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  • Writer's pictureDominion Chihuahua Club

Long to Smooth Coat Matings finally allowed in NZ

Earlier this year, the Dominion Chihuahua Club submitted a comprehensive report to Dogs New Zealand, supporting a change in the rules that meant NZ would no longer be one of only 3 countries in the world who did not allow matings between the long and smooth coat varieties of Chihuahua.

Genetically, Long and Smooth Coat Chihuahuas are separated by a single gene. To forbid inter-variety breeding, we argued, makes as much sense as ruling that Black, Yellow and Chocolate Labradors should not be interbred, because the one gene that determines coat colour makes them separate breeds. The UK Kennel Club clearly states that Long/Smooth matings are “inter-variety”, not “inter-breed” and Dogs NZ allows many “inter-variety” registrations within other breeds such as the Chinese Crested (Hairless and Powder Puff), Griffons (Smooth and Rough), GSD (Long, Stock), to name a few.

The decision to stop interbreeding, made in the 1970s, has decimated the Smooth Coat numbers in NZ as Long Coats have gained in popularity. As the below chart indicates, the drop in numbers has been precipitous. There are only a handful of registered breeders left in NZ actively breeding Smooth Coats. Many of them are in their 70s and 80s. Without the ability for upcoming Long Coat breeders to add Smooth Coats to their lines and breed them side-by-side, the Smooth Coat variety is likely to disappear from NZ completely within the next 5 years.

Because of our isolation and small population, the DNA pool of Chihuahuas in NZ is alarmingly and dangerously small. Changing this rule to allow the breeding of and import of progeny from Long/Smooth matings opens up, exponentially, the number of dogs available for import to NZ, as well as doubling the available NZ gene pool, overnight.

We are delighted, therefore, to announce that our recommendation has been accepted by Dogs NZ and that as of 1 January 2022, Long to Smooth matings in New Zealand will be permitted.

The new rule is as follows:

10.2 Chihuahuas.

A dog bred from solely from Long Coated parents will only be registered as a Long Coat,

but a dog bred from Smooth Coated parents will be registered as either coat variety.

10.2.1 The interbreeding of Long and Smooth Coat Chihuahuas will be approved for Registration purposes on either register for a period of ten years from the 1st January 2022. At the conclusion of this period this regulation will be reviewed

10.2.2 The registration of imported interbred Chihuahuas on either register is allowed.

10.2.3 Each individual progeny shall be registered as per “coat type”

10.2.4 Once a registration has been made on a Breed Register it cannot later be changed to

another Register irrespective of its coat at a later date.

We'd like to thank, Tanith Robb, in particular, for setting the wheels in motion, all those members who signed and submitted letters of support for this important step forward and the other NZ Chihuahua Clubs who supported our efforts. It's a great day when we can effect such an important change to improve the health of our breed.


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