Mixed Breeds

Chihuahua Terrier Mix: Breed Information And Care

The Chihuahua Terrier mix is a common canine cross. These are tiny, yet very mighty dogs with huge personalities. There is a lot to know about this mixed canine. Learn more in this quick breed overview.

Danielle DeGroot

Last Updated: November 10, 2022 | 17 min read

Chihuahua Terrier Mix sitting

Finding the perfect dog for every family is a big task. Sometimes the perfect fit comes from a mixed breed, like the Chihuahua Terrier mix. Chihuahuas are the smallest of dog breeds and are known for their sweet natures, strong personalities, and adorable expressions. The Terrier breed contains over 30 different canines, all of which carry some unique characteristics as well as breed similarities. Though many folks may not realize it, the Chihuahua Terrier mix is more common than one might think. Often these mixes include Chihuahuas and breeds like the Rat Terrier, Fox Terrier, Jack Russell Terrier, Bull Terrier, Boston Terrier, and Yorkshire Terrier.

Chihuahua Terrier mixes are adorable, smaller-sized dogs that can make for excellent companions. Because they are mixed breeds, they can have some incredibly unique characteristics and traits. Their appearances and personalities will vary, but these mixed breeds are quite popular for people who like smaller canines.

These mixed-breed pups are quite intriguing and fun to have around. In this article, we look at the two parent groups and learn a little bit more about what makes these pups so much fun. Let’s jump in and get to know the Chihuahua Terrier mix.

Chihuahua Terrier Mix
    • weight iconWeight5-30 Pounds
    • height iconHeight5-25 Inches
    • lifespan iconLifespan10-16 Years
    • color iconColorsBrown, Black, Blue, Charcoal, Gray, White, Cream, Chocolate, Tan, Red. Lilac, Brindle
  • Child Friendliness
  • Canine Friendliness
  • Training Difficulty
  • Grooming Upkeep
  • Breed Health
  • Exercise Needs
  • Puppy Costs

Parent Breeds

In order to get to know any mixed breed, a prospective owner should learn about the different parent breeds. Mixed breeds can inherit characteristics from both parents. They can be unpredictable and sometimes look and act more like one parent or seem like a mixture of the two. There can even be variations in appearance and personality within the same litter.

Chihuahuas

Chihuahua getting chin scratched
Chihuahuas are very co-dependent dogs, always needing to be near their humans.

Chihuahuas are well known for being tiny yet mighty. These tiny little pups carry around a huge personality. Their small frame does not get in the way of living life large. Though small and cute, these dogs can be quite a handful and need owners that can set and maintain consistent boundaries.

Chihuahuas are the smallest dog breed in the world and weigh between 6 and 10 pounds on average, though some are smaller and some get larger. They stand just five to 8 inches tall. Chihuahuas are relatively long-lived and have an expected lifespan of 14 to 16 years.

This is one old dog breed. In fact, the breed is considered ancient. The Chihuahua, or Chi as they are often called, has been around for thousands of years. They can be traced back to an ancient Toltec canine known as the Techichi, a very similar breed with a heftier body. They were overtaken by the Aztecs, and the dogs were bred to be smaller. In the 16th century, the Aztec people and civilization were destroyed by the Spanish. The breed reappeared in the 19th century once Americans became endeared with the tiny little dogs roaming the state of Chihuahua. The pups were named after Chihuahuas that were taken back to the United States and became one of the most popular breeds of all time.

Terriers

Small Black and White Dog Standing
Boston Terriers originated in Boston, Massachusetts, in the late 1800s.

These breeds are generally quite small in size, though a couple, like the Airedale and Bull Terrier, can be larger. This is another canine breed well known for having a small size, accompanied by a noticeably big attitude. The American Kennel Club (AKC) currently recognizes 31 distinct members of this line. There are more beyond that that are not recognized by that organization. These canines all fall into the categories of toy, small, and medium-sized dogs.

Dogs of the Terrier lines were historically bred to be trained as skilled hunters. They are small and fast and can easily control vermin and small game animals. They are often described as feisty, energetic, and confident. These little tikes make excellent guard dogs and hunters and are highly engaging pets. Despite being small in size, these pups are exceptionally good at being guard dogs and will alert owners to anything amiss.

