With the size and some of the unique physical characteristics of Chihuahuas, it does not anymore come as a surprise why there are individuals who are wondering if they are indeed a part of the Dog Kingdom. There are even emerging articles out there claiming that Chihuahuas are not actually dogs but giant rats.
But before you get tied into knots with all the available information out there, know that there is no actual basis for this claim. The articles that are claiming otherwise are just satirical and with the intention to mislead not only the Chihuahua owners but also those Chihuahua enthusiasts, and members of any Chihuahua club out there.
For your peace of mind, better set your facts straight by knowing more about the Chihuahua dog.
History of Chihuahua Dog Breed
The known history of the Chihuahuas could be traced in Mexico. It is believed that they descended from the Techichi dogs of the Toltec civilization that were way bigger than the small dog Chihuahuas we know today.
Techichi dogs are recognized to have played a significant role particularly in the time of the Aztecs. Not only were they part of their day-to-day living, but they also took part in their rituals. In fact, the Techichi dogs were even deemed to be magical beings that are treasured.
At one point in ancient history, it was believed that the dog Techichi ended after the coming of the Spanish conquerors, only to discover the look-alikes of this dog breed, that are of a much smaller size, in the State of Chihuahua in Mexico in the 1800s. This is also the reason why they are called the Chihuahua at present time.
There are theories attributing the small size of modern-day Chihuahua dogs to Aztecs breeding Tachichi with smaller dogs. But there are also theories claiming that Tachichis were bred with Chinese Crested to create the Chihuahua small dogs now.
Over the years, the popularity of Chihuahuas grew across the seas and through different continents all over the world. These dogs even attracted more attention as they were associated with famous personalities, public figures, and linked with different mainstream media.
Chihuahua is a dog recognized by the American Kennel Club under the Toy Group.
Said Group includes dogs that are on the small side. But trust that with a Chihuahua, size will never matter with how big and vivacious its character is.
Chihuahua still remains to be one of the most well-known dog breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club.
Chihuahuas are fun to be with especially with their saucy expression. This dog is super cute and tiny but its size doesn’t even begin to describe how big its personality is.
Chihuahua is unique by itself. It is a very small dog with a compact body and short legs. It grows only at an average height of 6 to 9 in tall and weighs about 2 to 6 lb. It has big, bright eyes and erect ears topping its head.
There are different types of Chihuahuas.
Deer head Chihuahuas are normally larger in terms of size although still within the standards. Apple head Chihuahuas, on the other hand, have the smallest size among their counterparts. Normally, the latter also would exhibit a seemingly disproportionate size with their heads being significantly larger than their bodies. There are also Pear head Chihuahuas which are not as popular as the two previously mentioned but still adorable nonetheless.
The coat of a Chihuahua could also be long or short. They come in varieties of solid colors such as black, white, tan, silver, chocolate, and fawn. There are also Chihuahuas that come in a combination of two or more of the aforementioned colors. They could also come with a variety of markings.
Getting A Chihuahua as Pet
Now that it has been settled, know that you are definitely not taking home a large rat when you decide to bring home a Chihuahua. Instead, you are bringing home one of the most distinct and popular canine breeds for many years now.
Note that Chihuahuas did not win the popularity contest because they are the titleholder for being the smallest dog in the world. Not even due to the controversy surrounding their history which could be attributed to satirical news articles.
The popularity of Chihuahuas stems from them proving their worth as beloved companions and great family pets over the years.
Affordability of a Chihuahua
If you have gotten over your doubts when it comes to the Chihuahua world and is planning to get this dog, then know that it would cost you somewhere between USD800 to USD2500 to purchase one. The price varies depending on the pedigree, rarity, and even lineage of the Chihuahua that you are going to purchase.
Getting a teacup size, in a rare coloring, and from a champion line would definitely cost you more. It would even mean a heftier price tag coming from a reputable breeder.
If you are a bit low on a budget, you could also consider getting one from a doggy shelter. Unfortunately, amazing dogs they may be, but many Chihuahuas are still being abandoned by their fur parents for one reason or another.
