Chihuahua, city (1990 pop. 516,153), capital of Chihuahua state, N Mexico. It lies in a valley almost encircled by hills. Chihuahua is the commercial and processing center of a vast central area. Agriculture, livestock, and mining are the economic mainstays of the surrounding region. The revolutionist Hidalgo y Costilla was executed in the city in 1811. Chihuahua was occupied briefly by U.S. forces in 1846 and served as the headquarters of Benito Juárez until French troops took it in 1865. It has many American residents. There are several prime examples of 18th-century colonial architecture, including the aqueduct.
Chihuahua (chəwä‘wə) , a breed of small toy dog probably of Asian origin and introduced into Mexico by Spanish settlers. It stands about 5 in. (12.7 cm) high at the shoulder and weighs from 1 to 6 lb (0.5–2.7 kg). There are two varieties: the smooth, with a short, close-lying, glossy coat, and the long-coated, with soft-textured, flat or slightly wavy hair that forms a fringe of longer hair on the neck, legs, and tail. The coat may be any color but is usually tan. Named after the state of Chihuahua, Mexico, this tiny dog was long believed to have been indigenously Mexican. However, there exist no archaeological remains to support this belief; the animal generally claimed to be the Chihuahua depicted in Toltecan and Aztecan art and described in the writings of early explorers of Mexico is most probably a variety of rodent. It is much more likely that the ancestors of the breed were brought by Spanish merchants by way of their trade route from China, where the practice of dwarfing both plants and animals has had a long history. Today the Chihuahua is widely popular as a house pet. See dog.