You read that right. The Golden Retriever Chihuahua mix is a real thing.
Nicknamed Golden Chi, this designer dog is made up of two contradicting breeds, but they’re absolutely adorable.
So what is it really like when you cross a big, fluffy Golden Retriever with the feisty, pint-sized Chihuahua? You’re about to find out!
Where do Golden Chis come from?
Like many of the newer crossbreeds, we’re still missing a few pieces of the Golden Chi puzzle. The Golden Chihuahua probably comes from North America, but even that’s just an educated guess.
Though the Golden Retriever Chihuahua mix has mysterious origins, both of its parent breeds are well-known, and they couldn’t be any more different.
Get to know the Golden Retriever
When we think of the quintessential family dog, the Golden Retriever comes to mind. But did you know that these pups started out as working dogs?
Goldens were bred as waterfowl retrievers in 19th century Scotland. Their ability to serve alongside hunters was matched only by their mild, obedient disposition. Not to mention their “soft mouths,” where they retrieve the game without any damage to it.
Golden Retrievers still put their intelligence and loyalty to good use for game hunters, but they’re also frequently spotted on police forces, therapeutic roles, and guide dogs!
Meet the full-of-life Chihuahua
Chihuahuas are quite literally the world’s smallest dog breed, but try telling them that.
While they could probably fit in your pocket, these tiny canines won’t hesitate to give you a piece of their mind. They’d take on a pride of lions without thinking twice.
It wasn’t until the 19th and 20th centuries that Americans began taking note of the breed, but the Chihuahua’s roots extend back at least 700 years. Who knew this spunky breed had such a celebrated past?
What do Golden Chis look like?
Combining an itsy-bitsy, toy-sized pooch with a larger-than-life retriever is bound to come with its fair share of surprises.
One of those surprises is the Golden Chi’s appearance. If your Golden Chi Retriever comes from an apple head Chihuahua, they may have a rounded skull with a pointed snout.
Deer head Chihuahuas, on the other hand, could give your Golden Chi pup a longer muzzle and softer features. They often have floppy, fuzzy, Instagram-worthy ears that are usually light and dark golden.
They almost always have thick fur, thanks to the Golden Retriever. But their coats will be even longer and denser if they come from a long-haired Chihuahua.
Technically, Golden Chis can be golden, red, black, white, fawn, cream, or chocolate. As such, the best way to predict your Golden Retriever Chihuahua’s coat color is to look at her parents.
How big is a full-grown Golden Retriever Chihuahua mix?
Most Chihuahua Golden Retrievers will reach a middle-of-the-road weight by adulthood, around 15 to 30 pounds (7 to 14 kg).
It’s quite uncertain for height because of the huge gap between the size of its parent breeds.
Goldens have a height of 21 to 24 inches (53 to 61 cm), while Chihuahuas are only 6 to 9 inches (15 to 23 cm) at the shoulder. Their hybrid offspring will be somewhere within that range.
As a small- to medium-sized breed, the Golden Retriever Chihuahua mix will feel perfectly at home in apartments, but be sure to give them plenty of on-leash outdoor exercise.
Are Golden Chihuahua mixes good or dangerous dogs?
The Chihuahua Golden Retriever’s personality is just as unpredictable as their physical qualities. Because their parents’ temperaments run the gamut from “everybody’s bestie” to “you can’t sit with us,” there’s no telling what you’ll get with the Golden Chi.
Still, it’s safe to say that they’ll be more composed than purebred Chihuahuas, though not nearly as approachable as the Golden Retriever.
Since your pup’s disposition is entirely up to chance, go ahead and plan on implementing a training regimen as soon as you bring them home. You want to get ahead of any potential problem behaviors.
Chihuahuas, for example, can be territorial. This doesn’t bode well for owners with young children or other dogs. Make sure your Golden Chi puppy learns how to share and respect your leadership from a young age.
All is not lost, however. Golden Retriever Chihuahua mixes are confident, sure, but they’re also playful. Take a moment to relish in this precious Golden Chi’s antics, and see for yourself!
Speaking of homes with tiny tots, stay close by when the kiddos interact with your Golden Chihuahua. The smaller your puppy, the easier it’ll be for them to get hurt during rough play.
Your odds of keeping the peace go up exponentially is when you socialize your Golden Chi early and often. Take them to puppy kindergarten and doggie daycare to reinforce good manners and proper boundaries.
You also want to observe your puppy and their parents before buying. Even at just a few weeks old, puppies can give you glimpses into their personalities.
If you have kids or fur babies now (or plan to in the future), look for a Golden Chihuahua that readily romps with its littermates.
Pups that seek out positive interactions and can tell when they aren’t welcome are more likely to make room for other pets.
Caring for your Golden Chihuahua mix
Fortunately for you, the Golden Chi’s care and maintenance routine are straightforward and easy to follow.