Getting a Chihuahua from a doggy shelter is way better than buying one from backyard breeders or even puppy mills. With the latter, although relatively cheaper compared to the money spent on reputable breeders, it could still be a hefty sum without the assurance that you are investing in the quality.
Know that if a Chihuahua is not bred right, it could be susceptible to hereditary health conditions that often have no cure.
Needless to say, the affordability of a Chihuahua does not stop from just the purchase cost alone. Fur parents who want to have one should also think about the upbringing cost which would be thousands of bucks annually.
This would include all the basic necessities that a Chihuahua would need for it to live comfortably such as food, medical care, accessories, services, and other miscellaneous expenses.
The inability to meet the above-mentioned could have a critical impact on the health of your pooch.
Temperament and the Fitting Home
A Chihuahua would be sassy and feisty at best. You will find when you get the chance to be around it that its size doesn’t even begin to represent just how big the personality of this pooch is.
Small it may be, but this dog is not a pushover. It is one confident and alert doggo. The fact that it doesn’t cower and is fearless in facing strangers and other breeds of dogs that are even larger than it is makes this dog a good watchdog.
Chihuahuas may show dominant tendencies but they are still naturally sensitive dogs. They love nothing more than to be showered with love and praises.
They are affectionate dogs too which combined with their size make them great lapdogs. They have no qualms in providing comfort even just by standing or lying beside you during a lazy day.
In fact, they thrive on it and they love being companion dogs. They are quite persistent in acting as the little shadows of their owners which makes them prone to separation anxiety. So definitely, these dogs are not for those fur parents who are frequent travelers.
Chihuahuas, however, would make great family pets to those fur parents who wouldn’t mind their sassiness. It wouldn’t matter if you have kids but ideally, not-so-young kids who know how to handle them would be preferred.
With the almost fragile size of a Chihuahua, they could easily be prone to injuries during playtime so horseplaying with kids is definitely a no-no. This is yet to be understood by toddlers and very young kids so it is best if the kids they could be with would at least be 8-years old, if not older.
Being with a fur parent with other pets or dogs of different breeds won’t bother a Chihuahua especially if they are raised together. If not, then extended socialization between them is required until you can be comfortable for them to mingle on their own.
But even afterwards, utmost supervision is should still be facilitated because the size of a Chihuahua could easily make them look like prey for large breeds of dogs.
Although it would benefit a Chihuahua to live in a home with a yard for it to run through, being among the diminutive breeds of canines out there, it would also be equally happy living in an average-sized apartment.
Caring for A Chihuahua
You will find that Chihuahuas would have pretty much low maintenance needs compared to other types of dogs. Thus, as a fur parent, you won’t have any issues managing their needs.
Its dog food would be the primary source of nutrition for a Chihuahua. Thus, it is mandatory that it is only fed a healthy diet throughout its life.
The recommended feeding amount would be 1/4 to 1/2 cup of kibble specially formulated for a fully Chihuahua. This could still be changed depending on its age and activity level. So adjust it as necessary.
They may have an energetic and lively personality but their tiny size means that their exercise requirement is on the down-low. Nothing strenuous is required. You could even just get away with a walk around the neighborhood or a game of chase in your own backyard.
You should be careful though because Chihuahuas tend to push themselves to the limit as long as they are having fun. It is up to you to gauge if they are starting to over-exhaust themselves and put an end to the playtime.
Many could attest that training a Chihuahua would be fun and easy. This is achievable even if you are a new owner.
Yes, it could develop stubbornness as it grows and matures. But this could easily be curbed especially if you are going to train it starting from puppyhood. You may face a slight stumble during potty training but with patience and your fur baby’s eagerness to please to your advantage, trust that all will be well in the end.
Overall, Chihuahuas are very adaptable which makes training them as easy as a walk in a park especially if you are going to use a reward-based approach.
Grooming wouldn’t be a difficult affair with a Chihuahua. They could be given a bath every 2-3 weeks or whenever necessary given their activity level.
