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Sunday, 23 March 2014


The Aztecs or Toltecs of ancient Mexico raised tiny dogs, thought to be the forebears of the chihuahua, to feed the large carnivores in the private zoos of the Aztec rulers.

It was believed by the ancient Aztecs that this chihuahua ancestor breed safely guided the human soul through the underworld, fighting off evil spirits. Sometimes one of these dogs was burned with a human corpse because it was believed that the human's sins could be transferred to the canine.

Christopher Columbus wrote a letter to the King of Spain referencing the tiny dogs. It's possible that he brought some chihuahuas back from his travels.

A progenitor of the breed was found in 1850 in old ruins near Casas Grandes in the Mexican state of Chihuahua from which the dog gets its name. The Chihuahua became popular in Mexico City in about 1895.

The smallest of the recognized dog breeds, the Chihuahua is 15 cm/10 inches high and may weigh only 1 kg/2.2 lb.

The world’s smallest dog (by length) is Heaven Sent Brandy. She is just six inches (15.2cm) from her nose to the tip of her tail and weighs 2lb (0.9kg). Brandy lives with her owner, Paulette Keller, in Florida.

The Chihuahua is also the breed of dog that usually lives the longest.  It can live anywhere between 11-18 years.

Relative to their bodies, Chihuahuas have the biggest brain in the dog world. They're easy to train, but not, however, easy to housebreak as a result of a tiny bladder and a willful personality.

Sources Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia © 1998,

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