Chestie (Chihuahua & West Highland White Terrier Mix)

Height: 8-10 inches
Weight: 5-10 pounds
Lifespan: 13-15 years
Colors: White, black, chocolate, red, cream, fawn
Suitable for: Individuals or families looking for a playful and affectionate dog
Temperament: Spirited, loyal, friendly, intelligent

When you learn that the Chestie is a mix between a Chihuahua and a West Highland White Terrier, you may scratch your head and wonder if it works. The answer is an emphatic, yes! Both parent breeds share some common ground. They are adaptable. They can live in the city or in the country. The Chestie is easy to train, making him an excellent choice for novice pet owners who need a pup that needs little guidance.

The hybrid is an interesting one. The Chihuahua is an ancient breed, although its connection with Mexico is lost to history. We can only speculate how the older Techichi dog evolved into the modern-day pup. We do know that the breed’s ancestry is closely tied to the Aztec culture. Because of his small size, the Chihuahua likely began and continues as a companion animal.

The West Highland White Terrier is a different story from across the pond. He got his start as a working dog as opposed to a lapdog. He hunted tirelessly for rodents. That trait persists and makes this pooch a capable competitor in earth dog events that highlight his digging and searching abilities. That history provides a valuable clue about what you can expect with this pup. This habit is part of his DNA.

Divider 1Chestie Puppies – Before You Buy…

View this post on Instagram

It’s raining out side and I do not want to get wet. #chestie

A post shared by Tallulah-Belle (@tallulah_belle_the_chestie) on

Energy
Trainability
Health
Lifespan
Sociability

Okay, so digging is a bad habit that you’ll have to control from the get-go. Don’t be too hard on the Chestie. He is just following his instincts to hunt rodents where they live. However, that background also fuels his strong prey drive. It’s a job that he takes seriously. It also accounts for his high wanderlust potential. This pup has all the tenacity of a terrier that you’d expect.

Perhaps in part because of his heritage, the Chestie is also a vocal dog. He has a lot to say, whether he’s on the hunt or just upset because he’s not getting enough attention. That’s a concern with a pup known as a companion animal. They want attention and will have something to say it you’re failing in your duty to him. As you may expect, separation anxiety is often on the radar with this pup.

The Chestie has a moderate tendency to nip, but he also is a spirited dog. He needs exercise to work off his energy and prevent him from forming bad habits. On the other hand, he is relatively easygoing and doesn’t take life too seriously. He is a friendly pooch that gets along with just about any person or canine that he meets. However, he recognizes strangers and will alert the family when necessary.

What’s the Price of Chestie Puppies?

Both parent breeds are moderately popular. Nevertheless, you can expect to pay at least $800 for a Chestie puppy. The reason is due in part to the scarcity of pups. There are also health concerns with both parent breeds that can affect availability. We strongly urge you to only buy from reputable breeders who undertake the recommended health screenings. Both breeds have issues that require this precaution.

We also recommend that you screen the seller as well. Avoid buying a pup from someone who is offering them at a can’t-believe-it low price. Unfortunately, these puppies are likely not up-to-date with their vaccinations or deworming. That’s especially worrisome since these conditions are affordable and the consequences so preventable. We think it’s unforgivable for a pet owner.

Whenever you make a decision as profound as owning a pet, it’s imperative to consider the big picture and all of its costs. It doesn’t stop with the purchase of a pup. It’s better to feed your dog, well, dog food instead of what you eat. Your pooch also needs regular healthcare, which means yearly vet visits and health monitoring by you year-round. Suffice to say that it’s a commitment.

Divider 83 Little-Known Facts About Chestie

1. The Chihuahua Has a Famous Musical Connection.

A breed that gains the following of a celebrity is assured that he’ll have many others clambering to get on the bandwagon. That was the case with the Chihuahua and Spanish bandleader, Xavier Cugat. He made this pup a part of his act and his iconic trademark. His style of Latin music found its home in the nightclubs and on film. Its legacy endures to this day.

2. The Chihuahua Has More Famous Connections.

Xavier Cugat is worthy enough, but the Chihuahua has more famous connections up his sleeve. He can count Marilyn Monroe, Billie Holiday, and Marlene Dietrich among his fans. Now that is star power.

3. The West Highland White Terrier Is Related to Other Breeds of the Area.

Breeders shared a common mission to rid their land of pests, namely, rodents. The Westie had that same goal, along with the Scottish, Cairn, and Dandie Dinmont Terriers. Each one followed their path to getting the work done with the added desirable personality traits. Selective breeding led to the various breeds needed for the job.

white terrier chihuahua
Parents of the Chestie. Left: West Highland White Terrier, Right: Chihuahua

Temperament & Intelligence of the Chestie

The Chestie ticks off a lot of boxes for a great pet. He is friendly and not aggressive, even when it comes to food and toys. He loves his family and is a loyal companion. He has just the right mix of playfulness and intensity to make it fun for both you and him. We like the fact that he isn’t hesitant about learning new things. He wants to please you. That’s a rare quality that we appreciate in a pet.

