What every judge must know about Chihuahuas in order to understand and judge them correctly. Why must a Chihuahua move quickly? and constantly! Why is he programmed to fear overhead movement and why does he “pancake”?
1. WHAT IS THE SINGLE BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION ABOUT YOUR BREED?
That Chihuahuas are delicate and need to be pampered.
2. WHAT IS THE CHIHUAHUA’S MOST DEFINING PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTIC?
The head. Any other dogs with that apple shaped head are genetically linked to the Chihuahua (as so many breeds are) but without exception, the ChiChi head, including molera and open topskull, is absolutely unique in all of dogdom. Other breeds have large, round eyes but none have that short little button nose and softly luminous eyes that gives the Chihuahua that one-of-a-kind baby doll expression.
3. WHICH BEHAVIORAL CHARACTERISTIC MOST TYPIFIES THE CHIHUAHUA?
Their ridiculously fearless attitude with other dogs large or small, the “terrier-like qualities.” Okay, terriers are like that but they are not in a tiny little Chihuahua body.
4. WHAT IS THE MOST COMMON JUDGING MISTAKE IN CHIHUAHUAS?
Beginning the exam with the hand held higher than the dog’s head. No dog likes that approach but in one that can be snatched up by a hawk, it stimulates the inherent instinct to duck down from anything “flying” overhead. Approach the table with hand held low, palm up, and rest your hand next to the dog for an instant so that he can see what it is.
The handler often has the dog strung up or bait shoved in the mouth so he doesn’t recognize the thing hovering over him as a friendly hand.
5. WOULD YOU PREFER THE BREED BE JUDGED STANDING OR MOVING?
Moving. Again, too many handlers have not read the standard and don’t realize the critical importance of a survival skill like “alert, swift-moving” so they want the dog to stand perfectly still and bait like a statue. You can’t evaluate the static Chihuahua any more than the breed could have survived without being programmed for constant motion. And the soundness to evade an eagle’s claws or landing in the cooking pot!
6. WHAT COSMETIC ALTERATIONS SHOULD JUDGES KNOW ABOUT?
I don’t know of any that really pertain to this breed. Tail carriage has a lot of latitude, dentition isn’t the end of the world in any toy breed, and any colour is correct in the Chihuahua so there is no incentive to alter anything.
Extreme heads. Eye-catching exaggerated heads. Having said that, what should be of the most concern is to STOP IT before we destroy the breed. The tiny button (called a nose) stuck on a paper plate profile that contains dangerously large eyes mounted on a misshapen topskull should be of great concern to judges as well as breeders.
8. WHAT IS THE MOST ENDEARING QUALITY OF YOUR BREED?
Although they are the most “pack oriented” breed I know, the Chihuahua will forsake the company of any dog, any time, under any circumstance in order to be in a human lap.
9. WHAT ARE THE THREE WORDS THAT BEST DESCRIBE THE CHIHUAHUA?
Most Ancient Lapdog