Meet tiny Dancer, a rust-colored, long-haired Chihuahua that may just be the world's smallest dog, weighing 18 ounces and standing not much more than 4 inches tall.
Dancer's owner, Jenny Gomes, said the diminutive Lake County canine may be on his way to being named the world's smallest living dog by Guinness World Records.
And Dancer may have a legitimate claim to the title. The last smallest dog -- measured by height -- was Danka Kordak of Slovakia, which stood 5.4 inches high, according to Guinness officials.
But that long-haired Chihuahua died. And Gomes said her Dancer is slightly smaller at 4.1 inches, from foot to the top of the shoulder.
Born June 8, Dancer can't officially claim the title until he is 1 year old.
"Then we're planning to throw him a birthday party, measure him officially and get him into the Guinness records as the smallest-living dog," Gomes said.
She said a shorter candidate could emerge but that's unlikely.
Guinness officials require height to be measured up to the animal's shoulders. A Largo Chihuahua is the smallest in terms of length, at 6 inches.
A neighbor of Gomes, who lives in Okahumpka, abandoned a female Chihuahua a year ago. Emaciated and near death when found, the dog was pregnant.
"We rescued her, and two weeks later she gave birth," Gomes said. The first puppy was a normal-sized female. "But about two hours later came Dancer," Gomes said. "He was about a quarter the size of his sister. He was about as big as my thumb."
His sister was adopted, but Gomes kept Dancer and his mother.
Veterinarians suggested Dancer be euthanized because he was likely to have serious health issues as he grew older. Gomes didn't expect the tiny dog to make it either, but she wanted to give him a chance.
Cathy Griggs, Gomes' friend, said she first saw Dancer at the half-year mark.
"If I hadn't known better, I would have assumed he was a puppy," she said.
Those who know Dancer say he doesn't have the typical Chihuahua personality.
"He's a ham. He loves people," Gomes said.
She carries him wrapped in a small blanket or pushes him in a baby stroller. At home, he stays in a small playpen. He is always at risk from larger animals.
"His mother is the only one I let near him. She's very protective," Gomes said.
He is so fragile, a fall from a chair or table could be fatal.
Dancer's name was inspired by a popular Garth Brooks song.
Dancer eats every three or four hours because of his size. His only health problem is low blood sugar.
Gomes said a man in the veterinarian's office offered her $5,000 for Dancer when he found out the dog was an adult.
Gomes refused: "No way. You don't sell love."
Smallest Dog in the World tooThe Guinness Records website currently lists "Big Boss", a Yorkshire Terrier, as the smallest dog in the world. Big Boss was listed at 11.94cm (4.7in) tall when guardian Dr. Chai Khanchanakom from Thailand registered the toy dog with Guinness.
"Toy dog" is the breed classification including the Chihuahua, Pekingese, Shih-Tzu and Yorkshire Terrier. These diminutive doggies may be small in stature, but size doesn't matter in the dog world. (Anyone who's seen a Rat Terrier take on a German Shepherd in a barking contest will back me up on this one!)
Smallest Dog in the World UnofficiallyTRESTINA (Czech Republic) — A teeny, tiny doggy has gone to teeny, tiny doggy heaven due to an unfortunate mistake at a veterinary clinic.
"Ondra", a Chihuahua who was once the record holder for "Smallest Dog in the World" (Guinness Book of World Records) was accidentally given a fatal shot of the wrong medicine by a veterinarian in Olomauc, Czech Republic last year. The injection, which was a vaccination, caused Ondra's health to deteriorate rapidly to the point that his guardian Miloslava Vasickova decided to have him put down.
Ms. Vasickova brought a lawsuit against the clinic for negligence and won. A Czech district court ruled that the woman is entitled to £20,000 ($28,900 US) compensation for her loss, according to a story in the Czech daily newspaper Pravo. Ms. Vasickova said that the money, Ondra's legacy, will be donated to shelters that care for abandoned animals.
"We only want justice to be done," she says. "Vets should treat animals and not harm them."
The veterinary clinic has appealed the court ruling.
Little Ondra, less that 6 inches long and weighing in at 850g (30 oz., smaller than a medium-sized Big Gulp at the 7-11), brought international fame to his home town of Trestina.
Smallest Dog in the World Picture
Smallest Dog in the World StatsI hope you enjoyed learning about the Smallest Dog in the world. When we tried to find out which is the Smallest Dog in the world we found this information. The information above on the Smallest Dog in the world is gathered from various world record resources. So, the "Smallest Dog" world record holder may change.