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No, it is not a menu at the trendy new food truck or a hipster cafe. Far from the deconstructed Caesar salad, or the vegan taco, or the dairy free black forest cake, the Chiweenie is a result of a different kind of lifestyle trend – the designer dogs. In fact, the most popular Chiweenie could be a particular puppy called Tuna who goes by the handle @Tunameltsmyheart on Instagram and touts a following of two million followers.
What’s all the Hoopla about Designer Dogs?
From Grey’s Anatomy’s Ellen Pompeo to Miley Cirrus’s maltipoo parenthood connection to Jake Gylenhall and Uma Thurman having puggles in common, designer pups are all the rage. Some are so tiny, they fit perfectly in the designer bags. Designer dogs as they are called are mixed breeds of two or more breeds of dogs that are already cherished and loved in millions of households around the world.
They are often picked for their pleasant traits and cute looks to create new Instagram-worthy cute puppies. They are given names by combining the two parent breeds into one name – kind of like your Brangelinas of the world.
Some examples of popular mixed breeds are the Yorkiepoo, who has a Yorkshire terrier parent and a Poodle parent, Maltipoo (when a Maltese met a Poodle they created Maltipoo), or the Schnoodle (Schnauzer and you guessed it the Poodle! The world of designer dogs have attracted some criticism however where some breeders have not done enough research to create the mixed breeds. Like every responsible pet parent, we should always do our research and get our pups from a reputable breeder.
So, What is a Chiweenie Anyway?
When you mix a Chihuahua and Dachshund, which is also known as Weenie dog for its long wiener/sausage like body, you get a Chiweenie. This breed is also sometimes nicknamed the Mexican Hot Dog or the German Taco for the origins of Chihuahua (Mexico) and Dachshund (Germany).
This breed was created in the early 1990s as designer dogs. Since inception, they have been very popular as a small lap dog variety inheriting the parents’ traits of loyalty and high energy and of course lovability.
To get to know the breed a better, we need to explore the parent breeds a little bit.
The Cheeky Chihuahua of Mexico
Arguably the best import from Mexico after guacamole, burritos and tacos, this fiery little dog is one of the most popular in the world. They are the smallest dog breed in the world and originates from the Chihuahua state of Mexico, but don’t let that fool you as they pack arguably the largest personality of any dogs.
They are loud, spunky, and loyal to a fault. Don’t be surprised if you are visiting your friend to give him a hug and find a Chihuahua freaking out trying to defend your friend.
They make for great companion dogs and can be carried around in the purse to wherever you go. They will follow you everywhere in the home and can respond well to being pampered. This is the famous pampered dog of Paris Hilton in her reality show – Tinkerbell.
Along with being affectionate and loyal, they are fast learners and intelligent. They are high on agility and can compete with any other breed in all the agility challenges. Chihuahuas require considerable amount of exercise and discipline with training recommended with food and praise incentives.
While their personalities are large, these teeny tiny dogs are not suitable for homes with children under 8 years old. They are delicate dogs and won’t be able to handle the rough and tumble toddlers. Also, Chihuahuas require early puppy training and socialization with other pets and people. Otherwise, they will turn into shaky little barky dogs protecting their owners from all the rest of the world
According to the American Kennel Club, Chihuahuas measure at 5-8 inches tall and weigh about 3-6 pounds and can live from 14-16 years. Their popularity rank by the AKC ranked 33rd out of 195 breeds of pet dogs.
The Dashing Dachshund from Germany
Dachshunds are the famous wiener dogs are best known for their long torso carried low to the ground by their short little legs. Originating in Germany, this hound breed was bred to help hunters and run into rabbit holes to catch the prey. The word Dach means “badger” and hund means “dog” in German.
This breed came into existence hundreds of years ago. That makes this breed bold and brave – almost to a fault. They are curious, agile within their small range, and also come with big personalities and big barks. Their hunting nature makes them stubborn and strong willed and you may find them pestering you for their treats until they get it.
