Background and Registry
An adorable lapdog you say? Then meet the Chiweenie, also known as Choxie to others, and even German Hot Dog and Mexican Taco to some.
A Chiweenie is a cross-breed between a purebred Dachshund and a Chihuahua. The reason behind the matching is primarily to possibly put an end to the health concerns of Dachshund brought about to the length of its body.
The deliberate breeding of the Dachshund and a Chihuahua was only recorded in 1990, but their breeds may have been present even before then albeit naturally. The breeding was continued since then because really, who wouldn’t want a Chiweenie?
There is no underestimating a Chiweenie. This mixed breed dog is the epitome of “small and mighty.”
You read that right!
Although a Chiweenie is a small type of dog breed, it would be hard to miss it because of its energy and high spirit. There is no downside when you have a Chiweenie as a fur baby because it can uplift your mood during your saddest just by its antics.
Chiweenie is a mixed breed which is the reason why it is not recognized by American Kennel Club. It is also not recognized by the United Kennel Club. Nevertheless, it is still recognized by other clubs such as the following:
- American Canine Hybrid Club
- Designer Dogs Kennel Club
- Dog Registry of America
- International Designer Canine Registry
- Designer Breed Registry
Parents of a Chiweenie
Chiweenie is half Dachshund, scent hounds that are best known for their long bodies which is why they are sometimes called the wiener dog. This dog breed was highly used previously as hunters hunting badgers and other small games because of its strong legs that allow easy maneuvering. It is also a playful and intelligent dog breed.
There are 3 classes of Dachshund based on their coat:
Belonging in this category are Dachshunds with a short and shiny coat which requires the least maintenance of all. However, this coat does not protect a Dachshund against the weather so an additional layer of clothing should be provided.
You can easily pinpoint Dachshund belonging to this category because of their wiry rough coat and their beard. The good part is that its coat gives enough protection to this Dachshund during extreme weather. The downside is that it needs a lot of grooming to prevent matting on its coat.
Dachshunds belonging to this category have silky and wavy hair that needs as much as daily grooming.
In many other places, Dachshunds are also categorized based on their size – miniature for 11lbs and below, and standard for between 16-32lbs.
The Chihuahua parent of a Chiweenie is also called a purse dog due to its size. It is very tiny but will leave an impression because of its personality.
This is where a Chiweenie inherited its high levels of energy!
A chihuahua is very confident for such a small dog breed. It is loyal and affectionate to no end which makes it a good companion. It has also a long lifespan attributed to its size. Family with children have to be careful with it though because its small size makes it easy for it to be injured.
Chihuahuas can come in two sizes, 3-6lbs and 12lbs. They also have 2 coat types: smooth and long.
General Information on a Chiweenie
- Height6 to 10 in
- Weight5 to 12 lbs
- Lifespan12 to 16 years
Playful, energetic, loyal, affectionate
Single fur parents, seniors, or even families with older kids living in an apartment or a house
Dachshund and Chihuahua
Due to its mixed breed, it’s hard to pinpoint what a Chiweenie could look like. Their parents come in a wide variety of types that make every Chiweenie look unique too. But expect that a Chiweenie will come quite small because its parents are on the small size too.
An adult Chiweenie can be around 6-10 in and weigh around 5-12 lbs. It can come in various colors too but commonly, Chiweenies acquire a solid coloring in black, white, and brown. Its coat is not fit to withstand too hot and too cold weather, thus, a Chiweenie owner should be mindful to give it added protection during these times.
A Chiweenie may come in a long body and short legs. It can come with floppy ears or triangular ones. It can also take after the head of a Chihuahua or a Dachshund, or even something in between. It can have brown to hazel eyes and a black nose. The list can go on.
But no matter how a Chiweenie would look based on the genes that will win out, one thing is for sure – it’s going to be something cute and amazing.
A Chiweenie is extremely low maintenance when it comes to grooming. You can get away with brushing it once a week if it is not prone to shedding. But if it is, you can just increase your brushing time to two or three times a week to remove the dirt and debris that get stuck on its coat.
You may use a stiff bristle brush for this endeavor if a Chiweenie has short hair, and a metal comb if a Cheweenie’s coat leans on the longer side. Just make sure that you are getting all the tangles as you run the comb.
You do not need to bathe your Chiweenie frequently. Once every couple of months would work as long as it is not yet stinking or dirty from rolling too much on the ground. You may opt to let a professional do this so they can get pampered also every once in a while. Professional groomers have their perks because they are thorough and work on parts that are often overlooked by owners.
Although a Chiweenie is low maintenance when it comes to grooming, you still need to pay close attention to its oral health because they are prone to dental issues. It’s not a hidden fact that dental hygiene is something that is often overlooked when it comes to dog grooming but it won’t do you well to neglect this for a Chiweenie.
