Reflections on the breed: Chihuahua , Chiwawa, chiwi, the protochihuahua ...rinside... and so on and so forth
By: A. P. Photos: Di Rio Galeria & Music Velvet chihuahuas
I have stolen the definition Protochihuahua from an important breeder because, I confess, I found it a complete and exhaustive one to summarize in one word, surely a neologism, the impasse condition where the breed that I love and breed is. The landscape that surrounds this wonderful and ancient breed is studded with funny obscenity, obscene for various reasons but not always funny.

If you think of Chihuahuas in a serious way and, by breeding them, you try, if not to improve them, at least not to make them any worse (in the humble attempt to keep them as they are), you immediately get rid of the term "funny", dying in a bitter smile, at times compassionate.

Experts in various ways, know it alls, last minute breeders, maybe cheaters but surely lacking knowledge, they pretend to be shining, deep connoisseurs of the breed, shamelessly proposing sujective public standards of hypertypical Chihuahuas with apple heads (while another appellative regarding the shape of these experts' head crosses my mind), short legged and short coated Chihuahuas (probably they totally miss the difference between short coat and smooth coat, just as an example of their "expertise").

Also, the landscape is: puppies offered by weight and, talking about Chihuahuas, in this case it is hectograms; young babies photographed at 50 days of age and shown as puppies of three months of age; unhealthy, rachitic puppies offered as precious miniatures; specimens lacking breed type (neither hypertype nor hypotype represent what is typical, that is, correct type). They "even" offer these puppies for sale microchipped and fully vaccinated: I should say, well, God forbid, this is the very least to do.

Now, I don't believe that it is sufficient to mate two dogs belonging to the same breed ( or "protobreed" ) to be considered breeders, when, sometimes, even pedigree is an optional. I don't believe it is sufficient to microchip puppies, register them with the town canine registry, make the health prevention like vaccinate the puppies (sometimes just one vaccine...because a penny saved is a penny earned) to be called breeders.



Puppies born from unselected breedings first and then badly raised, sold at sixty days of age (even if the Italian Kennel Club, E.N.C.I., allows breeders to let their puppies go at 60 days of age, no serious breeder does), puppies snatched from their mother at a delicate time of their life during the learning phase when the new owner rarely knows how to substitute the mother in her teaching role, those puppies increase the series of Chihuahuas known and unjustly and too often defined as a bad tempered, vicious and foolishly hyper-reactive breed: if the sins of the fathers upon the children will fall, then the sins of "backyard breeders" will fall upon the dogs.

The Chihuahua is not like this, it is something very different. It is a sweet, proud and undaunted lion, it is a lovely joker but never without dignity, it's a great talker of the "canine language" with many expressive argumentations, surely territorial, reactive but not deranged, as fast and alert as a fox to the call of its ancestral heritage.

On the other side, when I reflect on the serious breeders landscape, the one that should always run away from the commercial level being there exclusively for the good of a breed and making serious selection, the one that sees a breeder attending dog shows and compare his/her own dogs to those belonging to other breeders, I think that way too often it is all about competition: too many are there to win and very few to learn. Dog shows are animal testing and they let each one of us, if we watch with the right eyes, learn and understand where the path we are following needs correcting and, not to be underrated, dog shows allow us to see good dogs and not so good ones, exercising our eyes to a technical evaluation of our specimens.

Surely, we need a bit more respect and, maybe, more depth of study subsequently applied to the field of daily experience; maybe we need less talking and less gossiping about this or that person.




Between a chat and the other, a whispered slander and an unsaid one, between a ringside quarrel and the other, then let's remeber there are our Chihuahuas and being serious breeders our efforts should be focused on them. Maybe, by forgetting some "ad personam" and by re-focusing attention on the dog, maybe it all may take different paths with opportunities for improvement, maybe for people, surely for dogs.