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Chi-Poo (Chihuahua & Poodle Mix): Info, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

grey chi-poo chihuahua poodle

Height: 7 – 12 inches
Weight: 8 – 18 pounds
Lifespan: 12 – 15 years
Colors: Black, white, fawn, chocolate, gray, brindle, brown
Suitable for: Families with children. Apartment or homes with busy adults.
Temperament: Energetic and playful. Loyal, affectionate, and independent. Confident and intelligent.

If you have a busy lifestyle but are still looking to add a canine to your home, the Chi-Poo may be a great addition. This low-maintenance, energetic, and playful pup is a hybrid of the Chihuahua and Poodle. They get the best of both of their parent’s traits to create one happy and affectionate pet.

Not only are these little tykes adorable, but they will provide you and your family with a lot of laughs and entertainment. Unfortunately, there is a lot more that goes into dog ownership than just the antics your pup can engage in. In this article, we are going to give you all of the details you need about this breed. We will share info on their temperament, grooming needs, exercise requirements, and much more.

Keep reading below to get an idea about whether this breed will be right for you and your family. Adopting a dog is a serious commitment regardless of the breed. This is why we have provided you with as much information as possible.

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Chi-Poo Puppies


The Chi-Poo is bred from the purebred Chihuahua and the purebred Poodle. As with all designer hybrids, it is difficult to know which of their parent’s traits they will inherit. In this case, the toy Chihuahua and working Poodle typically make a pleasing pet that is great for many different households.

As a puppy, you can expect them to be playful, energetic, and affectionate. This is a confident breed that can be a bit temperamental, so they will benefit from early obedience and behavioral training. They also can have a bit of ”little dog syndrome” from their Chihuahua ancestors, so socializing them early is also important.

This hybrid was thought to have originated in the 1970s, making it one of the older designer breeds. For that reason, there is more information regarding the Chi-Poo than there are with other mixed canines. Keep in mind, however, that there is no fast and hard rule regarding how they will turn out.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Chi-Poo

1. Chihuahua Background

It is interesting to note that one half of the Chi-Poo’s ancestry background is unknown. Some experts believe that the Chihuahua originated from the Aztecs, while others believe that they were brought to Mexico by the Chinese. Without concrete documentation, however, the original origins are lost to history.

2. Fur Coat

When you mix two purebred dogs to create a hybrid, it can be difficult to determine which parent they will take after as far as appearance. When it comes to the Chi-Poo, their fur coat can either be longer like the poodle (and some Chihuahuas), or it can be shorter like the short-haired Chihuahua. Interestingly, one litter can have an equal amount of long and short-haired pups.

3. Eyes and Nose

Another interesting fact about this particular hybrid is their eye and nose color. Although they can differ greatly in their fur color, you will find this hybrid only has brown eyes and a black nose.

Parent Breeds of the Chi-Poo
Image Credit: Jumpstory

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Chi-Poo 🧠

The Chi-Poo get the best qualities of both their Chihuahua and Poodle parents. They are energetic, playful, and affectionate. They love to entertain, learn tricks, and can be quite nimble. Their intelligence allows them to pick up at tricks and other training quickly, and they have a very confident nature.

This small to medium-sized dog can also have “little dog syndrome” which can make them appear tougher than they are. This all runs hand-in-hand with their confidence, and it can lead them into trouble if you are not paying attention.

Something else you should note about this breed is that they can be somewhat temperamental, and they have long memories. This can make it difficult to break them of bad habits, which makes training early very important…although, we will get into that later.

Overall, however, this is a great pet to have if you live a busy lifestyle. They do well in apartments, condos, or homes with big yards. They do not suffer from separation anxiety, so they work well for people who work outside of the home. On the other hand, they also enjoy being around you and other family members. They are affectionate and like to cuddle, but do not need constant attention.

