There are few things on this earth cuter than a Chihuahua Heeler mix, and you can take my word for it.
These beautiful little dogs seem to end up with the best of both parents, looks-wise, and very often also in terms of their personalities.
That being said, they are not the easiest dogs to raise and do fare better with experienced owners.
Bred from a combination of a Chihuahua and a Heeler (or rather, an Australian Cattle Dog), Chihuahua Heeler mix-breeds can have quite a variety of personality traits.
In some respects, these two formidable breeds manage to balance each other out, whereas, in other ways, they tend to amplify certain parts of what makes each species so popular.
Before purchasing or adopting a pup for yourself or your family, it’s always good to do your research so you know what you’re signing up for.
Often, specific breeds of dogs have very particular needs. In this post, we’ll take an in-depth look at the personalities and wellness requirements of a Chihuahua Heeler mix dog, from diet to exercise, as well as whether they make good family pets.
What Is a Chihuahua Heeler Mix Like as a Pet?
A Chihuahua Heeler mix is a small-to-medium-sized dog that can vary in color and coat.
With purebred Chihuahuas measuring in at a mere 5 inches (13 centimeters) and Heelers at 18 to 20 inches (46 to 50 centimeters), you can expect a dog that is larger than its Chihuahua parent but smaller than a Heeler.
In terms of temperament, these dogs are energetic, alert, and intelligent.
Both Chihuahuas and Heelers are popular pets but for vastly different reasons. The Chi is considered a designer dog and is known for having a big personality and a lot of sass while requiring little in terms of exercise.
The Heeler, on the other hand, is a whip-smart, high-energy working dog that requires a lot of training and attention. What do we get when we find these two combined?
It is difficult to say exactly, as it depends greatly on which parent they descend from most strongly, but it is widely agreed that these beauties can be on the challenging side if they are not trained or properly attended to.
While it is possible that the breeds could balance one another out and result in an even-tempered, possibly even mild-mannered dog, there is no guarantee of this. On the upside, they make excellent guard dogs.
What Should You Feed a Chihuahua Heeler Mix?
Thanks to their hardy Heeler parent, Chihuahua Heeler mixes are non-fussy eaters and will do perfectly well on a vet-approved commercial dry dog food for small to medium breeds.
This can, of course, be supplemented with healthy and safe snacks and treats from time to time, but you want to avoid overfeeding these dogs as obesity can lead to health issues.
Chi Heelers should be fed twice per day, and roughly 1 ½ to 2 ½ cups of food in total, depending on their size.
Given that Chihuahua Heeler mixes have plenty of vigor, it’s good to ensure their food is protein and vitamin-rich.
This will give them the fuel they need to burn off their excess energy while keeping them healthy and satisfied.
While most commercial dog foods are already quite high in protein, you can double-check which food is most highly recommended by your vet for this specific breed.
When it comes to snacks, Chi Heelers love a treat, and they can be remarkably useful as rewards while you’re training your pup.
Stick to healthy snacks that are good for your dog’s coat, teeth, and bones, and try not to hand them out too frequently.
They can also consume certain “human foods,” like various proteins, eggs, and vegetables, but these should also be given in moderation or in line with a regulated diet plan.
Is It Easy to Train a Chihuahua Heeler Mix?
Due to their immense intelligence, Chihuahua Heeler mixes respond well to training, but the key is consistency and patience.
They also need to be trained from a young age. Chi Heeler mixes are known to be headstrong. Without proper training and socialization, they can become exceptionally destructive and will not respect their owner as the “alpha” in their lives.
If you’re thinking about adopting one of these delightful doggos, do so knowing that you need to set proper boundaries and train them from a young age.
This is in order to have a really fulfilling and relatively hassle-free relationship with your dog and to prevent it from developing bad habits, like scratching, chewing, barking, and running off. Socialization will also stop them from becoming problematic in pack scenarios.
Positive reinforcement and reward training are the best ways to go about setting boundaries with your Chi Heeler.
They do not respond well to being yelled at or punished, and it can make them stubborn and hostile. Instead, ignore their bad behavior and reward them when they listen and obey. You’ll both be better off for it at the end of the day.
Chihuahua Heeler Mix Temperament
Chi Heeler mixes can be unpredictable in temperament, as their personalities will depend largely on their parents.
Of course, knowing each parent dog’s temperament will help determine what your pup will be like, but it can also vary from dog to dog.
By looking at the most prevalent traits of each breed, we can establish a broad-stroke outline of the kind of characteristics most often found in Chi Heelers.
Chihuahuas are known for their larger-than-life personalities, and while they can be very gentle and loving, they are also alert, loyal, and thrive on attention.
Australian Cattle Dogs, conversely, are calmer, brave, and hard-working, but also energetic and sometimes overly protective.
Together, these traits can balance out and make for a loyal, smart, energetic, and enthusiastic dog, but they can also mean a needy and highly attention-seeking pup.
For the reasons above, Chi Heelers are not recommended for first-time dog owners. They can be challenging, requiring training to contain bad habits that may spring up.
Chief among these is generally a desire to cause havoc and be destructive. On the other hand, when properly socialized and raised in a sound environment, you won’t find a more loyal or loving hound.
Chihuahua Heeler Mix Exercise Requirements
Both Chihuahuas and Heelers are highly energetic dogs, but their exercise requirements differ quite substantially.
Due to their small stature, Chihuahuas don’t need a lot of exercise, and a short daily walk will suffice. On the other hand, Heelers were bred as working dogs, and they need loads of activity to keep them level-headed. With Chi Heeler mixes, a happy medium is usually found.
With these dogs, mental stimulation is equally as important as exercise. Daily walks and plenty of room to romp are necessary, but so is ample playtime.
Their intelligence means that they get bored easily, and with boredom comes destructive behavior. Purpose-driven games are their favorite, so try to find toys with specific goals or engage in play like “fetch.”
If you cannot spend time exercising your dog daily, it is advisable to get it a companion so that they can play together.
Furthermore, because Chi Heelers love to run and play, it’s a good idea to train them from a young age to walk off-leash. This way, you can give your dog the freedom to run while making sure they return to you when told to do so.
Is a Chihuahua Heeler Mix a Good Family Dog?
Chi Heelers are not only gorgeous but also really loyal and intelligent. Both parent breeds are popular in their own right, the Chihuahua for its big personality and loving ways, and the Heeler for its calm nature and trainability.
For these reasons, it makes sense that a mixed breed of the two would be a wonderful addition to the family.
Their moderate size makes them a good fit for children, over whom they will be protective, but they can present danger if they’re not properly trained in the sense that they can be very boisterous.
As mentioned, their energy levels and sometimes-demanding natures can make them a bad fit for first-time owners. However, with seasoned dog parents, they should be just fine.
If you’re looking to adopt a Chi Heeler mix, make sure you find out as much as you can about the dog’s parentage from its breeder. This is not definitive but will give you a better idea of what to expect in terms of temperament.
Chi Heelers are also very social and can fare extremely well with other dogs if they’re introduced to them at a young age.
A Chihuahua Heeler mix is a lovely dog that you won’t regret adopting as long as you’re aware of its needs. They are given to pleasant dispositions, but like all dogs, they crave attention and stimulation and get frustrated easily if they don’t receive it. Chi Heelers are also a long-term investment, as they are not prone to health issues and have lengthy lifespans of up to 18 years. Raised correctly, the Chi Heeler will be a wonderful family pet, eager to please and always on the lookout to protect you.