Chihuahuas are the smallest dogs in the world. Ever since girl Paris Hilton popularized her tin cables on TV in the early 2000s, everyone has known about the “handbag pooches.” However, responsible owners should not treat their dogs like toys! You can find out what the fat dwarves are capable of and how to choose dog-friendly puppies in the guide.
External Characteristics of Chihuahuas: Unmistakable Dwarfs with a Round Head
Chihuahuas can be recognized at first glance by their body size, large eyes, and round head shape. Chihuahua mix dogs are also often very closely related to the Chi since the special characteristics are strongly enforced in genetics. Specific sizes are not specified in the breed standard. Precise information is given on the weight:
- Weight between 1 and 3 kilograms is considered normal.
- Dogs under 1 kilogram or over 3 kilograms are not permitted for purebred breeding.
- The ideal weight is between 1.5 and 2.5 kilograms.
Official and Unofficial Chihuahua types
Breeders and keepers prefer different types of breeds that are not officially recognized. In the FCI standard, a distinction is only made between short-haired and long-haired Chihuahuas – among breeders, there are seven (some distinguish up to 13) different types that relate to coating, color, and body shape:
- The miniature version of the Chihuahua: They measure a maximum of 23 cm (9 inches) at the withers.
- They weigh no more than 2.5 kg, some adult teacup dogs weigh less than 1 kg.
- The miniature size brings with it some health issues, in addition, they are prone to injury.
- The applehead is part of the breed standard, but since some breed lines deviate from this standard in favor of the health of the animals, it is categorized as a separate type among breeders.
- A soft gap in the skull (molera) can be felt on the forehead and is standard in some breed descriptions. Hard blows at this point are life-threatening!
- Apple Head Chihuahuas often come in teacup sizes and are even more delicately built than other types. The runs are remarkably short.
- The head of the Deer Head Chihuahua is longer and narrower than the apple head specified in the official breed standard.
- They are longer-legged than Apple Heads and in most cases are fawn or brown in color.
- The skull is fully developed (no molera point) and other health problems are also less common.
- This head shape is not allowed in shows.
- The pear head has a flatter forehead than the deer head, and the muzzle is a little wider.
- The stop is significantly less pronounced than in the Apple Head Chihuahua.
- The coat color is called a separate type by some breeders.
- Falb/fawn comes in all shades from creamy light to nutty dark.
- All body types can be fawn (Fawn Apple Head, Fawn Teacup, etc.)
Hairless Chihuahua (Naked Chihuahua)
- A genetic defect can lead to litters of naked and hairy puppies.
- Naked Chihuahuas are extremely rare. They arise by chance or from lines crossed with the Xoloitzcuintle (Mexican Hairless Dog).
- Naked Chihuahuas are not permitted for breeding.
The breed standard in detail
- The head should be apple-shaped according to the breed standard. He is round, with a strongly convex forehead and the stop is pronounced. As described above, Chihuahuas are now also bred as Deer Head and Pear Head variants.
- The short muzzle tapers slightly towards the tip; it is significantly longer on the Deer Head than on the Apple Head. No specific color is specified for the nose sponge.
- The eyes are large and round. They should always be dark in color, but lighter colors are not excluded from breeding.
- The ears protrude from the skull at a 45° angle and are slightly rounded at the tips.
- Ideally, the long-haired Chihuahua has a mane around its neck. The withers are moderate and the back is short and firm. The body shape should appear square in males, in females, the body is a bit more elongated.
- Normal Chihuahuas are well-muscled on the legs and have a broad chest, the Teacup version is much more petite and not very robust. The paws are small and oval, neither rabbit nor cat-like.
- The tail is wide at the base and tapers slightly towards the tip. When in motion, it is carried half bent over the back.
Coat types and colors: Everything is allowed
Aside from hairless and merle, no colors are excluded by the breed standard. Some colorations are more common than others in both longhair and shorthair.
- The short-haired (soft-coated) has a silky fur on the face and ears that is only a few millimeters long, and it can grow a few centimeters on the tail and neck. Some breed lines have an undercoat, others only have a single layer of fur.
- Long-Haired Chihuahuas have no or very thin undercoat and a silky topcoat. Fine feather hair grows on the ears, on the back of the legs, and on the tail, and a fine mane on the collar is desirable. The coat should never be dense and fluffy.