What do you get if you cross a Chihuahua with a Toy Poodle? A Chipoo!
A Chihuahua Poodle mix is an adorable and courageous small dog. It’s a mixed-breed dog from two popular purebred dog breeds; the purebred Chihuahua and the purebred Poodle.
Sometimes it’s referred to as an:
- Applehead Chihuahua Poodle Mix,
- Chihuahua Toy Poodle Mix,
- Poochi, Chi-poo,
- or a Poodle Chihuahua mix
A Chihuahua Poodle mix blends the best of both of the parent breeds; cuteness, intelligence, loyalty, and playfulness. Chipoos suit any type of home living, from apartments to houses, as long as their active exercise needs can be met.
This small dog will bond strongly with its master and make a great family member or companion for any kind of dog owner. The Chipoo puppy is one of the cutest little companion dogs.
A brief history of this mixed breed dog
When two distinct dog breeds, such as a purebred Chihuahua and a purebred Poodle, are intentionally mixed the resulting crossbreed dog is often referred to as a ‘designer dog’, or ‘hybrid dogs’.
FACT: The Chipoo is therefore a hybrid dog; it’s not a purebred dog breed, as a hybrid dog is not a ‘dog breed’.
Any mixed-breed dog, such as the Chipoo, is not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).
The Chihuahua Poodle mix, as a type of designer dog, is recognized by the following Kennel Clubs:
- Designer Dog Kennel Club, United States
- American Canine Hybrid Club
- Designer Breed Registry
- International Designer Breed Registry
The appearance of Designer dogs, or ‘Boutique dogs’, depends on the inherited parent breeds’ genes and from which one they obtain the biggest majority of traits.
Meet the parents: The parents’ breed history:
Parent 1: A brief history of the Chihuahua parent – a purebred dog
The Chihuahua is the smallest dog recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as a purebred dog. The Apple Head Chihuahua and the Deer Head Chihuahua are two different types of Chihuahua; not separate dog breeds.
There are only two officially recognized differences within the Chihuahua breed; the long-haired chihuahua and the smooth coat (short coat) Chihuahua varieties.
The Chihuahua name:
The Chihuahua is considered as the National Dog of Mexico. The Chihuahua breed is believed to have been discovered in the 1800s, in the area of Chihuahua in Mexico; hence the Mexican name Chihuahua.
Ancient drawings of a tiny Chihuahua-type dog have been discovered across Central America with similarities to the ancient Techichi dog, and in also in Europe with similarities to the ancient Chinese Crested dog. It is therefore believed that an early ancestor of the Chihuahua dog may have been the small ancient Techichi dog and somewhere along the bloodline it may have been crossed with a Chinese Crested dog to give us the Chihuahua breed we recognize today.
The Apple Head Chihuahua and the Deer Head Chihuahua dog is the same recognized breed but with physical differences.
The Apple Head Chihuahua has a head shape like an apple. The American Kennel Club (AKC) states that the breed standard requirement is an ‘apple dome-shaped head’.
All Apple Head Chihuahuas have a large head in relation to the size of their body and it’s the only dog breed born with a soft spot on their skull, like a human baby, known as a Molera. This Molera (an incomplete skull) is not a defect! It is designed to help the mother give birth to her big-headed puppies and it then forms their dome-shaped forehead. The Molera is likely to close over after about 3-4 months.
The Deer Head Chihuahua has a head shape like a young Deer, but its head shape is smaller and it is not usually born with a soft spot on its skull.
The Apple Head Chihuahua’s face has a distinctive 90-degree angle where the muzzle meets the forehead; known as a ‘Stop’. Its face profile is like a neat ‘L-Shape’.
The Apple-head has a shorter jawline and shorter neck than the Deer-head Chihuahua. The face of the Deer Head Chihuahua has a distinctive 45-degree angle, a Stop, where the muzzle meets the forehead and ears shaped like a deer’s.
