Chihuahua Terrier Mix: Origin, Personality, Care, Cost, and More

Chihuahua Terrier Mix Feature

I’ve always had a soft spot for dogs that pack a punch in a petite package, and the Chihuahua Terrier Mix is no exception. This little hybrid combines the sass of a Terrier and the cheeky charm of a Chihuahua, creating a dog that’s as spirited as any large breed I’ve known.

Having grown up with a stately German Shepherd and now sharing my home with two lively Labradors, I can tell you that size often has little to do with spirit. The Chihuahua Terrier Mix, with its bold and vivacious nature, fits perfectly into this theory. Every day with them is an adventure, transforming ordinary moments into fun-filled experiences.

Their eclectic mix of traits makes them adaptable to various lifestyles, a quality I admire deeply. Whether we’re lounging on the couch or exploring the local park, my little canine companions are always up for anything. The Chihuahua Terrier Mix doesn’t just become part of your life; it enthusiastically leads you into its tiny, whirlwind world.

Chihuahua Terrier Mix Quick Breed Summary

Size10 to 18 inches
Weight6 to 25 pounds
CoatShort and smooth, long and wiry
ColorBlack, white, brown, tan, and grey
Lifespan12 to 20 years
Barking TendencyModerate
TemperamentEnergetic, loyal, playful, curious, and intelligent
Other namesRat-chi, Taco Terrier, or Jack-chi, depending on the terrier parent breed


Origins of the Chihuahua Terrier Mix

Chihuahua Terrier Mix Dogs

The Chihuahua Terrier Mix is a vibrant hybrid, combining the diminutive Chihuahua with one of several Terriers — such as the Rat Terrier, Jack Russell, Yorkshire, or Fox Terrier. This crossbreed is cherished for its robust personality encapsulated in a small, manageable package.

Origins of the Chihuahua

The Chihuahua, one of the smallest dog breeds in the world, boasts a history as colorful as its personality. Originating from Mexico, specifically from the state of Chihuahua (hence the name), these tiny dogs were once believed to be sacred animals that guided the souls of the deceased through the underworld. Their ancestors were the dogs of the Toltecs, revered in ancient times and featured prominently in artifacts and folklore.

These little dogs were not only companions but also held spiritual importance to ancient civilizations, showcasing their longstanding bond with humans.

Origins of the Terrier

The Terrier group is a diverse collection of breeds, each known for their feisty and energetic nature. Originally bred in the British Isles to hunt small vermin and guard their families’ homes or barns, Terriers are defined by their tenacity and courage. Their name comes from the Latin word ‘terra,’ meaning earth, as many Terriers were developed to dig into the ground to chase their quarry.

From the robust Staffordshire Bull Terrier to the spirited Jack Russell, my experience with Terriers has taught me that they bring relentless energy and fearless attitudes into any household. Their historical role as hunters and protectors adds an intriguing layer to their personalities, making them both adorable and formidable companions.

History of the Chihuahua Terrier Mix

The Chihuahua Terrier Mix is a relatively recent development in the world of designer dogs, emerging prominently over the last few decades. This hybrid was likely first bred to combine the compact size and spirited personality of the Chihuahua with the boldness and tenacity of various Terriers. The result is a dog that encapsulates the best of both worlds: small enough to fit comfortably in a lap, yet brave and energetic enough to take on challenges that many larger dogs would hesitate before.

Physical Appearance of the Chihuahua Terrier Mix

The Chihuahua Terrier Mix captures a unique blend of physical traits from its Chihuahua and Terrier lineage, resulting in a dog that is as distinctive as it is delightful.

Size and Build

Typically, a Chihuahua Terrier Mix stands between 10 to 18 inches at the shoulder, depending on the dominant genes. They weigh anywhere from 6 to 25 pounds, making them a perfect fit for lap dog lovers and those with limited living space. Their build can vary from the slender and light frame of a Chihuahua to a slightly stockier, more muscular physique akin to some Terrier types.

Coat and Color

The coat of a Chihuahua Terrier Mix can vary widely. It might be short and smooth like a Chihuahua’s, or longer and wiry or even curly if traits from Terriers like the Wire Fox Terrier or Yorkshire Terrier prevail. Colors span a broad palette, including black, white, brown, tan, and grey, often mixed in charming, irregular patterns that make each dog uniquely attractive.

