Dog Puzzle: Chihuahua
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+ By chenyong
The Chihuahua’s history is puzzling and there are many theories surrounding the origin of the breed. Both folklore and archeological finds show that the breed originated in Mexico. The most common and most likely theory is that Chihuahuas are descended from the Techichi, a companion dog favored by the Toltec civilization in Mexico. No records of the Techichi are available prior to the 9th century, although dog pots from Colima, Mexico, buried as part of the western Mexico shaft tomb tradition which date back to 300 B.C. are thought to depict Techichis.It is probable that earlier ancestors were present prior to the Mayans as dogs approximating the Chihuahua are found in materials from the Great Pyramid of Cholula, predating 1530 and in the ruins of Chichen Itza on the Yucatán Peninsula. In fact, wheeled dog toys representing both the "deer head" and "apple head" varieties of Chihuahua have been unearthed across Mesoamerica from Mexico to El Salvador. The earliest of these were found at Tres Zapotes in Veracruz, Mexico, which date to 100 A.D. Dog effigy pots dating to around 1325 A.D. discovered in Georgia and Tennessee also appear to represent the Chihuahua It has been argued that these pots arrived with survivors from the Casas Grandes site in Chihuahua, Mexico, after it was attacked and destroyed around 1340 A.D. Pots unearthed at Casas Grandes include representations of the "deer head" variety of Chihuahua. Colonial records refer to small, nearly hairless dogs at the beginning of the 19th century, one of which claims 16th-century Conquistadores found them plentiful in the region later known as Chihuahua.
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