These dogs are named after the Mexican state of Chihuahua, where the breed was discovered in around 1850. Also, they are the smallest dogs in the world! Read on to know how these munchkins truly have one of the most impressive personalities in the dog world.
1. Descendents Of an Ancient Variety
Chihuahuas are believed to be the descendants of an ancient variety- the Techichi. Toltecs in Mexico kept them as lapdogs in the 9th century CE.
2. A Chihuahua Is Also The World’s Smallest Dog By Length
As per the Guinness World Records, while one Chihuahua Miracle Milly holds the title of being the world’s smallest dog by height, another Chihuahua is the world’s smallest dog by length; Heaven Sent Brandy is a long-coat female Chihuahua measuring only six inches (15.2 cm) from the tip of her nose to the back of her tail.
3. Was Publicized In Unusual Ways
The first Chihuahuas came to the United States in the early 19th century. The breed was introduced to the public in unusual ways; when opera singer Adelina Patti was given a Chihuahua concealed in a bouquet presented by the then President of Mexico in 1890, the dog was publicized. In the 1940s, American bandleader Xavier Cugat used to conduct with a Chihuahua under his arm.
4. Christopher Columbus Didn’t Only Discover America
Christopher Columbus had once written a letter to the King of Spain, referencing these dogs. Some believe that he brought some of these canines back from his travels.
5. Were Once Called ‘Arizona’ and ‘Texas’ Dogs
Prior to being known as the Chihuahuas, people named these dogs after the region where they were found. Thus the variety has been referred to as the ‘Arizona dog,’ ‘Texas dog’ and the ‘Chihuahua dog.’
6. Depictions Discovered In 300BC
The earliest depictions of Chihuahua were discovered on sculptures and pots dating back to the 300 BC. The dog later appeared in paintings like Two Venetian Ladies (1490) by Vittore Carpaccio, and The Trials and Calling of Moses (1482) by Sandro Botticelli.
7. May Have Been a Central American Indian delicacy
Some believe that Chihuahuas were a delicacy of the Central American Indians, while others think they had great religious significance.
8. The First Chihuahua Was Registered In 1904
In 1904, Hamilton Raynor of El Paso, Texas, registered the first Chihuahua, a long-coat male named Midget, with the American Kennel Club (AKC). This was the first time the club officially recognized the variety, marking a new era for the breed.
9. Earlier Version Was Larger
The earlier version of the dog was probably much larger; on being crossed with a smaller hairless dog from Asia, the breed shrank in size.
10. Their Weight and Height
They weigh only two pounds and are only seldom more than six pounds (1 to 3 kgs). Also, they stand about five inches high. In fact, the dogs are slightly longer than they are tall and have long tails that are carried over their backs.
11. Have a Domed Skull
The dogs have a domed skull. Usually, there is also a soft spot on the top of the head where the bones haven’t joined; this is called molera. Further, they have short and pointed muzzles and large prick ears. Their eyes are large and round.
12. Are Found in Two Coat Varieties
There are two coat varieties; smooth and short, and long and soft with fringed ears and legs.
13. Come in 30 Colors
Chihuahuas are found in 30 recognized colors. There also come in some combinations. While the American Kennel Club classifies both types as one breed, in the UK they are considered as separate breeds.
14. Pure White Is the Rarest Color
Pure white is the rarest color in Chihuahuas. Further, these dogs can have 11 recognized markings.
15. Great Companion Dogs
Chihuahuas are great companion dogs as they like attention and are loyal to owners.
16. Nice Family Pets
These dogs make nice family pets when treated respectfully but have a reputation of snapping at strangers or kids who may seem threatening to them. Also, even though they are lap dogs, they are not lazy and like to be kept occupied.
17. More Prone To Barking
They are more prone to barking than larger dogs. They are also generally temperamental and tend to dominate their owners.
18. Have a Clannish Nature
It is the only breed to exhibit a clannish nature; they prefer the company of other Chihuahuas over other breeds.
