- What do you call a Dachshund Chihuahua Mix?
- Dachshund Breed
- Chihuahua Breed
- Dachshund and Chihuahua Comparison
- Quick Summary of the Chiweenie
- History and Original Purpose of a Chiweenie
- Chiweenie Temperament
- Chiweenie Size and Appearance
- Chiweenie Coats & Colors
- Exercise and Living Conditions for Chiweenie
- How to Train a Chiweenie?
- Chiweenie Health and Care
- Feeding Your Chiweenie
- Grooming and Shedding
- Chiweenies as Family Pets
- Pros and Cons of Getting a Chiweenie
- Fun Facts about the Chiweenie
- Chiweenie Breeders
- Final Thoughts
- Other Dachshund Mixes
Some pet parent’s who adore their dachshunds might not be familiar with one of the popular hybrid combinations known as Chiweenies. These little pups mix the dachshund with the chihuahua for a tiny blast of energy. You thought your dachshund kept you on your toes, wait until you learn about these little guys.
What do you call a Dachshund Chihuahua Mix?
It’s Chiweenie. Dachshunds and Chihuahuas are both popular as small companion dogs, so it makes sense that breeders would combine them to create a hybrid designer breed. Additionally, since both pure breeds suffer from certain health problems, combining the breeds produces greater genetic diversity and often healthier dogs.
In the best-case scenario, you end up with a dog with all the best characteristics of a Dachshund and a Chihuahua together. Responsible breeders will know how to pair dogs to create the best chance of this happening.
Dachshunds are known for their unusual shape and their oversized personalities. Originally bred to hunt badgers and other tunneling animals, these long, low-to-the-ground pooches have the courage of dogs many times their size.
They are smart but tend to have a stubborn streak, making training, including housebreaking, a bit of a challenge. However, many Dachshund owners find it well worth the trouble for the resulting playful, affectionate companion. They’re small enough to be excellent apartment dogs, and their surprisingly loud barks make them good watchdogs, as well.
Unfortunately, the Dachshund’s long back and short legs tend to come with disc and joint problems. Intervertebral disc disease can lead to pain and possible paralysis, so Dachshund owners need to be careful to minimize any instances of falling or jumping off of furniture.
Dachshunds may also be prone to developing eye or liver problems, so if you buy instead of adopting, it’s vital to only buy from responsible breeders. Additionally, Dachshunds are highly food-motivated and can tend to gain weight, but keeping them at a healthy weight will help protect their joints.
Dachshunds get along moderately well with other dogs, even better when properly socialized. However, they have strong prey drives, which means they might see other small pets – like birds or hamsters – as something to chase and pounce on.
Dachshunds do very well with children, but their small size and potential back problems mean they may not be the best choice for households with young, extremely active children. For just about any other family, however, they’re an excellent choice for a pet, even for novice dog owners.
At a weight of 3 to 6 pounds, the Chihuahua is one of the smallest toy dog breeds in the world. Although the exact history of the breed is uncertain, they originated somewhere in Central or South America and were “discovered” by the wider world in 1850.
Chihuahuas have always been companion dogs, and indeed, they may tend to bond strongly with one person. They’ll want to go everywhere with you, so it’s lucky that given their small size, they’re highly portable and make excellent traveling companions.
Of course, they’re also quite prone to barking and may be suspicious of strangers and other dogs, so early socialization and training are necessary. Luckily, the Chihuahua is usually easy to train, being intelligent but also eager to please.
However, be careful not to use treats too frequently. Although Chihuahuas are only moderately susceptible to weight gain, they’re so small that even a tiny amount of extra weight can cause problems in their joints.
Other than that, these are generally healthy dogs, but they may face health conditions that are more likely in small breeds, including patellar luxation and hypoglycemia. Other than that, hydrocephalus and open fontanel are also concerned, particularly when Chihuahuas are young.
While the Chihuahua’s playful and affectionate natures make them excellent family dogs, their very small size makes them inappropriate for households with very young children.
