Get ready to meet a dog that’s a hybrid of two of the most easily recognizable breeds in the world: the Chihuahua and the Dachshund. Also known as a Chiweenie, this designer breed may be small, but that little body holds a brave heart.
Due to being more affordable than some other designer dogs, the Chiweenie has seen its fair share of popularity despite being a newer breed. This, in addition to their compact, portable size, can make them a great fit for fans of smalls dogs.
For both potential owners of a Chiweenie and those just curious about this truly miniature breed, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we go over all there is to know about their temperament, looks, health facts, and more!
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Chiweenie Basic Profile
Friendliness: Social and friendly, the Chiweenie gets along great with all types of animals and people with proper socialization. However, their barking may make them seem aggressive. They’re small but protective, so it may seem like they’re aloof at times.
Trainability: These little toy dogs love to please their owners. For this reason, they do well in obedience training and can be trained by novice owners. Take a little time and train with positive reinforcement and you should have no problem.
Grooming: It doesn’t get much easier than a Chihuahua Dachshund mix. They rarely shed and only require a quick coat brush every now and then. Aside from the coat, basic grooming is necessary: tooth brushing, bathing and nail clipping.
Adaptability: The Chiweenie adapts great to all types of living conditions. They can thrive whether in a small apartment or on a large property. Depending on their coat type, they can have a harder time living in extreme cold weather. Still, a little dog sweater makes them almost ideal for any situation.
Activity: The Dachshund Chihuahua mix does not require much activity at all. A quick stroll through the neighborhood is sufficient for these dogs. Instead of intense exercise, these dogs much rather prefer lounging on someone’s lap.
- Height: 8 – 12 inches
- Weight: 5 – 10 pounds
- Life Expectancy: 13 – 16 years
- Dog Breed Group: Mixed breed (Toy Group)
Meet The Parents
In a word: tiny. In another word or two: really tiny. The Chihuahua is the proud owner of the title of world’s smallest purebred dog. With six pounds being on the heavy side and some barely passing above 2lbs, it really isn’t a surprise why they hold that title.
While they are short in stature, they boast rather long lifespans, often living up to 20 years. So make sure you’re up for the task because taking home a Chihuahua can be quite the commitment. But at the same time, you’ll have a great friend for years to come.
As long as Chihuahuas are given proper training and socialized adequately, they will be a joy to be with. Their little bodies pack a strong spirit in a bite-sized package that you can take with you anywhere. Just be aware that they will bark.
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It takes a stone-cold soul to look at a Dachshund and not break into a smile. Their oddly proportioned bodies are on the verge of being absurd yet iconic around the world. After all, the Dachshund is often called the “wiener dog.”
But much like the Chihuahua, Dachshunds are courageous and brave small dogs. And despite having a body that resembles the favorite street food of New Yorkers, they make loyal companions. They will love to cuddle up with you too!
Though training them can be time consuming, if done right they can become a great addition of any family. Just keep in mind that they do have a tendency to burrow. I mean, they were originally bred to hunt or flush out burrowing animals.
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The Chiweenie’s Unusual Looks
One thing both the Chihuahua and the Dachshund share is the fact that they’re on the small side. So, any Chiweenies you spot will follow this trend. However, the parent breeds do vary quite a bit in their body shape and facial features.
However, like most hybrids, there will be some room for variation. Often a Chiweenie will turn out to be a mashup of various traits from both the parents. It really just depends on which side of the family the dog inherits more from (which can be hard to predict).
The Chiweenie’s Size
Chihuahuas and Dachshunds are both in the toy category of dog breeds, so don’t expect a Chiweenie to step outside those bounds. However, they will usually turn out to be slightly bigger than your average Chihuahua.
A fully-grown dog (male or female) stands somewhere between 8-12 inches. And in terms of weight, an adult dog with a healthy body should top out at about 5-10 pounds.
Something to keep in mind is that there are two size classifications for the parent breeds: standard and miniature. Odds are you’ve come across a teacup Chihuahua or two if you’ve spent any time browsing Instagram.
