The Chipin is a mixed breed dog — a cross between the Chihuahua and Miniature Pinscher dog breeds. Compact, happy, and fast learners, these pups inherited some of the best qualities from both of their parents. Parental breed research can offer much insight into their temperament and behaviors.
Chipins go by a few names, including Pinhuahua and Minchi. Despite their unfortunate status as a “designer” breed, you may find these mixed dogs in shelters and rescues, so remember to adopt! Don’t shop!
These adorable pups make great apartment dogs for active urban dwellers and families; although, they have a tendency to be yappy. If you want an energetic “spirited” dog who will keep you on your toes, alert you to any potential dangers, and love you unconditionally, the Chipin may be your new best friend.
Some dogs are simply easier than others; they take to training better and are fairly easygoing. They’re also resilient enough to bounce back from your mistakes or inconsistencies.
Dogs who are highly sensitive, independent thinking, or assertive may be harder for a first-time dog parent to manage. You’ll get your best match if you take your dog-owning experience into account as you choose your new pooch.
If you’re new to dog parenting, take a look at 101 Dog Tricks and read up on how to train your dog!
Some dogs will let a stern reprimand roll off their backs, while others take even a dirty look to heart. Low-sensitivity dogs, also called “easygoing,” “tolerant,” “resilient,” and even “thick-skinned,” can better handle a noisy, chaotic household, a louder or more assertive owner, and an inconsistent or variable routine. Do you have young kids, throw lots of dinner parties, play in a garage band, or lead a hectic life? Go with a low-sensitivity dog.
Some breeds bond very closely with their family and are more prone to worry or even panic when left alone by their owner. An anxious dog can be very destructive–barking, whining, chewing, and otherwise causing mayhem. These breeds do best when a family member is home during the day or if you can take the dog to work.
Dogs with thick, double coats are more vulnerable to overheating. So are breeds with short noses, like Bulldogs or Pugs, since they can’t pant as well to cool themselves off. If you want a heat-sensitive breed, your dog will need to stay indoors with you on warm or humid days, and you’ll need to be extra cautious about exercising your dog in the heat.
All Around Friendliness
Some breeds are independent and aloof, even if they’ve been raised by the same person since puppyhood; others bond closely to one person and are indifferent to everyone else; and some shower the whole family with affection. Breed isn’t the only factor that goes into affection levels; dogs who were raised inside a home with people around feel more comfortable with humans and bond more easily.
See Dogs Less Affectionate with Family
Being gentle with children, sturdy enough to handle the heavy-handed pets and hugs they can dish out, and having a blasé attitude toward running, screaming children are all traits that make a kid-friendly dog. You may be surprised by who’s on that list: Fierce-looking Boxers are considered good with children, as are American Staffordshire Terriers (which are considered Pit Bulls). Small, delicate, and potentially snappy dogs such as Chihuahuas aren’t always so family-friendly.
**All dogs are individuals. Our ratings are generalizations, and they’re not a guarantee of how any breed or individual dog will behave. Dogs from any breed can be good with children based on their past experiences, training on how to get along with kids, and personality. No matter what the breed or breed type, all dogs have strong jaws, sharp pointy teeth, and may bite in stressful circumstances. Young children and dogs of any breed should always be supervised by an adult and never left alone together, period.
Friendliness toward dogs and friendliness toward humans are two completely different things. Some dogs may attack or try to dominate other dogs, even if they’re love-bugs with people; others would rather play than fight; and some will turn tail and run. Breed isn’t the only factor. Dogs who lived with their littermates and mother until at least six to eight weeks of age and who spent lots of time playing with other dogs during puppyhood, are more likely to have good canine social skills.
Health And Grooming Needs
Drool-prone dogs may drape ropes of slobber on your arm and leave big, wet spots on your clothes when they come over to say hello. If you’ve got a laid-back attitude toward slobber, fine; but if you’re a neatnik, you may want to choose a dog who rates low in the drool department.
