Chihuahua Breed Standard
Toy Group General Appearance
A graceful, alert, swift-moving little dog with saucy expression, compact, and with
terrier-like qualities of temperament.Size, Proportion, SubstanceWeight
- 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
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, BodyNeck
- Slightly arched, gracefully sloping into lean shoulders. Topline
- Level. Body
- Ribs rounded and well sprung (but not too much "barrel-shaped"). Tail
long, carried sickle either up or out, or in a loop over the back, with tip just touching the back. (Never tucked between
- Cropped tail, bobtail.ForequartersShoulders
- 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
Muscular, with hocks well apart, neither out nor in, well let down, firm and sturdy. The feet are as in front.
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-Solid, marked or splashed.
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.
with terrier-like qualities.
Any dog over 6 pounds in weight.
Broken down or cropped
Cropped tail, bobtail.
In Long Coats, too thin coat that resembles bareness.
Effective October 30, 1990
I, personally struggle with the term "Teacup Chihuahua" My
first response to this conversation is "there is no such thing" in the Chihuahua Breed. The AKC standard says " a well balanced
dog not to exceed 6 pounds". The adjectives that are given to the lower end ( 2-3 pounds), "teacup", "pocket pup", "micro",
"minature" etc..... can be very confusing. Although these dogs do exist, NO good breeder, that I know of intentionally breeds
for these extremely small dogs. They often have many health issues. Such as heart problems and sugar drops to name only a
couple of those concerns. Occasionally, thank goodness, they are fine and will live very
long lives and bring much satisifaction to thier owner. But more times than not, the small Chi's bring much heart break. It
takes a very special person and constant monitering to have a success story.
There is nothing wrong with wanting a Chihuahua that is on the small end of the standard. But the
potential owner MUST be the responsible one to do the research behind their particular puppy.
You must ask the breeder all of the appropriate questions, you must be aware of all the concerns that go along with having
a small Chihuahua in your home ( health wise and enviromental issues as well). Having a veterinarian that is familiar
with the small Chihuahua is invaluable. In short, I can not stress enough, the importance of educating yourself if you are
seriously considering a Chihuahua from the smaller end of the standard.
HELLO! I am a chihuahua owner (my 3 year old baby Maggie, a whopping four pounds!) and lover. I am currently looking
for a playmate for my little girl and came across your website. One thing in particular caught my eye, your 'tea-cup chiahuahua'
statement. I walk my dog often (I live in Grand Rapids,MI so at least until it snows) and people come up to me and always
ask "Oh is that a tea-cup!?" and it pains me to think so many people out there don't understand the breed. In the beginning
I would say, "No, she's just a chihuahua" but now, I inform people that tea-cups are nothing but a "breeder" trying to sell
you a dog for more money than they should. As I stated, I have been looking for another chihuahua for quite some time and
have been to MANY websites, and talked to MANY people. I now refuse to speak to anyone who tells me that they could get me
a 'tea cup' for MY 'tea cup'. I rescued my dog when she was a little over a year. It was clear she was undernourished, but
she never did get past four pounds. It just happened that four pounds became her size.
I am writing this email to you to commend you on telling people that the 'tea-cup' does not exist. I have heard horror
stories of people breeding for 'small' and killing their dogs in the process. I am glad to see you are out there educating
people on this breed, a breed I love, a breed I will probably have for the rest of my life.
This is just a thank you from someone who cares about the issue.
All the best,