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Cheenese Dogs: Do They Make Great Pets?

Cheenese dogs are a cross between two of the cutest toy breeds of dogs. Dr. Jess will breakdown what makes them such a great pet (or not), and some considerations you will want to think about before bringing one home to your family.

I would like to take a moment to note straight away, that every dog is special and your dog may not fall under the breed-specific descriptions that you read in this article. For instance, you may know a chihuahua that is very social or that doesn’t ever bark. You may own a havanese that is hard to train or does not adapt well to change. The descriptions that I use are intended to be used for generality of the overall breeds in the discussion.

graphic of havanese dog and chihuahua mixing to form cheenese hybrid in equation

What is a Cheenese?

A cheenese is a hybrid dog breed, or a mix between the chihuahua dog breed and the havanese dog breed.

Both of these breeds are considered small, toy breeds, and both have their pros and cons.

So by mixing the two breeds, does the cheenese dog make for a great pet or should you consider a different breed for your home?

Let me break down the basics of the cheenese for you so that you can make a well-educated decision.

Chihuahua Breed:

In order to know what the Cheenese is like as a pet, knowing the two breeds that make it up, will be very helpful.

Therefore, I quickly broke down the basics of both parent breeds.

This will give you a better idea of why Cheenese pups are the way that they are.

First up is the chihuahua:

  • Physical Description: small-bodied, petite-framed dog. dome-shaped skull with bulging eyes and perky ears. Coats come in either a short-haired or long-haired variety, with coat colors ranging from white, brown, black, grey, and combinations of all of the aforementioned.
  • Behavioral Description: fairly easy to train, loyal, affectionate, sassy
  • Exercise Requirements: Needs little exercise – make sure to offer daily play time
  • Grooming: Weekly brushing. Routine ear cleanings and nail trimming.
  • Life Span: Typically longer life span compared to other breeds – between 12-18 years.
tricolor short hair chihuahua with red collar

Havanese Breed:

Okay, now that we know the quick rundown on chihuahuas, let’s look at the other parent breed to the Cheenese, the Havanese, originally from Cuba.

The Havanese breed can be described as:

  • Physical Description: small-bodied, compact dog with a curled-over tail. Havanese have round heads with large dark eyes and small ears, with their entire bodies covered in long silky hair coming in colors such as white, brown, gray, black, and any combination of those colors. with bulging eyes and perky ears.
  • Behavioral Description: fairly easy to train, intelligent, adaptable, silly/goofy
  • Exercise Requirements: Needs little exercise – make sure to offer daily play time
  • Grooming: Daily grooming is a must with their long hair. Routine ear cleanings and nail trimming required.
  • Life Span: Typically longer life span compared to other breeds – between 12-18 years.

What Makes For a Great Pet?

What makes for a great pet, will vary among every single person reading this article. Everyone has different things that are important to them.

For instance, one person may prefer a pet that takes very little time to care for, while the next person values a pet that is affordable to purchase – two very different desires.

So I can’t answer that for you.

No matter what is most important to you, you need to make sure that the greatest pet for you checks many boxes that fit into your lifestyle, so that both you and your pet are happy for many years to come.

For me, a great pet is one that fits my life.

My little dog, is small and compact, the perfect size for my smaller home. She is quiet, which is perfect for me, working at home quite a bit and needing a quiet space to work.

She is low-maintenance – not requiring much as far as exercise, or time (she’s happy curling up on my lap), or costly materials or medications.

Obviously any of these can change in the future, but I am prepared in case this happens.

She makes a great pet for me.

Let me give you some information on the cheenese dog, and then you can decide for yourself, whether this hybrid is best for you and your family.

Pros of the Breed:

It should come as no surprise that many of the things that make the Havanese and Chihuahua dog breeds so great, also make a cheenese a wonderful pet too.

Pros of the Chihuahua Breed:

Chihuahuas require little space – great for apartment dwellers or city lifestyles!

They also require less exercise than many other breeds, even Havanese.

Chihuahuas need less time and money spent on their routine grooming.

Pros of the Havanese Breed:

The Havanese breed has a sturdier build [source] than chihuahuas do.

They are typically more forgiving and have a more adaptable personality than a chihuahua does.

Havanese tend to bark less than chihuahuas do.

They tend to also be more social as a whole when compared to chihuahuas.

Cheenese Pros:

Put all of these attributes together and you get a lot of great things that can be passed down to the Cheenese. These are some of the pros to owning a Cheenese:

  • Physical Attributes: small “designer” type of dog that does not require as much space as many other breeds do- great for small apartments.
  • Behavior / Temperament: a soft and sweet disposition; moderately easy to train compared to other toy breeds (positive reinforcement works best with most chihuahuas), loyal, affectionate, large personality, funny
  • Diet: Does not require a large quantity of costly food
  • Exercise: Does not require a lot of exercise
  • Grooming: Shorthaired dogs needs very little grooming, long haired chihuahuas need brushing daily or weekly
  • Health Issues: long life span of 12-18 years of age.
a chihuahua and a havanese dog looking out the passenger window of a car

Cons of the Breed:

You will likely notice that many of the cons for either the chihuahua or the havanese breeds are going to be the same cons for their hybrid cross, AKA the Cheenese.

Cons of Chihuahua Breed:

Chihuahuas are described as having sassy independent demeanors. This attitude is not for everyone.

Some chihuahuas can be quite yippy. Barking dogs may not bother you, but they definitely bother me. Proper training to stop barking when inappropriate is a must.

Chihuahuas in general tend to bark more than havanese. A chihuahua’s more fragile structure make them more prone to injuries, such as broken bones from falls and getting stepped on.

red and white chihuahua with one eye closed

Cons of Havanese Breed:

A Havanese’s long silky coat requires lots of grooming or shaving hair shorter. Grooming costs can be large.

Because of their intelligence, you must be one step ahead of them in training and obedience.

Cons of the Cheenese:

  • Physical Attributes: More fragile than larger dog breeds.
  • Behavior / Temperament: can be sassy and have a mind of their own; some cheenese are barkers; reluctance with strangers at first
  • Exercise: Does not require much exercise besides offering playtime daily – not good for those with active lifestyles
  • Grooming: medium length coat requires routine grooming, can shed hair. Needs routine teeth cleaning, ear cleaning, and nail trims.
  • Health Issues: patellar luxations (knee pops out of joint), otitis externa (ear infections), heart disease, dental disease

Cheenese Summary:

The cheenese dog is a small breed dog that is a cross between a chihuahua and a Havanese.

The cheenese dog combines the pros and some of the cons of each of these parent breeds to produce a very cute, sweet companion in a small package.

Now it is your job to decide if this is the breed is best for you and your lifestyle.

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