Although this mixed breed isn't recognized by the American Kennel Club, the Chiweenie is a charming little dog known for both its loyalty and spunk. A cross between a Dachshund and a Chihuahua, the exact origin of the designer Chiweenie dog breed remains unknown. Some experts speculate that intrepid breeders were trying to create a dog that looked like a Dachshund but lacked that breed's well-known back problems. Others feel that the first Chiweenies were bred by accident and kept around for their charm.
Also known as Choxies and Weeniehuahuas, or affectionately as German tacos, and Mexican hot dogs, these loving dogs enjoy spending lots of time with their family members and are super playful. Chiweenies are compact little creatures, but don't let their size fool you — these small dogs are big barkers who will alert you to anything and everything they find noteworthy. As a result, they make great guard dogs but potentially bad neighbors who are likely to annoy others in apartment buildings and other close living situations.
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When fully grown, Chiweenies stand 6 to 10 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 6 and 12 pounds. Some Chiweneies look more like one of their parents than the other, with some resembling tiny Dachshunds with longer bodies, floppy ears, and a shorter stature. Other individuals exhibit more Chihuahua traits, displaying perky ears and a more square body shape. If the offspring of a long-legged Chihuahua, your Chiweenie may have longer legs than most.
Their coats are typically short, but long-haired Chiweenies are available. Their coats can be silky or somewhat rough and come in a wide range of colors. You might find a brown Chiweenie, a black and tan Chiweenie, a black Chiweenie, a white one, or a mix of colors.
Chiweenie temperament & training
Breed is not a reliable indicator of personality, however, Chiweenies tend to bond closely with one person. They'll learn to love the whole family, but they will usually have a favorite person and they're not shy about making their choice clear. These feisty little dogs get along with just about everyone, including other dogs, but it's important to introduce them correctly to small children given their petite builds.
Chiweenies are blissfully unaware of their small stature and will absolutely let strangers know when they get too close. Although a bit standoffish at first, these dogs will warm to strangers in short order, especially if socialized well as puppies. The more positive interactions your dog has with strangers when young, the more likely he will be to view them positively when he is older.
Dachshunds and Chihuahuas both have a stubborn streak, so it's no surprise when their offspring do too. Chiweenies are smart dogs and eager to please you, but their desire to make you happy often clashes with their stubborn streak during training. Keep your training sessions short and fun. As always, rely on positive reinforcement to train your dog rather than scolding or disciplining her. If you find yourself struggling, find a qualified dog trainer to help you.
It's easy to stay on top of the Chiweenie's minimal grooming needs. Short-haired Chiweenies do fine with a weekly coat brushing while their long-haired counterparts need to be brushed two or three times a week. Your dog will need to be bathed only occasionally; once a month should more than suffice. If you notice his coat isn't as shiny as you would like, try bathing him a bit more often. Monthly nail trims will prove adequate.
Chiweenie exercise & health
Your Chiweenie will make a great lap dog, but only after you've burned off some of his playful energy. These small dogs don't need much room to run or play and do just fine in a small home or apartment. They do need about 30 minutes of exercise a day coupled with a few play sessions. Chiweenies don't do well in cold weather, so keep outdoor activities brief on winter days and play inside instead.
Otherwise, this is a healthy breed with few issues and a lifespan of about 13 to 16 years, with some individuals making it to 20. Some do suffer from allergies, however, and the breed is known for tooth decay. Daily teeth brushing and regular dental check-ups at the vet can usually stave off major dental issues. Like their Dachshund parents, Chiweenies can sometimes suffer from degenerative disc disease.
Given the small nature of the breed, Chiweenie puppies are tiny little dogs. Newborns weigh between 2.5 and 6.5 ounces. Their tiny size makes them fragile, so you'll need to handle them gently. These tiny pups grow quickly, however, and reach maturity when they're 8 to 10 months old.