This line of canines is known for being well-versed in barking. They also have a reputation for being headstrong and independent. This does not apply to every breed and can range among the different bloodlines. Most breeds in the line are low shedding, though there are some exceptions to that rule. These pups are also known for having wiry coats. Some long-haired breeds, such as the Yorkshire and Silky, are very high maintenance. They need daily grooming and regular bathing every few weeks.

The list of Terrier lines is quite long. Some are more likely to be mixed with Chihuahuas than others. Our list is certainly not exhaustive, though some of the most common Chihuahua Terrier mixes include these:

Rat Terrier

The Rat Terrier is a breed that came about through mixing many other canines, including the Bull, Fox, and Manchester Terriers. These pups are aptly called Rat Terriers because of their incredible skill at chasing and controlling pesky vermin. This breed comes in two sizes, miniature, and standard, and is small yet full of character and grit. Both sizes range between 10 and 25 pounds and are small to medium-sized. They are small yet sturdy pups and come in many assorted colors. When mixed with a Chihuahua, this mixed breed is called the “Ratchi “or “Ratcha.”

Fox Terrier

Fox Terriers are nicknamed the “gentleman of the Terrier worlds.” There are currently two main kinds of Fox, the Smooth and Wire, and both originated in England. These doggos are often white or off-white with darker-colored markings. The Smooth Fox has a shorter, wiry coat, while the Wire-haired Fox Terrier has a double coat that is a little longer with a thicker undercoat. Both varieties were between 15 and 19 pounds.

Yorkshire

The Yorkshire Terrier, also called the Yorkie, is a toy-sized pup that is incredibly popular among tiny dog enthusiasts. Yorkies are currently the 10th most popular dog in the country, and rightfully so. Yorkies are everything a person wants in a dog wrapped up in a tiny perfect package. They weigh between four and seven pounds on average and can be traced back to England. These kiddos are incredibly full of energy, super intelligent, and spunky, and they love to play games. Despite their tiny stature, these little pups have a high prey drive and love to chase toys and other pets.

Jack Russell Terrier

The Jack Russell can be traced back to the 1800s in England. They were bred by a fox hunter, and the breed was named after him, the Reverend John `Jack” Russell. He bred small, short-legged dogs that were skilled runners to help him hunt for foxes. From those dogs, several different canines evolved, including the Jack Russell. These dogs are skilled hunters but are now more commonly kept as pets. These dogs are known for being boisterous barkers and enthusiastic diggers. This is a high-energy breed that is always up to something. These dogs have a reputation for being a handful but are not mischievous or mean. They simply run at a higher energy level than most other dogs. When mixed with a Chihuahua, this breed is called the Jack Chi.

Bull Terriers

Bull Terriers are incredibly smart, loyal, and affectionate canines. They are related to the Bully dog family and can sometimes get a bad reputation because of that connection. These dogs are descendants of a now-extinct canine once called the old English Bulldog and Old English Terriers. This breed is likely a mix of different genetics, including the Dalmatian, Greyhound, Spanish Pointer, and Foxhound. These dogs are known for being very gentle and incredibly good with children. They are affectionate, playful, and energetic and are often called “class clowns” due to their playful nature. Unlike most other Terrier breeds, these are not tiny dogs; they can weigh between 50 and 70 pounds when fully grown. They have a unique appearance with a head that has been described as egg-shaped, creating an incredibly unique facial profile. The top of their skulls and faces appear flat, and their heads are adorned with thin pointy ears. They have small, dark, deep-set eyes giving them an incredibly unique facial expression.

Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers are native to the United States and are one easily recognizable breed. Unlike most other dogs of the breed line, they do not have a powerful prey drive. These dogs would much rather play and get along very well with other dog breeds and cats. They are known for being happy-go-lucky and can even be described as clingy because they do not like being left alone for too long. These pups can suffer from separation anxiety but make wonderful, highly affectionate pets. This non-sporting pooch is small and only reaches about 25 pounds when fully grown. Their tails are naturally docked, and they often have tuxedo markings on their chests. These dogs also have adorable faces that resemble their larger bulldog cousins.

There have been some unusual mixes within these two breeds, including the Pitbull Chihuahua mix. These are referred to as Chipits and can reach about 20 pounds. These spirited little kiddos are a handful but tons of fun. Another unusual Chi mix is the Chihuahua Husky, or Husky Chi, a scarce designer breed.

