How Important Is Your Dog’s Pedigree … Chihuahua, Yorkie, or Whatever?

I think the answer to the above question is:

  • EXTREMELY —  If you are entering your dog in the Westminster Dog Show.
  • PROBABLY —  If you are training your dog in agility, bird hunting, or some other specialized skill.
  • POSSIBLY —  If you are looking for a certain size and personality to suit your lifestyle and needs.

Most of the dog people I know are kinda like me and don’t place a lot of importance in pedigree. They just love and adore their dogs for who they are and for the added joy they bring to their lives.

But some folks are really hung up about pedigree. Take one of my friends. She has a highly bred dog we’ll call “Missy” that she brags about all the time and whose breed she obviously thinks is better than any other. Her dog is crazy hyper and super smart, and suits her mistress’s energetic personality perfectly, but I’m glad she’s my friend’s dog and not mine.  (For one thing, Missy kills cats … my friend proudly calls her a “critter gitter.”)

One of my five dogs is a tiny, long-haired Chihuahua, 9 months old now, who my friend can never resist making remarks about. Granted, most people who see Frida don’t know what she is — mostly because they’ve never seen a long-haired Chihuahua and didn’t even know such a breed existed. And Frida is, if I say so myself, rather unusual looking, as you can see here:

Frida taking on a tomato.

I don’t mind all these questions and comments about Frida, because everybody falls in love with her anyway, and of course she’s the proverbial cat’s meow in my book. But the other day my friend obviously just couldn’t hold back any longer and finally revealed her true level of discontent with Frida’s genetics. The comments started out mildly enough, but the truth finally came out. It went something like this:

“She so LIDDLE!” Frida is so LIDDLE!”

“Frida is so LOOOOONG. Gosh she’s SO LOOONG!”

“Those ears. They’re really big. They’re bigger than her head!”

“Frida could fly with those ears!”

“Um, do you really KNOW what Frida’s parents were? I mean are you sure they were really Chihuahuas?”

(Me:  “Yes, I know both parents. They both have short hair. One or two grandparents have long hair.”)

“Well, I mean, did any of the others LOOK like her?”

(Me: “Yes, the other female pup in the litter also had long hair. I know they are unusual looking, and I looked up long-haired Chihuahuas online when I got Frida and learned that the long-haired trait came from breeding Chihuahuas to Yorkies.)

“Oh. Yorkies. Those are terrible little dogs. Totally neurotic and crazy. The only dogs who have ever bitten at my Missy were a Chihuahua and a Yorkie!”

I guess we know where my friend stands on certain breeds, huh? Not that it matters. It was really kind of funny, and I guess it was bound to happen that she would finally let me know in one way or another her true opinion of my little long-haired Chihuahua.

Oh well. You can’t win ’em all. And only you can decide how important your dog’s pedigree is to you. Just remember, it takes all kinds . . .  including Chihuahuas and Yorkies!



Teeny Chihuahua or Teacup Coyote?

Chihuahua vs. Chiweenie

How to Keep Your Chihuahuas and Chiweenies Happy, Healthy, and Wise


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