19. A Festival Is Dedicated To Them
Many cities celebrate the Chihuahua on Cinco de Mayo; it is celebrated more in the US than in Mexico. It is also observed in Chandler, Colorado, Arizona and Denver.
20. A Baseball Team Is Named After Them
The minor league baseball team, the El Paso Padres, held a naming contest in 2013. After getting more than 5,000 submissions, they chose the “El Paso Chihuahuas” as their new name. Their new logo is a growling Chihuahua wearing a spiked collar.
21. One of the Most Frequently Misspelled Words
If you face trouble in spelling the word Chihuahua, you are not alone; it was ranked as the single most difficult word for users in South Carolina and Arkansas to spell, as per a 2017 Google Trends map.
22. Long-haired Chihuahuas Shed Less
Surprisingly, a long-haired Chihuahua sheds less than one with a short coat. But these long-haired dogs need to be brushed every day to remove the dead hairs and to keep their coat from getting tangled.
23. Good Life Expectancy
These small, feisty, dogs have a life expectancy of up to 16 years.
24. Have Large Brains
These dogs have the largest brains of all dog varieties in terms of brain size in relation to body dimensions. However, that is not necessarily a good thing. Their fragile necks need to bear a lot of weight. Also, their small skull size tends to put pressure on their large brains.
25. Easy To Train
They are easy to train and quick-witted. Also, owners don’t need to worry about them housebreaking as they have a tiny bladder. They are also not that fond of the rain.
26. There Is a Search-and-Rescue Chihuahua Force
Japan’s police squad has a search-and-rescue Chihuahua force; in 2010, a six-pound long-coat Chihuahua named ‘Momo’ became the official police dog for the Nara police department in Japan. During search-and-rescue missions, Momo’s small size enables her to crawl through tight spaces and dense rubble.
27. Have Two Types Of Head Shapes
The breed is found in two varieties: the apple head and the deer head. An apple head Chihuahua has an apple shaded skull; it also has more prominent, close-set eyes, and shorter legs and ears. Deer head Chihuahuas have facial features resembling a young deer; longer muzzle and ears, more widely set eyes, flat-topped heads, and longer legs.
28. Mascot For Taco Bell
From 1993 to 2004, a Chihuahua named Gidget was Taco Bell’s mascot. The dog even went on to appear in Legally Blonde 2.
29. Celebrities Love Them
Madonna, Britney Spears, Demi Moore, Sharon Osborne, Reese Witherspoon, and Mickey Rourke are fond of these dogs.
30. Chihuahua Moms Usually Suffer From Dystocia
Usually, Chihuahua moms suffer from dystocia; they face difficulty while giving birth. A newborn’s large head and a mother’s small pelvis do not go well together. No wonder that Chihuahua moms have a high rate of Caesarean sections.
31. Often Have Dental Problems
As Chihuahuas have a small mouth, they often have dental problems like tooth decay, gum disease, and sometimes even more serious issues like a stroke. A diet that avoids sugar and carbohydrates and brushing their teeth regularly can help prevent these problems.
32. Erect Ears Is The Breed Standard
Their ears will start standing erect at the age of six months. If they do not, chances are they never will. Though floppy ears are not the breed standard, they are still purebred Chihuahuas.
33. One Of AKC’s Oldest Dog Breeds
The American Kennel Club was founded in 1885 and the variety was recognized as an official breed in 1904, making it one of the AKC’s oldest official dog breeds.
34. Anything But the Best
Though eligible since 1904, this breed has never won the title of ‘Best in Show’ at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
35. Fierce Is Their Second Name
Packs of wild Chihuahuas have been seen roaming in certain areas of the US like in an Arizona neighborhood; they would run around Maryvale, terrorize children and defecate freely. Sometimes, they even teamed up with larger dogs to harass the townsfolk.
36. Great Watchdogs
They are among the top ten watchdogs recommended by experts and are competent enough to participate in dog sports involving traits of obedience and agility.