You can use a long-handled toothbrush and dog-friendly toothpaste available at the pet store in cleaning the teeth of a Chiweenie. Regular toothpaste is a no-no. You can ask for the assistance of your vet if you need guidance on this task.
Aside from oral health, grooming should also include clipping the nails and cleaning the ears of a Chiweenie.
Food and Feeding Schedule
Chiweenies are excitable small dogs that when left on their own devices would tend to overeat. That is why a strict feeding schedule must be maintained and with it, a balanced diet. It is not ideal for Chiweenies to gain excessive weight due to their small size because this would just lead to possible health concerns and restrictions on their mobility.
The recommended feeding schedule is 4 times a day for a Chiweenie puppy and 2-3 times a day as an adult. During their senior years, this can be reduced because they tend to exercise less by then which causes problematic weight gains.
Of course, Chiweenies require different types of diets throughout their life. There is specialized ready-made food out there that would satisfy this. You just need to be more discerning of the content so that you won’t go wrong with the dog food that you’ll bring home. A balanced diet for an adult Chiweenie includes protein, the right amount of fat, vitamins, and minerals. Carbohydrates are not that recommended especially if they are those refined ones.
Ideally, kibble containing the requirements above is a good choice for a Chiweenie because it doubles as a way to maintain their good oral health. You can let it have 1/2 to 1 cup of kibbles divided into its feeding schedule. However, if you opt for some wet food or even cooked food, you can do that too. Just keep in mind that when you start a Chiweenie with cooked food, if it doesn’t contain their nutrient requirement, they are at risk of malnutrition.
Physical Activity and Exercise
A Chiweenie may be small, but it also requires exercise like all other dog breeds. This keeps them healthy not only physically but mentally as well. It helps them maintain an ideal weight since they are prone to gaining weight easily. Moreover, it also helps them burn their high levels of energy so that they won’t develop any problematic behaviors.
Unlike other dog breeds, however, a Chiweenie doesn’t need a lot. It doesn’t need anything too strenuous or hard because they are far from being the athletic type. You may even want to be careful about the exercises and physical activities you will let it do because given its size, it is prone to injuries.
A walk around the neighborhood daily may already be good enough exercise for a Chiweenie. So does playing fetch and just letting it play in your enclosed backyard if you have one.
Training a Chiweenie
Although it is often advised to dog owners to start training their fur babies as early as puppyhood, this cannot be more true with a Chiweenie.
They are smart and fast learners, alright but they tend to be stubborn which often poses a challenge to their owners. They have a bad habit of incessantly barking due to boredom which when not curbed early on, can be a nuisance not only to the household but to the whole neighborhood. If not trained to socialize, a Chiweenie tends to also be aggressive to anyone besides its owners.
Consistency is the secret in training a Chiweenie, whether these are rules or commands you want it to learn. It is also best to expose it to other people and pets so that it can learn how to interact with others.
It may be hard and not effective at first but trust that you will reap the fruit of your hard work and patience too. It will also be a motivation for a Chiweenie if you will pair up your efforts with positive reinforcement. It responds well to food rewards, praises, and even a tummy rub because it has the natural inclination to please its owners.
Possible Health Concerns
Being a mixed breed, A Chiweenie is a lot healthier compared to its purebred parents. However, it cannot be helped that there are instances where a Chiweenie suffers from hereditary health conditions passed on to it by either its Dachshund or Chihuahua parent.
Listed below are some of the common health issues associated with Chiweenies:
As mentioned above, a Chiweenie owner needs to watch out for their fur baby’s diet because it eats more than it can burn from regular exercise which translates to excessive fat and can lead to Obesity. An Obese Chiweenie would have a high probability to develop serious diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and even heart problems. It also affects negatively its lifespan.
It’s easy to detect if a Chiweenie is obese because this is visible on their rounded stomach. If you start noticing this, you may need to re-calibrate the amount of food (or treats) you are giving to your Chiweenie until it reaches its ideal body weight.
Degenerative Disc Disease
This condition is passed on by the Dachshund side of a Chiweenie to its offspring affecting the spine due to weak muscle support and can lead to paralysis. To prevent this condition, Chiweenie owners mustn’t subject their small dogs to activities that may put an unnecessary strain especially on the back part.
If this is experienced by your Chiweenies, then it is important to seek immediate medical help because your pet may likely need to go through pain medications or surgery.
This may have been acquired by a Chiweenie to its Chihuahua side because this is among this pure breed’s common health concerns. This is characterized by itchiness, sneezing, diarrhea, and hair loss if the case of Allergy is severe.
If this is observed to a Chiweenie, then it needs to go through tests to determine the cause of the Allergy. There are so many factors that could contribute to this such as food and dust. Thus, your vet may recommend you to change the food of your Chiweenie or clean the place in the house that your Chiweenie frequents.
