The Chihuahua dog is named after the state of the same name in Mexico. This is where their history is thought to have originated from. The city of Chihuahua, Mexico is about 150 miles southwest Texas in the United States. The origin of this little dog are still a subject of some speculation and debate. However, artifacts and artwork dated as early as 1500 AD depict a small dog resembling the modern day version have been unearthed in Mexico and Central America. Another discovery depicting a chiwawa- like dog was found at the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza which dates as far back as the 5th century A.D. Pottery resembling the taller deer type Chihuahua was found that dates from 1100 to 1300 A.D.
A common theory is that the Chihuahua (often spelled Chiwawa or Chuwawa in much of the world) descended from a small native dog called “the Techihi“. This small dog is believed to have been domesticated by either the Toltecs or the Mayans. It is believed these little dogs were sacrificed in Toltec religious rituals. It is said that every Aztec family owned a Techichi because they were helpful in guiding the soul to the underworld. The Aztec families would sacrifice their dogs and bury them with a recently passed family member to help guide them to the afterlife. There is also some evidence that these Techichi were eaten.
The Techichi was not as tiny as the modern day Chihuahua dog. They were more stout and taller. Some believe that the Techichi and the Chihuahua are not separate species at all, but are actually the same dog but with different names.
The other theory regarding the Techichi is that it is in fact a separate species from the Chiwawa, but was crossed with a smaller hairless Mexican dog and the result was the Chihuahua.
Whatever their origin, it is clear that these little dogs have been popular for centuries and continue to charm us with their delightful spirit and infectious energy.