Additional Physical Features

Their heads often resemble that of a Chihuahua with a more apple-shaped skull and large, expressive eyes, though some inherit the more elongated, robust snout of their Terrier parents. Ears can be either perky or floppy, adding to their varied expressions. Tail lengths and shapes can also differ significantly, from the curled plume of a Chihuahua to the straight, whip-like tail of a Rat Terrier, often held high in excitement or curiosity.

Temperament of the Chihuahua Terrier Mix

Jack Russell and Chihuahua

When you blend the spirited vivacity of a Terrier with the charming alertness of a Chihuahua, you get a pet that is nothing short of a tiny tornado of joy. The Chihuahua Terrier Mix isn’t just a dog; it’s a vibrant personality packed into a small, agile body, ready to engage with the world in the most enthusiastic way possible.

Each day with one of these mixes is like opening a little box of surprises—you never quite know what joyful antics await.

A Boundless Bundle of Energy

The Chihuahua Terrier Mix is a powerhouse of energy, always ready to engage in play or embark on a new adventure. This tireless enthusiasm makes them ideal companions for active individuals or families who enjoy an active lifestyle. Whether it’s a brisk walk around the neighborhood or a spirited game in the park, this mix loves to be on the move, showcasing the stamina and vigor inherited from both the Chihuahua and Terrier sides.

Loyalty That Knows No Bounds

Deeply devoted and immensely loyal, the Chihuahua Terrier Mix forms strong, enduring bonds with its family. This trait is particularly pronounced, often leading them to become protective of their loved ones. Their loyalty is a double-edged sword; while it makes them excellent companions, it also means they can be somewhat wary of strangers, requiring careful introduction and socialization to prevent over-protectiveness.

The Playful Spirit

Playfulness is at the heart of the Chihuahua Terrier Mix’s personality. They revel in playtime, whether it involves toys, people, or other pets. This playful nature keeps them young at heart throughout their lives, and engaging them in interactive games is key to keeping them mentally stimulated and physically fit. Their playfulness also helps in family settings, making them entertaining and joyous pets to have around children who understand how to interact gently with small breeds.

Curiosity That Leads the Way

Curiosity is a defining characteristic of the Chihuahua Terrier Mix, driven by their sharp intelligence and keen senses. They are quick to investigate new sounds, sights, and smells, often using their snouts to poke into places where intrigue might be found. This curiosity makes them excellent problem solvers, always eager to figure out puzzles or master new tricks, which can be both a delight and a challenge in training.

Intelligent and Quick-Witted

Intelligence shines through in the Chihuahua Terrier Mix’s ability to learn quickly and adapt to their environment. They are not only quick to pick up on commands but also show a remarkable capacity to understand complex sequences and routines. This intelligence, coupled with their innate curiosity, makes them highly trainable, though their independent streak may require a patient and consistent approach to obedience training.

Taking Care of a Chihuahua Terrier Mix

Mixed Breed Dogs

Owning a Chihuahua Terrier Mix is an adventure filled with affection, energy, and a few challenges that demand your best pet parent skills. These spirited little companions merge the audacity of a Terrier with the charm of a Chihuahua, creating a pet that is both vivacious and endearing.


Feeding your Chihuahua Terrier Mix is more than just a daily routine; it’s a crucial part of maintaining their health and happiness. Understanding their caloric needs is key. Due to their small size but high energy levels, these dogs typically require up to 600 calories per day, depending on their age, weight, and activity level. It’s important to adjust their caloric intake to their lifestyle—more active pups might need the higher end of this range, while the couch potatoes will fare well with less.

Dry or Wet Food?

Choosing between dry and wet food can be a bit of a conundrum. Personally, I prefer dry kibble for my own dogs because it’s convenient and helps keep their teeth clean. However, for some Chihuahua Terrier Mixes, especially those with dental issues or who are more finicky eaters, wet food can be more appealing and easier to chew. Sometimes, mixing the two types can provide a balance of convenience and palatability.

Nutritional Needs

When it comes to nutrients, a balanced diet rich in proteins, fats, and carbohydrates is essential. Proteins support muscle development and repair, fats provide energy and help keep their coat shiny, and carbohydrates offer fiber which aids digestion. Don’t forget about vitamins and minerals—these are crucial for overall health. I always recommend dog foods that are formulated to meet the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) guidelines, as they ensure your pet is getting the right balance of nutrients.

