The Chihuahua Lab mix is also known as the Labrahuahua. As a mixed breed, it is impossible to predict the looks and temperament of a Labrahuahua puppy. Especially when the parent breeds are as different as this. But, the parent breeds can still be a great guide. You can expect your Chihuahua Lab mix to be somewhere in between the sizes of its two parents. But read on to prepare for every eventuality before bringing one of these breeds home.
Chihuahua Lab Mix – Is the Labrahuahua for Your Family?
Have you heard of the Labrahuahua—the Chihuahua and Labrador Retriever mix? This mixed breed is rare. It can only result from artificially inseminating a female Labrador with sperm from a male Chihuahua. As you might imagine, a female Chihuahua physically cannot birth Labrador mix puppies! Besides the breeding process, are there any other challenges with the Chihuahua Lab mix? This article examines both of the parent breeds to see how they might combine.
Chihuahua Lab Mix History
Mixing breeds for best traits of each has become more common in the past few decades. And, the resulting dogs are sometimes referred to as “designer dogs.” Some consider this breeding method controversial. As well as mixing traits, designer breeders think mixing genes may prevent health issues that occur in some breeds. But, purebred breeders don’t want to mix genes into healthy pedigrees.
Both sides bring up good points. But, a dog’s health depends on the environment in which it is raised as well as its genetics. There are pros and cons to purebred and mixed dogs. You can learn more about this issue in our article: Purebred vs. Mutt Are Mixed Breed Dogs Healthier?
The history of the Chihuahua Lab mix is not well-established. Perhaps there are valid reasons that the Labrahuahua comes in for criticism. For example, some people don’t like the lengths breeders must go to achieve something some may see as unnatural. It makes this improbable combo something of a spectacle.
Chihuahuas are descendants of a slightly larger, indigenous dog that was known as the Techichi. Techichi were used as hunters, companions, and for ceremonial reasons by the Toltec people. They lived in what is now Mexico. Artifacts featuring Techichi date back to 300 BC. Over centuries, Techichi were bred to be smaller. In the 1800s, Americans visiting the state of Chihuahua, Mexico fell in love with the breed. This is where the “Chihuahua” name came from. Although the breed did not technically originate there.
Labrador Retriever History
Today’s Labs are one of the most popular dog breeds. They’re great family pets. They’re also a popular choice to work as service dogs, scent-trackers, search and rescue dogs, and retrievers for hunters. In the early 1600s, Labs’ ancestors worked alongside fisherman. They retrieved nets from chilly waters and hauled fish carts on the Canadian island of Newfoundland.
English nobles who visited Canada in the 1800s admired these dogs’ skills and took some home with them. The dogs’ swimming skills and soft mouth would allow them to return game to handlers unspoiled. Once in England, hunters used Labradors as waterfowl retrievers. You can learn a lot more about the Lab’s history in our full article about the History of the Labrador Retriever!
Did You Know….
Chihuahuas are the national dog of Mexico. Many celebrities have had Chihuahua pets. The list includes Paris Hilton, Marilyn Monroe, and Reese Witherspoon. Chihuahuas have been featured in major films such as Legally Blonde and Beverly Hills Chihuahua.
Labradors have been voted the favorite dog breed in America for 28 years in a row. A champion Lab named “King Buck” was the first of his kind to be featured on a U.S. postage stamp in 1959. Labrador Retrievers are descendants of the now extinct St. John’s Water Dog.
What Does the Chihuahua Lab Mix Look Like?
It’s challenging to predict traits of mixed breed dogs because puppies may favor one parent over the other. You may end up with a more Chihuahua-like or more Labrador-like mixed pup.
Size is the most obvious difference between these two breeds. Chihuahuas often do not stand more than 8 inches tall or weigh more than 6 pounds. On the other hand, Labs stand 21.5 to 24.5 inches tall and weigh 55 to 80 pounds. A Chihuahua Lab mix will be smaller than a Lab but larger than a Chihuahua. You can expect a small- to medium-sized dog. This mix will likely have the athletic, proportioned body of a Lab. Its head might be rounder like a Chihuahua’s. Its ears will be triangular but can be upright or floppy.
