Chiweenie (Chihuahua Dachshund Mix): Breed Facts and Temperament
Dogs are lovable animals that are great pets, whether big or small. They come in different breeds, each having different characteristics for you to choose from. A Chiweenie is a mixed breed resulting from Chihuahua and Dachshund mating.
The Chihuahua is the smallest size of dog breeds characterized by their charm and great personality. They are friendly dogs and will do well living in an apartment. Because they are fragile, it is not advisable to have them around young kids since they might hurt the dogs. You should also always pay attention to them whenever you go outside, so they are not attacked by bigger, aggressive dogs or even hawks. The tiny dogs are easy to groom and train and do not need much exercise. They can live up to 18 years and so will be around for a while.
The Dachshund breed is usually called the “sausage dogs” because of the length of their mid-section. They are also small and will do great in an apartment. They are friendly for both adults and children and tend to weight gain. These hound dogs are used for hunting tunneling animals like rabbits and badgers. In fact, that is how their name came about: “Dachs” meaning badger and “hund” meaning dog or hound. They are very playful, and first-time dog owners will not have a problem caring for them. What these two breeds lack in size they make up for in intelligence.
The mixed breed of the two, the Chiweenie has a cocktail of some of the characteristics of both pure kinds. For one, it is friendly and playful. It is also fearless and has an average lifespan of between 13 to 16 years. One good thing about this animal is that it is loyal and easy to care for. It is a pet suitable for families and single owners as well. Here is all the information you need to know about the furry animals.
History of the Chiweenie Dog
A lot of stories have arisen concerning the origin of the Chihuahua. Some believe that about 3000 years ago, the dogs were used for ceremonies in Egypt, where they originated from. There is also the notion that Chiweenies came from China and were started in the 1500s by Spanish Traders. Also, in Central America apparently, there was a breed of dog called Techichi, which was mute and used for sacrifices.
Some people believed that the Chiweenie descended from that breed and served as guides into the afterlife, hence the reason they were being sacrificed. In the 1850s, many Chihuahuas were found in the Mexican town of Chihuahua, and this is how the breed got its name. In America, in the 1900s the breed became famous after an appearance with the Spanish American singer Xavier Cugat. The Dachshund history is not so complicated. The dog came from Germany in the 16th Century. As mentioned earlier, this breed was used for hunting game because of their fearlessness and ability to dig. There were Dachshunds that weighed as much as 30 to 35 pounds and hunted foxes and boars. The smaller ones were used for hunting badgers, hares and weasels.
Later on, in the 1800s this breed was bred for companionship rather than hunting. During World Wars I and II, the dogs suffered in the hands of Americans. Their owners were seen as traitors because they breed was German, but they become famous again in America in the 1950s. The Chiweenie breed started in North America in the 1990s and has been gaining popularity ever since. They were created by accident but have become an accepted breed suitable for both young and old.
Quick Facts About the Chiweenie Dog
- They have a long lifespan: Smaller dogs usually have a higher life expectancy than larger ones. Chiweenies can live between 13 and 16 years with stories about some living up to 20 years. Long-life means you will have a longtime companion. If you take proper care of the animal, it will stay healthy and happy throughout its life. Healthy nutrition, combined with regular exercise, can also contribute to keeping the animal healthy. Grooming the dog consistently will also improve the lifestyle quality of the Chiweenie. If you are not a committed person, you might have a problem because this dog is going to be around for a while.
- They are innate watchdogs: Both parents of Chiweenies are excellent watchdogs. They are skeptical of strangers, and so are alert all the time. Even though the dog is small, it has a strong personality which can frighten. The Chiweenie adopts its parents’ observant and protective traits and will be the first to warn you of incoming danger. They are fearless animals and can get aggressive when their territory is threatened. Its series of short, sharp barks are guaranteed to give intruders a run for it.
- They are not suitable for children: Chiweenies have fragile parents and have inherited this trait from them. Puppies especially are sensitive to movement and can quickly get hurt. Children are usually not so careful about anything, and their carefree attitude can get your Chiweenie hurt. Kids below the age of eight may not be gentle with the dog, viewing it as a plaything. The Chiweenie in an attempt to protect itself may also get aggressive, as is their nature. Putting these two together can bring about chaos in your home. You might take more trips to the emergency room than you think.
- They are hard to train: As explained earlier, it is clear that these small dogs are not that calm. They are playful and quickly get aggressive. They inherit their bold personality from their parents, which makes them feel superior on more occasions. They prefer to be in control and can be stubborn during training sessions. To make things easier for you both, you can use positive reinforcements in the form of treats and snack to reward good behavior. The Chiweenie will associate being calm with treats and present more of the right response. In the worst-case scenario, you will require a professional to teach your dog how to be a good boy or girl.
- They are excellent indoor dogs: If you live in a small apartment and want a pet who would not need much space, then the Chiweenie is a good choice. Because of its small size, the dog is content with its amount of space and does not need a vast lawn to run around. Within a short period, the animal would have shed any extra energy it may have had. In spite of this, you must still take your dog on walks to keep it healthy physically and mentally.
- They are convenient to keep as pets: Caring for Chiweenies is one of the most undemanding pet parenting options there is. The mix-breed dogs are low maintenance, and so it does not take much effort to keep them going. They do not eat much even though they are energetic, and two meals a day should do it for them. A high-quality diet is enough to keep the allergies at bay. Also, grooming them is not that frequent, and it can be done once a month to keep them healthy.
Things You Should Know About the Chiweenie Dog
The life expectancy of Chiweenies is quite long, and during that time may be faced with a couple of diseases. Health-wise, the mixed breed is relatively healthier than the following generations since they are a first-generation breed. The main problems Chiweenies face with regards to health is allergies. Allergies are a sign that your dog is having an adverse reaction to something. Look out for symptoms like paw licking, sneezing, coughing, and irritated skin. It may be a reaction to either food, pollen, or dirt and can affect the immune system of the animal. They may inherit the health issues their parents possess, but it would not be as bad as subsequent generations.
