While the origin of the Chihuahua is still unclear, there are many theories regarding their history. Some experts believe that they descended from small dogs brought to the Americas by Hernando Cortez's army around 1519, while others think that the Chinese exported these dogs to the New World. Whatever the case may be, the Chihuahua likely descended from the Techichi, a larger and heavier specimen from Central America that were used by the Toltecs. During the 12th century, the Toltecs were conquered by the Aztecs and historians have accredited them with refining the small breed. American tourists encountered early Chihuahuas in the mid-1800s and named these tiny dogs after the Mexican state where they were found in abundance. Today, the Chihuahua is one of the oldest and smallest canine breeds in North America.
The small, ultra-compact size of the Chihuahua has earned them the position of being one of the most popular dogs. The breed comes in two coat types: smooth variety (short and smooth) or long variety (long and flat or slightly wavy) but regardless of the type, they are all soft-textured. Some of the Chihuahua's most distinctive features are their large eyes and large ears that stand straight up. The skull of these tiny dogs can be "deer-shaped," where the skull is broad, but slightly rounded or "apple-shaped," where the skull is broad and more rounded. They have a moderately short and slightly pointed muzzle with a black or self-colored nose. The Chihuahua's "sickle-shaped" tail is moderately long.
Chihuahuas are often considered to be attentive and swift-moving while having a sassy personality with terrier-like qualities. A tiny dog with a huge personality, they bond strongly to a particular person and enjoy time with their favorite human. Regardless of popular belief, Chihuahuas are actually quite intelligent and train easily if started from puppyhood but they have a reputation for being untrainable due to being spoiled more than other canines. The breed is commonly associated with small dog syndrome, where they become more dependent on the owner, form excessive barking habits, and may develop jealous behavior if not curbed from an early age. Proper training, plenty of socialization, and avoiding too much "babying" of these small dogs can prevent this behavior. Due to their small size, the Chihuahua is the perfect dog for apartments or condos and are best suited for homes with older children. They are a fairly active breed but running around while following their human or the occasional walk is usually enough exercise for them. With large puppy-dog eyes and a friendly disposition, the Chihuahua would love a home that can give them all of the affection and attention that they deserve.