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However, the British standard also states that a weight of 1.8–2.7 kg (4–6 lb) is preferred.
A clause stating that 'if two dogs are equally good in type, the more diminutive one is preferred' was removed in 2009.
Dogs of either coat type may be identified as either "apple head" or "deer head" Chihuahuas, particularly in the United States.
Apple heads have rounded heads, close-set eyes, and relatively short ears and legs.
It is probable that earlier ancestors were present prior to the Mayas as dogs approximating the Chihuahua are found in materials from the Great Pyramid of Cholula, predating 1530 and in the ruins of Chichen Itza on the Yucatán Peninsula.
In fact, wheeled dog toys representing the Chihuahua have been unearthed across Mesoamerica from Mexico to El Salvador.
The merle coat pattern, which appears mottled, is not traditionally considered part of the breed standard.
In a 1520 letter, Hernan Cortés wrote that the Aztecs raised and sold the little dogs as food.
Small dogs such as Chihuahuas were also used as living hot-water bottles during illness or injury.
The Kennel Club in the United Kingdom and the American Kennel Club in the United States recognize only two varieties of Chihuahua: the long coat, and the smooth coat, also referred to as longhaired and shorthaired. The term smooth coat does not mean that the hair is necessarily smooth, as the hair can range from having a velvet touch to a whiskery feeling.
Longhaired Chihuahuas are actually smoother to the touch, having soft, fine guard hairs and a downy undercoat, which gives them their fluffy appearance.