More than a few people have noted similarities in appearance between chihuahuas and rats. Chihuahua is often mentioned in a well-traveled urban legend (known as the “Mexican Pet“). And involves a hapless tourist’s mistaking a giant rat for that breed of a small dog. Wouldn’t it be a hoot if it turned out that Chihuahuas were a type of rodent?

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That’s the premise in a 2004 Watley Review article which reported that cancer researchers had analyzed DNA collected from 85 different breeds of dogs. In this study, they “determined that the Chihuahua is a large rodent, selectively bred for centuries to resemble a canine.” Moreover, said the article, several other breeds of dogs aren’t dogs at all either:

Among other findings, the analysis determined that the Chihuahua is a large rodent. This means that they were selectively bred for centuries to resemble a canine.

“This is going to raise some eyebrows in the Chihuahua world,” said Peggy Wilson, president of the Chihuahua Club of America. Then, she added that “It goes against our belief system. People are pretty passionate about their dogs., and there will be disbelief.”

The study found that several diminutive breeds had been independently created worldwide from various other animals. Moreover, they include the Lhasa apso (Tibetan snow rabbit), Pekingese (Chinese water rat), Shih Tzu (stoat), and Yorkshire Terrier (pigeon).

Ah, but it was all just a bit of satirical fun involving dog breeders and several types of small dogs that some people typically associate with the stereotype of overly pampered. Moreover, a 2004 scientific study that found several breeds of dogs that “aficionados have long believed dated back thousands of years are much more modern animals — re-creations that breeders probably produced.”

As the Watley Review‘s disclaimer explains:

The Watley Review is dedicated to the production of articles completely without journalistic merit or factual basis, as this would entail leaving our chairs or actually working. Names, places and events are generally fictitious, except for public figures about which we may have heard something down at the pub. All contents are intended as parody and should be construed as such

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