American Kennel Club is: Chihuahua Breed Standard General Appearance A graceful, alert, swift-moving little dog with saucy expression, compact, 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, but not protruding, balanced, set well apart-luminous dark or luminous ruby. (Light eyes in blond or white-colored dogs permissible.) 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. 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 nose permissible. Bite – Level or scissors. Overshot or undershot bite, or any distortion of the bite or jaw, should be penalized as a serious fault. 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 – Cropped tail, bobtail.Forequarters Shoulders – Lean, sloping into a slightly broadening support above straight forelegs that set well under, giving a free play at the elbows. Shoulders should be well up, giving balance and soundness, sloping into a level back. (Never down or low.) This gives a chestiness, and strength of forequarters, yet not of the “Bulldog” chest. Feet – A small, dainty foot with toes well split up but not spread, pads cushioned. (Neither the hare nor the cat foot.) Pasterns – Fine.Hindquarters Muscular, with hocks well apart, neither out nor in, we’ll let down, firm and sturdy. The feet are as in front.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 curly, with undercoat preferred. Ears – Fringed. (Heavily fringed ears may be tipped slightly if due to the fringes and not to weak ear leather, never down.) 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.
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, with terrier-like qualities.Disqualifications Any dog over 6 pounds in weight.Broken down or cropped ears.Cropped tail, bobtail.In Long Coats, too thin coat that resembles bareness.
Q2: How long do Chihuahuas live?Chihuahuas are the most long lived of any breed of dog. Life spans of 15+ years are not uncommon.
Q3: How much exercise do Chihuahuas need?One of the reasons that the Chihuahua is a popular breed is that they don’t require much more exercise than they will get running around your house or apartment during a typical day. While they enjoy an occasional walk, they are not good jogging companions. Simply allowing them to run around the yard for a few minutes can often provide adequate exercise. Chihuahua’s are known for quick bursts of energy that will come and go throughout the day, and therefore do not require large exercise areas. Chihuahua’s can be trained to fetch small toys and this game is an excellent indoor activity.
As puppies, Chi’s are boisterous and energetic; however, as they get older they can easily become couch potatoes. If it looks like your Chi is gaining too much weight, in addition to getting him out for a walk every once in awhile, you may want to consider decreasing the amount you’re feeding him.
Q4: Do Chihuahuas need special dog food?Well, yes and no. They have the same nutritional needs as other dogs in proportion to their size. However, they have very small mouths and teeth so they can’t handle large nuggets very well. We strongly recommend that you avoid mass-produced commercial brands of dog food. Even many of the premium gourmet brands contain all kinds of dangerous and disgusting ingredients that you really don’t want to feed your dog. Chihuahuas prefer a few small meals daily, rather than one big meal We leave a small bowl of dry food out for our Chihuahuas in addition to two small prepared meals each day.