Small Dog Dilemma: Should I Get a Dachshund or a Chihuahua?

You’re looking for a companion, a dog, that will walk the journey of life with you. You find that two of the most popular small dog breeds are Dachshunds and Chihuahuas.

Both breeds are adorable, playful, and relatively hassle-free when it comes to living in more confined spaces like apartments.

Miniature Dachshund and Chihuahua looking upward

So you’ve narrowed down your candidates. But of the two, which breed should you get? Which option is better for you and your companions’ future? 

Before we begin comparing and contrasting the two breeds, we would like to make it clear that this article is an objective piece.

We realize that we are a blog dedicated to sharing information on Dachshunds, but what we are ultimately here for is to inform you, thus the objective analysis that is this article. 


The Two As Family Dogs

What type of traits should you look for when you’re looking for a dog that will be assimilated into a family (three to five people)? First and foremost, you want consistent energy levels, especially if you have a kid.

Children that are around the age of four are usually always full of energy.

Therefore, good family dogs are capable of maintaining paralleled energy levels, allowing them to play catch or tag whenever the kid wants to go for a quick recess session. Moreover, these dogs have to be durable.

This is essential because when kids go for their signature innocent, loving, but potentially bone-crushing cuddles, your dog should be able to withstand such pressure.

The two physical traits mentioned above are essential for family dogs. So which breed of the two possess more energy and a tougher physique?

Our Recommendation

In the case of family dogs, Dachshunds are the way to go. Not only is this breed more friendly than Chihuahuas, they meet the two criteria that you should look for when you’re looking for a dog that will become a part of your family. 

a cute boy with three dachshund puppies

Dachshunds undoubtedly are more athletic and consistently perform better than Chihuahuas when it comes to energy levels. This aspect of the breed is inevitable, as Dachshunds were hunting dogs.

More specifically, they would have to go on long chases looking for badgers, having to dig holes every once in a while and focus for a very long time.

Moreover, as persistence is one of the key personalities that make Dachshunds so special, the breed definitely performs better than the Chihuahua since it nearly parallels the energy level of a four-year-old. 

The matchup for the second criterion, tougher physique, is a little closer. As small dogs, they are both designed to be flexible and fit into smaller spaces.

Even if Dachshunds were hunting dogs, there’s a reason why they weren’t used to hunt deers are other larger games. Unfortunately, both breeds tend to be more fragile.

However, the safer option would be to go with the Dachshund since they develop stronger bones and muscles, protecting them from reckless behaviors that may occur in the presence of an energetic child.


The Two In An Apartment

If you live in an apartment, the idea of getting a dog in the first place might daunt you. You wouldn’t want to be a nuisance to your neighbors because your dog barks loudly every night.

However, with the right training processes (and choosing the right breed!), such problems can be avoided.

So what traits should you be exactly looking for when you are seeking a dog that might adjust well to the apartment layout and work well with your neighbors? First, you would want a dog that’s okay with having less exercise time.

Some dogs suffer from stress if they do not go out periodically. Second, your dog has to be trainable. By that, we don’t mean cool, cute tricks (although that would be adorable).

Instead, we’re looking for smart dogs that recognize that it’s difficult to be loud in apartments. They also have to be obedient to be trained. Taking these two characteristics into consideration, which breed works best?

Our Recommendation

This is another easy one: getting the Chihuahua is definitely the better option.

Using the two aspects that you should look for in dogs that will be living in apartments, let’s begin analyzing and comparing the two species and see why Chihuahuas won the debate for this one. 

Cute little chihuahua in sweater lies on a blanket

First, Chihuahuas do not have to be as active as Dachshunds. In fact, they weren’t really dogs that contributed to adding more firepower in the workforce of a community like Dachshunds did.

From the beginning, they were usually kept as a pet and grew up without having to fight nature or in the wild. Therefore, they’re used to being domesticated and living in comfortable sofas without having to move too much.

On the other hand, Dachshunds, as we have mentioned earlier in this article, are hunting dogs. This means they have to be active. If they don’t go for walks or trips to the park every once in a while, they’ll suffer from stress from confinement. 

Second, Chihuahuas also perform better when it comes to obedience. Both dog breeds are known to be very intelligent. However, what gave Chihuahuas additional points was that it is more obedient compared to Dachshunds.

As they were domesticated dogs, it comes naturally to them that obeying their owners lead to rewards. In contrast, Dachshunds were bred to think independently and make decisions on their own.

This was useful when they had to hunt badgers without their owner’s oversight throughout the entire hunt, but this trait also makes them very difficult to teach lessons.

Therefore, it is so much easier to teach Chihuahuas that they must be as quiet as they can during the night and in most apartments. 


