If you love having a fun and energetic playmate that also is prone to curling up in your lap at the end of the day, you just might need to get a Chiweenie. These dogs are playful, loyal, affectionate, and just downright adorable!
IN THIS ARTICLE
What Is A Chiweenie?
What Do The Look Like?
– Coat & Colors
How To Care For Your Chiweenie
– Food & Dietary Needs
– Health Concerns
– Puppy Needs
Temperament and Personality
– How Are They With Kids And Pets?
How To Find A Chiweenie
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is A Chiweenie?
Like many mixed breeds of dog, the Chiweenie name is a mix of the two breeds from whence they came; the chihuahua and the dachshund. If you dont recognize the Chiweenie name, you may have heard them also referred to as Chiwees or Doxihuahuas.
While the breed may have been around for much longer than this, they initially burst onto the public conscience in the 1990s. They were specifically bred to have a small, high energy dog, but without the disc problems that plague dachshunds.
What Do They Look Like?
Not to be funny but they look like a blend between a chihuahua and a weiner dog. They are small in size. Their bodies are generally long and slender with a long, sometimes curled, tail.
Depending on the strength of their parents genes, their ears may be longer, like a dachshund, or more pointed like a traditional chihuahua’s ears. Additionally, their face and muzzle are right in the middle of their parent breed features; being shorter than a dachshund face but a bit longer than a chihuahua.
As we mentioned above, Chiweenies were bred to be small dogs. Chihuahuas and miniature dachshunds, both, are generally under 11 lbs. So, Chiweenies are also within that same size.
|Standard||6″ to 10″ at the shoulders||5 lbs to 12 lbs|
Depending on which breed of dachshund and/or chihuahua is used, your Chiweenie may end up with either long or short hair.
Chihuahuas tend to be pretty heavy shedders. However, with the dachshund mixed in, Chiweenies are typically low shedding dogs. They are not considered to be hypoallergenic but may not shed enough to bother your allergies.
Most Chiweenies you will see are going to have short, or smooth, coats. The type of coat your pup gets is determined by their parent’s genes. The long haired gene is a recessive gene. What that means is in order for your dog to have long hair, it would need a copy of the long haired gene from each parent.
Chiweenies come in a small, but varied, selection of colors and patterns. You can find them in:
The variety comes in the mixes of colors and patterns. They can be a solid version of any of the above colors or they can actually be a mix of them too!
Since they are a mixed breed and not a pure breed, they do not have official recognition from the American Kennel Club (AKC). However, they are recognized from a few other organizations.
- American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC)
- Designer Dogs Kennel Club (DDKC)
- Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA)
- International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR)
- Designer Breed Registry (DBR) recognized as “Chiweeni”
How To Care For Your Chiweenie
We all love playtime and puppy snuggles, but caring for your pet is of the utmost importance. This is how you ensure that your cute little puppy grows to become your old best friend.
A Chiweenie is not too terribly complicated to care for however, because of their level of energy, they do need a good bit of daily exercise.
Food & Dietary Needs
Most dog foods will have feeding directions right on their bag. Typically, you can follow these directions with no issues. You just want to make sure to monitor your dog’s weight and body condition to make sure they are not gaining or losing too much weight.
Typically, a Chiweenie will weigh in the 5 to 12 lbs range. A proper feeding schedule should have them maintain a healthy weight and body condition. If you are unsure of how to assess your dog’s body condition the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) has body condition score chart you can reference here. It is simple and easy to follow.
When you are feeding them you will want to make sure that they have high quality food made with high quality ingredients. Since small breed dogs also have different nutritional needs than their larger counterparts, it is best to give them a small breed dog formulated food.
Chiweenies are little balls of, what seems like endless, energy. They can run and run and run outlasting pretty much anyone (of course, then they will sleep and sleep and sleep just as hard).
To keep your puppy in tip-top health, both mentally and physically, they will need a decent amount of time commitment to exercise and play. A moderate 30 to 60 minute walk is best along with some fetch and other playtime games.
If their body is a bit on the longer side, like a dachshund, you will want to use a specially designed harness for them. If they are a smaller body size, a chihuahua or small breed harness should be fine.
Probably due to their dachshund genes, Chiweenies are not the easiest dogs to train. They are smart enough to be trained and even learn some fun tricks. The problem lies not in their intelligence but in their stubborness.
