Chihuahuas are small dogs but with big personalities. They have found their way into the dog lovers’ hearts throughout the world from Mexico to Manitoba. Chihuahua is one the most popular and oldest dog breeds in the United States. The American Kennel Club describes the Chihuahua dog as “charming, sassy and graceful”. We can do nothing but agree due to the beautiful and adorable nature of Chihuahuas. Chihuahuas are also famous as portable pets because of their tiny size. You can take it to them as a giant personality that is easily packed in a pint-sized carry-on. Their small size makes them a perfect companion for you during traveling. Don’t forget that the Chihuahua is a confident dog breed with a tendency to rule the roost.
If you want to know much more about the personality, history, and fun facts of Chihuahuas, this article can prove to be a treasure of information for you in this regard. So, don’t stop reading!
In this article, we discuss the origin and history of Chihuahuas in detail. According to animal experts, the history and origin of Chihuahuas are very old and interesting. The Chihuahua is named after the Mexican State of “Chihuahua” which shares the borders with Texas and New Mexico in the United States. Recently, it has been confirmed that the Chihuahua’s ancestors were from Chihuahua by DNA analysis.
Chihuahua is the faithful companion of man since the ancient days, but they were first noticed in the mid 19th century in the Chihuahua state of Mexico. They are typically alert and playful dogs with a weight of a few pounds and a height of few inches. The Mexican origin of Chihuahuas is confirmed by both archaeological and folklore finds.
Researches at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm analyzed the DNA samples of Chihuahuas to confirm the origin and history. They matched the DNA samples with archaeological specimens. The results were confirmed that the modern-day Chihuahuas share a DNA type with the pre-Colombian era dog samples collected from Mexico.
The findings of this research have also supported the connection between the origin and Chihuahuas to the Techichi (a desert dog that dates back to the Mayan times). According to the archaeological experts, the Toltecs civilization were the first people who domesticated the Techichi. They may have been further developed the breed with the crossbreeding the Techichi with a dog breed that populated the mountains of Chihuahua, called the Chihuahueno at that time.
When the Aztec people became the ruler of Mexico, they started keeping the Techichi as their companions and used them in religious ceremonies. This hypothesis is supported by the carvings found in Aztec temples and pyramids.
When explorers came to Mexico, it is believed that the Techichi was bred with the dog which they brought and the resulting specie was the Chihuahua that we have today. Several facts support this statement. For example, the variation of colors that can be found in the Chihuahua breed today is due to the breeding process we have discussed above.
This is a brief history of Chihuahua’s appearance. These dogs are now very much popular among dog lovers due to their cute appearance and friendly behavior.
What are some fun facts about Chihuahuas?
Chihuahua is a dog breed full of fun and joy. Chihuahuas are magnificent cute puppies for their owner. We are sure that you are also a Chihuahua lover. For this reason, we have decided to put together some really amazing fun facts about Chihuahuas which will help you in understanding this glorious little dog breed in a more easy way.
- The classification of Chihuahuas is a companion and a lapdog. They are a charming member of the toy breed group.
- By analyzing their DNA evidence, it has been confirmed that Chihuahuas were originated from the ancient Techichi dogs of Mexico.
- Chihuahuas are named after their native state of Mexico “Chihuahua”. This Mexican state shares its borders with many states of the United States.
- The weight of Chihuahuas is in the range of 3.3 to 6.5 pounds while their height is around about 5 inches.
- Due to the Chihuahua newborn’s extremely large head compared to his body, the Chihuahua has more Cesarean sections than any other dog breed. The dams’ width of most of the Chihuahua females is also very narrow due to which the chances of normal delivery are very low.
- According to research by the University of Georgia, there are three top reasons for death for the Chihuahua breed including trauma, infection, and cardiovascular disease.
- Chihuahua is considered the smallest of all purebred dogs. In 2014, a Chihuahua dog named Milly, was officially recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records due to her record 3.8 inches height.
- Since the Chihuahua breed is so tiny that it can also be described as “teacup” sized dogs. However, the word “tea-cup” is used as a marketing term, not as an official canine classification.
- Based on hair coat and length, the Chihuahuas have two official varieties, one with the smooth coat (short coat) and the second with the long coat (long-haired).
- The life expectancy of Chihuahuas is in the range of 14 to 18 years, which is also considered a long life span for canines.
- The Chihuahua is considered an exceptional pet in households that can offer attention and care to the family members. Although some of the Chihuahuas are shy and nervous, you can keep them with you as a companion.
- Chihuahuas are very friendly little dogs. They can get along with cats very well. They also behave well with other pet dogs and children. It is very important to adopt proper handling techniques to look after young toddler Chihuahuas.
- A Chihuahua puppy is always born with molera which is a soft spot on the top center of the skull, just like human babies. In some Chihuahuas, it remains intact all of their lives while in others, it disappears after 2-3 months of birth.
