Ana Oliveira
Dr Ana Oliveira (DVM, University of Lisbon)
Photo of adult Cheagle

Tiny in size like the Chihuahua, gentle in nature like the Beagle, the Cheagle is a crossbreed between these two popular dog breeds that results in a fun, playful, and happy companion pet. Always in a good mood, Cheagles make a good family pet, though they may be difficult to train and not the best-suited to be around very young children.

In appearance, the Cheagle resembles the Chihuahua parent for its size and snout, and the Beagle parent for its round, dark eyes, tail, head, ears, and the occasional facial markings. In temperament, the Cheagle is energetic, overexcited, and fearless like the Chihuahua, and kind, loving, and inquisitive like the Beagle.

About & History

The Cheagle is a designer dog, a cross between a Chihuahua and a Beagle. As such, this crossbreed is a blend of both its parents’ physical traits and personalities. The history of Cheagles is uncertain and very recent, and it is very much tied to that of their parents. So, to better understand the origins of this newly created crossbreed, one has to dive into the history of its parents’ breeds.

The Chihuahua may have been brought over to Mexico from China by Spanish settlers, though a different theory claims that Chihuahuas probably descend from the Techichi, a small, mute dog from the 9th century found in central and south America, who was kept by the Toltec people. Later in the 19th century, this small dog was found in the Chihuahua state of Mexico and brought to the United States. The history of Beagles goes back to the Roman times, when it is thought that Beagle-like dogs were used for hunting purposes. They were then brought to England and crossed with English scent hounds, having developed into the Beagle we know today during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Cheagles can be 50% purebred Chihuahuas to 50% purebred Beagles, or can result from multi-generation crosses. The result is a companion pet that may keep some of the Beagle’s instincts for hunting, though it is difficult to train and probably not a good hunting dog. The Chihuahua contribution is its small size and snappy and energetic nature. Cheagles are recognised by the Design Canine Registry, the Designer Breed Registry, the American Canine Hybrid Club, and the Dog Registry of America.


Cheagle Large Photo

Cheagles have a shiny, straight, and short coat, which can come in different colours, depending on their parents’ contribution. Though they can have solid colours (usually white or cream), their coat is usually the combination of more than one colour:

  • White
  • Black
  • Cream
  • Brown
  • Tan

Some Cheagles have spots or freckles that resemble those of the Beagle. Cheagles have long and curly tails, an overbite, the Chihuahua’s legs and snout, and the Beagle’s tail, floppy ears, and head. Cheagles are compact and small like the Chihuahua, but look more rough, resembling the Beagle. Cheagles weighh no more than 9 kg (20 lb) and are 23 to 36 cm (9-14 inches) tall with males being slightly taller (and heavier) than females.

Character & Temperament

Cheagles are companion pets, and do not serve any other purpose, despite the hunting heritage tied to their Beagle parent. Cheagles are amazing companions, as they are very friendly and outgoing, playful, and loving towards their families, to whom they are eternally loyal and protective. In return, they demand a lot of attention and do not stand long periods alone. They love to play games and run around, being entertaining for adults and children alike. Despite getting along well with children, it is best not to leave them unattended with small children, as some level of awareness regarding dog handling is required to interact with this snappish crossbreed.

Pushing more towards the Chihuaha side, Cheagles are very energetic and fearless. Due to their high alertness and tendency to bark, they make good watchdogs. They get easily excited and, when happy, tend to bark in a high-pitched voice, taking high energy leaps and jumping around excitedly. Cheagles may be aggressive towards other dogs, showing nipping and biting behaviours. Early socialisation and appropriate training are therefore paramount. This aggressiveness is usually associated with small dog syndrome, a behavioural problem that is often the result of overprotection from the owner, leading to poor social skills and the dog seing itself as the boss.

The Beagle side of Cheagles make their personalities somewhat smoother, adding a calmer and more gentle nature to it. The Beagle’s friendliness and sweetness tone down the energy of the Chihuahua. As a result, the Cheagle turns out to be a nice mix of active and lap dog, who loves to run but also to snuggle, is outgoing and loving, and a great choice for families with older children, people living in apartments, and singles. Due to their high energy, however, they may be difficult to train, and are therefore not the best choice for first-time dog owners.


Training a Cheagle may prove itself a hard task, as they are energetic dogs who get easily distracted and have short attention spans. The only approach that works when training these dogs is keeping a firm and consistent hand when training them. The dog must know who is in charge, or it may otherwise take the liberties to do so. Training is important to prevent small dog syndrome, which may result in frequent disobedience, aggressiveness towards other dogs, and poor impulse control.

No one likes to be around a snappish, easily startled dog, with a high-pitched voice and an uncontrollable attitude, so training and socialisation are extremely important. To get the best out of the Cheagle’s potencial, proper training is a must. Moderation is also key, and this is a concept that should be taught early on to prevent high bursts of energy and excitement.


Usually healthy, Cheagles may live up to 14 years. Apart from the following major health issues that may occur, Cheagles are also known to snore, due to their short snout that makes the breathing passage also short. The diseases they are more prone to develop are those affecting their parents’ breeds, such as:

Dental Problems

Dental problems are inherited from the Chihuahua parent, as this breed is usually prone to teeth and gum issues. Because Chihuahuas have soft teeth, they are more vulnerable to bacterial action that cause tooth decay, tooth loss, and infection.

Other problems associated with the Cheagle’s dental health include double teeth, which occurs when a milk tooth does not fall off before the adult tooth erupts, malocclusion, and teeth misalignment, which leads to incorrect biting, especially when dogs have extreme underbites or overbites.

Eye Problems

Though less protruding than the Chihuahua’s, the eyes of Cheagles are still quite sensitive to trauma, foreign objects, infection, or eye problems, also due to their proximity to the ground. Some of these problems are dry eyes or kerato conjunctivitis sicca, which results from a lack of tear production, corneal ulcer, usually resulting from trauma, and corneal endothelial dystrophy, occurring when there is not enough fluid getting to the cornea, leaving it dehydrated and leading to visual impairment.


Hypoglicemia, or low blood sugar, occurs in Cheagles, just like in Chihuahuas. Because Chihuahuas are native to hot climates, they have low numbers of fat cells, which helps them keep cool under high temperatures. The same happens in Cheagles. When these fat cells run out, the body will start consuming sugar from the bloodstream, which then leads to its depletion and consequent clinical signs – lethargy, nervousness, and shivering.

Exercise and Activity Levels

This is a very energetic and active crossbreed that requires a lot of exercise and stimulation every day. Though it does not require a yard, the Cheagle needs daily exercise –at least 30 minutes a day, along with some playtime. Like many other dog breeds, boredom due to lack of stimuli and not exercising enough are a recipe for destructive behaviours, such as chewing or excessive barking.

Adequately exercising Cheagles and providing them with some daily playtime is essencial to bring up a healthy and well-rounded dog. Just like their Beagle parent, Cheagles have a tendency to wander off, sniffing around and exploring new places whenever possible, due to their inquisitive and curious nature. Giving them the time and space to do so is important and training their recall from a young age will be important should you wish them to roam off lead.


Cheagles are low-maintenance dogs, which is a positive side of owning this crossbreed. They have short and shiny coats that shed little and thus brushing them a couple of times a week will suffice to keep their coat looking great at all times. This also helps to control any shedding that may occur, especially in the shedding seasons (autumn/fall and spring). Nails should be trimmed when needed and their eyes checked regularly, as they have a tendency for eye problems (from the Chihuahua side).

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