Chiweenie Breed: Grooming | Health Issues | Characteristics

Chiweenies go by many names, including the German Taco, the Mexican Hot Dog, Choxie, and Weeniehuahua. The mixed dog breed is compact, loyal, and energetic as they inherited some of the best traits from their parents.

To better understand the Chiweenie breed, we will look into its characteristics, grooming and exercise basics, health issues, and every other thing you need to know.

What is A Chiweenie?

The Chiweenie is a very popular designer dog. They are highly sought after due to their compact size, low maintenance trait, and friendly demeanor. They are energetic and loving, preferring to stay close and cuddle with their owners.

They exude pure big dog energy despite their tiny frame. Aside from being the stereotypical lapdog, a Chiweenie pup is also a reliable watchdog. 

The Chiweenie dog breed is said to have existed naturally over the years. However, the designer breeds were commenced intentionally by mixing Dachshunds and Chihuahuas in the late 90s, probably in North America.

The Dachshunds frequently experienced back problems because of their long bodies, something that troubled their owners. It was then that breeders came up with the idea to mix the two species purposely to eliminate the back problems. The Chihuahua Dachshund mix was so perfect that the demand for the pups went overboard. 

To understand the two parent breeds better, here is an explanation:


Chihuahuas are loved because of their small size, variety of coat types, and big personalities. Despite their compact size, Chihuahuas are among the top ten recommended watchdogs and are fully capable of participating in dog games, including obedience and agility.

Chihuahuas love being around people and need less exercise and grooming compared to other breeds.


In the past, Dachshunds were used to trail wild boar, foxes, rabbits, and other tunnel animals because of their strong sense of smell. Their versatility qualifies them to be wonderful family pups, small-game participants, and show dogs. Their high-long bodies characterize them, hence the name sausage dogs.

Chiweenie Breed Characteristics

cute chiweenie dog in bed

The Chiweenie breed has very impressive characteristics, explaining why many people love it. Before adopting a dog, you need to understand its characteristics, and for this particular one, they are as follows:

Physical Appearance

Height6-10 inches
Weight5-12 pounds
Drool amountLow
Coat length/textureLong, short, wiry.
ColorsWhite, black, brown/liver/chocolate, fawn.
PatternsBrindle, merle, bicolor, sable.
Shedding amountFrequent

Even though Chiweenies are from the same family, none of them look alike. How they look depends on the traits they inherit from their parents, and they can have long bodies, short legs, long legs, bulging eyes, erect ears, floppy ears, and overbites.

Height: Up to 25cm (6-10 inches)

Chiweenies are compact dogs that can stand anywhere between 6-10 inches at the shoulder. Most vets caution owners that this is a relatively newer designer breed so expect a lot of variations in size as your dogs mature.

Weight: Up to 5kg (5-12 pounds)

Chiweenies can be tiny terrors or angelic fur babies. Don’t expect them to weigh more than 12 pounds. Otherwise, it’s safe to assume that another bigger breed managed to sneak into the mix.


If one of the parent breeds is long-haired, then expect a long-haired Chiweenie offspring. Most Chiweenies are short-coated, with brown fur coloring. Other coat colors are solid black, white, and fawn. You’d feel special if you own a two-tone or a tricolor Chiweenie as they’re pretty and rare.

Personality And Temperament

TemperamentFriendly, timid, willful, playful, anxious.
Energy levelActive
Barking levelFrequent
Loyalty tendenciesStrong

Just as their appearance varies, Chiweenies’ personalities and temperaments differ too. Dachshunds are normally strong-willed, while Chihuahuas are feisty. Chiweenies can have any of the traits from either parent. Though not very intelligent, they can be depended on to perform some tasks.

Lastly, these dogs are very loyal and are always suspicious of strangers.


Chiweenies are extremely friendly to the point of being at risk for becoming dognapping victims as they suck up to all humans, even to strangers. They are adorable little dogs that bark quite often. They tend to stay close to their owners and cuddle close, hence the term “Velcro dogs.”

Get on Well With Other Animals:

Most Chiweenies love being part of the pack, to the delight of their owners with a collection of pets. Expect the Chiweenie to be the bossy pack member despite their size, they just can’t help it.

Living Needs

You would be surprised how much this compact dog breed needs to be comfortable, and they are never afraid to let you know what they want. Chiweenies love being the center of attention in their owners’ lives and will do anything to get it.

