The Chiweenie is a mixed breed dog- a cross breed between Chihuahua and a Dachshund dog breeds. The small-sized companions attract so much love hence their nicknames; “German Taco” or the “Mexican Hotdog.” Chiweenies may have existed naturally in the past, but designer breeders started mixing Chihuahuas and Dachshunds in the late 1990s in North America. At this time, the demand for mixed breed puppies was high because of the fact that gene crossing helped get rid of the breed specific health issues that affected purebred dogs. Moreover, mixed bred dogs were more resilient than their purebred counterparts. For instance, Chiweenies (because of their small size) corrected the back problems created by the long bodies of the Dachshunds.
Chiweenies are recognized by various bodies including the International Designer Canine Hybrid Club (IDCR), the American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC), Designer Dogs Kennel Club (DDKC) and the Designer Breed Registry (DBR) which therefore makes them an official mixed breed. The breeding of Chiweenies has over the years raised controversies because of reports that they are bred for profit in puppy farms and illegal breeders.
Chiweenies are not perfect hybrids as they certainly inherited some of their parents’ traits. They are very loyal, compact and energetic; as such, they make very good apartment dogs for urban dwellers. It is especially a perfect choice for those that seek a lapdog that will love the unconditionally, is energetic and sensitive to potential danger and strangers approaching the house (this actually makes them wonderful guard dogs).
Here are some of the main facts about Chiweenies that give an idea of what it is like to buy and own one;
Chiweenies have the build of a Dachshund but have a longer body, a long, curved tail and short legs. Their bodies come with a variety of colors (owing to the Dachshund influence) with their usual being either brown, black, tan, blonde or white. Their eyes, on the other hand, would either be black, brown, green or blue and almond-shaped. Chiweenies’ ears and face vary between the features of a Chihuahua and a Dachshund. They may have floppy ears that stand upright when alert and pointing outwards like bat wings. The nose can be short or pointed, black or brown.
Chiweenies usually have short, glossy and smooth coats. While it is guaranteed that chiweenie coats are smooth and soft to touch, the thickness and length of their coats may vary from one chiweenie to another depending on its parents.
Height and Weight
Chiweenies, being smaller in size than their parents, weigh between 8 and 10 pounds and have an average height of about 8 to 12 inches while standing. A Chiweenie puppy is born weighing just about 2.5 ounces. Males and females don’t really have much differences between them and could thus basically weigh the same and have the same height.
Chiweenie Personality and Temperament
Being cross-breeds, Chiweenies actually borrow so much of their personalities and temperament from their parents. As such, to understand them, one has to first understand their parents; that is the Dachshund and Chihuahua. It is important to always keep in mind that like most mixed breed dogs, chiweenies may inherit more tendencies and personalities of one of their purebred parent than the other, or may be a perfect hybrid.
To begin with, Chihuahua are known to be the smallest dogs in the World. They are known to be stubborn, loving and sensitive pets. They are extremely affectionate and penchants for cuddles hence make perfect lapdogs.
Dachshunds, on the other hand come from Germany. The word ach’ means badger and und’ means dog. This is so because the dogs were basically bred to hunt badgers and wild boars when in groups. Dachshunds are good hunters and diggers. They come in a variety of colors, coats and sizes. They are clever, lively and perfect for a family.
As a blend of their parents’ personalities, chiweenies are small, cute, cuddly and highly sociable dogs. They are not so fussy about who they cuddle with but would most often tend to favor one individual in the household over others. Due to this favoritism, they may suffer from separation depression and may become aggressive to strangers. A chiweenie owner would thus need to train them and ensure they provide positive reinforcement for the dog to learn proper and healthy socialization skills and therefore minimize such issues.
Chiweenies have quite high levels of energy hence they would most likely prefer to play than to cuddle. They can equally occasionally calm down and nap on the couch. Chiweenies tend to inherit the Dachshund’s tendency to dig and may still possess a prey drive and hunting tendencies both indoors and outdoors. They dogs also tend to be quite loud and yappy. They’d be barking at everyone and anything in their environment from the mailman to other dogs in the neighborhood. They may also howl occasionally. Additionally, because of their small size and the fact that both its parents are dominant dog breeds, chiweenies are susceptible to developing the small dog syndrome and therefore exhibit a series of bad behaviors as a way of overcoming their size. A small dog syndrome is basically when a small-sized dog wants to show ho is boss.’ The dog show symptoms such as growling at guest, jumping on people, barking all the time and disobeying commands.
Luckily, through positive training and reinforcement, the dogs’ undesirable qualities can be minimized or corrected entirely. This can be done best through socializing them from a young age. This way, their loud personalities can be calmed and they would also be more receptive of new people and dogs. It takes a consistent and energetic owner to effectively train a Chiweenie as then, the dog’s desire to please their human counterpart will make training smooth and fun.
Who Would Make the Best Chiweenie Owners?
