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Nicole Cosgrove

June 9, 2021

grey chi-poo chihuahua poodle

The Chi-Poo is a cross between the Chihuahua and the Poodle and is also referred to as the Poochi, the Choodle, the Wapoo and the Chipoodle. He has a life span of 12 to 15 years and is a small dog also called a toy or miniature dog, but still participates in competitive obedience and agility dog competitions. His talent classes are agility, watchdog and tricks. He is quite an independent little thing and will happily boss everyone around and rule the house if he is allowed to.

Here is the Chi-Poo at a Glance
Average height 5 to 15 inches
Average weight 3 to 20 pounds
Coat type Varies wildly, short to long, smooth to fluffy, wavy to curly
Hypoallergenic? If coat is like the Poodles possibly
Grooming Needs Low to Moderate
Shedding Low
Brushing Three to seven times a week depending on type of coat he has
Touchiness Fairly sensitive
Tolerant to Solitude? Not even a little!
Barking Low
Tolerance to Heat Moderate to good
Tolerance to Cold Low to moderate
Good Family Pet? Good to very good
Good with Children? Moderate – better with socialization
Good with other Dogs? As above
Good with other Pets? As above
A roamer or Wanderer? Moderate
A Good Apartment Dweller? Yes very good to excellent
Good Pet for new Owner? Very good to excellent
Trainability Moderate to good – If he is more like the Poodle he will be fine during training but more like the Chihuahua means more stubborn
Exercise Needs Low
Tendency to get Fat Moderate to moderate high
Major Health Concerns Patellar Luxation, heart problems
Other Health Concerns Hip dysplasia, eye problems, low blood sugar
Life Span 12 to 15 years
Average new Puppy Price $500 – $950
Average Annual Medical Expense $450 – $600
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $450 – $550

Where does the Chi-Poo come from?

As a mixed breed rather than a pure breed and one that came about fairly recently as a result of deliberate breeding there is not much known about where or when. The Chi-Poo is part of the recent trend to get cute designer dogs that combine desirable or attractive combinations. Without much history to them the best way to determine more about the temperament and needs of the mixed breed is to look at the breeds that created the cross this this case he Chihuahua and the Poodle.

The Poodle

This dog was bred for the purpose of hunting waterfowl in Germany originally though when he was taken to France it was there that he was bred into something more distinctive. Before his German time his ancestors are thought to be from North Africa or Asia. It is a very old dog, you can see Poodle like dog pictures in Egyptian and Roman artifacts! There are 3 sizes and there have been that many for hundreds of years, the toy, the miniature and the standard. It is thought that in France the Poodle toy dog was bred to be smaller because nobles were so enamored of it. His job was as a companion but the miniature was used for truffle hunting in the woods and the Standard continued to help in duck hunting. The Poodle came to America some time in the mid to late 1800s but were rare until after World War II. He did become the most popular breed for over 20 years though.

Today he is very intelligent, mischievous, loyal and loving. He has a dignified nose in the air persona, but despite this he can also be quite the clown and loves to play and entertain. He loves to please his owners and that with his brains makes him a dream to train. He does have some natural energy but with training that can be tamed. He is quite protective of his territory and his family.

The Chihuahua

The short haired Chihuahua was discovered in the 1850s in a Mexican state called Chihuahua. The long haired version is believed to come some time later when the short haired was bred with either Pomeranians or Papillons. Before that the Chihuahua’s ancestors are torn between two theories. One is that small native dogs in Mexico were bred with small hairless dogs brought from China by Spanish traders. The other is that he is descended from the Techichi a small dog from the 9th century found in South and Central America. The short haired version came to America in the 1890s and became quite popular especially with some famous people of the time. They remain very popular today.

Now the Chihuahua is a very confident and determined little dog with an alert nature. He is sensitive and demands and thrives on lots of affection and wants to always be with you. He usually bonds with one person more than others when in a family. He is not always the best with kids especially young ones so socialization really helps.


Chi-Poos are a sweet dog usually, friendly and fun loving with a playfulness about them that can be quite entertaining. He is also quite independent and bossy to the point that he will firmly believe he rules the house unless you make it clear who is really in charge! He is a big cuddler when he is tired and wants to relax with you. He will be devoted to you and totally loyal, he often will have one person he is more attached to. He is a smart dog, and energetic so training can be good if he is not being stubborn. He is suspicious of strangers. Try to avoid spoiling them and give them the socialization they need when they are young otherwise they can become over protective and have separation anxiety when you leave them.