They will bark at anything they feel is not right to make you aware of the situation. If you do not like their barking habits, you can always train them to be quiet gentlemen.

Their small size subjects them to more injury; hence they are not suited around children. Like with most dog breeds, always supervise playtime with children and train your child in the various ways of handling such delicate breeds.

Some Chiweenies can share their home with other pets, while others prefer to be the only four-legged animal in the house. Due to the hunting nature of Dachshunds, Chiweenies might tend to chase small animals hence might not get along with little pets.

Chiweenie Care Essentials

Chiweenie Exercise

An energetic breed, Chiweenies need regular physical activity as an outlet for their excessive energy. If you don’t take them out for walks or a run around the yard, you risk the wrath of wild indoor zoomies knocking over your furniture.

Some Chiweenies channel their unspent energy on excessive barking, chewing, or other destructive behaviors. Two trips outside for 30-60 minutes of doggy fun and play is great for their health, and by fun, we mean a hike, swim, or walkies around the block. Chiweenies are prone to gaining weight when not exercised routinely.

chihuahua chewing on toy

Treat Hunt

This kind of game is fun and stimulating for an active breed like the Chiweenie. A Kong stuffed with their favorite treat and hidden from view will activate their sense of smell and the thrill of hunting down “prey.”

Running to all corners of the house and under furniture to look for the scintillating treats you hid burns off energy and prevents boredom.

There are now so many treat-dispensing puzzle toys on the market right now that engage a Chiweenie’s problem-solving skills, as well as their persistence. Our favorite is the Nina Ottosson which is perfect for curious Chiweenies.

Classic Kong

We recommend the classic Kong (small size) as it’s so easy to hide the treat inside them. The Kong toy is well known for its safety and chew-resistant material so the possibility of Chiweenies choking on a chewed-up Kong while searching for treats inside it is seldom heard of.

Try to reduce your dog’s kibble consumption if you’ve given them multiple calorie-rich treats in the course of this game.

Chasing The Flirt Stick

Also known as a flirt toy, the flirt stick toy can be looked on as a rudimentary treadmill that entices your Chiweenie to run and hop while chasing the lure at the end of the stick. I always thought this is more popular among cat owners but I was wrong.

Choose a flirt stick with a sturdy nylon cord that your dog can’t pull off. A squeaky toy mouse or little rattle at the end will drive them crazy. Most popular toys used by flirt pole manufacturers are furry to simulate a dog’s natural prey – the mouse. Endless fun!


If your Chiweenie has learned to pick up a toy with its mouth and bring it back to you without dropping it on the ground halfway through the return trip, then playing fetch is a perfect game for your little one.

Running to try to catch a toy, a balled-up sock, or some drooled-up shoe keeps your pup’s heart rate up, what with all the running back and forth. It chases away their anxiety, boredom, and it promotes pup-owner bonding time that’s incomparable to match.

If you’re physically debilitated or not home most of the time, keep your pup healthy by investing in an automatic tennis ball launcher. Can you believe these new interactive ball launchers for dogs on the market right now?

Tunnel Game

Part of your Chiweenie’s DNA is a notorious tunnel-digging breed. Dachshunds were originally bred by Germans three centuries ago to hunt badgers. No wonder Chiweenies like to burrow and make mock tunnels out of multiple blankets and towels.

Turn this trait into a fun game of “find my Chiweenie.” Chiweenies won’t say no to burrowing, wiggling their way under towels or blankets to sleep.

Blowing Bubbles

All dog breeds love playing with bubbles. The sight of a confused Chiweenie chasing a bubble as it floats in space and bursts is such a cute visual. There is peanut butter scented bubble toys for dogs, designed to emit the smell of bacon and peanut butter, making the bubbles even more irresistible to your Chiweenie pup.

These bubble machines may come with wands and are specially made with non-toxic ingredients for safe playtime with your fur children.

Chiweenie Grooming

Most small dog breeds don’t like water, so giving your Chiweenie a bath might be a challenge. It’s important to bathe them thoroughly at least once every 2-3 months to avoid matting and to clean dirt and gunk from their fur. But if your pup rolled around on a dead bird or other stinky stuff, then it’s a must to give them a bath more often.

How frequently do you need to brush Chiweenie’s fur? Daily, if you got one of the longer-haired kinds. It’s advisable to brush shorter-haired Chiweenie rascals at least 2-3 times a week to promote healthy fur growth.

