Good for Novice Owners:
- Average Size: Small
- Average Lifespan: 12-16 years
- Registered?: other
Chiweenie Dog Breed Information
Did You Know?
The Chiweenie, sometimes called a Choxie, is a cross between a Dachshund and a Chihuahua. This hybrid breed originated in the United States and gained popularity during the 1990s. These dogs may be short in stature, but they are certainly not short in personality and affection.
The Chiweenie is often described as a small lap dog with a heart of gold. Although they are not recognized by the American Kennel Club, they are recognized by other canine organizations. The International Designer Canine Registry, Designer Dogs Kennel Club, and more all recognize the Chiweenie.
Although Chiweenies can take on any combination of traits from their parent breeds, they tend to be affectionate, loyal to their families, and playful. Provided they are well-socialized, they also tend to have a friendly disposition and a laid-back personality with some bursts of energy.
As long as they are socialized well and introduced early on, they also get along with other dogs and other pets. They do tend to get along with children as well. Because of their small size, they tend to be a better fit for older children who can be gentle with them. Chiweenie puppies can be easily injured by accidental rough play or falls, which can happen with very young children who are still learning motor control.
Chiweenies make good watchdogs and will alert you when someone is on the property. They can be prone to barking and can become territorial, but this can be managed with early training and socialization. You can also work with them early to train your dog to stop barking.
Proper socialization and training are important for any dog breed and are certainly important for a Chiweenie. These small dogs can easily become spoiled, overprotective, and even prone to aggressive behavior if they are not socialized and/or are poorly trained.
Chiweenies are highly adaptable dogs. Provided they get enough daily attention and exercise, they do well in apartments as well as larger homes. With some of the dog breeds that hate winter as parents, these little dogs tend to do best in warmer and moderate climates.
As with most dog breeds, they are sensitive to extreme heat and cold. Due to their small size and short coat, you may need to bundle them up in the winter to help keep them warm. Having some good winter dog products on hand is a good idea.
Because they crave affection and love human company, they do not like to be left alone for long periods of time. These little dogs can also be prone to developing separation anxiety if you do not work with them on it early on.
Potential health concerns to be aware of in the Chiweenie can include patellar luxation, hypoglycemia, diabetes, hip and elbow dysplasia, allergies, and back problems. Good breeding practices make a big difference in the health of puppies.
Reputable breeders will screen their dogs to avoid passing preventable issues to puppies. So, make sure you ask the breeder about the genetic history of the parents and about any relevant health clearances.
Regular visits to the vet and proper care can help maintain proper nutrition and reduce preventable diseases. Because they tend to be longer than they are tall, back problems will likely be unavoidable, especially as your Chiweenie reaches their senior years.
Installing ramps to prevent jumping from higher places and other ways to help arthritic dogs can also help reduce back strain in Chiweenies, Dachshunds, and other long-bodied dogs. Your vet can also give you great tips on what to avoid and things you can do to help protect your Chiweenie’s back as they age.
The Chiweenie tends to be a moderately trainable dog breed. Although they thrive on attention and affection and are eager to please, they can also be quite stubborn. They can be a good fit for owners of all experience levels, but first-time owners may want to enroll in puppy training classes.
Training is only one of the benefits of puppy training classes, so they are a good idea even if you don’t necessarily need them for training. These classes are a great activity to build and strengthen the bond you have with your Chiweenie puppy and can also provide opportunities for valuable socialization with other dogs, new people, new environments, etc.
Chiweenies have thin coats that range from short to medium in length. They will shed moderately throughout the year, but their grooming is relatively low maintenance. They only require weekly brushing or brushing a few times a week and monthly bathing.
In addition to coat care, you also need to take care of your Chiweenie’s nails, ears, and teeth. Cutting your dog’s nails once or twice monthly is usually sufficient to keep them from growing too long. Checking your dog’s ears weekly and carefully cleaning them as needed can help prevent ear infections.
Proper dental care for dogs is particularly important for your Chiweenie. Gum disease is one of the most common health issues in dogs and, as a small dog breed, your Chiweenie is even more prone to developing dental diseases like gum disease and tooth decay. Brushing your dog’s teeth with toothpaste made for dogs every day, along with cleanings at the vet as needed, is ideal for preventing the tartar and plaque buildup that leads to painful dental disease.
Generally, it’s a good idea to get your dog used to having their nails, ears, and mouth handled as a puppy. This can make ongoing grooming a much easier process throughout their life. Plus, if it’s kept a positive experience, it can become a bonding activity that your Chiweenie looks forward to!
This dog breed has a low activity level that can range into moderate at times. This isn’t to say that they are couch potatoes because they are actually quite energetic! But, they are also small and tire easily. A Chiweenie tends to be happy with some daily walks and playtime.
They may be up for some more activity if you are as they will love to spend time with you. You will just need to keep an eye on them to make sure they are not overheating or overexerting themselves trying to keep up.
A fully-grown Chiweenie usually stands 6-12 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs 5-25 pounds. Looking at the parents can give you a better idea of what size to expect in a specific fully-grown Chiweenie.
A Chiweenie generally lives 12-16 years on average.
A Chiweenie is also sometimes jokingly called the “Mexican Hot Dog” or “German Taco” since they are a long-bodied dog and their parent breeds originated in Mexico and Germany.