In this article
The Chihuahua-Lab Mix is also known as Labrahuahua (perhaps you could even call it Chihuahuador, but that name isn't as popular for some reason). Due to its designer status, this hybrid is not officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), even though both of its parents are long-time members of the club. However, the Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA) has registered Labrahuahuas.
As we've said, natural breeding between these breeds is not possible. Labradors are giant dogs, 22-25 inches (56-64 cm) tall on average, while Chihuahuas are smaller in size, 6-9 inches (15-23 cm) tall. Almost always, breeding takes place through artificial insemination. However, there can also be exceptions with bigger Chihuahuas and smaller Labradors.
The genetic material of a male Chihuahua is inserted into a female Labrador. If a female Chihuahua is involved, she is at high risk because the puppies are large.
These dogs are bred to be companions. They inherit Labrador's loving nature and Chihuahua's courageous attitude. So they are best suited for families that can spend a lot of time with them. Before we discuss its traits and requirements in detail, let's take a look at the basic characteristics of this crossbreed at a glance:
Chihuahua-Lab Mix probably originated in the 1980s when designer dogs started becoming popular. To understand this crossbreed better, we need to look at the history of its parent breeds. We will keep referring to the characteristics of these parent breeds throughout the article. It'll help us get a sense of where this hybrid comes from and what to expect from them.
Chihuahua descends from the ancient Techichi dog, which was a slightly larger breed. People of Toltec civilization in Mexico are thought to use Techichi for companionship and ceremonial purposes. Americans discovered Chihuahua in the mid-1800s in Chihuahua, Mexico, and the AKC registered it under the "toy" group in 1904. Their original breeding purpose is unknown, but they're used as companion dogs these days.
Chihuahuas are small pups that weigh no more than six pounds. However, their attitude is that of a giant dog. They can be stubborn and difficult to control at times. If you don't train them properly when they're young, these dogs will happily rule your house.
Labrador Retriever descends from the extinct St. John's water dog, a companion of fishermen. Early Labs used to swim in icy waters to retrieve fish and haul boats in Newfoundland, Canada. They were first brought to England in the 1800s, and the AKC registered them under the "sporting" group in 1903.
Labrador has been the most popular breed in the United States for the last 29 years. This is because they are very loving, happy, loyal, and friendly. These highly energetic puppies are also very intelligent and love to exercise. They also love to swim, run, and play fetch.
In terms of size and appearance, Labs and Chihuahuas are opposite ends of the spectrum. Labs are large-sized dogs, 21.5-24.5 inches (54.6-62.2 cm) tall and weighing over 55 pounds (62 kg), while Chihuahuas can be as tall as 9 inches and weigh no more than 6 pounds (3 kg). Naturally, when we cross these two breeds, the results can vary greatly. The puppy may look more like a Lab or a Chihuahua.
Chihuahua-Lab Mixes are bigger than a Chihuahua but smaller than a Labrador. Breeders have observed that they are usually 10 to 22 inches (25 to 56 cm) tall and weigh between 25 to 60 pounds (11 to 27 kg). The males are typically bigger than the females, as with any dog breed.
Overall, you can expect a small-to-medium-sized dog that looks like a mini Labrador. This is because the dog will probably inherit short legs and a skinny body from his Chihuahua parent. The mix will likely have his Lab parent's athletic body and thick tail. From Chihuahua, he may inherit a round face and big eyes. His large triangle ears will stand straight like a Chihuahua but will drop down at the end like his Lab parent.
Of course, there may be variations like fully erect ears, long and narrow face, and smaller eyes. We've only discussed the characteristics found in most Chihuahua-Lab Mixes; yours may look like a giant Chihuahua rather than a miniature Labrador. Mixing breeds is like rolling a dice: you may get any number between one and six.
Like their appearance, Labrahuahuas' temperament can be hard to predict. They can be loving and friendly like Labradors or skeptical and aloof like Chihuahuas. These dogs will likely bark at strangers, but their Lab instincts will help them become friends once everything feels okay. They are very affectionate, and they love to snuggle in your lap and bombard you with kisses.