Chihuahua x Lab Coats
Labs have a short, dense coat. But, Chihuahuas either have soft short or long hair.
A mix’s fur could be short or medium in length. It might be fine and soft like a Chihuahua, or coarse and almost greasy like a Lab.
Lab coloration is chocolate, black, or yellow. Some have white markings. Chihuahua coloration varies widely. From white, blue, red, black, brindle, and more. A Labrahuahua’s coloration won’t be as diverse as the Chihuahua’s. Popular colorations include tricolor, black, white, and fawn.
Chihuahua Lab Mix Personality
Mixes inherit personality traits from either parent. Socialization and training are a must to foster desired traits and prevent unwanted behaviors. As one of the U.K. and USA’s favorite dog breeds, you can count on a Labrador to be friendly and outgoing. They’re usually very even-tempered. But they can have a lot of energy!
Chihuahuas are small dogs with big egos! They’re often described as confident, independent, and charming. Unfortunately, Chihuahuas are known to be aggressive. In fact, a 2008 study showed that they’re aggressive to other dogs and humans. Including family members.
A Chihuahua Lab mix may inherit this tendency to aggression. Training and socialization at a young age can help curb this. But, it is something to keep in mind when bringing a Chihuahua mixed breed into a home with small children and other animals. In general, a Labrahuahua will be a mix of confidence, liveliness, and loyalty.
Chihuahua Lab Mix Training
Beginning training and socialization at a young age is important to any dog breed. Will a Labrahuahua be easy to train? Maybe. Labs are very intelligent and trainable. Chihuahuas are also very smart. But they are somewhat stubborn. If your Labrahuahua has some of this stubbornness, it may be challenging to train.
Potty training can be difficult with small dogs like Chihuahuas. If your Lab Chihuahua mix is on the smaller side, our Puppy Potty Training Guide will ease some frustration. Consistent training using positive reinforcement is key to successful training with this mix. Our Online Training Guides will help you with this process.
Both parent breeds are active and playful. So a Labrahuahua will need regular exercise and playtime. If it is smaller in size, use caution with the amount and type of exercise you choose for your Chihuahua Lab mix.
Chihuahua Lab Mix Health
Mixed breed dogs may inherit illnesses from their parents. Some breeds also have health issues related to their size or conformation. The Lab and Chihuahua breeds are both considered relatively healthy. A healthy and well cared for Labrahuahua may live 10 to 16 years. But, there is still a risk that a Lab Chihuahua mix might develop health problems during its lifetime.
Some health issues can be screened or tested for. So it’s important to check with a breeder for these results. You’ll also want to ask about the parent dogs’ health and the health of littermates. Here are some of the common health issues with each parent breed.
Chihuahua Health Issues
As such a small breed, Chihuahuas are prone to several health issues including:
- impacted teeth
- patella luxation
- Legg-Calves-Perthes disease
- tracheal collapse
- necrotizing meningoencephalitis
- mitral valve disease
- patent ductus arteriosus
- Chiari malformations.
The Chihuahua Club of America recommends patella, eye, and cardiac exams.
Labrador Retriever Health Risks
Common health problems seen in Labrador Retrievers are:
- hip and elbow dysplasia
- progressive renal atrophy
- centronuclear myopathy
- exercise-induced collapse
The Canine Health Information Center recommends these screening tests for Labs:
- hip and elbow dysplasia
- eye examination
- exercise induced collapse
- DNA tests
- centronuclear myopathy and cardiac exam (optional).
Grooming & Care
Labrahuahua grooming may be fairly low maintenance. Unless it inherits a more Lab-like coat. In that case, the dog’s coat will probably shed more often! Regular brushing and bathing will keep your Labrahuahua’s coat in top condition.
Both breeds are prone to obesity. So, make sure you are feeding your Labrahuahua a high-quality and nutritional dog food in proper amounts. A vet will help you determine the appropriate dietary needs of this mixed breed.
Do Chihuahua Lab Mixes Make Good Pets?
A Chihuahua Lab mix can make a wonderful companion! The most important thing to keep in mind is the risk of aggressive behavior stemming from the Chihuahua part of the mix. And making sure your Labrahuahua comes from parents with healthy joints at their hip and knee. Also, if the Labrahuahua is smaller in size, it can be at risk of injury from other pets and small children. For this reason, homes with small children and other animals should reconsider the Chihuahua Lab mix.
