On May 25th 2004, an article titled “Chihuahuas aren’t dogs; they’re rodents” brought the internet to a standstill.
People went crazy, and everyone wanted to know if the rumour was true.
People had so many questions.
Was it true?
Are Chihuahuas rodents?
Before you panic, keep reading this post to find out:
- What do rats and chihuahuas have in common?
- Are chihuahuas rodents or dogs?
- Is there evidence that backs the rumour?
- Five interesting facts about chihuahuas
Are Chihuahuas Rats?
Chihuahuas and rats have similar physical attributes, leading to the common misconception that they’re rodents. While the idea is funny, it has no basis. Scientifically speaking, chihuahuas descended from wolves and not rodents.
Are Chihuahuas and Rodents Related?
The origin of the myth that chihuahuas are rats was an article that The Walter Review published. The fake study was published for satirical purposes. Even though the statement is untrue, the article went viral, and many people thought the rumour was true.
Are Chihuahuas Dogs?
Chihuahuas originated from Mexico. They are believed to be descendants of Canis lupus (grey wolf). Chihuahuas descended from dog breeds such as Rottweilers and Labradors.
Is A Chihuahua A Dog Or A Rat?
Unlike other dogs, chihuahuas don’t resemble wolves. Chihuahuas are the tiniest dog breed.
When they bark, chihuahuas produce high-pitched sounds that are in no way intimidating. They also have a funny style of walking. Additionally, chihuahuas have ears that are larger than their faces.
Let’s look at their physical features. The fact that people think Chihuahuas look like rodents isn’t baffling.
For editors of The Watley Review, this realisation made them write an article that was the genesis of this rumour.
Just as they had predicted, everyone was in a frenzy when the article was published.
What Do Rats And Chihuahuas Have In Common?
There are two significant reasons why people think chihuahuas belong to the rodent family—rumours and a popular urban legend. As the story goes, tourists in Mexico came across chihuahuas and mistook them for gigantic rats.
However, with time these absurd theories have been shot down.
Some individuals still believe the rumours, and others are still curious.
Is there some truth in the stories and rumours?
There are various reasons why there are people who believe in the rumours. One of the reasons could be the numerous similarities rats and chihuahuas have, such as:
The most distinct physical attributes of chihuahuas are their eyes. Chihuahuas have round eyes brimming with expression. When a Chihuahua looks at you, it’s like it can pierce through your soul.
As cute as their eyes are, this is what makes them look different from other dog breeds.
Isn’t it funny how large their eyes are, considering their size?
Their Heads Are Shaped The Same
Chihuahuas can either have a deer head or apple head. Examine your Chihuahua’s head.
Is its skull round? If that’s the case, your Chihuahua has an apple head. Most chihuahuas have this head shape.
Many rodents also have round heads.
Both Have Large Ears
Chihuahuas sure have huge ears for small dogs—just like Mickey Mouse!
Aside from hearing, a chihuahua’s ears can give you an insight into the state of their emotions.
As a chihuahua grows older, its ears perk up. Their ears become more prominent when they are alert. It’s like their ears have a life of their own.
These traits make chihuahuas resemble rodents rather than dogs.
Have you ever paid attention to the sound a chihuahua’s feet produce when they walk?
Unlike other dogs, chihuahuas have short limbs. Therefore, they make many steps to get to where you are when you call them.
Their limbs aren’t that strong compared to other dogs. If you compare a rat’s and chihuahua’s feet, you’ll notice that there are similarities.
Chihuahuas are tiny, so much so that some people carry them around in their bags. Their weight and size compared to other breeds are very distinct. A chihuahua weighs about 1-3 kgs (2-6 pounds), while on average, Pitbulls weigh about 16-28 kgs (34-59 pounds).
So when word started going around that chihuahuas are rats, many people thought it was true. Can you blame them?
In relation to size, they are more similar to rats than wolves.
Both Have Long and Skinny Tails
Rats typically have long and skinny tails. Chihuahuas also have long and skinny tails. However, there’s a difference between these tails. When excited, Chihuahuas can wag their tails—rats can’t.
Some chihuahuas have short hair, while others have long hair. Some have grey or white hair, while others have brown hair.
If you look closely at short-haired chihuahuas with black or grey coats, you’ll notice that they look like huge rats.
The Truth Revealed – Chihuahuas Are Dogs!
Let’s go back to the drawing board to uncover the truth. “Chihuahuas are rats”, that’s the rumour!