They may even dig up your garden since they are bred to dig to find burrowing animals. Also their hunting instincts will also mean short lived stuffed toys in their playpen as they will relentlessly go for the ‘kill’ of the stuffed animal.
The signature features of the Dachshund have all been crafted for a specific purpose. Their long bodies were bred to help them dig through the badger burrows and rabbit holes. Their big chests with hearty lungs help them keep their stamina up as they run through the forests and dig through the burrows while hunting.
Their long noses help them sniff out the prey. Their long straight pointed stiff tails were made to help them be lifted out of the holes once they caught the prey. Their short little legs while tiny were sturdy enough to run for miles.
According to the American Kennel Club, standard Dachshunds can be 8 to 9 inches tall and 16 to 32 pounds, while miniature Dachshunds are 5 to6 inches tall and under 11 pounds. Their life expectancy ranges from 12-16 years. They come in long and short hair varieties and can come in different markings of black, brown, white, tan and beige.
Unfortunately, the signature trait of the Dachshund has also become a health issue for this miniature breed. These traits have caused them to have back leg problems and back problems. That led to the new breed that was created by mixing Chihuahuas and Dachshunds.
So now, let’s see what we get when Harry,the Chihuahua meets Sally, the Dachshund? A litter of Chiweenies of course! Let’s explore the Chiweenie in more detail now.
Personality of the Chiweenie
The Chiweenie takes on the characters of both the Chihuahua and the Dachshund – the playfulness, the bold vivaciousness, and the larger than life personality. They are fiercely loyal to one human owner of the pack. They are inquisitive and have a hunting instinct. They can be full of energy and yet laid back enough to enjoy cuddles and naps on their favorite human’s laps.
They are known to have some separation anxiety issues if left too long without their owner. Their parents’ breeds make the Chiweenie just as stubborn though. You do need to train this breed early on and very diligently to ensure they don’t turn into their parents’ stubborn versions.
Size and Features of the Chiweenie
Chiweenies have a mix of features of their parents. They have the famous rounded head of the Chihuahua, and yet have the longer strong torso of the Dachshund. Some can take on the Dachshund long snout, while most have the adorable almond shaped eyes of the Chihuahua.
Their ears too can vary from short (like the Chihuahua parent) or the floppy (like the Dachshund parent). They can come in short haired versions or the long haired versions, although most of them are short haired. If you have allergies be sure to stick to the short haired Chiweenies.
The average weight of the Chiweenie ranges from 5-10 pounds and they are about 8 inches tall (to the shoulders). Their height and weight are somewhere in the middle of the smallest Chihuahua and the miniature Dachshund. Like its parents, the Chiweenie comes in a variety of colors like red, tan, brown, black and combinations of them in different markings as well as solid colors.
Truly, each Chiweenie can be unique looking and apart from its litter mates. So, when picking your Chiweenie, it might be helpful to take a look at the parents to estimate what the puppies will look like.
Beware of the Chiweenie, Strangers and Trespassers!
Thanks to both the parent’s loud barking nature, the Chiweenie is a great little guard dog. You may not even need a doorbell if you get this pup. She will alert you of every little noise outside your door. Beware apartment dwellers, you will need to spend considerable time and effort to train them into keeping their barking under control.
Sometimes boredom and not enough engagement will also make them develop the barking habit. So, be sure to socialize your Chiweenie and give them plenty of exciting play time.
Grooming and Care Tips
Designer anything requires a little extra effort for upkeep. The Chiweenie is no different. There is some regular effort required to keep this pup in top notch shape and looking dapper.
Chiweenies of the short haired variety will require regular brushing of two to three times a week. The longer haired variety will require daily brushing, otherwise their hair can get matted which is uncomfortable for the dog should their paws get caught while they have an itch to scratch. Matting is never good, so to avoid matting, be sure to give your Chiweenie a good brush down.
