Pit Bull Chihuahua Mix: Cost, Pros & Cons to Chipits
Designer breeds have been all the rage in recent years, but it’s possible none of them are as delightfully unexpected as the Chipit.
This mix between a Chihuahua and an American Pit Bull Terrier is known to be brave, playful, and incredibly intelligent. Though they’re rarer than other mixed breeds, Chipits are becoming more and more popular in the United States and abroad.
If you are thinking of welcoming a Chipit into your home, then it’s important to do your research. These medium-sized dogs can make great companion pets, but you’ll want to learn all you can about their quirks and traits. Below, you’ll find an entire breed guide for the pit bull/chihuahua mix, highlighting pros, cons, average cost, and much more.
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Chipits: Where Did They Come From?
Chipit, Chitbull, Mexican Bulldog, Pithuahua — whatever you call it, this unique mixed breed is all kinds of interesting. But from where exactly did this unlikely dog appear? The answer isn’t really clear. Dogs mixed with American Pit Bull Terriers, or other pit bull-type dogs, are extremely common, so it’s more than likely that the Chipit is really nothing new.
But in recent years, more and more Chipits have been purposely bred as “designer dogs” in an attempt to combine the two breeds’ very best features. The International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR) officially recognizes the Chipit, as does the Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA). The American Kennel Club (AKC), however, does not officially recognize the Chipit.
Pit Bull-Type + Chihuahua = Chipit
The Chipit is a mix between two popular parent breeds: the Chihuahua and the American Pit Bull Terrier. The Chihuahua’s complete origins are mostly unknown, though we do know it is one of The Americas’ oldest breeds.
Chihuahuas were most definitely around in pre-Columbian times and were used by the Toltec and Aztec civilizations for companionship, religious purposes, and even food. Today, they are a national symbol of Mexico, and the 33rd most popular dog in America, according to the AKC.
Chihuahuas are small dogs, standing just 5-8 inches in height and weighing in at less than six pounds. Their tiny size makes them ideal for apartment living. They are loyal and charming lap dogs, but tend to have big personalities! Despite their small size, some basic training is most certainly required.
Officially, the Chipit’s other parent breed is the American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT). These dogs trace their roots back to Great Britain and Ireland but were eventually brought to the United States to be used for work on farms and ranches.
They have been hunters, herders, and bloodsport spectacles, but today they are family dogs first and foremost. But true, purebred APBTs are not nearly as common as it’s sometimes thought, and the breed remains one of the most commonly misidentified.
Whether you purchase your Chipit from a breeder of designer dogs or adopt it from a shelter or rescue, it’s likely your dog will be half Chihuahua and half pit bull-type — that is, half of one of the myriad breeds that resemble the pit bull. More than a dozen breeds and crossbreeds can be described as “pit bull-type.” They range in size and color but share characteristics like a stocky body, boxy head, and short fur.
How to Recognize a Chipit
Chipits can be small- or medium-sized dogs. Their average weight is between 15 and 35 pounds, and they can stand anywhere from 12 to 18 inches in height. Chipits tend to be stocky like their pit bull parent, with short necks. Much of their final size is dictated by the height and weight of their pit bull parent.
The same can be said for the Chipit’s other physical characteristics. Some have long hair, while others have short. Some have the “apple head” of the typical Chihuahua, while others have heads that are more box-shaped. Some have ears that stand up, others have more traditional long ears.
And some have the pushed-in snout resembling a bulldog, while others have longer noses like the purebred Chi. The Chipit can come in all sorts of colors, including fawn, brown, cream, brindle, and more.
Chipit Personality and Temperament
Pitbull/Chihuahua mixes are very loyal dogs. They form strong bonds with their humans, and will want to feel like part of the family. Like both Chihuahuas and pit bull-type dogs, they enjoy cuddling with canine companions and people, and may consider themselves to be lap dogs.
The Napoleon Complex of the Chihuahua is well known. Less well known is the fact that pit bull-type dogs don’t actually make very good guard dogs. Chipits seem to take after their pit bull parent when it comes to barking and guarding.
While they will certainly bark at intruders, they are not excessive barkers. Both American Pit Bull Terriers and Chihuahuas are popular family pets, and there is no reason why a Chipit shouldn’t be a valued member of a family with children.
They are playful and loving but may get overwhelmed with too much activity. Therefore, it’s important to teach children to respect dogs by respecting their space, food, and sleep — something that can be said for dogs of any breed. Though all dogs are individuals, Chihuahuas tend to have a prey drive.
This is a trait commonly passed down to their offspring, including their Chipit offspring. Prey drives are common and natural, but proper socialization and positive reinforcement training go a long way towards protecting your Chipit from getting himself into trouble.
Are Chipits Easy to Train?
Chihuahuas and pit bulls are both intelligent dogs, and Chipits inherit their parent’s cleverness. This makes them very easy to train, especially if you are consistent in your demands and provide positive reinforcement for good behavior as part of your dog training. Proper socialization is also very important for a successfully trained dog.
How Long to Chipits Live?
The life expectancy of a Chihuahua/pit bull mix is 10 to 14 years. This is a typical lifespan for small- to medium-sized dogs, who often live longer than large dogs. Mixed breeds also tend to live longer than purebreds.
