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The Spunky Cairn Terrier Chihuahua Mix For Lively Owners

The Spunky Cairn Terrier Chihuahua Mix For Lively Owners

Have you ever had a chance to meet the perky Cairn Terrier Chihuahua Mix? This small dog makes one of the spunkiest and most playful designer breeds in the world. With only seven pounds of weight, Cairnhuahuas make a fantastic toy pet for all types of families.

Still, the breed is known for its playful and active character, which makes it suitable for lively owners and people who enjoy finding new ways of entertainment on a daily basis.

A Cairnhuahua, popularly known as a Toxirn, is a proud member of the IDCR (International Designer Canine Registry), and the DDKC (Designer Dogs Kennel Club).

If you’re inclined to buy this charming, yet spunky Terrier successor, you came to the right place! Let’s meet this cutie in detail!

What Is The Cairn Terrier Chihuahua Mix?

small cairn terrier chihuahua mix
Photo from: @lady.bed.head_phbt

This little guy, popularly known as Cairnchi, Cairnhuahua, or simply Toxirn, is a hybrid dog coming from two toy breeds – the Chihuahua and the Cairn Terrier. 

You can find it in the following registries: IDCR (International Designer Canine Registry), DDKC (Designer Dogs Kennel Club), ACHC (American Canine Hybrid Club), DRA (Dog Registry of America) and DBR (Designer Breed Registry).

A Toxirn dog is not that common as a family dog as the breed itself doesn’t make the most affectionate pet in comparison to other breeds. At times, these little dogs can be aggressive and overwhelming, which is a trait of both Chi and Terrier parents.

That’s why the breed is recommended mostly to families with grown-ups as young children may be misperceived by this little fellow.

Still, early-socialized dogs raised with love and patience will display excellent family traits, and they will be full-time companions to owners of any age.

What Two Breeds Stand Behind The Toxirn Puppy?

Since the history of this designer dog is quite vague, we need to look into the parent breeds to identify the possible pawsonality of this mixed breed. The dog comes from two extremely popular small / toy dogs Chis and Cairn Terriers.

Finding either one of these two purebreds is quite a challenge as you need to be careful when it comes to choosing a reliable breeder. This especially goes for Chi puppies as these canines have a sensitive physique and a demanding character.

That’s why choosing reliable Chi breeders is always a must prior to having this perky canine in your home!

But first, let’s meet each of these dogs individually and see which traits we can expect in a Cairn Terrier Chihuahua Mix!

Cairn Terrier

cairn terrier walking on grass

The Carin Terrier puppy comes all the way from Scotland. However, the breed has a long-term membership in the American Kennel Club as these puppies were recognized in 1913.

Probably the most popular Cairn dog is Toto, from The Wizard Of Oz – the movie that was the turning point in the Cairn Terrier’s popularity. Thismovie made the dog famous all over the United States, and beyond.

The puppy stands up to 10 inches in height. On the other hand, this breed weighs between 13 and 14 pounds. You can read more about their size in our Cairn Terrier growth chart!

There is a reason why puppies have been categorized among Terriers. Namely, the dog has been used as a hunter between the Scottish Cairns; hence, the name!

These canines have a high energy level and a high prey-drive, too. The dog is known for its fearless character, which is why they make good watchdogs. 

However, their protectiveness has impacted their position, dropping on the list of the best family dogs, as these little dogs can sometimes be unfriendly or aggressive.

That’s why choosing quality Cairn Terriers breeders is always recommended as the puppy needs socialization from day one. Properly-socialized and obedience-trained canines make excellent family additions as they are tireless, curious, and playful.

These canines fit in all types of homes as their range of activities is broad. On one hand, they enjoy cuddling and being lap dogs, while on the other, they will do anything to get you out of the house for play.

Always walk them on a leash when visiting dog parks as these small Terriers are quite unaware of their size. They may get into trouble in no time!


portrait of a chihuahua

Even though the first thing that pops in your mind when someone says ‘‘Chihuahua’’ is a tiny, toy dog – there are actually six different types of Chihuahuas that you may not come across. Among them, apple-head and deer-head types are probably the most popular among Chi owners.

This perky puppy has its origins in Central America. However, the breed is nowadays widely represented in the States and Europe. These puppies were recognized by the AKC in 1904, which makes for quite a tradition.

Chi canines reach no more than eight inches in height, while they weigh between 6 and 7 pounds. The Chi puppy probably has the most sensitive body physique of all puppies, which is why establishing a proper Chi feeding chart is a must for every owner.

They don’t process poor-quality kibbles well, which is why the best option is to consult a vet about the best types of Chi food.