Occasional Treats

While it’s tempting to give in to those pleading eyes, treats should only constitute about 10% of their total caloric intake to avoid weight gain. Choose healthy options like small bits of carrot or apple, which provide extra nutrients and help satisfy their chewing instinct. Remember, a well-fed dog is a happy dog, and keeping your Chihuahua Terrier Mix well-nourished is a rewarding part of pet parenthood.

Grooming Your Chihuahua Terrier Mix

Proper grooming is an integral part of caring for your Chihuahua Terrier Mix, crucial for their health and well-being. Different coat types inherited from their Chihuahua and Terrier parents mean that grooming needs can vary significantly.

Brushing and Coat Care

If your Chihuahua Terrier Mix has the short, smooth coat of a Chihuahua, regular brushing a couple of times a week with a soft-bristle brush should suffice. This routine helps remove loose hair and distribute skin oils, enhancing the shine of their coat while minimizing shedding.

For those with a wiry or longer coat, daily brushing is often necessary to prevent matting and tangles. A slicker brush or a fine-toothed comb can be invaluable tools for managing their more demanding fur, keeping it clean and tangle-free.

Bathing and Skin Care

Bathing your Chihuahua Terrier Mix should generally be done only when necessary—too frequent baths can strip their skin of essential oils, leading to dryness and irritation. When it’s bath time, use a mild, dog-specific shampoo, and ensure a thorough rinse to avoid residue that could cause itchiness.

Regular grooming sessions also provide the perfect opportunity to inspect their skin for any signs of irritation or infection, ensuring prompt treatment if needed.

Ear, Nail, and Dental Care

Pay special attention to their ears, especially if your mix has inherited the floppy ears typical of many Terriers. These can be prone to buildup of debris and moisture, which can lead to infections. Regularly checking and cleaning their ears with a gentle, vet-approved cleaner can prevent health issues.

Nail trimming should also be part of the routine; overgrown nails can cause discomfort and even affect their walking posture.

Lastly, don’t overlook dental health; small breeds like the Chihuahua Terrier Mix are particularly susceptible to dental problems. Regular brushing with canine toothpaste helps prevent tartar build-up and maintains overall oral health.


Regular exercise is crucial for the health and happiness of your Chihuahua Terrier Mix. These dynamic little dogs pack a lot of energy into a small package, and they need an appropriate outlet to keep them fit and mentally stable.

Daily Walks and Play

Daily walks are essential for your Chihuahua Terrier Mix. Not only do they help to burn off excess energy, but they also provide valuable opportunities for socialization and stimulation from the environment. I suggest that you aim for a couple of short to moderate walks each day, adjusting the length and pace to match your dog’s energy level and physical condition.

In addition to walks, your mix will enjoy play sessions. Whether it’s chasing a ball in the yard or playing tug-of-war with a favorite toy, playtime is a fantastic way to keep your dog active and engaged. These activities not only strengthen the physical health of your pet but also deepen the emotional bond between you two, making exercise a fun and rewarding part of the day.

Structured Activities

Structured activities like agility training or obstacle courses can also be great for a Chihuahua Terrier Mix. These activities challenge them physically and mentally, providing a comprehensive workout that meets their needs for physical exertion and mental engagement. If you have access to a safe, enclosed space, setting up a mini agility course can be a fun way to spend time together and enhance your dog’s agility and coordination.

Training a Chihuahua Terrier Mix

Chihuahua Terrier Puppy

Patience, consistency, and a lot of love are must-haves. These little dogs are bright and eager to please, making them generally responsive to positive training techniques.

Starting with Basic Commands

It’s crucial to start with the basics. Training should begin with simple commands like ‘sit’, ‘stay’, ‘come’, and ‘down’. Establishing these fundamental skills early helps in managing your dog’s behavior and ensuring their safety. From what I’ve observed and learned from fellow dog owners, keeping training sessions short and engaging is key. Aim for 5 to 10 minutes at a time, several times a day, to match their attention span. Positive reinforcement, such as treats and praise, proves incredibly effective in motivating them.

Consistency is Key

Maintaining consistency across all interactions is vital. Ensure that everyone in your household uses the same commands and follows through on the established rules. This uniform approach helps your Chihuahua Terrier Mix understand and adhere to expectations without confusion. For example, if you’re training your dog not to jump on people, consistent reinforcement of this rule by all family members is necessary. This consistency is something I often discuss with dog owners to understand how it impacts training outcomes.

