|About the Chihuahua|
|General description (quoted from akc.org. For complete breed standard, please consult the AKC website):
A graceful, alert, swift-moving little dog with saucy expression, compact, 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.
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 - 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 nose permissible. Bite - Level or scissors.
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.)
Shoulders - 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. Pasterns - Fine.
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 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.
Any color-Solid, marked or splashed.
Alert, with terrier-like qualities.
| Above is the Official information. Now for my own personal opinions on the breed...
The chihuahua is a very spunky and loyal being. They are as individual in their personalities as are people. Some will love anyone and everyone, and some are very protective and exclusive to their *person*. While socialization plays a big part in this as puppies, they are not born as a *blank slate* anymore than our children are. They are born with their individual likes, dislikes, and traits. Their environment during the puppy weeks will either minimize or reinforce these. It is very important to get a puppy that has been exposed in a healthy way to a variety of people, animals, and situations. It will make them a more relaxed and well rounded pet. It is also important for a prospective puppy buyer to inquire into the individual personality of the puppy they are considering. If they have a very active houshold with a lot of visitors, children, noises, etc, they will want a more outgoing and inquisitive puppy, not the shyer or more retiring type. It is my goal to match the puppy with the correct household.
Children and Chihuahuas:
There are people that say chihuahuas should not be in a household with children. I am living proof (having 12 children) that that sentiment is just not true. They enrich each other's lives immeasurably. Having said that, I do feel it necessary to qualify that with a few cautions. The very smallest chihuahuas are physically delicate by nature and cannot take rough handling. A leg can break easily if the dog is picked up wrong or handled in even a moderately rough manner. You know your own child and their temperament. Judgement is called for here. Households with small children would do better, for the sake of both, with a chihuahua in the 5-6 lb. range. Also, there are special considerations for any chihuahua in a household with children. Special care must be taken with slamming doors, etc.
There is no such thing as a special Teacup chihuahua. It is really the runt of the litter. They are hard to find and cost so much for a reason. They are not the norm! While I will use the term, since it is so widely used and recognized, I do so with caution. There are two reasons a chihuahua can be a Teacup. The first is that it is just genetically small. These usually grow up healthy, but require diligent and special care until they are past the puppy *danger* stage. They must remain with the mother longer and are kept and watched for signs of hypoglycemia for a longer time period. They are more prone to pneumonia when exposed to temperature variations also. They are not normally sold at a young age. It takes a lot of extra time and work to get a tiny teacup puppy to be able to withstand a move to a new home. I have spent many a long night nursing a tiny weak puppy. The rewards are great when one turns out to be a hale and hearty adult with spunk and attitude (and they usually end up loving people more because of all the special attention). The second reason a puppy might be a Teacup is because something might be wrong with it physically that is keeping it from growing correctly. It might be smaller than its littermates because something is wrong with its heart, liver, brain, etc that is stunting its growth. These puppies can start out healthy, then gradually decline. They sometimes do not survive well past the weaning stage. If you buy a Teacup that is very young, you have no way of knowing which type of Teacup you are getting. Do your homework, and be prepared to wait out the danger period. I understand the desire to have the tiniest dog possible. They are cute! But the risks and heartaches of raising them are great. Therefore I do not breed for the tinies on purpose.
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