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A two-year-old female Chihuahua named Pearl has just been declared the world's shortest dog living by the Guinness World Records. The pocket-sized pooch is 9.14 cm (3.59 in) tall and 12.7 cm (5 in) long. This is shorter than a regular-sized television remote control and about the same length as a US dollar bill! Pearl weighed less than an ounce (28g) when she was born in September 2020. She has since "bulked" up to 1.22 lbs (553g).
The tiny dog belongs to Florida resident Vanesa Semler. She also owned the previous record holder, a 9.65 cm (3.8 in) tall Chihuahua named Miracle Milly. She died in 2020 at age nine. Pearl is the offspring of Miracle Milly's identical sister.
"We're blessed to have her," said Semler. "And to have this unique opportunity to break our own record and share with the world this amazing news."
Semler says the teacup-sized dog enjoys a healthy diet of high-quality chicken and salmon. She also loves to "dress up nice" and often accompanies her owner on shopping trips.
Chihuahuas, named after the Mexican state of Chihuahua, date back to the 19th century. They are thought to have been bred by the indigenous people as companion dogs. Their tiny size made them easy to carry around. The breed was introduced to the US in the late 1800s. They were an instant hit with the wealthy, who liked to use them as fashion accessories.
Chihuahuas are one of the smallest dog breeds. But they have yet to obtain the title of the shortest dog ever. That record still belongs to an 7 cm (2.8 in) tall Yorkshire Terrier called Sylvia. The United Kingdom-based canine died in 1945, just before turning two.
Resources: Dailymail.com, Guinnessworldrecords.com, USAtoday.com