Just when you thought you were up to speed on all the designer dog breeds doing the rounds, another one comes along to take you by surprise. The Chizer is the latest cute pooch to join the ranks of the fashionably four-legged. Half Chihuahua and half Miniature Schnauzer, breeders have managed to combine the best of its parent breeds to come up with something all-new and all-amazing. Find out more as we uncover 10 things you didn’t know about the Chizer.
1. They’re half Chihuahua
Like most designer dog breeds, the history of the Chizer is a little murky. No one’s entirely sure which breeder decided it would be a good idea to pair the Miniature Schnauzer and the Chihuahua, and no one’s entirely sure where or when the first little litter of Chizer’s were born. What we do know plenty about, on the other hand, is the Chizer’s parent breeds. On one side is the Chihuahua, a purebred breed that can trace its origins back to 9th century Mexico. How it got to Mexico in the first place is a bit of a mystery, but according to AKC, it’s likely to be a decedent of the Techichi, a larger, heavier version of the Chihuahua that was a firm favorite with the Toltecs. Some people believe the Techichi was then crossed with a small, hairless breed bought to Mexico by the Aztecs, which resulted in the Chihuahua we recognize today.
2. And half Miniature Schnauzer
As much as the Chizer follows after the Chihuahua, it’s also got a hefty dose of Miniature Schnauzer DNA running through its veins. As Pet Keen writes, the Miniature Schnauzer was originally bred as a rat catcher and guard dog in Germany during the mid to late 1800s. The breed was developed by crossing the Standard Schnauzer with some smaller dogs like the Miniature Pinscher, Wire Fox Terrier and Zwergspitz. Today, Miniature Schnauzers are popular family pets, loved for their feisty, outgoing personalities and affectionate natures.
3. They’re prone to health problems
Crossbreeds are usually healthier and more robust than their pedigree parents. Unfortunately, the Chizer hasn’t been quite so lucky. As Animals Adda points out, the range of conditions the Chizer can develop is extensive. Some of the most serious illnesses they can develop include liver disease, diabetes, kidney problems, and Von Willebrand’s disease. They’re also at risk of progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, pancreatitis, gum disease, slipped stifles, arthritis, skin diseases, gastric dilation, and volvulus.
4. They’re tiny
No two Chizers look exactly alike. Some take after the Chihuahua; others have more in common with the Miniature Schnauzer. But regardless of which parent breed they most resemble, they all have one thing in common: they’re tiny. Most Chizers stand between 6 and 14 inches tall and weigh between 2 and 15 pounds. Everything else is just a matter of chance. Some of them have long heads, others have apple-shaped heads. Some have a pointed muzzle with scissors; others have a square muzzle with an underbite. Legs can be long or short, coats can be short and course or long and silky, and ears can be anything from pointed and erect to long and floppy. Their range of coat colors is equally vast, with black, white, black and white, black and brown, black and tan, golden, gray, chocolate, cream, and even tricolor all being possible.
5. They have moderate grooming needs
As both the Chihuahua and the Miniature Schnauzer are low to moderate shedders, their offspring can be expected to be the same. According to Wag Walking, the Chizer needs to be brushed several times a week with more frequent brushing during their seasonal shedding periods. Other grooming needs extend to weekly ear cleanings to avoid wax build-up and infections; regular tooth cleaning and dental check-ups to keep their genetic tendency towards periodontal disease at bay; and occasional nail trimming. As frequent bathing can lead to skin and coat problems, it’s best avoided unless they become particularly smelly.
6. They need lots of socialization
The Chizer is sweet, playful, intelligent, and almost relentlessly cheerful. But like its parent breeds, it can also be wary of strangers, snappy around children, and intolerant of other animals. To bring out its best qualities and nip its worst in the bud, plenty of early socialization will be needed. The more animals and people they get used to in puppyhood, the fewer issues they’ll have with them in adulthood.
7. They’re adaptable
Chizers may seem like balls of energy, but due to their small size, they don’t need an endless amount of exercise or the benefit of a huge yard to run around in. Providing they get a few daily walks and a couple of sessions of fetch or frisbee, they’ll be as happy in an apartment or condo as they would be in a family home.
8. They hate the cold
Chizers might not have a preference when it comes to the size of their home, but they certainly have an opinion about how warm it is. Although no dog likes extreme heat, the Chizer prefer a sunny day to a cold one: if you live in a colder climate, prepare to invest in plenty of jackets to keep their shivers at bay. Their aversion to the cold can make potty training difficult, as many will simply refuse to go outside if the temperature dips below a certain point.
9. They have a stubborn streak
The Chizer is a smart, intelligent little dog that doesn’t take long to figure out who’s who and what’s what. But don’t mistake their smarts for obedience: thanks to a stubborn streak a mile wide, Chizers rarely do anything you ask them to if they feel like doing something else. To get the most out of training, sessions should be kept short and sweet to avoid boredom. Plenty of positive reinforcement, praise, and treats will help get (and keep) their attention.
10. They go by more than one name
If you hear someone refer to the Chizer by another name, don’t be surprised. While the breed has been recognized by the Designer Canine Registry, American Canine Hybrid Club, and International Designer Canine Registry as the Chizer, the Dog Registry of America has chosen to register it under the name Schnauchi instead.