It is more likely for an ‘Apple Head Chihuahua’ (as the sire, father) to be crossed with a ‘Toy Poodle’ or ‘Miniature Poodle’ (the dam, mother) due to their smaller size – to produce the Chipoo.
Parent 2: A brief history of the Poodle parent – a purebred dog
The Poodle, although it is considered the National Dog of France actually originated in Germany. A Poodle is a small dog that is increasing in popularity as the ideal partner in any designer dog combination; known as the Doodle range of dogs, which includes the Choodle.
The Poodle is now ranked the 6th most popular dog in the US, by the American Kennel Club (AKC).
The purebred Poodle dog has 3 recognized sizes: the Toy Poodle, the Miniature Poodle, and the Standard Poodle.
The Poodle Mix Parent (usually the small breed, Toy Poodle, or Miniature Poodle) is friendly and hypoallergenic with little matting, this makes them an ideal indoor or outdoor dog due to their low maintenance; they are particularly suitable for city or apartment living, or for people with allergies.
A Poodle is usually good-natured, calm and a low maintenance family member.
Meet the offspring: The hybrid offspring is the Chipoo – Chihuahua Poodle Mix
Designer dog breeders have intentionally crossed small breeds, such as Chihuahuas with Toy Poodles (or Miniature Poodles) since the 1970s in the United States. The designer breed results such as the Chipoo are becoming more popular across the world; especially the idea of a new type of dog that would be hypoallergenic, with less grooming requirements.
Fact: Designer dogs, especially Poodle mixes (the ‘Doodle range’) are increasing in popularity in many countries. It’s trendy to give them a cute combo name that reflects a bit of both parent names.
These new affectionate names are what is known as ‘Portmanteau’ names:
- Poodle x Cocker Spaniel – Cockapoo
- Poodle x Labrador – Labradoodle
- Poodle x Corgi – Corgipoo
- Poodle x Yorkshire Terrier – Yorkipoo
The Chihuahua Poodle mix is not as popular as some of the other Doodle-dogs, but it will still make a fun-loving family pet.
What are the main characteristics of the Chipoo?
Crossbreed dogs, like The Chi-poo (or Wapoo) are no more likely to inherit health problems than purebred dogs; in fact, it is believed they may actually be stronger as they are adding more variety into the gene pool.
Fact: Not all mixed-breed dogs inherit exactly 50% of their characteristics from one parent and 50% from the other. It can be heavily weighted towards the characteristics of one parent.
The characteristics of the Chipoo are a combination of nature and nurture: genetics of each parent, the environment, and the quality, type, and amount of training and socialization.
Any mix-breed dog’s appearance and personality, especially the Chipoo will be difficult to predict exactly, and it can vary from one doggie to another in the same litter!
The Chipoo dog coat:
A short-haired Chihuahua is the usual dog in the Chipoo mix, with its moderate shedding, smooth, straight-haired coat, while the Poodle has a wiry and stiff, wavy coat that sheds less.
The coat texture of this Poochi will depend on whether it takes after the Chihuahua’s double coat that sheds or the Poodle that has a finely –textured coat that can get matted and tangled; needing its waves and curls trimmed regularly.
Poodle–mix dogs, such as the Chipoo were initially crossbred, in the United States, to be hypoallergenic and be suitable for people with dog hair allergies; it had mixed results. Possible coat colors from both parents include: Apricot, Fawn, Cream, Coffee, Brown, Black, Blue, Silver or White, and a solid coat color (from the Poodle) or patterned (from the Chihuahua).
Loyalty and companionship
The Chihuahua Poodle mix breed will become very attached to its family and especially the master. It will be loyal and close at hand companion dog, that’s happy and friendly with those it considers its family.
The Chihuahua and the Poodle are both intelligent and sociable dogs that are not known to be aggressive. However, they are known to bark at strangers and other dogs they see as a threat to them or their families. This crossbreed, like the parent breeds, makes a good family pet that’s gentle-natured.
