The American Kennel Club Breed Standard for the Chihuahua
Official Standard of the Chihuahua
- General Appearance: A graceful, alert, swift-moving compact little dog with saucy expression,
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, round, but not protruding, balanced, set well apart-luminous dark or luminous ruby. Light
eyes in blond or white-colored dogs permissible. Blue eyes or a difference in the color of the iris
in the two eyes, or two different colors within one iris should be considered a serious
fault. 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. Stop – Well defined. When viewed
in profile, it forms a near 90 degree angle where muzzle joins skull. 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 noses permissible. Bite – Level
or scissors. Overshot or undershot, or any distortion of the bite or jaw, should be penalized as a
serious fault. A missing tooth or two is permissible. Disqualifications – Broken down or cropped
- 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 – Docked tail, bobtail.
- Forequarters: Shoulders – Lean, sloping into a slightly broadening support above straight
forelegs that set well under, giving free movement at the elbows. Shoulders should be well up,
giving balance and soundness, sloping into a level back (never down or low). This gives a well
developed chest and strength of forequarters. Feet – A small, dainty foot with toes well split up
but not spread, pads cushioned. (Neither the hare nor the cat foot.) Dewclaws may be
removed. Pasterns – Strong.
- Hindquarters: Muscular, with hocks well apart, neither out nor in, well let down, firm and
sturdy. Angulation – Should equal that of forequarters. The feet are as in front. Dewclaws may be
- 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 wavy, with undercoat preferred. Ears – Fringed. 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. (The Chihuahua should be groomed only to create a neat
appearance.) 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, projecting the ‘terrier-like’ attitudes of self-importance, confidence, and self-reliance.
- Disqualifications: Any dog over 6 pounds in weight. Broken down or cropped ears. Docked tail,
bobtail. In Long Coats, too thin coat that resembles bareness.
- Approved August 12, 2008
- Effective October 1, 2008