In regards to their affection, the Chi-Poo is more likely to bond with one member of the family. Although they will still be loving and loyal to the entire household, they will devote their love and affection to a single person. Again, this makes them great for single occupant homes.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

The Chi-Poo can be a great family dog as long as they are socialized early. Both the Chihuahua and Poodle can be somewhat temperamental and stubborn. What’s more, if they take after their Chihuahua parents, they can tend to be a bit nippy. You want to make sure that you instruct your kids on how to play with your pet responsibly, and you should always monitor them when around your pet.

Although this dog can do very well with small children, they are also great for a single person household. As mentioned, they do not suffer from a lot of separation anxiety and are okay to be left alone for extended periods. If you work outside of the home or travel, this would be a great breed for you as they are okay to entertain themselves. Just remember, both of their ancestors have hunting jeans, and with their confident nature, it can lead them into some mischief.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

For the most part, this breed is better as the only dog in the household. This does not mean that they will not be okay with other pets. If you plan to have other canines or small animals, you want to make sure that you are socializing your Chi-Poo as early in their puppy years as possible. This will ensure a smoother transition.

Although the Chi-Poo can become accustomed and even friendly with another pet, they are usually wary of strangers. They will bark or growl at faces they do not know especially if they come within their territory. This goes for human strangers, as well. Even though they are not aggressive, they will be wary and shy around new people. On the other hand, it does not take them long to warm up once they realize there is no threat.

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Things to Know When Owning a Chi-Poo:

Now that we have covered the puppy years and your dog’s possible personality traits, let’s take a look at the more practical side of owning this hybrid. The Chi-Poo’s care is pretty typical for a dog of their size, but it is important to know all of the details to make sure that they will fit into your lifestyle, and you will be able to give them the best care possible.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Like most dogs, the Chi-Poo requires a nutritious diet that will provide them with all of the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need to live a healthy lifestyle. They eat approximately two to three cups of food per day which you can split up. You can also decide whether you want to feed them dry, raw, or canned food, plus whichever recipe they prefer. Neither parent breed has a lot of food sensitivities or allergies, so the choice will be left up to your dog’s palate.

One thing to note about this breed is that they tend to gain weight as they age. This is why it is important to make sure that you are giving them lean protein and healthy fats. Food that is high in calories, empty carbs, and sugars are not conducive to their overall health.

In general, you want to make sure that your pet gets at least 30% protein from each meal, between 10 and 20% fat, and between 1 and 10% fiber. Other important supplements such as omega fatty acids will keep your pup’s skin and fur healthy as this breed is prone to skin irritation.

The Chi-Poo will also need antioxidants and probiotics to support their immune and digestive system. What’s more, you want to supplement their meals with other treats that have additional vitamins, minerals, and protein. Stay away from treats that are overly processed or have a lot of sugar.

Exercise 🐕

The Chi-Poo requires moderate daily exercise. Two 30-minute walks per day are sufficient to get rid of any excess energy and keep them healthy. Playtime, whether inside or outside, is also important. As mentioned, this breed tends to gain weight so you want to ensure that they are getting enough exercise to stay healthy, lean, and muscular.

Your pooch will also enjoy games such as fetch, chase, and tug of war. They like to learn tricks, climb around, and generally enjoy a good romp. They do well with toys that are multi-functional that they can play with on their own or with you and your family.

Besides health and happiness, this breed requires exercise to keep them from becoming bored. The Chi-Poo can be destructive if they have a lot of excess energy, or they are not being taken care of as they should. They can destroy furniture, bark excessively, and engage in other behavior that is a pet parent’s worst nightmare. Providing them with stimulating toys and exercise will ensure that they behave themselves.

Training 🦮

Like we mentioned above, both the Chi-Poo’s parents have a stubborn side. This makes training, as early in their life as possible, important. This breed will require a leader that will show them the right way to behave and react. Maintaining a firm yet gentle control over your dog along with positive reinforcement techniques is the best way to teach them obedience and behavioral lessons.

This breed is also temperamental with a long memory. Any anger or aggression on your part will be remembered long after the time has passed. This can make it more difficult for them to follow your directions and can even cause them to be more stubborn when it comes to training.

