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Size of the Chihuahua - History and Breeding Concerns... As Viewed By an Experienced and accomplished Author/Chihuahua Breeder/Exhibitor of Merit

Aug 2, 2011
Size ~ Tiny Chihuahuas are a very special breed of dog. The Chihuahua originated in ancient times, now carefully bred in the USA since before 1929. The Chihuahua size originally written by AKC was meant to stay 2-4 pounds, but American breeders tend towards a larger dog size for breeding & showing and pet purposes. In the UK the Chihuahua breed remains the size 2-4 pounds. In other popularized small dogs, there are size classifications. With the Chihuahua haled as the world's smallest breed, this was not yet possible. As a diminutive breed, often called "the king of the toys", the Chihuahua is especially close to it's owner and with a longer than normal life span, and the fact they are primarily indoor pets, Chihuahuas tend to become a true family member. The tinier ones tend to be more fragile and breakable. As if royalty, they have an exceptionally quiet demeanor. The term "teacup" is affectiately used by many American owners of the smalle version sized Chihuahuas.

The issue of Chihuahua size, and hence the term "teacup" has become much of an argument due to the fact American Chihuahua breeders raised the size in their AKC standard to the 4-6 pound range. Of course breeding larger Chihuahuas can even make them bigger than six pounds... Some of the size differential was possibly due to the interbreeding with other toy breeds to acquire the colors, markings and coat variations we see in our Chihuahuas today. The showing breeders tend to argue "there is no such thing as a Teacup Chihuahua". A favorite expression coined Dogs aren't dishes, reveleals some of the deviant marketing techniques of a few breeders of the larger show specimens, but aren't they? I'll get into symantic later....However the Chihuahua size range is so relatively vast amongst the dogs within the breed and since paperwork doesn't define the size, many dogs called a Chihuahua are just not that small, even show Chihuahuas. If you take a 2 pound Chihuahua dog and place a pet quality type Chihuahua dog that might weigh as well as up to twelve pounds,or more,you just do not have the same breed before you, yet both dogs could have easily had AKC paperwork in place. Some Chihuahua exhibitors showed a few Chihuahuas that exceeded six pounds, often excused,after the dog show judge "pulls the scales on them", but sometimes with the right handler and judge they finished their chihuahuas's championships,only making the size issue that much more ingrained as a problem, specific for the Chihuahua breed.

And having a "show breeder's" Chihuahua puppy does not clearly define the size that the mature Chihuahua dog will grow to. Many show breeders of Chihuahuas have used large females up to 14 pounders,make their Chihuahua champion breeding stock. Why is this so? Because the Chihuahua seems to reduce in size with the following generations depending on how it is bred. Therefore you can have a large Chihuahua that is actually over 6 pounds in many of the akc chihuahua pedigrees. This is the true problem with breed. Although it is possible, it is very difficult to go back wards in size, in Chihuahuas. A smaller female Chihuahua can have grave consequences if bred to a Chihuahua male with very large size. Simply having any registries paperwork in place does guarantee a breedable pair of dogs in the Chihuahua. Until the registries give sizes as they can colors in Chihuahuas pedigrees there will always be this problem in the Chihuahua breed.

The Chihuahua Club of America has published a "teacup statement " in the recent decade, which has been gladly manipulated for marketing by breeders of large Chihuahuas. Many of these breeders, with less than five years of breeding experience, no bloodlines expereince, other than what they purchased from someone, and not giving credit where credit is due to those Chihuahua breeders who actually know the "whole truth" about Chihuahua terminolgy.... Does one really need to creat a negative statement or web page to stop other's terminology, creating Internet FUD(Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) about any one who uses a term to decribe size? Why would anyone need a marketing term anyway, adorable Chihuahuas, even the larger ones, sell themselves? Semms to me that people have just gotten desperate to attack whoever gets in the way of them selling or giving away their large Chihuahuas? Isn't it about time we all got honest, instead of manipulative and hateful, about Chihuahua size with the public?

It's about time someone took the lead to discuss the other side of the coin and represent the thousands of people who have had tiny Chihuahuas,and loved them dearly, enough to the point they chose a colooquial, household word that described how delicate and precious they really are. Yes, they are definitely like fine china, and fine china is breakable. As far as semantics go, a dish or a doll was a woman in the fifties. Was a woman an actual dish? Was a complimentary term that I recall... I personally do not accept negative definitions of any sort in reagrds to describing the Chihuahua. Be ashamed! TheChihuahua is known as the smallest dog in the world!

Now back to how the Chihuahua is bred, as it pertains to size.
The general rule this author was told as a very young breeder, was "outcross for vigor, inbreed for size". Being that for the most part, the Chihuahua breed is a naturally healthy breed of dog, inbreeding close is not necessarily a great idea. Therefore a smarter way to breed a Chihuahua dog is to line breed the dog's bloodlines. This means you will need to be very watchful of the traits you want to strengthen, particularly by examing the grand parents and great grand parents of the pair that is being bred. Many Chihuahua show breeders have had an advantage,at this point, viewing some of these relatives at dogs shows. That doesn't mean that all the Chihuahua dogs in the show ring actually produced live puppies within the tiny size, either. Many Chihuahua show dogs had many bigger Chihuahua ancestors.

