Legend and history are rich in tales of the ancestors of the present Chihuahua. He is described as a popular pet, as well as a religious necessity. The Techichi, companion of the ancient Toltecs, is believed to be the progenitor of the Chihuahua. No records of the Techichi are, so far, available prior to the 9th century, but it is probable his ancestors were present prior to the Mayans. Dogs approximating the Chihuahua are found in materials from the Pyramids of Cholula, predating 1530 and in the ruins of Chichen Itza on the Yucatan Peninsula.
There is little question the Chihuahua’s principle home was present-day Mexico but the breeds immigration to Europe may be the result of the travels of Christopher Columbus. A historical letter written by Columbus to the King of Spain makes reference to the tiny dog.
The Chihuahua as we know it today is a much more diminutive dog than its predecessor. It is theorized that the Chinese Crested, brought from Asia to Alaska across the Bering Strait, was responsible for the reduction in size. Modern Chihuahuas are also found in a myriad of colors. The Chihuahua is an older breed by American Kennel Club standards, first registered in 1904.
Show Information General Appearance-
A graceful, alert, swift-moving compact little dog with saucy expression, and with terrier-like qualities of temperament.
Size, Proportion, Substance-Weight – A well balanced little dog not to exceed 6 pounds. Proportion – The body is off-square; hence, slightly longer when measured from point of shoulder to point of buttocks, than height at the withers. Somewhat shorter bodies are preferred in males. Disqualification – Any dog over 6 pounds in weight.
Head-A well rounded "apple dome" skull, with or without molera. Expression – Saucy. Eyes - Full, round, but not protruding, balanced, set well apart-luminous dark or luminous ruby. Light eyes in blond or white-colored dogs permissible. Blue eyes or a difference in the color of the iris in the two eyes, or two different colors within one iris should be considered a serious fault. Ears – Large, erect type ears, held more upright when alert, but flaring to the sides at a 45 degree angle when in repose, giving breadth between the ears. Stop – Well defined. When viewed in profile, it forms a near 90 degree angle where muzzle joins skull. Muzzle – Moderately short, slightly pointed. Cheeks and jaws lean. Nose – Self-colored in blond types, or black. In moles, blues, and chocolates, they are self-colored. In blond types, pink noses permissible. Bite – Level or scissors. Overshot or undershot, or any distortion of the bite or jaw, should be penalized as a serious fault. A missing tooth or two is permissible. Disqualifications – Broken down or cropped ears.
Neck, Topline, Body-Neck – Slightly arched, gracefully sloping into lean shoulders. Topline – Level. Body – Ribs rounded and well sprung (but not too much "barrel-shaped"). Tail – Moderately long, carried sickle either up or out, or in a loop over the back with tip just touching the back.
(Never tucked between legs.) Disqualifications – Docked tail, bobtail.
Forequarters-Shoulders – Lean, sloping into a slightly broadening support above straight forelegs that set well under, giving free movement at the elbows. Shoulders should be well up, giving balance and soundness, sloping into a level back (never down or low). This gives a well developed chest and strength of forequarters. Feet – A small, dainty foot with toes well split up but not spread, pads cushioned. (Neither the hare nor the cat foot.) Dewclaws may be removed. Pasterns – Strong.
Hindquarters-Muscular, with hocks well apart, neither out nor in, well let down, firm and sturdy. Angulation – Should equal that of forequarters. The feet are as in front. Dewclaws may be removed.
Coat-In the Smooth Coats, the coat should be of soft texture, close and glossy. (Heavier coats with undercoats permissible.) Coat placed well over body with ruff on neck preferred, and more scanty on head and ears. Hair on tail preferred furry. In Long Coats, the coat should be of a soft texture, either flat or slightly wavy, with undercoat preferred.Ears – Fringed. Tail – Full and long (as a plume). Feathering on feet and legs, pants on hind legs and large ruff on the neck desired and preferred. (The Chihuahua should be groomed only to create a neat appearance.) Disqualification – In Long Coats, too thin coat that resembles bareness.
Color-Any color - Solid, marked or splashed.
Gait-The Chihuahua should move swiftly with a firm, sturdy action, with good reach in front equal to the drive from the rear. From the rear, the hocks remain parallel to each other, and the foot fall of the rear legs follows directly behind that of the forelegs. The legs, both front and rear, will tend to converge slightly toward a central line of gravity as speed increases. The side view shows good, strong drive in the rear and plenty of reach in the front, with head carried high. The topline should remain firm and the backline level as the dog moves.
Temperament-Alert, projecting the ‘terrier-like’ attitudes of self importance, confidence, self-reliance.
Disqualifications-Any dog over 6 pounds in weight.
Broken down or cropped ears.
Docked tail, bobtail.
In Long Coats, too thin coat that resembles bareness.
Merle Colored Chihuahuas
What is a Merle or Dapple Chihuahua?
Merle- also called Dapple is a pattern or marking, not a color per-say. The merle gene dilutes the base color but leaves splotches unaffected thereby causing the dog to have a patchy, spotted coloration. This is the result of “M” gene in the dog’s bloodline. Mm(Dapple) and M(Non-Dapple), with dapple being dominated to non-dapple. Mixed over dark colors you get the “Blue Merles” and over the light colors you end up with “Red or Chocolate Merles” . There are many variations of colorations, but they usually fall within the broad categories of Blue or Chocolate in Chihuahuas. If you breed a dapple to non-dapple all off spring will carry the dapple gene regardless if they show Merle markings or not. Breeding Merles can be tricky and it is important to NEVER breed two merles to each other because this will cause the puppies to be doubled gene. Doubled the Merle gene can cause defects in puppies such as blindness, deafness, dogs that are sterile, or even stillbirth. This happens when a dog with the Merle gene is bred to another dog with the Merle gene. As long as Merles are bred to Non-Merles there is no greater chance of genetical defects than with any other color. Trouble is, you sometimes end up with what are called “Hidden” or “Phantom” Merles. These puppies are very clearly marked at birth, but as their coat grows the pattern disappears. It is very important not to breed these dogs to other Merles. It is extremely important to only purchase a merle puppy from a breeder who knows and can prove what genes their breeder dogs have in their bloodline! Make sure that the breeders dogs are AKC registered, DNA tested, OFA health certified, have genetics testing done and make sure that the breeder can show you pedigree papers on their breeder dogs that have a gold AKC emblem on it which will show color patterns up to 5 generations back. All in all these dogs are beautiful in color but should ONLY be breed by experienced breeders who spend the time and money needed into breeding this gene and doing the proper genetics testing.
Weight Chart For Chihuahua Puppies