Illustration by Louis Agassiz Fuertes


Probably no animal known to man has had so much nonsense and ignorant misconception written about it as this rather insignificant little Mexican product. Some writers have claimed for him part ancestry with squirrels, because he can scramble up the rough and straggly chaparral of his native State, or with the prairie-dog, from which he learns to dig his alleged burrow.

In cold fact he is just dog, and rather an ordinary dog at that, without any faintest trace of anything rodent-like in his entire physical make-up. It would be as natural to expect a hybrid between a bear and a beaver—or a wolf and a rabbit. All this kind of talk, in which animals of different orders are supposed to hybridize, is, of course, pure nonsense and utterly impossible, such as the widespread and generally credited raccoon and cat parentage of the so-called "Maine Coon-Cat."

The Chihuahua dog is simply a diminutive, spindly, prominent-eyed and apple-headed little terrier-like dog—all dog and simply dog. He is an affectionate and benign little creature, as most large-headed dogs are, and his physical characteristics are shown in the plate. No more mystery surrounds him than does any other dog. He is a good illustration of Mr. P. T. Barnum's well-known estimate of the public, which likes to be humbugged.

Full-grown specimens of this breed sometimes weigh less than a pound and a half and can stand comfortably on an outstretched hand: according to the standard, four pounds is the limit.

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