You won’t find two dog breeds more different than a golden retriever and Chihuahua. And yet, a Chihuahua golden retriever mix exists.
In fact, the cross has turned out surprisingly great because these small sassy dogs are absolutely adorable.
The golden retriever Chihuahua cross is called a Golden Chi, a dog with a unique look and unpredictable temperament.
Because the parent breeds are so different, no Golden Chi is the same. Meeting the entire litter and the parents in person is crucial before buying a puppy to ensure you will bond.
However, each Golden Chi can be recognized by some distinct traits simultaneously resembling both a golden retriever and a Chihuahua.
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The Chihuahua golden retriever mix is similar to both parents, which may be hard to imagine until you look at the pictures.
These small dogs typically range from 13 to 20 inches in height, but some puppies may be shorter or taller than that.
Most Golden Chis weigh 15 to 30 pounds in adulthood. They have a long snout, round dark eyes with an intelligent expression, a permanently smiling face, a fuzzy tail, and fluffy, floppy years.
Usually, Golden Chis are medium to dark golden, although the color may also be red, black, white, fawn, cream, or chocolate, depending on the Chihuahua parent color.
Golden Chis always have a short to medium-length, thick coat with prominent feathering. Golden Chis from long-haired Chihuahuas have longer fur. Usually, the hair is straight.
Of course, there may be variations among Golden Chi appearance traits depending on which parent a puppy has taken after.
Still, the puppies are difficult to confuse with one of the parent breeds – they’re always somewhere in the middle.
Golden retrievers and Chihuahuas are two very different breeds, and their temperament differs even more than their appearance. Golden retrievers are affectionate, gentle giants with an exuberant, outgoing, playful nature.
These energy bundles can sometimes be goofy even at a mature age and can’t stand spending time alone.
They are highly human-oriented and happily let strangers pet them. Goldens want to be friends with everyone, including kids and other animals.
In contrast, Chihuahua is a large guard dog in a small dog’s body. These tiny creatures are usually aloof with strangers and always alert yet affectionate with owners. They are loyal and highly protective.
Chihuahuas are independent and, at times, stubborn. They prefer to be the only dogs in the house. With such different characteristics, predicting what will a Golden Chi temperament be like is tricky.
The Chihuahua golden retriever mix temperament traits are a complete toss-up. Some puppies may be affectionate, friendly, and sensitive, whereas others are alert, protective, and stubborn.
Golden Chis make excellent family dogs, but they may need time to get used to other pets in the house. Some Golden Chis may be impatient with kids.
Because of their small size, Golden Chis make poor guard dogs and service dogs. However, they can be trained to perform tasks that don’t require physical strength and alert owners when a stranger surpasses the territory.
The best way to determine what will a puppy’s temperament be like when it grows up is by interacting with it and its parents. If you’re looking for a Golden Chi and have a child or another pet, ensure that the puppy is socialized.
Intelligence & Trainability
When it comes to intelligence and trainability, Chihuahuas and golden retrievers lie on the opposite ends of the spectrum.
Stanley Coren, a canine researcher who evaluated the IQ of 138 dog breeds, found that goldens are the fourth most intelligent breed.
In contrast, Chihuahuas are 125th. Does this mean that Chihuahuas are dumb? Not necessarily, but their memory is incomparable to that of golden retrievers, and they are very stubborn, often disobeying commands.
If not for their small size, Chihuahuas wouldn’t be recommended for first-time owners. The Chihuahua golden retriever cross intelligence is yet again somewhere in the middle.
Golden Chi is an average-intelligent dog with excellent communication skills and memory but can be too stubborn for inexperienced owners. These dogs require discipline and patience but can be taught to be service dogs and working dogs.
Both Chihuahuas are golden retrievers and have a long list of medical conditions they are susceptible to. And here’s where their hybrid, the Golden Chi, truly excels. Golden Chis are generally healthy dogs, even compared to other crossbreeds.
Most Golden Chis don’t inherit hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, hypoglycemia, and other genetic conditions widespread in the parent breeds.