But many more breeders breed the Chihuahua blindly, in reference to size and heritage. Some breeders do not bother to obtain a pedigree on their breeding dogs. A good Chihuahua breeder will always know the pedigree of their dog before attempting to breed it. Having the pedigree doesn't replace actual knowledge of the size ranges of the dogs in it. Another problem related to size is the growth rate is variable amongst Chihuahuas. Even though the breeder can "chart out the weight ",of the Chihuahua puppy,as estimated weight at maturity, this never is a guarantee. The Chihuahua can grow in size, up to two years old, as is true of all breeds of dogs. This growth rate variablity can alo be seen in size at the pre-birth stage of life, another factor making Chihuahua breeding difficult. It has beeen the author's personal opinion that there is no way to predict size on a Chihuahua with so much variablity in genes, unless one carefully line breeds the dogs with every ounce of knowledge they can acquire of the size,for even up to seven generations.

As a breeder of nine generations from my own Anika's Chihuahua Bloodlines, respectfully, I view the Chihuahua size dilemma as pervasive and dangerous when choosing an Chihuahua outcross bloodline to mingle with my own Chihuahuas for breeding purposes. The size problem has resulted in Chihuahua breed acquiring the reputaion of being a c-section breed. Consistency and line breeding for size is the only way to prevent the problems we know related to Chihuahua size. And over my course of years in the Chihuahua breed, I must admit, I have made mistakes in outcrosses, and also had many sucesses. Truly the term teacup must have relevance when discusses the American bred Chihuahua, because to this author, when you have a continuum of size range from 2 pounds to 14 pounds, (and they are out there in the breeding world),it's like looking at a dog that is seven times bigger than the smaller dog. Just not fair to have both Chihuahuas in one size range. For me, Iat Anika-Chihuahuas, we chose to limit our Chihuahua bitches for breeding tt between four to six pounds, line breed and the resulting pups which go over six pounds, are never sold for breeding of any sort.re ever bred, never shown and never

Here's what this author did to control size. Taking three of four Chihuahuas related to top winning Chihuahua lines, related by a common grand sire of great grand sire, my Chihuahuas were line bred. In the begiin g There were atleast four diffenent sets of bloodlines to combine. The progeny were carefully outcrossed, with size in mind, to a few respected breeders. Then these dogs were as well line bred. I have been lucky for the most part. During my third generation of Anika's chihuahuas, I noticed a few additional c-sections. Many resulting extra small Chihuahua females were never bred or shown, but placed as pets. There were a few large dogs. Usually in a litter of four puppies, there would be one or two perfect in size range and color and conformation. Consistently using a small male Chihuahua stud does help some, but remember you need to know your Chihuahua's heritage, first and foremost, in great detail, especially the sizes. Breeding Chihuahuas is a little like grandma baking a pie, grandma just knew how, she had done it so often. But size is a great concern in the American Chihuahua , fondly called "teacup" by many Chihuahua owners, who have the luck to acquire a tiny beauty. Size can disqualify or even be deadly to live pups....Size is a concern for every breeder who wishes to stay within the Chihuahua Standard.

Anika's Chihuahuas Bloodlines has advice to the brand new breeder ,study study study. Do not fall prey to viscious gossip and use ignorance as bliss. Always learn all you can from the Chihuahua breeders that went before you and your Chihuahuas. large puppies can come from small parents, so you must know the hertiage of size in your breedings, to reach the goal, live puppies, great dogs free of birth defects, hopefully Chihuahua show dogs withing a good range of size and many more generations of your Chihuahua bloodlines for the future and those who will carry the torch for this wonderful, tiny and priceless breed of dog, the Chihuahua, none other can compare to. Carry on Chihuahua breeders. We need the size to stay small but functional, not the easiest job, it must balance with breedability with out compromizing the Chihuahua breed. Denigrating the smallest size by telling the public what termes they might use is a frivalous attempt to control a market which was boistered by the TACO BELL COMMERCIAL"S enhanced Chihuahua breed popularity in the 80's and 90's.
About the Author
Jacqui-Beth-Johnson is a Chihuahua-Enthusiast, Retired Breeder and founder of the Anika's-Chihuahuas-Bloodlines, which are found throughout the Chihuahua breeders pedigrees across America and in Europe and in the Chihuahua literature, both pet and show manuals, photograpgically dominating much of the Chihuahua-Books written in the last decade. Numerous Anika's Chihuahuas dominated the show ring and the breeder has quite a resume in the Chihuahua dog world, as is seen in the resume of the Anika-Chihuahuas-Bloodlines Established as a photo hobbyist, many of the Chihuahua dogs are now found on the world wide web as well.....on FACEBOOK. Chihuahua photography as a hobby in it's best form is seen in the adorable poses the Anika's chihuahuas have made for the camera...
Love and devotion are motivating factors in the writings of this respected and well known Chihuahua breeder, Chihuahua photgrapher, and now, Chihuahua writer. Featured in the book, Living with a Chihuahua, by Margaret Greening, in which Jacqui-Beth is quoted in coining the phrase term "Chihuahua-ized". "Have you been Chihuahua-ized?" And in 2011, an article on Chihuahua sizes was published pro bono for the reference book Chihuahua-Champions 2008-2010, Camino Books Inc. May 15, 2011, the article "In Defense of the Term Teacup, Debunking a Myth. (searchable on FACEBOOK). Jacqui-Beth has a Masters degree.
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