Their size and non-aggressive temperament make them an ideal house pet for any experience of a dog owner, in any type of living accommodation. The Poodle mix is quieter and more reserved than the Chihuahua parent, but both are known to bark when startled or challenged.
The Chipoo will be playful and full of energy so be prepared, if you get one, it will expect you to play with it and to have sufficient exercise.
This Chihuahua and Poodle mix, the Chipoodle, is not the most popular of the designer poodle mix dogs; yet their parents rank as No 6 (the Poodle) and the No 35 (the Chihuahua), in the AKC list of most popular dogs.
Perhaps this mix is not as well-known as the other Doodle-dogs and in time could rise in popularity as its parent breeds have.
When both parent breeds are intelligent and easy to train the Chihuahua Poodle mix should be too. A Chipoo puppy may be tiny but it will be full of energy and high spirits. It will get excited and just want to play and run around, so it should be obedience trained and socialized early.
The size of this small dog makes it delicate and vulnerable in play and handling, especially with young children.
Therefore, it needs to learn control and understand voice commands, and know when to avoid a situation that might endanger its safety; especially when outdoors in public places or dog parks while playing with other dogs, or boisterous children.
This Poochi is very active and needs to be kept occupied to stop boredom and from getting up to mischief; chewing, barking or destroying things. Positive reinforcement and small treats work best for this little pooch, as it likes to please and be praised.
It will enjoy and need working challenges incorporating mental and physical stimulation.
A Chipoo puppy needs exposure to different situations and people early, and practice leaving it alone to help it manage its feelings of separation anxiety, but with you close by.
This puppy does not like being left alone for long periods of time and will yap, and may annoy the neighbors!
Early socialization and discipline are needed for any active mixed breed dog that likes to be protective of its loved ones. Despite its small size it will be fiercely protective and bark and try to guard its family in the company of other dogs or strangers.
It will just want to play and hang out with you. It does not have a prey or hunting instinct but it will get bored easily and want to be kept stimulated. In return, it will offer you its love, devotion, and companionship.
A Chipoo is smart and energetic despite its small size. It will get mischievous if it’s bored and could become destructive or bark fiercely.
Obedience training needs to begin early in the puppy years. It will love to play and will be active and curious about what’s over there, so it may wander. It will need early leash training as it needs to learn to control its excitement outdoors.
It will be naughty if it feels it is not getting enough attention.
Physical Characteristics of the Chi-poo
This small pooch is friendly, full of energy, and is very sociable. The size of a Chi-poo depends on the size of the Poodle mix
Size: Small-sized dog
Weight: For Males up to 10-20lb (4.5-9kg). For Females up to 3-20lb (1.4-9kg)
Height: For Males average 9-15” (23-38cm), Females average 5-13” (12.7-33cm)
Lifespan: 12-15 years expectancy
Eyes: Depends on the coat color – ranges from dark brown to hazel
Ears: Almond-shaped, Black or Brown
Coat: Depends on the parent mix, could be long or short, low shed or medium shed and usually curly and possibly hypoallergenic (like the Poodle parent).
Coat Color: The coat color dependent on which parent is dominant; it could be Apricot, Fawn, Tan, Golden, White, Black, Blue, Red, Silver or Brown; solid color.
Temperament: A Chipoo is not known to be aggressive, but it can be mouthy with other dogs and strangers.
How should you train a Chi Poo?
A Chipoo is intelligent and active and needs to be trained early. You will need patience as the Chipoo can be quite a handful and at times stubborn or moody.
It’s an independent little dog that can get bored easily so training needs to combine both gentle physical and mental challenges; possibly in short sessions as it has short legs and over strenuous exercise could damage its legs and especially its knees.
Positive reinforcement and reward-based training work best, but never aggressive treatment. Teach leash training early for this puppy’s safety in public areas and road safety awareness.
Types of training required: obedience, discipline, agility, and socialization.
So, if you are not going to use a professional dog trainer:
1) Develop your basic command words: Find keywords such as Stop, Sit, Down, etc. and be consistent each time you use them, always using positive reinforcement and small food-based treats as a reward to bond and show praise.
