May 25, 2004.
A piece of news broke out and destroyed the internet.
“Chihuahuas are not dogs, they are rodents!”
People went nuts. Owners of the Chihuahua dog breed started crying. Everyone was scrambling about. They were searching for answers if the rumor is true.
Was everything a lie?
There are many questions in your head. You look at your Chihuahua, wondering –
“How could this be possible?”
Before you pull your hair out, keep reading this article to know:
- The similarities of Chihuahuas and rats.
- Is your Chihuahua a small dog or a large rodent?
- What are the pieces of evidence that prove the rumor as true or false?
- 5 fun facts about Chihuahuas.
- And much more…
Table of contents
- Are Chihuahuas rats?
- Are Chihuahuas related to rodents?
- Are Chihuahuas even dogs?
- Is it a dog? A rat? It’s a Chihuahua.
- The similarities between Chihuahuas and rats
- The truth uncovered – Chihuahuas are dogs!
- 5 fun facts about Chihuahuas
Are Chihuahuas rats?
Chihuahuas are proven to be descendants of wolves, and not rats. A common misconception about Chihuahuas is that they are descendants of rats due to certain similarities they have such as their physical characteristics. While this may be a funny concept, there is no proof or facts behind this claim.
The rumor stating Chihuahuas are related to rodents was a fake study that was published by The Watley Review for satirical purposes. While the statement is proven to be false, the post went viral and many people believed it to be true.
Are Chihuahuas even dogs?
The breed of Chihuahua (which originated from Mexico) is one of the modern-day dog breeds. They are the same descendants as any canines such as the Labrador and the Rottweiler. Their evolutionary roots can be traced back to the gray wolf, or also known as the Canis lupus.
Is it a dog? A rat? It’s a Chihuahua.
Okay, let’s get this out of the way.
Chihuahuas don’t look like wolves. They are not like other big dogs like the Golden Retriever or German Shepherd.
They are the smallest dog in the world.
Size-wise, they don’t cut it.
They are nervous. Their high-pitched barks don’t intimidate. And the way they pitter-patter around when walking can be quite funny.
Plus they have ears bigger than their faces.
Let’s take a look at their physical characteristics. It isn’t too surprising that people would think that Chihuahuas look more like rodents.
Ding. Ding. Ding.
This gave an idea to the editors of The Watley Review. They made the rumor that started it all.
“This article would be viral!
Imagine – Chihuahuas as rats. People will lose their minds.”
And certainly, the news article made everyone mad.
The similarities between Chihuahuas and rats
There are two main reasons why people thought Chihuahuas are rats.
There’s the rumor. And then there’s the urban legend in Mexico where tourists mistook Chihuahuas for giant rats.
But as years go by, these ridiculous ideas have been proven to be wrong time and time again.
Still, some people believe in it. There are still some who are curious.
Are the rumors and the stories true?
There could be many reasons why they question it. One of them could be because of the many similarities Chihuahuas have with rats. Here’s some of them:
Both have round heads
There are two kinds of Chihuahua heads: the apple head and the deer head. Take a look at your Chihuahua’s head. Feel it.
If yours has a round-shaped skull, then yours has an apple head. This is the standard for Chihuahuas.
This characteristic is similar to many rodents.
Chihuahuas are small, but they sure have big ears like Mickey Mouse!
Your Chihuahua’s ears are not just good for hearing. You can also tell their emotions based on how their ears appear.
These two floppy things have a life on their own. They perk up as they get older. And when Chihuahuas are on alert mode, these ears become more noticeable.
These characteristics make them look more like rodents instead of dogs.
One of the cutest features of Chihuahuas is their eyes. They’re round and full of expression. It also seems like they look at you like they see through your soul.
But this feature doesn’t make them look like the other dogs. Not really…
Because it’s quite funny how their eyes are very large compared to their size.
Celebrities like Paris Hilton carry Chihuahuas around inside their bag. Like a pocket-sized or teacup pet.
Some are so small that they don’t grow bigger than your hand. If you look at it, the Chihuahua’s size and weight compared to other dogs is a far stretch.
A Chihuahua’s weight averages from 2 to 6 pounds (1 to 3 kg).
A Pitbull’s? 33 to 59 pounds (15 to 27 kg).
That’s a big difference.
So when the rumor spread that they are rats, many believed it to be true. Who can blame them?
When it comes to their size, Chihuahuas are more identical to large rodents than wolves.
Long, thin tails
A rat’s tail is long and skinny.
Your Chihuahua’s tail? Also long and skinny.
But here’s something to take note of.
A rat’s tail doesn’t wag when they see you. Your Chihuahua’s does.
Small and dainty feet
It’s the sound your Chihuahua’s feet make every time they come to you when you call them.
Compared to other dogs, Chihuahuas have shorter limbs. So they make hundreds of steps before they could reach you.
Their legs are not that strong as other dogs as well. If you will compare a Chihuahua’s feet to a rat’s, you could see the similarities.
Both of them have short limbs and small feet.
There are different kinds of Chihuahuas. Some have short hair. Others have theirs long.
Some Chihuahuas are brown. While some are in color white or grey.
Not all of them are the same.
But take a look at the short-haired Chihuahuas. Those with a coat colored in black or gray. You would notice they really look like a giant rat.