Fortunately, the Chiweenie doesn’t get too smelly between baths. Nevertheless, they will require baths – once a month bath is usually sufficient. Be sure to use mild canine soap only and be gentle with the wash and use body temperature water to keep the dog from getting cold. Getting them to bathe is a challenge as will be with any strong-willed puppy, however, if you introduce them to this routine young enough, they will take to it quickly and will even enjoy the bonding time during bath time.
You can certainly bathe them more often and less frequently as well depending on your lifetime and how much outdoor rolling around time you give your Chiweenie. However, beware, too much washing will dry out their skin and cause skin issues. Like its parents, Chiweenies can easily get skin issues and rashes from over drying or allergies from the soap. So, be gentle and loving as you would with your baby.
Unfortunately, Chiweenies are known to get some teeth and gum disease issues. So, it will be important to keep up with their dental hygiene. You will need to brush their teeth at least once or twice a week. This task will be a challenge but what is pet parenthood with a little bit of challenge.
Chiweenie’s Perfect Home
Chiweenies are best suited for small apartments and city living. They will not require a big backyard for exercise. Because of their delicate size and stature, it is recommended that they are in households with few or older children. They are perfect for a retiree, a senior citizen, or even working adults.
Chiweenies don’t like the cold weather and will not want to go out much in cold weather. So, be prepared to coax your furry friend out in the middle of the night for its bathroom breaks. You could always pad train them so they can do their business in their designated litter box or pee pad.
Potential health issues
If the Chiweenie inherits its facial and dental features from the Chihuahua, they will have crowding of teeth. This feature could result in some dental issues. So, it will be very important to keep dental health at top of mind for this breed.
Both Dachshunds and Chihuahuas are short legged breeds, Chiweenies can also inherit the short legs. This feature can lead their little legs not strong enough to carry the heavier torso. So, proper weight maintenance and ensuring not putting too much stress on their little legs will be important.
Disc issues are also common with Chiweenies – something they will inherit from the Dachshunds side. They are known to develop intervertebral disc diseases.
Like all breeds, Chiweenies can develop health issues but with proper vet care and a healthy balanced lifestyle and diet will keep your pup happy for its entire life span of 10-15 years. For a small breed, Chiweenies are considered an overall healthy breed.
So Should you Get a Chiweenie?
If you like the idea of a small dog you can carry with you to anywhere you go or travel with, and yet also not a big fan of long exercise routines for the dogs, and if you like a loyal cuddly lap dog, you should certainly consider a Chiweenie.
They make for great companion dogs and come with a slew of great benefits of improved physical and mental health. If your kids are a bit grown or if you are an empty nester or if you don’t plan of having kids, Chiweenies will make for great dogs.
Families with children should teach the kids how to handle small dainty Chiweenies as they are fragile and delicate. Of course, they are great for city dwellers too! Even better if your work allows you to bring your pet to work. If you are going to have busy work days, you may consider crate training your Chiweenie or get a dog walker to come and check on them. Remember their separation anxiety can be strong, so a crate can be a great way to alleviate that with proper training
If you live in the country or have a large yard, don’t leave your Chiweenie unsupervised as they could burrow and make a run or worse be stalked by Coyotes or get the attention of birds of prey.
You will be best served if you put in the work in the first year of the puppy’s life by socializing the puppy, taking it to puppy training, and getting it used to other humans and dogs. The minor behavioral issues will be quickly dealt with before their minds start to get too stubborn.
A little care for its health, grooming, and keeping an ideal weight by proper diet will give you many years of a happy Chiweenie!
Be sure to research the breeder like with any responsible pet parenting before getting your puppy. Ask for health certificates, vet checks, etc. If a breeder is not willing to share that information, they may be running a puppy mill so avoid them at all cost. Additionally, you will find Chiweenies at rescues as well but they are bound to be swept up fast so you will have to look often and move fast if rescuing is the route you want to take.
Whatever the designer-dog intention was for inventing this breed, the Chiweenie has become a great pet to have who will give you years of joy and companionship.
Happy Chiweenie parenting!