These canines spend a lot of time indoors as they are not as active as their Cairn Terrier counterpart. Still, the Chi canine needs a lot of positive reinforcement and commitment as they can become pretty aggressive, too.

Even though these puppies are small-sized, they have sharp teeth and a strong bite. That’s why having a Chi dog around young children is not recommended.

A Little Piece Of History

If we combine the spunky, sassy character of a Cairn dog with a fearless Chi puppy, we will get the perfect family dog out of the Cairn Terrier Chihuahua Mix puppy.

Both of these dogs share many common traits, such as being highly vocal and being protective towards their family. In fact, one of the purposes of breeding Chi puppies throughout history was… believe it or not – to design a small guardian.

The exact origin of this hybrid is vague, and that’s why we cannot tell the original birth date of this dog. However, it is believed that breeders wanted to design a more active and playful version of a Chi puppy and boost its already-existing family traits.

So far, they have succeeded, as Toxirn puppies have proven fantastic family skills. They make decent companion dogs that require minimum exercise during the day, but they will never say ‘no’ to frisbee fetching or flyball.

This crossbreed can be found in kennels all around the U.S., but there are many facilities that rescue dogs for rehoming, too.

Cairn Terrier Chihuahua Mix: Physical Appearance

cairn terrier chihuahua mix
Photo from: @lady.bed.head_phbt

These small crossbreeds are more robust rather than frail. Toxirns have a firm, muscular body physique that is covered with a wiry, medium-long coat. They have upturned ears and a black nose.

Their overall appearance is heart-melting as their wiry hair and bright eyes make them adorable. All puppies generally come in a double coat, with a fuzzy undercoat.

Grooming these dogs is not the most overwhelming challenge as their fur doesn’t shed that frequently. They are rather moderate shedders that require a weekly brushing. Other than that, purchasing a nail clipper is a wise decision as you will need to clip your puppy’s nails on a monthly basis.

Toxirn puppies resemble their Chi parents as the Chi growth chart is very similar to the growth chart of a Toxirn dog. They require a well-planned feeding chart and daily supervision. A fenced yard is a great choice as Toxirn puppies are curious, and they tend to wander a lot.


Toxirn puppies stand between 8 and 9 inches in height. Their weight revolves between 6 and 7 pounds, which means the puppy generally resembles its Chi parent.

That’s why taking care of a puppy’s feeding chart on a daily basis is as equally important as taking care of the Chi feeding chart. These canines tend to have a sensitive stomach. They are prone to obesity, which doesn’t do good for them in the long run.

They are not as active as German Shepherds or Labs, which means their calorie burnout is significantly lower. One of the most common health problems of Toxirn puppies is obesity, which positively correlates with their toy size.

Even though cheap food brands have a better subscriber base, don’t be stingy when it comes to providing the best possible food for your puppy. You will negatively affect your puppy’s lifespan, and also lose money on healthcare.

Coat Color

The puppy has a medium-long, wiry coat and a fuzzy undercoat beneath. It comes both in Cairn Terrier and Chi color patterns, which means that you can find a Toxirn puppy in gray, brown, black, and cream variants.

These teeny-tiny canines are true fashionista dogs, even though they don’t require a professional groomer’s assistance. Chi Terrier mixed breed dogs are not hypoallergenic, but they rarely shed.

Being a low to moderate shedder is one of the advantages of having this dog inside a house. You won’t need to collect furballs all over the house, nor will you need to brush your puppy on a daily basis.

A simple, weekly brushing will be more than enough, and so will a monthly bath.

Temperament Of The Cairn Terrier Chihuahua Mix

cairn terrier chihuahua mix dog
Photo from: @scouttheshoppup

Despite the fact that this is a small dog breed, we cannot forget the fact that Toxirn puppies come from the Terrier dog breeds club. 

With that being said, you can expect your puppy to be protective and reserved towards strangers as they are naturally inclined to guarding their home and family.

Most of the time, these little canines forget that they are tiny and small, which is why they will act fearless even towards big dogs and predators.

Still, with a little bit of effort and commitment, you will have a reliable family dog with a positive attitude. Early socialization accomplished through positive reinforcement techniques is what you need to give a Toxirn puppy.

They respond well to dog toys, healthy snacks, and other creative socialization techniques, which makes it easy for the dog to be trained inside a house.

If you are a first-time dog owner, taking advice from professional dog trainers can sometimes be a great solution towards instilling decent puppy manners in your pet.

Social Skills And Housing

If you want to teach your Toxirn puppy great social skills do it in its early puppyhood stage. 

