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Chiweenie exercise

Breed overview

  • Breed group — Hybrid (Chihuahua crossed with dachshund)
  • Height — 6-10 inches
  • Weight — 5-12 pounds
  • Coat length & texture — Short or long length with smooth or wiry texture
  • Coat color — Common coat colors include black, white, tan, fawn, and brown/chocolate, and coats can also come in sable, brindle, merle, and bicolor
  • Exercise needs — Medium
  • Intelligence — Medium
  • Barking — High
  • Life span — 12-16 years
  • Temperament —Friendly, willful, and playful
  • Hypoallergenic — No
  • Origin — United States of America

Chiweenie fun facts

  • Chiweenie dogs are believed to have first come into existence by accident. The 1990s is when the breed became popular and intentional breeding between Chihuahuas and dachshunds began in earnest in North America.
  • Chiweenies are also known as “Choxies.” They have several other nicknames from fanciers, including  “Mexican hotdog,” “German taco,” and others.
  • Individual dogs rarely look alike. Since they’re a mixed-breed dog, it’s harder to tell how much of each parent they will get, even down to coat types and colors.

Chiweenie temperament and characteristics 

The Chiweenie is often described as confident and spunky, personality traits it gets from both parent breeds. This little bundle of energy is also known to be very charming and loves to be the center of attention. Chiweenies typically only bond closely with one person and do best in homes where they are the only pet. Small families with older children are normally the best choice for a Chiweenie, but houses with young children are not the best fit. These hybrid dogs get a stubborn streak from both parents, meaning that a lot of them don’t like to share. This includes not only their toys and people but their food and food space as well. These tendencies can lead to overeating in Chiweenies much like in dachshunds, so it’s very important to be able to see when your pup might be starting to put on those extra pounds.

Being a small dog also means that Chiweenies are more easily prone to accidental injuries. It also means that they need to be carefully supervised around small children. The loving adoration that you can get from your Chiweenie will rarely be shared with any strangers or visitors to your home. These dogs are avid barkers and therefore make great watchdogs for everything from a neighbor to the mail person, to a rogue leaf rolling through your yard. It’s because of the barking that Chiweenies don’t always make the best pets for apartments. While their small size is perfect, your neighbors may not like hearing your Chiweenie voice their opinion on everything at all times of the day and night. With the right training though, you can help cut out a lot of the excessive barking and make these apartment-sized, small dogs great neighbors. For most Chiweenies, the dachshund parent will also pass down an intense prey drive, which will require you to make sure that they only spend their outside time in a fenced-in area with supervision or on a lead.

Common Chiweenie health problems 

Like most small dogs, Chiweenies are at a lower risk for some health problems than their larger counterparts. Unfortunately though, because of the parents of the Chiweenie, this breed has a high chance of developing some very specific health problems. Depending on if the Chiweenie is shaped more like a dachshund or a Chihuahua will determine some of the most common issues that may present themselves.

  • Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). This is a degenerative spinal condition where the cushioning between discs in the spine starts to harden. This disease causes severe pain, may cause partial paralysis, and impairs movement. In the worst cases, surgery is the only treatment option.
  • Luxating patella . With this condition, the kneecap tends to move out of the right spot, which causes the dog to not be able to put weight on the affected leg.
  • Dental disease. Chiweenies are like most other small dogs in that they run the risk of developing dental disease easily. Tartar buildup, bad breath, and swollen, red gums are the early signs. If left untreated, then they can develop into an infection where oral surgery may be the only solution.
  • Obesity. Due to their dachshund DNA, Chiweenies run the risk of having an obesity problem if not properly looked after. Chiweenies often have no stopping sense when it comes to eating, so food intake should be monitored closely.

Cost of caring for a Chiweenie

Intervertebral disc disease which requires corrective surgery can cost a pretty penny, with just the diagnostic tests needs coming in at around $4,000. The surgery itself may come in somewhere between $2,000-$9,000 depending on the severity of the IVDD and the location and specialty of the veterinarian. Add on top of that the chance that there may be other issues that require surgery such as dental problems and a luxating patella, and the thought of Chiweenie’s health costs might intimidate you.

Don’t let it though, because there are plenty of options to help with the cost of those procedures should your little fur ball need one. Pet health insurance is a fantastic way to help offset any out-of-pocket health expenses. The best time to sign your pup up is when they’re young. There is also the option of starting a savings account dedicated to your future Chiweenie puppy. A pet savings account allows you to save up at your speed and budget before you even bring home your newest family member.

Chiweenie resting

History of the Chiweenie

Since the Chiweenie isn’t recognized by either the American Kennel Club (AKC) or the United Kennel Club (UKC), there isn’t a lot of information known about their history. Don’t let that stop you from falling in love with these pups though. What is known about them is that they didn’t start getting intentionally bred until around the 1990s. It’s believed that the reason behind this intentional breeding was to try to get a small dog with the look and shape of a purebred dachshund, without any of the worries of back problems or other health issues. That’s where the Chihuahua came into the mix.

While the Chiweenie may not yet be recognized by the AKC or the UKC, it is recognized by some clubs designated for designer breeds such as the Designer Kennel Club (DKC) and the American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC). This pup’s charm, cuteness, and fun nicknames like “Mexican hot dog” have all helped demand soar for this small breed during their short history.

