This rare mix of two toy breeds has more to offer than just a list of adorable aliases – Papihuahua, Chi-a-Pap, Chion, Chihuahua Pappion, and Papchi – she’s also a perfect blend of lover and fighter!
These teeny-tiny pups are known for both their sweet lap dog nature and their protectiveness for their owners.
If you’re now wondering whether you’ve come across some hidden puppy treasure, keep reading to find out!
The tiniest origination story of all
The Chion is a crossbreed between two of the smallest toy breeds with very different backgrounds: the Chihuahua and the Papillon.
The Papillon Chihuahua mix is not always exactly half Chihuahua and half Papillon, though– sometimes, breeders will create multi-generational breeds.
The Sassy-yet-Classy Chihuahua
This pint-sized pup is a descendant of one of the oldest ancient dogs, the Techichi of the Toltecs. Their apple heads are their trademark, and their sassy and charming personalities fit perfectly– thanks to those bulging sweet eyes.
The AKC recognizes these pint-sized pups in the Toy Group.
Chihuahuas weigh up to 6 pounds (3 kg) and stand at 5-8 inches (12-20 cm) in height. Their lifespan is 14-16 years.
The Papillon “Butterfly” Dog
These beautiful little dogs may date back to the 1500s. Initially bred for European noble companionship, they were once referred to as “dwarf spaniels.”
“Papillon” is french for butterfly–sometimes, the Papillon is even referred to as the “butterfly dog.” The name came about in the 17th century when breeders took their once-droopy ears and bred them upright to look like big fluffy butterflies.
Papillons are friendly, happy, and energetic dogs in the AKC Toy Group. They weigh in around 5-10 pounds (2-5 kg) and stand not-so-tall at 8-11 inches (20-28 cm) in height.
They have a life expectancy of 14-16 years.
But the oldest known Papillon was named Fred, and he lived for almost 27 years!
Papillon Chihuahua mix appearance
Crossbreed appearances typically depend on their inheritance from both parents.
Chions are generally small and sleek with kind, round eyes and those irresistible erect butterfly ears of its Papillon parent.
They sport dark noses and short, spindly legs that let them swiftly cruise from room-to-room.
The Chion will have a long, hairy tail to match its ears.
How big can this toy breed get?
Chions are toy-sized– extra small– weighing 4 to 10 pounds (1 to 4 kg). They stand at 6 to 11 inches (15 to 27 cm) tall, making them perfect apartment-dwelling dogs or fit for a whole house.
Be wary of so-called teacup Papillon Chihuahuas. Toy-happy breeders sometimes go too far in trying for the world’s smallest breed, and these often come with nothing but an array of heartbreaking health issues.
If you want to see how cute Papillon Chihuahua mix puppies are, this video shows a 4-month old pup that is just totally adorbs!
Chion coat and Color possibilities
The Chion is not hypoallergenic and will have average shedding.
Their coats can range from short to medium length hair, with a wiry or silky texture.
The length depends mostly on its Chihuahua parent since there are both short-haired and long-haired Chihuahuas.
Some of their most common colors: Black, Black & Brown, Black & White, Chocolate, Cream, Dark Brown, Fawn, Golden, White.
Big ears, bigger heart: the Chion personality
These dogs are loving, active little balls of fire because they’ve inherited the Chihuahua’s feistiness and the outgoing personality of the Papillon.
Chions are often calm and collected, but they’re also sure to have bursts of energy throughout the day.
The Chion may be small, but when she gets the zoomies– watch out!
These dogs are intelligent but prefer to do whatever they please because they’re more independent and headstrong.
Training sessions are necessary with such a stubborn, playful breed, but it’s best to keep them short and sweet– like your pup!– or you’ll lose their attention. It may be the tiniest watchdog you ever did see.
They make excellent little guard dogs— of course, this may be due mostly to their not-so-cute excessive barking habits.
Despite their protective nature, the Chion craves company and wouldn’t do well with single persons or families who are out most of the week because they can develop anxiety.
Be careful with other dogs, as the Chion may have aggressive tendencies towards other dogs, even bigger breeds, if not properly socialized. The Chion may be good with other pets as long as those pets are quiet and more reserved.
Due to their jealous behavior, they desire all their owner’s attention. To correct this, simply ignore your dog once he gets too pushy.
Early socialization with all sorts of dogs is essential to having a more tolerable, well-behaved pooch.
