Chihuahua size, the chihuahua is the smallest breed recognized by some kennel clubs.
There are two varieties of Chihuahua – the Smooth Coat (smooth-haired) and the Long Coat (long-haired). The Kennel Club considers the two to be distinct breeds; mating between the two is not eligible for KC registration.
Both the Smooth and the Long Coats have their special attractions and are equally easy to keep clean and well-groomed.
The term smooth coat does not mean that the hair is necessarily smooth, as the hair can range from having a velvet touch to a whiskery feel. Longhaired Chihuahuas are actually smoother to the touch, having soft, fine guard hairs and a downy undercoat, which gives them their fluffy appearance. Unlike many long-haired breeds, longhaired Chihuahuas require no trimming and minimal grooming. Contrary to popular belief, the long-haired breed also typically sheds less than its shorthaired counterparts. Up to three or more years may be needed before a full longhaired coat develops.
Current breed standards defined by registries specify an “apple-head” or “apple-dome” skull conformation. Chihuahuas have large, round eyes and large, erect ears, set in a high, dramatically rounded skull. The stop is well defined, forming a nearly 90-degree angle where the muzzle meets the skull.
Breed standards for this dog do not generally specify a height; only a weight and a description of their overall proportions. Generally, the height ranges between 6 and 9 in (15 and 23 cm) however, some dogs grow as tall as 30 to 38 cm (12 to 15 in).
Both British and American breed standards state that a Chihuahua must not weigh more than 5.9 lb (2.7 kg) for confirmation.
However, the British standard also states that a weight of 4–6 lb (1.8–2.7 kg) is preferred. A clause stating. “if two dogs are equally good in type, the more diminutive one is preferred” was removed in 2009. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale standard calls for dogs ideally between 1.5 and 3.0 kg (3.3 and 6.6 lb), although smaller ones are acceptable in the show ring.
Pet Chihuahuas (that is, those bred or purchased as companions rather than show dogs) often range above these weights, even above 10 lb if they have large bone structures or are allowed to become overweight. This does not mean that they are not purebred Chihuahuas; they just do not meet the requirements to enter a conformation show. Oversized Chihuahuas are seen in some of the best, and worst, bloodlines. Chihuahuas do not breed true for size, and puppies from the same litter can mature in drastically different sizes from one another.
Also, larger breeding females are less likely to experience dystocia (obstructed labor). Many breeders try to breed Chihuahuas as small as possible, because of those marketed as “teacup” or “tiny teacup” command higher prices.
Chihuahuas occur in virtually any color combination, from solid to marked or splashed, allowing for colors from solid black to solid white, spotted, disabled, or a variety of other colors and patterns. Colors and patterns can combine and affect each other, resulting in a very high degree of variation. Common colors are fawn, red, cream, chocolate, brown, mixed, white, and black. No color or pattern is considered more valuable than another.