Rich with history and legend of the tiny Chihuahua dates back to pre-Columbian Mexico. Chihuahuas are the oldest breed in the Americas. They are believed to have descend either from the Techichi, mute companions to the Toltecs, or from small Chinese dogs brought to the Americas by the Conquistadors. Another possiblity is that both theories are accurate and the Chihuahua is a mix of the two. The Techichi historical record only goes back to the ninth century but it is likely that the Chihuahua's ancestors predate the Mayans. The remains of dogs resembling the Chihuahua have been found in the Pyramids at Cholula on the Yucatan Peninsula, which predate the 16th century. The Aztecs, who eventually conquered the Toltecs, adopted the Chihuahua as a sacred icon of the upper class. Christopher Columbus refers to the tiny dog in a letter to the King of Spain. Without doubt, the Chihuahua's principle home was present-day Mexico, but the breed's immigration to Europe may have been Columbus doing.
The Chihuahua is the oldest known dog breed in America and the smallest breed in the world. Though native to Mexico, it seems to have been introduced by the Chinese. The Chihuahua was brought to Europe at the end of the nineteenth century. The Chihuahua is named after the Mexican state of Chihuahua where he was brought to by travelers. This breed is believed to have been sacred to the Pre-Columbian Indian nations. It is said the dogs were used in religious ceremonies to redress sins and as guides for the spirits of the dead.
Present day Chihuahuas, some times spelled Chiwawa, are far smaller than its forebears. It is theorized that the Chinese Crested, brought from Asia to Alaska across the Bering Strait, was responsible for the reduction in size, a smoother coat, and the Chihuahua's voice. Modern Chihuahuas come in a myriad of colors and in both the long and short-haired varieties. Its size today, now ranges from under 2 pounds to over 20 pounds in some cases. Rediscovered in Chihuahua, Mexico in 1850, the breed has remained consistently popular to this day, and is among the most common breeds seen in American homes. The Chihuahua has consistently been on the top ten most popular breed list for more than 30 years. Chihuahuas were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1904.