Training takes time and patience. Chiweenies have very little patience and become bored easily. Once they decide they are not going to do something you will have a tough time convincing them.
With that being said, you can train them. Just be ready for the frustration that can come along with it. Try training in short sessions, give lots of praise, and positive reinforcement through treats.
While the plan for this mix breed was to cut down on some health issues, which they are, some of them still pop up to varying degrees.
This is the bane of many a small dog. Hypoglycemia is, unfortunately, something that plagues almost all small dog breeds.
Hypoglycemia is, in layman’s terms, low blood sugar. You know that wonky feeling you get as a kid (or an adult, we don’t judge) when you eat an entire bag of Halloween candy AND skipped dinner? That’s what hypoglycemia feels like, in a sense.
What happens is small dogs have a lot of energy but not a great ability to store that energy. So, while running and playing they quickly burn through their body’s supply of carbohydrates. Those carbs, when burned, turn to glucose.
The glucose is essentially their energy source and is burned quickly. When this happens too quickly, it causes your dog’s blood sugar level to drop.
It sounds like a scary problem and, if left untreated, it can be. But it can also be avoided pretty easily. Just make sure your dog is eating a small breed dog recipe and is eating between 2 and 4 times a day, depending on their age.
Intervertebral disk disease (IVDD)
This is the most prevalent problem in dachshunds. Since Chiweenies are mixed with Chihuahuas, their bodies are not quite as long. So, while this is still a potential health problem, it is not nearly as severe as it is in pure bred dachshunds.
Some other health issues Chiweenies face may be:
- Dental Issues
- Diabetes (in extreme cases of hypoglycemia)
- Luxating patella
We’ve already discussed the various types of coats a Chiweenie is capable of having. These coats are short/smooth coats and long coats.
Those with smooth coats are pretty easy to manage. They really just need a good brushing about once a week. They do tend to shed some but with their short hair and no undercoat, you likely won’t have any mats or tangles to deal with.
Since you need a long haired dachshund AND a long haired Chihuahua to get a long haired Chiweenie, they are more rare than smooth coat Chiweenies. If you have one or are thinking of getting one, be aware long haired dogs do require a bit more maintenance.
When dealing with an undercoat and long hair shedding, you will need to make sure you have the proper combs and brushes to deal with potential mats and tangles. You will want to brush them at least twice a week but daily brushing is best.
Dogs naturally produce their own oils to keep their coat and skin healthy. If you wash them too frequently, it washes those oils away and is detrimental. You really only need to wash them once a month or whenever they get dirty.
With small breeds, like the Chiweenie, their care as a puppy is not much different than their care as an adult. The exceptions are in their food and their amount of exercise.
Puppy food is specially blended to keep up with a puppy’s accelerated growth rate.
Additionally, they will also need a little more exercise than they need as an adult. Purina suggests exercising no more than 5 minutes per age in months, twice a day.
So, an 8 month old puppy would get 40 minutes of exercise twice a day. As they reach adulthood, their metabolism evens out and they do not need as much exercise.
Temperament and Personality
Chiweenies are very very playful. They work great for young adults who have the time and matching energy to give them a good daily workout.
The only thing they love more than playing is sleeping. Do not be shocked when your dog sleeps a good 12+ hours out of the day.
This particular breed does like to bark. Like most small breeds, you will get an alert bark ANYTIME they happen to see a stranger (and by stranger that can mean mail carrier, car driving by, a squirrel, a falling leaf, etc…)
You can train them to not bark quite as much, but if you read the training section above, you know that it is a time consuming effort. On the other hand, if you live alone, they do make a great watch dog and will alert you to any unwanted (or wanted) visitors.
How Are They With Kids & Pets?
Chiweenies are really great companions for single people or couples. They can be a good pet for a small family, as well.
Typically, small children do not mix well with this breed. Since they are a smaller breed, they are more delicate than a larger, sturdier dog. Young kids, understandably, typically like to play a bit rougher than these dogs can handle.
To avoid any biting or unwanted injuries it is best to get a Chiweenie when you either do not have kids or they are a little older.
As far as other pets go, they can do fine with them. Chiweenies thrive as the solo pet of the house. They like to pick their person and be that person’s pet. But, with proper socialization as a puppy and slow introductions, they are perfectly willing to share their home with another pet.
How To Find A Chiweenie
If you have read everything and still want to get a Chiweenie, here is how you make that happen! This is the exciting part!
Being a designer breed, Chiweenies are not too terribly difficult to find.
You can start by Googling them or checking your social media. However, if you want to make sure you have a happy and healthy dog, it is best to either adopt or find a reputable and responsible breeder.
Find A Reputable Breeder
The main benefits of going to a breeder is that you get a puppy that has never belonged to someone else and not picked up any bad habits. You also will be able to know their entire health history, as well as the health history of their family.
Another nice bonus is many breeders will send pictures and videos while the puppy grows. This helps strengthen the bond you will have with your dog. Sometimes, if you are local to the breeder, you can even visit it before they are ready to leave their mom.
Now, when we say reputable breeder, we mean one who truly cares for their animals and is breeding responsibly. Unfortunately, there are many backyard breeders that are either ignorant or apathetic to the harm they are causing their dogs.
Often times, these backyard breeders, also known as puppy mills, will breed their dogs far more often and far longer than is healthy for them. They will also feed them a poor diet and provide subpar living conditions.
Unfortunately, many pet stores end up getting their dogs from these puppy mills.
When you find a breeder that has dogs you are interested in, you will want to ask a lot of questions. A reputable breeder will not find this off putting. They will be glad their puppy is going to a home that cares.
Some of the questions that you can ask are:
- What is the area like where they keep their dogs?
- How many puppies and litters do they have a year?
- How many dogs do they breed at a time?
- Are they pets or just kept breeding?
- Do they have a separate kennel or do they live in the breeder’s home?
A reputable breeder is most concerned with the health and wellbeing of their dogs. That is the most important thing.
It is also a good sign if the breeder offers a health guarantee. You can also request reviews and testimonials from some of their other customers.
Find A Rescue Or Pet Adoption Agency
The other recommended way to get your dog is to go to a rescue or adoption agency. Unfortunately, like many designer breeds, people will get them because they are cute but then not want to put in the time it takes to truly care for their pet.
The result is too many dogs being dropped off at shelters. There are many humane shelters out there for dog’s, in general. You can also find specific shelters for Chiweenies, dachshunds, and Chihuahuas.
The information for these various organizations will vary depending on where you live. But if you just Google for “chiweenie rescue near me” or something similar, you should find what you need.
If you go this route be aware that sometimes abandoned dogs can come with some behavioral issues that will need to be worked through. Just like any training, this will take time and patience. But, knowing that you helped your new best friend during their worst moments is something that will stay with you both forever.
Frequently Asked Questions
While researching Chiweenies, we found a few questions that kept popping up. Here they are:
Q1. Are They Good Dogs?
As with just about any dog, if they are with the right person, they are a very good pet. They will need a single person, couple, or small family that is able and willing to devote the time, care, and attention they need.
Q2. Are They Aggressive?
Not particularly. They will pick their person and can be defensive of them if they feel threatened. But, in general, Chiweenies are not aggressive dogs.
Q3. At What Age Is A Chiweenie Full Grown?
As with most small breeds, they grow at a very rapid pace for the first 10 months or so. They can continue to grow a bit and will reach their full size around a year and a half or 18 months.
Q4. What Is Their Life Expectancy?
A Chiweenie will live around 12 to 15 years or so.
Q5. Do They Bark A Lot?
Being the small and energetic dogs that they are, they do tend to bark quite a bit.
Q6. Do They Like To Cuddle?
Yes, they do like to cuddle. However, they are very energetic and would probably rather roll around on the floor with you than take a nap in your lap.
Q7. Are They Hard To Potty Train?
They are difficult to potty train. It takes a lot of time and patience to get them to ask and go potty outside. They are a smart dog but also pretty stubborn. Be ready for a good bit of frustration in this department.
Q8. Do Chiweenies Sleep Alot?
When they aren’t playing, they are restoring their energy by sleeping. They do sleep a good portion of the day.
Q9. How Smart Is A Chiweenie?
Chiweenies are a fairly intelligent breed for a small dog. They are willing to learn basic commands but are stubborn and may not have the longest attention spans.
Q10. Are They Hypoallergenic?
They are not technically hypoallergenic. However, they are generally short haired and low shedders so their allergy impact is relatively low.
Now that you know everything you can about Chiweenies, from their appearance, to their temperament, their care, and even how to find one, you must be excited to go out and get your new pet!
Good luck and congratulations!