Chiweenie Diet

Choose a dog food recipe that’s chock-full of needed vitamins and minerals needed by high-energy small breed dogs. Make sure you’re measuring their food out correctly as unintentional overfeeding can make your Chiweenie overweight and prone to joint issues.

Stick to a regular feeding plan and don’t allow them to graze on filled food bowls the whole day. Don’t overdo dog treats and snacks.

Chiweenie Diet Routine:

Your dog’s diet requirements will vary as he goes through life stages. Feed your Chiweenie only the most appropriate dog food formulated for his age. Here’s a list of the ideal premium dry kibble for small breeds like the Chiweenie (Click Here)

How To Train A Chiweenie

Like most dogs, Chiweenie training tips are easy to follow through and can be reinforced easily. A Chiweenie may tire from training easily; hence you need to make the process interesting and fun. These dog breeds have a short attention span, making it even more challenging to train them. 

Chiweenie puppies are easier to train than a full-grown Chiweenie, but you will need a lot of patience here. The results of training your Chiweenie will be worth it because you will build them into responsible and mature dogs. Chiweenie potty training perhaps is the most challenging when they are young, but with time they get used to it.

Health Issues With The Chiweenie

brown dog sleeping in bed

Like most mixed breeds, Chiweenies can inherit health problems from their parents. These health problems must be dealt with accordingly for the dog to lead a comfortable life. Here are some of the health problems:


Chiweenies are generally a healthy breed but may inherit some health issues from their parents such as diabetes. Common symptoms of diabetes include increased thirst and urination, loss of weight, and an increase or decrease in appetite.

Early-onset blindness due to cataracts is another common sign. Vets will diagnose diabetes with a simple blood sugar test.

Dogs with diabetes type 1 may require insulin injections and may need a special diet. Those with type 2 diabetes (acquired diabetes) don’t require insulin injections as their conditions may be managed by exercise, diet, and oral medications to control blood glucose. 

Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)

IVDD is a condition of the spine where the discs found between the two vertebrae of the spine burst or bulge. The springy material that cushions shock between discs may be forcibly moved to the spinal cord area, causing severe pain, extreme nerve damage, and in severe cases, paralysis.

Early signs of IVDD include anxiety, pain when the neck or low back is touched, weakness of the hind legs, and hesitations and unwillingness to jump. Stages II and III of the condition can be treated by giving anti-inflammatory medications, pain relief medications, and restriction of exercise and physical activity.

Degenerative Disc Disease

This involves the spontaneous degeneration of the outer part of the vertebral disk, resulting in derangement of the disk’s shape and/or extrusion of the central nucleus leading to nerve entrapment, pain, or paralysis.

This most commonly happens among older dogs, and the unique body shape and elongated spinal column of the Doxies and Doxiehuahuas make them especially vulnerable to this condition. Frequent jumping, jarring, and landing in awkward positions can lead to DDD.


Canine seizures are much the same as the ones experienced by humans. This can manifest as uncontrolled tics, flailing, or bodily convulsions which can be mild or severe (full-body). Your dog might lose control of his bladder.

This is one of the scariest experiences a Chiweenie owner can have, and it’s beyond your control. Take your pup to the vet immediately as this is considered a medical emergency.


A congenital condition resulting in the build-up of cerebrospinal fluid in the dog’s skull, increasing pressure on the brain. Treatment involves surgery with shunt placement or medications with milder cases. Hydrocephalic dogs have prominent eyes (bug eyes) and domed heads with an unusual shapes.


Hypothyroidism is a condition wherein the thyroid glands begin to malfunction, leading to poor health and reduced activity. Common signs of hypothyroidism in dogs are thinning fur, a dull coat, shedding of fur, dry scaly skin, weight gain, and reduced tolerance to cold or warm weather.

Most dogs that develop hypothyroidism also develop skin infections, which can cause skin sores that are itchy and inflamed. 

Hypothyroidism is managed by taking hormone supplements for the remainder of your pet’s life. Regular checkups are necessary to monitor the effects of the medication.   

Luxating Patella

Luxating patella is when the kneecap moves from its normal position. When a dog displays painful walking behaviors like skipping a step or suddenly walking on three legs and then back to walking on four, then this could be a sign of a luxating patella. 

Surgery may not be needed, and most small dog breeds like Chiweenies can live with this condition. A vet may recommend bracing or using physical manipulation to treat stage 1 and 2 luxating patella.

But in some cases, a luxating patella can lead to inflammation, pain, cartilage damage, and tears in the knee ligaments. In advanced cases, surgery is always the best option. 


