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Chi-Spaniel (Chihuahua & Cocker Spaniel Mix): Info, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

chi-spaniel on stairs

Height:  12-16 inches
Weight: 10-18 pounds
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Colors: Black, Brindle, Cream, Fawn, Gray, silver, White
Suitable for: Active families, Apartment dwellers, Couples
Temperament: High energy, Friendly, Gets along with other pets

Cute, compact, and spunky, the Chi-Spaniel is a hybrid dog breed, with the sassy Chihuahua and the mellow Cocker Spaniel as the two parent breeds. Its popularity is due to its petite stature and loads of cuteness. Though they come in a tiny package, this pup is overflowing with personality and has a brave and alert disposition.

This sweet, super-smart pup deeply adores his family and is quite fond of other pets and kids as well. Not as yappy as other small dogs, the Chi-Spaniel would make the ideal addition to the home of an active family, couple, or individual.

Before you decide to buy this Cocker Spaniel Chihuahua mix of designer dog, it’s important to do thorough research about the Chi-Spaniel to ensure this pup is right for you. Read the rest of our in-depth guide about this fun-loving pooch.

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Chi-Spaniel Puppies


With picture-perfect looks, including floppy or erect ears, small size, and big, expressive eyes, it may be very tempting to scoop this puppy up and take it home as soon as you see it. However, it’s also critical that you buy a Chi-Spaniel pup from a quality, reputable breeder. This will ensure that you are receiving a happy, healthy dog that will be the perfect companion for years to come. Quality breeders will screen puppy’s health and they’ll let you visit the facilities and even sometimes, meet the puppy’s parents.

Finding a Chi-Spaniel at a dog shelter might not be the easiest task, but you can always ask if they have mixed dogs that resemble the Chi-Spaniel. You can save lots of money and change a pup’s life at the same time.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Chi-Spaniel

1. The Parent Breed was Famous in Hollywood

Yup, that’s right! The Cocker Spaniel rose to popularity during the 1950s, thanks to the Disney animated film, Lady and the Tramp. Plenty of people wanted to get their hands on an adorable, doe-eyed pup like Lady!

2. Chihuahuas Can Be Little Terrors

Despite their tiny stance, this Chi-Spaniel parent breed can be extremely aggressive. Don’t believe us? Just ask the tiny Arizona town that was plagued by a roving pack of them six years ago.

3. Celebrities Love Them!

Celebrity fans of the Chi-Spaniel include Demi Moore, Britney Spears, Madonna, and Reese Witherspoon.

Parent Breeds of the Chi-Spaniel
Image Credit: Jumpstory

Temperament & Intelligence of the Chi-Spaniel 🧠

Just like its physical attributes, the temperament of the Chi-Spaniel can be a mix of any of the traits found in either of its parent breeds.

The Cocker Spaniel is kind of like a Lab in a small dog’s body. They have a happy-go-lucky and calm personality. Highly intelligent, they tend to get along with just about everyone, including other dogs.

The feisty Chihuahua can be somewhat of a handful. A small dog with a whopping personality, this tenacious breed will guard what is most dear to them, which can lead to biting and growling.

Your new Chi-Spaniel could be warm and laid-back or a tad spunkier. Whatever personality combination you receive, rest assured knowing that you’ll also be getting a highly intelligent four-legged friend.

These pooches often take part in obedience and agility competitions and love to show off their intelligence.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

These frisky hybrids make fantastic family pets, even if you have tiny tots in the house. While the Chi-Spaniel may exhibit some signs of aggression if confronted by a stranger, they are generally fun-loving and gentle dogs.

Additionally, Chi-Spaniels are extremely affectionate. While they do need plenty of physical and mental stimulation, they are often content just spending time curled up on the sofa napping. So yes, they are amazing family dogs.

Due to their devoted nature, Chi-Spaniels can develop an intense bond with one person in the household. They can also be super-sensitive dogs, so positive reinforcement is critical when training your pup.

Although they are alert, the Chi-Spaniel wouldn’t make a great watchdog as they seldom bark at strangers.

If overly pampered, your Chi-Spaniel could develop an issue known as “small dog syndrome.” Don’t panic. The name sounds worse than it actually is. It’s only a penchant for your pooch to become neurotic and needy. It’s nothing that some thorough training won’t fix.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

Due to the tentative nature of its parent breed, the Chihuahua, it’s important to start socializing your pup from the get-go. This includes people and other dogs. Take her for a stroll around the neighborhood and let her mix and mingle with other canines on your block.

Once your puppy is properly socialized, she will develop amazing relationships with your other furry family members.

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Things to Know When Owning a Chi-Spaniel

Here are a few things to consider before you bring a Chi-Spaniel puppy home.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

The Chi-Spaniel doesn’t have any breed-specific diet requirements, but quality dog food is a must for this little ball of energy. Feed her a well-balanced, healthy diet that provides your dog with efficient vitamins and nutrients. You can feed her about half a cup in the morning and at night.

black and tan chi spaniel
Image Credit: Claudiu Alin, Shutterstock

Exercise 🐕

While this breed doesn’t need a ton of exercise, you should indulge them in some physical activity for about an hour every day. Whether that’s taking them for a jog around the neighborhood or teaching them some new tricks in your backyard, your Chi-Spaniel will love the extra attention she’s receiving.

Training 🦮

The Chi-Spaniel is rather easy to train. She is smart as a whip and can learn quickly. However, she is extremely sensitive, and thus, positive reinforcement is a must.

Clicker training is a training method that can work wonders for a Chi-Spaniel and can make positive reinforcement much more effective. After being repeatedly associated with a reward, the clicker will become a conditioned reinforcer and teach your dog only to act on only behaviors that you desire of her.

As we mentioned before, it’s critical to socialize your Chi-Spaniel early on in her life. This is because the Chihuahua parent breed can be a bit aggressive if they feel scared or unsure.

Grooming ✂️

You should be aiming to thoroughly brush your Chi-Spaniel’s coat two to three times per week to reduce matting and remove loose hair.

If your hybrid pooch has the long, floppy ears of a Spaniel, you will need to be diligent about cleaning them as they are prone to infection. Keep them dry, especially after bath time.

If your dog has eyes that secrete discharge, you will need to gently clean their eyes every day.

Routine nail trimming and tooth brushing are also important and should be done bi-weekly.

Health and Conditions ❤️

Minor Conditions
  • Allergies
  • Dry Skin
Serious Conditions
  • Glaucoma
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Overactive tear glands

If your designer dog inherited the droopy lower eyelids that give them that soulful expression, it can lead to discharge and even corneal ulcers. Many small dog breeds are also susceptible to patellar luxation. This occurs when a dog’s kneecap is dislocated from its natural position and can result in lameness and osteoarthritis.

It’s also important to be aware that the Chihuahua parent breed can suffer from seizures of unknown origin.

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Male vs. Female

While males tend to be a bit bigger than females, there aren’t any large personality differences between the two genders.

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Final Thoughts

Though tiny, Chi-Spaniels certainly have big personalities. Extremely loyal and loving dogs, they are great with kids and other pets. However, you should socialize your Chi-Spaniel starting from a young age.

They don’t make great alarm systems, but they will certainly love to accompany you on a brisk walk or jog and are always up for an adventure.

Featured Image Credit: 0jadon0, Shutterstock

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