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Nicole Cosgrove

June 18, 2021
ChipinThe Chipin is a cross between the Miniature Pinscher and Chihuahua. She is a small cross or mixed breed and may also be called a Minchi, Chi-Pin or a Miniature Pinscher/Chihuahua Mix. She has talents in competitive obedience and agility and a life span of 10 to 12 years. She loves to play and have fun but then has moments when she is incredibly cuddly and affectionate.
Here is the Chipin at a Glance
Average height 8 to 12 inches
Average weight 5 to 18 pounds
Coat type Short to medium, smooth
Hypoallergenic? No
Grooming Needs Low to moderate
Shedding Low to moderate
Brushing Two times a week
Touchiness Very sensitive
Tolerant to Solitude? Low
Barking Occasional
Tolerance to Heat Moderate to good depending on coat
Tolerance to Cold Low
Good Family Pet? Good to very good
Good with Children? Good with socialization
Good with other Dogs? Moderate to Good so needs socialization
Good with other Pets? Good to very good with socialization
A roamer or Wanderer? Can vary from low to high
A Good Apartment Dweller? Excellent as long as gets outside time each day
Good Pet for new Owner? Since training can vary better for one with experience
Trainability Varies – can be difficult, can be easier
Exercise Needs Quite active
Tendency to get Fat Fairly high
Major Health Concerns Patellar Luxation, Hypoglycemia, Heart problems, Eye problems, Collapsed Trachea, Hydrocephalus, Open Fontanel, Legg-Calve-Perthes, Epilepsy, Hypothyroidism,
Other Health Concerns Shivering,
Life Span 10 to 12 years
Average new Puppy Price $150 to $600
Average Annual Medical Expense $435 to $535
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $300 to $400

Where does the Chipin come from?

There was a time when all mixed dogs were called mutts, sometimes with some derision. And while there are many who still do, there is also a growing number of people referring to some of these mixed dogs as designer dogs. There are many mixed dogs being bred today deliberately often using two purebreds. These designer dogs have a mixed reception amongst dog lovers mostly because of the bad breeders and puppy mills they have attracted. But there some good breeders to be found if a designer dog like the Chipin is what your heart is set on. Since most of these dogs have no information concerning who first bred them and why we look at the parents below to get a sense of what could go into the mix.

The Miniature Pinscher

The Miniature Pinscher has slightly unclear origins, experts think it is very old but actual documentation can only trace it a few hundred years or so. It is a German dog originally and he was bred for the purpose of keeping homes and stables clear of vermin like rats and mice. He was first called a Reh Pinscher as he looked like a small deer also from Germany. In 1895 the Pinscher club was formed and he was shown in his first dog show. For the start of the 1900s up to after World War I he was very popular. Breeders continued to improve him and he came to America in about 1919. They were not officially called Miniature Pinschers until 1972.

Today he is a bold, spirited dog who is very good at causing a lot of laughter and exasperation in his owners. He has a lot of curiosity and boundless energy. He is smart and alert so is a good watchdog. He needs a lot of supervision or gets himself into a lot of trouble. He is also very good at escaping yards. He is affectionate and craves attention and will act up to get it if needed.

The Chihuahua

The Chihuahua does not have origins as clear as some pure breeds. The Chihuahua as we know him can be found in the 1850s in Mexico in a state called Chihuahua hence his name. Americans visiting there brought him home and people fell in love with how small he was. He has grown in popularity and is the 11th top favorite dog out of 155 AKC recognized breeds. The longhaired version came about after he came to America when the original shorthaired version was bred with some long haired dogs.

Today he is a bold and confident dog, alert and suspicious and quite sensitive. He usually bonds more closely to one person and can be reserved around others. If not socialized he can be timid.


The Chipin is a great mix of energy, playfulness and being social one minute and then wanting to cuddle up on your lap and chill the next. She is very friendly and quite clever but does have an independent side to her. She is wary of strangers but will slowly warm up to them when introduced. She is protective of her owner especially around other dogs. When she gets over excited she can start nipping, with little obvious warning. She is very loving and has a lot of character. She needs owners who are around a lot as she will not be happy being left alone all day.

