Chiweenie Care

The Chiweenie--a hybrid of the Chihuahua and the Dachshund--is a lively, affectionate, spirited, toy-sized crossbreed that makes an excellent companion dog. These dogs are cherished by their owners for their loving personalities and their bold (if sometimes fussy) temperaments. And aside from a bit of extra training and socialization, overall Chiweenie care and maintenance aren't very time-consuming.

Below you'll find plenty of Chiweenie breed facts and tips: Chiweenie puppy care and development, exercise needs, diet and nutrition, and more are all covered here. For answers to your questions about caring for this sassy little crossbreed, keep reading!

Chiweenie Breed Development

As a toy-sized breed, Chiweenie puppy development typically spans 13-15 months from birth to full maturity.

Physical Development: Chiweenie puppies grow steadily in height and length for the first 6-7 months, then those growth rates slow somewhat while the adolescent "fills out" by gaining muscle mass and fat. A Chiweenie normally reaches its full adult size (an average of eight inches at the shoulders in height and 10 pounds in weight) at 9-10 months of age.

Social Development: Chiweenie pups reach adolescence at about five months, sexual maturity at 8-9 months, and full mental maturity at about 14 months (though many will retain their playful puppylike behavior well into adulthood).

For specific milestones in Chiweenie development, see the chart below.

(NOTE: Chiweenies can develop Small Dog Syndrome, a condition in which dogs are fussy, selfish, and disobedient. New Chiweenie owners are strongly advised to provide obedience training and socialization--with other pets, especially!--as early in their dogs' lives as possible. If a Chiweenie learns proper behavior as a puppy, that learn behavior will usually continue once the dog matures.)

Chiweenie Exercise Needs

Chiweenies are small but extremely active, so their exercise requirements are moderate (and a bit higher than other toy-sized breeds). As the offspring of two lively breeds, these little hybrids are equally energetic, and will fulfill some of their daily activity needs just running around being their busybodied selves--but they'll need some true exercise as well.

The typical adult Chiweenie, depending on its age and overall activity level, will need about 45 minutes of proper exercise per day, which you can accomplish with a couple of short walks and a moderate period of play. You can start exercising your Chiweenie puppy at about 10 weeks old by taking it on short (5-minute) walks, then you can increase the walks' length and frequency as the puppy grows.

A few things to consider when exercising your Chiweenie: first, puppies younger than eight months old shouldn't participate in activities that include a lot of jumping, running on hard surfaces, or navigating of stairs, as doing so can injure their still-developing joints and bones. And all Chiweenies, regardless of age, will need to be leashed when in public. These dogs can be bold, and can be unfriendly and confrontational with other pets (especially larger dogs); at the same time, they can actually be considered prey by large dogs and other predators. A leash will help you control and protect your Chiweenie in these situations. These dogs can also be excellent escape artists, so when exercising in your yard the area will need to be securely fenced to keep the dog from running off. And finally: Chiweenies form strong bonds with their owners and will suffer separation anxiety if left alone, so they'll respond much better to exercises you do together.

Precautions aside, it's important to exercise your Chiweenie every single day. This crossbreed can be quite fussy and "yappy," and without consistent exercise it'll become high-strung, will bark non-stop, and will just be difficult to handle overall. Daily physical activity will be great for your Chiweenie's peace of mind--and for your own sanity as well! A few exercise ideas:

  • Walking: Two 15-minute walks per day is a good target
  • Fetch: Can be played indoors or out; use the dog's favorite toy
  • Hide-and-Seek: Great indoor, rainy-day activity; give the dog a treat when it finds you
  • Canine Sports: Chiweenies can excel at obedience and agility trials and other events
  • Blowing Bubbles: These dogs will love "attacking" the bubble you blow

When indoors, it's a good idea to give your Chiweenie access to one or more balls or toys that will allow the dog to burn excess energy. It's also recommended that you establish a regular exercise schedule for the dog, such as walks after breakfast and dinner and a play period in the afternoon.

Chiweenie Maintenance

In terms of shedding and drooling, these dogs need little to moderate care. Chiweenie shedding is generally low, and will depend on an individual dog's coat type; drooling isn't an issue.

Because both the Chihuahua and the Dachshund can have some coat variety, the Chiweenies coat can be short, long or rough--but the good news is that none of the coat types are known to shed a great deal, so owners won't have to worry about their Chiweenie shedding a lot. Those with longer-haired Chiweenies will need to brush their dogs 2-3 times per week to minimize the shedding, and will need to vacuum the floors and use lint rollers on clothes and furniture to pick up stray hairs once a week or so. For owners of shorter-haired Chiweenies, weekly brushing and occasional hair cleanup will be fine.

And a Chiweenie practically never drools. If your Chiweenie is drooling excessively, it may be a sign of a medical issue, in which case a veterinarian's care is recommended.

Chiweenie Diet

Like all breeds, the Chiweenie diet will need to provide plenty of animal proteins and carbohydrates for energy, vitamins and minerals for digestive and immune health, and omega fatty acids for coat and skin wellness. The best Chiweenie dog food, then, is premium dry kibble. This high-quality food, while more expensive and difficult to obtain, provides the dog with a much-needed well-balanced diet--and since the Chiweenie can be prone to dental issues, the dry kibble is much better at keeping these dogs' teeth in good shape.

The good news: this toy-sized crossbreed doesn't eat much at all. An adult Chiweenie, depending on its age, size, and activity level, will only need about 1¼ cups of premium dry food per day, divided into two meals. A Chiweenie puppy, again depending on age, will eat even less: from ¾ to one cup per day. And puppies should be fed three times per day (not twice) until six months of age--which means that as a young pup, a typical Chiweenie meal will only consist of a few pieces of dry kibble.

For further info about feeding your Chiweenie from puppyhood through maturity, refer to the following:

*--Around this time, transition to adult food by first mixing in a little adult formula with the puppy formula. Over the course of a week, with each meal add a bit more adult food to the mixture, until the dog is eating it entirely.

If possible, try and stick to the above-listed portions. If constantly overfed (and under-exercised), these dogs will become obese--and a fat Chiweenie will have joint, digestive, and breathing issues, not to mention a possibly shortened lifespan. You can help control your Chiweenie's weight by establishing consistent feeding and exercise schedules, by not feeding the dog table scraps (healthy treats only!), and by not leaving food in the dog's bowl all the time, thereby allowing it to eat anytime it wants. It's better to put your Chiweenie's bowl down only at mealtimes--then pick it up a few minutes after the dog begins eating.

If you're worried your Chiweenie is overweight, give the dog this simple test: run a hand along its side, and if you can't feel any ribs, it's diet time. Reduce the dog's daily food consumption by one-fourth, and add an extra walk or play period to its daily exercise schedule.