Critter Culture
A Guide to the Chilier

A Guide to the Chilier

Critter Culture Staff



The chilier is a newer breed of designer dog that's a cross between a chihuahua and a Cavalier King Charles spaniel. They're usually the first-generation offspring of 2 purebreds, and they inherit the best traits of each of their parents. This breed is a friendly, affectionate lapdog with a hint of nobility.


A perfect lap dog

Everything about this dog makes it a perfect lapdog and companion. It's the perfect size to curl up anywhere with you, and you can easily carry it around in a large purse or carrier if you take it out for a walk, and it decides it would rather not. That said, chiliers are also very playful and entertaining. They love to play catch and interact with you using toys and playing games. Most of the time, a chilier will be happy doing whatever you're doing, whether that means hanging out at home, chatting with friends, or running around in the backyard.


They're too sociable to be watchdogs

Because the chilier is such a friendly and outgoing breed, they do not make very good watchdogs. They are very people-focused and comfortable with everyone, even strangers. If an intruder shows up, a chilier is much more likely to try to be his friend than warn you of danger. They show extraordinary affection and love to their owners, enjoying nothing more than lounging and cuddling with their people. Chiliers thrive when they are treated as part of the family as they love to receive attention. They can be a bit stubborn and even aggressive if they aren't getting enough attention.


Chiliers are great with kids

Kids and chiliers usually go together very well. This breed soaks up attention and loves running around and playing with children. Because these dogs are so small, they should never be left unattended with small children. Not only is there a risk of injury to the dog, but there's also a chance that the chilier's stubborn streak will come out, which can lead to problems. If you have young children in the home, keep in mind that early socialization is extremely effective for chiliers. Reward them for good behavior around the kids and keep up training when you bring one home.


They're extremely active

These pups may be small, but they're extremely active. Chiliers need daily walks or lively exercise sessions to burn off excess energy and keep their weight under control. The chihuahua inside of them can be a little stubborn, so it's important to choose an activity that keeps them engaged. This is also an intelligent breed, so they need mental stimulation, like interactive puzzles or toys, as well as physical. Dog parks are great for giving them time to socialize and letting them run around outside a bit, but they may be aggressive with other dogs if their stubborn streak gets the best of them.


Chiliers benefit from experienced dog owners

This breed has a lot of traits that make it a great pet for any owner or family, but when it comes to training, experienced dog owners are likely have more success. Both the Cavalier King Charles and chihuahua are extremely intelligent, but the chihuahua's stubborn streal can impede training. The Chilier performs best with a trainer that is consistent and firm and has a lot of patience. A rewards-based approach works best. This is not to say that new dog owners shouldn't consider a chilier, but they may need to work with a professional trainer to get the results they want.

training experienced owner Iryna_L / Getty Images


This breed lives longer than most small breeds

If you're looking for a healthy small breed that will be a part of your life for a long time, you can't do much better than a chilier. Generally, they are pretty healthy and can live between 10 and 16 years. That said, they are prone to the same conditions as their parents, though a little less so. These include hip dysplasia, glaucoma, patella luxation, hypoglycemia, and joint issues. Since chiliers are typically the result of thoroughbred Cavalier King Charles spaniels and chihuahuas, they have a better chance of avoiding these issues than their parents, which likely contributes to their long life span.


Shedding is minimal

Chiliers don't shed a lot and only need to be brushed a few times a week. Because their parents have different coats, chiliers can have fur that's either long and wavy or short and straight. Coloring varies and can include solid colors or patches of white, black, brown, gray, or fawn. They can also be tri-color, brindle, spotted, or merle. There is usually a bit of fluff around the ears and feet, and some have a plumed tail. Bathing is minimal and should only be done when necessary to avoid drying out the chilier's skin. Since the ears are floppy, they should be cleaned and inspected at least once a week.


They're adaptable but don't like cold weather

Because chiliers are so small, they can live just about anywhere. They do great in apartment settings, particularly if they have some room to run around, but they also love a home with a big back yard. This is a great city dog because they don't bark very much so the neighbors won't get angry, and they love to take walks and meet other people out on the street. Temperature extremes are not ideal for chiliers. Keep them inside during hot and humid summer days, at least until the cooler evening hours, and give them plenty of water and shade when they are outside. They also don't like extremely cold weather and will require a winter coat.


Be careful with other pets

While this breed usually gets along well with people in the home and out in the neighborhood, other pets and animals are a different story. The chihuahua's stubborn streak comes into play as it may be the root of issues with other animals. The chilier may get aggressive, especially if it feels it's not getting enough attention. Don't worry too much if you have other pets, though. Everyone can live in peace, but you have to take special care setting boundaries and training your pets to adjust to one another. Begin as early as possible, and be sure to supervise interactions at all times.


Watch their weight carefully

The chilier inherits its small size from its parents. Because this is a new designer dog, the breed size standard is not yet well established. Generally, they grow to about 8 to 12 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 6 and 12 pounds. Females are usually smaller, as with most breeds. Chiliers tend to gain weight, so choosing the right food and watching their portions closely is important. Choose nutrient-rich, high-quality food, and serve two or three smalls meals a day instead of leaving food out for them around the clock and letting them free feed.


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