Some breeds are brush-and-go dogs; others require regular bathing, clipping, and other grooming just to stay clean and healthy. Consider whether you have the time and patience for a dog who needs a lot of grooming, or the money to pay someone else to do it.
Due to poor breeding practices, some breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, such as hip dysplasia. This doesn’t mean that every dog of that breed will develop those diseases; it just means that they’re at an increased risk.
If you’re adopting a puppy, it’s a good idea to find out which genetic illnesses are common to the breed you’re interested in. You may also want to ask if your shelter or rescue has information about the physical health of your potential pup’s parents and other relatives.
Some breeds have hearty appetites and tend to put on weight easily. As in humans, being overweight can cause health problems in dogs. If you pick a breed that’s prone to packing on pounds, you’ll need to limit treats, make sure they get enough exercise, and measure out their daily food servings into regular meals rather than leaving food out all the time.
Ask your vet about your dog’s diet and what they recommend for feeding your pooch to keep them at a healthy weight. Weight gain can lead to other health issues or worsen problems like arthritis.
Dogs come in all sizes, from the world’s smallest pooch, the Chihuahua, to the towering Great Dane, how much space a dog takes up is a key factor in deciding if they’re compatible with you and your living space. Large dog breeds might seem overpowering and intimidating, but some of them are incredibly sweet! Take a look and find the right sized dog for you!
Easy-to-train dogs are more adept at forming an association between a prompt (such as the word “sit”), an action (sitting), and a consequence (getting a treat) very quickly. Other dogs need more time, patience, and repetition during training.
Many breeds are intelligent but approach training with a “What’s in it for me?” attitude, in which case you’ll need to use rewards and games to teach them to want to comply with your requests.
Dogs who were bred for jobs that require decision making, intelligence, and concentration, such as herding livestock, need to exercise their brains, just as dogs who were bred to run all day need to exercise their bodies. If they don’t get the mental stimulation they need, they’ll make their own work–usually with projects you won’t like, such as digging and chewing. Obedience training and interactive dog toys are good ways to give a dog a brain workout, as are dog sports and careers, such as agility and search and rescue.
Common in most breeds during puppyhood and in Retriever breeds at all ages, mouthiness means a tendency to nip, chew, and play-bite (a soft, fairly painless bite that doesn’t puncture the skin). Mouthy dogs are more likely to use their mouths to hold or “herd” their human family members, and they need training to learn that it’s fine to gnaw on chew toys, but not on people. Mouthy breeds tend to really enjoy a game of fetch, as well as a good chew on a toy that’s been stuffed with kibble and treats.
Dogs who were bred to hunt, such as Terriers, have an inborn desire to chase–and sometimes kill–other animals. Anything whizzing by, such as cats, squirrels, and perhaps even cars, can trigger that instinct. Dogs who like to chase need to be leashed or kept in a fenced area when outdoors, and you’ll need a high, secure fence in your yard. These breeds generally aren’t a good fit for homes with smaller pets that can look like prey, such as cats, hamsters, or small dogs. Breeds that were originally used for bird hunting, on the other hand, generally won’t chase, but you’ll probably have a hard time getting their attention when there are birds flying by.
Some breeds sound off more often than others. When choosing a breed, think about how often the dog vocalizes with barks or howls. If you’re considering a hound, would you find their trademark howls musical or maddening? If you’re considering a watchdog, will a city full of suspicious “strangers” put your pup on permanent alert? Will the local wildlife literally drive your dog wild? Do you live in housing with noise restrictions? Do you have neighbors nearby? Then you may wish to choose a quieter dog.
Some breeds are more free-spirited than others. Nordic dogs such as Siberian Huskies were bred to range long distances, and given the chance, they’ll take off after anything that catches their interest. And many hounds simply must follow their noses–or that bunny that just ran across the path–even if it means leaving you behind.
