Most people are not aware of the rich background of the chihuahua breed. Many are misinformed about the real heritage of the chihuahua. Common knowledge only seems to extend so far as knowing that it is a cute and loveable pet to have and cuddle, this is correct, but there is so much more to chihuahuas than this.

The name Chihuahua is derived from the state in Mexico where the breed was first identified.  In this region, there was an ancient civilization called the Toltec which is believed to have kept pets very similar to the modern day Chihuahua.

The people of Toltec civilization tamed a breed then referred to as “Tenchichi” which people say are the ancestors of Chihuahua because of some similar physical features. They were quiet, small and long-haired. Based on archeological evidence, the “Tenchichis” were considered sacred just as cats were in ancient Egypt.  The Toltecs’ description of “Tenchichi” is as a mute and larger dog which does not hold true for modern day chihuahuas. Given this obvious discrepancy in behavior some subscribe to the idea of chihuahua originating from a Chinese breed, brought over by abandoned exploring Chinese fleets.

 During the Toltec civilization, only the rich and elite owned a “Tenchichi”. The poor people couldn’t afford to keep a pet and were more likely to eat them. The “Tenchichi” was a prized possession among the rich because they believed that it possessed powers over death and that it could be a guide in the after-life. They also claimed that in life it protected them from evil spirits.

Chihuahuas were discovered as a breed in 1850 in Mexico.  In 1904, the American Kennel Club first recognized the Chihuahua.

Its recognition paved the way for its popularity and since then it has become all the rage, especially amongst famous personalities in Hollywood. There have been good fortunes spent in dressing up Chihuahua in these parts. Paris Hilton is perhaps someone who has most helped the movement of dressing chihuhuas up.  Paris Hilton’s famous chihuahua is named Tinkerbell. They are inseparable and both go nowhere without great consideration towards their clothing.

Dressing up chihuahua and other small breeds has become a lucrative business, as people do their best to imitate the fashions and trends of such celebrities. Brands like Gucci have also made a concerted effort to be a part of this trend with the emergence of doggie Gucci bags for the dog to be carried in.

The Chihuahua today has gone far in terms of the training and attention it gets from its master. They were already prized possessions back in the ancient times because of the so-called powers they possessed but they are even more loved and precious today not because of any powers but for the fact that they are truly loveable and loyal companions.

If you are thinking of purchasing a Chihuahua please consider adopting a Chihuahua as many are abandoned each year and are waiting in shelters for loving families to adopt them.