37. Don’t Judge Them By Their Size
These little dogs have a reputation for being feisty, sassy, bossy, and noisy. It is important to be firm and let them know who the boss is or they will continue to rule.
38. Most Aggressive Towards Humans
One study found that these tiny creatures are one of the most aggressive dogs towards humans. So that this may not happen, owners are suggested to make them socialize with other people while they are still pups.
39. Curious Explorers
Chihuahuas are bold and curious explorers. They have been reported to have escaped from yards through small gaps in fences. They can easily squeeze through places that other dogs usually can’t.
40. Bear Caution Around Kids
These dogs are not recommended for homes with kids aged under eight as their fragile bodies might get injured by young children.
41. Terrier-like Demeanor
The Chihuahua is often described as being terrier-like because its confident and bold nature. Also, they are sensitive and thrive on companionship.
42. They Can Cure Asthma!
The belief that these dogs can cure asthma has been around since long. As asthma often subsides as children grow and since the Chihuahuas often live up to 15 years, the ‘cure’ could be attributed to these dogs.
43. Their Significance For Aztecs
The Aztecs believe that these dogs absorb a man’s sins while escorting him to the afterlife. They also think that, to protect their owners, these little munchkins have the ability to transfer diseases from humans to themselves.
44. They Shiver When Excited
Chihuahuas tend to shiver when they are excited, cold, or scared.
45. Probable Health Conditions
The dog’s ears can be prone to ear wax build-up and dry skin. They are small in size and have a thin coat, which means that they are prone to getting cold.
46. Easy Grooming Routine
Chihuahuas are wash-and-go dogs; grooming them takes only a few minutes every week. Brush them weekly with a rubber grooming mitt or a brush with short, natural bristles for a short-haired Chihuahua and a pin brush for a long-haired Chihuahua. A fine-toothed flea comb will help remove dead or loose hair.
47. Recommended Daily Nutrition
Their recommended daily amount of nutrition is 1/4 to 1/2 cups of high-quality dry food a day. Though how much an adult dog eats will depend on its size, age, metabolism, build, and activity level.
48. They Are Snazzy Dressers
Chihuahuas sure know how to wear an outfit. Whether they wear a jaunty cap or elaborate costumes, these adorable dogs look cuter than ever when dressing up!
49. Was the First Dog to Dine at the House of Commons
As per the British Chihuahua Club, the first dog to have dined at the British House of Commons was a Chihuahua. The pup, Rozavel Miguel, sported a green jersey and diamond-encrusted collar for the annual British Mexican Society dinner held in 1952.
50. Commonality Between Humans and Chihuahuas
Chihuahuas and humans have the same number one cause of death; cardiovascular diseases, as stated by a comprehensive twenty-year study at the University of Georgia. Exercise, a good diet, and regular visits to the veterinarian will ensure your dog’s long, healthy life.
51. Daily Exercise Requirement
Chihuahuas need 20 to 30 minutes of exercise every day and can go for way longer than you expect.
52. Don’t Let Them Wander Off Outside
As much as they might enjoy playing outdoors, keep your Chihuahuas indoors as they are not safe from birds of prey such as hawks, coyotes, or other larger dogs that could get in your yard.
53. Chihuahua Gene-Related Trivia
If two smooth-coated Chihuahuas have the hidden long-coat gene, they can produce a long-coat puppy. As the long-coat gene is recessive, any two long-coat Chihuahuas cannot produce a smooth-coat pup.
54. Have Been Featured in Movies and TV Shows
A Chihuahua first appeared on the big screen in the 1955 animated movie ‘Lady and Trump.’ Since then, the breed has appeared in dozens of TV shows and movies, including The Ren & Stimpy Show, Phineas and Ferb, Oliver & Company, Legally Blonde, Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde, Beverley Hills Chihuahua, Beverley Hills Chihuahua 2, Beverley Hills Chihuahua 3: Viva La Fiesta!, among others.