Breeds

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Chihuahua standard according to the American Kennel Club

Overall appearance and temperament are two main aspects of the Chihuahua standard as designed by the American Kennel Club. When it comes to the head of the Chihuahua the standards are very specific. Other factors included in the standard are the dog's movement, coat and weight.

The American Kennel Club standard for the Chihuahua breed is that they should be almost square in appearance, although the standard tolerates a slightly longer body for the female dog for the purpose of reproduction. The most important part of the American Kennel Club standard for the Chihuahua is that the skull be apple shaped with a tail that is carried very high and being of moderate length. The tail should ideally be curved in shape or at the very least form a semicircle with the tip pointing down to the loin region.

Generally the Chihuahua will be greater in length than they are in height at the withers. Overall the Chihuahua is a compact dog that has a temperament of highly spirited intelligence while their behavior is neither snappy nor withdrawn. The Chihuahua should be small and dainty with an alert, quick, lively and very courageous behavior and temperament.

The Chihuahua standard set by the American Kennel Club states that the head should be well rounded with an overall "apple dome" shape. They should have lean cheeks and jaws with a muzzle that is moderately short, slightly pointed and has a definite stop. Eyes should be large and round, but not protruding. The eyes should be set well apart with the center of the eye being on a plane with the lowest point of the ear. While lighter eye color is permissible, the preferred color is dark or ruby. The ears should be at an angle of about forty-five degrees while being large and flaring. The scissor bite for the jaw should be regular and complete. And the upper teeth should closely overlap the lower teeth and be set square to the jaws. The jaw should be strong. The neck should have a slight arch and be of medium length.

The Chihuahua standard states that their stride should have good reach and drive while being springy, long, energetic and active. When viewed from the back the Chihuahua hind legs should move almost parallel to each other so that the foot prints of the hind feet fit directly into those that are left by the front feet. Most of the time the limbs will converge towards the center point of gravity and leave a single track when they increase their speed.

The head should be raised and firm while the dog has a free and springy movement without visible effort. The desired coat for shorthaired dogs is glossy with a soft texture. For long haired dogs it is best to have a fine, silky and smooth or slightly wavy coat. The standard allows all coat color combinations and shades. The ideal weight for a Chihuahua according to the standard is between 1.5 and 3 kg. Lighter weights are permitted but weights over 3 kg are disqualified.

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