High-energy dogs are always ready and waiting for action. Originally bred to perform a canine job of some sort, such as retrieving game for hunters or herding livestock, they have the stamina to put in a full workday. They need a significant amount of exercise and mental stimulation, and they’re more likely to spend time jumping, playing, and investigating any new sights and smells.
Low-energy dogs are the canine equivalent of a couch potato, content to doze the day away. When picking a breed, consider your own activity level and lifestyle, and think about whether you’ll find a frisky, energetic dog invigorating or annoying.
A vigorous dog may or may not have high energy, but everything they do, they do with vigor: they strain on the leash (until you train them not to), try to plow through obstacles, and even eats and drinks with great big gulps. These dynamos need lots of training to learn good manners, and may not be the best fit for a home with young kids or someone who’s elderly or frail. A low-vigor dog, on the other hand, has a more subdued approach to life.
Some breeds do fine with a slow evening stroll around the block. Others need daily, vigorous exercise, especially those that were originally bred for physically demanding jobs, like herding or hunting.
Without enough exercise, these breeds may put on weight and vent their pent-up energy in ways you don’t like, such as barking, chewing, and digging. Breeds that need a lot of exercise are good for outdoorsy, active people, or those interested in training their dog to compete in a high-energy dog sport, such as agility.
Some dogs are perpetual puppies — always begging for a game — while others are more serious and sedate. Although a playful pup sounds endearing, consider how many games of fetch or tag you want to play each day, and whether you have kids or other dogs who can stand in as playmates for the dog.
Dog Breed Group:Mixed Breed DogsHeight:8 to 12 inches Weight:5 to 15 pounds Life Span:10 to 14 years
More About This Breed
- The Chipin is a mixed breed dog. They are not purebreds like their Chihuahua or Miniature Pinscher parents.
- The main colors of Chipins are black, chocolate, golden, and cream. They are usually two colors, but can be a mixture of many colors.
- Chipins have short, straight, easy-to-groom coats, though they are not suited to extreme weather. They may need a doggy jacket in the winter and pet sunscreen in the summer.
- Chipins prefer to be mostly around adults or older kids who know how to play gently. They can tolerate other pets, especially with early socialization, though they might rather be the only pet in the household.
- Some Chipins tend to gain weight when they are overfed. Stick to an appropriate meal schedule and make sure you can provide enough exercise to suit their high energy.
- Although Chipins are great apartment dogs, they require companionship and do not do well when they are left alone for long periods of time.
- Chipins can be yappy, though this makes them excellent watchdogs.
The Chipin breed may have existed naturally over the years, but designer breeders started intentionally mixing Chihuahuas and Miniature Pinschers in the early 2000’s, likely in North America.
The Chihuahua parent breed originated in Mexico, and the Miniature Pinscher breed was developed in Germany. The purpose of putting these two breeds together is not fully known, but they make, happy, alert, intelligent watchdogs.
Breeders continued to create Chipins as demand for the mixed breed pups climbed. Chipins are not recognized as an official breed at this time.
Even though the Chipin got its start as a designer breed, some have ended up in shelters or in the care of rescue groups. Consider adoption if you decide this is the breed for you.
Check your local shelters, look for Chipin rescues, and check with breed-specific Pinscher or Chihuahua rescues, as they sometimes take in mixed breed dogs to find homes for.
As the Chipin is a relatively new breed, there are few standards when it comes to size. That said, as a mix between Chihuahua and Miniature Pinscher parents, you can expect Chipins to be small.
Most weigh in at five to 15 pounds and range in height from eight to twelve inches at the shoulder. However, some can be smaller or larger. Males tend to be slightly larger than females.
Chipins are described as a big dog in a tiny package. They are curious, alert, and agile, full of spirit and energy and fiercely protective of their humans.
Chipins are easy to train and make excellent watchdogs. They can be territorial so prepare to have visitors announced. They are well suited for agility classes, as they thrive on the mental and physical stimulation.
Their curious nature means they would be an awesome traveling partner. If you would like a companion who won’t take up much room and will always have your back, this fearless pup may be the perfect dog for you.