Caring for your Chiweenie

New pets of any kind tend to add a new level of stress, but bringing a Chiweenie home should be something to celebrate. To help you feel a little less overwhelmed, make sure to prepare for  your pup’s first visit to the vet and learn up on scheduling the proper vaccinations. You will also want to puppy-proof your home brush up on all you’ll need for the dread teething stage. One thing you’ll want to make sure not to forget is to sign up for FidoAlert to get your free Fido ID tag just in case your Chiweenie’s Dachshund parent passed down that intense prey drive.


On average, because of their small size, Chiweenies don’t need more than about 30 minutes to an hour of active physical exercise a day. So a short walk on a leash or chasing a ball in a fenced-in area is often enough physical exertion, but don’t forget about mental stimulation either. One thing to keep in mind though with this breed is that because of the dachshund parent, Chiweenies are still prone to back issues. Because of this, all exercises should be done on a flat surface where the dog won’t need to jump up or down from.

When it comes to the weather, Chiweenies tend to take after their Chihuahua parent and fare better than many other breeds with intense heat. On the flip side, everything that makes them better suited for hot weather, like their thin coats and small size, is a disadvantage for them in cold weather. Chiweenies will often need some kind of cold weather protection like a dog jacket before adventuring out.


Because of their short hair, the Chiweenie is affectionately called a low-maintenance, “wash-and-go” breed. Weekly brushings and an occasional bath are usually all it takes to maintain a shiny coat. If your Chiweenie has more of the wirehaired coat of the dachshund, then their coat may need to be brushed a couple of times a week to make sure matting doesn’t happen. Nail trimming is an important part of their grooming routine and should be done about once a month unless you notice a broken nail.

When it comes to a Chiweenie’s ear cleanings there are a few important things to remember. You will need to make sure you’re picking the right ear wipes. For a Chiweenie with floppy ears, you’ll need to make sure that the ears are completely dry after any kind of swim or bath, including ear cleanings. This is to help prevent ear infections, since floppy ears are more prone to such outbreaks. Making a routine for teeth brushing is also important since these small dogs are at a higher risk of developing dental issues. Since dental care is so important for these little pups, owners should consider an effective dog toothpaste or even dog dental water additives for their teeth-brushing routine.

Diet and nutrition

When it comes to Chiweenies, the main requirements for diet and nutrition deal more with portion control. These little pups tend to have hungrier eyes than their stomachs can handle and no real stopping sense when it comes to food. They love their meals, their snacks, your meals, your snacks, and anyone else’s they may be able to snag a bite of. The best way to implement proper portion control is to set up a feeding schedule and not leave your pup’s food out for them to graze on. Treats, which are arguably going to be one of your Chiweenie’s favorite things, should be kept to a small amount.

When it comes to picking what food and how much to feed your Chiweenie, it’s a good rule of thumb to go with a portion size closer to that of the Chihuahua parent. Oftentimes this portion comes out to be about 300-450 calories spread out over multiple meals a day. Small breeds have some very specific needs such as higher calories-per-pound than a larger dog. This means that the dog food needs to be specifically for smaller breeds. They will also need smaller pieces of kibble which is why foods made for smaller breeds is the better option.  However, always be sure to consult your veterinarian and check with them on what food portion your specific dog will need.

Training your Chiweenie

Chihuahuas and dachshunds are both known to be on the more stubborn side, with Chihuahuas being sassy and dachshunds being strong-willed. They both often pass that stubbornness down to the Chiweenie, so when it comes to training, the earlier the better with these small dogs. Training a Chiweenie takes a lot of constituency, dedication, and patience, because these little guys aren’t going to listen all the time even if they know the command. Chiweenies are known to easily get bored with training sessions so it’s important to find a way to keep your pup engaged. This can look like turning certain things into games, a lot of positive reinforcement, and keeping sessions short and focused on one thing.

Chiweenie training

Breeds similar to the Chiweenie

Not quite sure that a Chiweenie is right for you? Even if you are, it’s worth taking the time to research and consider other similar breeds. Here are a few to get you started:

  • Chihuahua. One of the parent breeds of the Chiweenie and known to be lively, charming, and sassy.
  • Dachshund. The other parent breed of the Choxie, these dogs are very curious, friendly around family, spunky, and strong-willed.
  • Pomeranian. This tiny pup has a nice personality mix of lively, inquisitive, and bold to bring some life to the party.

Frequently asked questions

What exactly is a Chiweenie?

A Chiweenie is a hybrid cross between a Chihuahua and a dachshund.

Are Chiweenies known to bark a lot?

Put simply, yes. These pups are very vocal about everything in their lives, from strangers outside, letting you know the neighbors’ dog is barking, or if they feel like you aren’t paying them enough attention and have missed a quality time for a treat.

How long do Chiweenies live?

The average life expectancy for this high-energy breed is 12-16 years.

How easy is it to train a Chiweenie?

If you start early and use positive reinforcement and keep the sessions short and focused, then it will be easier to train your Chiweenie. Waiting too long can lead to them becoming stubborn.

How difficult is grooming for a Chiweenie?

Since these small dogs mostly have short coats, they tend to be on the easier side to groom. Chiweenies will require weekly brushings and the occasional bath unless they get into something that can’t be wiped off with a towel. If your Chiweenie happens to have a wired coat, it will need to be brushed a couple of times a week to keep matting down.