Table of Contents
- The Chiweenie Personality
- Learning to Live with Chiweenies
- The History of the Chiweenie
- The Health of the Chiweenie
- Chiweenie General Care
- Training the Chiweenie
- Working Through Anxiety with Your Chiweenie
- Chiweenie Dog Breed Conclusion
The Chiweenie is a mixed breed dog that goes by several names. This dog is commonly called the Choxie, German Taco, Mexican Hotdog, and Weeniehuahua. This petite hybrid dog is frequently called a designer breed.
These dogs are a product of breeding first-generation (F1) purebred Chihuahua with F1 purebred Dachshund.
Most reputable breeders will avoid generational crossbreeding by breeding Chiweenies with F1 breeds or breeding them with other Chiweenies.
This breeding regimen works well as F1 mixes are typically the healthiest dogs.
There are no standards for the Chiweenie's appearance and size, as it remains a relatively new breed. Similar to the parent breed, Chiweenies are generally small.
On average, adults weigh between 5 and 12 pounds, measuring from 6 to 10 inches at the shoulder. Your puppy may be smaller or larger than this size, depending on the breeding.
Periodically, the Chiweenie is a mix of colors. Although relatively short-coated, Chihuahuas and dachshunds are occasionally long-haired, as can the crossbreeding version Chiweenie.
A Chiweenie will often mimic the coloring of parent breeds. Standard coat colors are solid brown, fawn, black and white.
The Chiweenies body is often shorter and sturdier than a dachshund, with a long and narrow tail. The dog's face and muzzle are longer and narrower than a Chihuahua but will typically remain shorter than a dachshund.
The dog's ears are large, triangular, upright like a Chihuahua, or floppy and long like a dachshund. Periodically, they may be a combination of both.
The Chiweenie Personality
This breed of dog possesses extreme levels of spunk and confidence, traits they inherit from both parents. The Chiweenie is playful and charming, loving to be the center of attention.
The pup will often develop a strong attachment to one person, building loyalty and love. This breed isn't exclusive to one person; it commonly builds relationships and attachments with all family members.
Although the breed is known for having high energy, the small size often dictates fewer exercise needs than larger dogs.
The Chiweenie can meet their exercise requirements with half an hour of walking and a few play sessions throughout the day.
The Dachshund was originally bred to hunt rodents, holding a strong prey drive that may pass on to the Chiweenie. More often than not, Chiweenies show virtually no interest in hunting.
When you're looking for a decent watchdog to alert you to potential trouble, the Chiweenie is exactly the dog you need. Many people consider the Chiweenie to be a yappy dog.
These dogs tend to hold an excessive, high-pitched bark. If barking isn't something you'd like, early socialization and training will curb the Chiweenie's vocal tendencies.
Dachshunds and Chihuahuas share a stubborn streak, leaving Chiweenies strong-headed. This stubbornness may make the dog difficult to housetrain, but their eagerness and intelligence often outweigh the negative association.
Training the Chiweenie isn't exceptionally difficult with a calm, patient, and firm regimen.
Learning to Live with Chiweenies
The Chiweenie's small size makes this breed perfect for apartment living, although their barking may not help you make friends.
This dog is better suited for single people, couples, or smaller families with older children. The Chiweenie will get along better with cats or other smaller-sized dogs (although they may have problems with larger canines).
Due to the Chiweenies' small size, always closely supervise interactions with small children. Unfortunately, unruly children could accidentally hurt a small dog.
Likewise, the potentially dominant personality of the Chiweenie could make the dog nip or growl at small children. Although this pup is lap dog size, Chiweenies are high energy, preferring to play over cuddling.
The grooming requirements of a Chiweenie are often low. Weekly brushing and the occasional bath are often sufficient.
Small dogs tend to be sensitive to colder temperatures, so these pups will happily wear coats and sweaters to stay warm.
As Chihuahuas and Dachshunds are prone to dental problems, daily dental care and regular cleanings are part of their grooming regimen.
Overfeeding is often a problem for the Chiweenie, primarily because of their small size. Ideally, your dog should eat dog food formulated for small breeds with higher levels of energy.
Feeding should always be on a regular schedule. Avoid leaving food out and letting the dog graze throughout the day. Treats should never comprise more than 10% of the dog's daily caloric intake.
The History of the Chiweenie
Although the first Chiweenie pups were most definitely the result of unintentional crossbreeding, breeders didn't pair Chihuahuas and Dachshunds until the late 1990s.
While the origin of this designer breed is uncertain, it most likely began in North America.
The Chiweenie initially intended to create a dog that looked similar to the purebred Dachshund without the accompanying back problems. With the perfect mix of charm and cuteness, demand quickly skyrocketed.
As Chiweenies are hybrid dogs, the American Kennel Club doesn't officially recognize the breed. Alternatively, several clubs devoted to the Chiweenie recognize the breed.
The Health of the Chiweenie
Unfortunately, the Chiweenie is predisposed to the standard conditions a Dachshund and Chihuahua face.
Many Chiweenies are generally healthy; a few may be prone to health issues. That's why it's essential to maintain good care and regular veterinary checkups.
A few common health problems Chiweenies suffer from include:
If your diabetic dog experiences any ongoing symptoms, it's always a good idea to have them checked by a vet. Untreated diabetes can lead to several complications.
A common complication of dog diabetes is cataracts, which cause blindness quickly. Often, blindness occurs before a pet owner realizes the pet has diabetes.
Statistically speaking, 75% of dogs with diabetes will develop cataracts, with 75% of those dogs losing their vision within the year if left untreated.
