Miriam has been a freelance writer since 2013. Born in Whittier, CA, she now lives in Ontario (California) with her husband and family.
I had never heard of the word "Chiweenie" until about a year ago when my husband was trying to find out what kind of dog we had inherited. My sister, Monica, had gotten Shadow as a puppy but one of her children brought a new dog home one day and there were major problems. So, she brought Shadow over to stay with us, and we have grown attached to the little guy ever since.
After awhile we started wondering what kind of dog he was because he did not act like any Chihuahuas I had seen. I asked Monica what kind of dog he was. She said he was Chihuahua - but he is much too even-tempered to be just Chihuahua. Besides, his eyes don't bug out, he's not hyperactive, and he doesn't bark like a Chihuahua.
So, my husband went on the Internet and searched for "dog images" or "Chihuahuas". His search did not last long, though, and within minutes he found a dog that looked exactly like Shadow. That was when we discovered the name "Chiweenie" and what that meant.
A Chiweenie is a dog that is part Dachshund and part Chihuahua - but not necessarily 50% on each side. Someone managed to cross these two distinctly different breeds to get this very mild mannered, obedient (and affectionate) little dog. They also succeeded in breeding the hyperactivity out of the Chihuahua side, which is a noticeable improvement to most of us.
Chiweenies are also called 'designer dogs' by enthusiasts and are also noted for their cuteness. They are also very eager to please and love attention.
On the Dachshund side: Chiweenies inherit their longer-than-average bodies from the Dachshund, and this probably explains why they love to str-e-tch so many times throughout the day. The worried-look in their eyes and calm temperament are also traits from the Dachshund side.
What traits come from the Chihuahua side? Mainly, the small to medium body size, short ears, and the deer-head; this is a type of head-shape. (There are two types of head-shapes in the dog world: apple head or deer head. Apple heads are the ones with the short snout (like teacup or other very small Chihuahuas; while deer-heads have a longer snout, more like the shape of a deer's head.)
Chiweenies learn so fast they practically train themselves. I think part of the reason for their rapid learning is because they are so eager to please people. They have excellent retention, too, so you can teach them new tricks or tasks and your Chiweenie will not forget any of them.
Have fun training your Chiweenie - at any age. Take lots of pictures, too, so you can share the Chiweenie-cuteness on your favorite social media site or with your family.
Sitting Like A Meerkat, Giving 5
Old Chiweenie Learns New Tricks
Here are a couple of simple training tips for older Chiweenies that worked well for Shadow, so I am sure they will work for your Chiweenie.
About "Gimme 5"
We introduced Shadow to "Gimme 5" (a handshake) - and he connected the action with the words very quickly. He still extends his paw to anyone who asks him to "Gimme 5".
Sitting Like A Meerkat
Shadow always wants someone to pet him. So when I am standing up, he will try to stand up and lean his paws on my knees. But his legs get tired fast. And when his legs get tired, he just falls to the ground. So we showed how to sit on his 'behind'. We tried to show him how to balance himself on his 'seat' so his legs could rest. At first it was tiring to him, but after awhile he learned to relax. Now he sits like a Meerkat whenever he wants.
Great Trainers or Smart Dog?
It may not be that we are good trainers, but that he is a quick learner. Chiweenies are smart. Another good thing about older dogs is that they already know and understand us, and this speeds up their learning. Dogs react to the tone that we use when we speak to them, so use a firm, yet pleasant tone throughout the training process. We want training to be fun for your pet, so he/she will stay interested.
Dogs react best when they feel you are happy with them, and then some older dogs may not wish to be trained. Learn to recognize your dog's cues. If he/she looks alert and energetic, go ahead and start training them an easy trick. But if the weather is over 90 degrees Fahrenheit and your dog looks lethargic, do not try training at this time.
Chiweenie Training Method
Tips On Teaching Your Chiweenie "Give Me Five"
- Teaching an older Chiweenie is largely based on patience, repetition, and reward.
- Be sure you set aside a specific time in the morning for dog training,
- Please note that your dog can learn faster when he/she is fed, watered, and rested.
- Start with a simple "Gimme Five" command.
- Slowly repeat "Give me five" to your Chiweenie, and offer your dog your hand.
- Show the dog how to respond by taking the dog's paw, and placing it in your hand.
- Show your dog this makes you happy. Say "Yes, that 's right! That's a good boy/girl!"
- Repeat these steps several times throughout the day, but not when the dog is tired.
- Soon your dog will automatically respond to the command, "Gimme 5" by placing his/her paw in your hand.
Enjoy your Chiweenie, and remember that they love your approval; they will even skip and dance to get your attention.
Shadow Peering Through the Screen Door
Important Points To Remember
- Practice new tricks in the morning when your dog is rested and alert.
- Be consistent: perform training at the same time every day
- Reward your chiweenie with praise and affection (not treats because old dogs gain weight easily which cause other health problems).
- These little dogs are eager to please and would rather have your attention and affection than food -- unless it is your food.
Now, get to training and have fun!
Chiweenie Performs Tricks - Chiweenie Tricks
Chiweenie Behavior & Characteristics
From my own experience and from other Chiweenie owners, it seems that Chiweenies are very friendly to most people. For example, Shadow gets all excited when someone comes out and he starts wagging his little tail. He never jumps on anyone or licks them -- kind of unusual for a dog. Instead, he will just park in front of you (looking cute and sad) and wait for you to pet him. If you do not pet him, sometimes he will tap you with his nose on your leg to get your attention. Lately, he's been standing up like a stallion, begging for me to pet him - he is tough to ignore when he stands up like that!
He is very compliant and passive, and will let you do anything to him as long as it does not hurt. This is why children need to be watched when they play with a Chiweenie, so they don't get carried away and accidentally hurt the dog.
I have read about other Chiweenie's behavior online and with a Chiweenie owner at the Vet, and it seems that they all have the same basic characteristics. Here, I thought Shadow was unique because he sat like a Meerkat. Then I find out that there are other Chiweenies that do the same thing!
Chiweenies are very smart. They are also affectionate, obedient (for the most part), and they love to dig holes to burrow in. Shadow stretches many times throughout the day, which is something I never noticed other dogs doing. In the morning he gets all excited because he knows he's going for a walk, and he barks and tries to talk.
At the end of the day, Shadow is tired, and this is when he can get stubborn. In that case, he might ignore you when you ask him to "Gimme 5". If you are persistent and patient, he will end up obeying you but you just have to keep trying.
He is extremely loyal. He is gentle with most everyone, but he can become ferocious when there is another dog nearby - regardless of how big the other dog is. One more thing: he loves to howl with the neighborhood dogs when they hear a siren screaming.
Chiweenies are excellent pets for both children and adults (Click to Tweet).
Chiweenie Cuteness Video
(Above) This video demonstrates Chiweenie Cuteness. You will want at least one by the end of this video.
Chiweenie Doing Tricks - Award-Winning Chiweenie
Chiweenie Puppy Does Tricks! (video)
(Above) This Chiweenie puppy is fun to watch. First, he obeys, but then he gets distracted and forgets!
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© 2014 Miriam Parker