A Chipit who lives 14 years or longer will have excellent genetics, a family who takes very good care of it, and probably more than a little luck. Those who live less than 9 years may have lower quality breeding or common or uncommon health problems. Trauma, neglect, and illness are leading causes of premature death for Chipits.
How to Take Care of Your Chipit
As with any dog, taking good care of your Chipit will help it to live a long, healthy, and happy life.
Sometime before your Chipit’s 16th week of life, he or she should see a veterinarian to receive all of its necessary vaccinations. Two weeks after your puppy’s final round of inoculations, you will be able to set your puppy down on the ground and begin to socialize it with friends and family.
One of the best gifts you can give your Chipit puppy is plenty of socialization. Research how to properly introduce a new puppy, then carefully allow your dog to meet as many women, children, and other animals as you possibly can. Dogs who are well socialized from an early age are more likely to get along with anyone they meet later in life.
Most Chipits have short, straight hair. This makes their coats very easy to maintain. Brushing your Chipit at least once a week with a pin brush or slicker brush will go a long way towards minimizing shedding. It will also keep your dog’s coat nice and shiny.
Bathe your Chipit once a month to avoid removing too many essential oils from its coat. Too many baths can lead to skin dryness and irritation, and pit bull-type dogs tend to be especially prone to dry skin. You will also want to make sure your Chipit’s nails are routinely clipped. If you are unsure of how to do this properly, or if your dog’s lack of cooperation makes the task dangerous, then be sure to schedule a quick appointment with any groomer or vet.
Like both of its parent breeds, a Chipit has a ton of energy. You may find your Chipit requires around 60 minutes of exercise each day! Some great ways to ensure your dog is able to work both its body and its mind include walking/running, a game of fetch, swimming in a lake or small pool, or even some time spent at a dog park or doggy daycare.
To exercise your dog’s brain, you can easily search Amazon for things like treat puzzles and extra-tough chew toys.
Food & Care
A balanced diet is one of the keys to a long and healthy life for your Chipit. Skip feeding your Chipit table scraps or other human foods, and instead commit to feeding about two cups of dry dog food each day. A high-quality dog food will usually consist of 18-22% protein, 5-8% fat, and will contain actual meat products.
Common Health Issues of Chipits
Chipits are prone to a number of health problems ranging from minor to life threatening. Two of the most common include:
Patellar Luxation is a dislocation of the knee, and it is very common in Chihuahuas and other small dog breeds. The kneecap essentially falls out of the femoral groove whenever the knee is flexed, and it can be progressively painful. Your Chipit might inherit the risk of Patellar Luxation from its Chihuahua parent.
Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia
Like German Shepherds, Dachshunds, and so many other popular dog breeds, Chipits can suffer from hip and elbow dysplasia. Dysplasia is when a bone is deformed at the joint. At first, it will only cause some minor pain and limping. As it progresses, however, it can become very painful arthritis.
Other potential health issues for Chipits include:
- Spina Bifida
- Brachycephalic Syndrome
- Heart problems
How Much Does a Chipit Cost?
A Chipit from a breeder of designer dogs is likely to cost anywhere from $400 to $700. The price may vary based on the puppy’s gender, coloring, and physical characteristics. You may also find a Chipit at your local humane society or rescue group for the much lower price of an adoption fee.
If you are set on purchasing a Pitbull Chihuahua mix puppy from a breeder, then it is very important to choose a reputable breeder. Reputable breeders will prioritize the health of the puppies, will want to advance and better their breed, and will contribute less to the unwanted pet population by producing just one or two litters per year.
Reputable breeders will also insist on meeting you in person, will own both parent dogs, will breed just one type of dog, and will provide a health statement certifying the health of the puppy.
The Chipit Controversy
Like many designer breeds, the Chipit does not escape controversy. Unfortunately, pit bull-type dogs are the most common and most euthanized dogs in shelters. Chihuahuas rank #2 on the same lists. Many people find it immoral to take two breeds with such massive unwanted populations and breed them for profit.
If you are considering adding a Chipit to your family, it may be worth checking your local shelters and rescue groups first. Because most pit bull-type dogs are mixes anyways, it is very likely you’ll find exactly what you are looking for already in need of a home and a family.
Pros & Cons of Owning a Chipit
- Chipits are very loyal and loving dogs, especially to their human family members
- They make good pets for families with older children who can be taught to respect dogs
- Chipits are very easy to train and thrive on positive reinforcement
- They live a long life, up to 14 years
- The cross-breeding of two breeds so prevalent in shelters invites quite a bit of controversy
- A Chipit may inherit a prey drive towards small animals
- The physical characteristics of a Chipit are not consistent. A little of Chipits can have many different overall looks.
- Chipits are prone to Patellar Luxation, Hip Dysplasia, and a few other major health concerns
If you are looking for a small-to-medium size dog that is unique and full of personality, then you can’t go wrong with a Chipit. These Chihuahua/pit bull cross-breeds are known to be very loyal and make appropriate companions for both individuals and families with children.
Though they are prone to some of the Chihuahua’s many health issues, they are an otherwise sturdy dog and can live up to 14 years with the right attention and care.