Chiweenies are perfect for people who travel a lot and those that live in apartments and condos. Because of their small size and sensitive backs, Chiweenies can easily get injured by overly excited small children who in most cases are rough players. Furthermore, Chiweenies get angry very easily when there is too much noise and activity around them. They may not tolerate the turbulence caused by toddlers. For this reason, they prefer the company of adults and older children who know how to play more gently. This is however not cast in stone as a family with small children can still get a Chiweenie provided the children know how to gently play with a small dog. In this case, the dog can actually turn out to be a great and active companion as they are particularly laid-back and friendly.
Because Chiweenies don’t have so much exercise needs (more about this will be discussed later) other than short daily walks and stretching, they make perfect companions for the elderly. All things considered, these firecrackers make excellent pets. They are cute, lovable little balls that are sure to bring happiness and joy into your life.
Taking care of a Chiweenie isn’t a lot of work- that means that it doesn’t have to be a full-time job. So, if you are as lazy and busy as I am, then this is the perfect dog breed for you (laughs).Chiweenies Aren’t So Great with Other Pets!
As for the question on whether Chiweenies can adapt and get along with other pets, the trick is that the dog has to be early socialized to do so smoothly. Chiweenies aren’t so fond of other animals; so, they prefer being the only pets around and the sole center of attraction. They can be fearless, and at times a bit territorial. However, in the case where there are other pets, it is best that the dog gets used to them early (from its puppyhood). The other pet should be introduced slowly and calmly so that the Chiweenie doesn’t consider it a threat or competitor for their master’s love. In a nut shell, the potential of Chiweenies getting along with other dogs and cats comes down to early socialization, training and luck. The Chiweenie would then be able to ove its doggy neighbor.’
Training a Chiweenie
Like their parents, chiweenies are stubborn despite their intelligence. Some Chiweenies may educate themselves pretty well when it comes to general behavior and so they can be given a chance to teach themselves, however, with most, their owners will have to train them. It will require a lot of your time and patience to unlock your dog’s full potential. The best way to train a Chihuahua-Dachshund cross is by starting with small sessions coupled with a variety of sweet treats that will encourage and increase the dog’s capacity to learn. Alternatively, you can seek the help of a professional trainer to potty-train your Chiweenie.
It is recommended that while working on unlocking a chiweenie’s mental potential, their physical potential should be worked on concurrently. The training sessions should thus be topped up with short daily walks. If the training sessions get you frustrated, come away and try again later; again, patience is key.
Caring for a Chiweenie
Chiweenies don’t really need a lot of exercise. A short walk and indoor play is enough to make a chiweenie happy and healthy. If the only reason why you do not have a dog at your home is because your house is small, then this Chihuahua-Dachshund cross is what you are looking for and is the best shot you have to owning a dog. This is because they require very little space, and so that small house of yours can actually be castle to these little firecrackers. A small backyard or a medium-sized apartment is enough for the dog to stretch their legs. Due to the potential for inherited back problems, play time should be short and light with limited jumping or climbing. Regular exercise also helps the dog shed some weight and keep fit because Chiweenies are prone to gaining weight. It is important however that the play space is well secured and fenced; otherwise, the dog can easily dig their way out. Also, try to use a harness when outside.
Feeding and Diet
The ideal feed for a Chiweenie is that of a small breed, high energy dog. Chiweenies thrive well on dry feeds such as kibble. It is imperative that they are fed on high quality and grain free feeds to keep them healthy and free of dental problems. A Chiweenie’s food should be rich in Omega-3, proteins and Beta-carotene to be healthy and full of energy. The most recommended brand of food is Merrick Dog Food. The dogs are prone to gaining weight when overfed so a regular feeding schedule is paramount. You should also avoid leaving food out during the day/between meals. The number of treats should also be limited. The dietary needs of a Chiweenie, just like with other dog breeds, change with age or maturity such that an adult Chiweenie’s food intake and nutritional needs would differ from that of a Chiweenie puppy. There are other variations specific to an individual dog such as their weight, energy and health that will require a more specific diet. You should ask your veterinarian to help with this.
A Dachshund-Chihuahua cross corrects most of the health problems that may otherwise be experienced by a purebred dog. For instance, because of their ling snouts and long bodies, Dachshunds are known to have dental problems and spine problems. Chiweenies, on the other hand, have shorter backs and noses hence they do not have such problems as their parents in most cases. Similarly, Chihuahuas have weak bones and fragile hearts but this trait is hardly seen in chiweenies due to the Dachshund influence and so they enjoy good health.
This notwithstanding, the cuties may still suffer from some of the common canine health problems such as allergies, diabetes, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), knee and joint issues, hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid) and hip dysplasia. Some of the signs to look out for to discern that your dog is unwell include excessive sneezing or licking of the skin, difficulty breathing, coughing and rashes. Some canine diseases such as diabetes require lifelong treatment and are best addressed when diagnosed early by a veterinarian. It is therefore important that you keep up with regular veterinary checkups. Furthermore, due to their Dachshund descent, Chiweenies are prone to dental problems and therefore require regular brushing and/or professional teeth cleanings to prevent these issues.