If one or both of the parents are on the miniature side, you can expect their offspring to be smaller also. This should be taken into consideration when evaluating a healthy weight range. For example, a 10 lb teacup dog may need more exercise and a better diet.
But if the parent, especially on the Dachshund side, is in the standard class, they can surpass that 10-pound limit and still be within a healthy weight range.
Unique Physical Traits of the Chiweenie
Like other hybrid dogs, the Chihuahua Dachshund mix’s features can resemble either parent, or just be a blend of the two. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see variations within the same litter. But even so, there will be some similarities among most Chiweenies.
A Chiweenie might end up with the floppy ears of a Dachshund and the domed head of a Chihuahua. Just as likely they might sport a Dachshund’s narrow snout, but also have the short, yet triangular ears of the Chihuahua.
Usually their eyes are on the larger side, considering their body proportions. And while they are most often brown or black, sometimes a Chiweenie might look up at you with a pair of green-tinted eyes (yes, we have seen them!).
And, as you might have been wondering, yes, their body can be somewhat elongated if they take after a Dachshund. However, thanks to the Chihuahua side, their proportions are likely to have evened out a bit, with their legs being somewhat longer, so it might not be as noticeable.
The Chiweenie’s Coat
Both Chihuahuas and Dachshunds have a couple coat varieties, which means that Chiweenies can turn up with all sorts of coat options.
While the texture of a Chihuahua’s coat is consistent, it can be either long or short. A Dachshund, on the other hand, can have a long, short, or wire-haired coat. As usual, the parents’ coats will determine that of the offspring. It can range from short and glossy to long and wiry.
Their coloring will be a bit more consistent, with black and shades of brown being the most common coat colors. That being said, there are some cases where Chiweenies end up with lighter coats in hues of red or blond.
The Chiweenie’s Temperament
Part lap dog, part fearless protector, a Chihuahua Dachshund mix’s temperament can depend quite a bit on the training it receives. Unaware that they are small enough to fit in a purse, a Chiweenie is ready to keep its owners safe at all costs.
Needless to say, they are fiercely loyal. Also, though they are generally laid-back, especially while at home. In addition, they are always up for a round of play.
However, their protectiveness can go overboard if they are not properly socialized, which might lead to a distrust of strangers and other dogs.
Training Your Chiweenie
Being a small dog, owners can make the mistake of thinking that training won’t be necessary. After all, they are so small, what could be the big deal? Well, let’s take a look.
Chiweenies have a very protective nature, and this can be a positive or negative depending on the training they receive. If they received proper training as puppies, then this can translate to being ready to protect their owners while still being accepting of strangers.
If such training is neglected, it can result in a dog that has a tendency to be aggressive toward strangers or children who pester it. This can cause a lot of problems later on in adulthood.
Chiweenies are small, but no one ever told them. So it is very important that they be properly socialized, or they will become territorial, barking at strangers and growling anytime someone passes by.
Don’t let this intimidate you. At their core, Chiweenies are simply loyal with a touch of feistiness. As with any dog breed, proper training is key to a happy and well-adapted dog.
So, it is best to start early, as young as eight-weeks for the best results. Two things are key: positive reinforcement and patience. Stay consistent and you’ll be sure to end up with a loving, well-behaved dog.
Living with a Chiweenie
The good news is that a Chihuahua Dachshund mix can fit into any lifestyle, literally. They are extremely adaptive hybrid dogs. Whether you have a house with a huge lawn or a small apartment in the city, they will be equally at home.
What they might not enjoy though is living with small children. Younger children might not understand how to interact with a Chiweenie, which could lead to stress for the dog. Also, due to their small size, they are more prone to injury.
Toddlers and younger children, innocent though their intentions might be, run the risk of hurting a little Chiweenie. If you have smaller kids, be ready to keep an eye on their interactions with the dog, and be ready to intervene if the dog gives any signs of distress.
But, they do best in calmer households where they can feel safe and cuddle up on the couch without being disturbed. Though they can be energetic and love to play, they also make great lap dogs, ready to accompany you through Netflix binges.