Because they’re so small, they’re more delicate than larger breeds, and even a well-meaning child might cause an injury by dropping the dog or allowing it to jump from an unsafe height.
For families with older children and adults, however, the Chihuahua is an ideal pet, particularly in small homes and apartments. They don’t need much space, and though they have plenty of energy, their small size means that they’ll wear out quickly on walks.
Just make sure that you can provide plenty of playtimes, as they don’t do well being left alone and will prefer to be wherever the action is.
Dachshund and Chihuahua Comparison
|Type||Companion dog||Hound dog|
|Origins||19th century||15th century|
|Country of Origin||Mexico||Germany|
|Height||6” to 9”||8” to 9”|
|Weight||3 to 6 lbs.||16 to 32 lbs. (standard) or 11 lbs. max (miniature)|
|Life Span||10 to 18 years||12 to 15 years|
|Coat||Smooth or long||Smooth, wire-haired, or long-haired|
|Coloring||Black, white, fawn, chocolate, gray, silver, tricolor, brindle, spotted, merle||Any solid color except white, bi-color, dappled, brindle, piebald|
|Temperament||Alert, sensitive, confident, curious||Clever, stubborn, mischievous, playful|
|Trainability||Moderate to easy||Hard|
|Kid-friendly?||Friendly but too small for young children||Yes|
Quick Summary of the Chiweenie
Chiweenies have the charm of Chihuahuas and Dachshunds, often with fewer health problems than the pure breeds, and they’re little balls of energy in a pint-sized package.
Read on to learn the characteristics of this hybrid breed and whether a Chiweenie might be the right dog for your home.
|Suitable For||Small households, apartments, active adults|
|Lifespan||12 to 16 years|
|Temperament||Playful, affectionate, sensitive, stubborn|
|Average Height||6 to 10”|
|Average Weight||5 to 12 lbs.|
|Coat Type||Short to long|
|Brushing||Once a week|
|Tolerant to Solitude||Low|
|Tolerance to Heat||High|
|Tolerance to Cold||Very low|
|Good Family Pet?||For smaller families|
|Good with Children?||Older children|
|Good with Other Dogs?||Moderate|
|Good with Other Pets?||Moderate to low|
|Good Apartment Dweller?||Yes|
|Good Pet for New Owner?||Moderate|
|Exercise Needs||Moderate to high (30-60 minutes a day)|
|Tendency to Gain Weight||High|
|Daily Food Consumption||0.5 to 1 cup(s)|
|Common Health Concerns||Hypoglycemia, diabetes, degenerative disc disease, dental problems, hypothyroidism, knee, and joint problems, allergies|
|Average New Puppy Price||$300 to $600|
|Average Annual Medical Expense||$450 to $550|
|Average Annual Non-Medical Expense||$300 to $450|
|Yearly Cost to Own This Breed||$750 to $900|
History and Original Purpose of a Chiweenie
The exact history of this designer breed isn’t known, but it probably emerged in the 1990s in the United States. Reportedly, the purpose of the breed is to create a dog with the size and appearance of a Dachshund, but with fewer back problems.
Crossbreeding may also protect against health problems common to purebred Chihuahuas. Regardless of the exact reason, Chiweenies are bred purely as companion dogs rather than work or show dogs.
Because it’s not purebred, there aren’t reliable statistics for how many Chiweenies are out there, but it does rank as one of the most popular designer breeds, up there with Labradoodles and Puggles.
Chiweenies are loyal companion dogs, and they tend to bond with one person in a family and act as their “shadow,” following them around. That’s not to say they won’t be affectionate with the rest of the family, but they may feel separation anxiety if they’re left alone for long periods of time.
These are also highly sensitive dogs who will respond to your moods. They have plenty of energy, but they love occasional cuddle time, as well. Since both Dachshunds and Chihuahuas tend to be bold, confident dogs, so do Chiweenies.
