Country of Origin: The Chi Poo is a cross between the Chihuahua and the Toy or Miniature Poodle. Like many Poodle crossbreeds, it is known by many names, such as the Wapoo, Poohuahua, Chih Poo, Chiapoo, Poochi, or Poochie. Poodle crossbreeds are meant to produce a dog with mixed traits and the Poodle’s signature nonshedding coat. As a crossbreed, the Chi Poo is not eligible for registration with purebred registries such as the American Kennel Club, but it can be registered with the American Canine Hybrid Club, as Wapoo. The Chi Poo is not considered a purebred because it doesn’t ‘breed true’, meaning that it doesn’t display a consistent set of characteristics. Like other ‘designer breeds’, the Chi Poo has seen a recent surge in popularity. Some breeders produce Chi Poos by crossing a purebred Poodle with a purebred Chihuahua (called a first generation cross), but others allow crossing Chi Poos with Poodles or Chihuahuas (called a backcross), or other Chi Poos (called a multi-generation cross). Different crosses can result in different characteristics.
Size: The Chi Poo has a shoulder height of 6-15 in (15-38 cm) and weighs 2-17 lbs (1-8 kg). Chi Poos from Toy Poodle crosses are smaller than those from Miniature Poodle crosses. The Chi Poo’s body and head shape can vary from Chihuahua to Poodle appearance depending on genetic influence.
Coat: The Chi Poo coat can be any combination of Poodle or Chihuahua influence. Most have long hair which is wavy or curly. Chi Poos can be a wide variety of colors including white, black, brown, gray, or cream. Because of the Poodle within the breed, the Chi Poo is usually a light shedder, making it a good match for allergy sufferers.
Character: The Chi Poo is intelligent, lively, and highly affectionate. They are very devoted their owner, some tend to bond most closely with one person. Chi Poos tend to follow their owner from room to room, eager to play or cuddle up. They love to amuse their owners with clever antics. Some Chi Poos tend to bark frequently.
Temperament: Chi Poos are good natured and highly friendly due to the Miniature Poodle influence within the breed. They are affectionate with strangers, dogs, and other pets. Young children should be supervised around the Chi Poo to ensure they treat the dog with respect.
Care: Chi Poo grooming may be required on a daily or weekly basis, depending upon the type of coat. Bathe only as necessary. Cleaning of the area around the eyes may be necessary to remove tear stains; careful brushing with a small fine comb is effective. The Chi Poo has a lifespan of 10-15 years. Mixed breeds generally have fewer health issue than purebreds (known as ‘hybrid vigor’), but Chi Poos can suffer from health problems affecting either of their parent breeds, including snoring and wheezing, dental problems (dental chews or tooth brushing several times a week is recommended), cataracts, glaucoma, ear infections, and obesity. Proper nutrition and exercise are critical—consult your veterinarian regarding special foods for small breeds to avoid digestive problems. A sweater is recommended for long exposure to cool weather.
Training: The Chi Poo is intelligent and eager to please, making it easily trained. A gentle approach is recommended.
Activity: The Chi Poo is very active indoors and can have a lot of its exercise needs met by indoor activity. It needs room to run around, either indoor or outdoor. Chi Poos are a great little dogs.