These canines need to learn that new faces in your home don’t necessarily mean a potential threat. This is a long process that sometimes can be overwhelming, but it is doable.

These canines don’t require a firm touch or a strict puppy regime. In fact, they respond to positive reinforcement pretty well, which is why using interactive dog toys or healthy snacks is highly recommended during the socialization process.

These canines are exclusively indoor dogs as they cannot endure solitude or outside life. Still, the breed is recommended to families with older children as they can sometimes misperceive young children and see them as a prey.

However, socialized and obedience-trained puppies won’t display any aggression, even to strangers.

Are Toxirns Aggressive

At times, these canines can be aggressive as they come from naturally aggressive dog breeds. Both Chi and Cairn puppies are aggressive on occasion, which is why the possibility of their offspring to collect this trait is pretty high.

They use aggression as a self-defense mechanism most of the time. However, puppies that suffer from separation anxiety or improper breeding can display aggression, even towards their owner. If you have a much too busy schedule to take care of a puppy – don’t get one.

These dogs cannot stand long hours of separation as it can trigger severe separation anxiety.

Furthermore, unsocialized puppies can display aggression towards strangers or other animals. That’s why early socialization is quite important if you want to make a family pet out of the Toxirn puppy.

Cairn Terrier Chihuahua Mix: Health Issues

cairn terrier chihuahua mix dog on the street
Photo from: @scouttheshoppup

Luckily, this canine comes from an extremely healthy parent – the Chihuahua. That’s why these hybrid dogs don’t have so many major health issues in the first place. Chis are known to be one of the healthiest dog breeds in the world.

However, there are some issues that could be found in a Toxirn puppy, such as patellar luxation, obesity, joint dysplasia, or heart problems.

Subjecting your puppy to regular vet checkups and choosing a dog from a reliable breeder are two of the most important things that you can do when it comes to your dog’s health.

Patellar Luxation

Patellar Luxation in dogs represents a misaligned kneecap, mostly in Chis, Yorkies, and Pom puppies. It can be normally spotted during a veterinarian’s physical exam.

Based on severity, this condition is categorized into four different stages. The higher the stage – the more rigid treatment option.

Small misalignments are generally treated by physical therapy. In those cases, veterinarians recommend weight supervision as dogs with a luxating patella must be within their normal weight ratio.

Furthermore, the recommendation is not to overwhelm your dog with exercise if it suffers from a luxating patella.

The ultimate treatment option for a misaligned kneecap in a dog is surgery. However, the average cost of this procedure starts at $1000 and reaches up to $4000.

Heart Problems And Obesity

Even though these canines are not prone to heart problems by default, obese puppies tend to have some heart problems.

Obesity is one of the things that you cannot allow in your Toxirn puppy as it changes their entire body structure. Their bones become fragile and prone to injuries, while their behavior becomes affected by the inability to fulfill their daily exercise needs.

Avoid poor dog food brands and table scraps. Give your puppy high-quality and timely meals instead. These canines need smaller portions of food. Their daily requirements are one cup per day.


mixed breed of cairn terrier and chihuahua
Photo from: @scouttheshoppup
1. How Long Do Toxirn Dogs Live?

Generally, these canines live between 13 and 15 years. They are naturally healthy, which is a characteristic picked up from their Chi parents.

Still, in order to have a healthy and long-living dog, you need to take into consideration its daily exercise needs as well as its feeding chart. 

The ‘‘How heavy should my dog be’’ question will help you determine the proper Toxirn feeding chart, and help you develop a good daily routine for your canine.

2. What Is The Difference Between A Chihuahua And A Cairn Terrier?

The main difference between these two dogs is that Chi puppies are generally less active than Cairn dogs. The latter is known for its playful and high-energy character, which is not the case with their Central American counterparts.

Cairn Terriers are prey-oriented as they have been hunting dogs for a very long time. On the other hand, Chi puppies are lap dogs by default, and they enjoy a calmer lifestyle.

Still, there are many common traits that these two breeds share. For instance, both of these canines can be aggressive at times, especially Chihuahuas. Why Chi dogs are so aggressive has to do with their natural self-defensive mechanism.

Final Thoughts

The Cairn Terrier Chihuahua Mix is a quite popular family dog that won’t leave you bored. These perky gentlemen are heart-melting in their appearance, but they won’t mind getting dirty if that means good playtime.

This hybrid is perfect for active families that enjoy spending time outdoors, and also for people who enjoy spending time at home. A Toxirn puppies’ adaptability makes it quite favorable among dog lovers. One thing is for sure – these tiny dogs won’t disappoint!

Read more: This Jack Russell Yorkie Mix Is The Hybrid You Need