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A Chiweenie is what you get when you mix a Chihuahua with a Dachshund, also affectionately known as a sausage dog.
These are feisty, energetic, and spunky dogs that will certainly make an impression. They are intelligent but also independent, and they can be more challenging to train than many other dog breeds.
If you are thinking of adopting one of these loveable lap dogs into your family, read on for everything you need to know to decide whether they could be the right canine companion for you.
Spoiler alert! While they can do well in smaller homes, Chiweenies need a fairly firm hand and tend to do better with singles or couples than families, especially families with small children.
- Chihuahua and Dachshund mix
- 6-10 inches tall
- 5-12 pounds
- 12- to 16-year lifespan
- High energy
- Intelligent but stubborn, not easy to train
- Easy to groom and low shedding
- Suitable for apartment living
- Can be yappy
- Not great with kids
History Of The Breed
The Chiweenie, also known as the Choxie, Weeniehuahua, German taco, and Mexican hot dog, is a mixed breed dog developed from crossing a Chihuahua with a Dachshund.
Chihuahuas are a small Mexican breed that tend to measure just 6-10 inches tall and weigh between 4-6 pounds. There is some evidence that the Aztecs raised and sold the original Chihuahuas as food.
The modern dogs that were registered with the American Kennel Club in 1904 are only distantly related to these ancestors. Since then, they have been popular lap dogs bred principally for companionship.
Dachshunds, also known as weiner dogs, were bred in Germany to flush out badgers and other burrow-dwelling animals and even hunt small animals such as rabbits.
They come in standard, miniature, and rabbit sizes and can measure anywhere from 10-20 inches tall, but they all have a long body with short legs, which makes them look a bit like a sausage.
These two breeds started to be actively mixed in North America from around the 1990s, when designer mixed breed dogs started to become very popular.
The hope was that the Chihuahua genes would help minimize the back problems that tend to affect Dachshunds because of their long backs.
On the lookout for famous Chiweenies?
Check out the Instagram account of Tuna, a Chihuahua-Dachshund mix with more than two million followers.
Since Chiweenies are a relatively new mixed breed, there aren’t particular standards for their size. The best thing you can do is look at their parents as a guide.
Chihuahuas tend to be somewhere between six and 10 inches tall, while Dachshunds can be as tall as 20 inches.
You should always expect to see the Dachshund as the mother, as the larger dog is generally used as the mother to limit any potential complications at birth due to the size of the pups.
Most Chiweenies measure somewhere between six and 10 inches tall, and they will weigh between five and 12 pounds.
What exactly your Chiweenie will look like depends on how the characteristics of their parents combine. They may have the short legs and long body of their Dachshund parent or the longer legs and shorter body of their Chihuahua parent.
The appearance of their faces can also be unpredictable. Chihuahuas have apple-shaped heads with large, round eyes and erect, pointed ears.
Meanwhile, Dachshunds have a long snout and floppy ears that fall down around their face. The face of a Chiweenie may look like either.
Dachshunds can have short or long hair, but they tend to be low shedding regardless. Chihuahuas have short coats.
Chiweenies will generally have short, low-shedding coats, which can be any color mix of their parents. But the most common colors are brown, black, white, or a combination thereof. It is common for them to have a single-color coat with markings.
The shortness of their coats means they don’t do particularly well in cold weather and tend to prefer warmer climates.
Chiweenies are often described as having a spunky or feisty personality. Despite their small size, they have a lot of energy, and while they are highly intelligent, they are also independent and stubborn, which can make them incredibly difficult to train.
These dogs tend to have a strong prey drive and will chase most things that cross their path, though they will tolerate household cats.
They can be a bit jealous and have been known to attack other dogs in the household if they feel like they are being left out. They can have a similar attitude toward small children, but they don’t tend to bite.
But they are mouthy! You can expect them to bark at most things they encounter. There also seems to be a time of day when they will howl for about half a minute. There isn’t much that you can do about this.
These dogs tend to latch onto one member of the family and display loyalty to them above all others.
The small stature of Chiweenies means they do quite well in relatively small quarters, as long as they get out for their daily exercise.
The fact that they are also low shedding and don’t have problems with things like drooling, you won’t feel like they are leaving themselves strewn across their home.
They will like to putter around and will be very happy if they have a little nest they can call their own. But your lap will always be their favorite place!
Their barking and howling may annoy neighbors if you live somewhere with thin walls, but this is incredibly difficult to train out of them. Chiweenies also tend to be harder to house train than many other dog breeds.
Your best chance of controlling these pups and getting the right behavior out of them is to start relatively intensive training from a young age.
While they can be fairly self-sufficient for a few hours at a time, these dogs love attention and won’t be happy being left at home alone for extended periods of time.
They can develop anxiety and start getting destructive. If they tear something up while you are out, expect to see these intelligent pups hiding somewhere when you get home.
Energy & Exercise
Dachshunds are high-energy dogs and so are their Chiweenie offspring.
While they are able to entertain themselves when necessary, expect them to develop pent-up energy if they don’t get a minimum of 30-60 minutes of good exercise each day. Short walks and active play sessions including retrieving activities are often best.
Despite their small stature, they are energetic and adventurous enough to join you on most of your own adventures, whether that be running, hiking, or even swimming.
Most Chiweenies tend to be comfortable in the water. But if you do have one of the few that don’t like to get wet, be prepared for them to put up a fight rather than jump in the water.
At home, you will notice that they don’t mind lying about for a good portion of the day, but you might also notice them following you around and investigating every sound to give themselves something to do.