What does the Chipin look like

She is a small dog weighing 5 to 18 pounds and standing 8 to 12 inches tall. She can have a short to medium coat that can be smooth or silky. Common colors are cream, black, chocolate, tan, red, white and golden. She has a deer or apple head that is rounded, pointy erect ears and round eyes.

Training and Exercise Needs

How active does the Chipin need to be?

She may be small but she is quite an active little thing with all that energy she has! She will play a lot around the home, and her size means that home can be an apartment. This will count towards some of her needs. Access to a yard is not a requirement though it is nice to give them somewhere outside to play. As long as you also take her out for a couple of moderate walks a day that will be fine. She would appreciate regular trips to a dog park where she can run and play and socialize. A dog that is over active, barking, digging is one that is probably not getting enough physical and mental stimulation.

Does she train quickly?

The Chipin is not always a very easy dog to train. While she is smart she is also stubborn so a lot of patience and consistency will be key here. Also only use positive training techniques, offer her praise, treats, rewards and encouragement while being firm but fair with her. As well as being hard to give obedience training she is also hard to house train sometimes. Of course there are exceptions and some Chipins are easier than others. Early socialization and training are essential for her to be a better more well rounded dog. It will also help with the snapping when she gets over excited and help how she gets on with other dogs.

Living with a Chipin

How much grooming is needed?

The Chipin will shed a low amount and needs a minimal amount of grooming. She can be hypoallergenic if she takes more after the Miniature Pinscher in terms of her coat. Brush it twice a week to keep it debris free and looking healthy. She should be given a bath just occasionally so that the natural oils in her skin are not damaged. Her nails should be trimmed when they get too long taking care not to cut too low down. If you do not know about dog nails have the nails trimmed by a groomer. You should also wipe clean the ears on a weekly basis and check them for infection. Dental care is as important for dogs as for people and her teeth should be brushed at least twice a week.

What is she like with children and other animals?

How they are can vary but in general it is a good idea to have them well socialized and to not leave them alone with children, as they are not always good and can nip if the children annoy them. It does help if she has been raised with the children. Toddlers especially need to be supervised as she is quite fragile and they could hurt her with their clumsiness. Since she is so territorial the socialization is key to her getting on with other pets too. She can be a typical small dog trying to boss and dominate other dogs.

General information

She is not likely to be a great watchdog though some owners find their Chipin will bark to let them know of strangers approaching so it seems this can vary. She barks occasionally and should be fed ½ to 1 cup of a high quality dry dog food each day, split into at least two meals. Since her jaws are on the small side make her food small. Keep an eye on her weight as with her energy levels some have difficulty maintaining their weight.

Health Concerns

She can inherit health issues from her parents such as Patellar Luxation, Hypoglycemia, Heart problems, Eye problems, Collapsed Trachea, Hydrocephalus, Open Fontanel, Legg-Calve-Perthes, Epilepsy, Hypothyroidism and Shivering. To make sure the parents of your puppy were healthy you should make sure the breeder can show you health clearances for both of them. To get a better idea of the health of your puppy and how trustworthy your possible breeder is visit the puppy before you buy.

Costs involved in owning a Chipin

A Chipin puppy can cost between $150 to $600. Other initial costs medical in nature like shots, check up, deworming, blood tests, micro chipping and spaying come to around $260. Non-medical initial costs like a collar and leash, carrier and crate come to about $100. Looking at the yearly costs you are going to have, medical essentials like pet insurance, annual check ups, vaccinations and flea prevention come to between $435 to $535. Non-medical basics like food, treats, toys, training and license come to between $300 to $400.


Looking for a Chipin Puppy Name? Let select one from our list!

A Chipin is best suited for a couple or single owner, or a family with older children. She is protective and training and socialization are key to get the nipping under control. She is full of personality and energy and is a great mix of being a wonderful lap dog you can cuddle with, and a joyful companion you can play with.

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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