- Height: 10-15 inches
- Weight: 10-18 lb
- Lifespan: 12-15 years
- Group: Not applicable
- Best Suited For: first-time dog owners, families with kids and other dogs, owners who don’t have to leave him for long periods
- Temperament: spunky, affectionate, loyal, bold
- Comparable Breeds: Shih Tzu, Dachshund
The eager-to-please Schweenie is a fun combination of the feisty little Shih Tzu and the clever, often headstrong Dachshund. Together they make a loyal, bonded family dog who in spite of an independent streak loves to spend time with his pet parent. In fact, he can suffer from separation anxiety if left for long periods of time so is ideally suited to a home where he has companionship throughout the day.
The people-pleasing Schweenie is a combination of the feisty Shih Tzu and the headstrong Dachshund.
The Schweenie comes from the Shih Tzu that dates back to Tibet around the year 800 and the Dachshund who was originally bred 15th century Germany. While his background may be historic, the Schweenie himself is only 30 or 40 years old, dating back to when breeders first began crossing pure-bred dogs to create pups that were free of the health issues impacting their pure-bred parents. These dogs are also often bred to be gentler, smaller and hypo-allergenic.
Because the Schweenie is the offspring of two different pure breeds, he doesn’t qualify to join the American Kennel Club (AKC) however both parent breeds are members. The Shih Tzu joined AKC’s “toy” group in 1969 while the Dachshund became a member of the “hound” group way back in 1885.
The Schweenie is a small dog with a big appetite and a tendency to become obese. As he is not overly active and can be prone to joint issues its important his weight be controlled. Plan to feed him a nutrient-rich kibble suited to his size, age and activity level and avoid fillers that may cause him to overeat. Plan to feed him 2 to 3 small meals daily versus free-feeding and be stingy with the treats. Joint issues in an overweight dog are a serious threat to his quality of life.
The Schweenie is extremely loyal to his owner, keen to please and who thrives on human interaction.
The Schweenie is a bright boy with a stubborn streak that can make him challenging to train. Always take a rewards-based approach with this dog, offering treats and verbal praise for a job well done. Because he can be headstrong, it’s important to be firm, consistent, establish pack leadership early on and consider bringing in a professional trainer if you aren’t getting the results you had hoped for.
When he reaches adulthood, the Schweenie will weigh between 10 to 18 pounds.
This is a smart little dog who is extremely loyal to his owner, keen to please and who thrives on human interaction. As a result, he doesn’t do well when left on his own for long periods and can become destructive – chewing or excessive barking being a common outcome. He gets along well with kids, other pets and dogs however can tend to chase smaller animals if not properly socialized when young. He is bold, headstrong, inquisitive and somewhat moody when things don’t go his way but is overall a wonderful, affectionate family pet.
Common Health Problems
Schweenie’s are typically very healthy dogs however like any animal, they can inherit some of the health problems experienced by their parent breeds. It’s always important to understand the genetics of your new pup and with the Schweenie, he could be prone to Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD), epilepsy, eye problems and joint issues.
The average lifespan of a Schweenie is between 12 to 15 years.
The Schweenie is an active, playful little dog who because of his size doesn’t need excessive exercise. Short daily walks of 20 to 30 minutes along with interactive playtime will be sufficient to keep him physically fit and mentally stimulated. He does have a tendency to become obese, so don’t scrimp on the activity. Visits to a dog park are a great addition to his exercise regimen however he has a high tendency to wander off so ensure any leash-free opportunities are within a fenced area.
The clever little Schweenie can be headstrong and a little moody when things don’t go his way.
Because the Schweenie isn’t a pure-bred dog, he doesn’t qualify to be a member of the American Kennel Club (AKC) however he is recognized by Designer Breed Registry (DBR), American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC), Designer Dogs Kennel Club (DDKC), Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA) and the International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR).
The Schweenie is a mixed bag when it comes to his coat. He could inherit the longer, silky coat of the Shih Tzu or the shorter, smooth coat of the Dachshund. Either way, he is considered a low- to moderate-shedder who will need to be brushed every other day to keep his coat matt and tangle-free. Plan to inspect and clean his ears weekly to prevent infection and because this dog can be prone to dental issues, brush his teeth 3 to 4 times per week.
The tiny Schweenie pup can grow up to be a stubborn little dog who doesn’t always play nice with smaller animals. Early socialization is important as well as obedience training that teaches him to respect his pack leader.
Photo credit: spkphotostock/Shutterstock; Jana Behr/Shutterstock