According to a fake study, their (Chihuahuas) DNA is large rodent ancestors. Chihuahuas were genetically bred to resemble dogs instead of rats from the survey.
It further stated that other fido breeds aren’t wolves descendants and are descended from rabbits, pigeons, and other creatures.
Immediately this article was published, it went viral and gained many shares, comments, and views on digital platforms. Some people took it as a joke, but others didn’t.
You shouldn’t believe everything on social media. Always check for facts from reliable sources. It’s the only way you’ll gain adequate knowledge about Chihuahuas.
The article’s publisher claimed in the Watley Review disclaimer that they produce parody content.
They argue that their readers wouldn’t go through their articles if they published accurate content, and their pieces aren’t founded on facts and are strictly for entertainment purposes.
Chihuahuas Are 100% Fidos
Several studies reveal that this breed descends from the mighty wolves.
Although a chihuahua’s howl isn’t as deafening as wolves, and their bark isn’t as scary, they’ll protect you just like the big dogs would. They are small but scary!
5 Interesting Facts About Chihuahuas
1: Man Genetically Altered Wolves To Be Chihuahuas
Man didn’t change wolves into chihuahuas or other breeds by a snap of fingers—this genetic evolution took thousands of years which was worth the patience and time of the scientists.
They managed to produce over 150 living dog breeds currently.
2: Chihuahuas Evolution Dates Back To More Than 100,000 Years Ago
The relationship between dog and man has always been a topic of study for many scientists over the years.
It all began from the domestication of wolves, also referred to as taming, which started when man was still a nomad.
Just like any average dog, the wolves must have followed the man around; then, humans decided to tame and turn them into cuddle buddies on cold nights.
According to research, humans tamed wolves to make them their companions during chilly days and winters.
Besides companionship, wolves helped man in hunting and agriculture.
Despite the timeline, studies have continually proven that dog breeds like Chihuahua descend from wolves’ lineage and not rats.
3: Chihuahua is an Old Breed
Word around is that this dog breed was around during the same period as dinosaurs.
Away from jokes, AKC registered this dog breed for the first time in 1904. But as earlier mentioned, Chihuahuas were here before we even discovered them.
Their oldest record were the drawings discovered in the Yucatan Peninsula from the mid 16th century.
People believe that Chihuahuas existed in Mexico even before the rise of Aztecs and Mayans.
There was a belief that this dog breed had healing powers—they were sacred, so people sacrificed them during ceremonies.
4: They Are Excellent Ratters
After a long day from home, you open the door and find a dead rat on your floor! Just beside it is your Chihuahua sitting with a proud look on the face.
That’s when you remember the rumour and officially declare that it’s false. Why would it hunt those pesky rodents if this dog is a rat?
Simple! Chihuahuas are not rats.
Chihuahuas are fast and intelligent. They are also the ideal size for hounding small animals. Mexicans bred them because they love hunting vermins such as rodents and squirrels.
To date, some Mexicans living in rural areas keep chihuahuas in their houses to reduce the population of rats.
Although chihuahuas are more pets than work dogs today, they can still hunt and kill those annoying rodents. But don’t expect them to eliminate all the vermins in a single night.
5: Chihuahuas Originate From Mexico
Chihuahuas originate from a breed called Techichi.
The Toltec people, a civilisation that occupied Mexico from the early 900s to mid-1100s, bred the Techichis.
The Techichis don’t exist anymore for unspecified reasons. This breed may have disappeared because they were bred with different species to the extent that they became extinct. Another suggestion is that the Spanish ate them.
Goodbye Techichis, hello Chihuahuas!
Chihuahuas took the place of Techichis in Mexico. It could be that the Mexicans love their tiny pitter-patter treads, which made them think that these small dogs are great dancers like them.
Chihuahuas made their way around the world just after winning over Mexicans hearts—from Mexico to Spain to Europe.
Could you be wondering who brought these adorable dogs to England?
It’s none other than the great Christopher Columbus!
Bonus: ‘Rat-Cha’ Is One Of The Chihuahua Breeds
Don’t get excited yet! Rat-cha isn’t a rodent; it’s a mix of Chihuahua and Rat Terrier.
Rat Terriers also enjoy hunting rodents—that’s where they get their name from.
They have an extended life expectancy of up to 28 years, making them excellent lifetime companions and are perfect for long-term commitments.