Socialization and Advanced Training

After mastering basic commands, the next step is socialization. This involves exposing your dog to a variety of people, pets, environments, and situations. Effective socialization can significantly reduce the chances of fearful or aggressive behavior as they grow. Integrating socialization into your training regime helps your dog become more adaptable and confident—a trait that many experienced dog owners value.

For those looking to extend their training, advanced classes like agility or obedience can be highly rewarding. These activities not only reinforce training but also cater to the Chihuahua Terrier Mix’s need for mental stimulation and physical activity. Participating in such activities can enhance your dog’s skills and provide a fun way to bond.

Common Health Problems Among Chihuahua Terrier Mixes

When considering the adorable and spirited Chihuahua Terrier mix, prospective and current owners must be aware of certain health challenges that this breed can face. While these dogs often boast the vivacity and tenacity of their Terrier lineage alongside the boldness and charm of the Chihuahua, their compact size and energetic disposition come with a unique set of medical concerns.

Dental Issues

Chihuahua Terrier mixes are particularly prone to dental issues due to their small mouths and the overcrowding of teeth, which can lead to significant tooth decay and gum disease if not managed properly. Ensuring comprehensive dental care is essential for preventing long-term health problems.

  • Regular Brushing: Daily brushing with dog-specific toothpaste is vital to remove plaque and prevent the buildup of tartar, which can lead to periodontal disease.
  • Veterinary Check-ups: Regular dental check-ups are crucial. A veterinarian can provide professional cleanings and check for any signs of dental issues that need immediate attention.
  • Chew Toys: Safe, durable chew toys encourage natural chewing behaviors, which help to mechanically remove plaque and can improve gum health.

Patellar Luxation

Patellar luxation, where the kneecap slips out of its normal position, is particularly common in smaller breeds like the Chihuahua Terrier mix. This condition can cause discomfort and affect the dog’s ability to move properly, potentially leading to arthritis if untreated.

  • Regular Exercise: Moderate exercise can help strengthen the muscles around the knee, which might help keep the kneecap in place. However, it’s important to avoid high-impact activities that could exacerbate the condition.
  • Weight Management: Keeping your dog at a healthy weight is crucial as excess weight can put additional pressure on the joints, worsening patellar luxation.
  • Regular Vet Visits: Regular check-ups can help track the progression of this condition and allow for early intervention, such as surgery or physical therapy, if necessary.


Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is a significant concern for small breeds like the Chihuahua Terrier mix, especially in puppies and young dogs. This condition can cause episodes of weakness and, in severe cases, lead to seizures, making it crucial to manage through diet and awareness.

  • Frequent Feeding: Feeding small, frequent meals throughout the day can help stabilize blood sugar levels. This is particularly important in younger dogs who may not have adequate glycogen stores.
  • Monitor Symptoms: Be vigilant for symptoms such as lethargy, shivering, or disorientation, which can all indicate hypoglycemia. Immediate feeding of a sugar source like honey can be a quick short-term remedy.
  • Consult Your Vet: Regular consultations with your vet can help devise a feeding schedule and diet that support stable blood sugar levels. In some cases, your vet may recommend supplements or a special diet for your dog.

Costs of Owning a Chihuahua Terrier Mix

Having a Chihuahua Terrier mix is not just about bringing a bundle of joy into your home—it’s also about understanding and preparing for the financial responsibilities that come with it. These charming little companions require more than just love and attention; they need proper care, which can mean a significant financial commitment.

Initial Costs

Starting the journey with a Chihuahua Terrier mix involves some upfront investments that are crucial for their well-being:

  • Purchase or Adoption: The price can vary widely, usually falling between $200 and $800, depending on the breeder’s reputation, the dog’s lineage, and geographical location. This initial outlay helps cover the essential steps in ensuring a healthy, happy start for your new companion.
  • Basic Supplies: This includes a bed, food and water bowls, a collar, and a leash, costing approximately $100-$200.
  • Initial Veterinary Care: Initial vaccinations, microchipping, and spay/neuter procedures can add up to $100-$300.

Ongoing Expenses

The regular costs of maintaining the health and happiness of a Chihuahua Terrier mix can add up over time:

  • Quality Dog Food: Depending on the brand and dietary needs, this can range from $20 to $40 per month.
  • Preventative Medications: Yearly expenses for flea, tick, and heartworm prevention typically range from $100 to $200.