What does a Chi-Poo look like

The Chi-Poo is a small dog weighing 3 to 20 pounds and standing 5 to 15 inches tall. His size depends on whether the Poodle was a Miniature or a Toy. He is sturdy and proportioned well with a small head and black nose. He has a lively expression with round black or brown eyes and has ears that can be either floppy or pointed. His coat can vary quite widely from being short to long in length, and smooth, wavy or curly. Colors include black, tan, white and apricot. He has a prancing gait and small feet and a tail that looks like the Chihuahua’s. Some breeders will dock the tail when he is born.

Training and Exercise Needs

Will the Chi-Poo need much exercise?

He will like to run and play but since he is a small dog his exercise needs are low making him suitable for people who are not especially active. One or two short walks a day with some play time inside will be fine for him. He does not need access to a yard though if you have one that is a bonus. Try to not take him out when it is extremely cold as he does not do well in those kind of temperatures. He can also have a visit to a dog park now and then if there is one close by.

Is training going to be easy?

Training for these dogs is not going to be the easiest thing ever. Some are fairly easy to train when they do not have the stubborn nature of the Chihuahua, otherwise they might a little more tricky. Training and early socialization though are important for him as it will help control the possessive nature he has, and any behavioral issues. You can overcome any difficulties with firmness and patience and use rewards like treats and praise. Because he can be sensitive it is not a good idea to use harsh training methods as they will not be effective and he will remember it and dig his heels in over any future training attempts too.

Living with a Chi-Poo

Is he easy to groom?

Most Chi-Poos are low shedders so there is not as much cleaning up after them to do around the home. His coat can vary so much that how much brushing he will need will really depend. He might need 2 or 3 times a week, he might need daily using a soft bristle brush preferably. If he has long hair or he is particularly Poodle like he might even need to be taken to a groomers every so often to be trimmed. Bathing should be once every two months, or once a month at the most unless he gets himself filthy. To help keep him clean in between you can use dog bath wipes every few days.

His other grooming needs will include his teeth, his ears and his nails. Dogs need to have their teeth cleaned to prevent tooth decay just like people do. Try to brush a couple of times a week at least, but once a day would be better. His ears need wiping clean once a week. Nail clipping is something to be done only if you are aware of the risks involved and know how to do it. Basically you do not cut into the quick, the lower part of the nail as it can bleed and cause pain.

What is he like with children and other animals?

Being a small dog he may not be best suited to be around small children because they may not know how to be careful with him. If he has grown up with them and has had socialization though and the children are taught how to behave he should get on fine with them. He will not want to share his toys with other dogs and can be snappy at them.

General information

When feeding your Chi-Poo give him high quality dry dog food and give him two meals a day equal to ¾ to 1½ cups. Ideally choose something made for small dogs as he can have trouble with food meant for larger dogs. Some can be picky eaters just keep trying till you find what they like. He will bark when playing and if people walk past the house but otherwise is not a big barker.

Health Concerns

While they are usually a healthy dog it is still possible for them to be prone to certain conditions because of their parents. Things your Chi-Poo may have to deal with include Patellar Luxation, heart problems, eye problems, hip dysplasia and low blood sugar.

Costs involved in owning a Chi-Poo

Price of a puppy will be somewhere between $500 – $950 as they are quite a popular hybrid at the moment which pushes the prices up a little. If you choose to get a dog you will need to have him checked over at the vets, dewormed, have a micro chip put in and have him neutered. This will cost about $260. He will also need a collar and leash, a crate, a carrier, a food bowl which will be $120. Yearly health costs such as vaccinations, flea treatments, check ups, and pet insurance will be $450. Then other yearly costs such as food, treats, toys, training, long hair grooming, and a license will be another $525.


Looking for a Chi-Poo Puppy Name? Let select one from our list!

If you are looking for a low shedding, possibly hypoallergenic, small dog that does not bark excessively and does not need a lot of outdoor time, this is a great option. He likes to play but also loves his snuggling time just make sure you make it clear to him that you are the pack leader, or he will be pretty bossy!

Featured Image Credit: Annette Shaff, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.

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