should be well-balanced, without exaggera- tion, not to exceed six lbs., off-square (slightly longer than tall). All these characteristics together should create a beautiful, swift movement, firm and sturdy, good reach and equal drive, head carried high, firm topline (level), with all movement comparable to that of manyWorking breeds.
Breed character counts! Chihuahuas should show Terrier-like qualities of temperament, i.e., brave, mis- chievous, energetic, active, fearless, independent, playful, and cheerful. It is expected from Chihuahuas to show this special personality in the ring, and both judges and breeders should invest on this, prizing them in the rings as well as selecting the right temperament when studying the breeding combinations. Fearful, timid, and aggressive dogs should be penalized. I can’t stress enough that collabora- tion is key for any breed development, and Chihuahua breeders should pur- sue this goal. If we think about the most significant change in our sport, we can certainly say it is the imme- diacy of those new entrants in the hope of quick results, ignoring and/ or not listening to or hearing the wise voices from the past, with their ex- tensive experience, examples, and wisdom. They still have so much to contribute to us… to the sport! We need to go back to the beginning of everything, where collaboration with serious mentors, the original pres- ervation breeders, can help us to get back to the basics and those impor- tant breed characteristics that have gone away fast due to all the “fad” breeding to accommodate a tempo- rary “market” tendency or something else. AKC trends are of the highest importance worldwide and they are leading to promote more and more preservation breeders who breed with purpose and passion for gen- erations to come. When good breed- ers work together, much more can be accomplished.
Smooth Coat Chihuahua Photo: Schmidt Photography
This picture shows beautifully what good reach and equal drive should look like in a Chihuahua’s movement. It is extremely desirable and should be one of the top priorities both when judging or selecting breeding stock. Remember: When this breed was in the wild, they needed to move fast to avoid being captured by predators. Therefore, movement as described in the standard is as important as the head. That’s the reason why I would like to encourage my audience to look at the whole dog and not on one single feature only.
This picture shows us a beautiful saucy expression of the breed. Notice the well-rounded “apple dome” skull, full, rounded, luminous eyes, correct well-set, large ears (in harmony with the head), flaring ears, muzzle mod-
T op N otch T oys , S eptember 2021 • 47
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