Techichi 

         

   Breed history  

The Chihuahua takes its name from the Mexican state abutting west Texas and New Mexico, but likely came from the ancient Techichi dogs of the Toltecs crossed with hairless dogs from the Orient. Historians describe the Techichi as a heavy-boned small dog with a long coat indigenous to Central America and definitely connected to the Toltec civilization near present-day Mexico City. The Techichi was larger than the modern Chihuahua and was mute. The Aztecs conquered the Toltecs and adopted the little dogs as sacred icons of the upper classes, used in religious ceremonies to expiate sins and as guides for the spirits of the dead. Somewhere along the way, breed historian K. deBlinde* concluded, the Techichi was crossed with an Oriental hairless breed that made its way to the New World via the Bering Strait land bridge and the smaller, smooth-coated, vocal Chihuahua of today was born.   The breed was discovered in Chihuahua State in the 1850s and quickly became popular. It was first registered with the American Kennel Club in 1904.

 

Mute Testimony Fast food and rhumba kings notwithstanding, the genealogy of the modern-day Chihuahua can be traced to the Techichi, a small, heavy-boned, long-coated dog kept by the Toltecs, a people who had conquered much of central and southern Mexico by 1100. The Toltecs established their capital at Tula in the Mesa Central region and also built the city of Teotihuacan near present-day Mexico City.

 

The Techici  whose defining characteristic was the fact that it was mute, is thought to have been indigenous to Central America; and some historians believe that the ancestors of the Techichi, which was somewhat larger than today's Chihuahua, may have existed in Central America as early as the fifth century. An interesting historical note places the Techichi in Cuba, which Christopher Columbus appropriated in the name of the king of Spain. Columbus' report of that annexation mentioned small dogs "which were mute and did not bark, as usual, but were domesticated." What's more, the remains of pyramids and other historical clues found on the Yucatan peninsula suggest that the Techichi may have also lived in Chichen Itza in southeastern Mexico

 

 

Ready or Not The Techichi was popular as both a pet and a religious fundamental among the Toltecs and, later, among the Aztecs who had supplanted them by the time the Spaniards arrived in Mexico in 1519. Both tribes believed the Techichi safely guided the human soul through the underworld, warding off evil spirits until the recently deceased arrived at the Great Taco Bell in the Sky. In addition Toltecs and Aztecs sometimes burned a dog with a human corpse in the belief that the latter's sins would thus be transferred to the dog. Red being the primary color of temptation, red dogs were the preferred media for this transaction.

 

 

The   remains of dogs in human graves have been discovered by archaeologists in Mexico, but Exhibit A linking the Techichi to the Toltecs can be found in pictures carved on some of the stones of which the monastery at Huejotzingo is constructed. Built circa 1530 by Franciscan monks, the monastery is an early example of recycling. Some of its stones formerly belonged to pyramids assembled at the city of Cholula by the Toltecs. A number of those stones contain carvings of dogs that closely resemble the Chihuahua of modern times.

 

The Techichi  for all its seeming ubiquity, was not the sole ancestor of the Chihuahua. According to K. de Blinde, a Chihuahua breeder and authority who spent years traveling parts of Mexico on horseback, Techichi were bred with tiny, hairless dogs brought from Asia to Alaska and points south over the land bridge that now lies at the bottom of the Bering Strait. This hairless dog, similar to the one found in China, increased the Techichi's bark while decreasing its size

 

 

Another Chihuahua authority, Thelma Gray, who has written two books about the breed, believes Spanish invaders were accompanied on their voyages to the new world by a small black-and-tan, terrier-type dog that was popular in Spain at that time. Gray asserts that fraternization between the little terriers and the Techichis gave rise to the Chihuahua as we know it today. This theory is supported by the popularity of black-and-tan Chihuahuas in Mexico.

 

 

Faults   Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousnes with which the fault should be regarded should be exact proportion to its degree.

Note * Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully decended into the scrotum

 

 

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