Chiweenie, Cockapoo, Yorkipoo – these names may give your head a right spin-around, but if you think about it, they do indeed make sense. In fact, these names not only make sense, they can also transform those who know about them into puddles of adoring goo. That’s because these are names of designer or crossed-breed dogs and they can be very, shriek-inducingly cute.
Designer dogs are something of a fad in recent years. Such mixes have only really become more popular in the last decade. You may have seen some being held by famous names such as Miley Cyrus and Ellen DeGeneres, who both have Maltipoos. Or perhaps Uma Thurman and Jake Gyllenhaal, who both own Puggles.
What is a Chiweenie?
The name ‘Chiweenie’ doesn’t quite give you an immediate idea of what breeds the dog is mixed from. Unlike Labradoodles and Schnoodles, which are more obviously mixes with poodles, Chiweenie requires a bit more thinking. Here are some other names of this breed to help you with that: Mexican Hot Dog, Chiwee and Doxihuahua.
If you didn’t know, this designer breed of dog is actually a mix of the Chihuahua and the Dachshund. This particular mix isn’t as well-known as some of their cousins. However, they are, like many other mixes, adorable as can be.
Chiweenies are quite a recent mix – in fact, they only became popular about twenty years ago in the 1990’s. To find out more about this breed, we naturally have to look at their ancestry.
Chihuahuas are the world’s smallest breed of dog that was believed to have originated from Mexico. The Chihuahua’s ancestor was a breed called Techichi, which hails from Central or South America. However, there are others who think that the Chihuahua was first bred in Asia instead. The Techichi was believed to be larger dogs, only gaining its smaller size after being crossbred with Asian hairless dogs.
The earliest depiction of the Chihuahua dates back to the 9th Century CE. Toltec carvings of dogs that resembled the Chihuahua were found in Central and South America. It was only in the 1800’s that the Chihuahua became popular in the US, with the American Kennel Club classifying the dogs as belonging to the toy group in 1904.
While the purpose for the Chihuahua breed isn’t known, the story of the Dachshund is very different. These dogs were designed and bred in Germany primarily for hunting. Their main prey were badgers and this is where the name came from. ‘Dach’ in German means ‘badger,’ while ‘hund’ means ‘dog.’
Dachshunds were also used to hunt other animals, mostly den animals like foxes and rabbits. In addition, packs of Dachshunds were also used to trail wild boar. Their short legs made it easy for this breed to dig its way into tunnels created by badgers, foxes and rabbits. They also have strong backs that are capable of withstanding the force of all that digging.
Dachshunds have a long history that is traceable all the way back to the 15th Century. They were introduced in the US during the late 1800’s. However, it was later in 1935 that the American Kennel Club inducted this breed into the hound group.
Chiweenies love being around people and don’t discriminate who they like to cuddle with. Their attitudes are more laid back than typical Chihuahuas, which makes them all the more lovable. Socialization is very important to this friendly breed of dog. As such, it can easily fit into any group it’s put into.
Due to their heritage, Chiweenies can be feisty and sometimes snappy. That being said, they are also brave and very spirited. These dogs may bark more often than strictly necessary, but that’s just another indication of its enthusiasm. This tiny mix can easily get bored and may get into some trouble as a result.
Chiweenies tend to get very attached to those humans they consider their family. This and their lion hearts make them very protective. However, this may be dangerous for them, as they can forget their miniscule size when trying to eliminate a threat.
Be aware that these dogs need a lot of love due to their devotion. Leave them alone for too long and they may develop separation anxiety.
From its face, you are easily able to tell that part of its looks come from the Chihuahua. In fact, its face, head and ears all resemble the Chihuahua. However, its ears could also be bigger and floppier like the Dachshund instead. In addition, the Chiweenie typically has a longer body and shorter legs, not dissimilar from the Dachshund.
It is important to note that there will be variations existing within the breed itself, as it is a mix of two distinct breeds. There are Chiweenies with longer faces more resembling their Dachshund parent than their Chihuahua parent, so don’t be surprised to find different-looking Chiweenies.
Since both breeds the Chiweenie comes from are pretty small, it stands to reason that they themselves aren’t very big. In fact, the tallest they can get is about a foot. However, there is also a teacup variation of this mix that is even smaller.
Chiweenies can come in a variety of colors. If you like plain, solid-colored dogs, you are able to choose from black, blond, tan, brown and white. They could also have a mix of colors, having a combination of those mentioned before and even more.
These tiny pups usually have short, glossy fur. As such, they shed a lot less than longer-haired breeds. However, long-haired variations of Chiweenies also exist. If you have any allergies, though, it would be a good idea to procure one with a shorter smooth coat.
