And no, we’re not talking about Richard Howell’s dog Chi-chi, rescued from South Korea as a quadruple amputee. That plucky dog now walks with prosthetics and serves as a therapy dog for an animal rescue group in Arizona (and also visits an assisted living facility and helps special needs students… super good boy!) – but he’s a Golden Retriever, and still the wrong type of Chi-chi for us.
The Chi-chi dog breed is…
In fact, one of a new mix breed known as the ‘Designer’ or ‘Hybrid’ breeds. These dogs are bred by crossing two popular breeds together – in this case the Chihuahua and the Chinese Crested.
And although it may sound like…
Breeders are being ridiculous, mixing up the breeds like this isn’t such a bad idea. Especially when we’re talking about mixing some of the more ancient breeds which have been really affected by “human engineering” over the centuries.
Particular dog breeds, the idea of mixing in some new “genetic” material that can be used to help combat some of the genetic defects and hereditary medical conditions that some of these breeds are now highly susceptible is actually a really good idea.
It never hurts that when you do decide to mix a Chihuahua and a Chinese Crested because the result just happens to be one of the cutest little things you’ve ever seen in your life!
But just because…
They are super cute doesn’t mean that a Chi-Chi is going to be the right dog for you. This is why in this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the pros and cons about owning a Chi-Chi so this way, you’ll be better prepared to know if it’s the right dog for you!
Let’s first talk about where this strange mash-up came from.
Origin of the Chi-Chi Dog Breed
Knowing “exactly” where these little guys first originated is a bit touchy because nobody seems all that certain. What we can say is that they Chi-Chi does seem to be bit more popular in Europe and Asia than they are in the States.
But this could simply be a result of the fact they “parent” breeds for the Chi-Chi are also more popular in Europe and Asia than the USA so who’s to say how relevant that is in regards to where this breed first originated.
What we can tell you is…
That because the Chi-Chi isn’t “super popular” in the United States as of yet is probably why they have been “officially” recognized as their own “breed” by the American Kennel Club (but in our opinion, it’s only a matter of time).
History of the Chi-Chi Breed
Now why we…
Can’t really tell you where the Chi-Chi was first created, we can tell you “why” the Chi-Chi was probably first created. And the answer to that question lies in the history of the two breeds that are used to create a Chi-Chi mainly the Chihuahua and the Chinese Crested.
The Chihuahua is a Mexican breed whose roots are so long nobody knows how deep they go. There are inscriptions of dogs that look suspiciously Chihuahua-like in ancient ruins all over Mexico – and carved wooden toys in their semblance dating from 100 AD.
So needless to say…
It’s pretty safe to assume that the Chihuahua is a very ancient breed that have accompanied us through the ages… Loyal to the last and eternally by our sides. Which is great, but the problem is people love the fact hat Chihuahua’s are tiny little dogs and the smaller the better for many folks.
As a result…
This breed has been “selectively” breed for centuries in a constant effort to “improve” the breed and make it smaller. And what happens when this is done for centuries is that many of the medical conditions that would ordinarily be discarded as a result of natural selection actually become enhanced or promoted.
This is also why…
Some of our oldest dog breeds are also some of our “least healthiest.” And in the case of the Chihuahua, it’s also why you’ll see that this breed will suffer from an increased risk from conditions such as:
- Patellar Luxation,
- Portosystemic shunts,
- Legg-calve-Perthes disease,
- Mitral valve disease,
- Corneal dystrophy,
- And cryptorchidism.
Now as for the Chinese Crested…
Well they too have been around for a really, really long time as well. And while their exact origin is debatable, what isn’t is that this little breed has a friend of many a Chinese sailor dating way back to the 13th century.
On what “type” of Chinese Crested we’re talking about, their appearance is going to vary significantly.
You see, these dogs have a dominant gene that makes certain puppies fur-less, and others coming out super fluffy.
Now, both varieties of dog can be born to the same litter in a rare genetic twist so you really never know what your going to get unless you breed two “super fluffy” Chinese Crested with one another.
Now as you can imagine…
The Chinese Crested has pretty much suffered the same experiences as the Chihuahua has in that it too has been “selectively bred” to remain very small.
And while it is a much healthier breed than the Chihuahua, it too suffers from an elevated risk for several medical conditions including:
- Patellar Luxation,
- And Legg-calve-Perthes disease.
The good news is that…
Whey you begin to add additional “genetic material” to a particular dog breed, it is able to potentially reduce the genetic risk factors for many of these common ailments affecting these two breeds, which is one reason why many responsible dog breeders are encouraging the development of these “designer dogs” or “hybrid dogs” provided they are being created for all the right reasons.