Before considering this breed, make sure that you have the time and energy you need to dedicate to them. If you work away from your house, this pup may need to come with you, or they may need companionship from a pet sitter or dog walker during the day. They are not suited for isolation.
Thankfully, Chipins are so tiny and adorable one could easily be the office mascot and would surely charm the socks off all of your co-workers.
They tend to latch on to one family member most of all, though they can get along with others in the house. Chipins may be best suited to a one-person home or smaller families, as they demand quite a bit of attention.
The Chipin breed is predisposed to some of the same conditions that the Chihuahua and Miniature Pinscher also face. While most are generally healthy, some may be prone to a few health issues, which is why it is important to maintain good care and regular veterinary checkups.
Some of the more common health problems Chipins may suffer from include:
- Hip dysplasia
- Eye injury
- Heart disease
- Low Blood Pressure
As with all dogs, you should keep up with your Chipin’s regular veterinary checkups to detect any health concerns early. Your vet can help you develop a care routine that will keep your dog healthy.
Chipins are prone to weight gain, and they have high energy levels. Your Chipin will most likely be at your side all day long, wanting to watch everything you do and investigate the world around them.
A 45 minute daily walk or hike would be ideal, to get their energy out and keep them from destructive behavior. Their small size means they may require more frequent potty breaks. If you are person on the go, this pup would love to be your co-pilot.
Their sharp, pointed ears mean they do not suffer the same propensity for ear infections as dogs with ears that are flappy. That said, ears should be checked regularly for mites, wax, and debris.
Trim your dog’s nails before they get too long–usually once or twice per month. They should not be clicking loudly against the floor. Your groomer can help with this, and YouTube tutorials can give you a refresher.
Your main concern when it comes to your Chipin’s care will be maintaining their oral health. You should brush their teeth daily, as small breeds are prone to dental issues. Your veterinarian can instruct you on how to brush your dog’s teeth properly.
An ideal Chipin diet should be formulated for a small breed with high energy. They have a tendency to gain weight if they are overfed, so you should stick to a regular feeding schedule and not leave food out during the day.
As with all dogs, the Chipin’s dietary needs will change from puppyhood to adulthood and will continue to change into their senior years. You should ask your veterinarian for recommendations about your Chipin’s diet, as there is far too much variation among individual dogs–including weight, energy, and health–to make a specific recommendation.
Coat Color And Grooming
Chipin coats are often a mix of their Miniature Pinscher and Chihuahua parents’ coats and colors. The main colors of Chipins are black, chocolate, golden, and cream. Rarely solid, they are typically two colors but can be a combination and mixture of all.
They have short, straight, easy-to-groom coats. They should be brushed a few times a week. Chipins can be bathed once a month with a vet approved, mild shampoo, but no more, as baths remove essential coat oils.
Because they tend to have shorter coats, Chipins aren’t particularly suited for extreme weather. You’ll likely need a coat in the winter for your dog, and you may need to apply sunscreen to the ears, nose, and sensitive areas where there’s less fur coverage in the summer months.
Children And Other Pets
Because the Chipin is a small dog, they can be easily injured by overly excited children. Chipins prefer to be mostly around adults or older kids who know how to play gently. For single person households, the Chipin can make a great, active companion.
When it comes to other pets, Chipins can get along with other animals if they are introduced slowly and calmly, and early socialization will help this go smoothly. It’s best if they get used to other pets early on.
Chipins would probably do well with a cat, but they can be aggressive toward other dogs they don’t know, and they may want to eat a bird or other small animal. Chipins would be the happiest as the solo pet of their household.
It may be hard to find a breed-specific rescue for Chipins because they are a mixed breed. However, you may want to try Chihuahua or Miniature Pinscher breed-specific rescues, as they often care for mixes, as well. Here are some rescues you can try:
- Chihuahua Rescue & Transport
- Internet Miniature Pinscher Service, Inc.