Meet the Chiweenie: Anya Schira AKA The Farm Chiweenie

Anya is a roughly 13 pound, black and tan, chiweenie I adopted from the Noah Project in the middle of January. Prior to meeting her, I’d never heard of chiweenies. Now I think they’re marvelous. She’s a year old, has 4 inch legs, and loves to run. She’s affectionate and does well on her own.VIDEO0146_0000137264

Even though I keep hearing about how stubborn chiweenies are, I have to admit that Anya has been pretty trainable, which is good considering I’ve been kind of hit and miss in the training department. As long as I have a treat, she’s willing to do what I ask. So far she’s learned sit, sit pretty, down, she sort of crawls on cue, and swats at my hand when I tell her to say hello. Currently we’re learning how to roll over. The biggest training challenge I’ve run into is her short legs. It’s hard to get her to track a treat downwards when her neck is twice as long as her legs. The good news is that she has a strong desire to please and loves phrase.the pack

While I wouldn’t call Anya stubborn, she does occasionally exhibit something I call “Queen Anya moments” where it’s very clear she would rather be doing something else and questions my authority. I think if given a chance, she’d love to rule the place.

Personality wise, Anya seems to be an interesting mix of both a typical dachshund and Chihuahua. I’d say the Chihuahua nervousness balances out the dachshund fearlessness. She often shivers even when it’s not cold. She spooks sometimes, but doesn’t have any trouble with anxiety and will usually check out whatever startled her. She’s very social and Anya blanketloves people (I’ve put a lot of effort into socializing her) however, she’s often introverted when she goes somewhere new or first meets someone new. I’ve learned the best way to get her to warm up to new people is to have them look away from her. She’s much braver when they’re not looking at her.

Anya is a high energy puppy. I’m often grateful that she’s in the barn all day with me where she’s free to romp and play to her heart’s content. The all-day play sessions mean she’s ready to curl up on the couch and chill once we do go inside. We also go on a long walk at least once a week. Don’t let her little four inch legs fool you, this little chiweenie can walk 5+ miles without getting tired.IMAG2656

My biggest fear with Anya is that she’ll get lose and run into one of the horse pastures and get stepped on. There’s a strict barn rule that the horses and dogs aren’t allowed to mix because we don’t want the K9’s getting stepped on, bit, or kicked. There are also parts of the barn where dogs simply aren’t allowed to go. At this point Anya is still learning the rules and sometimes forgets which side of the gates she’s supposed to stay on. I’m a little worried that someday she’ll slip outside with someone and because she’s so small, they won’t notice her and lock her out of the barn.

Even though I’d never heard of chiweenies prior to this year, now I can’t imagine my life without Anya.

Written by Jess Schira who was under the supervision of Anya Schira, The Farm Chiweenie, at the time.

All photos posted belong to Jess Schira

What is a Chiweenie?

What! You’ve never heard of a Chiweenie!

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“Hello. I’m a chiweenie.”-Anya, The Farm Chiweenie

Full disclosure, I hadn’t either, at least not until after I learned my adoption application had been approved and I decided I’d better learn a little more about the type of dog I was bringing into my home.

It turns out that a Chiweenie is the result of a dachshund and Chihuahua cross. I’m not why someone originally thought to cross the two breeds, but I’m the first to admit that I’m glad they did. This is a fun little breed that has a lot going for it.

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“I really like playing in the snow, something I’ve heard is unusual for chiweenies.”-Anya, the Farm Chiweenie

The Chiweenie’s size can vary, with the size of its parents being a crucial point. If the parents were miniature or toy, the chiweenie pups will be small. If both parents were the standard size of their breed, the resulting pups will be larger. I’ve heard of some that are as little as 5 pounds and some that are over 20 pounds. At this moment, Anya is a little over a year old and weighs approximately 13 pounds.

Chiweenies can come in a variety of colors and hair coat types. Some have cute little floppy ears like Anya, while others have ears that stand straight up. Although there are some exceptions, most seem to inherit the cute, sharp face of their Chihuahua parent.

It’s my understanding the chiweenies have been growing steadily more popular since the 1990’s. At this moment, the AKC doesn’t recognize chiweenies as a breed (and whenever I mention the name to someone tend to get some pretty funny reactions. Most people have never heard the them. The vet has Anya listed as a Chihuahua cross.) The breed is recognized by several other dog registries, including:

If you’re interested in learning more about this fun little breed of dog, there are some Facebook groups you should check out.

Do you have a chiweenie? What are they like? Feel free to share your stories or dog photos in the comment section.