This is a condition inherited from Chihuahuas, and it involves low blood sugar. Common symptoms of low blood sugar include trembling, muscle spasms, and disorientation.

Dental Issues

Dental disease is the most inherited issue in Chiweenie. Dental issues start with a tartar accumulation on the teeth that later become infections. If not treated, your Chiweenie might lose all its teeth and reduce its lifespan by three years.

Knee and Joint Issues

Arthritis is the most common joint issue in Chiweenies. Although not life-threatening, arthritis can be very painful and make it hard for your Chiweenie to move around.

holding white chihuahua

Common symptoms include yelping in pain, unwillingness to jump, sudden weight gain, spending a lot of time in their bed, and lower physical activity levels. The vet will provide some medications to slow down and reduce the effects of arthritis.


Environmental components such as dust, pollen, grass, or molds might be the cause of your Chiweenie’s allergies. In severe cases, it might lead to hair loss, chronic itchiness, and hot spots.

Related: What To Do If Dog Ate Rat Poison

How Long Can I Expect My Chiweenie To Live?

Chiweenies can live 12 to 15 years old. However, a few pet owners shared on the I Love Chiweenies group on FaceBook their Chiweenie pups living to the ripe old age of 20 . . . one even living up to 22 years old!

You can help your pet avoid common illness and health problems by making sure they follow a regular exercise regimen, eat the right diet for its breed, and not shirking from vet visits. Understanding your dog’s parent breeds can also help you identify other health issues common to the adorable Chiweenie mixed breed. 

Is Chiweenie The Right Dog For You?

Yes, it is. Chiweenies can adapt to various surroundings quickly and can even live in apartments. If you are a small dog lover, then a Chiweenie is right for you.

They require less grooming, are very energetic, and love attention. As long as you can keep up with such matters, you should get one of these adorable pups.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the questions individuals ask about Chiweenies:

How Big Do Chiweenies Get?

Chiweenies are smaller, just like their parent breeds. An adult Chiweenie weighs between 5-12 pounds and measures 6-10 inches at the shoulder.

At What Age Is A Chiweenie Full Grown?

Small dog breeds often reach their adult size faster. At 8-10 months, most Chiweenies are already full-grown but will continue to fill out.

How Long Can I Expect My Chiweenie To Live?

Chiweenies have an average lifespan of between 12-15 years.

How Much Is A Chiweenie Puppy?

A Chiweenie puppy can go for as little as 50 Euros to as much as 1800 Euros.

Are Chiweenies Good With Kids?

It depends. You have to train your kids to be gentle with the Chiweenie because it is a delicate breed. If the Chiweenie is treated cruelly, it might resist the kid’s company.

Are Chiweenies Aggressive?

No. They are gentle but energetic.

Are Chiweenies Good Dogs?

Yes. In general, they are suitable for everyone as they are very loyal and responsive.

Do Chiweenies Shed?

Yes. They shed seasonally.

Are Chiweenies Hypoallergenic?

No, they are not. No dog is fully hypoallergenic, but Chiweenie owners can testify that they are of low risk. There is still a risk of allergic reaction from the dander.

Keeping a Chiweenie is a lifetime commitment and should not be seen as a way to keep up with trends. You need to take care of the little buddy even when they try to be destructive or aggressive.

Chiweenies might look cute because of their small size, but be aware that they are not for everyone.

They need an owner who will give them attention, exercise, playtime, and bonding time. Dedicate ample time to train your Chiweenie so they can learn basic commands and, most importantly, potty training.

Photo of author

Lovelia Horn

I’m a certified crazy dog mom, a physical therapist (for hoomans), writer, animal rescuer, and foster home provider. Together with my hubby Ryan, I’ve fostered and helped look for forever homes for over a hundred shelter dogs in the Southern Illinois area. I mostly work with Puppy Rescue 911, Inc., a certified animal rescue organization based out of Chester, IL (home of Popeye!)

3 thoughts on “Chiweenie Breed: Grooming | Health Issues | Characteristics”

    • I’m sorry to hear of the symptoms your senior chiweenie is experiencing. Without a vet’s exam, it’s unsafe to recommend treatment or meds to a dog I haven’t seen. Best if you bring him to the vet for a checkup. From what I know with my own pets and foster pups, urinary tract infection can manifest as unwanted voiding inside the house. He might be in pain that’s why the shakes. Good luck! Hope everything turns out OK for your precious furbaby


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