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Of all the dogs in the world, the Chihuahua is probably one of the most misunderstood. But, there are many reasons why the American Kennel Club lists these tiny, yet graceful canines at number 35 on their list of most popular breeds. While they may be small in stature, Chihuahuas have plenty of personality to make up for it. They can be a bit stubborn and strong-willed, but they’re intelligent and affectionate companions that will bring you many years of faithful companionship.

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1. The Chihuahua has genetic origins in Mexico

Archaeologists have discovered the likenesses of the Chihuahua dog on artifacts from lost civilizations all over the world. While historians don’t agree on the breed’s origins, they are likely the descendants of the Techichi dog, a heavier dog from the ancient Toltec civilization that lived in central Mexico in the 9th century. At one point, historians believed the dogs may have come from China. But geneticists specializing in canine ancestry say modern Chihuahuas share a DNA type with that of the Toltec companion dogs, which indicates this breed has Mexican roots. The name comes from the Mexican state of Chihuahua.

breed Techichi dog chihuahua by Bachova / Getty Images
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