All About the Chihuahua

The 1927 DogWorld editors share their affection for the Chihuahua, the only American dog breed at the time.

By DogWorld Eds. | September 28, 2012

From the Archives of Dog World: Enjoy this all-access pass to dog history from the pages of the longest published dog magazine. This content remains in its original form and reflects the language and views of its time. Health and behavior information evolves and only the most current advice should be followed.

The Chihuahua is a real pal, a real dog, and a real American.

First a pal, for the Chihuahua will never leave his master or home for new friends or fields. With his little two to five pound body the chihuahua will guard the house, the children, or the baby. But the hand that feeds him is the hand that rules his universe, and for which this dog breed would give nine little lives (of the proverbial house cat), with pleasure, or a thousand of his own. That one master or mistress, always is his deepest concern and love.

The Chihuahua is a real dog, for if big or strong, say four to seven pounds (as they at times are), he will "tree” squirrels, round up rabbits, kill rats or other vermin. Plenty of exercise and out door life in the summer tend to stimulate bone development, making for more efficiency as a real dog. 

As an American dog breed, that is a long and interesting story for a book. But it is true that the Chihuahua is the only American dog breed extant at this day. There is no other known dog breed whose ancestry can not be traced to foreign shores. While the Chihuahua, by our ancient Americans, was called the "tee cheche,” he was the reverenced pet of the Mayas, Toltecs. It is with the Aztecs that the Chihuahua's real history begins, as I find it.

It was the emperor Montezuma who carried the Tee Cheche north when he invaded the territory in and about what is known as the State of Chihuahua, Mexico. It is supposed that some of these small dogs left behind by what potentate degenerated into what was a few years back known as the wild dog of Mexico.

That his diminutivenesss is due to his living on wild roots, herbs and the like, as some claim, is ridiculous. The Chihuahua did not partake of such a diet. My own brief experiences in Mexico more than thirty years ago led me to believe that this dog breed ate other wild life—and each other occasionally.

 

Excerpted from Dog World magazine, February 1927, Vol. 12. For back issues of Dog World, click here.

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