Well historians believe that either the Maya tribe (1800BC to 900AD) or the Toltecs (900AD to 1150AD) were the first to domesticate a dog known as the Techichi, which is widely recognised to be the ancestor of the Chihuahua. The Techichi is a small-framed companion dog, and although roughly twice the size of the Chihuahua, shares many physical characteristics, but unlike the ‘Chi’, it is thought to have been mute and with only a long coat. Chihuahua coats come in two forms, long and short.
Others think that the Chihuahua was born from crossing a Techichi with a small hairless dog known as the Chinese Crested. A 1200-year old Maya figurine was unearthed of a woman holding a child in one hand and a small dog with Chihuahua-like features in the other. Either way, it’s ancestry goes way back, making it an ancient breed.
It is highly likely that the breed originated in Chihuahua, the largest of Mexico’s states, where in the mid 1800’s dog fanciers discovered remains of dogs that closely resembled the Chi. In the late 1800’s merchants sold small dogs to tourists who came over the border into Mexico, and so they found their way into America where they were known as Arizona dog, Texas dog, Mexico dog and of course Chihuahua dog. The latter standing the test of time and is now universally known as the Chihuahua.
Today the dear little Chi has found favour as a hugely popular companion dog; its popularity no doubt assisted by several film stars and celebrities such as Paris Hilton and Britney Spears who own the breed. With its dainty build and endearing looks, the Chihuahua is loved and admired by many, but it is also a feisty little dog who will protect his family and loved ones with a display of aggression that will ward off many a perceived threat. Chihuahuas also seem ready and willing to ‘take on’ much larger dogs if they feel threatened and no doubt many a mastiff or other large breed has slunk sheepishly away from the snapping teeth of this teacup warrior.