Celebrities Fuel Market for U.S.-Bred Chihuahuas

Celebrities like Paris Hilton and Madonna have helped increase the U.S.-bred Chihuahua’s popularity in Mexico.

Posted: April 28, 2007, 5 a.m. EST

Like it or not, Paris Hilton sets trends. But now the woman who made “That’s hot” famous has shown her influence extends south of the border.

According to USA Today, Mexican pet stores have been increasing imports of U.S.-bred Chihuahuas to sell to clients drawn by an American pedigree – and unfazed by the $1,500 price tag.

In the last decade, Chihuahua-loving celebrities like Hilton, Madonna, and Britney Spears have transformed the dog into a style and status icon, and helped the breed’s popularity reach record levels.

U.S.-bred Chihuahuas apparently offer Mexican dog lovers even greater prestige.

“I think it’s probably partly a matter of status, this desire for an American dog,” says David Sanchez, assistant manager of the Mas-Kota shop in Mexico City’s Perisur Mall.

Even in the breed’s namesake state of Chihuahua, about a third of the Chihuahuas sold at one pet store came from U.S. breeders.

“A lot of the time these are the same bloodlines we sent over the border years ago,” says Mayra Rodriguez, owner of the Mascota Pet Shop in Chihuahua.
 
The Chihuahua isn’t the only traditionally Mexican symbol that’s increasingly being imported as a result of Mexico’s growing economy.

One-third of Mexico’s chile peppers, long a staple of Mexican cuisine, now come from Asia, according to Mexico’s National Council of Chile Producers.


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Jessica   Endicott, NY

4/29/2007 3:51:41 PM

This cound be a good thing or a bad thing. NO ONE should buy a breed without researching it first. Just look what happened when 101 Dalmations came out and more dalmations then ever ended up in shelters because people didn't reasearch them first.

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Charlotte   Springdale, AR

4/29/2007 3:35:42 PM

I have 3 chihuahuas who I dearly love. They are my favorite breed...but not because of their current popularity. I personally feel bad that the chihuahua has become so popular because of so-called celebrities. I fear their fate will be as bad as those of the dalmatian..or worse. People don't understand the breed at all and get them for the wrong reasons then dump them once they're "out of style". By then, they're "problem" dogs who were never properly trained, were likely abused or mistreated (as in the case of chihuahuas being bought for children) and are nearly impossible to get adopted. There's also the issue of the backyard breeders, puppy mills or just the simply uneducated out there breeding dogs with no thought or care to the product - leading to a host of health problems and genetic defects. I wish the adopted and rescued dogs of celebrities were the ones to become popular instead.

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Charlotte   Springdale, AR

4/29/2007 3:35:33 PM

I have 3 chihuahuas who I dearly love. They are my favorite breed...but not because of their current popularity. I personally feel bad that the chihuahua has become so popular because of so-called celebrities. I fear their fate will be as bad as those of the dalmatian..or worse. People don't understand the breed at all and get them for the wrong reasons then dump them once they're "out of style". By then, they're "problem" dogs who were never properly trained, were likely abused or mistreated (as in the case of chihuahuas being bought for children) and are nearly impossible to get adopted. There's also the issue of the backyard breeders, puppy mills or just the simply uneducated out there breeding dogs with no thought or care to the product - leading to a host of health problems and genetic defects. I wish the adopted and rescued dogs of celebrities were the ones to become popular instead.

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