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Last Updated October 2nd, 2002.
History Of The Chihuahua
THE WORLD'S SMALLEST DOG, the Chihuahua, seems to be the subject of the biggest disagreement among dog historians as to this breed's country of origin. Some authorities write that the tiny dog evolved in Egypt and that the mummified remains of a small dog with the unique "molera," or fontanelle, was unearthed in a tomb dating back 3000 years. From here it is assumed the little breed was taken to Mediterranean countries and eventually to Mexico at the time of the Spanish Conquest (1519). Those who hold a contrary view state that four breeds of dog were domesticated in Mexico long before the Spanish Conquest. One was a dog resembling the Chihuahua which played an important role in religious ceremonies. To support this claim there are artifacts dating to ancient Mexican culture. It is further claimed that the Spanish took some of these small dogs with them when they returned to Spain. Thus they became established throughout Europe and the islands of the Mediterranean. Yet another theory has been put forth that claims the dogs were brought to Mexico by Chinese traders just over 100 years ago.
Wherever the Chihuahua originated, it is known that the little dogs were discovered late in the 19th century by American tourists who were visiting Mexico. On their return to the United States they brought some of the dogs with them. It is from these first specimens, probably crossed with English black and tan toy terriers, that the present-day Smooth-Coat was developed and named for Chihuahua, the Mexican state where the breed was discovered.
It is said that the Long-Coat variety was developed entirely in the United States by crossing the smooth variety with other toy breeds which are thought to have been the Papillon and Pomeranian. The Pekingese, Yorkshire Terrier, and Toy Poodle are also mentioned as other possibilities. The Chihuahua was first registered in Canada in 1928.
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