The origins of the Chihuahua are unclear although he has taken his name from the State of Chihuahua in Mexico from where the dogs who are behind the breed were taken up in the middle of the 19th century and gradually developed into the Chihuahua we recognise today. Indeed today around the Mexican border with the USA it is not unusual to see dogs clearly of Chihuahua type, though a good deal bigger than the dogs we see in the showring.
Carvings on Ancient sites, such as the Mayan pyramids at Chichen Itza depict dogs with a distinct resemblance to Chihuahua and it is known that the Mexican and Central American civilisations such as the Toltec and Mayans used dogs in their religious ceremonies. In the period up to 1500, when the Aztec civilisations was at its peak dogs known as Techichi were referred to, but with the arrival of Cortes their civilisation collapsed and the dogs became feral. What is more or less certain is that the Chihuahua did not fulfill any kind of companion role, but were largely ceremonial.
The Chihuahua is well-known now as the smallest breed in the world and weighs up to 2.7kg, though a range between 1 - 1.8kg is preferred. They are true companion dogs, devoting themselves to one or at most two people and not at all suited for a household of children and larger dogs. They do like company of their own kind, though. They can be rather distant with strangers and benefit from good early socialisation; alert and intelligent, they make good housedogs.
There are two coat varieties, the Smooth Coat Chihuahua and the Long Coat and they are permissible in any colour or colour mix. Both coats are very easy to keep. They do seem prone to a number of inherited defects and it is vital to ensure that the breeder you are buying from has the best interests of the breed paramount.
Click here to read the Smooth Coat Chihuahua Breed Standard and here for the Long Coat Standard.
Jane Baker is a KC Accredited Breeder of Longcoat Chihuahuas. Jane can be contacted by email or phone 01229 820823. The Happyhouse Chihuahuas are located in Cumbria.
Chihuahua Breed Clubs
- BRITISH CHIHUAHUA CLUB
- CHIHUAHUA CLUB OF SCOTLAND. Sec. Mr G Baxter Tel No 01383 724368
- CHIHUAHUA CLUB OF WALES. Sec. Dr Curr. Tel No: 020 8743 4073
- LONGCOAT CHIHUAHUA CLUB. Sec. Mrs Lee. Tel No: 01635 278510
- MIDLAND CHIHUAHUA CLUB. Sec. Mr D Smith. Tel No: 01902 831679
- NORTHERN COUNTIES CHIHUAHUA CLUB. Sec. Mrs C A Barlow. Tel No: 01524 752621
- ULSTER CHIHUAHUA CLUB. Sec. Mrs W McDevitt 028 77765191
- WEST COUNTRY CHIHUAHUA CLUB. Sec. Mrs M Greening. Tel No: 01249 783522
Chihuahua Rescue and Rehoming
British Chihuahua Club Rescue
Mrs P Bungard 01273 413501
Chihuahua Rescue Service
Edith Esland 01246 866334
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