What Were Chihuahuas Bred for: History and Origin of Mexican Pup

What makes dogs super awesome (maybe a bit more awesome than cats, but I’m not picking sides) is that they come in various shapes and sizes. If you want a huge monster of a dog like a Great Dane, you can get that. If you want a small one that can fit in your bag, you can get one of those too, for instance: the Chihuahua.

According to the American Kennel Club, the Chihuahua was the 34th most popular breed of dog in the United States in 2020. I’d have expected them to be higher because I’ve been seeing them everywhere, but considering the list has 195 entries, that is certainly popular.

The Chihuahua is the smallest dog breed on the planet! In fact, in terms of both length and height, the record holders for the smallest dog in both instances were chihuahuas! The shortest one was 3.8 inches in height, and the other was 6 inches in length!

But anyway, if you’re here, you really want to know what chihuahuas were bred for. Because it definitely isn’t hunting from the looks of things!

Well, let’s get into the answer then!

Do you have a specific question about the origin and history of Chihuahua breeding? Then use the table of contents below to jump to the most relevant section. And you can always go back by clicking on the black arrow in the right bottom corner of the page. Also, please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. For more details, check the Disclosure section at the bottom of the page. 

What are Chihuahuas?

The Chihuahua is the smallest breed of dog in the world. They tend not to get heavier than six pounds, which is extremely light for a dog. They also usually stay below eight inches from the shoulder, so yeah, these mutts are tiny.

These dogs are some of the oldest originating from the Americas. They usually live to about 15 years of age. They were also first officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1904. 

Chihuahuas are known for their energetic and loyal behavior. These dogs are the smallest breed, but they frequently act like they’re bigger than they really are! These confident dogs can be entertaining to keep as pets for that reason.

They aren’t problematic with other dogs or with a family. Still, you should be careful exposing chihuahuas to little children as they can’t take as much rough play and handling as larger dog breeds can.

Where are chihuahuas originally from?

As you might have been able to gather from popular culture, the origin of Chihuahua is very likely to be Mexico. Of course, as such an old dog breed, it is difficult to determine their exact origin. Still, all evidence points to Mexico as the birthplace of these famous dogs.

They got their name thanks to so many of them were first found by interested Americans in the State of Chihuahua in Mexico. They had been recognized by the AKC as far back as 1904. But the first one was only registered with the club in 1908.

What did chihuahuas use to look like?

For a bit of chihuahua history, these dogs originated from a breed known as the Techichi. The Techichi can be considered to be a sort of ancient Chihuahua. 

The Techichi dated back more than 1000 years and was bigger and heavier than the dainty little dog that we all know these days. The Aztecs were thought to be the people responsible for breeding that breed into a smaller one, eventually becoming the Chihuahua that we love today.

One really cool fact about the Techichi was that it was a mute breed, which means it could not bark! That’s so different from its descendant, the Chihuahua, which is notoriously noisy when it wants to be!

Why were chihuahuas bred?

Chihuahuas originate from a dog breed that has quite a unique culture and history. The Techichi, the ancestor of the Chihuahua, had multiple purposes for the Toltec people. Still, the Chihuahua itself was bred for nothing but companionship. 

So, if you’re really trying to figure out the chihuahua purpose, the best answer is that they were bred to be our friends! That’s pretty much it!

What were chihuahuas originally bred for?

The Chihuahua originated around the 19th century from the Techichi, a breed of dog kept by the Toltec people of Mexico. Its ancestor was initially bred as far back as the 9th century, and it was held for numerous purposes.

The Toltec people valued the Techichi for companionship, like the Chihuahua that came after it. However, it was also used for religious ceremonies and rituals. One thing that might shock you is that they were used for food, though all cultures treat certain animals differently, so that shouldn’t really be a thing to frown upon these days.

Thanks for the blog graphics: Canva.com

Thanks for the blog graphics: Canva.com

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