Papillon Chihuahua Mix Breed Information, Traits, & Characteristics

The papillon Chihuahua mix is a cross between a papillon and a Chihuahua. These mixes are also commonly referred to as chions or Chihuahua papillon mixes.

Chions are small dogs that grow to 11 inches at the withers and weigh between 4 and 11 pounds. These dogs are playful, energetic, and bold. The breed lives for up to 15 years.

Ideal owners for papillon Chihuahua mixes are couples and families with older children who can responsibly look after a small dog. Chions are prone to small dog syndrome — thinking that they’re bigger than, and superior to, other dogs — so the mix is best suited to a single-pet household.

Chihuahua papillon mixes typically cost between $200 to $750.

Papillon Chihuahua Mix Characteristics & Overview

Papillon Chihuahua

Common names:Papillon Chihuahua mix, chion, Chihuahua papillon mix
Origin:North America
Parent breeds:Papillon and Chihuahua
Breed group:Hybrid
Height:5–11 inches
Weight:4–11 pounds
Colors:Golden, dark golden, white, cream, fawn, black
Coat:Single coat, medium length
Life expectancy:10–15 years
Temperament:Energetic, loyal, bold, playful
Shedding:Mild/moderate shedders
Barking tendency:High

Origin & Purpose

The papillon Chihuahua mix is thought to have originated in North America in the 1990s. It’s likely that designer breeders created the chion to blend positive personality traits of both parent breeds — such as the Chihuahua’s courage and the papillon’s curiosity. Chihuahuas and papillons were both bred as companion dogs and chions serve the same purpose.


The Chihuahua is a toy dog that was registered by the American Kennel Club in the early 1900s. This dog is one of the smallest breeds that exists today, growing up to 9 inches tall and weighing up to 5.9 pounds. Chihuahuas are lively, bold, and loyal dogs with a jealous streak. These personality traits are often inherited by chions.


The papillon is one of the oldest toy spaniel dog breeds. Papillons are small dogs with butterfly-shaped heads and long, fringed ear hair. The dogs grow up to 11 inches tall and weigh between 7 and 10 pounds. Chions inherit the papillon’s friendly, adventurous, and curious nature.


The average lifespan of a papillon Chihuahua mix is 10–15 years. Factors that contribute to shorter or longer lifespans include the dog’s health status, activity level, diet, and quality of life.

Chion Appearance

The papillon Chihuahua mix is a short, slender dog that combines the physical features of the Chihuahua and the papillon. Chions typically have the papillon’s large, triangular ears and the Chihuahua’s round, protruding eyes.

Height and Weight

Papillon Chihuahua mixes are considered small dog breeds, with a height at the withers of 5–11 inches and a weight of 4–11 pounds. The size and weight of the dog depend on the size of its parents and which genes the mix inherits. Papillons are bigger than Chihuahuas, so chions that strongly resemble their papillon parent are larger than chions that resemble their Chihuahua parent.


Papillon Chihuahua mixes are typically golden, dark golden, white, cream, or fawn. Most chions are found in a combination of two or three colors, including white. All-black or all-white chions are rare.


The chion has a single coat of silky, short-to-medium-length fur with a noticeable curl. The coat is longer on the dog’s ears, tail, chest, and the back of the legs. Most papillon Chihuahua mixes have symmetrical markings on their faces. The chion is a light-to-moderate shedder and isn’t hypoallergenic.

Head and Face Shape

Chions have a Chihuahua-like head shape, but with a longer muzzle and larger ears than a Chihuahua. A chion’s ears are large, erect, and triangular. Some chions have feathered ears, like papillons, while other chions have short fur on their ears, like Chihuahuas. A chion’s eyes resemble a Chihuahua’s and are round, dark, and beady.

Papillon Chihuahua Mix Personality and Temperament

Papillon Chihuahua

According to the AKC temperament guide, the Chihuahua is alert and confident, and the papillon is happy, friendly, and curious. The papillon Chihuahua mix combines all of its parents’ traits. The dog is lively and loving, with strong protective instincts. This crossbreed is loyal to its family and is known to bark at potential threats.

Like their Chihuahua parents, chions are known for being stubborn and disinterested, which makes them difficult to train. The dogs are best suited for experienced dog owners who feel comfortable training a stubborn breed.


The papillon Chihuahua mix has moderate-to-high barking tendencies. This breed mix is known to take on a guard dog role and bark incessantly at strangers.

Chion Care

Taking care of a chion is easy as long as you’re prepared to train and spend plenty of quality time with this attention-seeking dog. Papillon Chihuahua mixes are small dogs with low food requirements, but they’re needier and more stubborn than other dog breeds.

Food Needs

Depending on their age and activity level, papillon Chihuahua mixes need between ½ cup and 1 cup of high-quality kibble per day, divided into two or three separate portions. Chions are prone to weight gain, so the dogs should be fed a healthy, well-proportioned diet of proteins, healthy fats, and vegetables. Both Chihuahuas and papillons enjoy a poultry-based diet, so chions should enjoy this, too.

