Chihuahua: Breed History & Origin

The mysterious and multifaceted history of the Chihuahua, as a separate breed, began in the distant past. There are several versions of the origin of the decorative dog. But the scientists agreed on one statement: this ancient American breed evolved naturally. Chihuahua can literally be called a purebred breed, since dogs of other breeds did not participate in its creation. What versions and legends exist about the history of the dog’s origin, you will learn from this article.

Different Versions

It is believed that the wolf is the progenitor of all dogs. The ancestor of the modern Chihuahua was a small species of the Mexican wolf Bailey. Mexicans call him “el lobo”.

According to the first version, the Chihuahua breed arose three thousand years ago, during the construction of the Egyptian pyramids. Accordingly, supporters of this version believe that the country of Egypt is the birthplace of the decorative breed of dogs.

Some scientists are inclined to believe that the progenitor of the Chihuahua of our day can be designated the big-eared fox – the Fennec Fox, which lives in the northern parts of Africa. She looks like a Chihuahua not only in small stature, but also with huge eyes and ears.

There is also an opinion that the history of the emergence of a decorative dog should be sought in the area of the island of Malta. It was there that dogs existed with the same feature as modern representatives of the Chihuahua breed – a fontanel that almost never overgrows.

Numerous studies have proven that the American Decorative Dog was the oldest breed of dog that evolved naturally, without the infusion of canine blood from other breeds.

Main Version

The main version says that the breed originated in the ancient land of the Toltec tribes, after which the dogs began to coexist with the Aztecs and the Maya people. It was this version that was taken as the basis for the origin of the dog.

Thanks to excavations in the vastness of Mexico today, scientists have found evidence of the residence of the Toltecs. The images of dogs on the stones of the Chulula pyramid confirm that they kept these small dogs and gave them the name Techichi. Modern representatives of the Chihuahua breed are very similar to the image of ancient dogs. A Franciscan monastery was built from these stones in 1500, which still exists today.

Also on the former lands belonging to the Maya, Inca, Aztec and Toltec tribes, figurines of clay dogs similar to our Chihuahuas were found. Apparently, these animals are the progenitors of the modern representatives of the Chihuahua breed.

The Aztecs, who defeated the Toltecs, took Techichi for themselves. Dogs began to be considered sacred, and only rich people could afford to have such a pet.

Throughout Mexico, scientists have found the remains of an ancient Techichi in the tombs of the nobility. This led them to believe that the ancients had a custom of burying rich people with their dogs. But about what exactly this custom is connected with, the opinions of archaeologists differ. Some believe that in this way wealthy people expressed their love and reverence for the dog. Others think that burying with animals is due to a sense of self-preservation. Perhaps the dog was sacrificed to the gods so that it would take all the sins of its owner with it.

In 1492, Christopher Columbus visited Cuba, where he met the tame representatives of the ancient breed. What he mentions in his descriptions of the trip to the island.

In the sixteenth century, the Spaniards came to the lands of the Aztecs. They began to use Techichi dogs as food, as a result of which the breed was on the verge of extinction. Records from those times indicate that a small number of small dogs escaped into the wilds of the jungle. Fleeing from people, the dogs eventually run wild.

The world noticed small dogs in 1890. The Mexican president was a huge fan of the singer Adelina Patti‘s talent. As a sign of respect, he presented her with a huge bouquet of flowers, in which he hid a decorative dog. People from secular circles appreciated the gift, which brought the Chihuahua immense fame.

In the eighteenth century, several representatives of a miniature breed were discovered near the ruins of a castle that belonged to Emperor Montezuma. They lived with the peasants in their homes. Then these dogs began to be found in other areas of Mexico.

Like modern Chihuahuas, dogs of those times were small in size, a non-growing fontanelle and huge eyes. There were also long toes on the legs. But the ancient dogs were notable for their lack of voice. And they all had a long coat.

Many scientists agree that the Chihuahuas of our time appeared as a result of crossing the Techichi with bald small dogs of the same breed, but from China. The Chinese version of the emergence of dogs of this breed has become very popular recently. The Chinese have always been famous for breeding small dogs. Perhaps it was they who sold the dogs to the Spaniards.

Popularity of Dogs

Over time, small dogs began to spread throughout America. Then they came to Europe thanks to curious tourists. They bought dogs on the Mexican border.

The exterior of the dogs was of two types:

  • smooth-haired;
  • long-haired.

For the first time, representatives of this breed appeared at an exhibition in 1884, which was held in Philadelphia.

The official part of the history of the decorative dog began in 1904. It was in this year that the first representative of the Chihuahua breed with a smooth wool, named Midget, was registered in the American Pedigree Book.

The first standard for this small breed was approved in 1923. In the same year, the American Kennel Chihuahua Club was created. The English Kennel Club was opened in 1949. The first nine dogs of this breed were recorded in the Book in 1954. The British and Americans have approved a second standard for the Chihuahua. Distinguishing between decorative dogs with long and short hair types began in 1956.

Switzerland registered the Chihuahua in their book in 1953. Germany did this in 1956.

On February 14, 1998, the FCI – the International Cynological Federation – approved the standard for the modern Chihuahua, designating it as an ornamental breed.

What version of the origin of the decorative breed do you know?

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