13 to 15 years
White, tan, black, blue, red, and speckled
Families, singles, and seniors
Athletic, courageous, friendly, energetic
The pint-sized Taco Terrier is a cross between a Chihuahua and a Toy Fox Terrier. They are playful and friendly dogs, and although they are small, they are known for having big personalities. They compensate for their small size by being courageous and cheeky, though they can be aggressive at times. They are highly energetic and are not an ideal choice if you are looking for a more relaxed, placid dog. The Taco Terrier is hypoallergenic, ideal for owners with allergy issues. Although the breed is not officially recognized by the American Kennel Club, it is recognized as a designer dog by several canine clubs.
The Chihuahua is one of the smallest breeds of dog and has its origins in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico. It is still up for debate as to the Chihuahua’s true genetic origins, but many historians speculate that it was a cross between the Techichi and the Chinese Crested dog. The Chinese Crested is a hairless dog, made famous by its continued domination of World’s Ugliest Dog Competitions.
The Toy Fox Terrier was bred as a miniature version of the Smooth Fox Terrier, serving as hunters and ratters on farms. They are highly intelligent and have been successful as performing dogs, as well as in obedience and agility competitions.
The Taco Terrier gets its small size, intellect, and high-energy from these parent breeds. Their small size makes them easy to manage, but their tiny stature houses a big personality, which makes them a fun and energetic pet. Their large, bat-like ears, which are somewhat disproportionate to their bodies, and their endearing eyes make for an adorable dog who will swiftly win over your heart. Few animals have such a large personality packed into such a pint-sized package!
Taco Terrier Puppies — Before You Buy…
What’s the Price of Taco Terrier Puppies?
Most small “designer dogs” can fetch massive prices for their offspring, but the Taco Terrier puppies are surprisingly affordable. If you are in the market for a Taco Terrier puppy, you can expect to pay anywhere between $300 and $900, depending on demand and the breeder.
Of course, it’s always a good idea to find a reputable breeder for the Fox Terrier Chihuahua mix to avoid any of the health issues that can arise from backyard breeders.
3 Little-Known Facts About Taco Terriers
1. Taco Terriers love to burrow.
Probably due to their Terrier heritage, Taco Terriers have an instinctual love to dig. If left unchecked, they can quickly leave your backyard littered with holes, as they attempt to hunt for rats and moles. If you allow them to sleep on your bed with you, they will often burrow down inside the covers.
2. Taco Terrier puppies love to chew.
While most dog breeds have a well-known chewing stage, Taco Terrier puppies have an insatiable instinct to chew while they are in the teething phase. Their needle-like teeth can swiftly shred through a shoe or slipper in no-time, and so they need to be trained properly to avoid this trait continuing into adulthood.
3. They are small but courageous.
Despite their small size, the Taco Terrier can be surprisingly brave and assertive when threatened and sometimes even aggressive. While this can be hilarious and endearing at times, they need to be properly trained and restrained, so they don’t pick a fight they cannot finish.
Temperament & Intelligence of Taco Terrier
Taco Terriers are intelligent dogs and have big personalities housed in their tiny bodies. They are energetic and can be highly protective of their owners. While they are generally fairly even-tempered, they can become assertive and aggressive when threatened. Their innate stubbornness can make them tricky to train, but once they get the knack for it, their high intellect will allow them to pick up commands quickly.
Are These Dogs Good for Families?
Taco Terriers are great family dogs, provided that they are socialized early and trained well. Their small size makes them ideal for apartments and owners with small yards, and they are highly affectionate and loving with family members. They will defend owners and children to their death, no matter how intimidating the threat may be, so they make good guard dogs. Trained properly, a Taco Terrier is a great lap dog who will be well-loved by the entire family.
These dogs will suffer from separation anxiety if left alone, so they are not suited to owners who are out for long periods. Due to their propensity for aggressive guarding behavior, they need to be watched while around children.
Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?
Provided that Taco Terriers are socialized early and grow up with other pets, they do tend to get along well with others. That said, they can be aggressive toward other animals if threatened. Any small animals like hamsters or birds will likely trigger a Taco Terrier’s hunting instincts, so you’ll need to keep a close eye on them.
They do have an innate prey drive due to their Fox Terrier heritage and will go for smaller family pets if given the chance. This can be mitigated by early introduction to other pets and early socialization.
Things to Know When Owning a Taco Terrier
Food & Diet Requirements
A Taco Terrier is a small dog but can be high energy at times, so while it won’t need a large quantity of food, it will need high-quality food to keep that pint-sized engine running. One cup of dry food a day should be sufficient, with the occasional addition of wet food. Dry kibble also helps keep their teeth clean and healthy and reduce tartar build-up.
Taco Terriers are known for not overeating, preferring to nibble on kibble throughout the day, so they can be trusted to eat freely with healthy pellets. However, one of the biggest problems among Chihuahuas, in particular, is obesity, due to well-meaning owners feeding them too many unhealthy treats. Taco Terriers are so small that it is easy to overestimate the amount of food they need, and a seemingly harmless snack can easily account for half of their daily calorie requirement. Dairy products, grains, chocolate, and fatty meats should be strictly avoided, as these can swiftly lead to health issues and obesity. Table scraps should be strictly avoided too, especially in Taco puppies, as it can greatly affect their metabolism and increase their chances of becoming overweight later.
Most dogs need around 25-30 calories per pound per day to maintain a healthy weight, so the average Taco Terrier will need to get about 150-240 calories a day to maintain a healthy weight. Puppies will often require more than this, with extra protein, while seniors may need slightly less, as they are generally less active.
