Named after the Mexican state of Chihuahua, the Chihuahua is bred for warm, indoor environments with room to play and exercise. The dogs are not suited for cold or excessive exposure to the outdoors, and may require a sweater during the winter.
The exact origins of the Chihuahua remain shrouded in mystery, though it's one of the oldest dog breeds known to the Americas — and may date back to 100 A.D. The breed is commonly believed to have descended from the Techichi, an ancient breed of companion dog favored by the Tolmecs. Some claim that the Chihuahua may have been sacred to the Aztecs, while others believe it was bred as a food source. Another theory states that the Chihuahua was originally introduced to Mexico by the Chinese.
A Chihuahua enjoys interactive play with humans and other dogs, especially if the Chihuahua has been socialized properly and has been handled gently in its life. While it can be an affectionate and responsive family pet, it's not recommended for families with very young children that may not be able to handle it with the level of care he needs. If provoked, the Chihuahua is prone to snap, and often exhibits a strong jealous streak towards its owner.