Chihuahuas are one of the most popular family lap dogs today. Even though they are tiny, they have big and wonderful personalities. Chihuahuas are descendants of an ancient dog called the Techichi.
These dogs were originally bred for various purposes such as companionship, religious ceremonies, and rituals. However, modern Chihuahuas are only meant for companionship.
Ancient Reasons for Breeding the Chihuahua
When it comes to the origins of the Chihuahua, for thousands of years people believed that Chihuahuas originated from the ancient civilizations of Mexico. They are the true ancestral breed of the Techichi and were used as sacrificial dogs for sacred Toltec practices. Ancient Aztecs and Toltecs believed these dogs guided the soul to the underworld after death. In fact Techichi dogs were buried with the deceased family members.
Even though most of the western world has banned the consumption of dogs, Chihuahuas were unfortunately also used as food by the ancient Mayans. Ancient Mayans consumed them, the reason being major food shortages faced by their civilization. And since finding food during those days was much more difficult, consuming dogs could have also been a survival need.
Modern Day Reasons for Breeding the Chihuahua
Chihuahuas Make Perfect Companions
In spite of being used for such dark needs, Chihuahuas were also used often as companions. This is because they have always been charming and affectionate pets. And for those who find it hard to handle larger dogs in limited spaces, they make great apartment dogs and are perfect for the elderly and disabled.
They are also an excellent family dog who will happily sit or play with kids. Another reason why Chihuahuas are great companions is that they provide emotional support along with comfort and solace. For people with severe emotional issues, they can also act as trained pets.
Chihuahuas Have Strong Hunting Instincts
Even though Chihuahuas are small, they can defend themselves whenever they have to. They are not overly aggressive in nature. They are also very useful when it comes to getting rid of unwanted vermin and rodents.
In fact they’re great at catching and killing rodents. They can kill squirrels and other unwanted prey too as they’re fearless hunters. They have strong hunting instincts and that’s why they are bred early on.
Chihuahuas Are Believed to Help With Asthma
Another popular belief when it comes to Chihuahuas is that they help in relieving asthma. This could be a big reason why many people bought and bred them early on. A common myth suggests that sleeping next to a Chihuahua can alleviate asthma symptoms, especially for children with asthma, parents get them in their homes hoping that this is true.
They believe that if the child sleeps next to the Chihuahua, the illness transfers to them, therefore leaving the child with no asthma. Chihuahuas also make occasional wheezing sounds which leads these people to believe that the disease has been transferred onto them. But in reality, it is a common respiratory issue which these dogs suffer from.
Good Watch Dogs
Then, another surprising reason why Chihuahuas are bred is that they are good watch dogs, even though not good guard dogs. In spite of being small and fragile, they are not afraid of barking and alerting their owner when they spot anything suspicious. They are also hesitant of strangers, letting you know if someone new is around.
Other Reasons to BREED Chihuahuas
Besides, another major reason why Chihuahuas are bred is because they can be trained professionally as service dogs in the following ways:
Hearing dogs: Chihuahuas have the ability to alert their owners in a variety of situations. Whether it is an alarm going off, a baby crying or a doorbell, as soon as they hear the sound they touch their owner and take them to the place where it is coming from. Therefore they could also be of major help to people with limited hearing ability.
Psychiatric service dogs: Since mental health is critical, Chihuahuas are of great help as they provide emotional support and comfort. They are of assistance to their owners when any symptoms of mental health disorders become evident. Some of these are depression, anxiety, PTSD and autism.
Diabetic and epilepsy service dogs: Chihuahuas can be trained as diabetic alert pets since they can alert to bad blood sugar spells and give medication reminders to forgetful people, especially the elderly. They can also be trained to sense seizures in advance and stay with their owners during these episodes.
Better cardiac health, lower cholesterol: Research shows that owners of pets having a heart attack have had higher rates of survival. Therefore these dogs can truly help keep your heart strong and your blood pressure in control.
Chronic pain reduction and boosting immunity: Even though it sounds strange, cuddling a Chihuahua could help soothe pain associated with certain disorders. For illnesses like arthritis, this could be of good use. These dogs also help children build their immune systems against various illnesses and allergies. One of the most common examples is asthma.
There are plenty of reasons indicating why you should get a Chihuahua if you are considering it. Apart from their cute size, they are spirited and lively, and there can never be a dull moment in your home. If you are looking for a good companion, a Chihuahua is perfect because they were bred especially for that reason.
Chihuahuas need plenty of attention, so before you adopt one as your baby, make sure that you don’t have a very tight work schedule. You will have to spend time with your Chihuahua in order for him or her to get close to you. The more time you spend with your Chi, and the more you train him or her, the greater will be the bonding between you both.
Always be patient with your Chihuahua, especially when you begin obedience training, as they can be stubborn. But remember you need to use positive reinforcement and shower your fur baby with plenty of love and affection!