Grooming and Shedding
As mentioned earlier, Chiweenie coats vary in thickness and length depending on whether they inherit a Chihuahua or a Dachshund coat. For this reason, the grooming of a specific chiweenie will have to be tailored to their specific coat. For instance, a chiweenie with a long coat will roughly require a bath once a month and to be groomed once a day. Chiweenies are seasonal shedders; that is in winter and in summer, beyond then, they will hardly shed their fur. The sweet little buddies have manageable coats that with regular brushing, will seldom get matted.
Check your dog’s ears for debris and pests daily and clean them as recommended by your veterinarian. You should also trim the dog’s nails preferably once or twice a month before they get too long. Again, a major concern when taking care of a Chiweenie is maintaining good dental/oral hygiene. Chiweenies are prone to dental problems; as such, their teeth must be brushed daily. You can consult with your vet on the how to brush your dog’s teeth properly.
The Best Weather for a Chihuahua-Dachshund Cross
Chiweenies are fine living in warm weather. However, since they don’t have very thick coats, it is best to keep your Chiweenie warm artificially during the cold, winter weather. This can be done through dressing them in a coat during winter or popping him/her in your handbag.
How Long Do Chiweenies Live?
On average, the lifespan of a Chiweenie is between 13 and 16 years. The oldest recorded Chiweenie is 21 years old.
Celebrity Status: Tuna
Tuna is a seven-year-old Chiweenie who’s captured many people’s hearts on Instagram hence garnering a whopping 1.9 million followers. Tuna’s owner, Courtney Dasher, rescued him in 2010 from a Farmers’ Market in Los Angeles when he was only four months old. Of the features that make Tuna unique is his wrinkly neck and recessed jawline.
Buying a Chiweenie
Your best bet at getting a quality Chiweenie is through a referral. Do you know anyone who already has a Chiweenie and can refer you to their breeder? Then you are lucky. However, if you do not, then it is best to get one from a reputable breeder. Alternatively, you can adopt one from a Chiweenie rescue center (despite being designer dogs at first, some Chiweenies may find their way into orphanages and shelters). You can also find adverts in local newspapers and on social media. However, watch out for disreputable breeders and puppy farms.
If you are getting a puppy, ask to see the mother with the puppies so that you can monitor their housing conditions. The most important thing to take note of is the puppy’s temperament. You may want to settle for one that is not too shy, and not too bold at the same time. If the puppy seems aggressive, you should opt to look elsewhere. You should also make sure you request a contract of sale and a pedigree detailing the puppy’s ancestry.
Watch Video: Cute Chiweenie Puppies Video Compilation
How much do Chiweenies cost?
Owing to their recent surge in popularity, a Chiweenie puppy costs between $200 and $500. There is an additional cost of deworming, neutering, micro-chipping and buying a leash which adds up to around $ 400. The yearly maintenance cost that can be up to $800.
Whether with short or long, glossy coats, short or floppy ears and almond-shaped eyes, chiweenies are the cutest hybrids around. So really, shoutout to the cute parents of Chiweenies (Chihuahua and Dachshunds); they are the real MVPS! I mean, who wouldn’t want to have one of these darlings to receive them at home after a long day at work? Get yourself one of these canines, raise it right and appreciate all of its charms- from their color to its wagging of the tail and everything in between-you won’t regret it!
Here is a quick breed summary table about Chiweenies;
Size – Chiweenies size ranges between eight to twelve inches tall.
Lifespan – thirteen to sixteen years
Color – Chiweenies can have a solid color or be bi-colored. Common colors include black, brown, black, tan and white.
Shedding – Chiweenies don’t shed so much. They are seasonal shedders; that is in winter and summer. They hardly shed outside these periods.
Attitude – The temperament of a Chiweenie is social, loving, loyal, loud, stubborn and tenacious.
Health – A Chiweenie is generally hardy. This breed however gets affected by conditions such as diabetes, allergies, back and joint issues, and hypoglycemia.
Socialization – Chiweenies are not so great with toddlers. They are quite sensitive and get annoyed quickly when there is a lot of activity around them. They also require some level of consciousness which cannot be provided by children. They may thus prefer the company of adults and older children.
Destructive behavior – A Chiweenie can be a bit naughty with howling, digging, small dog syndrome. This breed is also suffers from separation anxiety.
People skills – A Chiweenie has a tendency of favoring one person over others in a household.
3 Tips for Owning a Chiweenie Puppy
A Chiweenie is relatively low-maintenance. This breed requires very little grooming and only need to be bathed once a month.
As a mixed breed, Chiweenies are more resistant to disease and pests than their purebred counterparts. However, because of some inherited traits from their parents, they can be susceptible to back and knee problems. Exercise must be kept light with minimal jumping and climbing.
Chiweenies can still get ill despite being hardy. Some of the most common diseases and health conditions include diabetes, hypoglycemia and luxating patellas. Annual visits to the vets are a must.