CHIHUAHUA! 5 Incredible Facts About CHIHUAHUA
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Today we are going all in and looking at one of the world's most famous handbag dogs, that is the Chihuahua! They are deceitful in size to many including themselves, and today we’ll uncover why that is, where they come from and a controversial coat colour to give you five amazing facts about this small dog!
From the land of tacos and tequila… also comes the Chihuahua. That’s right, this tiny dog hails from Mexico where they have been praised for their tiny features and cuteness. Thanks to archaeologist finds and local mexican folk tales, there is a belief that this breed is a descendant of a dog from ancient times when a community in Mexico called the Toltec kept similar looking dogs called Techichi. This is also backed up from dog burials which dated back to 300 BC- over 2000 years ago!!
The first records of the modern Chihuahua date back to the 1800's when some entrepreneurial Mexicans started to sell them to tourists who were visiting their country of Mexico. They were especially popular with ladies who wanted a tiny dog companion and still are to this day with all people.
In 1948, a Texas Senator wanted to make the Chihuahua the official state dog as he was such a fan of the breed- he wanted to pass a state legislation and his argument was that whilst they came from Mexico so did Texas!
As the dog hails from Mexico, there has to be a story involved as to how it became a globally known dog. And why not include one of the most famous voyagers we historically know?! It is thought that Christopher Columbus was the one who introduced this breed into Europe. Their route to Europe is unclear but experts believe that Christopher wrote to the King of Spain referencing these tiny dogs and it was then possible that these were taken over following this exchange after his travels. However some believe they existed in Spain and Malta before Christopher’s travels across the Atlantic… a mystery to all!
They come with either a smooth coat or a long coat and in many many colours!! I won’t name them all for you now as there are over 35 colours but there is one colour in particular which is rather controversial and that is the colour Merle (known as dapple in other breeds).
Merle is a gene modifier so it doesn't just affect the coat colour but the skin pigment and sometimes the eye colour too. Unfortunately, the Merle gene modifier causes many health issues. Merle Chihuahuas are more likely to be born with and develop hearing and vision problems which don’t get better as they grow. As their skin pigmentation is light, they’re also more susceptible to sunburns and because of this it’s easier for them to develop skin cancer.
There is a debate as to how long the Merle Chihuahua has existed but some believe it traces back to the 1940s as there are no records of that before. Up until 2010, the Merle Chihuahua was considered purebred however in June 2010, the UK Kennel Club and the Canadian Kennel Club stopped recognising them as purebred so they will no longer be registered with these groups, however they will be registered still with the American Kennel Club.
Big dog in a small body
At the beginning of this video, I said how these dogs were deceitful in size to themselves and others… This is because they are a whole lot of dog in a very small body. The Chihuahua is quite a feisty dog despite it’s petite build. They are not "snappy",however, but rather spirited and highly intelligent which are just some of the reasons why they have remained such popular companion dogs.
By nature, the Chihuahua can be wary and cautious, but once they get to know someone, they are normally fine around them. Their self-preservation trait makes them able to size up any person or situation making them act bigger than they are! If they’re not trained well from a young age and handled well, they can become dominant and harder to manage with unruly behaviour. It’s advised to not let them get too spoilt otherwise they will become very defensive and protective over their owners in particular.
The smallest dog in the world
The final fact to round this video is a world record breaking one… It is the Chihuahua who currently takes the title as ‘Smallest Dog in the world’! This small dog is called Milly lives in Dorado, Puerto Rico, and measures only 9.65 cm (3.8 in) tall.
A tiny dog but a big personality and in no way a lap dog. The Chihuahua is a popular dog all over the world and it’s easy to see why this loveable feisty dog has made it into the homes of so many, whether or not Christipher Columus had anything to do with it, we’ll never know!