Chihuahua Terrier Mix

A mix between the Chihuahua and any of the Terrier breeds results in a highly energetic, feisty, independent, extremely sweet-natured dog. Remember that their temperament and personality can range depending on the parent breeds. Not all Chihuahuas are the same, so there is an extensive, unpredictable range of characteristics these pups can inherit.

Any breed mixed with the Chihuahua will be a smaller to medium-sized dog. Because both genetic lines are energetic, it is likely that they will be quite fearless and full of spunk.

Temperament

Temperament, like all other characteristics, will vary, but it is highly likely that any Chihuahua Terrier mix is a smaller dog with a big dog attitude. These mixes are known to be very loyal and like to stick close to their owners. They are very clearly the ones in charge, even if they are the smallest member of the pack.

These dogs are incredibly smart and can learn lots of tricks and commands. They respond very well to positive reinforcement, including praise, cuddles, treats, and toys. The Chihuahua line is known for being independent and fiercely determined. This, combined with the Terrier breed’s big attitude, can create a stubborn streak.

Chihuahua Terrier mixes are high-energy dogs. They will need a lot of exercise and attention. Even though these pups are small, they will have an exceptionally large presence. They will also need lots of mental stimulation and interaction. This can be an excellent breed for puzzle feeders, mazes, dog tunnels, and other interactive toys.

The specific blend of Terrier and Chihuahua genetics creates a dog with high energy. Some, like the Boston Terrier, may have a more mellow mentality, but owners should expect a dog full of spirit. Expect a dog that loves to be around people, has lots of energy and motivation to play, and is always interested in doing something new. Some of the smaller breeds make extremely popular lap and purse dogs. In some cases, these pups will be clingy, and in other cases, they may be more independent.

Despite their small size, it is possible for them to be somewhat aggressive or strong-willed. Both breeds have been historically bred to be independent and skilled hunters. This contributes to their curious and highly excitable nature. Sometimes these smaller breeds can get anxious and will seem hyper and on alert all the time. Chihuahuas are known to be a breed that shakes, and a mixed pup may also have this trait.

Any mixed breed of a Chihuahua and Terrier is expected to be a very vocal dog. Both parent breeds are known for their unique and loud barks. This will not be the case for every blend, but it is highly likely that this little mixed breed will have no problem letting their opinions be known. They may not have the biggest bark, but they very certainly could be the loudest.

Size & Appearance

Chihuahuas are the smallest dog breed around, and some Terrier breeds are also relatively tiny. Some, like the American Pitbull Terrier, are a little larger. Depending on the specific breed of Terrier and the bloodline of the Chihuahua, these stocks can range in size from just a few pounds to 25 or more. They will be small to medium-sized dogs.

Their appearance can vary, but most will have a muscular, small frame, prominent ears, and super expressive faces. Some will look like a Chihuahua with classic, fox-like large ears and inquisitive eyes. Others may look more like a Terrier with shaggy coats and wise-looking expressions. The best way to predict the appearance is to look at both parent breeds and take note of their prominent physical and behavioral characteristics. A mixed breed will be a blend of all of these.

Coat & Colors

Chihuahuas can come in many different colors and shades, but there are five main categories of color. The standard colors are black, black, and tan, fawn, fawn and white, blue and tan, chocolate, chocolate and tan, cream, and red. However, there is an extensive list of color combinations they can be. The AKC has over 30 colors listed. These include merle, brindle, lilac, silver, blue, and a range of brown and copper tones. Their breed standard will accept any color, including solid, marked, or splashed color. There are also a variety of patterns and markings these canines can inherit. One thing to note is that Chihuahuas puppy’s coats will change as they mature. They may not reach their final coat coloration until they are over one year old.

Terrier colors also encompass a lengthy list of possibilities. Because of this, the mixed Chi can have any number of coat variations. Both breeds come in both long and short-haired varieties. A mixed canine will likely have medium to long hair. They will probably be somewhere between soft to wiry and coarse. This breed is known to have softer fur. Terriers have wiry coats, so a mixed pup will likely be somewhere in the middle.

