Ai, ai, ai! What snarly, snapping, unfriendly little dogs, right?
Ai, ai, ai! They're only good for jet-set wannabe fashion accessories or to sit in Great Aunt Hortense' lap to frighten off toddlers, right?
Couldn't possibly be any more wrong, wrong, wrong.
If you're basing this on an opinion of Chihuahuas being the round-headed, bug-eyed, bald, incontinent, snarling little monster with all the moles and the dragon breath that sat in Great Aunt Hortense' lap and made a swipe at biting anyone who ventured within a three foot radius (excepting, of course, Great Aunt Hortense), you've missed out on getting to know an utterly delightful member of the toy breeds.
Chihuahuas are the smallest breed, by standard, although the Yorkie comes close. Their engaging temperament, charming, affectionate natures and natural fastidiousness make them popular companion dogs, especially in urban environments.
Chipoos are a mixed breed between a Chihuahua and a Poodle. They are also called Choodle or Wapoo. Chipoos can range in weight from about 3 to 20 pounds and stand about 5 to 15 inches tall, depending on their poodle parent's size. Our Chipoos are all part miniature Poodle and stay very small. They are the best of both worlds and although they can be stubborn and somewhat bossy if they think that they are more dominant than you. This can always be corrected, of course, through diligent pet care or if necessary, corrective behavior training. They tend to play the "Big Brother/Big Sister" role to their pet siblings or even children.
Chipoos are extremely energetic, playful and loyal. They love to be the centers of attention and tend to perform "tricks" for their humans nearby. Like their Poodle counterparts, they are highly intelligent, easy to train and love to snuggle and spend time with their owners. However, like their Chihuahua counterparts, they tend to lean towards one owner that they consider their "alpha."
They do well with other animals when raised together. Make sure to socialize them with other dogs and give them adequate exercise, whether it's a daily walk or just throwing a squeaky toy around the living room, as they can become anxious when left alone and not paid attention to.
A properly bred Chipoo is a friendly creature, although they will, because of the vulnerability of being so small, tend to be more quick to bark a warning than most larger dogs might be. They can also be somewhat protective of their owners and can often prefer to be one-person dogs, but with responsible socialization they are quick to learn to differentiate between a friendly stranger and one who is a threat.
Chipoos are extremely intelligent, loving and loyal. They are best raised inside and are perfect for smaller family homes such as apartments and the like. They do not like cold weather and are best dressed in a sweater when taken out in weather below 50 degrees Fahrenheit but they do love a warm sunbath provided that the weather is not too hot either.
They also shed very little, thus are fantastic for those with allergies.
While it is tempting to carry such a small dog, and they do look so delicate, they are hardy little dogs and still a dog through and through! They love to run and are swift and graceful and will appreciate a hike as much as most other dogs. Most do, however, appreciate being held when in a crowd. It is far too easy for such a small animal to be stepped on and badly injured.
It is really up to the owner to determine whether they end up with Great Aunt Hortense' little terror or a bright, intelligent, captivating companion. They need to be taught. Self-confidence needs to be nurtured. Socialization is essential. Mental and physical exercise imperative. They need a job, just like any other dog, whether it is herding dust bunnies under the sofa, giving an elderly person a focus for their attention and affections, catching mice or keeping the cat honest. Just like any other dog, they will reward your efforts with love and affection. Big gifts from a very small package.
Try to bring your puppy home on a weekend, in the morning. This way you will have more time to spend together, before their first night away from their mum and litter mates.
When you bring them home, let them go to the toilet first before bringing them into the house.
Allow them to explore the house at their own pace, letting them go where they want to go, other than areas that are banned from Chihuahua use. This allows them to sniff and get a feel for their new home.
Play games with them so that they see its great fun to be in your home
Keep visitors to a minimum for the first few days. Don't plan on going anywhere with them for the first few days. They need to be kept in their new home so that they can get used to it.
Even though they are new, and cute, you must not let them get away with anything. They need to know right from the beginning that certain behaviours, or places are off limits.
Be sure to take them to see your vets within two days just for a check up, and to make sure they are healthy, with no problems.
When your puppy starts to get tired, put them in their crate with a blanket or toy, that you brought with them. One with the smells of their mum and litter mates on it. This way they will probably curl up contentedly and go to sleep. Puppies, like human infants, sleep up to 16-18 hours a day. They are after all still babies and need plenty of sleep.