Crate training and positive reinforcement training are also vital for your Chion because even if you’re home most of the time, you’ll still need some peace of mind knowing fido will be okay at home while you grocery shop.
These dogs are so small and delicate that it is not safe for children to handle. They’d do best with older children who understand how to be gentle and calm.
Toy dogs with these types of companion-craving protectiveness are notorious for “little dog syndrome.” This is characterized by aggressiveness and possessiveness that may be dangerous for people, children, and other pets.
Chions are prone to using their teeth to defend themselves against perceived threats. The Chion needs a stern owner who acts like a boss as much as love and affection. These dogs need rules.
They Require an owner or trainer who’s firm and patient; be consistent.
Contents are fragile: Chion care
A Papillon Chihuahua mix may expect a bit of pampering. Although they’re a relatively low maintenance breed, their small stature requires some extra attention and love on the upkeep.
Exercise requirements for the Pap Chi
While these dogs don’t need a ton of exercise and range from couch (or lap) potato, to bouncing off the walls, they still need to expel energy by playing both indoors and out.
They need at least 30 minutes of exercise daily. If outside, playtime off-leash in a safe, enclosed yard is best. The Chion will be equally happy having playtime indoors, making them a good breed candidate for the elderly.
Provide toys indoors also to keep your Chion occupied and happily engaged, because a bored Chion may be a destructive one.
Tips for Grooming the butterfly
The amount of grooming your Chion needs will depend on the coat he inherits. One to two good brushes a week will suffice for a shorter coat and prevent tangles. Most days to every other day is best for a longer coat.
This is to maintain their natural luster and oiliness.
Break up any tangles with your fingers, so you don’t hurt your dog. Luckily, Papillon coats are silky, so mats probably won’t be a problem.
Don’t forget to groom its trademark butterfly ears! Remove buildup at least once a week to prevent infections, as well.
Your Chion’s bulging eyes will need some extra attention because they’re prone to picking up more dust and more susceptible to infections.
I recommend regular nail trimming. How regular will depend on how much exercise your pup gets. If you’re uncomfortable trimming your dog’s nails, consult your veterinarian or a groomer, and they’ll be able to help!
What should you feed a Chion?
½ to 1 cup of High-quality kibble split up between 3-4 meals a day to maintain their sugar levels because small dogs are known to suffer from Hyperglycemia.
Their kibble should be high-quality and vitamin-packed, designed for small or toy breeds. They also thrive on a diet of poultry.
Dried kibble helps combat periodontal disease, of which both parents are prone.
Potential health problems
Papillon Chihuahua mixes are generally healthy with a lifespan of 10-15 years.
However, this adorably tiny body comes with a few major health risks in addition to the eye and teeth issues I’ve already mentioned:
- Patellar luxation
- Color dilution Alopecia
- Fontanel (a soft spot in the skull; sensitive area that needs protection to avoid injury)
- Canine myxomatous or degenerative mitral valve disease (MMVD)
- Liver shunts
- Neuroaxonal dystrophy
The Chion’s genetic cross between two small breeds may strengthen their ability to fend off disease. But even so, it’s important to understand potential problems this canine may have so you know what to look out for.
This dog is a treasure: where can I buy one?
The cost of a Papillon Chihuahua can range from $200 to $750.
They’re slightly cheaper than other Chihuahua mixes you may have seen because Papillons are a rarer breed.
Papillon Chihuahua mix breeders
Since these mixes are rare, I have been unsuccessful in finding a reputable Papillon Chihuahua breeder.
Puppy mills and irresponsible breeders are everywhere and tend to jump on the designer breed bandwagon as soon as a new crossbreed is introduced.
So many dogs end up in shelters– I urge you to search rescues instead of breeders.
Chion Rescues: Adopt. Don’t shop!
You can find Chions and other Chihuahua or Papillon mixes through PuppyFinder. I’ve also found some Papillon and Chihuahua rescue sites for you to peruse:
Should you buy a Chion?
I have mixed feelings about this pretty little breed– much like the Chion’s emotions about being loveable but possibly aggressive.
Although they’re adorably affectionate at times and a great choice for families or the elderly, their independent and somewhat unpredictable personalities would make anyone wary.
Not to mention, their fragility requires someone with an extra gentle touch.
A hidden gem, or dud? What do you think?