Brushing likewise would be an easy task. You could get away with just a weekly brushing with this pooch whether it is a long-haired or a short-haired Chihuahua. But it is recommended to increase the frequency, especially during the shedding season.
Since it can also be prone to tear stains, you should pay attention to wiping it under the eyes whenever moisture develops. Clear its ear at least once a week and trim its nails every two weeks. Lastly, never forget to manage its teeth because being an enthusiastic eater, it could be prone to dental diseases.
If you think you can’t manage the grooming needs of a Chihuahua on your own, there are professional groomers out there that could help you out.
Health and Medical Care
A Chihuahua can be susceptible to hereditary conditions such as Heart Murmurs, Patellar Luxation, Hypoglycemia, Epilepsy, and Hemophilia among others.
There is no exact equation to tell what it would end up with. But as a safety precaution, it is important to have it checked regularly by a licensed veterinarian. In that way, the onset of the symptoms can be addressed immediately and you can be provided with the necessary pet medical advice.
Get also your Chihuahua only from a reputable breeder. This will make it less prone to develop hereditary conditions because of the strict controls in place reputable breeders are known for.
Possible Similarities of A Chihuahua and a Rodent
The history and the acceptance of the American Kennel Club to the Chihuahua as one of its recognized breeds alone should be enough to calm your confusion that these dogs are actually rodents. After all, this non-profit organization is well-known to keep records of the standards of a particular dog breed it recognizes.
But if this has not convinced you just yet, perhaps divulging into the characteristics and the needs of Chihuahua mentioned above provided the clarity that it is not a type of a large rodent selectively bred to resemble a canine. Instead, it is an actual canine through and through.
However, some people can’t help but still be perplexed particularly due to the obvious similarities between the two animal breeds.
Admittedly, Chihuahuas do not come big. They only grow up to 9 inches tall which makes some types of rodents even bigger than them.
Head and Some Facial Structure
It is an undeniable fact that a Chiahuahua does not look like other dogs. It’s a far cry from a Siberian Husky, Golden Retriever, or a Poodle if you are going to put them side by side.
Come to think of it, Chihuahuas even look like some of the rodents out there with their ears standing erect and their snout slightly elongated especially those with Deer heads Chihuahuas. Let’s not also forget those beady eyes and long tails which look very much like what rodents have.
There are also many individuals who’d like to support their claim based on the small, compact body of the Chihuahua which is not unlike the body structure of a large rodent. Likewise, both a Chihuahua and a rodent would have short legs and tiny paws which are just proportionate with their small bodies.
Verdict: Disputing Satirical Articles
Clearly, while above-noted similarities hold, that is also where the commonalities between a Chihuahua and a large rodent stop. They are but superficial qualities that are just coincidental and make the breed of Chihuahua more unique compared to other dogs.
In fact, there have already been studies conducted that successfully disproved the ridiculous idea that Chihuahuas are large rodents. Other research even mentioned that like other dog breeds, Chihuahuas have wolves as their ancestors further proving that the claim that they are rodents is nothing more than satirical at best.
So the next time you encounter similar news articles – whether you are researching about the Shih Tzu, Yorkshire Terrier, or other animals, gauge first all the factual basis of the articles completely. Do some fact-checking yourself and don’t take anything at face value. Doing so could cause you a lot of trouble especially since fake news could propagate easily with how digital everything is nowadays.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Are dogs considered rodents?
A: The simple answer is no, dogs are not considered rodents. In fact, they are not even anything close given that reputable researches show that dogs could have been descended from wolves.
The claim that dogs are rodents is nothing but a joke and with the intention to mislead people. From what was seen so far, the articles circulating such also have no scientific basis.
Q: Is a Chihuahua mixed with a rat?
A: The dog Chihuahua is known to have descended from the Techichi dogs of the Toltec civilization. These are dogs that are bigger than the Chihuahua that we know at present time but look the same nonetheless.
The size of the Chihuahuas that we have now is attributed to the Aztecs. It is believed that it was them when the Techichi were bred with smaller dog breeds to produce the modern Chihuahuas well-known at present.