Veterinary Care

Regular and emergency veterinary care are essential parts of owning a Chihuahua Terrier mix:

  • Routine Check-ups: Annual veterinary visits for check-ups and vaccinations typically cost between $100 and $300.
  • Emergency Care: Unexpected illnesses or injuries can be costly, with emergency vet bills often running into the thousands.


Although not as high-maintenance as some breeds, Chihuahua Terrier mixes still require regular grooming:

  • Regular Grooming: Basic grooming needs such as nail trimming, ear cleaning, and occasional hair trimming can cost around $30 to $60 per session depending on your location and the services provided.

FAQs: A Deeper Dive Into Chihuahua Terrier Mixes

How long do Chihuahua Terrier mixes typically live?

Chihuahua Terrier mixes generally enjoy a long lifespan, often ranging from 12 to 20 years, thanks to their small size and robust health. Their longevity is contingent on genetics, the level of care they receive, and their overall health, including how well their common health issues are managed. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian play a crucial role in ensuring they live a full and healthy life.

Are Chihuahua Terrier mixes good with children and other pets?

Chihuahua Terrier mixes can be good with children and other pets, especially if they are raised together or properly socialized from a young age. They are typically friendly and playful but do best with respectful, gentle children due to their small size and sometimes feisty temperament. Careful introductions and supervised interactions are important when bringing a Chihuahua Terrier mix into a home with other pets.

Can Chihuahua Terrier mixes adapt to different living situations?

Chihuahua Terrier mixes are remarkably adaptable to various living situations, whether it’s an apartment or a house with a yard, as long as they receive adequate exercise and mental stimulation. Their small size makes them excellent candidates for urban living, but they also thrive in more spacious environments where they can explore and play. It’s important to maintain a consistent routine and provide plenty of enrichment activities to keep them happy and engaged.

Do Chihuahua Terrier mixes bark a lot?

Chihuahua Terrier mixes can be quite vocal, a trait they might inherit from both parent breeds, especially if the Terrier part of their lineage is known for barking. They often use their bark to alert their owners about strangers or unusual activities, making them excellent watchdogs. However, with proper training and socialization, excessive barking can be managed and minimized, ensuring they are well-behaved companions.

How much do Chihuahua Terrier mixes shed?

The amount a Chihuahua Terrier mix sheds can vary widely based on their coat type, which is influenced by their specific terrier and Chihuahua ancestry. Some may have the short, fine coat of a Chihuahua and shed moderately throughout the year, while others might inherit a denser terrier coat that could lead to more shedding. Regular grooming and brushing can help manage shedding and keep their coat healthy.

So, Is the Chihuahua Terrier Mix Right for You?

These spirited little hybrids bring a lot of personality into a small package and can light up the right home with their energy and affection. But just like any breed, they have specific needs and characteristics that may not be suitable for everyone.

Chihuahua Terrier Mixes Are For

  • Active Individuals or Families: If you enjoy daily walks and playful activities, a Chihuahua Terrier mix can be a delightful companion who matches your energy levels.
  • Those Looking for a Small, Adaptable Pet: Their size and adaptable nature make them suitable for various living situations, from apartments to homes with yards.
  • Experienced Dog Owners: If you’re experienced with dogs and understand the importance of consistent training and socialization, you’ll likely thrive with this breed mix.

Chihuahua Terrier Mixes Are NOT For

  • First-time Pet Owners: The combination of energy, intelligence, and potential stubbornness can be challenging for first-time owners without prior training experience.
  • Households with Very Young Children: While they can be good with children, their small size and feisty nature might not be suitable for very young or boisterous children.
  • Those Seeking a Low-Maintenance Pet: Due to their potential health issues and need for regular mental and physical stimulation, they require a committed, proactive owner.

Other Chihuahua Mixes

If you’re interested in learning about other Chihuahua mixes, check out the hybrid dog breeds below.

Chihuahua Mixes

About John Woods 299 Articles
John Woods is the founder of All Things Dogs, member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, graduate in Animal Behavior & Welfare and recognized author by the Dog Writers Association of America.


  1. Awesome article! Thank you! We rescued a tiny puppy (believed to be chihuahua-terrier mix) from our local animal shelter. He has all of the above described personalities. This has helped me to understand his behavior much better.

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