You might say a Chiweenie is a large dog in a very small body – they often don’t know their own size, and thus may approach larger dogs confidently. While they aren’t aggressive, it is important to socialize your Chiweenie from a young age to teach them good manners around other dogs.
Also, this designer breed takes a long time to warm up to strangers. It makes the Chiweenie an excellent watchdog, but if you throw frequent dinner parties, for example, you may find yourself with a constant bark machine of a dog.
Chiweenie Size and Appearance
Chiweenies tend to be slightly larger than their Chihuahua parents, but they’re still a toy breed. At only 6 inches to 10 inches in height and weighing 5 to 12 pounds, they’re highly portable dogs who do well in small homes including apartments.
While they like children, they’re so small that the potential for accidental injury is high. A young, rambunctious child may injure a Chiweenie without meaning to. For this reason, Chiweenies are recommended for families with older children only.
Because Chiweenies are a relatively new hybrid breed, there aren’t yet many standards for their appearance. It’s likely that they’ll have a longer back and shorter legs than a purebred Chihuahua, but not as much as a purebred Dachshund.
They may have the high, round forehead of a Chihuahua or the long, fox-like snout of a Dachshund or anywhere in between.
Chiweenie Coats & Colors
Since Dachshunds and Chihuahuas can have either short or long coats, a Chiweenie’s coat can range from very short and smooth to long and wavy depending on the parent dogs.
Although neither parent breed sheds heavily, if your Chiweenie has medium to long fur, you will need to brush it about once a week to prevent tangles and matting.
Chiweenies with very short coats will require very little brushing, but you may find that these dogs are prone to skin irritations. If you see your Chiweenie scratching or nibbling repeatedly at a certain spot, you may need to take them to the vet to screen for allergies or infections.
As for colors, since Chihuahuas can come in any color, so can Chiweenies. This hybrid breed may also inherit its Dachshund parent’s bicolor, dappled, brindle, or piebald color pattern.
The one color you’ll rarely see is a solid-white Chiweenie, but just about any other color is possible. Many may inherit the Dachshund’s typical bicolor markings with dark body color and lighter markings over the eyes, on the sides of the jaw, and on the chest.
Exercise and Living Conditions for Chiweenie
While Chiweenies are small dogs, they’re very active. They may like to cuddle at times, but often, they’d prefer playtime to lay quietly in your lap. However, their small size and short legs mean that they may tire out on long walks, so you don’t need to walk them for long each day. Two or three short walks plus playtime should suffice.
Their small size also means Chiweenies are ideal dogs for apartments or homes without yards. They won’t need to run off-leash to get exercise. In fact, you won’t want to let them off-leash in an unfenced area.
Dachshunds have a high prey drive, and if your Chiweenie exhibits this characteristic, they will follow their nose wherever it takes them. It’s not uncommon to see a Chiweenie run off after a squirrel or a bird.
This is less of a problem for Chiweenies that take after their Chihuahua parent. However, remember that Chiweenies are so small that they could be snatched by larger birds while off-leash. This isn’t a common occurrence, but it’s something to keep in mind.
Some Chiweenies will do best as the only dog in a household, particularly if they weren’t properly socialized as puppies. They can sometimes become jealous, especially if the person they’re bonded to appears to be showing love to another dog.
They shouldn’t become aggressive, but they may become a little snappy. Additionally, dogs with high prey drives can see other small pets as prey to be chased. Chiweenies might not be the dog for you if you already share your home with birds, hamsters, cats, or other small pets.
How to Train a Chiweenie?
A word of warning: though Chiweenies are smart dogs, they can also be quite stubborn. Dachshunds are notorious for being difficult to housebreak, and your Chiweenie may be, as well.
However, with patience and consistency, your Chiweenie will learn what you expect from them. Since these are particularly sensitive dogs who will easily pick up on your mood, make sure training sessions remain positive.
If you become frustrated, so will your Chiweenie. When this happens, you’re better off taking a break and trying again later. As with all dogs, only use positive reinforcement to train your Chiweenie.
