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Disclaimer: If you are easily offended by sheer honesty, or you think me having my own opinions is "being negative", then this is not the place for you, and I suggest you leave and head elsewhere. I call a spade a spade, and I don't sugarcoat anything.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

What To Look For in Chihuahuas

I've been in Chihuahua groups, and I see all the time people who want to get chihuahuas for breeding. The problem is these people seem uneducated in their choices. They get these chihuahuas that are anatomically incorrect just because they have a "nice apple dome" and say their dogs fit the AKC standard. I look at the dogs they pick and I say "I wouldn't have a chihuahua like that in MY kennel!" It sounds like a mean thing to say, but it's true. Just because a chihuahua has a "nice-looking apple dome" does not mean it is to standard. They can still be pet quality. There is a lot more to the standard of chihuahuas than having an oversized apple dome. That is what I am here to discuss.

A well-bred chihuahua should have a nice apple dome and eyes that are well-spaced apart and a short, blunt muzzle. When it looks at you, the eyes, nose and base of the ears should line up. Like this...


The eyes are big and saucy, the ears are set right, the muzzle is short and not sharp. These are qualities that make a nice, well-bred chihuahua. A lot of people say they have an "applehead chihuahua", but that really means nothing. I've even seen a lot of people say their dogs have "many champions" in their background. Well, that really means nothing either, if their champions are more than 3 generations back. I've seen people say that, and I go to their website and look at the pedigree and the champions are all in the 5th generation! So "many champions in their background" means absolutely NOTHING if it's more than 3 generations back!

I've seen people get chihuahuas that look like this...


And call it "quality" because it has a "nice apple dome". But look at it's muzzle! It's far too long! And too pointy. Chihuahuas should not have long, pointy noses! Also, this dog's eyes are spaced too far apart and are too small. To me, this looks more like an italian greyhound than a chihuahua! Now, I am not saying this puppy wouldn't make someone a nice pet, but I have seen people who get dogs like this for breeding, and they say "Well, she's got a nice applehead". My response is always "She may have an applehead, but that doesn't mean she's good breeding quality." This isn't a dog I would want in my kennel! It should be spayed/neutered and just kept as a pet.

Here's a side-view of a good quality chihuahua...


Yes, the head is large, but look at the muzzle. I personally like just a wee bit of length to the muzzle. Though some folks now are breeding for shorter muzzles, like bulldog-type muzzles. But I don't like that. I like it to have a little bit of length myself. This chihuahua is of good quality, it's one I would definitely have in my kennel. In fact, I did have one that looked like that once before. It was Spunky. Now, compare that chihuahua to this one...


People who would get this chihuahua for breeding would argue "He's got a nice applehead". But again, I say chihuahuas are more than just an applehead. Look at the muzzle of this dog. It's too long! Too long and too pointy. It doesn't look like a purebred chihuahua to me. It probably also has long legs, which is also not favorable in chihuahuas. And that is what I want to discuss next. The body of chihuahuas should be cobby, and the legs should be somewhat short, though not disproportionately short like in dachshunds. A well-bred chihuahua should have a posture like this...


The body is short and cobby, the legs are short, but not too short, the neck is short and thick, this is a good dog for showing and/or breeding. Beware of people who tell you a chihuahua like the one below is of good quality...


This dog's legs are too long for a chihuahua. Also, when picking out a chihuahua, whether you intend to breed, show or just simply keep as a pet, always ask the breeder what lines they are using and why they are using those lines. Also ask what health tests the parents took and if they passed. A good breeder will always have good answers to that. I had one breeder tell me "I don't have to health-test. I can just look at a dog and tell they are healthy!" I just laughed at her! She probably had dogs that were crawling with luxating patellas, liver-shunt and bad elbows and she'd never know it. Those things do not always show up in puppies. A lot of the time, those diseases do not show up until a dog is 6-8 months old. And it's not pretty! So, if you ask a breeder these things, and they don't want to answer, or they say they don't need to do health tests, then RUN AWAY!!!! They are not good breeders and they could be selling you a defective dog!

The pics used in this post are just random pics I found on Google and are for demonstrative purposes only. They were not used in this post with the intent to harass or embarrass the owners and/or photographers in any way.
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