Cheeks

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3-9 lbs
8-14"
Unknown
Pekachi, Pee-Chi, Pekachu, Pikachu

The Cheeks is a designer dog, an intentional cross between two ancient companion dogs from different continents, the Chihuahua of Mexico and the Pekingese dog from China. The cross between these two breed results in a loyal and affectionate companion that is easy to maintain and doesn’t require a lot of room. They are fairly quiet dogs and just a few short walks a day are needed to keep them happy and healthy, which makes them an ideal pet for people with limited mobility or people living in small apartments. They may not be the ideal pet for people who are looking for a running buddy or for those with very small children.

Purpose
Companion
Date of Origin
Unknown
Ancestry
Chihuahua, Pekingese

Cheeks Health

Average Size
Height: 8-14 inches Weight: 3-9 lbs
Height: 8-14 inches Weight: 3-9 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Mitral Valve Disease
Minor Concerns
  • Skin Problems
  • Eye Problems
  • Heart Problems
Occasional Tests
  • Knee
  • Heart
  • X-Rays
  • Physical Examination

Cheeks Breed History

The Cheeks is a cross between two popular companion animals, both of them quite small. The Pekingese breed is an ancient breed that was developed as a companion for royalty in China sometime before 700 BC, and much of their history is lost in myth and legend. While the legend that this canine is actually the offspring of a marmoset and a love-struck lion is highly unlikely, DNA testing does tell us that this dog, known in China as Fu-Lin, or Lion Dog, is more closely related to the wolf than most breeds. These tiny but fierce dogs were frequently given to favored visitors to the country and they quickly gained popularity in the United States and in Europe, gaining recognition with the American Kennel Club in 1906. When the Qing Dynasty fell in the early 1900’s, most of the royal dogs were slaughtered, and it was the dogs that were given to visiting dignitaries and scattered throughout the world that kept this breed from going extinct and in 1948, they were recognized by the United Kennel Club as well.  The modern Chihuahua’s history is also quite mysterious, although DNA testing of the breed indicates ties to an ancient native dog known as the Techichi. The Techichi dogs are believed to have been kept as pets and religious sacrifices by the indigenous Aztec people for thousands of years. Some of the earliest dogs that could be identified as Chihuahuas were found in Mexico in the mid 1800’s, although at the time this tiny breed didn’t have an official name and the dogs were typically referred to by where they were procured. Merchants in Mexico, largely from the state of Chihuahua, began selling these portable and companionable animals to visitors from  other countries. In 1904, the first Chihuahuas were recognized by the American Kennel Club and just thirty were registered by 1913. Today they are listed the 30th most popular breed in the United States with well over 40,000 Chihuahuas registered with the AKC in 2012, and also enjoy great popularity in many other countries around the world, including the UK, the Philippines, and Australia.

Cheeks Breed Appearance

Both of the breeds that were combined to make this dog stand less than a foot tall and typically weigh about the same as a honeydew melon. The Cheeks, therefore, is a very small dog, generally under a foot tall and usually less than ten pounds in weight. They may inherit the more dome like head of the Chihuahua or the flat broad skull of the Peke, and their muzzle will be short, but it could be either broad like the Pekingese or narrower and tapered like the Chihuahua. This hybrid has dark, round eyes that are prominent but not bulging, and ears that will be positioned high on the head, although they may be either heart-shaped or triangular and may stand up away from the head or they may fold to the front or sides. Although single layer coats may happen on occasion, this hybrid usually has a double layer coat with a dense undercoat covered by longer stronger fur which may be either coarse or soft depending on which parent breed they most resemble. Many Cheeks will have feathering around their ears, feet, and tail.

Cheeks Breed Maintenance

The basic grooming for this little dog is relatively straightforward. They only require baths a few times a year and giving them too many baths is known to strip this breed of the necessary oils required to keep their coats lustrous and healthy. Frequent brushing is recommended, both to help properly distribute the oils to the dog’s fur and to help control their year-round shedding. The coat is usually a mix between the two very different coats that are found on the parent breeds and if the coat is long or feathering is present, extra time should be taken on the bushing to ensure that tangling and matting do not occur. This dog also has a very small mouth and dogs with small mouths are prone to dental disease, so it is particularly important to maintain dental hygiene with these dogs. 

Cheeks Temperament

The Cheeks is a friendly, amusing, and outgoing animal with their families, however they can be much more timid when being introduced to strangers. These dogs are not prone to bouts of separation anxiety, but they are meant to be lap dogs, and your lap is their favorite place to be. These dogs generally get along with other dogs quite well and are not as prone as some to chasing down smaller animals. Due to their small size, these dogs can be quite fragile and any interactions with younger children or larger animals should be carefully supervised. They tend to be more patient with older children and tolerant of handling, but they can tend towards nippiness if not handled gently. Socialization is crucial for this hybrid, in order to prevent behavioral issues like excessive timidity, small dog syndrome, and even aggression. Training should start early with this crossbreed, as they may have a bit of a stubborn nature and waiting will make training a much more difficult task. 

Cheeks Activity Requirements

Neither the Chihuahua or the Pekingese require a great deal of exercise and a few short walks a day and some vigorous indoor play should help to keep your canine companion happily tired out. These dogs may also enjoy agility training and games of fetch, but because of the size and shape of their mouths most will prefer a stick shaped toy to a ball. The Cheeks may be more susceptible to extremes in temperature and if the weather is extremely hot or extremely cold, outdoor exposure should be kept to a minimum. Because these dogs are generally quiet and have very low exercise requirements, they often make excellent apartment dogs, but because of their smaller stature, they should never be left outside alone, not even in the back yard. 

Cheeks Owner Experiences