Breed Standard

Chihuahua Smooth Coat Standard

General Appearance - Small, dainty, compact.

Characteristics - Alert, little dog, swift moving with brisk forceful action and saucy expression.

Head and Skull - Well rounded 'Apple Dome' skull, cheeks and jaws lean, muzzle moderately short, slightly pointed. Definite stop.

Eyes - Large, round, but not protruding; set well apart; centre of eye is on a plane with lowest point of ear and base of stop; dark or ruby. Light eyes in light colours permissible.

Ears - Large, flaring, set on at an angle of approximately 45 degrees; giving breadth between ears. Tipped or broken down highly undesirable.

Mouth - Jaws strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. the upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws.

Neck - Slightly arched, medium length.

Forequarters - Shoulders well laid; lean, sloping into slightly broadening support above straight forelegs, set well under chest giving freedom of movement without looseness.

Body - Level back. Body, from point of shoulder to rear point of croup, slightly longer than height at withers. Well sprung ribs, deep brisket.

Hindquarters - Muscular: hocks well let down, with good turn of stifle, well apart, turning neither in nor out.

Feet - Small and dainty, turning neither in nor out; toes well divided but not spread, pads cushioned, fine, strong, flexible pasterns. Neither hare nor cat-like, nails moderately short.

Tail - Medium length, set high, carried up and over back (sickle tail). When moving never tucked under or curled below the topline. Furry, flattish in appearance, broadening slightly in centre and tapering to point.

Gait/Movement - Brisk, forceful action, neither high stepping nor hackney; good reach without slackness in forequarters, good drive in hindquarters. Viewed from front and behind legs should move neither too close nor too wide, with no turning in or out of feet or pasterns. Topline should remain firm and level when moving.

Coat - Smooth, of soft texture, close and glossy, with undercoat and ruff permissible.

Colour - Any colour or mixture of colours but never Merle (dapple).

Size Weight - up to 2.7 kg (6 lbs) 1.8 -2.7 kg (4-6 lbs) preferred.

Faults - Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.

Note - Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

Chihuahua Long Coat Standard

The Standard of the Chihuahua Long Coat is the same as the Standard of the Chihuahua Smooth Coat with the exception of the following:-

Coat - Long, soft texture (never coarse or harsh to touch) either flat or slightly wavy. Never tight and curly. Feathering on ears, feet and legs, pants on hind quarters, large ruff on neck desirable. Tail long and full as a plume.
- All information seen on this page has been adapted from The Chihuahua Club of NSW

Breed History

The true origins and history of the Chihuahua have long been shrouded in mystery. It can be hard to sort through what is actually fact, and sometimes fanciful speculation. One undisputable fact about the Chihuahua is that it is recognised as the smallest breed in the world.

Rich with history and legend, the tiny Chihuahua dates back to pre-Columbian Mexico, and is the oldest breed in the Americas. Chihuahuas are believed to descend either from the Techichi, mute companions to the Toltecs, or from small Chinese dogs brought to the Americas by the Conquistadors; it is also possible that both theories are accurate and the Chihuahua is a mix. The Techichi historical record only goes back to the ninth century but it is likely that the Chihuahua's ancestors predate the Mayans. The remains of dogs resembling the Chihuahua have been found in the Pyramids at Cholula on the Yucatan Peninsula, which predate the 16th century. The Aztecs, who eventually conquered the Toltecs, adopted the Chihuahua as a sacred icon of the upper class. It is said the dogs were used in religious ceremonies to redress sins and as guides for the spirits of the dead. Christopher Columbus refers to the tiny dog in a letter to the King of Spain. Without doubt, the Chihuahua's principle home was present-day Mexico, but the breed's immigration to Europe may have been Columbus' doing. Unfortunately to date - no one history of our breed can be agreed upon and the wonderful legends are a part of the mystery of our breed.

Genetic testing suggests that the modern dog as we know it originates with other modern breeds around the 1800's.

The Chihuahua draws its name from the city of Chihuahua - which was once the capital of Mexico in the mid to late 1800's. This tiny dog was found along the borders between Mexico and Arizona - in particular the then capital - CHIHUAHUA!

The first Chihuahua's introduced into Australia were in December 1955 by Mrs. E.M. MacMahon of Victoria. It was with these four original Chihuahuas that the famous "Chicdale" breeding line was established. Mrs. MacMahon was the founder of the Victorian Chihuahua Club.

Since this time Australia has seen the popularity of the Chihuahua continue to flourish and there are now 6 clubs operating nationwide to promote this wonderful breed.

Teacup Myth

The official Breed Standard describes the Chihuahua as a small dog that comes in two varieties or coat types. The difference in coat type (the Long Coat or the Smooth Coat) is the only official description used to identify a difference within this breed. Our Standard does not categorise the Chihuahua by size - only by weight.

As with all living things, there will be a size variance between individual dogs within this breed. Within the human family, brothers and sisters will differ in height and in weight, as well as other physical attributes. They are described as humans, male or female, and there is seldom if ever a need to break the description down further. The same holds true in regard to the Chihuahua; they are Chihuahuas-Long Coat/Smooth Coat, Male/Female.

Unfortunately, the additional adjectives used to describe the size difference and physical appearances are many; and have been misused for so long they now seem legitimate. Tea-cup, Pocket Size, Tiny Toy, Miniature or Standard - are just a few of the many tags and labels that have been attached to this breed over the years. There is a concern that these terms may be used to entice perspective buyers into thinking that puppies described in this way are of greater monetary value. They are not; and the use of these terms is incorrect and misleading.

Occasionally, within a litter, there may be a puppy that is unusually small. That puppy is a small Chihuahua and any other breakdown in description is not correct. To attach any of these additional labels to a particular pup is to misrepresent that animal as something that is rare or exceptional and causes a great deal of confusion among those fanciers who are looking for a Chihuahua.

We recognize that many Chihuahua fanciers do want the very small puppy. While they are adorable and can be perfectly healthy, the buyer should be cautioned as to the extra care and costs that may be required with regard to their general health and well-being.

Talk to your local veterinarians for the health concerns for unusually small Chihuahuas.