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Scroll to the bottom of this page to view the AKC Chihuahua Breed Standard as well as a few videos to help better understand the standard.

Intro
Welcome to the world of Chihuahuas!  Chihuahuas are a special breed of dog.  They were bred as companions   They THRIVE on human interaction & contact.  They WILL follow you around & cry if they are locked in a room away from you.  They don't call them companion dogs for nothing. *smile*   Chihuahuas must be carefully raised because they are prone to getting that "small dog complex" or becoming one of those yappy little ankle biters you hear about or see.  These traits are not the breed, these traits are the result of a Chihuahua who wasn't raised properly!  If you are a new dog owner, a Chihuahua probably is not for you.  They are a dog for an experienced dog owner and/or one who knows what it takes to be a great pack leader.  If you are not a great pack leader...your Chihuahua will soon become YOUR pack leader.  And that can become an issue really quickly!  

Below is some information that we find EXTREMELY important!  If you are even considering one of our puppies read this information carefully and before emailing us for an application.  We are perfectly content in keeping our puppies if the right home isn't found so please take the information below seriously before even inquiring.


Nutrition

We take great pride in feeding our Chihuahuas the best diet possible and in looking for forever homes for our puppies it is INCREDIBLY important to us that they continue being fed to these standards.  Not only will it ensure they live long & healthy lives, it makes them more enjoyable to have around & will also have some cost savings down the road to you as well.  We are happy to talk doggy nutrition any time (it is one of our favorite topics!) however here is some information to get you started.

Before going & picking up the prettiest bag of food, the one you saw on a commercial last night that sounded good & healthy or even the most expensive food on the shelf at the grocery store or veterinarians office—EDUCATE YOURSELF!  Get in the habit of reading labels just like you do for yourself.  Right off the bat, some things you want to avoid are: corn, wheat, soy, soybean meal, brewers rice, meat by-products, beef & bone meal, dyes, powdered cellulous & BHA, BHT and Ethoxyguin (preservatives).  

Also be familiar with what canines are designed to eat.  They have very different digestive tracts than humans so just because a food sound nutritious to a human being, doesn’t necessarily make it nutritious for a dog.  Dogs are classified carnivores (are descendants of wolves—even our tiny Chi’s!) so their natural diet is meat.  More specifically 80% meat, 10% bone, 5% liver & 5% other secreting organs (this is approx what a whole prey meal would consist of).  This is called the RAW diet & is what we feed our Chihuahuas.  Alone this mix of meat, bone & organ provides any & everything your dog needs.  No added vitamins or minerals are necessary though we do add salmon oil to 2-3 meals per week to help with coat & skin health.   

Not only does it provide their bodies with what it needs, the crunching, scraping & pulling on bone in chunks of meat keeps their teeth & gums clean & healthy.  The leading causer of MANY problems in dogs later in life stem from dental disease.  Feeding a raw diet basically eliminates dental disease therefore any illnesses or diseases stemming from it.  Knawing on bones also gives mental stimulation & keeps dogs happy & content because chewing is instinctual for canines.

The benefits of raw are not only that of keeping your pet healthy.  You can notice some of the benefits right off the bat.  Your Chi won’t get that smelly/fishy breath caused from build up from kibble.  They won’t have a stinky doggy odor.  They will not have tearing and/or tear staining.  They will not suffer from allergies that are now so common amongst dog these days.  They will shed less & be more active.  They will have lean muscle instead of a padding of fat caused by fatty kibble.   The most exciting is--they will have TINY poo that will be nearly odorless & turn white after a couple days & will disappear after a rain!  This is because the food they are eating is utilized & there isn’t much “waste”.

We understand raw is not for everybody.  It can be expensive and take up a lot of time between preparing, feeding & cleaning up from meals.  There are some wonderful alternatives though which we are happy to share with you!  With the first two foods mentioned here—you will benefit from MANY of the same benefits as mentioned above with the exception of the dental benefits & the mental stimulation your dog will get knawing/chewing on bones.

