Cheenese (Havanese x Chihuahua Mix): All You Need to Know

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Cheenese (Havanese x Chihuahua Mix)The Cheenese is a wonderful hybrid dog breed that is the result of breeding the Chihuahua with the Havanese. The breed is small and lovable, and, for the right people, can make an absolutely wonderful family pet.

However, as with any dog breed, it is important to ensure that you know all that there is to know about the breed before bringing one home!

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Cheenese (Havanese x Chihuahua Mix) History

Sometimes called the Havachi or Hava Chi, the Cheenese is a Chihuahua and Havanese crossbreed. It is not obvious when the hybrid first appeared, but, as with many hybrid breeds, it is thought to have been in the late 20th century or early 21st, and likely in North America.

The two parent breeds, alternatively, have very well-documented histories that have stretched across centuries. The Chihuahua’s roots are thought to have started 3,000 years ago. Experts believe the breed either originated in Egypt or China, and was then taken elsewhere by Spanish traders.

It’s thought that the breed was then bred with other small breeds that were local to the area. There is another theory that the breed developed in Central and South America, and is descended from a native dog there, called “Techichi”.

The Havanese, similarly, has an extensive history. The breed is thought to have originated in Cuba, hence the name. The breed is actually the national dog of Cuba because of this, and at one point stood as a symbol of wealth among the Cuban people. The Havanese eventually made its way to the United States in the late 20th century, when the Cuban Revolution led people to move out of the nation.


Cheenese Appearance, Coat, Size, and Weight

The Cheenese, as a relatively new breed, does not have a breed standard yet. As a result, the breed can look more like the Chihuahua or the Havanese, it simply depends on the genetics.

Typically, though, the Cheenese will weigh between 4 and 16 lbs and will stand between 6” to 9” tall. The breed will usually have brown eyes and a black nose and its coat will come in either brown, white, black, or cream. The coat is long and straight, and not too dense.

Generally speaking, the breed will reach its full size by the time it is a year old but may need to fill out a little after that. As it ages, its metabolism will slow down and its growth rate will do the same.

Cheenese Maintenance, Activity, and Space Requirements

Knowing what the breed looks like is great, but how well suited are you to meeting its maintenance and livelihood requirements?

Cheenese Grooming Requirements

The maintenance level of your pooch will depend on which of its parent breeds it is most like. However, it is safe to assume that it is low to medium-maintenance. The breed will likely need brushing between 1-3 times per week, but will only need bathing when really necessary so as not to strip the breed of its natural oils.

In addition to coat maintenance, the Cheenese will need its teeth brushed multiple times a week, if not daily, and will need its nails trimmed regularly. Owners may also find that the breed needs its eyes or ears wiped with a dog-friendly cleaner on a regular basis too.

Cheenese Activity Requirements

Much like its parent breeds, the Cheenese is a medium-level energy dog breed. It is a breed that is happy to run around after you but also doesn’t need hours and hours of exercise per day. Generally speaking, the breed is active and does require regular exercise.

On average, the Cheenese will need around 30 minutes of exercise per day, and will likely walk around six miles per week with you. That being said, walking is not the only way to exercise your Cheenese! You can run, jog, play, or even do some agility training with your Cheenese to get them up and moving if walking isn’t your style. Also, consider breaking the walks into smaller sections if you or your pet finds them mundane.

Cheenese Living Space Requirements

Despite having a relatively excitable nature, the small size of the Cheenese makes it well-suited to most living setups. It does not necessarily need a yard or plenty of space, so long as there’s a bit of room to run around, your Cheenese will be happy enough.

This is assuming, however, that you provide the breed with sufficient exercise and mental stimulation on a daily basis. Failing to do so will not only make the breed less able to cope with living indoors but may also lead to the breed developing destructive behavior.

Cheenese Temperament and Intelligence

The Cheenese is a very loyal and friendly dog breed. It will form very strong bonds with its family very quickly and will try to spend as much time with them as possible. The dog breed is alert and protective, and this can occasionally lead to the Cheenese barking at passers-by outside or when on walks. With sufficient socialization though, this can be trained away.

In terms of training, the breed is moderately easy to teach. The Cheenese does have an independent streak, and in some dogs, this might lead to the breed being quite stubborn, but generally speaking, the breed’s independence is balanced out by an eagerness to please. As a result, most Cheeneses are responsive and not too challenging when it comes to training.

Perhaps the most important aspect of the Cheenese’s temperament, though, is its sensitivity. The breed is very emotionally intuitive and in touch with its feelings, and as a result, it often struggles to be left alone. The breed will often develop separation anxiety, much like its Havanese ancestors, and this can be detrimental to the breed’s mental health, but also to you, your relationship, and your day-to-day life.

Cheenese Health and Lifespan

Every dog breed is prone to certain health conditions, simply due to the way that their genetics present. Often, mixed breeds like the Cheenese have fewer of these predispositions due to a more varied gene pool. That is very much the case with the Cheenese. The breed, as far as researchers have been able to tell, does not have many major or minor concerns.

The breed may suffer from patellar luxation (a dislocating knee), progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, and otitis externa (ear infection). For these, owners may find that they need to get their pet eye and knee exams, x-rays, and physical examinations during their vet visits.

In part because of this, and in part because of the small breed’s slower metabolism, the Cheenese has an average life expectancy of 12 to 16 years. To help your Cheenese live longer, try to feed them high-quality food with less corn and grains in it, and be sure to meet their exercise requirements on a daily basis.

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Is Cheenese the Right Breed for You?

The Cheenese is a very small, sweet dog with lots of love to give. It has all the benefits of a Chihuahua and a Havanese and is not particularly high-maintenance. The breed does have a tendency to yap and bark, a little bit like its Chihuahua parent, but as with any noisy dog breed, this can be trained away with enough patience, positive reinforcement, and socialization.

The Cheenese has a longer life expectancy than many dog breeds due to its small size, slow metabolism, and healthy nature, meaning that it makes a wonderful pet for a very long time. So long as it is taken care of, there have been records of Cheenese dogs living as long as 18 years, keeping their beloved owners company until their very last day.

There are not very many drawbacks to the Cheenese, but that’s not to say that there are none. The breed is certainly more needy and sensitive than many breeds, which can lead owners to become frustrated with it. The breed has been known to get jealous of other pets and even children, and efforts will likely need to be made to avoid this.

In addition, the Cheenese is not particularly well-suited to living with children or large pets. As a small and sensitive dog breed, the Cheenese is particularly vulnerable, and being in a home with clumsy children or larger dogs puts them at risk of injury. They also might become frustrated with children, and this could lead to them snapping or becoming very shy and nervous.

Despite its drawbacks, though, the Cheenese is a wonderful pet. It will not cost owners too much in vet insurance, and is small and adaptable, meaning that not only can it live in apartments and condos, but it would also likely be happy to live in a studio or on the go in a nomadic-style living environment. It’s loving, relatively easy to train, and will just want to be your best friend forever – really, what more could you want from a dog?

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