The Two With Other Animals

The debate becomes even more interesting when you own other animals. Now, we recognize that there are other animals that you might own in your residence.

However, for the sake of simplicity and clarity, we would like to focus on furry mammal pets that are owned in most households. This includes cats, guinea pigs, and hamsters.

When it comes to living with entirely different species, we have to examine the history of each breed.

If the breed was naturally supposed to go hunt or chase small furry creatures, having a dog of such breed is not the best idea when you think about your hamster. We also have to know how reckless dogs of each breed can get at times.

If you have a young kitten, you wouldn’t want your Dachshund or Chihuahua to hinder its development by stressing it out as they chase the kitten around.

What we ultimately want is a dog that wasn’t involved in a direct relationship in the food chain in the past and is gentle. 

Our Recommendation

We have mixed opinions about this one, so we’ll let you come to your own conclusions. To give you an overview, Chihuahuas win one aspect of the debate, while Dachshunds win the other one. Here is our analysis:

Chihuahua dog and fluffy cat lie on the sofa

When we’re thinking about the bloodline, the origins, and ancestors of each breed, it is without a doubt that Chihuahuas win the debate. Dachshunds were literally meant to hunt small mammals like badgers.

And as most of us know, habits and instincts are something that never go away. A part of it lingers in the blood, and that makes it dangerous to leave small animals like kittens or hamsters around Dachshunds.

After all, you never know when the old instincts might make your Dachshund take actions that it normally wouldn’t. Remember that one party is the prey for the other party. Nature is difficult to change and unpredictable.

We don’t like taking risks when it comes to the quality of life of our pets, making Chihuahuas the preferable breed in this case.

However, when we start thinking about being gentle and smart around other species, Dachshunds score higher.

As long as they learn that their roommate isn’t as durable as they are, they will adapt quickly and play more gently around them.

In fact, Dachshunds have a long history of getting along with cats, arguably one of the quietest pets that humans have domesticated. Chihuahuas, on the other hand, love to assert dominance over not only breeds but also other species.

This adorable search for power might lead to excessive barking and, in some cases, physical entanglements. You wouldn’t want both of your pets to be stressed because one fears for its life and the other searches for ways to dominate. 

In terms of peaceful coexistence, it’s difficult with these two breeds if there are other species in the vicinity. As you can tell, one species has a benefit that also becomes a weakness when we look from another perspective.

This is the perfect example of why we wanted to keep this article as objective as possible: answers vary depending on the situation. 


The Two In Terms Of Resources

Though we would like to do the best for our pets, our economic situations may not allow us to do so. Moreover, at times, how costly a pet is might be a determining factor for you.

After all, you wouldn’t want to adapt or purchase a dog without being financially prepared. However, if you do have enough to sustain yourself and would like a companion, then you have to start considering the costs of raising a pet.

At the same time, resources also mean the amount of attention you can give your dog. If you work, it’s difficult to spend a lot of time with your dog and give it the affection and attention it needs.

When you have limited resources, which breed should you choose?

Our Recommendation

This one is an easy decision: Dachshunds. Dachshunds are the better option in terms of cost and the amount of attention it needs.

Dachshund vs Chihuahua Puppy

This specific breed is very easy to please when it comes to food, and as an independent hunter, it doesn’t require too much attention. 

Most of the costs that incur as a result of raising a dog come from food. If your dog isn’t a picky eater, it gives you a larger array of options.

Yes, it’s best if you can treat your dogs with the premium snacks found in markets, but dog food that is cheaper also fulfills the dog’s nutritional requirements.

As long as your dog is happy and healthy, do not feel too bad about having to feed cheaper dog food for your Dachshund. This breed loves to eat, meaning they love the act of eating itself.

It is for this reason they are less of picky eaters compared to Chihuahuas who have pallets that are harder to satisfy, especially once it tastes some of the “good stuff.”

Moreover, Dachshunds work better when we’re talking about being independent. Chihuahuas can not survive on their own; they are born to live, cooperate, and coexist with humans.

Without human attention, you would be depriving the breed of a key nutrition that it needs a certain amount of on a daily basis. If you work far from your home, we recommend getting the Dachshund instead of the Chihuahua.

Dachshunds, since the beginning of its time, was a breed that hunted independently. Though it would go out on the field with humans, they were preferred hunting dogs because they could go where humans couldn’t.

They’re used to having to solve problems on their own, making Dachshunds capable of handling a bit of loneliness: more than the Chihuahua would ever be able to. 



Of course, there are so many other aspects that we must take into consideration when we look to adopt or buy a dog.

The article lists a few of the most common factors that people use to decide and provides our opinion on the matter. At the end, it’s ultimately your decision. Consider this article as a soft guideline.

Just make sure you give lots of love to whatever breed you decide to live with!