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Breeds Home > Breed List > Chi-Chi

Chi-Chi Breed Information


Recognized By: ACHC , DBR , DDKC , IDCR
AKA: Chichi, Mexican Crested
Mispellings: Chi-Chi is commonly mistaken as referring to a fullblood Chihuahua.

Caring for a Chi-Chi

Feeding: The Chi-Chi can be prone to overeating and becoming obese.

Living with a Chi-Chi

Personality: The Chi-Chi is bold, intelligent and friendly. They may not be able to outmanuver a Dachshund but the love to play tag anyways.

Temperament: The Chi-Chi is friendly, bold, energetic, excitable, alert and loving.

Family Dog: The Chi-Chi is definitely a family dog though they might show a preference to one or two people. They are typically friendly with everyone and all other pets. Again, teach children to be gentle, especially with the hairless variety as they don't have a coat to protect themselves from scratches.

Shedding: If you are looking for an allergy friendly dog, remember that it is usually the dander and saliva that causes an attack, not necessarily the hair. The Hairless Chi-Chi does have less dander and usually sheds very little, but still has the same amount of everything else as any other dog. Cleaning and not letting the dog on furniture or in the affected person's room can help to keep any potiential issues to a minimum.

Grooming: The smooth-coated Chi-Chis need to be washed with a rag while the Longhair needs a daily brush. The Hairless variety needs daily lotion and sunblock.

Training: The Chi-Chi needs to be well socialized as any puppy. They are intelligent and can be taught tricks.

Behavior: The Chi-Chi is a cuddle-bug. They are friendly, personable, willing and very playful when properly trained and socialized. They are usually quite bold when meeting new people or animals. Chi-Chis are not generally wanderers, though a fence is recommended for your dog's safety. Don't expect a graceful puppy, and don't be startled when your adult keeps falling off the couch, despite being the only one occupying it.

If you've lost your Chi-Chi, look under any blankets or piles of clothing first, or anywhere the sun is shining. They can usually jump higher than you'd think and have no problems climbing, so don't feel silly checking in "weird" places. I don't know how they manage the top of a wardrobe either. If you have a second story (or higher) house, highly recommend you consider screens for the windows. They have no problems wandering out onto roofs and falling off.

Barking: The Chi-Chi is typically a guard dog, though not necessarily a watchful dog.

Weather: The Chi-Chi is not quite an all-weather dog. The Hairless variety doesn't need lots of clothes, but a doggy coat and raincoat would not go amiss. Consider booties for both varieties if shorthair if it snows where you live.

Exercise: A daily walk and an hour of play inside or out should be enough for your Chi-Chi. They can be very active when you want, but also have no problems joining you for multiple naps per day.

Physical Ability: The Chi-Chi has surprising jumping and climbing ability.

Living Conditions: The Chi-Chi can live basically anywhere so long as you're near. They do need to be inside to be protected from the elements.

Chi-Chi Appearance

Size: The Chi-Chi is under 12 inches tall and weigh under 10 pounds. They are usually closer to the 6 to 8 pound range but can be as small as 4 pounds when fully grown.

Companionship: The Chi-Chi must be near people. Although they can entertain themselves for a while alone in the yard or an apartment, they hate being away for extended periods or only seeing someone for a few minutes a day which can cause damage to property or themselves either through stress losing of hair, wounds through bites, scratches or trying to escape. Apartment people don't distress! An hour play and sleeping near you counts.

Head: The head of the Chi-Chi is between the apple head of a Chihuahua and the wedge shape of the Chinese Crested. They generally favor a deershape with a higher forehead.

Nose: The nose of the Chi-Chi is the same color as the body.

Eyes: The eyes of the Chi-Chi are bright, alert and almond or round in shape usually without the "bulge" or excessive size of a Chihuahua but that can occur.

Muzzle: The muzzle of the Chi-Chi is long and slightly pointed though may take a squareish look from the Chihuahua.

Teeth/Bite: The teeth of the Chi-Chi meet in a scissor bite. They may have some missing teeth especially the Hairless variety which can have some extra teeth issues.

Neck: The Chi-Chi has a long, slim, slightly arched neck.

Body: The Chi-Chi has an overall rectangular shape, slightly longer than tall, not counting the legs, a straight back, well-sprung ribs, slender appearance, refined but not delicate. The chest tapers into a slight to moderate tuck up. They can be slightly stockier than purebred Chinese Crested in body due to the Chihuahua influence.

Forequarters: The Chhi-Chi has clean and narrow shoulders with long, slender, strong, straight legs.

Hindquarters: The hindquarters of the Chi-Chi are strong with moderate angulation. Chihuahua's can have issues with their hips and backlegs, so discourage excessive jumping or standing on backlegs in your Chi-Chi, just in case.