They are especially a good match for elderly owners who want to enjoy the love of a canine companion, but might not be up for hours of running each day. Their even temperament can go along great with the relaxing years of retirement.
Exercise and Diet for a Chiweenie
Chihuahuas and Dachshunds are toy dogs, so you needn’t worry about burning through huge packs of dog chow or spending hours running each day to keep them healthy.
However, just because Chiweenies are lower maintenance does not mean that their exercise and diet needs can be glossed over. Don’t let their tendency to hide beneath cushions fool you, Chiweenies need exercise…just in an amount appropriate to their stature.
You’ll be looking at a maximum of 30 minutes a day. As we said, they are relatively low maintenance dog breeds. But just because the amount is minimal does not mean it can be put off.
Plenty of owners might see a Chiweenie curled up on the couch and think of exercise as being just an afterthought. But this will only have a negative effect on the dog’s mental and physical health.
It’s not much, but it is essential. We recommend breaking it up into about 20 minutes of walk time, giving the dog a chance to explore and enjoy the stimulation of being outside, and about 10 minutes of active play indoors.
Indoor play is easy. Couple games of tug-o-war, toss around their favorite toy…that’s all you need. The effort might be minimal, but the payoff is noticeable. Not only will your dog stay in good shape, but they will burn off any energy that might otherwise get them into trouble.
Though they are still intelligent dogs, mental exercises are not going to be absolutely necessary. Of course, they are still a good idea and can work as a good way to keep a Chiweenie stimulated. The more stimulation, the more content they’ll be.
Mental exercises can be in the form of obedience training or fun dog games. For example, you can hide treats around the home and let your Chiweenie find them. Try out several games with your Chiweenie to see if your dog takes a liking to anything.
Diet Requirements of the Chiweenie
Though they are small, Chiweenies can have a serious appetite. Being a smaller dog, they will actually need more calories per lb of weight each day than a larger dog. Depending on how active the dog is, they will need about 30-40 calories per lb of weight each day.
Additional diet requirements will vary depending on the age of the dog. Puppy Chiweenies need protein to account for about 22% of their diet, and about 8% for fat. Once they grow to adults, that can be cut down to 18% protein and 5% fat.
And then, once they reach around 7-9 years of age, be ready to make adjustments to their caloric and nutritional intake. They will likely have become less active, and as a result, won’t need to continue such a high calorie diet.
It is also important that their meals be spread out over the day, with about four even meals each day, especially when they are developing. Once they are adults, cutting down to 3 or 2 meals a day should be fine. If they eat too much all at once, it can lead to digestive difficulties.
Also, all fats and proteins are not created equal. Be sure that they are coming from meat, poultry, and fish. Plant proteins and fats are still okay, but should be supplemental rather than their main source of these nutrients.
The occasional human food treat is okay. Just make sure you know what you’re feeding your dog and it is safe for them to consume. For more information, check out this nutritional guide.
How to Groom Your Chiweenie
The low maintenance of the Chiweenie is apparent yet again. Keeping this breed groomed is a breeze. It doesn’t mean that you can neglect your grooming duties. All dogs, including the Chiweenie needs basic grooming for comfortable living.
Chiweenie’s are low-shedding dogs, so have no fear, you will not end up covered in dog hair. They’re a great option for those looking for a hypoallergenic dog breed. But, this doesn’t mean they don’t need to be brushed!
Two to three times a week is all it will take. Each of those sessions will only last you a couple of minutes. Just take some time to clear up any loose hair and you’ll be set. Their coat will stay healthy and you’ll be free to carry on with your day.
If a Chiweenie has longer hair, you might need to add another minute or two to that brushing though! No big deal. It’s easy to avoid this simple duty, but trust me, your dog will appreciate it.
Basic Chiweenie Hygiene
Bathing a Chiweenie once a month is all you’ll need, unless they are obviously covered in mud or some other debris. Since Chiweenies don’t usually carry much odor, you won’t need to worry about your dog leaving behind any smells after cuddle sessions.
