Showsight Presents The Chihuahua

CHIHUAHUA Q&A

STEPHANIE SCHULTES I have been showing and

ANNETTEWALDKOETTER I live in Seymour, Indiana, and I’m retired. I’ve been involved in dogs for 40 years. Outside of dogs, I enjoy quilting and general sewing projects. I’m active in church affairs and I paint. The Vanderpools helped me get my start, but being a stay-at- home mother, we did not have the financial ability to buy a show puppy. I bought their second pick puppy and worked my way up to a quality line. Two dogs from my line that I had sold won the Chi- huahua National Specialty, with one of them being shown by my daughter. Annalisa has totally taken over the showing of my dogs. This works very nicely for us as she does not like the breeding part– and I do. Our first trip to Westminster was a fabulous experience and one I think everyone should have at some time in their show career. I have met and have become friends with so many wonderful people during my 40 years. I hope my mentoring of them has made them as happy as it has our family. I am basically retired now with a geriatric home of spayed/neutered Chis and only a couple to show and breed. What don’t most people know about the breed? They do not have to be nasty, little dogs. Heredity is a very important part of their disposition as well as exposure to different environments. And like most large breeds, you must maintain a “leader of the pack” attitude. Can I talk about the Chihuahua’s “saucy” expression, “apple dome” head and “sickle” tail? Bright-eyed, interested in everything around them and not shy and retiring. Picture an apple and this should be the approximate shape of the head—ears and eye placement are very important in the general expression of the Chi. Tails can be either up or out—a “pig” tail or too curley tail is not appropriate. The tail should [be carried] up or almost touch the top of their back; it can be down in a relaxed posture, but never tucked under them. The correct proportion for the breed? Never more than six pounds; and they should be just slightly longer than tall. This enables them to move correctly without sidewinding or single track- ing like some larger breeds do. Are there key differences between Smooth Coats and Long Coats? I find the long coats more friendly and smooth coats more stubborn. But I have mostly bred long coats as that is where my heart lies in Chis, so definitely not an expert in smooth coats. Can I speak to any preferences for solid, marked or splashed coats? Probably every breeder has a color preference and sometimes will pet out a dog that is nice quality, but not their desired color. I prefer a dog with flashy white markings as I feel this draws the judg- es’ attention to the dog. A plainly marked dog could be over-looked. But markings could be detrimental to a dog, i.e. if a spot is in a place that might make the dog’s topline look off. And sometimes all black dogs are hard to see movement, etc., if the matt is also black. Is the typical Chihuahua a dependable show dog and affec- tionate companion? Not all Chis “choose” to be a show dog. Some would rather stay home and not participate in the show arena. How- ever, this does not mean they cannot be an integral part of your breeding program. Most Chis are very loyal to their owners and will defend them, which can seem like they are not good pets. Again, it is important to be the alpha and show them this is not acceptable behavior–in a kindly manner. What are the challenges of breeding and keeping the world’s smallest purebred dog? Maintaining a free-whelping line can be a challenge; with the cost of C-sections today and the small litters

breeding dogs since 1986. I acquired my first Chihuahua in 1992. Two months later, I had to have another. My first show Chi was a blue tri spotted girl bred by Barbara K. Smith (BK’s) and Brooke Kaye (Genbrook). That girl taught me to love Chihuahuas of every color. I have finished dogs in every color, even six merles. Wonderful people have helped me along the way. Because of them I have had top dogs in America, Mexico, Argentina, and Russia.

I live in Mesa, Arizona, and I’m a pet groomer. I’ve been involved in dogs for 40+ years. Any hobbies outside of dogs? Dogs are my life, but I love watching movies. What don’t most people know about the breed? I have had lots of different breeds, but never had a dog more devoted and loving than a Chihuahua. The breed is very intense with its people. Can I talk about the Chihuahua’s “saucy” expression, “apple dome” head and “sickle” tail? Saucy expression: A little twinkle in their eye of naughtiness. Apple dome: Think Macintosh (big and round). Sickle tail: Perfect tail should go up and tip should sickle (point) towards their head. The correct proportion for the breed? Off-square and slightly longer than tall. Big coats on longs can be very deceiving. You need to get your hands on them before you decide if they are too long. Are there key differences between Smooth Coats and Long Coats? Smooth coats are more Terrier-like in temperament. Long coats have a softer temperament. Can I speak to any preferences for solid, marked or splashed coats? When judging Chihuahuas you should never judge col- or. All colors are equal and allowed! Fawn and black tri are the most preferred. Is the typical Chihuahua a dependable show dog and affec- tionate companion? A dependable showdog–sometimes–and then, sometimes, it’s all fun and games. Chihuahuas are the ultimate companions. They love to go anywhere their people need to go. What are the challenges of breeding and keeping the world’s smallest purebred dog? I have been blessed with a very healthy line of dogs. However, the breed can have issues with hydrocephalus, hypoglycemia, slipping stifles, heart and eye issues. The breed is a joy, I love everything about them. Plus they live a long time. I know of quite a few 18+-year-old Chihuahuas. My favorite funny Chihuahua moment would be when Paula Murray and Miss Mary were in the BIS ring in Flagstaff. The Bull- dog did his down and back and Mary turned it on; she barked and was spinning around. Paula’s face told it all. She didn’t know what to do. Mary was always perfect and she had something to say to that Bulldog. Everyone’s eyes were on the Chihuahua because she was being a Chihuahua. Final thought: Chihuahuas are small, but should still be sound. They should be able to move. Standard calls for swift. Remember, they were street dogs and needed to be able to get away from preda- tors. They also need a good bite and strong teeth for the same rea- son. Just because it’s a Chihuahua doesn’t mean it should be less than other breeds.

182 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, JUNE 2020

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