This is another health concern that can be inherited from the Chihuahua side wherein a Chiweenie suffers from low blood sugar which can lead to Diabetes. Chiweenie suffering from this can be observed to exhibit fatigue even if they have not been exposed to any kind of activity and shaking.
This disorder is when the thyroid gland of a Chiweenie cannot produce sufficient thyroid hormones resulting in its slow metabolism that affects all other organs in its body.
Chiweenie suffering from this can be observed to have an unexplainable lack of energy, weight gain even without changes on its diet, slow heart rate, and thinning hair that eventually leads to hair loss. This can be treated by administering thyroid replacement hormone which can be a life-long medication for your Chiweenie.
A healthy Chiweenie can have an average life expectancy of 12-16 years. But this is still based on the care and maintenance being provided by its owner.
A Chiweenie is one of the most playful small dog breeds you’ll ever meet. It’s as if it never runs out of energy which won’t give you any dull time when it is around. It is very active and alert that you’ll frequently notice it observing the tiniest movements around it. This gives a Chiweenie the making of a watchdog despite its size.
You will rarely find a Chiweenie away from its owner when they are at the same place. Chiweenies are very loyal and affectionate small breeds that sometimes they can even be called clingy. Nevertheless, its loyalty is what makes it such a good companion to its owner.
Chiweenie as A Part of a Family
Its big personality makes a Chiweenie a good addition to any family. The plus side is that it doesn’t even need a large house to thrive. It can be as comfortable and as free to move around even in a small apartment due to its size. They are even good travel companions because it is not a big effort to carry them around.
A Chiweenie will do well with single fur parents, seniors, or even families with older kids. However, they are not recommended for families with toddlers and very young children.
It is not a hidden fact that while Chiweenies have a high spirit that makes them look bigger than they are, they are very small and fragile. There is no assurance that they can withstand rough playtime with a child without being hurt.
Little kids specifically, don’t have a clear understanding yet of how to correctly handle a Chiweenie. Their concept of fun can be deadly with the small and easily breakable skeletal structure of a Chiweenie.
The Cost of Getting a Chiweenie
If you are thinking of getting a Chiweenie then prepare at least USD200 to USD600. This is already a good deal if you are going to compare it with other designer breeds. However, the price can still go up if you want a Chiweenie to come from a reputable breeder or if you want one with rare coloring and long hair.
Yes, the price of a Chiweenie is not definite especially now that there is a growing demand for it. Many other factors can affect it such as the appearance of a Chiweenie, the maintenance it receives, and the standard of its dam and sire. The more pure the breed of its parents, the more costly also a Chiweenie would be.
The price would even be compounded if the parents were tested and there is a high probability that it won’t be transferring any bad genes to its offspring.
However, the purchase price should be the last of your concern because before getting one, you should be able to commit first that you can cover its lifestyle expense. (Heads up! It is not cheap!)
A lifestyle expense of a Chiweenie includes everything that it needs to grow healthy and comfortable such as food and vitamins, dog accessories (leash, toys, dog bowl), dog bed, health care (vet check-ups, vaccines, medicines), dog services (grooming, training), etc.
More than the cost of a Chiweenie puppy, this should be considered first. Despite its mixed breed, there are lots of Chiweenies being abandoned at an animal shelter due to failure to consider such expenses.
If you are decided in getting a Chiweenie, then you are in for a good deal because its loyalty and affectionate nature are guaranteed to make a good change in your life. It doesn’t even need much space because its size makes it a good apartment dog. Moreover, Chiweenie being a good breed makes it a lot healthier than its purebred parents allowing you to worry less.
If you prefer, you can also check out the animal shelter near you to see if there is a Chiweenie you can adopt. This would significantly lower the cost of getting a Chiweenie. Just be mindful that there are other costs you need to consider if you are thinking of getting any pet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are Chiweenies aggressive?
A: All dogs can be aggressive when not trained well and weren’t exposed to early socialization. A Chiweenie is not different. This is why it is highly advisable to train them as early as puppyhood. Even just a simple walk around the neighborhood can do wonders because they can meet other people and other pets as well.
Q: What is the lifespan of a Chiweenie dog?
A: The average lifespan of a healthy Chiweenie is between 12-16 years. Proper diet, exercise, and even regular check-ups are among the factors that impact their life expectancy positively.
Q: How much is a Chiweenie dog worth?
A: A Chiweenie can cost as much as USD200 to USD600 from a decent breed. However, a lot of factors can affect the price including the appearance, color, and even the quality of its purebred parents. Expect Chiweenies to cost more if you want to get something of high quality.
Q: What problems do Chiweenies have?
A: A Chiweenie is a mixed breed between a Dachshund and a Chihuahua. Compared to its purebred parents, it is way healthier. But there are instances when they inherit hereditary illnesses. Among the most common health problems they inherit include Allergies, Degenerative Disc Diseases, and Hypoglycemia.