Rumours are rumours a lot of the time. They are not factual. They are made-up or twisted versions of the truth. 

If someone has mentioned something that doesn’t seem right, you should always research and find out if it’s true or false from an accreditable source.

Let’s stop the spread! The rumour I will address is: Is a Chihuahua a dog, or is it a rodent-like rat?

Due to their size, this rumour has more than likely occurred. The Chihuahua is a dog and is a direct descendant of the wolves. Breeders have changed how the dogs looked over time by modifying them from other breeds to make them look like they do now. There are no rats in the DNA of a Chihuahua dog at all.

Definition: Rumour

  • A circulating story of undoubtful or uncertain truth

What Is a Chihuahua?

The Chihuahua dogs are one of the most miniature breeds in the world. That makes these dogs so recognisable and distinctive among all the dog breeds. 

Named after the Mexican State of Chihuahua, these bold and outgoing dogs have gained popularity throughout the USA, US, Canada and Australia, thanks to their on-screen presence and celebrity owners. 

Even though Chihuahua dogs are tiny in size, they are the descendants of Rottweiler and Labrador.

The evolutionary roots of a Chihuahua dog can be traced back to the great grey wolf, considered the ancestor of all dog breeds. 

These dogs are very affectionate towards their owners and can form a loyal bond. Chihuahua dogs are perfect for people who do not lead a very active life or live in a small apartment and still love to have a dog follow them everywhere.

Find proof that these dogs are not vermin: The History Of The Chihuahua Dog Breed. 

The Similarities That People May Get Confused With

Let’s understand why it started by comparing the similarities between a rat and a small dog.

People thought that chihuahuas are related to rodents does not depend only on their size. It stemmed from an Urban Legend that is very popular in Mexico. It said that tourists confused the Chihuahua dogs with giant rats while travelling in the country.

However, with time these ridiculous ideas and rumours have been proven wrong. There are still several people out there who are surprised about the answer. They believe wholeheartedly that these dogs are somehow related to the rats. 

There are some reasons why people tend to question the ancestry of the Chihuahuas. 

Here are some similarities between these two animals that make people ask such questions.

Head Shapes

There are two types of Chihuahua. One type has a round-shaped called apple head Chihuahua while the others have a deer-shaped head. 

If the skull shape of your dog is round, then you have a Chihuahua of the apple-headed breed. However, the deer-shaped head is a similarity that these dogs share with a rat.

Big Ears

Even though chihuahua dogs are tiny, they have comparatively large ears. These unique feature helps a dog to hear sounds a long way away. 

Not only that, but you can also understand your dog’s emotional state by keeping a close watch on their ears. 

As the chihuahuas become more alert, their ears get more noticeable. 

These simple characteristics make these dogs even more similar to rodents.


Deep round-shaped eyes are one of the most noticeable features of Chihuahua dogs. 

Most Chihuahua owners feel that they can see the soul of their dogs right through their eyes. 

But the problem is that this feature does not make these dogs look similar to the other breeds. 

Even though this feature does not make them very similar to the rodents, it points out how dissimilar these small dogs look from the other breeds.

Chihuahua and a grey rat together
Not much difference in size

Skinny Body

You can find many celebrities carrying their chihuahua dogs in their purse or hand luggage. 

Known as the teacup breed, Chihuahuas do not grow more than the palm of your hand. 

If you compare the size and the weight of this dog to the members of other breeds, it may seem that these dogs are very different from their relatives.

The average weight of a chihuahua ranges between 2 to 6 lb. In comparison, a pit bull weighs between 33 to 59 lbs. That is a huge difference. 

So, when the rumour started, many people believed these small dogs belonged to the rodent family. 

If you compare the size of the dogs with the rodents, who can blame them? 

Regarding size and weight, Chihuahua dogs are more similar to the larger rodents than their wolf ancestors.

Long Thin Tail

If you closely observe a rodent, you will notice its tail’s thin and long. 

If you closely monitor a Chihuahua dog, their tails can be very skinny and long. 

That is yet another physical similarity that these dogs share with the rodent. 

However, the rodents do not wag their tails when they see their owners, while your Chihuahua dog indeed does. 

This behaviour indicates that Chihuahuas are more of a dog than a rodent.

Tiny Feet

Compared to the other dogs, the Chihuahua has smaller limbs. They must take hundreds of steps each time to cover a certain distance. Compared to the other dogs, the legs of these dogs are not that strong either. 

However, if you compare the feet of your Chihuahua with the rodents, you will see some definite similarities. That is more than enough for anyone to get confused about the ancestry of these tiny dogs.

It does not matter how many rumours you have heard about the chihuahua dogs. All of them are false. Despite their smaller size, these animals do not belong to the rodent family.

Even though these dogs share fairly common physical features with rodents, they do not share their behavioural characteristics. 

So if you were thinking about adopting a Chihuahua dog for yourself and got confused due to this rumour, you should go ahead and get this tiny dog as your cherished companion.

Join Dog Friendly Scene for FREE to receive incredible dog facts and fun activities in your inbox!

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Join Dog Friendly Scene for FREE to receive incredible dog facts and fun activities in your inbox!

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Sharing is a good thing to do!