This hybrid breed is usually very highly food-motivated, which can make treats a good reward. However, make sure not to overdo it on the treats. Most experts say that no more than 10% of a dog’s daily diet should come from treats.
A Chiweenie is very small, so make sure treats are appropriately small. Additionally, try using praise or toys as rewards. Keep training sessions short and playful, and be consistent with your methods. These should make training even the hard-to-train dog a little easier.
Because housebreaking can be a problem, Chiweenies are good candidates for crate training. The crate should be a safe, restful place for your Chiweenie where they can relax when you’re not home.
Dogs like having a small space to call their own. Never send a dog to a crate as punishment, and never leave a dog there for more than a few hours at a time. Chiweenies are prone to separation anxiety, and leaving them in their crates for too long will make this anxiety worse.
Chiweenie Health and Care
One reason for breeding Chiweenies is to minimize the health conditions that can plague the parent breeds. That said, Chiweenies aren’t free of health problems, either.
Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is a common problem for many small dogs with small stomachs, so ensure that your Chiweenie eats regularly and healthily.
Small breeds also have a tendency toward dental problems, which can be minimized by brushing your Chiweenie’s teeth, giving them chew toys, and keeping up with vet visits.
If your Chiweenie inherits its Dachshund parents long back, degenerative disc disease can become a problem. The chance is lower in Dachshund hybrids than in purebreds, but you’ll still want to limit any activities that are rough on your Chiweenie’s spine, particularly as they age.
Jumping and climbing can be dangerous, so invest in a set of steps if you want your Chiweenie to join you on your bed or couch. While Chiweenies tend to do fine in warm weather, they can be very susceptible to cold, particularly if they have short, smooth fur.
That doesn’t mean you can’t own a Chiweenie if you live in cold weather, but make sure to put a warm jacket on this little pooch before you take it for a walk in the cold.
Also, just because Chiweenies don’t mind some heat doesn’t mean you can leave them out in extreme heat. Always make sure that they have plenty of water to drink, and if your short-haired Chiweenie is going to be out in the sun, they may need some sunscreen to prevent sunburn.
Feeding Your Chiweenie
The best food for a Chiweenie is a small breed formula, which will give your Chiweenie the nutrients it needs without filler. Small breeds, and the Dachshund, in particular, have a tendency to gain weight, which can be bad on their joints.
Thus, you will need to carefully monitor your Chiweenie’s food and treat intake. Usually, Chiweenies need between half a cup and one cup of food every day, split between two meals.
You can adjust as needed if this is too much or too little food. Once again, use treats sparingly to avoid giving your Chiweenie more food than they need.
Grooming and Shedding
Your Chiweenie will probably be a low to moderate shedder, even if they have longer, fluffier fur. However, long fur will require regular brushing. Once a week should be fine, but if you see their fur getting tangled or dirty, you may need to brush more frequently.
You should bathe your Chiweenie every 4-6 weeks, as more frequent bathing can dry out and irritate their skin. It’s unlikely that you’ll need to take your Chiweenie to a groomer very often unless you simply don’t want to bathe and brush them yourself.
A groomer can also clip your Chiweenie’s nails and take care of smellier issues like expressing their anal glands. While all dogs have anal glands, small breeds – including both Chihuahuas and Dachshunds – are more likely to experience irritation, swelling, or blockage of the glands on either side of their anuses.
This can be prevented by manually emptying these glands with gentle squeezing. Most groomers know how to do this, but if you don’t mind doing it yourself, ask your vet how to do it safely. Not all Chiweenies will need this done regularly, but some may.
Chiweenies as Family Pets
While Chiweenies can be good family pets, they come with some caveats. This dog is simply too small and delicate for families with younger children, so much so that many rescue organizations will not place Chiweenies in households with children under the age of 10 or so.
Small dogs have small, easily broken bones, and both Chihuahuas and Dachshunds are susceptible to joint problems that can be brought on or made worse by improper handling.