Grooming Needs

Chions are small dogs with a single coat, so their grooming needs are low, and they don’t require professional grooming. Brush the dog’s fur twice weekly to remove dirt and prevent knotting, and wash the coat every six to eight weeks with dog shampoo. Brush the dog’s teeth daily and clip its toenails whenever you hear them clicking on the floor.

Exercise Needs

The papillon Chihuahua mix is a short-legged but high-energy breed mix. The dog needs about 30 minutes of exercise per day, including walks and playtime. The chion’s low exercise needs make it a suitable apartment dog.

Mental Needs

Chions are smart, energetic, demanding dogs, so they need at least half an hour of mental stimulation per day. Good games to play with papillon Chihuahua mixes are fetch, tug-of-war, and hide-and-seek. To keep your dog entertained while you’re busy, use puzzle toys and treat-release toys.

Common Health Concerns

Most chions are healthy dogs, but their delicate limbs and protruding eyes increase their risk of certain health conditions.

Patellar Luxation

Patellar luxation is a joint condition that’s common in toy breeds like papillons and Chihuahuas. This condition causes the dog’s kneecap to move out of its normal position, resulting in pain, lameness, and hindered walking. Treatments for patellar luxation include exercise therapy, weight loss (if necessary), and surgery.

Corneal Ulceration

Corneal ulceration is an injury to the surface of the eye. Papillon chihuahuas are prone to eye injuries because their eyes protrude from their heads. Dogs with corneal ulceration close their eyes and rub their eyes with their paws to attempt to relieve the pain, and may have discharge escaping from the eyes. Some cases of corneal ulceration are mild enough to heal without medical intervention, but medication may be required to relieve pain.

To reduce the risk of health conditions in your chion, buy a dog from a reputable breeder who has screened the parent dogs for common toy dog health issues.

Papillon Chihuahua Mix Training

Papillon Chihuahua

Papillon Chihuahua mixes are moderately difficult to train. The dogs enjoy being praised and rewarded, but they have a stubborn, independent streak and often struggle to pay attention.

The best way to treat a chion is by disguising lessons as part of the daily routine. For instance, teach the dog to “cease” excited barking before leaving for a walk, or teach the dog to “sit” or “stay” before putting a bowl of food down.

Begin training chions as early as possible, beginning with basic training, such as toilet and leash training. Introduce your dog to a variety of surroundings and people from as early as eight weeks old to reduce antisocial barking tendencies.

Chion Price

The chion is a moderately-priced dog. The cost of this breed mix depends on whether you buy from a breeder or adopt the dog.

How Much is a Papillon Chihuahua Mix?

A papillon Chihuahua mix typically costs $200 to $750. Certain circumstances affect the cost of this dog, including:

  • Whether you buy a dog or a puppy: Dogs are about half the price of puppies
  • Local demand and competition: If demand for chions is high in your region, breeders can set high prices for their puppies
  • The dog’s colors and markings: Dogs with unique colors and markings are often the most expensive

How Much Does it Cost to Own a Chion?

After the initial cost of the dog and all the necessary supplies, the monthly cost of owning a papillon Chihuahua mix is about $60. This cost involves food and treats, toys, grooming and walking supplies, and health insurance. The cost of owning a chion is higher than average if you regularly pay for professional dog sitting, dog walking, training, or grooming.

Is a Papillon Chihuahua Mix Right for You?

Papillon Chihuahua mixes are friendly, loving dogs, but they’re not suitable for some people or lifestyles.

Papillon Chihuahua Mixes are Suitable for:

The papillon Chihuahua mix is known for its caring nature and sweet demeanor, so it’s an ideal companion dog for couples, singles, and families with old children. Chions are watchful and protective of their owners, so they’re well suited to people looking for a small, loveable watchdog. The dogs enjoy attention and are great companions for people who have lots of time to devote to playing with their pets.

Chions are suitable for families with other pets as long as the dogs are socialized from an early age. They’re small and have low exercise needs, so they’re ideal apartment dogs.

Papillon Chihuahua Mixes are NOT Suitable for:

Chions are small, delicate dogs, so they’re not suitable for families with small children who don’t know how to safely play with a small dog. Due to their stubborn nature, papillon Chihuahua mixes aren’t suitable for people who don’t have time to train their dogs. Chions are small dogs with short legs, so they’re not the best match for sporty, outdoorsy families who want a dog to take on hikes and jogs. Chions suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for long periods, so they’re not good pets for people who spend most of the day away from home.

About Thomas Woods 224 Articles
Thomas has been a dog lover since he was 6 years old when his parents got him a rescue Labrador. Since then his love for dogs has lead him to study Animal Behavior & Welfare. He now keeps a six year old English Bullmastiff and educates pet parents through his online publication Perfect Dog Breeds.


  1. I am a senior lady that is really heart broken cause i had her put down now i am really missing her..I would just love and train this. puppy .
    I know I would love this puppy and soon we would be bestest friends.

  2. I am amazed that the papillon chihuahua gives the feeling to be the right puppy for me. I am a senior ladie that ives alone and am missing my dog that I had for 16 years before I had to put her downI am looking forward to a new companion.

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