Saying that; letting your Chi chew on a raw chicken wing, thigh, neck or another raw boney item 2-3 times a week will act as a “tooth brush” & keep your Chi’s teeth quite clean!  Plus most enjoy the special treat. ;o)  Just be sure to substitute the raw boney chicken “treats” as a meal.  Where raw & kibbles digest at different rates—feeding them close together could cause tummy upset.

****DO NOT EVER FEED A COOKED BONE OF ANY KIND****
These are the horror stories you hear about splintering, blocking intestines, etc.


ZiwiPeak
ZiwiPeak is a dehydrated raw food that is served as a jerky like squares.  It is fed like kibble (though we like to add 1-2oz of water every feeding as the hydration helps with digestion).   It is made in New Zealand & with very minimal processing.  It contains all meat, organ, vitamins & minerals.  It is the best prepackaged dog food there is on the market.  It may be a little pricey but to feed 1 Chihuahua it can be minimal (especially when taking into the account the vet visits you’ll save on from not dealing with allergy, digestive, etc problems!).  To feed one average sized Chi it should cost around $25 every 5-6 weeks.

Stella & Chewy’s & The Honest Kitchen
These foods are another “raw”  food.  These food however contains fruits & veggies (S&C’s less than THK).  Fruits & veggies sound healthy to us but they are not a big part of a natural canine diet and are not necessary.  THK has to be rehydrated for 5-10 minutes prior to feeding but S&C’s frozen patties do not.  Being as the fruits & veggies are broken down prior to feeding dogs CAN benefit from the nutrients.  These foods also have minimal processing & has a great reputation w/o any recalls known.  All & all they are a great food choice and superior to highly processed kibbles.  We occasionally add both of these foods to our “rotation” to give variety in textures & protein sources that we are unable to find in “raw” form at a reasonable price.


Kibble
While I prefer the three prior diet choices sometimes kibble just works better for some people.  But please know there are many different kibble companies & some vary as much as the diets above!  I would suggest a grain free kibble such as Taste of the Wild, Orijen or EVO but there are other premium foods out there to choose from & you can find them at pet specialty stores/boutiques—not at grocery stores or big box stores such as Walmart, Petsmart/Petco, etc.   Sometimes you can find these premium kibbles at certain hardware stores that carry pet supplies or even Tractor Supply carries a few of the better foods.

Please visit www.dogfoodanalysis.com to read the reviews of the many different kibbles out there.   You may also be surprised to read what is said about the most common grocery store or “vet recommended” brands such as Purina, Hills Science Diet, Pedigree, etc.  These and many other “grocery store brands” are made with mostly corn which is INCREDIBLY difficult for any dog to digest.  These “grocery store” brands also more likely cause illnesses, allergies, coat/skin problems etc.  Please do your home work especially if you choose to feed a kibble.  

If you choose to feed one of these premium kibbles PLEASE remember to add water to their meals!  Kibble requires a lot of moisture to break the food down properly in the stomach so it can move on to the large intestine.  And as always, if you have any questions please let us know & we’ll be happy to help! :o)



Vet Care

A part of good pet ownership is making sure your dog has regular well checks & appropriate vaccinations & wormings.  This is as important as feeding your Chi a premium food!  Vet care costs money & if you’re unable to pay for regular vet care—you should rethink owning a dog!  Appropriate nutrition can cut down on vet costs but there will always be routine checks….

A word about Vaccinations!
It is our believe that minimally vaccinating dogs is the best for them!  We give & recommend our puppy owners give only the Parvo & Distemper vaccination (which often includes Adenovirus & Influenza) puppy series at 8, 12 & 16 weeks & again around 18 months.  Being as these vaccinations often give immunite FOR LIFE, a titer test to check for immunity is recommended every 3 years instead of revaccinating.  Why continue to revaccinate (which is hard on the immune system & their system as a whole) if they are already immune?   