If anything, bathing them more than once a month might actually be a step in the wrong direction. Over-bathing could decrease the amount of natural oil in their coat, oils which they need for their fur and skin to remain healthy.
Perhaps the only aspect of the Chiweenie maintenance that is even slightly demanding is their teeth. In fact, Chihuahua’s are known to be prone to dental and gum problems, so pick up a solid toothbrush from your local pet store and set to cleaning their teeth at least once a week.
Health and Potential Medical Issues
Being hybrid dogs, Chiweenies are less vulnerable to genetic health issues than either purebred parent. But, there are still a few, mostly minor, health concerns that are worth knowing about.
As with any breed, purebred or mixed breed, it is important to meet the parents and learn their health history. Parents who have genetic health issues will be more likely to pass these on to offspring.
However, the good news is that Chiweenies are known to be one of the healthier breeds out there. They are rarely susceptible to serious diseases and are sturdy little dogs. Odds are, trips to the vet will be few and far between.
Allergies in Chiweenies
Though a Chiweenie’s allergies are not going to be life-threatening, they won’t enjoy them either. The most common allergies are to dust and pollen, which can easily be spotted if your dog’s eyes water constantly (still, check with a vet).
The best way to help keep your Chiweenie comfortable is to get an air filter specifically designed to remove these allergens from the air. This will increase the air quality for both you and your dog. But remember to change the filter!
This is more due to their size than anything else. Chiweenies are small, but refuse to acknowledge this fact. Because of this, they can sometimes get hurt, especially if they play too roughly with bigger dogs or smaller children.
They can be susceptible to back injuries especially if they inherit a slightly more elongated body of the Dachshund. You also don’t want them to be running up and down stairs and jumping off couches. But, as long as you keep an eye on them, this shouldn’t be a problem.
If the play with another dog looks like it is headed in the wrong direction, don’t be afraid to step in. They are small dogs and can be fragile. Your Chiweenie won’t mind taking a break to spend some time with you instead.
Parent Breed’s Health Issues
As we mentioned, Chiweenies are generally healthy, but their parents do occasionally suffer from a few health conditions. We’ve included these here just for the sake of being thorough.
So, if you are thinking of picking up a little Chiweenie puppy, it would be a good idea to check if either of the parents suffered from any of the following.
On the Dachshund Side:
- Intervertebral Degenerative Disc Disease
On the Chihuahua Side:
- Luxating Patellas
- Dental Problems
Lifespan of the Chiweenie
Though Chihuahuas can regularly live up to 20 years, Dachshunds have a somewhat shorter lifespan. But even so, a healthy Chiweenie can still expect a good 13-16 years if they are well taken care of and do not run into much health problems.
Is the ChiweenieFor Me?
Super low maintenance, the Chiweenie is a perfect fit for individuals who live a more laid-back lifestyle. If you are more keen on cozy evenings at home rather than, say, long hikes in the mountains, this breed is a good choice.
Small size, small price tag. Some hybrid breeds, like the Goberian, can cost more up to $1500 dollars. This Chiweenie is budget friendly. Not only do puppies tend to be less than $500, but they will likely need fewer trips to the vet and cost less to feed.
They do require some more attentive training than other breeds if you want them well-behaved and well socialized. Some people might like their feisty attitudes, while others might want a more even-tempered dog. However, at the bottom line, they are loyal and loving nonetheless.
Being such a small breed, they are completely content at home in smaller living areas. Yard or no yard, they will be just fine. So long as they still get some exercise each day!
These dogs, believe it or not, make excellent watch dogs. With their alert and fearless nature, you can relax knowing that they are on the job.
Though they enjoy being home and around familiar settings, they are ready to go with you anywhere, but they might prefer to hitch a ride in a hand bag rather than stroll all over town.
Overall, this breed is one suited to a quieter life without many surprises. If you’ve got a temperament along the same lines, then you’ll be sure to make a great match.
Do you own a Chiweenie? Let us know in the comments section below. How has your experience with this hybrid dog been?
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