‘Small like a ball’: Pearl the chihuahua becomes world’s shortest dog

Maggie Davies

Pearl is shorter than the standard television remote and about as long as a dollar bill, Guinness World Records says.

What do you call a chihuahua dog that’s shorter than a popsicle stick and can fit in your pocket?

The planet’s shortest living dog, Guinness World Records has announced.

Pearl qualified for the title after a veterinarian at the Crystal Creek animal hospital in Orlando, Florida, where she was born, used a special dog-measuring wicket to determine she was just under 3.6in (9.14cm) tall and 5in (12.7cm) long.

Those dimensions mean she is shorter than the standard television remote and about as long as a dollar bill, Guinness said in a statement.

She succeeds the late “Miracle” Milly, an identical sister of Pearl’s mother, who held the record after being measured at 3.8in.

Pearl weighed less than an ounce when she was born in September 2020, shortly before Milly’s death.

She has since gone up to 1.22lbs (553g), thanks in part to her predilection for chicken, salmon and other similar “high-quality food”, Pearl’s owner, Vanesa Semler, said in a statement published by Guinness.

“We’re blessed to have her and to have this unique opportunity to break our own record and share with the world this amazing news,” added Semler, who also owned Milly.

Guinness recently presented Pearl on the set of its televised talent show in Milan. Semler carried Pearl on to the set of Lo show dei record in an elaborate seat shaped like an Easter egg, and said the two had just gone around Milan shopping.

Calling her dog “a bit of a diva”, Semler said Pearl is “small like a ball” and barely taller than a teacup. Pearl kept calm in the face of the audience’s applause, which impressed the crowd because chihuahuas have a reputation of being feisty and temperamental.

Semler said Pearl remains “a child at heart” though she is due to turn three later this year, and she is the “only small one” of her owner’s four dogs.

After that TV appearance, the organization known for its maintenance of a database of more than 40,000 world records explained that Pearl’s veterinarian, Dr Giovanni Vergel, measured her three times in quick succession at the Crystal Creek clinic.

He took each measurement from the base of Pearl’s front to the top of the ridge between her shoulder blades, “in a straight vertical line”, before reporting his findings to Guinness, the organization said.

Pearl is at least the second chihuahua in the US to grab international headlines since late last year. In January, Guinness publicly announced that the Ohio-based, 23-year-old chihuahua mix Spike
was the world’s oldest dog.

But a couple of weeks later, a 30-year-old livestock guard dog from rural Portugal who is named Bobi snatched that title away from Spike, according to Guinness.

(Story source: The Guardian)

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