2) Crate – Buy a crate and let puppy practice going into it and sleeping in it. You will have to lock the cage in the early days so it knows it can sleep there and be transported in it.
3) Potty training – this small dog has a small bladder and is more difficult to potty train than most dogs. There are products available to help, such as mats and odor sprays to attract puppy go to the same spot each time
4) Walking on a leash – this Poochi is playful and full of energy so early leash training is recommended. Also, practice voice commands and road safety awareness firmly but not harshly.
Health problems and health issues
Although mixing breeds can often minimize health issues, the Chihuahua Poodle mix could still suffer from certain hereditary health problems from both parent breeds, such as:
Luxating Patella – (dislocated kneecap) – A congenital condition that affects the kneecaps often causes dislocation or loosening of the kneecaps and extreme pain and affected mobility.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) – this is a genetic condition where the retina in the eye degenerates and it can lead to vision loss if not diagnosed and treated early.
Other eye problems include: Glaucoma, Cataracts, Dry Cornea or Overactive tear glands – watering eyes from blocked or narrow tear ducts; as a result of swelling, or inflammation and the tears are unable to drain away and will build up in the tear sac. Its eyes need to be wiped often.
Other health issues include Cardiovascular (Heart problems), Dental problems (due to their very small jaws), Obesity (as they like to eat a lot), and Allergies – dry ears and dry skin conditions and low blood sugar levels.
How do you care for a Chi-poo?
The Choodle is smart and active.
It will need 30-45 minutes of daily exercise and playtime; such as chase, fetch, with Frisbees and throwing toys, swimming, or even chasing other dogs in dog parks.
Feed as a small-sized dog depending on its activity level; on average half to one cup of kibble, good quality dry formulated dog food per day.
The coat will depend on the parents but could be short, wavy, relatively easy to groom, and possibly hypoallergenic like the poodle.
Bathe when required and wipe down daily with a special dog cloth to clean in between bathing. Do not over-bathe as the natural oils in their coat would be stripped through washing. Certain dog formulated shampoos have a double effect of cleaning while protecting its coat against fleas and insect bites.
Cleaning teeth, nails, and ears
Teeth need to be cleaned regularly to prevent a build-up of plaque. Chewing breaks down plaque, so use approved doggie chew-toys, bare-bones and soft toothbrushes, and toothpaste.
Nails grow quickly and need to be trimmed regularly, say once a month, and its ears checked for debris that could cause infection.
What’s life like for a Chipoo?
This Poochi is versatile, playful, and loves being outdoors, but not the cold weather.
It could wander off given the opportunity, so needs a fenced yard or secure living area. It’s a great little companion dog that likes to have fun. It will want to keep active and have the company of family around it constantly, but can bond too closely and may suffer from separation anxiety.
Positives and Negatives of ownership
- Low shedder
- An intelligent dog, playful, easily trainable
- Suits any living space
- Child-friendly, high-energy
- Not aggressive, but fiercely protective
- A versatile companion and indoor pooch
- Active and stubborn
- Bonds closely and can suffer from separation anxiety
- Hard to potty train
- Can be yappy, not stranger friendly!
- Bores easily, will bark and chew things
- Small dog, delicate to handle
- Might not be hypoallergenic
Commonly Asked Questions:
Q. How much does a Chipoo puppy cost?
A. Buying from a reputable hybrid dealer costs around $500-$1400.
Be careful of fake Chipoo breeders offering bargain puppies, do your research into the breeding stock, as they could come from puppy mills!
An alternative is to adopt from a rescue center of kennel – puppy or adult. This costs less, but if adopting research the history, circumstances, etc.
Q. What other costs should you expect?
Food costs around $20-$30 per month but factor in Vets fees, accessories, and toys from retailers like Amazon.
A. A good quality dry dog food, Kibble, Vet’s fees, regular vaccinations, medications and accessories and toys, collar, leash, grooming equipment, training fees.