On October 15-16, 2022, I had the honor to judge the Chihuahua Club of America National Specialty in St. Louis, Missouri. The entry was amazing, with a total of 316 entries. I felt an enormous sense of responsibility (as well as excitement) and I knew the assignment would be challenging. It did not disappoint!
While judging, I was particularly looking at the entire dog when entering the ring for a graceful, swift-moving, compact, off-square, alert, small dog with a slightly arched neck that allowed for an uplifted head carriage and a level topline. During the table exam, I looked for an appledomed head, large ears set at a 45-degree angle in repose, large round eyes, a tight lip line, ample chest, an indented
stop, and strong pasterns. Moving to the side, I checked layback of shoulders, topline, and tail-set.
I was looking for a dog that was in proportion.
The two varieties are judged by the same standard, with the only difference being coat. Thus, it takes a little longer to judge the Long Coat variety, as one must feel the structure under the coat.
Overall, I was impressed with the entries. I was pleased with movement, type, and proportion. I did notice a slight number of incorrect bites and toplines as well as some incorrect ear-sets. I did find it necessary to use the scales. As long as a dog is six pounds or less there is not a preferred weight. However, a dog over six pounds in weight is a disqualification.
Oftentimes, my decisions were based on minute differences within the dogs, as I had so many lovely dogs to select from. With the depth of quality at this show, I only wished I could have awarded placements to other deserving entries.
I was very pleased to see Juniors and many younger people involved in showing Chihuahuas. It is wonderful for the breed to have these folks coming along for the future. Breeders and owners should be pleased and proud of their Chihuahuas and should continue to breed and strive for the best breeding programs. It is the presence of the desired traits that the Chihuahua standard calls for that creates breed type.
I want to thank the Chihuahua Club of America members and show committee for the honor of judging and for making it an enjoyable assignment. The entry was wonderful, the exhibitors were friendly, and the dogs were well trained. Also, my ring steward, Melissa Grueninger, was awesome.
She was organized, efficient, and assisted me every step of the way. Thank you again to all involved for this honor. It will be a memory I will always cherish.
2022 Chihuahua Club of America National Specialty – Judge’s Commentary
By Sharon Masnick