If the Chiweenie has a short coat, you will have to brush it around 2-3 times a week to collect the loose hair and prevent shedding. However, if your dog grows up to develop a coat that is on the longer side, you will have to brush him or her more often – at least once a day. Otherwise, you may end up with matted pouch and hair all over your carpets and furniture.
Chiweenies usually don’t tend to get their coats dirty that often, nor do they get smelly quickly in between baths. It is often enough to give your dog a monthly bath, but feel free to increase or decrease their frequency, depending on the needs of your Chiweenie. However, you have to refrain from doing it too often, as it reduces the natural coat oil and can cause skin irritation.
Their nails should be trimmed once or twice a month to keep them from growing too long, which may split and cause injuries – for both you and your dog.
Chiweenies are, unfortunately, prone to problems with their gums and teeth, so you have to pay close attention to their dental hygiene. Their teeth should be brushed at least once a week, but there are no limitations and the more frequently you do the brushing, the better.
Thanks to its small size, a Chiweenie is a good candidate for indoor living and an average-sized apartment is sufficient enough for its exercise requirements to be met (check the policy of your apartment, some are more pet friendly than others). On the other hand, if you wish to keep him or her in your yard, be sure to provide it with a warm and cozy dog house and give it access indoors whenever it likes to.
A Chiweenie’s small size makes it ideal passengers too. In other words, you don’t have to worry about your dog staying alone when you travel, as you are able to simply take it with you, whatever means of transportation you choose for your trip.
Possible Health Problems
Chiweenies have a long life expectancy, which can go up to 16 years. They are generally a healthy species and can live a long, happy life – as long as you take care of their specific needs.
However, there are some health risks and conditions that a Chiweenie may inherit from its parents, including: allergies, diabetes, hypoglycemia, dental issues, intervertebral degenerative disease, hydrocephalus and hypothyroidism.
This type of health problem Chiweenies get is something from their Dachshund side of the family. If several dogs in a family have had problems with their backs, then the future generations are prone to developing intervertebral disc disease too.
This means that as a dog gets older and its bone structure wears down, too much force may cause the vertebral discs to rupture, leading to partial or full paralysis. Depending on the severity of the condition, a dog may need rest, temporary confinement, or surgery to make a recovery.
Because the Chiweenies are the result of mixing two fairly short-legged breeds, some of them may be born with legs that are too short for supporting their bodies. This puts additional stress to the spine, leading to developing more serious problems with their vertebrae and disc herniation.
If a Chiweenie gets its facial appearance from its Chihuahua side of the family, then it may have issues with overcrowded teeth. If left untreated, teeth that are spaced close together may become crooked, allowing easy growth of bacteria and plaque build-up. This will further lead to the periodontal disease called gingivitis, as well as subsequent tooth decay and loss.
That is why it is very important to pay close attention to your Chiweenie’s dental hygiene and stay on top of it, with annual dentist check-ups and brushing its teeth well.
It is true that all dog breeds are susceptible to some conditions more than others, but through responsible breeding, some problems may be easily avoided.
That being said, don’t buy a puppy from a breeder who will not disclose the breed’s health problems and is unable to provide you with documentation proving the parents were cleared of health problems affecting the breed.
The Chiweenies are small firecrackers, just bursting out with energy. In other words, they like to play with toys and run around a lot. However, thanks to their small stature, they easily get tired after a while and retreat to a good old-fashioned nap.
Keeping them in shape won’t take much of your time and energy, as they will often need only one daily walk to feel satisfied. The Chiweenies are commonly recommended to people leading a laidback lifestyle, as well as the ones who lack a lot of time to commit to their dog’s prolonged exercise sessions.
Is This Breed a Good Family Dog?
Chiweenies love people and are great around kids. This makes them a good family dog, as they are quite social and like to mingle with everyone.
Your kids will have a great friend to play with if you have a Chiweenie around. However, you should make sure the kids know how to handle the lightweight, tiny Chiweenie, as it can sustain serious injuries if exposed to even the least bit of rough play. Thus, you must pay close attention to these interactions, making sure everyone is safe. As a matter of fact, it is advisable to add a Chiweenie to a household when the kids are slightly older already.
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As Chiweenies combine Chihuahua and Dachshund genes, although friendly and affectionate, they can also be stubborn, aggressive and dominant. To address behavior issues, start training them as early as possible.
Show dominance, but have in mind that positive reinforcement is also a good tool to teach your dog obedience and learn new tricks. Incorporate treats in the training process and your dog will listen to you and obey commands with much more enthusiasm.
They are intelligent creatures and training them is relatively easy, as long as you follow the general rules, approach the process with patience and take your time.
Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to dogs, but this particular mix is both adorable and lovable. With its small size, you are easily able to house it in a flat or apartment if necessary. Their big hearts will make sure your home is filled with love, regardless.