However, they can have ear infections, skin conditions, and kidney stones – owners can prevent these problems with proper care and a healthy lifestyle.
Golden Chis are also prone to obesity because the issue is common in both parent breeds, and Chis are very food motivated. Unfortunately, some Golden Chis aren’t as lucky and may inherit the whole pack of diseases.
To be on the safe side, request the breeder health clearances for both parents to ensure the puppy you’re buying will live a long and happy life.
Golden Chi grooming is pretty straightforward but must be regular. The Chihuahua golden retriever mix is notorious for heavy shedding because of its dense fur.
Fortunately, Golden Chi fur isn’t as noticeable on surfaces as that of golden retrievers.
Golden Chis can go without daily brushing but must be brushed at least once a week to eliminate tangles and prevent matting. Brushing is crucial for dogs that spend much time in the wild and are at risk of contracting parasites.
Golden Chis need a bath about once a month, but the frequency depends on a dog’s lifestyle and coat length. Regular nail trimming and dental hygiene are non-negotiable.
Golden Chis don’t need haircuts – they will suffice with feather trimming to keep their appearance neat and keep longer fur off the ground.
Golden Chis are relatively low maintenance in terms of exercise. Although golden retrievers are hunting dogs that need at least an hour of walking daily, Chihuahuas are much less active.
As a result, Golden Chis will suffice with 15 to 45 minutes of physical activity daily. The exercise duration depends on its type – walking is less energy-consuming than running or swimming, so it should last longer.
Because Golden Chis are playful, curious dogs, they will appreciate mentally stimulating activities such as playing fetch, hiking, and tracking smells.
Puppies need less exercise than adult dogs. Although they are energetic, too much physical activity can lead to joint problems.
Golden Chis are healthy dogs with a life expectancy of 12-15 years. That’s a standard life expectancy for dogs of this size and a significant improvement compared to the 10-12 years of golden retrievers.
However, note that a dog’s lifespan depends not on the breed alone. Exercise and diet play crucial roles in a dog’s health, same as timely veterinary care.
Golden Chi behavior problems depend on which parent a puppy takes after – golden retriever or Chihuahua. Golden retrievers are social dogs that form strong bonds with their owner.
Goldens are prone to separation anxiety, particularly if they lack socialization. Separation anxiety is characterized by destructive behavior, potty accidents, trying to escape, pacing, and hyperactivity.
Golden retrievers often pull on the leash and jump on people because of their exuberant, friendly nature, and many Golden Chis inherit these temperament traits. Fortunately, owners can combat these habits with early training.
Goldens don’t bark a lot, but Chihuahuas do. Some Golden Chis may have an excessive vocalization problem because of boredom, lack of training, aggression, or anxiety.
Chihuahuas are often jealous of the owner’s attention and react poorly to other animals in the house. Golden Chis, too, may need time to adjust to changes in the household, such as the appearance of a baby or another pet.
Some Golden Chis may be unfriendly with strangers, but owners can avoid this problem with timely socialization.
Golden Chi is a very rare yet sought-after crossbreed. They are hard to breed because golden retrievers and Chihuahuas cannot breed naturally.
However, because of their cute look and lively personality, Golden Chis are rapidly gaining popularity.
Finding a breeder in the entire U.S. is challenging, let alone in a particular state, but the long search pays off when you finally get such an excellent companion.
Typically, crossbreed dogs cost less than purebred dogs, but this isn’t the case with Golden Chis. These little dogs are an exception. Golden Chi puppy prices start at $2,000 and can exceed $3,500.
Such a high price can be explained by high demand combined with very scarce supply. Although many people want to buy a Golden Chi, not many people breed these dogs.
A puppy’s price depends on its lineage, location, and the breeder’s reputation. A puppy from champion parents will cost more because it is more likely to inherit the traits that made its ancestors excel.
For example, if a puppy’s mother is an obedience champ, it is more likely to be responsive to training. However, there’s always a chance that a puppy will take after another parent.