FCI-Standard N° 218 / 23.06.2004
TRANSLATION : C. Seidler. Revised by R.Triquet (amendments to the standard).
ORIGIN : Mexico.
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE ORIGINAL VALID STANDARD : 24.03.2004.
UTILIZATION : Companion dog.
CLASSIFICATION F.C.I. : Group 9 Companion and Toy Dogs.
Section 6 Chihuahueño.
Without working trial.
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY : The Chihuahua is regarded as the smallest pedigree dog in the world and carries the name of the largest state of the Mexican Republic (Chihuahua). One assumes that these dogs used to live in the wild and, at the time of the Toltec civilization, were captured and domesticated by the natives. Representations of a Toy dog called « Techichi » which lived in Tula, were used as decorations on town architecture. These statues are very similar to the present day Chihuahua.
GENERAL APPEARANCE : This dog has a compact body. Of great importance is the fact that his skull is apple-shaped and that he carries his moderately long tail very high, either curved or forming the shape of a semicircle with the tip pointing towards the loin region.
IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS : Length of body slightly greater than height at withers. Desired, however, is an almost square body, especially in males. In bitches, because of the function of reproduction, a slightly longer body is permitted.
BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT : Quick, alert, lively and very courageous.
CRANIAL REGION :
Skull : Well rounded apple head ( a characteristic of the breed) preferably without a fontanel although a small one is allowed.
Stop : Well marked, deep and broad as the forehead is bulging over the set-on of muzzle.
FACIAL REGION :
Nose : Any colour permitted. Moderately short, pointing slightly upwards.
Muzzle : Short, straight seen from side, broad at set-on, tapering towards the tip.
Lips : Lean and close fitting.
Cheeks : Only slightly developed, very clean.
Jaws/Teeth : Scissor or pincer bite. Overshot, undershot, as well as any other anomaly in position of upper or lower jaw must be strictly penalized.
Eyes : Large, roundish in shape, very expressive, not protruding, perfectly dark. Light eyes permissible, but not desired.
Ears : Large, upright, widely open, broad at set-on, gradually tapering towards their slightly rounded point. In repose inclined laterally forming an angle of 45°.
NECK : Upper profile slightly arched.
Length : Medium length.
Shape : Thicker in dogs than in bitches.
Skin : Without dewlap. In the long-haired variety, the presence of a neck-ruff with longer hair is highly desirable.
BODY : Compact and well built.
Topline : Level.
Withers : Only slightly marked.
Back : Short and firm.
Loin : Strongly muscled.
Croup : Broad and strong; almost flat or slightly sloping.
Chest : Ribcage broad and deep, ribs well sprung. Seen from front, roomy but not exaggerated. Seen from side, reaching to elbows. Not barrel shaped.
Lower Line : Formed by a clearly tucked up belly. Slack belly is permitted but not desired.
TAIL : Set on high, flat in appearance, of moderate length; broad at root, tapering gradually towards the tip. Tail carriage is an important characteristic of the breed : when the dog is moving it is carried either high in a curve or in a semicircle with tip towards the loin region, which gives balance to the body, it should never be carried between the hindlegs nor curled below the backline. The hair on the tail depends on the variety and is in harmony with the body coat. In the long haired variety, the tail coat forms a plume. Tail is pendant in repose and forms a slight hook.
FOREQUARTERS : Forelegs straight and of good length; seen from the front, they form a straight line with the elbows. Seen from the side, they are upright.
Shoulders : Clean and moderately muscled. Good angulation between shoulder-blade and upper arm.
Elbows : Firm and fitting close to body which ensures free movement.
Pasterns : Slightly sloping, strong and flexible.
HINDQUARTERS : Hindlegs well muscled with long bones, vertical and parallel to each other with good angulation at hip, knee and hock joints, in harmony with angulation of forequarters.
Hocks : Short with well developed Achilles’ tendons; seen from rear, they are well apart straight and vertical.
FEET : Very small and oval with toes well apart but not splayed (neither hare- nor cat-foot). Nails particularly well arched and moderately long. Pads well developed and very elastic. Dewclaws must be removed except in countries where this practice is forbidden by law.
GAIT / MOVEMENT : Steps are long, springy, energetic and active with good reach and drive. Seen from rear, hind legs should move almost parallel to each other, so that the foot prints of the hind feet fit directly into those of the front feet. With increasing speed, the limbs show a tendency to converge towards the centre point of gravity (single track). Movement remains free and springy without visible effort, head raised and back firm.
SKIN : Smooth and elastic all over body.
HAIR : In this breed there are two varieties of coat.
• Smooth-haired : Coat is short, lying close all over body. If there is an undercoat, the hair is somewhat longer; sparse coat on throat and belly permissible; slightly longer on neck and tail, short on face and ears. Coat is glossy and its texture is soft. Hairless dogs are not tolerated.
• Longed-haired : Coat should be fine and silky, smooth or slightly wavy. Not too thick undercoat desired. Coat is longer, forming feathering on ears, neck, rear of front and hind legs, on feet and on tail. Dogs with long billowing coat will not be accepted.
COLOUR : All colours in all possible shades and combinations are admitted.
WEIGHT : In this breed only the weight is taken into consideration, not the height.
Weight : Ideal weight : between 1.5 and 3 kg.
However, dogs between 500 gr and 1.5 kg are accepted. Subjects weighing more than 3 kg shall be disqualified.
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.
• Missing teeth.
• “Double teeth” (persistence of temporary teeth).
• Deformed jaws.
• Pointed ears.
• Short neck.
• Long body.
• Roach or hollow back (Lordosis or Kyphosis).
• Steep croup.
• Narrow chest, flat ribcage.
• Tail : incorrect set-on, short or twisted.
• Short limbs.
• Out at elbow.
• Too close behind.
• Narrow skull
• Eyes small, deep set or protruding.
• Long muzzle.
• Under or overshot mouth.
• Patella luxation.
ELIMINATING FAULTS :
• Aggressive or overly shy.
• Deer type dogs (dogs with an atypical or extremely stylized structure: refined head, long neck, slender body, long limbs).
• Dogs with a large fontanel.
• Drop ear or short ear.
• Extremely long body.
• Absence of tail.
• In the long- haired variety : Dogs with very long, fine and billowing coat.
• In the smooth-haired variety : Bald patch (alopecia).
• Weight over 3 kg.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
N.B. : Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
This amended breed standard will become effective from September 2004.