Exercise & Living Conditions

These pubs will need a home with plenty of room to run around, though they will be smaller, so they will not need as much space as larger canines like Labrador Retrievers or Great Danes. They will be extremely high-energy, so they should have plenty of room to move around. It is essential that these pups have an outlet for all that energy. They are an excellent pooch to consider an exercise wheel or enclosed outdoor space. They should learn how to walk on leashes when they are young so they can be taken for regular walks around the block into the park.

Because these dogs are small and highly intelligent, they are likely skilled escape artists. Owners must enclose all small spaces and openings and ensure they are secure. Little canines like the Chi are very clever and curious and can find many creative ways to sneak out of ridiculously small openings. Because they are so compact, it is possible for them to get stuck and cause themselves to be in danger or get injured.

This mixed pup will need a home that is safe and secure, as well as a special comfortable area to call her own. Due to being so tiny, they are often kept as crate-trained dogs or given a special room where they are kept safe. Because they can be territorial and hyper, it may not be wise to leave them alone unsupervised with other pets.

Training

These mixed-breed fur babies are very smart and can be trained to respond to many different commands, play games, and walk on leashes. Owners will need to start training early to socialize them and set behavior expectations. However, small in stature, this mix is a stubborn, very steadfast dog. They can be independent and may decide that they know better. Owners will need to set and reinforce behavior expectations throughout their lives to make sure they continue appropriate behavior.

One area of particular focus should be potty training. Both breeds are easily trained in house-breaking habits. Owners should know that the Chihuahua is a notorious little doggo for sneaking off to use the bathroom behind furniture and in nooks and crannies. This is due to their exceedingly small size. As long as they remove themselves from the immediate area, they do not mind using the bathroom on furniture, carpets, and clothing. This is a common complaint among Chi owners.

This mix may also be prone to this sneaky bathroom behavior. Owners should provide puppy pads or newspapers as well as plentiful opportunities to go outside. Additionally, Chihuahuas are doggos that can sometimes be litter box trained. If the Chi mix is willing to try, they may be trained in the same way. This can prevent unpleasant accidents and surprises.

Health Considerations

Overall, Chis are considered a healthy dog breed, especially those that come from purebred lines. They have some health conditions that affect them more than other breeds. Some of these are related to their small size. Their bodies work twice as hard to support their energy needs, which can lead to long-term medical concerns.

Cardiac Health

Cardiac health is a big concern with the Chi. There are certain conditions that can be caused by abnormal formations of the heart. The main two are called patent ductus arteriosus and mitral valve disease. These conditions can lead to heart failure if left untreated or undiagnosed. This is one reason that preventative care and regular veterinary visits are valuable health tools for Chihuahuas and mixes.

Luxating Patella

Like many other small breeds, the Chihuahua can suffer from patellar luxation, which includes a condition called a floating kneecap. This condition is present at birth but does not often appear as a problem until dogs reach their adult years. It can impact their ability to get physical exercise and sometimes limit mobility.

Molera

Another condition called a molera might affect the Chi. This is a condition in which their skull does not fuse correctly during development. They will have a softer portion at the top, usually in the center of their head. It is a small spot, about the size of a dime. Though this does not cause them any specific health problems, it can put them at higher risk of serious head injury. Not all Chihuahuas will have this, but it is possible and can be present in mixed breeds.

Eye Health

Chihuahuas are also prone to a variety of eye diseases and conditions. One of the most common is progressive retinal atrophy which is a condition that causes the retina to deteriorate. These pups are also susceptible to glaucoma, damaging the eye’s optic nerves and, in severe cases, can lead to complete blindness.

The Terrier line is considered an overall healthy canine. However, they, too, can be at risk for different genetic medical conditions. These include heart disease, hip dysplasia, and a collapsed trachea. As with any dog breed, it is important to treat these pups with great care. They should receive complete puppy vaccinations and examinations in their first year and regular veterinary visits throughout their lives.

Preventative care and regular maintenance are particularly important to ensure long-term health. Because these mixed breeds can have unpredictable or unknown genetics, it is essential to stay on top of vaccinations and regular veterinarian visits. Mixed breeds are thought to be healthier than purebreds because they do not have such a limited gene pool. This mixed doggo has a healthy blend of DNA.

