4-16 lbs
Hava Chi, Havachi

The Cheenese is a hybrid breed where the Chihuahua is crossed with the Havanese. The Cheenese is a small dog, usually with a long, straight coat. Training your Cheenese can be challenging, as this hybrid can have an independent side and can require a good amount of patience from the owner. Most Cheenese enjoy socializing and will be loyal and responsive to their family; in fact a Cheenese will prefer to not be left alone. Owners of the Cheenese describe them as happy, friendly, sensitive and frisky.

purpose Purpose
history Date of Origin
ancestry Ancestry
Chihuahua and Havanese

Cheenese Health

Average Size
Male Cheenese size stats
Height: 6-9 inches Weight: 4-16 lbs
Female Cheenese size stats
Height: 6-9 inches Weight: 4-16 lbs
Major Concerns
  • None
Minor Concerns
  • Patellar Luxation
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Cataracts
  • Otitis Externa
Occasional Tests
  • Eye
  • Knee
  • X-Rays
  • Physical Examination
  • Ear

Cheenese Breed History

There are several theories as to the origin of the parent breed  the Chihuahua. One theory is that the breed came to be in Egypt 3,000 years ago. Another is that the Chihuahua breed originated in China and was brought elsewhere by Spanish traders. It is believed that the dog was then crossed with small dogs that were native to the area. A third theory is that the Chihuahua was came from Central and South America, descending from a native dog called “Techichi”. The Techichi was small and mute and at times was used in sacrificial ceremonies, as it was believed that a small red dog had the ability to guide the soul to the underworld. What is certain is that around 1850 three tiny dogs were found in Chihuahua, Mexico. A small number of the dogs were ultimately brought to America though they received little attention. When Xavier Cugat brought his Chihuahua with him in public regularly, the breed began to get the attention of Americans and became very popular. The Havanese is known as the national dog of Cuba. Related to the Bichon Frise, the breed originated in the Mediterranean and was brought to Cuba by Spanish traders in an effort to encourage trade relations (the dogs were presented to Cuban women) and became a symbol of wealth. Specifically bred for the ruling class, dogs of the breed were never sold, only received as gifts. Some dogs of the breed were trained as performers as they craved being the center of attention. Being seen in performances helped increase their popularity. Wealthy families migrated to the United States during the Cuban Revolution, though many were unable to bring their dogs. In the 1970’s a woman named Mrs. Goodale, a dog breeder, looked for Cuban refugees in Florida who had brought their dogs with them and began breeding them. She was able to continue the breed with six dogs that came to the United States from Cuba along with five dogs that came from Costa Rica. The Havanese was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1996.

Cheenese Breed Appearance

The Cheenese is a hybrid dog from the Chihuahua and the Havanese.  These faithful, loving dogs are typically small, weighing anywhere from 4 to 16 pounds and standing 6 to 9 inches tall. The coat is usually long, straight and silky and can be seen in brown, gold, white, black, chocolate and cream. The ears of the Cheenese can be erect, or floppy and furry. The eyes are dark and round, and may be bulging like the Chihuahua, depending on which parent's genes were more dominant.

Eye Color Possibilities
brown Cheenese eyes
Nose Color Possibilities
black Cheenese nose
Coat Color Possibilities
brown Cheenese coat
white Cheenese coat
black Cheenese coat
cream Cheenese coat
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
coat density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
coat texture
Cheenese straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Cheenese Breed Maintenance

Grooming requirements for the Cheenese are low to moderate; if the coat of your dog is like that of a Chihuahua, he will shed a moderate amount and require regular brushing (three times per week). If his coat is more like that of the Havanese, he will shed very little. The pin brush works very well in both types of coat, removing tangles and making the coat glossy. Regardless of his coat, bathing should only take place when necessary as too many baths can hurt his natural skin oils. It is recommended that his teeth be brushed two to three times per week and his ears be checked and cleaned on a weekly basis. The nails of the Cheenese should be clipped as needed.

Brushes for Cheenese
Pin Brush
Pin Brush
Nail Clipper
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
fur daily fur weekly fur monthly
Cheenese requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Cheenese Temperament

The Cheenese is typically a loyal, friendly dog who loves socializing with people. Dogs of the hybrid tend to be bright, responsive and generally happy. His independent spirit is typically balanced by an even nature, making the Cheenese not too challenging to train. Most Cheenese are sensitive and don’t enjoy being left alone. Very alert, he may bark to let you know that someone is coming.  Most Cheenese don’t do well with young children and should be in homes with adults and older children. Should the dog be raised with small children as a puppy he may be able to be successful in a home with them; however, the children must be taught to be gentle with this small canine. Socialization from a very young age will be helpful and supervision will be necessary when around young kids. The Cheenese will do well with other pets and dogs, particularly if socialized early.

Cheenese Activity Requirements

The Cheenese is an active dog who enjoys regular exercise. Due to your hybrid’s small size he will be fine living in an apartment and while a yard is not necessary, he will enjoy an outdoor space for running and playing. Regular walks (several per day) and trips to the dog park will be helpful to ensure that the Cheenese gets enough activity and socialization. Mental stimulation will also be important as both parent breeds are clever and enjoy activities that allow them to express themselves. The Cheenese always seems to be thinking, he is spunky and alert.

Activity Level
low activity medium activity high activity
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
6 miles
walk mileage
Minutes of Activity Per Day
30 minutes
activity minutes

Cheenese Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
1 cups
cup per day cost
Daily Cost
$0.75 - $1.00
food bowls daily cost
Monthly Cost
$25.00 - $30.00
food bag monthly cost

Cheenese Owner Experiences

5 Weeks
3 People
House & Yard
Non yet
Very lovable. Still baby. Sleeps a bunch.
5 years, 12 months ago
3 Years
4 People
House & Yard
Great dog to have in the home. Very alert and always on the lookout. Ready for fetch & play time. Easy to train; listens very well.
5 years, 6 months ago
5 Months
3 People
I love my girl. She is 5 months and high energy. Her name Vega and she is white and black with small and large black dots. Her nose is black and she has round Havanese brown eyes. Her fur is straight and her ears flop over. She is extremely high energy, Vega loves to play and is very responsive to playing. Extremely friendly loves to be greeted and loves to meet other dogs. She does have a protective aspect though at night when I’m asleep if someone walks in she gets in standing position growls and watches the door. Very attached does not like being left alone at all. Minimal barking, tons of kisses. Furry face so I’ve gotten her groomed once looked really sweet with her black and white spots.
3 years, 3 months ago
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