Chihuahua Lab Mix Rescue
Rescuing a dog from a shelter is a wonderful way to give it a second chance! You might find a fully-grown Lab Chihuahua Mix. So you won’t get any surprises with its size or appearance.
It’s important to learn why the dog ended up in a shelter. Was it a behavioral issue? If so, you’ll need to be prepared to handle the issue in your own home. Often, training and resocialization can help with these problems. Specific Labrahuahua organizations are not yet established. For that reason, you should start searching at shelters that specialize in the parent breeds:
- Chihuahua Rescue & Transport
- Chihuahua & Small Dog Rescue
- Lucky Lab Rescue
- Midwest Labrador Retriever Rescue
- Labrador Retriever Rescue
- Labradors in Need
- Labrador Rescue South East & Central
- Labrador Retriever Rescue Southern England
- Chihuahua Rescue UK
Finding a Chihuahua Lab Mix puppy
Are you ready to bring a Chihuahua Lab mix puppy into your home? Mixed, or “designer” breeds are growing more popular. But, that often means dishonest breeders have sprung up to seek cash.
An online search will lead you to a mix of breeders. How do you know which one to select? Our guide to spotting a bad breeder will help you weed through the options. For instance, don’t be afraid to ask the breeder questions! Do not buy a puppy from a pet store or “puppy mill.” They’re known for questionable breeding practice and poor care of puppies and breeding dogs.
Chihuahua Lab Mix Puppy Care
Once your Labrahuahua is home, the fun starts! There are so many aspects of care to think about. There’s diet, training, exercise, sleep, toys, and so much more. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or just want to know if you’re doing right by your puppy, use our Puppy Guides for advice.
Start training and socializing your Chihuahua Lab mix puppy right away! Bring our Puppy Supplies Checklist to the store with you so you don’t forget anything! You’ll need toys, a bed, and a good leash!
Chihuahua Lab Mix Pros and Cons
- Potential aggression
- May be small and fragile if more Chihuahua-like
- Specific breeding guidelines (Female Lab; male Chihuahua)
- Potential health issues
- Clever and playful
- Healthy parent breeds
- Charming and loyal
- Good for small homes or apartments
Similar Breed Mixes and Breeds
Here are some similar mixes to consider:
- Corgi Lab Mix
- Beagle Lab Mix
- Blue Heeler Lab Mix
- Whippet Lab Mix
- Black Lab Pitbull Mix
- Dachshund Lab Mix
Is A Chihuahua Lab Mix Right for Me?
Choosing a breed or mixed breed is a big decision. So make sure you take your time to decide and learn as much as you can. If your home does not have small children or other pets, a Chihuahua Lab mix will be a perfect choice for you! You’ll also need to commit time to training and exercise. Proper veterinary care is an expense you will need to prepare for as well.
If you have small children and other pets, you may want to reconsider the Chihuahua Lab mix. This is due to the potential of aggression and their smaller stature. Training may prevent aggressive behavior. But it is never a guarantee.
References and Resources
- “Health Committee Description & Mission.” The Chihuahua Club of America.
- “Chihuahua Dog Breed Information: A Guide to the World’s Smallest Dog.” The Happy Puppy Site, 2019.
- Duffy, Deborah L. Et al. “Breed Differences in Canine Aggression.” Applied Animal Behavior Science, 2008.
- Green, Ranny. “The Lab Rules Once Again – For Record 28th Straight Year! American Kennel Club, 2019.
- Higgins, R.J. Et al. “Necrotizing Meningoencephalitis in Five Chihuahua Dogs.” Veterinary Pathology, 2008.
- “King Buck.” The Retriever News.
- Nicholas, Frank W. Et al. “Hybrid Vigor in Dogs?” The Veterinary Journal, 2016.
- “Chihuahuas are among toy breeds affected by syringomyelia.” Chihuahua Update, 2011.
- Green, R. “The Lab Rules Once Again – For Record 28th Straight Year!” AKC
The Labrador Site Founder
Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.
She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program
Pippa's online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website