Rabies should be given depending upon your state law HOWEVER being as Chihuahua puppies are so tiny we recommend waiting 6mo before being given this vaccination for the first time, at 18 months & every 3 years (or again, as your state law prohibits)

Bordatella (or Kennel Cough) vaccines we recommend ONLY if you plan for your dog to be in a confined area with lots of other dogs.  (if you plan to kennel them or plan on doing an obedience class, etc)

Lymes, Lepto, Corona....unless your dog is always off leash & running around in the woods, rolling in & drinking out of mud puddles or eating a lot of rodent feces--a waste of money & a risk to your dog!  These vaccinations have caused many dogs severe allergic reactions...even death!  They are quite unnecessary for our little Chihuahuas who are meant to be our companions & live in our homes. 




Early Socialization!

You may have heard some stories about Chihuahuas being “yappy & nippy ankle biters”.  While Chihuahua’s are naturally unsure of unfamiliar people and/or dogs…with early & CONSTANT socialization & training it is very possible for your Chi to be a social dog!  The good part about Chihuahua’s is they are very portable.  You can get away with bringing them in certain stores that a larger dog wouldn’t be allowed in.  Doing this will be a great help in making your Chi desensitized to new people & situations.  Have your Chi handled by new people from the start & (cautiously) let them interact with other smaller dogs and gentle/calm bigger dogs.  Puppy kindergarten class is a great way to socialize your puppy, HOWEVER avoid “free play” with larger rambunctious puppies as in our experience this traumatizes them & may make them leary of larger dogs in the future!  

Your puppy has been exposed to many different people & situations in our care but it is up to you to continue this work in order to make your puppy successful at being as social as possible!  We have also worked with your puppy from birth in making them “easy handlers”.  Being poked, prodded and even being in mild discomfort w/o upsetting them is VERY important in case of future incidences where they will need to be checked over, their teeth brushed, nails trimmed, etc.  Continuing these exercises will make them continue to be “ok” in many situations.

Some tips for making your Chihuahua an easy handler:

*gently tug on tail at unsuspecting times
*pull at loose skin on back gently & on sides
*hold your puppy on it’s back & do the following…
  • touch all over the body
  • gently squeeze all paw
  • gently tug on ears
  • lift up lip & look at teeth then put your finger & corner of their mouth causing them to open up so you can inspect back teeth.
  • always finish with a little belly rub 




House Breaking

Your puppy will come to you having been started on pee pad training.  If you wish for your Chi to be trained to potty outside—do not use pee pads unless they are being left alone in a confined area!  Despite what you commonly read—we’ve had terrific success in house breaking our Chihuahuas in just a few short weeks.  Here are the key points & if they are followed to a “T” you too will see great results!  But remember…all Chi’s learn at different rates.  Patience, persistence & time will get even themost stubborn dog house broken!  

1.Take your Chi out EVERY hour!  Wait until they eliminate & when they do praise & treat!
2.Take your Chi out immediately after a meal & when they wake up from a long nap. 
3.You must confine your puppy to where you can see them—do not give them free run of the house unless you plan on following them around watching for an “accident”.
4.When you see your Chi beginning to sniff, squat & go to the bathroom inside say “NO” in a firm voice, swoop them up mid pee/poo while saying their key potty word (we use “outside pee pee!” & taking them immediately to their designated potty spot.
5.Do not expect them to train themselves.  They need direction & to learn their new “routines”.  Accidents at night, even in the crate, is common until they learn your routine.

Please remember most dogs never learn to “ask” to go outside to the bathroom!  Usually they just get really good at holding it in until they are taken out.  If they have constant “accidents”, it is your fault!  You need to learn the signals your Chi gives before they need to eliminate.  If you act on these signals & take them out…they will pick up on it.  The more you “catch” accidents the quicker they will learn.  And do not expect to work 8 hours five days a week & expect your Chi to become trained in a few weeks.  It is extremely difficult to train ANY dog when you’re never there to train it.

CHIHUAHUA BREED STANDARD



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 ears. 

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 removed.

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, 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. 
















The Chihuahua Part 1
The Chihuahua Part 2
The Chihuahua Part 3
THE CHIHUAHUA
(a closer look)