The breed suffers from ailments, including diabetes, seizures, hydrocephalus, hypothyroidism, and dental issues. They also suffer from hypoglycemia, which is low sugar level and is related to diabetes. A visit to the vet will do the dog some good since they will be able to diagnose and treat the problem correctly. Prevention is better than cure, and so you should be one step ahead and take proper care of the small dog.
By now, you are aware that Chiweenies are hard to train because of their need to exert dominance. To counter this problem, you have to retaliate with strict rules while reinforcing positive responses. Chiweenies have big egos, so punishment does not affect them. They will not respond to harsh treatment, and you will feel like it is not working. Be consistent with feeding and grooming times, and try to make positive associations during the activities. Use simple words when its time to do something that does not confuse your dog. Pay attention to your dog, and look out for behaviors that suggest that it is getting annoying. As soon as you notice boredom, include something different and fun into the routine. This will help you keep the dog’s attention to the training that is going on. Training Chiweenies require a lot of patience and consistency. It also will require your undivided attention and a lot of time. It might take months to fully train this breed of dog so you should decide if it is what you want. If all else fails, find a qualified dog trainer to help you out. They are more skilled in that regard and will help you get that job off your hands. Also, they are more likely to be successful at it.
Do not be fooled by a Chiweenie’s small body: it has a lot of energy to give off. The little dogs are very energetic animals and can play all day. To get all of this energy out, you have to engage the animal in activities that require a lot of movement. It can either be walks or intense play sessions. Because they are small, these animals do not take up a lot of space during playtime. The living room or dog area is enough room for their excessive output of energy. While indoors, you can get some toys for the animal to play with to keep it occupied.
Besides this method of exercise, 20 to 30-minute walks a day will do the Chiweenie some good. For socialization, you can visit the park once in a while. The activity aims to keep the blood circulating in the dog so that it will stay fit and your Chiweenie will thank you for it. The caution that comes with going outside is that you keep your senses sharp for threats to the small dog. Because of its size, it is usually bullied by bigger dogs, but its personality will make it fight back. Also, it is effortless for big birds like hawks and some types of owls to pick up the dog. Lastly, always protect your dog from harsh weather conditions like rain and cold.
Even though Chiweenies are high energy animals, these adorable pets do not need much food to grow healthy. Instead, their diet should be filled with nutrients that support their growth. The parent breeds are susceptible to disc, eye, and joint health issues, and there are some nutrients that can fix this. These include omega acids, chondroitin, and glucosamine. Also, for cognitive health, foods supplemented with DHA’s work great. For dry food, small-sized kibble will be more manageable for the Chiweenie that inherited a tiny mouth.
A diet balanced with fruits and vegetables will not only keep the dog healthy but make it enjoy itself too. Farm-raised beef mixed with real vegetables like carrots and peas is another delicious diet to feed the animal. Vitamin E -rich foods add extra support to the dog’s immune system, for which it will be grateful and antioxidant will keep the coat healthy and shining. The ingredients of a diet should not be taken lightly – if you are not sure what to feed the dog consult the vet doctor.
Like all other dogs, your Chiweenie needs to be cleaned regularly so that it looks smart and stays healthy. Grooming for the little dogs includes clipping the nails, cleaning the teeth, coat brushing, hair trimming, and bathing.
Coat brushing is obviously the most intensive and time-consuming of all. For short-haired dogs, it can be done once a week while the long-haired ones will need it more frequently. Brushing removes dead hair, tangles, and dirt while evenly distributing the dog’s healthy natural oils. It also increases blood flow in the animal, and the coat benefits immensely in terms of shine and cleanliness.
About every three months you can follow up brushing with a bath and with the right mindset you and your dog will have fun doing it. Use gentle shampoo for the process and massage it into the dog’s coat. Always try as much as possible to keep soap from entering the eyes, nose, and ears. After washing, wipe the dog with a clean towel until it is dry. Giving your Chiweenie a hair trim is easy to do. You should brush the hair to detangle it before clipping with a pair of scissors. You will like the appearance of the coat after you are finished. Nail clipping, on the other hand, can be a nerve-wracking experience so take your time, so you do not hurt the dog.
You can use positive rewards to make the dog trust you and feel secure during the process. When it comes to dental health, Chiweenies are prone to plaques. Find the right dog toothbrush and paste to get rid of the dirt in the dog’s teeth. Some kibble also helps with cleaning the mouth of the dog. One thing to note when grooming is to start gradually and be patient. Reward your dog a lot, and after some time it will request to be groomed even before it is time.
Chiweenies adopt some of their personality from both their parents. They are bold and loyal which makes them great watchdogs. They are very affectionate and make excellent travel companions. They have the stubborn trait which is inherited from their Chihuahua parent, but with early and healthy socialization they can be calm. From their Dachshund side they have a passion for digging.
Whether they are inside or outside, they will claw into anything they can find. Note that this mixed breed can inherit more traits from one side of their ancestry than the other. This disparity causes Chiweenies to have a variety of personalities which is quite exciting because everyone will have a match.
If you want a companion in your apartment but are worried about them taking up space then your troubles are over. The Chiweenie is going to be your best friend because it is hard not to love them and they are low maintenance. If you live alone, the mixed-breed will reduce the loneliness in your home. They are perfect for the elderly too, and the only people they are not good around is little children. Even though the dog is easy to keep as a pet, you should consult a vet whenever you are not sure of anything. But for now, you have the necessary knowledge to know whether this dog is for you or not!