While the Chi-Chi Dog might not be the best-known puppy on the street, there’s a reason that they’ve entered the designer breed dog mix. They’re often outgoing and energetic, and if you’re lucky, you’ll get the hypoallergenic traits from their Chinese Crested lineage and their spunky attitude from the Chihuahua.
4 – 10 pounds
12 – 15 years
Brown, black, fawn, cream, and white
Apartment living, families with older children, and previous pet owners
A bit yappy and nervous but fun, playful, and energetic
But what else can you expect from this hybrid breed, and why is there such a drastic difference in both size and appearance from dog to dog? We answer all those questions and more here!
Chi Chi Dog Characteristics
Chi Chi Dog Puppies
Just because these dogs are small doesn’t mean they aren’t a handful. On the contrary, they often have an extremely playful temperament and energy to spare. Still, their smaller size makes them great for apartments and is a big reason that their average lifespan can reach 15 years.
However, these dogs are notoriously difficult to train, especially if they take after their Chihuahua parentage. Both the Chinese Crested and the Chihuahua also have potential genetic health conditions that can get passed down, though it is relatively rare.
Finally, while Chi-Chi Dogs are great around other pets and kids, their smaller size can make them a bit timid, and they can nip when they feel threatened. Early socialization and training are vital to keeping this in check.
Temperament & Intelligence of the Chi-Chi Dog
While a Chi-Chi Dog is often stubborn, don’t mistake that for a lack of intelligence. Chi-Chi dogs are extremely smart and loyal; they just have a strong will and like to do whatever they want at the moment.
This is especially true if they take after their Chihuahua parentage, but this also means they’re more likely to have a spunky and outgoing attitude that makes them a joy to own.
However, if they take after their Chinese Crested, they’ll be extremely smart but easy to train. The tradeoff is that they’ll also be a bit lazier and less free-spirited throughout the day.
Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪
While a Chi-Chi Dog certainly doesn’t have any problem with families, you need to be especially careful if you have small kids. Chi Chi Dogs are extremely small, and stumbling children and wandering hands can quickly lead to an injured dog or a nipped child.
That’s why we recommend only getting a Chi-Chi Dog if you have older children, but they shouldn’t nip or be aggressive toward younger kids.
Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?
In the same way that a Chi-Chi Dog is good with kids, they’re good with other pets too. But you need to be careful around larger dogs and other big pets because a Chi-Chi Dog is so small. While a Chi-Chi Dog is unlikely to start any problems, clumsiness and accidents can quickly lead to an injured pet.
Just keep in mind that socialization is key with any dog, so if you’re looking to keep your pup happy around other animals, it’s best to train them and socialize them early.
Things to Know When Owning a Chi-Chi Dog
Before you head out and adopt a Chi-Chi Dog, it’s best to get a thorough understanding of what you’re getting into. From how much they eat to common health conditions to keep an eye out for, we’ve got you covered with everything that you need to know here.
Food & Diet Requirements 🦴
A Chi Chi Dog doesn’t have any special dietary requirements, but you do need to opt for a high-quality kibble to keep them healthy. The good thing about such a small dog is that high-quality food will last a long time, so you don’t have to worry about spending a ton of money to feed them.
A Chi Chi Dog is a high-energy dog, so you need to get them out for daily walks to prevent any destructive boredom behavior. But since a Chi-Chi Dog is smaller, these walks don’t need to be nearly as long as you would need with a larger pup.
Just shoot for an hour of activity for your Chi Chi Dog per day, including both indoor and outdoor activities.
If your Chi Chi Dog takes after a Chihuahua, then training them will require a bit more work. Still, training them early and often is critical, as is persistence. With their Chinese Crested lineage, you also need to stick exclusively with positive reinforcement.
Otherwise, you’ll end up with an extremely timid dog that doesn’t want to be around you, which is the last thing that you want to happen.
Grooming is a bit of a mixed bag with a Chi Chi Dog. If you get a hairless Chi-Chi dog, you only need to brush out the tufts of hair about once a week. However, you need to brush a fluffy Chi-Chi dog daily.
If you have a Chi Chi Dog that grows patches of hair, you’ll need to shave those patches, which requires a little more care.
You’ll also need to bathe your Chi Chi Dog occasionally, and you should brush their teeth a few times a week.
Health and Conditions 🏥
While most Chi-Chi Dogs are healthy, they can inherit a few genetic issues from their parents. The best thing that you can do is watch for these potential concerns while keeping your Chi Chi Dog on a strict diet and brushing their teeth.
If you do your research when selecting a breeder, the chances of getting a Chi-Chi Dog with any of these issues are slim.
Male vs Female
There are a few differences between a male and female Chi Chi Dog. First, males tend to be a bit larger than females, but that will change depending on which parent they take after.
Second, males tend to need more human interaction than females. So, if you’re looking for a dog to follow you around all day and be a lap dog, a male might be a better choice. However, this comes with more separation anxiety issues, so if you work throughout the day, a female might fit your home better.
Finally, neutering is generally a bit cheaper than spaying, so a male can be a little more affordable up front.
3 Little-Known Facts About the Chi Chi Dog
1. Chi Chi Dogs Have Different Appearances
All mixed-breed dogs take different parts of their appearance from each of their parents, but few dogs have two parents that vary as much in appearance as the Chi-Chi Dog. That’s why you can have both hairless and fluffy Chi-Chi Dogs and everything in between.
2. Chi Chi Dogs Are Prone to Separation Anxiety
The Chi-Chi Dog tends to suffer from separation anxiety, and this problem only worsens if you don’t train them early on. Get your Chi-Chi puppy used to the fact that you’re going to leave and come back, even if you don’t plan to be gone that often in the future.
3. Some Chi-Chi Dogs Are Hypoallergenic
Even though breeders tried to capture the Chinese Crested’s hypoallergenic traits, they were only partially successful. Not every Chi-Chi Dog is hypoallergenic, but it’s a little easier to tell compared to other crossbreeds.
If they took the Chinese Crested’s hairless appearance, there’s a good chance that you have a hypoallergenic dog. But on the other hand, if they look more like a Chihuahua, they’re likely still producing dander.
While there’s no guarantee of what you’re getting from each parent breed, the appeal of a Chi-Chi Dog makes perfect sense. You could get a playful pup that’s completely hypoallergenic, or you could get a non-hypoallergenic dog that just wants to laze around all day.
No matter which traits your Chi Chi Dog inherits, though, you’ll be getting a lovable and cute companion that will make a great addition to your home.
Featured Image Credit: Eric Isselee, Shutterstock