The Chipin is a mixed breed dog — a cross between the Chihuahua and Miniature Pinscher dog breeds. Compact, happy, and fast learners, these pups inherited some of the best qualities from both of their parents. Parental breed research can offer much insight into their temperament and behaviors.

Chipins go by a few names, including Pinhuahua and Minchi. Despite their unfortunate status as a “designer” breed, you may find these mixed dogs in shelters and rescues, so remember to adopt! Don’t shop!

These adorable pups make great apartment dogs for active urban dwellers and families; although, they have a tendency to be yappy. If you want an energetic “spirited” dog who will keep you on your toes, alert you to any potential dangers, and love you unconditionally, the Chipin may be your new best friend.

See below for all mixed dog breed traits and facts about Chipins!

Chipin Mixed Dog Breed Pictures

Breed Characteristics:


Adapts Well To Apartment Living
Good For Novice Owners
Sensitivity Level
Tolerates Being Alone
Tolerates Cold Weather
Tolerates Hot Weather

All Around Friendliness

Affectionate With Family
Dog Friendly
Friendly Toward Strangers

Health And Grooming Needs

Amount Of Shedding
Drooling Potential
Easy To Groom
General Health
Potential For Weight Gain


Easy To Train
Potential For Mouthiness
Prey Drive
Tendency To Bark Or Howl
Wanderlust Potential

Physical Needs

Energy Level
Exercise Needs
Potential For Playfulness

Vital Stats:

Dog Breed Group:
Mixed Breed Dogs
8 to 12 inches
5 to 15 pounds
Life Span:
10 to 14 years

More About This Breed

  • Highlights

    • The Chipin is a mixed breed dog. They are not purebreds like their Chihuahua or Miniature Pinscher parents.
    • The main colors of Chipins are black, chocolate, golden, and cream. They are usually two colors, but can be a mixture of many colors.
    • Chipins have short, straight, easy-to-groom coats, though they are not suited to extreme weather. They may need a doggy jacket in the winter and pet sunscreen in the summer.
    • Chipins prefer to be mostly around adults or older kids who know how to play gently. They can tolerate other pets, especially with early socialization, though they might rather be the only pet in the household.
    • Some Chipins tend to gain weight when they are overfed. Stick to an appropriate meal schedule and make sure you can provide enough exercise to suit their high energy.
    • Although Chipins are great apartment dogs, they require companionship and do not do well when they are left alone for long periods of time.
    • Chipins can be yappy, though this makes them excellent watchdogs.
  • History

    The Chipin breed may have existed naturally over the years, but designer breeders started intentionally mixing Chihuahuas and Miniature Pinschers in the early 2000's, likely in North America.

    The Chihuahua parent breed originated in Mexico, and the Miniature Pinscher breed was developed in Germany. The purpose of putting these two breeds together is not fully known, but they make, happy, alert, intelligent watchdogs.

    Breeders continued to create Chipins as demand for the mixed breed pups climbed. Chipins are not recognized as an official breed at this time.

    Even though the Chipin got its start as a designer breed, some have ended up in shelters or in the care of rescue groups. Consider adoption if you decide this is the breed for you.

    Check your local shelters, look for Chipin rescues, and check with breed-specific Pinscher or Chihuahua rescues, as they sometimes take in mixed breed dogs to find homes for.

  • Size

    As the Chipin is a relatively new breed, there are few standards when it comes to size. That said, as a mix between Chihuahua and Miniature Pinscher parents, you can expect Chipins to be small.

    Most weigh in at five to 15 pounds and range in height from eight to twelve inches at the shoulder. However, some can be smaller or larger. Males tend to be slightly larger than females.

  • Personality

    Chipins are described as a big dog in a tiny package. They are curious, alert, and agile, full of spirit and energy and fiercely protective of their humans.

    Chipins are easy to train and make excellent watchdogs. They can be territorial so prepare to have visitors announced. They are well suited for agility classes, as they thrive on the mental and physical stimulation.

    Their curious nature means they would be an awesome traveling partner. If you would like a companion who won't take up much room and will always have your back, this fearless pup may be the perfect dog for you.