However, there is the tenacity of the terrier for which you must contend. That adds a bit of stubbornness to the mix. While you may think that the Westie is overly independent, his hunting history will prove you wrong. He is a gregarious pooch that is in it just as much for the hunt and the interactions with other people and dogs.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

The primary concern with the Chestie is his size. He is so small that it’s easy to forget that he’s there. That makes him prone to injuries that aren’t his fault at all. It’s all about being at the wrong place at the wrong time with this pup. He is kid-friendly, although we’d suggest educating your children about the right way to interact with a dog of this size.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

The Chihuahua in your Chestie has no greater drive to chase other pets in your household that you’d expect with any canine. The Westie is another story. After all, that’s his job. he chases animals that run from him. The family cat is no exception. He’ll get along with other dogs since he’d often socialize with other canines.

Nevertheless, we recommend early socialization to guide the development of his canine manners. Our experience tells us that it makes for a better pet-owner relationship,

Divider 4Things to Know When Owning a Chestie:

The breed mix should tell you that you’re in for a handful with the personalities of both the parents. We think that it makes having a Chestie that much more fun! It’s also a word to the wise that this pup isn’t one to sit quietly by the fireplace. He’s going to want to be a part of the action. He’ll do best with households or individuals that consider him a member of the family.

His entertaining manner makes it a no-brainer! However, that also means that he won’t like being left alone or in a crate without interaction from his loved ones. This pup needs to be involved in your life. He’s a better choice for individualism who consider pets in this way.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Small dogs are a challenge, especially when it comes to feeding. You have to makes sure they get enough food without becoming overweight. That will increase their risk of diabetes. It becomes kind of a chess match with toy breeds. They mature rapidly, which means they need a calorie-dense food. However, you must feed them often enough to keep their blood sugar levels stable to prevent hypoglycemia.

It’s essential to understand that pet food manufacturers have refined their products to match the dogs’ needs at all life stages and sizes. Proper nutrition, after all, is the foundation of good health. It’s especially critical with fast-growing dogs like the Chestie. He needs fuel and nutrition to support his growth and development.

Exercise 🐕

A feisty dog like the Chestie will have his activity level well in hand if given a chance. If you are an apartment dweller, you must take control and make sure that he gets daily walks. It’ll keep his intensity in line and go that extra mile for controlling his weight. It’s also an opportunity to bond with your pet that craves this attention. Take advantage of it to improve his health.

parents of the chestie
Credit: Mlle Sonyah, Shutterstock

Training 🎾

Some breeds make training a challenge because of their independence or stubbornness. That’s not the case with the Chestie. He is eager to please, and he is smart enough to know that it’s in his best interests. However, this pup is sensitive. He won’t respond well to harsh reprimands. The better approach to training is positive reinforcement.  Save the treats as training aids to make it worthwhile.

Grooming ✂️

The amount of time you’ll need to devote to grooming depends on the dominant breed. Both require regular brushings if just to give you a chance to check the condition of his coat and for the presence of ticks. These parasites carry a lot of pathogens, some of which can pass on disease to people. We consider these times opportunities to bond with your pet. Make the most of them.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Smaller breeds often are susceptible to a host of diseases and disorders simply because we love them too much. The same thing applies to the Chestie. It leads to inbreeding and increasing the risk of these devastating conditions. Fortunately, a lot of health screenings can catch them before they proliferate. We strongly urge you to buy from breeders who respect this risk and test their litters.

Minor Conditions
  • Cherry eye
  • Deafness
Serious Conditions

Divider 5Male vs Female

When you consider small dogs like the Chestie, the difference between the sexes is small. Thye have similar sizes, which can fuel personality differences. Instead, you’ll find that both sexes are similar in personality, which we think comes down to the individual dog. While the female is daintier, it’s a moot point when considering the size of the dog.

It then rests with breeding.  The cost of eventually neutering or spaying a pup is considerably cheaper with cost and preference. Bear in mind that it is more expensive with the female than the male. It’s a vital consideration since many sellers make it a condition of a sale. At the very least, you may have to pay for the cost of the surgery.

Divider 3Final Thoughts

The Chestie, like many so-called designer dogs, brings a lot of interesting traits to the mix. The two parent breeds differ a lot, which also adds to the result. Both bring some interesting traits to the hybrids. That’s what makes some of these mixes so much fun to explore. They have the characteristics that we love in a dog while taming the ones we could do without. The Chesite is a perfect example.

He is a dog that makes training easy beaus of his tide and his eagerness to please. He gets along with other dogs, which also helps. He successfully overcomes the uncertainty of his future brilliantly. He is a dog worth a look if just because of his story. We always like a dog that has survived the centuries like the parent breeds of this pooch.


Featured Image Credit: SunflowerMomma, Shutterstock