Nutrition

High-quality nutrition is especially important to every breed of dog, purebred or mixed. Chis are small dogs, so they need a diet formulated for small breeds. Terriers are often small to medium-sized, so sticking to a small breed formula is a good general plan. If your mixed fur baby is over 25 or 30 pounds, you may want to look at a medium or a larger breed of food. These dogs will eat between one to two cups of high-quality dry dog food daily. This may seem like a large amount of food but keep in mind that these pups are incredibly active. It takes a lot of protein and energy to support them, and they need to get that from a balanced diet.

It is important to give any dog breed mixed with the Chihuahua dry kibble. Small dogs can suffer from dental overcrowding and need that dry kibble to help keep things clean. They can be fed wet food, freeze-dried, and even raw diets, but they should always get kibble at least once a day.

Stick to dog foods that use whole animal proteins and list their ingredients. Meat and animal proteins should always be the first ingredient. Avoid foods that use a lot of artificial additives, fillers, or animal by-products instead of fresh protein. Remember that small-breed dogs require more calories per pound than larger breeds. Small breed kibble is specially formulated to fit in their mouth, be easy to chew and provide them with a punch of protein and nutrients needed to stay healthy. Larger dog food kibble sizes may be too big for them to chew and can become a choking hazard. They may also not have enough protein or other calories to sustain these smaller breeds.

Grooming

Grooming this mixed pooch will depend on the specific coat they inherit. Some may be shorter-haired and require brushing only once or twice a week. Others, like the Yorkshire Chi mix, will likely have longer, softer coats and need grooming every day or every other day. Expect to spend significant time grooming these pups, even if they have short hair. During these grooming sessions, make sure to inspect their nails and teeth.

Investing in high-quality grooming tools is a good idea, especially for smaller breeds like this. Because these kiddos are so small, they often spend a lot of time curled up in laps, beds, cars, and other furniture. Because they spend so much time in close contact with their humans, it is best for them to be as clean as possible. Regular bathing, brushing, and inspection for debris, skin irritants, and tangles will be needed.

As Family Pets

The Chi Terrier mix makes a wonderful family pet. Their temperament will vary depending on the specific genetics and breed lines. It is safe to say that these dogs will be highly affectionate, energetic, and playful and make great pets. Because of their smaller size, they do not need as much room as larger breeds and will do well in small spaces like apartments and homes with very small yards. These mixed-breed dogs are remarkably high-energy and need plenty of physical play. These dogs are both adorable to look at and love to interact with people. Some might say this mix is the perfect blend of small canines. They are also perfect for homes with children and usually do well with other pets. Keep in mind this can depend on the specific breeds mixed as well as every individual dog’s personality.

Puppy Prices

It is hard to give an exact prediction of how much these dogs will cost. A good guideline is that this mixed puppy will cost between $300 to $800 or $900. Smaller breeds can sometimes be more expensive due to the difficulty that is faced during the birthing process. It is important to always look into any breeder you are considering. Reputable breeders will provide genetic testing information and answer any questions owners may have. They should be readily willing to give information on bloodlines as well as previous litters. Stay away from breeders that are producing multiple litters every season. This is an unhealthy practice.

Some mixes may be more expensive, including Boston Terriers or Yorkies. Purebreds may be more expensive, as well as dogs intended for breeding or competition.

Rescues & Shelters

Chihuahua Terrier mixes are relatively common. These mixes can often be found in rescues and shelters. These dogs can be much less expensive than those purchased from breeders. There are also a variety of ages available in shelters. Owners who are not up for the excitement of a new puppy may find a lovable, older pooch that needs a loving home to relax in during their senior years. Always look for reputable rescue groups. Your veterinarian is a reliable source of local rescue groups, as are local animal humane and national rescue societies.

Final Thoughts

A Chihuahua Terrier mix is a wonderful choice of dog. These mixed breeds are more common than one might think. Because of this mix’s vast gene pool, they can be unpredictable dogs. They will likely be smaller in size but boisterous and large in personality. These dogs are a handful but are highly intelligent and make wonderful family pets. Chihuahua mixes are lovely dogs for tiny homes as well as homes with other pets and children. They do well with other animals, though they are often the self-designated leader of the pack. Anyone looking to adopt this mix should look into the specific bloodlines of the parents if possible. Keep in mind that it is simply a game of waiting to see what happens in many cases with mixed breeds. Chi Terrier mixes are always a happy and adorable addition to the family.

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