The Teacup Dog – Chihuahua
The Chihuahua, classified in the toy group, is well-known for its small size and its association with Mexican culture. The Chihuahua breed comes in a variety of sizes and is considered to be the smallest breed of dog; some Chihuahuas may be as small as six inches at the shoulders.
A brief history of the Chihuahua
The exact history of the Chihuahua breed is something of a mystery. There are many different theories, myths and legends which surround the true origin of this Mexican-based breed. Some archeological research has discovered evidence that Chihuahuas originated in Mexico, which is a commonly accepted theory. The most common theory about their origin is that the breed is descended from the Teichichi, which was a companion dog highly favored by the ancient Mexican Toltec civilization. It is believed that written and artistic records of Chihuahuas date at least as far back as the 12th century, although historians disagree on whether or not these records–which are often in the form of paintings on clay pots and tiles–are depicting Chihuahuas or the Teichichi breed. Some evidence suggests that Chihuahuas were bred in Mexico as early as 100 A.D.; a dog toy found in Veracruz, Mexico, for example, depicts a dog which is physically identical to the modern Chihuahua.
The Chihuahua typically grows to be about 6 to 10 inches in height at the shoulder, although some Chihuahua dogs may grow as big as 12 to 15 inches at the shoulder. Most dogs of this breed weight between three and six pounds, although this weight is more typical in show dogs rather than in house companions. Although breeders often label their Chihuahuas as “teacup,” “miniature,” or “standard,” these are not officially recognized terms and are usually used as marketing gimmicks to make the dog more desirable.
Chihuahua dogs may have long or short hair and come in a wide range of different colors, including solid colors, marked colors, and mixed colors. The most well-known color, made popular by the famous “Taco Bell Chihuahua,” is a nearly solid tan or beige color. Other colors include red, cream white, brown, snow white, and black.
Personality wise, Chihuahuas are well known for their potentially poor temperaments. Because this breed is prone to aggression and overprotective tendencies, it is important for owners to know how to train and socialize Chihuahuas to reduce these tendencies. The breed tends to become very attached to one or two people, which can make them difficult to manage in homes with multiple family members or children. They are not suitable for homes with small children or with children who are not calm or patient, as they can become easily spooked which may lead to defensive aggression.
Did you know? Trivia
- Chihuahuas are prone to epilepsy and other related seizure disorders.
- Chihuahuas are born with an incomplete skull which has a soft spot that typically fills in when they are six months old.
- Chihuahua’s frequently tremble when they are cold, excited or stressed.