When it is time for bed, take them out to the bathroom, then calmly put them in their crate. Keep the crate near to you so that they can see you and smell you. Make sure they are warm. If they start whining just reassure them. They'll soon calm down and go to sleep.
Puppies sleep for long periods of the day, they also need to eat 4 or 5 times a day. They need to relieve themselves at least every two hours. Just like a human baby they will rely on you for everything. Be patient. Never hit your puppy, it only teaches them to be aggressive.
Nothing is more important to your little dog than a healthy diet. Your chipoo is a tiny dog, with tiny organs and a tiny digestive tract. And the things it eats, and the amount of things it eats, are essential to it living a long, healthy, and happy life.
'One of the biggest problems many chihuahua owners face is over-feeding their dog. Chihuahua obesity is probably the most common cause of health problems in this tiny breed. It is very easy to give your chihuahua too much food because it is sometimes hard for us to understand that such a small amount of food is adequate for them. Chihuahua obesity can cause heart and organ problems, and can lead to broken bones in their legs, feet, and hips. These bones are tiny, and many household obstacles are very large to your chihuahua. So if your dog is overweight, and it jumps off the couch or the bed (which is a high jump for them), the extra weight can cause them to break their bones. If your chihuahua is looking a bit round in the body, then it is probably getting too much food, or has the wrong chihuahua diet. But making sure your chihuahua is getting enough food is important as well. Your chihuahua should not be showing any ribs, and it should not round in the middle. Using your best judgement is key to keeping an eye on your chihuahuas proper weight.' (this is true for Chipoos as well)
Other problems revolve around the ingredients in your chipoo's diet. Too much protein can lead to sever constipation. Which can cause your dog to live in constant pain, or can cause blockages in their digestive tract. Carbohydrates are another key cause of problems. Too many carbohydrates can give your dog allergies of the skin, such as dry skin, and hair loss. Both protein and carbohydrates are often found in store bought dog foods. Especially dog food meant for bigger breeds of dogs, which you should not give to your chipoo.
Here are some tips to ensure you are following a proper diet:
1. Find a dog food or recipe that works for both you and your chihuahua. If you find a meal that your chihuahua enjoys, stick with it as long as you can.
2. Feed your chipoo once a day. Often dinner time (early evening) is a great time to feed your little buddy. Finding the right amount of food to give them for a once a day feeding is essential. Your chipoo should be excited and happy about dinner time, and should seem satisfied once the meal is over.
3. Supplement your chipoos diet in the morning or during the day with something other than their main meal. Try to find a dry food for small dog breeds that your chihuahua enjoys and digests well. Then give them a little dish of this in the morning, or perhaps late at night depending on your schedule.
4. Don’t leave food down for them all day. Many big dogs have a bowl of dry dog food down at all times that they can snack on. Chihuahuas are notorious over-eaters! Some Chipoos will eat and eat as much as you give them. Which can lead to obesity and other health problems.
Again, using your best judgment, and finding what works for you and your little companion is essential to a healthy diet. Try to find something that works for you, for your chipoo, and for your wallet.
We always feed our babies Royal Canin for Small Breeds or Breed Specific Chihuahua. Our SheShee loves the breed specific blend and our miniature poodles love the small breed kibble. The puppy blend is perfect for little tummies and nursing Mommies but may cause the other adults to put on weight.
Chipoos do not suffer from any allergies but are susceptible to all of the common health issues that either the Chihuahua or the Poodle have.
Some common ailments and diseases: The tendency to wheeze or snore, corneal dryness, secondary glaucoma, runny eyes, cataracts, gum or dental problems, respiratory colds, stress, ear infections and digestive or heart disorders.
They may have dry skin and be unable to use commercial flea and tick medications such as Advantage or Frontline.
Like many small breeds or even their Poodle parent, Chipoos may have overactive tear glands and may require cleaning around their eyes to remove the dried tears. They should also have their ears cleaned and plucked regularly and from time to time, can also suffer from dry ears (leading to moisturizing medication between used in dropper every few days).
Like all dogs, they should have their teeth brushed 2-3 times a week in addition to dental chew sticks being used to help cut down on tartar and plague.
Special note: If the dog barks and keeps barking even though they know better, they're probably on high alert due to someone or something they don't trust. Animals are extremely perceptive.