The history of chihuahuas is actually quite interesting, or better yet, the lack of knowledge about it.
By: Queen D
Chihuahuas are definitely one of the most popular breeds of dogs today.
You can find them everywhere around the world, whether it be in a celebrity’s ridiculous purse, or just walking alongside their owner.
Of course, that isn’t a surprise as they are very dependable animals and have tons of personality. But what about their roots?
It’s very likely that all you know about the origins of your chihuahua is maybe its parents or who bred it.
For most people, that’s as far as they learned about the origin of chihuahuas.
Modern-Day Dog Breeds
Chihuahuas are amongst the many modern-day dog breeds whose origins are still a mystery up to this day.
Chihuahuas are mostly known to have Mexican roots, in the state Chihuahua in Mexico( interesting isn’t it).
You would find many historians agree with that.
Some believe that the origin of these adorable dogs dates as far back to the time of the Aztec and Toltec civilizations.
There are multiple theories that historians have developed about the history of our beloved chihuahuas that we’re going to explore, despite there being no conclusive answer.
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Chihuahua, the Mexican State
The biggest state in Mexico surprisingly may be where one of the smallest dog breeds originated from.
It is thought that the Toltecs, who were a civilization located in Mexico from about the 10th to 12th century, are the breeders of Chihuahuas.
It is commonly believed that Chihuahua’s are evolved from a breed called the Techichi, who may have mixed with a canine species from overseas producing Chihuahuas.
In the middle of the 1800s is when Americans started to take in interest in this wonderful breed.
Americans would find that Chihuahua, the Mexican state, had a lot of chihuahuas thus earning them the breed the name Chihuahua.
Chihuahuas and their History with Foxes
I know you must be wondering why and how in the world these two very different animals can be related.
However, some believe there is a chance they might actually be. If you take the time to look, you might find that chihuahuas and foxes have a number of similarities.
In particular, Fennec foxes. If you look them up right now, you should, it will make what I just said much much more believable.
You’ll see that these animals are fairly similar in behavior and physical features.
Both animals are fairly small in size, and they both like being around others of the same species.
It is noted too that in 1980, a fennec fox and the Chihuahua actually successfully crossbred, producing a hybrid.
The Reasons Why Chihuahuas were Bred
Nowadays, you would find chihuahuas just lounging around in homes, opposed to running outside in the yard.
Chihuahuas are dogs that are known for being really good lap dogs, as they are typically not very energetic, that’s why you tend to see them being carried outside in someone’s arm or an adorable bag.
However, the likely dearly relative of chihuahuas, the Techichi, purpose wasn’t to relax the whole day, instead, they were tasked with more unusual and surprising jobs.
Sacrificial and Religious Purposes
For most, the purpose of their chihuahua is just companionship and love.
Evidence, sadly suggests though the early descendants of the chihuahua, the techichi, were sacrificed by the Toltecs during their sacred practices.
To add, other evidence suggests that both the ancient Toltecs and ancient Aztecs thought that the tiny animals would guide the soul of their dead loved ones to the underworld.
Due to this, the techichi would be buried next to the bodies.
It may seem that the early descendants of the chihuahua were treated poorly but it’s actually the opposite.
The dogs were treated extremely well and taken for off since they were considered sacred animals.
Due to the dog’s roles in religious ceremonies, they were one of the most popular and wanted dogs in ancient Mexico.
Chihuahuas for Food Purposes
It pains me to say there was a time that chihuahuas were once viewed as food.
Thankfully most of the world has banned the consumption of dogs.
Some parts of the world still allow for dogs to be consumed like South Korea and other Asian countries, but the custom in these lands is often something people don’t like to envision or even acknowledge.
Not just that, even in the time of the Ancient Mayans and Toltecs, around 1500, would the techichi be bred for food.
It can be a little bit difficult to understand why our dearly loved chis would be eaten, especially by the ancient tribes that believed chihuahuas to be sacred pets, but it is possible their consumption was somewhat last measures to combat food shortages according to researchers.
However, no conclusive evidence has been discovered to prove the reason why the early descendants of chihuahua were consumed.
Chihuahuas Bred for Companions
In 1904 the chihuahua breed was registered by the AKC by a Texan, from then on, Chihuahuas were known as Firm Companion Dogs.
Despite being part of their religious ceremonies and being eaten, chihuahuas were a very populous animal for the ancient Toltecs and you could often find them part of a Toltec family household.
And after all these years, chihuahua still remains one of the most common and favored dog companions.
The dog’s personalities were favorable back then and still are now, making them a perfect family addition, no matter the year.
Not to mention, that Toltecs lived in fairly small homes despite the city being very populated. The tiny, calm Techichi had fitted in perfectly into their homes.
It is somewhat like how chihuahuas are favorable apartment dogs.
Despite being the world’s smallest dog breed and having a pretty blurry history, chihuahuas are among the most popular dog breeds for companionship, yet their small size doesn’t allow them to do much else.
Regardless of whatever chihuahua’s purposes were over the years, the wonderful dog has been loved by many for a very, very long time and it has every reason to be.