If you’re having a hard time choosing between a poodle and a Chihuahua for your next pup, a chi poo might be just the thing. These little guys are a cross between the two breeds, and the pups will typically carry some of the characteristics of each parent.
Your chi poo is one of a group of dogs called designer dogs. These pups result from the deliberate crossing of two purebred dogs of different breeds. According to the International Designer Canine Registry, chi poos make great family pets and devoted companions. You can expect that your pup will have some characteristics of each parent, but it's anyone's guess what traits he’ll get from whom. He may end up looking like a curly-haired Chihuahua or a smooth-coated poodle, and his behavior may be more like one side of the family than the other.
Both sides of the family are very intelligent, and so are chi poo puppies. While this trait helps your little buddy learn things quickly, it also means he can get bored in a hurry if his brain isn't being challenged. Spending lots of time with him and giving him plenty of toys to play with will help. A bored, lonely chi poo may get into all kinds of mischief, including howling, chewing and generally being destructive. A solid rubber toy stuffed with some peanut butter can give your pal something to work on when you have to be gone.
Chi poos are generally very active, friendly and outgoing, although they may be reserved at first with people they don’t know. Your pal can live indoors full time, even in an apartment, as long as he has a piddle pad to relieve himself on and enough room to run around a bit. This little dynamo can make a playground out of just about anything. He may dash up and down your hall and then bound up onto your couch to survey the room. He's a great alarm dog, too, barking at unusual sights, sounds or people.
Caring for your chi poo puppy is much the same as caring for any small dog. If he has a poodle coat, he’ll need plenty of brushing and regular clipping, but the tradeoff is that poodle coats tend to be great for folks with allergies. For pups whose hair takes after the Chihuahua parent, care is easier, since even long-haired Chihuahuas are easy to groom. Feed your chi poo several times a day to prevent low blood sugar, called hypoglycemia. This can be a problem for small dogs in general, and very tiny pups are especially susceptible to this potentially fatal condition.
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