5 Surprising Facts Chihuahuas

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No one knows exactly where the Chihuahua came from, but the breed's ancestors are likely the Techichi, a small breed of dog that lived with the Mayans and Toltecs as far back as 8 A.D. Techichis had long-haired coats and were larger than modern-day Chihuahuas. According to D. Caroline Coile's book "Chihuahuas: Everything About Purchase, Care, Nutrition, Behavior, and Training," the Toltecs may have kept Techichis as companions or as a source of food, and later the Aztecs may have elevated the Techichi's status to that of sacred animals used in healing and burial. According to the AKC, it is believed that the Techichi was eventually bred with a small hairless dog, probably the Chinese crested, resulting in today's Chihuahua. Some say the hairless breed was brought across the Bering Strait from Asia, and others say it was brought by Spanish settlers who had contact with China via trade routes. Today's Chihuahua got its name because it was found in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. It became popular in Mexico and nearby American states, and became a registered breed in the AKC in 1904.

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