If your dog suddenly appears cloudy or has a blue-ish gray tint over the pupil, book an appointment with your vet for a proper diagnosis.
Finally, diabetes can cause a severe complication in dogs called ketoacidosis. When the body can't access glucose due to diabetes, it breaks down fat stores to fuel the body.
This process creates ketones, which are poisonous by-products that quickly result in serious health complications.
Ketoacidosis is typically part of the final stages of dog diabetes. The advanced stages of diabetes will often lead to profound and significant weight loss, specifically muscle loss.
The dog will become very weak from muscular and neurologic changes. Finally, ketoacidosis will lead to vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea, and decreased appetite.
These symptoms, combined with seizures, tremors, and abnormal breathing, could all indicate your dog is dying and requires emergency veterinary treatment.
Degenerative Disc Disease
This condition will commonly cause issues with the spine, leading to severe injuries or paralysis.
As the Dachshund typically suffers from this problem, it's important to limit activities causing extreme pressure on the spine. Activities like climbing or jumping aren't the safest exercises for the Chiweenie.
This condition stems from an under-active thyroid. It is treatable but requires veterinary attention to prescribe treatment.
The thyroid regulates the body's metabolic rate, which causes the metabolism to slow down when underactive.
Hypothyroidism is usually caused by one of two diseases: idiopathic thyroid gland atrophy or lymphocytic thyroiditis. The latter is considered the most common cause of hypothyroidism, believed to be an immune-mediated disease.
There are common signs of hypothyroidism, commonly identified when one or more of the following signs is identified.
- Weight gain without an increase in appetite
- Lack of desire to exercise or general lethargy
- Dull or dry hair with excessive shedding
- Cold intolerance
- Slow heart rate
- Increased dark pigmentation in the skin
- Increased occurrence of ear and skin infections
- Failure to regrow hair after shaving or clipping
Occasionally, dogs will have a few other abnormalities such as:
- Loss of libido and infertility in intact males
- Infertility, lack of heat periods, and abortion in females
- Fat deposits in the corneas of the eyes
- Dry eye due to lack of proper tear production
The most common screening test is the total thyroxin (TT4) level. The condition is considered treatable but not curable.
Treatment includes oral administration of thyroid replacement hormone for the rest of the dog's life.
While seasonal and skin allergies affect humans, they can also bother your dog.
Contact your veterinarian immediately if you notice your dog sneezing, licking the skin, coughing, chewing, or having difficulty breathing.
Chiweenie General Care
As with all dogs, your Chiweenie requires regular veterinary checkups to detect health concerns early on. The vet can help establish regular care to keep your dog healthy.
Chiweenies are prone to weight gain, but thankfully they have high energy levels. Always ensure you walk your dog daily, with a few play sessions mixed in for the best results.
Continuously check your dog's ears daily for pests and debris, cleaning them regularly by your veterinarian.
Your pup's nails should remain short, sitting above the ground on all four paws. Trim the nails at least once or twice a month for easier maintenance.
If you hear your dog's nails clicking against the floor, they're too long. Cutting nails requires skill and patience. When in doubt, book an appointment with your groomer.
Training the Chiweenie
When training your puppy, the Chiweenie is relatively difficult to train. Harshness won't work for this breed, making positive reinforcement, play rewards, treats, and fun the easiest way to train your dog.
Unfortunately, the bold and larger-than-life personality often provokes dominance when trying to teach them.
Occasionally, a small-sized dog wants to assert dominance, trying to take the lead in the house. Chiweenies are prone to the “small dog syndrome,” showing a tendency to growl at you or your guests.
Dogs struggling with this syndrome include jumping on people, barking, and intentionally disobeying commands. To avoid issues, it's always a good idea to enroll the dog in training from a young age.
Working Through Anxiety with Your Chiweenie
Owners can encourage relaxation by providing minor distractions like treats, blankets, or toys. It's crucial to avoid indulging the pup when showing symptoms of anxiety, as it may unintentionally reinforce negative behaviors.
Stress and anxiety impact the Chiweenie more than any other influence, forming a solid bond with their owners. As smaller dogs are considered companion animals, they are more likely to connect with the family.
As smaller dogs depend more on their owners for company and attention, they're more likely to be in close contact with family members. This breed often becomes fearful to the point of aggression when facing separation anxiety.
Excessive barking is another sign your dog is facing separation anxiety. Boredom, lack of stimulation, and being left alone are all causes of stress.
Symptoms of Anxiety
Dogs can't communicate verbally the same way humans do, often offering body language. When a dog engages in potent emotions, the body will indicate something wrong.
For example, a dog holding his paw up and limping is likely hurt and requires attention. Many dog owners know that dogs will destroy their homes if left alone for too long.
While this behavior is considered “bad” to owners, it could potentially stem from panic attacks. For instance, urinating and defecating may not be out of anger; they may indicate anxiety.
Stress may not be exclusive to leaving the house as it may occur during specific situations. For instance, a dog may become exceptionally anxious when fireworks or thunder occur, or when loud sirens happen.
Additional anxiety symptoms include whimpering, barking, whining, and trying to stop owners from leaving or trying to escape.
Chiweenie Dog Breed Conclusion
The Chiweenie is a mixed breed dog between a Dachshund and Chihuahua. These dogs are compact, bold, and energetic, inheriting the best traits from both parents.
Due to their small size, these dogs are ideal for apartment living, although they can sometimes become quite vocal.
The Chiweenie works well in single-occupant homes, although families with older children do well too.
Although these dogs are notoriously stubborn, positive reinforcement does well overall. Overall, the Chiweenie is an adorable, action-packed dog that remains loyal to the family.