Other examples of “designer dogs” that are currently being created include:
- Aussiedoodle– Austrialian Shepherd and a Poodle,
- Bassetoodle– Basset Hound and a Poodle,
- Bugg– Boston Terrier and a Pug,
- CavaPom – Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Pomeranian,
- Cockapoo – Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle,
- Goldendoodle– Golden Retriever and a Poodle,
- Irish Doodle– Irish Setter and a Poodle,
- Labradoodle – Labrador Retriever and a Poodle,
- PomaPoo– Pomeranian and a Poodle,
- Puggle– Pugg and a Poodle
- Schnoodle – Schauzer and a Poodle
- Yorkipoo – Yorkie and a Poodle.
Now at this point, you’re probably wondering…
“What does a Chi-Chi Look like?”
Because the Designer Breed mix in this dog has two parents who each have two different ‘types’ within their breeds (the Chihuahua can either be a smooth or a long coated, and the Chinese Crested can either be Hairless or Powderpuff) you have four different types of genes to choose from.
To complicate matters even…
Further, you’re also going to want to factor in that the Chihuahua has two distinctively different head shapes, although the AKC only rates the ‘apple’ and not the ‘deer’ head shape.
Your Chi puppy might weigh eight pounds, be ten centimeters tall and be ‘crested’ with a white tuft of hair, white hair around his paws and a white tail similar to a horse.
Or he might be fifteen pounds and resemble a fawn colored cloud.
It is said that…
The Chinese Crested Powderpuff variety has a face similar to that of a terrier when it isn’t shaved…but shaving the muzzle is fashionable nowadays is now considered very “high-doggy society”.
What we can tell you is…
That he won’t be more than fifteen pounds once fully grown…and that while we here at IndulgeYourPet pretty much think all puppies are adorable, Chi-Chi puppies take adorable to a new LEVEL!
Chi-Chi Dog Breed Temperament
Will he have a temper? That will depend on his parent’s tempers – and upon how you raise him.
Unlike their stereotype, Chihuahuas aren’t a ‘nasty’ dog. They are a toy breed and a companion dog.
The Chinese Crested is also a companion dog nowadays (as opposed to their old ratter sea bearing days), and therefore your new Chi-chi puppy is likely to be adoring and gentle- as long as you raise him right.
And truth be told…
The fault with Chihuahuas tends to lie with the owners. They are such a small dog that the owners don’t believe them capable of harm and therefore don’t socialize them like they might a bigger dog. They won’t tend to attend obedience classes and as a result, sadly, re-homing shelters are filled with Chihuahuas who were never properly trained and as a result we’re never given a chance to behave themselves as they should have!
Chi Chi Health Concerns
Because this is such a new breed no health problems have emerged as of just yet. However, they come from highly bred lines that do have health problems that you should familiarize yourself with.
The Chinese Crested is sometimes born with missing teeth, this is fine as long as the dog is hairless, where it is considered an acceptable trait. But if you’re “super puffy” Chinese Crested has misaligned teeth, this will be considered a “flaw” to some.
They can suffer from the aforementioned medical conditions that we’ve already discussed which is something you should be aware if the Chi-Chi is a “first generation” Chi-Chi. In cases like these, you’ll want to be sure to discuss any potential issues the parents might have as well as get a good look at them for yourself.
Also, as we’ve…
Already discussed, the Chihuahua is not going to be without its own set of issue, including his or her teeth which we haven’t already discussed. This is why you’ll also probably want to take a good look at your Chi-Chi’s teeth before falling completely in love!
That said however…
Probably the biggest problem that you’re going to run into with the Chihuahua, and might be one that you run into with your Chi-Chi as well, is their insatiable appetite, which can often lead to obesity which will shorten their life more than anything else… so get them walking and avoid over-feeding and you should be fine.
Also Be Cautious…
Since the Chi-chi is a Designer breed, Puppy Farmers everywhere are likely to start churning them out by the dozen. You should not buy from dodgy dog breeders.
Signs to look out for are:
- No documentation
- The breeder cannot introduce you to either of your pup’s parents
- Dirty or unsanitary conditions
- Multiple breeds (more than three) being sold from the same location
- Malnourished pups
If you see any of the above signs leave and call the authorities.
And on that Note…
If you do choose to purchase a Chi-Chi puppy or better yet adopt a Chi-Chi rescue dog, we would encourage you to take a moment and see just what it would cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy on your new family member. This way if your little guy ever does become sick or injured, you wouldn’t need to burden the cost of treatment on your own.
Now will a pet insurance policy be right for everyone?
Probably not. But until you actually know exactly what they “will” and “won’t” cover and what they actually cost, you really won’t know if their worth it or not.
This is why….
We here at IndulgeYourPet have taken the time to also research who we feel offer the Best Pet Insurance Policies out there so that you can quickly determine for yourself if having a policy on your new little family member makes any sense.