chihuahua breed standards: official akc standard of the chihuahua breed

famous chihuahua editor chihuahua facts 11 Comments

chihuahua breed standards

chihuahuas are characterized by the american kennel club under the toy group breed and follow these specific show standards:

general appearance – a graceful, alert, swift-moving little dog with saucy expression, compact, and with terrier-like qualities of temperament.

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, 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. 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 – 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 – cropped tail, bobtail.


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. (neither the hare nor the cat foot.)

pasterns – fine.


muscular, with hocks well apart, neither out nor in, well let down, firm and sturdy. the feet are as in front.

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 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 – 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 top line should remain firm and the back line level as the dog moves.

temperament – alert, with terrier-like qualities.

other disqualifications

  • any dog over 6 pounds in weight
  • broken down or cropped ears
  • cropped tail, bobtail
  • in long coats, too thin coat that resembles bareness

source: the american kennel club


sale dog coats

related:  a list of chihuahua puppy breeders

related:  a list of cute and fun chihuahua puppy names

chihuahua breed standards

Comments 11


    Is the Toy size the only standard for ChiChi’s ? I thought the breed has a miniature size.
    My dog, so the vet says is a perfect example of a Long Haired Chi-chi. He is Black with a erect ears, black legs with tan strips/feathers on all four legs. He has a mixed white/tan muzzle, black nose, white feathers in ears and a black full plume tail with white blending which turns all white down his groin. My dog is going on 5 yrs old. He is leggy, flat topline, and quite agile . I would like to start simple agility with him just to keep us busy. I have no idea where I can find equipment to start, do you have a website? or store I could contact?
    I truly appreciate you time and efforts. Tcarnes, Stockton, MO.

  2. Lenora

    I recently rescued a Chihuahua and they had to beg me to take him. The family he was with since a pup had to surrender him after 7 years because the could not afford to care for him any longer. He was cute and really scared and all I could think about was what I heard many times about the breed……barking constantly, shaking, confrontational with people and animals and of course the nipping. Well, shame on me, I did take him because I felt so guilty just looking at his sad little face and shaking because he was scared.
    I have always had at least one dog since I was a child and they have all been amazing, BUT Iggy Pup is the most amazing little guy ever. All the things I was told were major lies !!! This little man is so amazing, he only barks when the doorbell rings and stops on my request. He is affectionate and smart and I am so happy he is mine.
    I am writing to ask why he has such a thick neck. He has folds of skin and fur like a sharpie or hound! It isn’t a problem but I was wondering if this is a normal thing or a certain trait of some branch of the breed? Thanks for your time!

  3. Linda Heslin

    Our chihuahua was 13 in August. just had her twice yearly exam less than 2 weeks ago at which she was given a clean bill of health. she has just recently become very nervous and scared of everything including us. won’t go in her bed or favorite spots she’s be accustomed to for years. sleeps under the bed, shakes alot and hides. she is still eating and otherwise seems okay. don’t believe anything unusual happened to her recently. she is never outside alone and goes with us in the car most of the time so she is seldom alone at all. very concerned. could it be just old age behavior?

  4. cheryl t.

    Our chihuahua, Quark,, has quite a story. Weighing in at just 4.5 pounds, little quark (because he’s not quite an atom) was a rescue from Sierra highway in the antelope valley, ca. He dashed out into the road, causing two cars to swerve to avoid him. He rolled under the second car and lay there with all fours in the air. Convinced that I did not want to see a dead Chi that day, I wasn’t going to look at the carnage. But look I did and he was fine! a quick call to my husband made quark our little man for life! Ps: he’s an apple head.

  5. cheryl

    im looking for areasonable small young (7-8 wk old) female chi. i have a male. he is lonely. please help. contact me : [email protected]

  6. Post
  7. Ms. Mitchell

    Greetings. I have a 6 mth female chihuahua and reviewing the AKA standards, my little girl meets them. I’m currently located in the Tallahassee region and I want to get involed in the show dog industry. How do i start?

  8. Post

    Hi Ivy, do you plan on having her as a show dog and if so does she meet all AKA standards?

    If you don’t, I wouldn’t recommend that you do anything unless its clearly a problem for her and is causing her pain in some way.

    If it’s not, then accepting her for the wonderful little puppy she is is the way to go and to see her as perfection in your eyes is all that matters.

    Editor at Famous Chihuahua

  9. ivy

    Hi I just recently got a chihuahua, 3 months old. Her left ear is a little bit angeled. What I should do? Is it still possible to make some immobilization for the ear? I am interested in your opinion.

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