Overall, you should keep the training sessions short and fun. Give them plenty of affection and treats when they do something good, but do not keep at it for too long. Having short training lessons consistently over longer periods has been shown to have the best success.

Do not be surprised, however, if your Chi-Poo pushes the envelope a bit. As mentioned, they are independent and stubborn animals, so they are likely to want to do things their way. Of course, they are still eager to please so they will eventually catch on.

Also, not only does this breed remember any mistreatment, but they also remember bad habits. Any behaviors they pick up when they are young can be difficult to break if they are not trained right away. This includes being social, nipping at fingers and toes, and excessive barking.

Grooming ✂️

Grooming is another important part of this breeds care. First, let’s take a look at their skin and fur maintenance.

  • Skin and Coat: The Chi-Poo is predisposed to skin rashes and irritation. It is important to check them often for any signs of trouble. Your pet may have long or short fur, but both have minimal shed. They should be brushed weekly with a soft bristle brush to keep the majority of the excess at bay. You may want to increase this during the shedding season, however. Also, if your pup has longer fur, you may need to trim the curls every so often especially around their eyes and ears. Baths can be done when needed, or when they are dirty.
  • Ears: Most canine breeds can develop ear infections, so it is important to keep their ears clean. You want to check them for mites, wax, and other debris weekly. What’s more, you also want to clean their ears with a cotton ball and ear wash.
  • Teeth: Oral hygiene is an important aspect of your pet’s grooming. Tartar and plaque build-up can lead to a lot of issues; the least of which is bad doggy breath. You want to try to brush their teeth daily, or as frequently as possible. You can also provide them with dental treats or gels that will also help reduce any dental issues.
  • Nails: You will need to trim your Chi-Poo’s nails about every other week. This breed is not excessively active, and their nails may not naturally file down. A good sign that they need to be trimmed is if you can clearly hear them when they are walking across the floor. Make sure that you do not cut the nails too low as it can cause them to bleed and be sore.

Health and Conditions ❤️

One of the main reasons for creating a designer hybrid is to reduce the health conditions that many purebreds suffer from. That being said, there is no way to know whether or not your pet will develop any of the issues that plagued their parents. In regards to the Chi-Poo, there are some serious and minor conditions that you want to watch out for. Also, you want to make sure that you provide your pet with regular vet check-ups.

Minor Conditions
  • Other minor and less likely health issues to watch for are overactive tear glands, dry skin, and weight gain.
Serious Conditions
  • Some of the more serious conditions the Chi-Poo may develop are Patellar Luxation, Glaucoma, and Hypoglycemia. Although these can come later in life, you should also seek assistance if you notice anything out of the ordinary.

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Male vs Female

It can be difficult to determine whether or not there is a consistent difference between male and female Chi-Poo. The best way to get an idea of whether there is a difference is to look at their parents. For example, the Chihuahua males tend to be more affectionate, yet they also tend to run off in search of a mate.

On the Poodle side, females tend to be more standoffish and stubborn than males. You always want to consider the dog’s overall health, age, and lifestyle. This can make a big difference in their temperament that may or may not have anything to do with their gender. This also includes whether or not the animal has been spayed or neutered. For example, Chihuahua males are more likely to try to escape after a female in heat if he has not been fixed. Conversely, the female can be more irritable during her cycle.

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Final Thoughts

Overall, the Chi-Poo is an energetic, playful, and affectionate companion to have. They are low maintenance and great for people with busy lifestyles. They get along well with children and other animals as long as they are socialized early. They are very eager to please, plus their intelligence allows them to learn tricks and other antics that will keep you entertained.

This breed has an average maintenance routine as far as exercise and grooming. They are great for apartments, condos, or homes with a yard. The Chi-Poo doesn’t have a lot of separation anxiety and can be left alone for long periods. On the other hand, they are affectionate and love to cuddle. Although they do have a stubborn streak and a bigger-than-life personality, their cute little faces are likely to melt anyone’s heart.

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Featured Image Credit: Annette Shaff, Shutterstock

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