When Columbus landed on an island that is present day Cuba, he wrote to the King of Spain about a small dog he had encountered. The domesticated dog he had written about was the "Techichi" and was possibly the ancestor of the modern day Chihuahua. The Aztecs and Toltecs regarded the Techichi as sacred. It was considered as a connection to the deities as well as the voyage of the dead to the afterlife.
The Chihuahua that we know has been rumored to have its origins in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Most artifacts and stone carvings are in and around Mexico City. The first Chi to be registered by the American Kennel Club was Midget in 1905. The popularity of the breed has grown steadily over the years.
Chihuahuas are found in two varieties, the smooth coated and long haired. By AKC standards, the dog should be compact, graceful and alert. It should have a "saucy" expression and a courage and temperament often associated with the terrier breeds. A Chihuahua should be well balanced and weigh no more than six pounds. Any weight over this will automatically disqualify the dog from show.
A Chihuahua's head should have and "apple" shape and its eyes are to be large but not protruding. The ears should be large and "bat-like," standing erect when the dog is alert. The muzzle is moderately short and pointed. Its bite should be even. Nose color depends on the color of the dog. The neck should be slightly arched and join lean, sloping shoulders. The shoulders need to be broad and set over straight forelegs.
The body should be a little longer than its height with an even topline, or back. A Chihuahua's tail is fairly long and carried like a sickle or in a loop over its back.
Chihuahuas area feisty breed who give little thought to the size of their opponent. They are fiercely protective of their owners and often bond to only one or two people. They often prefer other Chis, as opposed to other breeds, for company.
As with any breed, a new owner has to consider several things.
When it comes to food, Chis are not normally finicky unless an owner makes them so. Feed them puppy food until they are at least six months old, preferably to one year of age. Feed adult dogs mini kibble. Try to keep table scraps to a bare minimum.
Chihuahuas are a hardy breed, living sometimes to eighteen years or more. They make an excellent companion dog, exuding courage, a sense of humor and loyalty. They need a great deal of contact with their humans. If petted, touched and loved, they will return the favor ten-fold. If not given the attention they crave, they will use attention-getting tricks such as lightly pawing their owner's hand.
Chis are ideal for single people, the elderly, handicapped and shut-ins. They will keep a person constant company, with added love and affection. Chihuahuas are also ideal for city or apartment dwellers due to their compact size.
Chihuahuas are a wonderful breed for the right person. Given the proper care and attention, they will offer many years of loyalty.
Chihuahuas: About the Breed
by Nikola Marshall
Nikola lives and writes in Oklahoma. She is active in her local Volunteers in Policing program as well as the Citizen's Police Academy Alumni. She enjoys reading, scrapbooking and spending time with her two dogs. This article has been submitted in affiliation with www.PetLovers.Com/ which is a site for Pet Forums.