Gait: The gait of the Chi-Chi is very lively, generally a prancing trot, similar to a show pony.

Feet: The Chi-Chi may have longer toes and a narrower foot than most other breeds. The Chinese Crested is known for a "harelike" foot, something bred out of Chihuahuas and most other dogs. Keep the nails trimmed, especially with the hairless variety or they could accidentally scrach themselves. Hairless usually have hairy feet and sometimes hair over their entire legs.

Tail: The tail of the Chi-Chi is curved in a slight 'C' shape and held over back especially when excited. The tail is long enough to reach the hocks. The Hairless variety will have a plume of hair that usually covers the last 2/3 of the tail.

Color: The coat of the Chi-Chi can be any color. Most Chinese Crested have a lot of white, so most Chi-Chis have at least some white on their chest, belly or paws.

Coat: The coat of the Chi-Chi can be short, long, powderpuff or hairless. Powderpuffs have a full coat as any other breed. Hairless range from hairy to true hairless. A True Hairless has hair only on its head, feet, lower legs, and tail. A Hairy Hairless will vary in amount of hair, from a line of hair down the back, to patches over the body to almost completely coated save for a bit of hairless belly.

Usually you can tell the difference from the moment a puppy is born. Both Powderpuffs and Hairless can be found in the same litter. If one parent is Hairless, in general, you have a 50/50 chance of a Hairless puppy. Amount of hair is random. If both parents are Powderpuff or normal coated, you will only have Powderpuff puppies. Longhair is a recessive gene, so it depends on the shorthair parent if there are any in the litter. If both parents are longhair, then all puppies will be longhair. If one or both parents are shorthair with longhair somewhere in both their lineage, then the chance of longhaired puppies is 25 to 50 percent.

Chi-Chi Facts

Life Expectancy: The average life expectancy of the Chi-Chi is over 10 years.

Chi-Chi Health

Allergies: The Chi-Chi has more forehead than a Chinese Crested, though not necessarily the fully domed head of a Chihuahua. They have large, upright ears, long legs, an overall rectangular shape to their body and a fairly delicate "deerlike" appearance. They are fineboned and elegant though not necessarily graceful when in a home setting. The coat and color varies. The tail is held in half circle when relaxed and over back when excited. Chi-Chis have an alert, loving and eager expression.

Health: Hypoglycemia is usually the biggest issue in Chi-Chi puppies. The skin of course needs extra attention. If getting your Chi-Chi from a breeder be sure to discuss any genetic issues.

Skin Health: The Chi-Chi, especially the Hairless variety needs lotion and sunblock.

Eye Health: If the Chi-Chi has inherited the Chihuahua's larger eyes, they may tear more often.

Ear Health: The ears of the Chi-Chi should not be cropped even if they don't stand up, some purebred Chihuahua and Chinese Cresteds simply don't for whatever reason.

Dental Health: The Hairless variety usually doesn't have as many teeth as a powderpuff, although this doesn't affect them when young. Hairless can also be more prone to disease and decay, so consider daily brushing and no bones. Purebred Chihuahuas usually have a few teeth missing or lose teeth sooner, so you may see this as well in your Chi-Chi of both varieties.

Bone Health: Chi-Chis have fragile legs, especially as young adults or pups. They should be supervised around stairs. Don't put and leave your Chi-Chi on furniture if they can't jump up and down themselves as they might be injured by falling off. They should never be left alone with children for the dog's safety. It has been said that the Chinese Crested has jumping or fallen off a second story house with no injuries on more than one occassion, so depending on breeding, they aren't necessarily "made of China".

Litter Size: The Chi-Chi may have as many as 8 pups. When breeding hairless to hairless, in general expect a 25% drop in litter size, due to the hairless gene being lethal when doubled.

Chi-Chi History

History: Chinese Crested are from Africa or China. Chihuahua are from Mexico or possibly Africa. There is a hairless Mexican/South American Dog, the Xoloitzcuintli. It is not considered to be related to either of these two breeds, at least, not in recent lineage. Although there is speculation that ancent Chinese Crested are the ancestors of the Chihuahua. Equally, there is speculation that the Chihuahua is an ancestor of the Chinese Crested.

In any case, the Chinese Crested mixed with Chihuahua generally makes a very attractive dog, a slightly smaller, more delicate headed Crested, with a bit stockier body.

* The most accurate way to determine characteristics of a mixed breed is by researching the parent breeds.
** Not all dogs being represented by this name consist of the exact percentages listed above.
*** It is important to do research on your dog's history before choosing a dog. We are dedicated to providing the most accurate information possible about each breed.

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