They tend to do better with a game of tug or fetch than with a puzzle toy, but if there is food inside they can release with time, it will hold their interest.
Chiweenies were bred specifically to try to minimize the chronic back conditions that affect Dachshunds, but they can still be prone to a variety of health conditions. Keeping an eye out for the most common issues can help you spot them and treat them early.
A good, clean diet is incredibly important to these dogs as they can be prone to both hypoglycemia and diabetes.
Some vets suspect that this relates to their small stomachs. For this reason, it is better to feed them small meals on a regular basis. Expect them to wolf it down like their Dachshund parents.
This tendency to gobble and always be hungry means that Chiweenies also tend to become overweight. It is important to control their diet.
Hypothyroidism is another common issue for Chiweenies, and they should be tested by your vet, who can prescribe medication if needed.
As they tend to have relatively long spines, Chiweenies can still be prone to degenerative disc disease like their Dachshund parents.
If your Chiweenie has a long back, try to limit activities such as jumping or climbing that can lead to spinal issues. Despite their little legs, they can also be affected by knee and elbow problems.
Many small dog breeds, including the Chiweenie, are prone to dental issues. As well as ensuring there isn’t too much sugar in their diet, take them for professional teeth cleaning on a fairly regular basis.
You can read more about doggy dental care here.
Chiweenies tend to be more affected by allergies than many other dog breeds, especially on a seasonal basis.
You’ll notice excessive sneezing, as well as chewing and licking their skin, if they have developed an irritation. Again, speak to the vet about appropriate medication.
Adopting A Chiweenie
While Chiweenies are desirable dogs, they nevertheless tend to be one of the more affordable “designer” mixed breeds. Expect to pay between $200 and $600 for a pup from a reputable breeder. Exact costs will depend on supply and demand where you are.
Unlike many other breeds, both Chihuahuas and Dachshunds are low-shedding dogs, so breeders don’t need to work hard to control for this characteristic. Instead, they are likely to specialize in producing pups that look more like one of their parent breeds.
Make sure to meet any puppy before you take them home. These particular pups should seem curious and adventurous from about four to six weeks old. Also, meet both parents and ask for full medical records.
If you want to adopt, you may well find quite a few pups in shelters despite their popularity. They can be a handful so, sadly, many of them find themselves in rescues.
Should I Adopt A Chiweenie?
Having read all our vital statistics on the Chiweenie, are you still considering bringing one into your family? Ask yourself the following questions to make your final decision and decide whether they are the right dog for you.
What Kind Of Space Do You Live In?
Chiweenies are one of the breeds that actually do well in small spaces and can manage apartment living.
Their small size means they feel quite comfortable, and the fact that they are low shedding and low drooling means that you probably won’t feel like your house has been “overrun” by dog!
However, be aware that they are barkers and tend to howl occasionally for no discernable reason. This can be a very difficult behavior to break once it has set in. Be aware of this if you have neighbors who are likely to complain about the noise.
How Much Time Do You Have To Spend With Your Dog?
Chiweenies love being around their people, or more likely their chosen person. Expect them to make quite the fuss every time you leave the house or come home, and for them to engage in destructive behaviors if they are left alone for too long.
Is there usually someone at your house to keep them company, or can you take them to work with you? While they can probably handle the occasional long stretch alone, if it becomes a daily occurrence, expect an anxious and destructive dog.
Are You An Experienced Dog Trainer?
Chiweenies are notoriously difficult to train. They are intelligent, but they just aren’t interested.
Not only is it difficult to get them to stop barking and chasing, but even house training can present a major problem.
If you aren’t an experienced dog owner confident in your ability to train a tough dog, you might want to invest in the services of a professional trainer from a young age.
This will give you a better chance of establishing the baseline behavior that you want.
If you are looking for advice on training a puppy, read our guide here.
Do You Have Small Children?
Chiweenies tend to latch onto one person rather than a whole family. While they will get along with everyone in the home, they will be “obsessed” with their chosen person and can be a little possessive and jealous.
They can have a tendency to be nippy with smaller children if they try to play rough with them, or demand too much of the attention they want for themselves.
Do You Have Other Pets?
Chiweenies can get along quite well with other pets, and they might even get playful with any cats you have wandering around the house. But do beware if you have other small dogs.
They can get jealous when it comes to their owner’s attention, and then have been known to attack other small dogs.
Are Chiweenies barkers?
Unless you are one of the lucky few, you can expect your Chiweenie to be a barker.
They will raise the alarm if anyone approaches your house, and they also tend to bark at anything that sets off their prey drive. You might also find them howling at around the same time every day.
How do you train a Chiweenie not to bark?
To train your Chiweenie not to bark, you will need to teach them both the “speak” and “quiet” command.
Then, when they start to bark without you having commanded them, you can use the “quiet” command to get them to stop. If the problem is them barking when you are not around, you might want to try an anti-bark collar.
If you like a spunky pup with a mind of their own, and you want a dog that will both feel comfortable in your small home and have the energy to join you on weekend adventures, then a Chiweenie can be a great choice.
These small dogs are low shedding and low drooling and will be relatively happy in a small home, as long as they get out for their daily exercise to burn off energy.
They are attention-seeking pups, so be prepared for them to be all over you, and to give them the attention they crave.
They can be a handful, as they tend to be stubborn and difficult to train, and they do have a tendency to bark and howl. But if you can get past that, you will struggle to find a more loyal companion who will love nothing better than being by your side.
Whether you are curled upon the couch or hiking, they can do it with you.
Have you ever owned a Chiweenie?
Share your experience and thoughts with the community in the comments section below.
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