Chipoo – Choosing a Chipoo
The Chipoo, also cleverly name the Poochi, is an adorable, little dog, derived from the Chihuahua and Poodle. Though popular, this mixed breed, also referred to as a designer breed or hybrid, is not recognized by the American Kennel Club. Because Chipoos are not purebred, there is significant variance in the dog's traits, as they can have any combination of the Chihuahua's and Poodle's characteristics.
History and Origin
The smallest dog breed in the world is, ironically, named after the largest state in Mexico, Chihuahua. Though the exact origin of the Chihuahua is unknown, it is thought that the Chinese hairless dogs and the "Techichi" were ancestors of the modern day Chihuahua. The "Techichis" were dogs belonging to the Toltecs, an ancient Mexican civilization. In 1905, the American Kennel Club welcomed the Chihuahua, a member of the toy group, as a recognized breed.
Some famous Chihuahuas include the Taco Bell dog, Paris Hilton's Tinkerbell, and Ren from "Ren and Stimpy".
The Poodle is believed to have originated around the 13th century in Germany as a water retriever. The breed received its name from the German "pudeln," which refers to splashing in the water. Poodles are famous for carrying supplies and messages during World War II and performing in circuses and French dog playhouses. The AKC recognizes three sizes of the poodle, the toy (AKC's toy group), the miniature, and the standard (AKC's non-sporting group).
Appearance and Size
The Chipoo has a wide variety of looks, as do the Poodle and Chihuahua. The Chipoo's hair coat ranges from short to long in length, curly to straight, and comes in a wide variety of colors and color combinations. The ears can be floppy or erect, and the tail can be left natural like the Chihuahua's or docked like the Poodle's.
The Chipoo is lap-dog size ranging from 6 to 15 inches tall at the shoulders and weighs 2 to 20 pounds(depending if the toy or miniature Poodle was used in breeding).
The Chipoo can acquire personality traits of both parenting breeds. The Chihuahua is very loyal to his family, and he can be unwelcoming toward strangers and other pets, though he does tend to enjoy the company of other Chihuahuas. This energetic breed is known for being a bit stubborn, jealous, and boasting a large dog attitude. However, proper obedience training can keep these traits in check. The Poodle is highly intelligent, easy to train, loving, and devoted to their families.
Home and Family Relations
Because the Chihuahua and Poodle have such a wide variety of personality traits, it is difficult to predict how your Chipoo will fit in with your family. Both the Chihuahua and the Poodle are devoted to their families. However, the Chihuahua tends to be especially attached to one member of the family and is unfriendly toward strangers, while the Poodle is eager to be in everyone's company.
The Poodle does very well with children, but the Chihuahua is not as tolerant of the antics of kids. If bothered, the Chihuahua can be quick to bite. The Poodle generally does well with all pets, and the Chihuahua prefers to mingle with other Chihuahuas.
Because of his size, the Chipoo could easily adapt to apartment life, and he may be an ideal dog for the elderly.
Another attractive trait of the Chipoo is his coat. Because Poodles shed very little, the Chipoo's coat may be less of a nuisance to those with allergies and asthma.
The longer varieties of Chipoo coats should be brushed regularly to prevent matting, and the hair around the eyes made need to be regularly cleaned to prevent debris buildup. This breed should be regularly exercised to prevent obesity and boredom.
Common Diseases and Disorders
In general, the Chipoo is a healthy dog with few medical concerns. However, the following diseases or disorders have been reported:
- Hydrocephalus is a neurological disease in which there is excessive accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid within the ventricular system of the brain.
- Hypoglycemia is a disorder associated with dangerously low blood sugar levels.
- Luxating patellas, also known as loose kneecaps, can cause pain or lameness.
- Tracheal collapse is a weakening of the rings of the windpipe. This leads to irritation and coughing.
- Glaucoma is a disease of the eye that develops when the pressure within the eye increases that can lead to blindness.
- Chronic valvular heart disease is a progressive deterioration of the valves of the heart, which can lead to heart murmurs and heart failure.
- Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a serious heart condition that results in a large, thin walled heart muscle.
The average lifespan of the Chipoo is 15 to 18 years.