The Chihuahua is one of the more popular dog breeds in the world. This is not only because of their small and portable size, although this plays a huge role in their popularity, but also because of the spunk, valor and heart of the breed. Due to its popularity, you can see a lot of varieties of this particular breed and one of the factors that affect a dog owner’s choice is how the dog looks like. Colors, markings, patterns and hair length along with behavior and interaction are among the things that a potential owner may look at.
The Chihuahua comes in so many different colors but the most common and the standard colors are:
– black and tan
– fawn and white
– chocolate and tan
There are also any number of color combinations that these colors can come in. The American Kennel Club recognizes all the colors above and some of the combinations that these colors may result to in an animal, such as:
– black as the main color combined with either red, silver or white
– blue as the main color combined with either white or fawn
– chocolate as the main color combined with either white, blue or fawn
– white as the main color combined with either gold, red or silver
In many some rare cases, there are Chihuahuas which are a solid white or with the main colors gold or silver. These are very rare cases but they do occur randomly in the breed. As with other dog breeds, the Chihuahua usually maintains black noses and nails but some of the lighter colors often have noses and nails which are also light colored. Some of the lighter colored dogs are also called champagne or blonde. The same thing may happen to a dog with a dominant blue color; the nose, the nails, the pads on their feet and sometimes even their eye rims may be blue. There are some dogs that have a combination of three colors, called tricolors. The description of the color usually starts with the main color followed by the other two colors. Examples of tricolor Chihuahuas are the blue and tan with white and the black and tan with white.
Markings and Patterns
Aside from the colors, Chihuahuas are also known to have markings which are quite common to the breed. So the breed can come in a main color and have markings on its body. The more common markings which the AKC uses include, but are not limited to:
– Brindle: usually black streaks or stripes which occur on a lighter color that gives the dog’s coat a tiger like appearance. The brindling can be dominant while on some dogs, it is just on a some parts of its body.
– Mask: usually a darker color that appears prominently around the head or face of the dog. In some cases, the markings may also extend to its back and up to its tail.
– Sable; this marking usually happens when the dog is long-haired, although it can also happen to the short haired variety. The top coat is usually darker in color than the undercoat which gives the dog a two-tone appearance. In many cases, a single hair shaft exhibits the two tone marking instead of two different shafts.
– Merle is a pattern that resembles marbling on the coat of the dog. A direct result of a dog having a merle pattern is uniquely colored eyes.
– Spotted on White are marks on a white colored body. Some breeders call this splashed.
– Tricolor is a combination of three colors with the base or dominant color being brown or black. There are a lot of different variations to the tricolor. Most of the time, if there are white markings, these are located on the belly, chest or/ and feet.
Breeders often use other more common terms which can be associated with everyday items to describe patterns or color combinations on a dog. Examples of these include, but are not limited to, tuxedo, piebald, harlequin, patched and many others. The AKC is the standard on which Americans use to compare their dogs so most of the time, pure bred dogs are based on what the AKC describes or uses. Other countries or regions use other standards to base their dog’s qualities. On the other hand, pets or dogs which do not compete actively in shows can be described any way that the breeder may like.