12 Things You Didn’t Know About The Chihuahua

You may be surprised that the crazy facts about the Chihuahua – like the fact they may have originated from China or a fox? Read below to find out more about this amazing breed!

#1 – Techichi

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the Techichi may be the predecessor of the Chihuahua. They were kept by the Toltecs and are believed to have been around prior to the Mayans, though no solid records exist pre-9th century.

Image source: @JamieMcCaffrey via Flickr
Image source: @JamieMcCaffrey via Flickr

#2 – They Only Come in One Size

The Chihuahua Club of America has an entire article dedicate to this “debate.” While small Chihuahuas are born, there is no recognized sizes of Chihuahua; they come in just one size and are classified as “toys.” The club is concerned that some may use  words such as teacup, pocket sized, tiny toy, etc., in order to charge a higher price for puppies. (http://www.chihuahuaclubofamerica.com/)

Image source: @AnthonyKelly via Flickr
Image source: @AnthonyKelly via Flickr

#3 – Christopher Columbus

Due to a letter found, it is thought that Christopher Columbus himself may have brought Chihuahuas to Europe. In a letter he wrote to the King of Spain, he speaks about a tiny dog. (www.akc.org)

Image source: @nathanmac87 via Flickr
Image source: @nathanmac87 via Flickr

#4 – Breed Snobs

Ever thought your Chihuahua seems to like other Chihuahuas and other breeds?  You are not going crazy – according to the AKC, “the Chihuahua is clannish, preferring companions of his own breed.” (www.akc.org)

Image source: @MsSaraKelly via Flickr
Image source: @MsSaraKelly via Flickr

#5 – Smallest Recognized Breed

The Chihuahua is the smallest breed of dog recognized by the AKC. According to their standard, they should not weigh more than six pounds. (www.akc.org)

Image source: @DaisyreeBakker via Flickr
Image source: @DaisyreeBakker via Flickr

#6 – Chinese Crested Influence

The modern Chihuahua is smaller than his ancestors and, according to the AKC, it is thought that cross-breeding with the Chinese Crested is what reduced the breed’s size. Other dispute this theory. (www.akc.org)

Image source: @DM via Flickr
Image source: @DM via Flickr

#7 – China?!

Believe it or not, there is a theory that the breed actually originated in China, and was then brought overseas. According to Animal Planet’s website, the thought is that Spanish traders brought them to the New World or they crossed the land bridge in the Bering Strait. Other’s dispute this theory. (www.animalplanet.com)

Image source: @josh via Flickr
Image source: @josh via Flickr

#8 – The Fox Theory

Another theory surrounding the Chihuahua is that they may have some relation to the Fennec Fox, a desert animal that is actually so unlink any other fox it was assigned a separate genus. On the other hand, the Chi and the Fennec have many common attributes including oversized ears, unusually large, luminous eyes and originally, similar feet.  The Fennec even prefers to live in groups of his own species, unlike other foxes, just as the Chi prefers other Chis.  (www.thedogplace.org)

Image source: @TambakoTheJaguar via Flickr
Image source: @TambakoTheJaguar via Flickr

#9 – Smallest Dog Living (height)

A female Chi named Milly holds the World Record for smallest dog living, standing at just 3.8 inches tall. The smallest cat recorded stands at 5.25 inches tall! Milly is owned by Vanesa Semler of Dorado, Puerto Rico. (www.guinessworldrecords.com) Watch a video of her here.

Image source: Guinness World Records
Image source: Guinness World Records

#10 – Smallest Dog Living (length)

Of course, the record holder for Smallest Dog Living (length) also goes to a Chi. Brandy measures just 6 inches from nose to the tip of her tail. She lives with owner Paulette Keller in Largo, Florida.

Image source: Guinness World Records
Image source: Guinness World Records

#11 – Death Dogs

Yes another legend, myth, theory, what have you, about the Chi comes from the Aztec religion. In their beliefs, yellow was the color of death. They saw the yellow Chis as the guide to the afterlife. Many were seen with cotton cords around their necks, to take the dead over the nine rivers to the land of the dead. They would even sacrifice them so they could precede their owners to the other side. It is believed this may be why General Santa Ana has a little yellow dog with him on the battlefield, complete with a cotton cord around his neck. (www.thedogplace.com)

Image source: @JoseAntonioTovar via Flickr
Image source: @JoseAntonioTovar via Flickr

#12 – Xavier Cugat

According to Animal Planet, the Chihuahua only gained popularity when Xaxier Cugat, “the rhumba king” was seen in public with one. It was then that they captured the hearts of Americans and quickly rose in popularity.

Image source: "Xavier Cugat (Gottlieb 10661)" by William P. Gottlieb - http://lcweb2.loc.gov/diglib/ihas/loc.natlib.gottlieb.10661/enlarge.html?page=1&section=ver01&size=1024&from=. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons
Image source: “Xavier Cugat (Gottlieb 10661)” by William P. Gottlieb – http://lcweb2.loc.gov/diglib/ihas/loc.natlib.gottlieb.10661/enlarge.html?page=1&section=ver01&size=1024&from=. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

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