Additionally, while you don’t necessarily need a yard to own a Chiweenie, it would be best if you had some kind of access to a fenced outdoor area. A nearby dog park would work fine. Chiweenies are curious, prey-driven escape artists, and they may follow their noses wherever that takes them.
They require close supervision, particularly since they may not know how small they are and become too assertive with larger dogs. Chiweenies are best as pets for small families consisting of adults and older children.
Since these dogs tend to bond closely with one person, they’re also ideal for single people living in cities or smaller homes or apartments. As long as you’ve got the time to put into training, socializing, and playing with your new Chiweenie, this designer dog can be an excellent and long-lived companion.
Pros and Cons of Getting a Chiweenie
- Good apartment dog
- Usually low-maintenance in terms of grooming and shedding
- High tolerance for hot weather
- A playful and affectionate companion who’ll want to be with you all-day
- The small size means they might be too delicate for small, active children
- The tendency toward problem barking or happiness
- Very low tolerance for cold weather
- Potential for stubbornness and separation anxiety
Fun Facts about the Chiweenie
- As a hybrid breed, Chiweenies aren’t registered with the AKC, but they are registered with the International Designer Breed Registry and similar organizations.
- While no dog is truly hypoallergenic, the offspring of a short-haired Dachshund and a short-haired Chihuahua will shed very little and pose few problems for allergy sufferers.
- In late 2020, a Chiweenie named Mijo slipped out of his Colorado home and got snatched up by a mountain lion. Luckily, his “brother” – a Dachshund named Winston – barked at the mountain lion until it let Mijo go. Mijo recovered from his injuries, but it’s a great illustration of just how fearless Dachshunds and Chiweenies can be!
Although we always recommend adoption over breeding or buying, sometimes you just can’t find the right dog for you through shelters or foster homes. If this is the case, you’ll have to do some research to find a responsible Chiweenie breeder. A simple internet search will reveal plenty of puppies for sale, but you may not know if these dogs are from “backyard breeders” or puppy mills that place earning money over the well-being of the dogs. In a worst-case scenario, the poster is a scam artist who doesn’t even have a dog to sell. Always visit the breeder before buying.
A responsible breeder will not only treat the dogs well, but they’ll also know how to pair individual dogs to get the best health and behavior outcomes for the offspring. For a healthy, well-adjusted Chiweenie, you’re better off to go with a responsible professional breeder, even if the puppies usually do cost a bit more. You should receive paperwork about your new puppy’s health and the breeder should follow up with you in the first few months after the adoption.
- Greenfield Puppies is a website where responsible dog breeders in Pennsylvania can post the puppies they have for sale. Check out their Chiweenie page to see what’s available.
- J&J’s Chiweenies in South Carolina (previously in Berwyn Heights, MD) breeds both Chiweenies and purebred Chihuahuas. They will ship puppies via airplane throughout the US or by car up to 4 hours away.
If you still can’t find any good Chiweenie breeders nearby, you can consider asking your local vet for recommendations.
Is a Chiweenie right for you? One of these hybrid dogs is probably best if you…
- Have no children or only children over the age of ten.
- Have time and patience to devote to training.
- Are prepared to have a dog bond closely to you and hate to be left alone.
- Don’t mind some barking.
- Live somewhere with warm weather.
On the other hand, a Chiweenie is probably not the right dog for you if you…
- Have children under the age of 10 or children who play roughly.
- Want a dog you can leave alone for much of the day.
- Live somewhere with very cold weather for most of the year.
- Don’t have the patience to train a stubborn pooch
- Need peace and quiet while going on walks or at the park.
For the right home, a Chiweenie can be the perfect pet. However, if you don’t fit the bill, don’t worry – there are plenty of other canine mixed breeds, and one’s sure to fit your lifestyle.
Other Dachshund Mixes
You might want to see other popular Dachshund mixes, check out the list below: