7 Facts You Should Know About Chiweenies (with Pictures)

The Chiweenie is not a purebred dog; it is a cross between the Chihuahua and the Dachshund. Such a 50-50 cross of two different purebred breeds is often called a “designer dog.” This mixed breed is also referred to by other names such as the Chiwee, the Doxihuahua, the Mexican Hotdog, or the German taco. While there is no clear origin story for the creation of the Chiweenie, breeding began in North America, likely sometime in the early 1990s. This mixed breed has begun to gain more popularity in recent years. These dogs are a popular choice among single people, the elderly, and, due to their compact size, those who travel often. As a mixed breed, Chiweenies are not officially recognized by organizations such as the American Kennel Club. They are, however, recognized by smaller associations such as the American Canine Hybrid Club, the Designer Dogs Kennel Club, and the Designer Breed Registry.

What are the characteristics of Chiweenies?

Not all Chiweenies are 50-50 crosses, with one purebred Chihuahua parent and one purebred Dachshund parent. Sometimes breeders utilize multigenerational crosses, breeding Chiweenies with purebred Chihuahuas or Dachshunds, to create varying degrees of characteristics from either breed. Due to this practice, characteristics such as appearance and temperament can vary greatly from one Chiweenie to the next. What characteristics define the Chiweenie? Read on to discover what physical attributes and personality traits you might expect with a Chiweenie.

What does a Chiweenie look like?

Chiweenie dog Chiweenies have compact bodies with short legs and a long, sloping back. They have large eyes and large ears that may be erect, drooping, or somewhere in between. The coat color and texture of a Chiweenie, unsurprisingly, has much to do with that of their parents. Chihuahuas and Dachshunds have a wide variety of coat colors and types that they can pass on to their offspring. Both Dachshunds and Chihuahuas come in long, short, and smooth-coated varieties, so Chiweenies occur in these varieties as well. Coat colors also vary, ranging from solid white, red, brown, or black to any combination of these colors. Both Chihuahuas and Dachshunds are small, so Chiweenies are small as well; most stand around 9 inches tall and weigh between 8 and 10 pounds. Note that Dachshunds come in both standard and miniature sizes, so the size of the Dachshund parent can affect the size of your Chiweenie puppy. 

What is a Chiweenie’s temperament?

Chiweenie temperament Chiweenies are typically loving, playful, and energetic despite their small size. They are dedicated to their families and may gravitate toward one family member in particular. If that person is you, your Chiweenie will often be like a shadow, following you from room to room as you go about your day. They often want to play, except for the times they take a nap in your lap. Despite their small size, Chiweenies can make great watchdogs. They will be quick to alert you to the presence of strangers near the house and are very observant of their surroundings.  Like any dog, early exposure to as many people, places, and other animals as possible can help create a more well-rounded dog. Though Chiweenies do not typically get along with other animals, they can be successfully raised in a household with other dogs or cats. Chiweenies are not recommended for households with young children. Chiweenies have a good life expectancy, which is typical for a dog their size. Usually, they live between 13 and 16 years.

Caring For a Chiweenie

Understanding and maintaining a Chiweenie’s particular needs will lead to a longer, healthier life for your dog and a more enjoyable partnership for both dog and owner. Read on to learn more about the nutrition, exercise, training, and health requirements of a thriving Chiweenie to determine whether this is the right breed for you.

What are the Chiweenies’ nutritional requirements?

Chiweenies thrive on high-quality dog food that provides a balanced diet. Whether commercial or manually prepared, diets should be appropriately tailored to an individual based on their age (puppy, senior, etc.) and activity level. Many dog foods have serving suggestions on their packaging, but monitoring food intake and body condition, as well as consulting with your veterinarian, are simple ways to make sure your dog receives the nutrition he or she requires.  Chiweenies are prone to obesity, so feeding them a measured amount each day is critical to maintaining their health.

How much exercise does a Chiweenie need?

Chiweenie exercise Despite their small size, Chiweenies have plenty of energy. Thankfully, their small size means they don’t need a ton of room to burn all that energy and they tire relatively quickly. A daily walk or vigorous play session, inside or outside, should be enough to keep your Chiweenie happy. Tiring out your pup with play and exercise will not only help you maintain their weight, but also help their behavior. A tired dog is a well-behaved dog. Do not leave your Chiweenie unsupervised while playing in an outdoor yard. Their small size can make them prone to escaping yards, even if they are fenced, and they can even be carried off by large birds of prey.

What kind of training does a Chiweenie need?

Chiweenies are known to be a bit stubborn when it comes to training. Puppy classes are a great way to start training and socializing a new puppy early on. At a minimum, your Chiweenie should learn basic obedience commands such as sit, stay, and come. Keep the training sessions kept short and interesting, as this will set your dog up for success. Also, provide plenty of praise during the training process.  Due to their playful nature, incorporating play into their training is a great way to get them engaged and listening. Though training a Chiweenie may take patience, it is essential to your dog’s mental and physical well-being.

What are some health issues Chiweenies may face?

Chiweenie dog health Although generally healthy, Chiweenies can experience minor health issues, the most common of which are allergies. Chiweenies can suffer from health issues that either parent breed is prone to, such as spinal issues, seizures, hypothyroidism, hypoglycemia, and diabetes. These issues are more common among multigenerational crossbreeds, so it’s best to stick with an “F1” cross: a puppy with one purebred Chihuahua parent and one purebred Dachshund parent. Like most small dog breeds, Chiweenies are at higher risk for early tooth loss.

What grooming do Chiweenies need?

A Chiweenie’s grooming needs depend a lot on their coat type. A longer coat needs to be brushed once a week at minimum, while a shorter coat requires significantly less maintenance. Make sure that you clean their teeth regularly to prevent plaque buildup. Their nails also need regular maintenance. In closing, if you devote the care and attention that your Chiweenie needs, you will have a dedicated and loving pet in return.

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Taylor Ritz

Taylor has a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science. She is a former zookeeper and animal trainer. She has her own dog, Dobby, with whom she has bicycled across the U.S. and thru-hiked the Long Trail.

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