The truth uncovered – Chihuahuas are dogs!
For us to know the truth, we must go back to square one.
What’s the rumor?
“Chihuahuas are rats.”
According to a fake study, the DNA of Chihuahuas are ancestors of a large rodent. It continued that they were genetically bred to look like dogs instead of rats.
And that’s not all.
The article also claimed that other dog breeds are not descendants of wolves. That they were, in fact, from pigeons, rabbits, and other animals.
Some took the hint of the sarcasm. They thought of it as a joke.
But others didn’t.
The article went viral the instant it was published. It gained lots of views, shares, and comments on social media.
It was a day when the fate of Chihuahuas all over the world lies unknown.
But there’s a saying that goes,
“You should not believe everything you see on social media.”
We must always fact-check and look for reliable sources. It will help us understand and learn more about our beloved Chihuahuas.
Now, let’s take a look at the publisher of the article claiming this rumor.
In their disclaimer, The Watley Review states that all the content they produce is a parody.
They say that if they publish real content, their readers wouldn’t read their articles. What they produce isn’t based on facts and is for entertainment purposes only.
So that settles it.
Chihuahuas are 100% dogs.
Many studies prove that this dog breed is a descendant of the mighty wolves.
Chihuahua’s howl is not as loud as wolves. Their yapping bark is not as scary as big dogs. But they will protect you just the same.
They are indeed ‘small, but terrible’.
5 fun facts about Chihuahuas
#1: The evolution of Chihuahuas dates back to over 100,000 years ago
Scientists have always studied the relationship between humans and dogs.
How did it start, you ask?
The domestication of wolves is also known as ‘taming’. It started as early as when humans were still nomads.
The wolves must have followed humans around as any regular dogs do. Then the humans thought,
“Wow, they sure look like good cuddle buddies during cold nights!”
Based on research, the wolves were tamed to make companions for humans. This is during one of the most extreme cold events that happened thousands of years ago.
Not only that. The wolves also helped the humans in agriculture and hunting.
Pretty cool, isn’t it?
Regardless of the timeline, they have always proven time and time again. Dogs – such as your Chihuahua – come from the lineage of wolves.
#2: Humans genetically changed wolves to become Chihuahuas
It’s not magic.
Humans didn’t snap their fingers to change wolves into Chihuahuas or any other breeds.
The genetic evolution of wolves to dogs took thousands of years. But all are worth the time and patience of the scientists…
For they were able to produce more than 150 living dog breeds today!
#3: Chihuahuas are from Mexico
Chihuahua comes from a breed known as the Techichi. That’s what the American Kennel Club believes.
Techichis are the dogs that were bred by the Toltec people. They were a civilization that inhabited Mexico from the early 900s to the mid-1100s.
This breed no longer exists for unknown reasons. There are two suggestions why the Techichis disappeared.
First, they were bred with other breeds to the point that they became extinct.
And second, the Spanish ate them.
So now we bid goodbye to the Techichis, and say hello to the Chihuahuas.
Chihuahuas became popular in Mexico. The Mexicans possibly adore their little pitter-patter steps.
They must have thought that Chihuahuas, like them, are great dancers.
So after the Chihuahuas won over the people of Mexico’s hearts, they’ve decided to make their way around the world.
They started in Spain, then decided to take over Europe. Do you want to know who brought the Chihuahuas to England?
It’s the great Christopher Columbus himself!
#4: They are an old breed
Rumors say that they were walking the Earth in the same period as the dinosaurs were. Kidding!
Jokes aside, the Chihuahuas were registered with AKC for the first time in the year 1904. But as mentioned before, they were long here before we even knew about them.
The drawings found in the Yucatan Peninsula were their oldest record. These were from the mid-16th century.
Heck, they were even believed to be living in Mexico even before the rise of the Mayans and Aztecs!
They were believed to be sacred animals with healing powers. But because of that, they were also used as sacrifices for ceremonies.
It’s fascinating and sad at the same time, isn’t it?
#5: Chihuahuas are great ratters
You come home to your house. You open the door. There’s a dead rat on the floor. Again.
Because your Chihuahua is sitting beside it with a proud look on their face!
You think about the rumor. You know for sure this time that it isn’t true. That’s silly.
If Chihuahuas are rats, then how come yours love to hunt them?
Well, it’s because they are not rats. But you already know that.
Chihuahuas are intelligent. They are also fast. And they are the perfect size for hunting smaller prey.
That’s why the Mexicans bred them in the first place. They take pleasure in hunting and killing vermins like rats, squirrels, and rodents.
Even now, households in Mexico’s rural areas use Chihuahuas to lower the number of rats in their homes.
Chihuahuas are more domesticated in the present. Still, they are excellent at hunting and killing these little furry things.
But don’t expect them to end all the vermins in your house overnight.
Bonus: There’s a Chihuahua breed called ‘Rat-Cha’
Oops, don’t get your hopes up! Chihuahuas are still not rats.
‘Rat-Cha’ is a mix of a Rat Terrier and a Chihuahua.
Like the Chihuahuas, Rat Terriers love to hunt smaller pets and rats, that’s why they are called as such.
The breed of ‘Rat-Cha’ has a long life expectancy that could last up to 18 years. This makes them ideal for long-term commitments and lifetime companionship.