    Before considering this breed, make sure that you have the time and energy you need to dedicate to them. If you work away from your house, this pup may need to come with you, or they may need companionship from a pet sitter or dog walker during the day. They are not suited for isolation.

    Thankfully, Chipins are so tiny and adorable one could easily be the office mascot and would surely charm the socks off all of your co-workers.

    They tend to latch on to one family member most of all, though they can get along with others in the house. Chipins may be best suited to a one-person home or smaller families, as they demand quite a bit of attention.

  • Health

    The Chipin breed is predisposed to some of the same conditions that the Chihuahua and Miniature Pinscher also face. While most are generally healthy, some may be prone to a few health issues, which is why it is important to maintain good care and regular veterinary checkups.

    Some of the more common health problems Chipins may suffer from include:

    • Hip dysplasia
    • Obesity
    • Eye injury
    • Heart disease
    • Cataracts
    • Low Blood Pressure
  • Care

    As with all dogs, you should keep up with your Chipin's regular veterinary checkups to detect any health concerns early. Your vet can help you develop a care routine that will keep your dog healthy.

    Chipins are prone to weight gain, and they have high energy levels. Your Chipin will most likely be at your side all day long, wanting to watch everything you do and investigate the world around them.

    A 45 minute daily walk or hike would be ideal, to get their energy out and keep them from destructive behavior. Their small size means they may require more frequent potty breaks. If you are person on the go, this pup would love to be your co-pilot.

    Their sharp, pointed ears mean they do not suffer the same propensity for ear infections as dogs with ears that are flappy. That said, ears should be checked regularly for mites, wax, and debris.

    Trim your dog's nails before they get too long--usually once or twice per month. They should not be clicking loudly against the floor. Your groomer can help with this, and YouTube tutorials can give you a refresher.

    Your main concern when it comes to your Chipin's care will be maintaining their oral health. You should brush their teeth daily, as small breeds are prone to dental issues. Your veterinarian can instruct you on how to brush your dog's teeth properly.

  • Feeding

    An ideal Chipin diet should be formulated for a small breed with high energy. They have a tendency to gain weight if they are overfed, so you should stick to a regular feeding schedule and not leave food out during the day.

    As with all dogs, the Chipin's dietary needs will change from puppyhood to adulthood and will continue to change into their senior years. You should ask your veterinarian for recommendations about your Chipin's diet, as there is far too much variation among individual dogs--including weight, energy, and health--to make a specific recommendation.

  • Coat Color And Grooming

    Chipin coats are often a mix of their Miniature Pinscher and Chihuahua parents' coats and colors. The main colors of Chipins are black, chocolate, golden, and cream. Rarely solid, they are typically two colors but can be a combination and mixture of all.

    They have short, straight, easy-to-groom coats. They should be brushed a few times a week. Chipins can be bathed once a month with a vet approved, mild shampoo, but no more, as baths remove essential coat oils.

    Because they tend to have shorter coats, Chipins aren't particularly suited for extreme weather. You'll likely need a coat in the winter for your dog, and you may need to apply sunscreen to the ears, nose, and sensitive areas where there's less fur coverage in the summer months.

  • Children And Other Pets

    Because the Chipin is a small dog, they can be easily injured by overly excited children. Chipins prefer to be mostly around adults or older kids who know how to play gently. For single person households, the Chipin can make a great, active companion.

    When it comes to other pets, Chipins can get along with other animals if they are introduced slowly and calmly, and early socialization will help this go smoothly. It's best if they get used to other pets early on.

    Chipins would probably do well with a cat, but they can be aggressive toward other dogs they don't know, and they may want to eat a bird or other small animal. Chipins would be the happiest as the solo pet of their household.

  • Rescue Groups

    It may be hard to find a breed-specific rescue for Chipins because they are a mixed breed. However, you may want to try Chihuahua or Miniature Pinscher breed-specific rescues, as they often care for mixes, as well. Here are some rescues you can try:

    You can also try DogTime's adoption page that lets you search for adoptable dogs by breed and zip code!

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