Labrahuahuas can also be very needy. They may want your full attention all the time. This is because we've combined Labrador's friendliness and devotion with Chihuahua's separation anxiety. If you're going to bring a Labrahuahua, be prepared to have him follow around the house. The point here is that these dogs must only live with families that can provide them the time and attention they need.
Many of Chihuahua's aggressive traits can be controlled with proper training and socialization during puppyhood. While training, you'll need to show them that you're the boss, and they must listen to you. This will make sure your pet is more comfortable around strangers and doesn't embarrass you by acting against your commands.
Coat and Colors
Labradors have a thick, dense double coat that is of short to medium length. This double coat isolates their skin from water, helping them swim in freezing water for long periods. They are available in a couple of colors like black, yellow, white, and chocolate.
On the other hand, Chihuahuas can have either a short-haired coat or a long-haired one. Fluffy coat is also common among this breed. They are available in many more colors than Labradors, such as white, black, chocolate, cream, fawn, and many more. They also have eleven official markings, including red, blue, black, white, merle, etc. You can read more about Chihuahua's color combinations on AKC.
Coming to Labrahuahuas, they will usually have a single thick coat of short to medium length. Their coat texture can be either straight or wiry, and they come in various colors like black, brown, yellow, white, and red. Your mix will likely have a solid color. But he can also inherit a mixture of spots and colors like his Chihuahua parent.
How often your Labrahuahua pup needs grooming will depend entirely on which parent breed they favor in terms of fur. Both Chihuahua and Labrador have shed moderately throughout the year, so odds are, Labrahuahuas will also shed similarly. If they have a short coat, they'll obviously need less brushing than if their hair is longer. In any case, brushing them at least once a week is a good idea.
You'll also need to clean their ears regularly to prevent ear infections from developing. Brushing their teeth and gums two to three times a week will keep them clean and avoid tartar buildup. You can also do it daily if you notice bad breath. Lastly, you have to trim their nails once every two weeks or once every month.
Like Labradors, Labrahuahuas are very energetic dogs. They'll need about 30 to 60 minutes of exercise daily to stay content. Without their daily dose of physical activity, they will get bored and restless. They will then begin targeting your furniture with their strong Labrador jaws. All that energy has to be released somewhere, right?
For this reason, only families that can devote lots of time should adopt Labrahuahuas. As we've said, these dogs love attention and cannot be left alone. They would prefer large homes with backyards, but they can also adjust to apartments, thanks to their small size. Note that if you have an apartment, you'll need to give him a lot more exercise to keep him from getting bored and destructive.
Labrahuahuas will not be content with the same exercise over and over again. They're very smart, so you'll need to mix things up to keep them interested and engaged. Jogging, retrieving, playing, long walks, and running are some things they love.
We've discussed that Labs were first bred to swim in icy waters, which means your Labrahuahua will also love paddling through the water. Don't think of bringing this breed into your home unless you can give him plenty of time daily.
Labradors are intelligent dogs that are always eager to please their masters. We're combining that with the stubbornness and independence of Chihuahua. So it should be fairly easy to train your Labrahuahua, but he will likely ignore you every now and then. You'll need to be very patient with him and take baby steps in his training.
As with all breeds, the positive reinforcement method yields the best results. However, a more formalized training process is essential in helping your dog reach it's maximum potential. One method I recommend is using an online dog training program. This eliminates the inconvenience of having to travel for weekend training, and is significantly more affordable. The one that I recommend is Brain Training for Dogs by Adrienne Farricelli. At only $47 for a thorough program that you can work through at your own pace, nothing beats it. Check out my Recommended Products page for more information.
Early socialization is indispensable as it'll help him become a family pet and behave well around children. Socialization is required for all dog breeds, but it is especially vital for snappy breeds like Chihuahua. Exploring new objects, dogs, and people will build his confidence and teach him how to be a good pup. Crate training is also essential for Labrahuahuas because they're likely to get anxious when you're not around.