- The Chihuahua breed is well known for its variety of colors. You can find Chihuahua puppies in a hung range of colors, with markings or masks. Some Chihuahuas even hold 3 colors in their coat.
- Chi is the unofficial and beautiful nickname of Chihuahuas.
- To maintain good health, a Chihuahua needs to be exercised for 20-30 minutes daily. You should take them for at least one walk per day to keep them fit.
- Chihuahuas usually don’t suffer from phobias, unlike other dog breeds. For example, Chihuahua has no fear of being home alone, loud trafficking, and unknown dogs.
- Chihuahua has the largest sized brain when it comes to the brain to body size ratio in dog breeds. The large size of the brain in Chihuahuas is associated with their high capability of learning.
- This very tiny breed does amazingly well acting as service dogs.
What are Chihuahuas known for?
Chihuahuas are best known for their tiny size, natural tendency to shake and shiver, and round eyes. However there many other interesting facts about this toy dog breed for which it is popular among dog lovers, such as:
- Chihuahuas are portable pet dogs
Due to their small size, you can take them anywhere you want in a small package or open-air cage. For this reason, Chihuahuas are well-known for their portable nature. Chihuahuas are one of the most confident pet dogs due to which they don’t panic during traveling on a flight or bus. You can make your Chihuahua an enjoyable and easy travel companion with proper attention and training.
- Chihuahuas love accessories
Chihuahuas are also popular due to their love for accessories. As we have mentioned earlier, Chihuahuas have a natural tendency to tremble or shiver when cold. They also feel scared or excited according to the nature of the weather. So, you should dress your Chi according to the weather, particularly in cold or rainy weather. It is the perfect excuse for accessories. Chihuahuas love to wear all sorts of dresses and accessories according to the weather.
- They are small but mighty
Even though the Chihuahuas are tiny-sized, they can be full of energy. Chihuahuas are easy to exercise even in an indoor environment. They can be fantastic companion dogs if they are properly socialized and exercised.
- Always ready to learn
The strong learning capacity of the Chihuahuas makes them exceptional among all other pet dogs. They are always ready to learn something new. Chihuahuas thrive on positive reinforcement which can help in overcoming some common issues such as barking, aggression, and resource guarding.
Are Chihuahuas smart?
In this section, we are going to take a closer look at Chihuahua intelligence. Chihuahuas are considerably smart but not as smart as many other dog breeds. The Chihuahua’s ranking of obedience intelligence is below average in comparison with other pet dog breeds. However, they know about their intelligence.
As we have mentioned earlier, Chihuahuas have the biggest brain-to-body size ratio among all other dog breeds, but surprisingly, they are not top-ranked intelligence dogs. In 1994, Stanley Coren, who was a psychology professor, wrote the book “The Intelligence of Dogs”. He observed the intelligence of 199 dogs rank them from 1 to 138. The ranking was based on two key questions:
- In how many repetitions, a dog can learn a new command? (The intelligent dogs learn command in less repetition and faster)
- What is the success rate of a dog obeying on the first attempt a known command?
According to Coren’s ranking, Chihuahuas come in 125th position out of 138 breeds. This ranking has put them in the category of “fair intelligence”. Coren determined that Chihuahuas can learn a new command between 40-80 repetitions. The success rate of Chihuahua’s obeying on the first attempt at a known command was around 50%.
On the other hand, Border Collies is ranked 1st in Coren’s ranking which requires only 5 repetitions to learn a new command with a success rate of 95% in obeying a known command. It means Chihuahuas require about twice the time of the average dog to learn a new command.
The overall intelligence of Chihuahuas can be assessed by measuring the following types of intelligence:
- Instinctive intelligence
Instinctive intelligence is the intelligence the dog was bred for. For example, a gaming dog has instinctive intelligence for collecting birds during a hunt while a herding dog knows how to round up animals. In the case of Chihuahuas, instinctive intelligence is for ratter and guarding. They are also bred as companion dogs.
- Adaptive Intelligence
Adaptive Intelligence is a type of intelligence that a dog can learn to do something for himself. Different dogs can have different adaptive intelligence, no matter if their breed is the same. Chihuahuas also learn adaptive intelligence according to their environment.
- Obedience intelligence
Obedience intelligence covers all the things and commands which a dog learns from humans. For example in the case of Chihuahuas, humans instruct them different commands such as sit, paw or stay, etc. The Coren’s ranking was on the basis of obedience intelligence.
In short words, Chihuahuas are intelligent enough to learn all the necessary commands which makes them a perfect companion dog. So, you shouldn’t worry about the intelligence of your beloved Chihuahua.
In this article, we have discussed the history and some fun facts of Chihuahuas. They are tiny-sized, adorable, companion dogs that can also help you with different household tasks. Although their intelligence ranking lies below average, still they are eager to learn new things and command. Overall, Chihuahuas are fantastic little pet dogs.
Thank You very much for reading this article!