Like all dogs, Taco terriers will need daily exercise to stay healthy and happy. Growing puppies will especially need loads of exercise to burn off excess energy and regular play to keep their minds stimulated. A common rule-of-thumb is 5 minutes for every month of age, twice a day, until they are an adult.
Because both Chihuahuas and Fox Terriers are highly energetic and active breeds, your Taco Terrier will need a great deal of daily exercise. At least an hour twice a day is essential to stay healthy and prevent boredom. Taco Terriers are so small that they don’t require huge amounts of space to get sufficient exercise, and it can even be done inside. That said, like most dogs, they will love long walks outside whenever possible. Extra activities like ball-fetching and stick games will also keep your Taco Terrier fit, healthy, and mentally stimulated.
A lack of sufficient exercise with Taco Terriers will quickly lead to boredom and bad behavior, including barking, chewing, and aggression.
Taco Terriers can be quite obstinate and stubborn, traits they inherit from their Chihuahua parents, so training can often be a challenge. It will take a great deal of patience and many on-hand treats, and it should begin as early as possible. Ideally, the sessions should be kept short, no more than 10 minutes at a time.
Their combative and fearless Terrier traits may make them full of personality but can also be a challenge when training, as they have a stubbornness that instinctively wants to resist instruction. While Terriers were bred for hunting, Chihuahuas were bred mainly for companionship, and this is the trait you’ll need to lean on during training. This devoted companionship can lead to aggression, though, due to the Taco Terrier’s need to guard and protect their owner. Chihuahuas in particular are well-known to be highly aggressive at times. That said, Taco Terriers are highly intelligent dogs and will take well to the right type of training.
While positive reinforcement training is highly recommended for most dogs, for terrier breeds, it can be difficult. Their innate desire to run after any small animal that crosses their path may trump their desire for a reward. A helpful point to remember is that training your dog is less about obeying commands and more about how you live together with them. It is better viewed as a lifestyle and partnership. You may not always have treats on hand when your Taco Terrier goes running off after a squirrel, so bad behavior also needs to be addressed early on.
With its short and wiry coat, the Taco Terrier is a fairly low-maintenance dog and one of the easiest dogs to maintain. While no dog is truly hypoallergenic, the Taco Terrier comes quite close. That said, they still shed frequently, and owners can still get allergic reactions from saliva and urine. Their short fur means that daily brushing is not necessary, and once a week should be sufficient.
They do not require regular nail clipping, and the occasional teeth-brushing is recommended. Some Chihuahuas are known to not enjoy water, so bathing them may be problematic. But with the right training and water exposure early on, this shouldn’t be an issue.
Health and Conditions
Taco Terriers are generally a healthy breed, with no breed-specific health issues. They live a long time — sometimes exceeding 15 years — and this means that they are more susceptible to lifestyle-related issues. These commonly include arthritis, eye issues, and hip and joint problems.
The other health problems that Taco Terriers commonly face are mostly size-related. They can get a collapsing trachea, caused when the cartilage of the dog’s windpipe collapses and causes airway obstruction. Toy dog breeds are most susceptible to tracheal collapse, but mild cases are easily treated with medication. Patella luxation is another common problem in small dogs. This is a painful condition where the dog’s kneecap can slip out of the groove that it’s designed to stay in, often because the groove is shallower than it should be. Depending on the severity of the condition, surgery may be required. Small dogs can also have dental issues due to the overcrowding of teeth in their small mouths, called supernumerary teeth. Unless your dog is displaying signs of pain or discomfort, this condition is not usually a huge problem. That said, they will require extra brushing, as food can easily get stuck and cause plaque build-up and even periodontal disease.
Unless you intend on breeding, it is widely recommended to neuter males and spay females. For males, it assists in prevention from cancer and makes them less aggressive. It will also prevent them from wandering off looking for females and potentially getting lost or hurt. In females, it will assist in the prevention of uterine infections and cancer. It is recommended to spay a female before her first heat, as this will further help prevent these complications.
Male vs Female
The most common differences between male and female dogs are directly related to whether they are spayed or neutered. Most of the time, a dog’s behavior and personality are far more affected by their environment than their sex. That said, there are noticeable differences in male and female Taco Terriers to be aware of.
Male Taco Terriers are far more likely to challenge their human’s leadership. This can manifest in aggression over food and possession, and ignoring commands. Proper and consistent training can help mitigate these traits. Un-neutered males of any breed will be prone to “marking,” spraying small amounts of urine in order to mark territory, and will often try to go out in search of females.
Females are more prone to mood swings, especially during heat cycles. This is due to the rapid changing of hormones, and female Chihuahuas are known to shed more during heat cycles if they are not spayed.
The biggest predictors of behavior in Taco Terriers are the way they are treated as puppies, their genetics, their environment, and lastly, their sex.
Final Thoughts on the Terrier Chihuahua Mix
Taco Terriers are charismatic, energetic, and fun-loving animals that will quickly win over your heart with their soft brown eyes and oversized ears. When properly trained, they can make great family pets, and their minute size makes them ideal lapdogs.
They can be overconfident and irrationally courageous, which can get them into trouble at times. This streak of bravery can also cause aggression, and unless properly socialized, they should be carefully monitored around small children and other small family pets. This trait can also make them a challenge to train, and only owners with an over-abundance of patience should consider owning one.
That said, if you have the time and patience, these courageous little pooches make for a wonderful pet who will bring you joy for years.
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Featured Image Credit: Annette Shaff, Shutterstock