What Were Chihuahuas Originally Bred For? All About Their History!

Chihuahuas are known for being one of the smallest breeds in the world and for their large and loving personalities. Yet, few people know where they come from and what breeds were mixed to create the Chihuahua we all know and love today.

Chihuahuas are descendants of the ancient breed Techichi and were first used as sacrificial or ceremonial canines in ancient times. They were also used as a food source in the early dates. Later on, they were known to have roles that included hunting rodents. Today, they are mainly raised as companion dogs.

In this blog post, we will explore the origins of the Chihuahua breed and how they came to make such an impact on our lives.    

Chihuahua: The Basics

Chihuahuas are a small breed of dog that originated from Chihuahua, Mexico in which they got their name. They have a large and loving personality, which is very distinct in many ways from other breeds.

They often weigh between 2-8 lbs, depending on size and breeding. This breed has a long lifespan that can reach or exceed 15 years if well cared for.

Chihuahuas are known to have distinct facial features and large eyes. They have big ears that point upwards toward their head and some even go as far as to bat them around like wings! Their bodies are compact and muscular, but they also appear very fragile.

Chihuahuas come in all different colors, but the most common are fawn, tan, black, and chocolate. Some can even be very light or dark in color!

Chihuahua as Sacrificial Dogs

chihuahua as sacrificial dogs

The Chihuahuas we know today are descendants of the ancient Techichi dog breed and were first used as sacrificial dogs in Mexico. This meant that they were killed as an offering for a specific god or goddess so that the people could please their deities and ensure community cohesion and were considered sacred animals.

In addition, evidence suggests that the ancient Aztecs and Toltecs believed Techichi dogs were a form of guide for souls after death.

Because of this belief in Mexico, it’s not uncommon to find these small canines buried with dead family members as they are thought by some cultures there to help lead one’s soul across the perilous territory on their journey into eternity.

Chihuahua as Food Source

They were also used as a food source for early civilizations, which was common practice among many Mesoamerican cultures.

Cultures within the region used to eat these small dogs as a regular part of their diets. This practice can still be seen today in some parts of Mexico, where it is referred to as “Little Dog” stew.

Despite this, many modern-day Chihuahuas are known to have diabetes or other health problems that are linked to the time in which they were bred.

It is important to note that this practice is not an accepted form of treatment within today’s society and should not be seen by owners as a way to cure their Chihuahuas.

Chihuahua as Hunting Dogs

chihuahua running

As stated before, Chihuahuas have been known to have roles aiding people in hunting purposes as well as to help keep rodents off of the family’s property, especially from crops.

This was common among the large communities that created small dogs such as these, which helped to ensure that their food supplies remained secure and free of pests and disease.

Chihuahua as Body Warmer

These ancestors of Chihuahuas were also used to help herd livestock and as a type of living hot water bottle. If a family member was sick with a fever, a Techichi would sleep on the same pillow or mattress so they could transfer their warmth to the person in need.

Chihuahuas Today: Who’s That Dog?

modern chihuahua

Nowadays, the main role of the Chihuahua is to be a companion and a friend to their owners. They are very people-oriented dogs and spend most of their time with their families, cuddling on the couch or going on walks with their owners.

They have also been used as a type of child’s toy or “purse dog”. Their role was merely that of a companion, not a protector. It is believed that they were used this way because they became popular around the time when families had children an hadd less time to spend on owning a working breed, like their pooch predecessors.

They have also been used as therapy dogs due to them being known for being so loyal and affectionate. If you see a Chihuahua at the pet store or dog park, they’re probably there with their owner because of this reason!

Behavior and Personality

Chihuahuas are very small and stubborn, but they are also sweet and affectionate. Most can be combative with other dogs of the same sex if they do not know them, so they may fight to establish dominance.

However, most Chihuahuas that are raised with other animals or children tend to get along just fine! Many other breeds that are larger may see them as prey because of their small size, which can cause an issue.

Many people who own Chihuahuas will say that it is very rewarding to care for a stubborn dog with a big personality! If you’re looking for a loyal companion to keep you company throughout the evening or on your morning runs, Chihuahuas are for you.

They even come in a variety of colors and small sizes that allow for owners to find one that matches their lifestyle perfectly. If you’re looking for a dog but don’t want the responsibility, perhaps you should consider getting a Chihuahua.

Final Words

Now that we know a bit about what Chihuahuas were originally bred for, it is important to remember that they have evolved from these beginnings and have become so much more than these basic tasks.

These days, they’re mostly bred to be loyal companions and usually work as such. They’re known for having big personalities and offering unconditional love to their owners!

It’s important for modern pet owners not to look at these practices as a way of curing illness or such, but more as an interesting fact about what their ancestors had to go through.

If you’re looking for a warm and loyal companion, Chihuahuas may be the dog for you!

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