Golden Retriever Chihuahua Mix: A Sweet & Sassy Pup
by Jessi Larson
With the Golden Retriever Chihuahua mix, you get the best of both worlds: the gentle, obedient nature of the Golden Retriever and the sass and spunk of a Chihuahua.
Affectionately nicknamed the “Golden Chi,” the Golden Retriever Chihuahua mix is fairly rare. It’s considered a designer breed – a trendy combination of two breeds that creates a unique-looking pup. Unlike popular designer dogs like the Cockapoo or the Labradoodle, however, the Golden Chi is much harder to find.
If you’re lucky enough to come across a Golden Retriever Chihuahua mix, here is everything you need to know about the sweet and sassy breed.
The Golden Retriever and the Chihuahua might be two of the most opposite-looking dog breeds out there. Considered a large breed dog, the Golden Retriever averages between 55-75 lbs, sometimes larger. It is perhaps most recognizable for its thick golden coat that is often wavy and full of body. And who can forget the Golden Retriever’s smiley, sweet face that just seems to emit pure joy?
On the flip side, the Chihuahua weighs a mere 3-7 lbs on average. With a tiny snout, big eyes, erect ears and a turned-up tail, the Chihuahua is quite the cutey. The breed’s coat can be short or long and comes in a variety of colors.
Together, the Golden Retriever Chihuahua mix creates a unique-looking pup. Because the breeds are so different, you can’t predict exactly what the mix will look like. But it’s safe to say the weight will most likely be in the 15-30 lb range. The coat will definitely have a thick, maybe even wavy element to it. And the ears more likely than not be downturned like a Golden Retriever’s, although much smaller in size.
For facial characteristics, the Chihuahua facial structure will definitely prevail, but with the softer, sweet features of a Golden Retriever.
When it comes to personality, you couldn’t get two more different dog breeds. The Golden Retriever is considered gentle, friendly and confident. Because of their kind and loyal disposition and impressive intelligence, the breed is frequently used as a service dog for those who need a helping hand. (Or maybe it’s a helping paw in this case?)
The personality of the Chihuahua is a little less predictable. Generally, the disposition depends on the parents and how they behaved. The breed tends to be fiercely loyal to one person in the family in particular, sometimes to the point of becoming overprotective. They can be standoffish and territorial at times. However, once they warm up to a person, you’ll see their sweet, sincere side. And who can forget their intelligence, sass and spunk.
To sum it up, the Golden Retriever is easy going and freely gives their love to people while the Chihuahua makes you earn their affection and trust.
What in the world does that equate to with the Golden Retriever Chihuahua mix?
As mentioned above, when mixing two breeds you don’t know exactly what you’ll get. More than likely, a Golden Retriever Chihuahua mix is a sweet, kind soul that may not be as overtly outgoing as a purebred Golden is still more easygoing than a typical Chihuahua.
If you have a home with children or other animals, we recommend observing the personality and behavior of the Golden Retriever Chihuahua mix you’re considering to make sure they have the right temperament for your lifestyle.
On average, the Golden Retriever’s lifespan is 11-12 years and the Chihuahua’s is 12-20 years.
Both the breeds have their own set of health challenges. For the Golden Retriever, a common issue is hip dysplasia. You also should be aware that the breed has higher rates of cancer.
For the Chihuahua, the health challenges are quite different. Many of the issues arise from the breed’s small size. For example, veterinarians advise that you keep a close eye on their teeth since their small jaw size can cause issues. Other concerns include a soft spot in their skull, low blood sugar and a collapsing trachea.
With the Golden Retriever Chihuahua mix, the combination of these two breeds creates a new type of dog that isn’t well known, so we can’t say for certain what kind of health concerns the breed may face.
One thing we can note, however, is that the Chihuahua often has issues related to its small size, so mixing with a larger, sturdier breed is likely good for its health. The long lifespan on the Chihuahua may also add years of life.
As with any dog, make sure you take them to the veterinarian regularly. The vet can help identify any potential issues, provide needed vaccinations, make sure they’re on the best diet and help make life healthy and happy for your dog.
The good news is that with a Golden Retriever Chihuahua mix, you won’t have to spend nearly as much time dealing with dog hair as you would with a regular Golden Retriever. For starters, there is just less physical area since the mix is much tinier. And when combined with the Chihuahua, especially a short-haired one, the hair is much less voluminous. So all in all, you won’t have to deal with massive clumps of dog hair around the house or having to de-shed your dog constantly.
The bad news, however, is that the Chihuahua temperament means they’re more sensitive to grooming and harder to wrangle. You must spend extra time making sure your Golden Retriever Chihuahua mix feels safe and secure during the grooming process. Treats are a must!
With regular baths, brushings and nail trims, the Golden Retriever Chihuahua mix will stay in tip-top shape.
Training is essential for any new dog. With the Golden Retriever Chihuahua mix, you get an interesting combination of breeds: one of the most trainable, obedient canines out there along with a type of dog known for being smart but also a bit stubborn and standoffish.
So what does that mean for training a Golden Retriever Chihuahua mix?
Generally, the Golden Retriever Chihuahua mix shouldn’t be too hard to train. Just start with the basics and make sure those are mastered before moving on to more complicated feats.
Sure, the Golden Retriever Chihuahua mix probably won’t make a great service dog like a purebred Golden Retriever, but you’ll find the mix to be smart, inquisitive and ready to learn.
To start your dog off right, we recommend attending dog training classes as soon as you can. This ensures everyone is on the same page and speaking the same language when it comes to training and discipline.
It’s also a good idea to read up as much as you can. A great book to check out is “Training the Best Dog Ever: A 5-Week Program Using the Power of Positive Reinforcement” by Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz, dog trainer for Barack Obama’s dog Bo.
Golden Retriever Chihuahua Mix: Is It Right For You?
The Golden Retriever Chihuahua mix isn’t exactly the type of dog you come across every day. If you find such a dog, you should definitely consider welcoming them into your home.
If you have small kids, however, make sure you take note of the dog’s size and observe their behavior. An extra small, fragile dog isn’t a great match for a rambunctious toddler who doesn’t understand you shouldn’t grab at the dog. (Unfortunately, I have a family member who had a small dog they let their child “play” with. Sadly, the dog still has emotional and physical scars from the experience.)
The Golden Retriever genes should add some sturdiness to the mix, however, and make it at least double, if not triple, the size of a standard Chihuahua.
Behavior is also a concern if you have children or other animals in the family. The Chihuahua personality can be overprotective and irritated at times, so most experts say they aren’t a good match for kids under eight. The addition of the Golden Retriever personality, however, may make for a more easygoing, mellow attitude.
As we mentioned before, the Golden Retriever Chihuahua mix is certainly a smart combination. Both breeds are quick-witted and curious, so you’ll have to make sure you provide adequate mental and physical stimulation. Regular exercise is a must, and it’s not a bad idea to invest in dog puzzles or KONG toys.
Like all dogs, the Golden Retriever Chihuahua mix wants to feel loved, safe and secure, so if you can provide that home, we say go ahead and get the dog!