Labrahuahuas have a life expectancy of 10 to 15 years. These dogs are generally relatively healthy, and their medical bills won't be a burden on you. However, they may sometimes acquire genetic diseases from either parent, especially if the breeder is not careful. Knowing what to look out for can help you prevent these congenital deformities in these dogs. So here are the major health concerns of Labrahuahuas:
- Patellar Luxation: This is a condition in which your pet's kneecap moves out of its place, causing lameness in the dog. It is prevalent among small dogs. Many toy or small breeds, including Chihuahuas, are genetically predisposed to patellar luxation.
- Entropion: This is an eye disorder in which the dog's eyelids roll inward. It causes pain, corneal ulcers, and interferes with the dog's vision. Your pet will have to go through surgery if he suffers from entropion.
- Cardiomyopathy: It is one of the most common heart diseases in canines. In this disease, the dog's heart muscles wear thin and degenerate. Although this disease is often diagnosed in giant and large breeds, it is partly genetic, which means it can be passed on from parent dogs to their children.
Depending on the size and energy level of your Labrahuahua, he will eat between 1 ½ to 2 ½ cups of dried kibble every day to stay fit and healthy. It would be best to consult your veterinarian regarding the best diet for your Labrahuahua. The vet will give you the best advice regarding this matter after examining your dog.
Don't serve your dog lots of high-calcium and high-energy food as it can lead to orthopedic diseases. Labrahuahuas can become overweight very quickly, and obese dogs attract a host of diseases. Labradors are known to be voracious eaters, and if your Labrahuahua inherits his Lab parent's appetite, he'll be a food fanatic. This means you will have to monitor the amount of food your pet eats.
Feeding him little and often will be the safest option, so you may have to feed him at least three times a day. You must also give your pet enough time after eating to digest the food properly. Avoid leaving any food in the bowl for free eating, and enforce a strict exercise schedule. It plays a significant role in keeping your dog in shape.
Finding a Chihuahua-Lab Mix
The best way to bring a Labrahuahua into your home is to adopt one. Start by looking for this breed in your local rescue shelters. They may or may not have one available for adoption right away. You can talk to the staff, and they might be able to point you in the right direction.
Once you've searched local shelters, it's time to look into dedicated breed rescue organizations. American Lab Rescue and Chihuahua Rescue are excellent websites to start with. These guys take care of and rehome mixed breeds, and you'll probably find what you're looking for. Here are some other sites you can head over to:
- Chihuahua & Small Dog Rescue
- Midwest Labrador Retriever Rescue
- Labrador Retriever Rescue
- Lucky Lab Rescue
However, if you want to buy a Chihuahua-Lab Mix, it'll cost you $1000 or more. The price may sound too much, but remember that it takes a lot more skill and effort to breed these puppies successfully. As we've said, artificial insemination is required to breed Labrahuahua puppies. Also, some colors and patterns are more popular than others, so that you may be charged extra for them.
You can search for reputable breeders online or look for them offline. Remember to ask for reviews from previous customers, meet the breeder in-person, and request to see the puppies, parents, and health certificates. Avoid puppy mills and backyard breeders like the plague because they always put profit over the dog's health.
The biggest challenge when buying a puppy is making sure he is healthy and will not develop any severe illnesses later on.
Labrahuahua is a beautiful mixed breed that results from crossbreeding Labrador with Chihuahua. These dogs are needy and want your attention all the time. Early socialization will make sure they act gracefully around children and other animals. They may bark at strangers at first, but they should warm up to them quickly.
If your family can devote lots of attention, physical exercise, and mental stimulation, Labrahuahua can be an excellent companion for the entire family. 30 to 60 minutes of daily exercise and obedience training will make sure the pup stays happy and learn how to be a good boy.
About THE AUTHOR
Mark is the founder of Everything Labradors and a husband and father of 3. He enjoys spending time with his family, including his dog Molly, a Labrador/Golden Retriever mix. He’s a big fan of the outdoors and loves to travel to new places.Read more about Mark Brunson