Chihuahua Breed Standard: Comparison of then and now

  Official standard adopted by AKC on April 14, 1943 Official standard adopted by AKC on October 30, 1990
Head A well rounded "Apple Dome" skull, with or without molera. A well rounded "apple dome" skull, with or without molera.
Expression Saucy Saucy
Nose and Muzzle Moderatly short, slightly pointed (self colored, in blond types or black) In moles, blues, and chocolates they are self-colored. In blond types, pink nose permissible. Cheeks and jaws lean. Moderately short, slightly pointed. Self-colored in blond types, or black. In moles, blues, and chocolates, they are self-colored. In blond types, pink nose permissible. Cheeks and jaws lean.
Ears Large, held erect when alert, but flaring at the sides at an angle of 45 degrees when in repose. This gives breadth between the 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.
Eyes Full but not protruding, balanced, set well apart, dark, ruby, or luminous. (Light eyes in blond types permissible.) Full, but not protruding, balanced, set well apart-luminous dark or luminous ruby. (Light eyes in blond or white-colored dogs permissible.)
Teeth/Bite Level Level or scissors. Overshot or undershot bite, or any distortion of the bite or jaw, should be penalized as a serious fault.
Neck Slightly arched, gracefully sloping into lean shoulders.

Slightly arched, gracefully sloping into lean shoulders.

Shoulders Lean, sloping into a slightly broadening support above straight forelegs that are 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, plenty of brisket. 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.
Back and Body Level back, slightly longer then height. Shorter backs desired in males. Ribs rounded, (but not too much "barrel-shaped"). Topline Level.
Body Ribs rounded and well sprung (but not too much "barrel-shaped").
Hindquarters Muscular with hocks well apart, neither out nor in, well let down with firm sturdy action. Muscular, with hocks well apart, neither out nor in, well let down, firm and sturdy. The feet are as in front.
Tail Moderately long, carried cycle either up or out, or in a loop over the back, with tip just touching the back (never tucked under). 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.)
Addressing the subject of a natural Bob-tail A natural bob-tail permissible, if so born, and not against a good dog Disqualification
Feet Small, with toes well split up, but not spread, pads cushioned, with fine pasterns. (Neither the "Hare" nor the "cat" foot.) A dainty small food with nails moderatly long. A small, dainty foot with toes well split up but not spread, pads cushioned. (Neither the hare nor the cat foot.) Pasterns: Fine.
Coat on Smooth Coat In the smooth coat, the coat should be soft texture, close and glossy. (Heavier coats with undercoats permissable.) Coat placed well over body with ruff on the neck and more scanty on head and ears. Hair on tail in harmony with the coat of the body, preferred furry. May be smooth in the very short types, or with ruff about neck preferred. 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.
Coat on Long Coat In Long Coats, the coat should be of a soft texture, either flat or slightly curly, with undercoat preferred. Ears fringed, feathering on feet and legs, and pants on hind legs. Large ruff on neck, preferred. Tail full and long. (Heavily fringed ears may be tipped slightly, Never down).

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.

Temperment not directly addressed Alert, with terrier-like qualities.
Gait Not directly addressed 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.
Color Any color -solid, marked or splashed Any color-Solid, marked or splashed.
Weight One to six pounds, with two to four preferable, if two dogs are equally good in type, the more diminutive is preferred A well balanced little dog not to exceed 6 pounds.
Proportions not directly addressed 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.
General Appearence A graceful, alert, swift moving little dog with saucy expression. Compact, and with terrier like qualities. A graceful, alert, swift-moving little dog with saucy expression, compact, and with terrier-like qualities of temperament.
Disqualifications Broken down or cropped ears.
Cropped tails.
In long coats, too think coat that resembles bareness
Any dog over 6 pounds in weight.
Broken down or cropped ears.
Cropped tail, bobtail.
In Long Coats, too thin coat that resembles bareness.



Examples of the chihuahuas of the 50's and 60's

Hillcrest Toys Nikomachos 1978

The chihuahua has come a long way since the 50's and 60's. All of the dogs on the left are ancestors of Hillcrest Toys Nikomachos, which was our foundation male and the fore-founder of all of our chihuahuas including Tito.

Example of the chihuahua now
Ch. Tejano Texas Kid*"the foremost Best In Show Chihuahua of all time with 15 all-breed wins. Shown in the mid-1950's and owned by Mr. and Mrs. Bob Roberts of San Antonio, TX. and handled by Clara Alford"


Tito 2002

Can. Am. Ber. Mex. Ch. Brecon's Individualist "Group and Best in Show winner and sire of many champions, pictured at his win of the Smooth Coat Variety at Westminister in 1966 under judge Haskell Schuffman, with Lorraine Heichel handling. Owned by Sandra Nelles, Brecon Kennels, Unionville, Ontario,Canada."
Ch Luce's Little Flash "was a steady winner and sire. Was owned by Mrs. Rozel G. Luce of Kennedy, NY." His sister Ch. Luce's Flash-E-Gayla took Best of Variety at Westminister in 1961.
Ch. Luce's Little Flash's sister, Ch. Luce's Flash-E-Gayla, who took Best of Variety at Westminister in 1961.



The information on the chihuahua breed standard from the 40's is from "The Complete Chihuahua" by Milo G. Denlinger. Copyright 1947 reprinted with new material in 1950. Published by the Denlinger's- Silver Spring, Maryland. The information on the current breed standard is from the AKC website official chihuahua breed standard.
Photos and information on Ch. Tejano Texas Kid, Canadian American Bermudian Mexican Ch. Brecon's Individualist, Ch. Luce's Little Flash, and Ch. Luce's Flash-E-Gayla, were found in "The Complete Chihuahua" 1973, published by Howell Book House Inc. of NewYork. Written by Rosina Casselli, Milo Denlinger, Elsworth Howell, Rev. Russell E. Kauffman, Dr. A.C. Merrick, Mrs. Anna B. Vinyard, and James Watson.