How often should you groom your Golden Chi?
Golden Chihuahuas are nowhere near as high-maintenance as purebred Golden Retrievers. Between their smaller stature and shorter coats, Chihuahua Golden Retriever crosses can do without daily brushing.
Although they shed all-year-round, expect heavier shedding when the seasons change. Brushing your Golden Chi once or twice a week should keep loose hair, mats, and tangles at bay.
To earn the gold star in grooming, make a habit of checking your Chihuahua Golden’s ears daily. Keep an eye out for the telltale signs of irritation and infection: redness and an unpleasant odor.
Dental hygiene is another non-negotiable. Golden Chis with narrow jaws are at greater risk of overcrowded teeth, contributing to plaque buildup and tooth decay. Try to brush your Golden Chihuahua’s teeth every other day.
Once a month or so, trim your pooch’s nails down to a comfortable length. If you can hear your Golden Chi click-clacking across the floor, it’s time for a mani-pedi.
Your Golden Chi will likely stage a resistance whenever the grooming kit comes out. And since you’ll be up close and personal with their pointy bits, you’ll want the process to be as enjoyable as possible.
Take steps to familiarize your Chihuahua Golden Retriever with your grooming tools, and don’t be afraid to cut a grooming session short if Fido shows signs of distress.
Over time, grooming will feel less and less scary for your pup. Be patient, and remember that the trials and triumphs of beautifying our canines are part of the experience!
Exercise: how much do Golden Chis need?
Given the Golden Retriever’s natural drive and the Chihuahua’s fiery spirit, suffice it to say that your Golden Chihuahua mix will be brimming with energy.
Purebred Goldens require at least 2 hours of exercise a day, while Chihuahuas only need about 20-30 minutes.
Your Golden Retriever Chihuahua mix will fall somewhere between those two extremes, depending on their energy level and physical stature.
While your Golden Chi is still a puppy, pepper their day with brief walks and short play sessions at regular intervals.
Once Fido reaches his mature size, you can ramp up the amount of time you exercise him but reduce the frequency. For example, you might switch 15-minute walks around the block for a light 45-minute jog at the dog park.
Feel free to adjust your Chihuahua Golden Retriever’s exercise routine as needed until you find what suits your pack.
What’s the best diet for a Golden Retriever Chihuahua mix?
At the risk of sounding like a skipping CD, we have to tell you that your Golden Chi’s optimal food intake is…unpredictable. Even for purebred dogs, there’s no one-size-fits-all diet.
Your goal should be keeping your Golden Chi at a healthy weight, so you’ll want to consider their age, size, and activity.
A safe option is going for a high-quality dry kibble that’s suitable for all life stages.
When it’s all said and done, your Golden Chi will require 1 to 2 cups of food a day. You can go a little below or above this range if that suits your pup.
It’s wise to do so in consultation with your veterinarian, though. They can help you find the caloric sweet spot for your particular pooch.
If you’re used to computing for the daily calories your pets need, here’s a calorie calculator to help you know the exact amount to feed your canine friend.
Health: How long do Golden Chis live?
Chihuahua Golden Retriever mixes have plenty of life ahead of them. The average lifespan for this hybrid is 14 to 15 years! It’s still best to watch out for illnesses that your pet can inherit from its parents.
Purebred Golden Retrievers are prone to both cancer and hip dysplasia. They’re also predisposed to hypothyroidism, epilepsy, and eye conditions.
Dental issues are rampant among Chihuahuas and their hybrid relatives. Their small jaws leave them vulnerable to cavities, crowded teeth, and tooth loss. They’re also at risk of low blood sugar.
Many Golden Chis luck out and inherit only the healthiest genes from their parents. But others don’t.
To be on the safe side, exclusively shop with breeders who can provide health certificates. You want a well-cared-for canine that comes from good stock.
Where to buy a Golden Retriever Chihuahua mix puppy?
Logistically speaking, breeding Golden Chis is nothing short of an endeavor. The size disparity between its parents makes the breeding process cumbersome and costly.
For this reason, this crossbreed is far more challenging to find than other designers Chihuahua or Golden Retriever mixes.
Not every breeder wants to deal with the hassle and expense. And those who do expect to be fairly compensated.
A Golden Retriever Chihuahua mix puppy has a price of $2000 to $3500. Be wary of any kennels or breeders with dirt-cheap puppies. Anything under $1000 might be a sign that something isn’t quite right.
This isn’t always the case, though. So how else will you know that you’ve found the right breeder?
Golden Retriever Chihuahua mix breeders & rescues
Given the rarity of Golden Chis, it’s crucial to do your research before you buy one of these furry canines. The last thing you want is to commit your time, money, and heart to a pup from a bad breeder.
Be on high alert with any sellers that seem reluctant to let you visit their facility. In fact, don’t even bother with them.
Trustworthy breeders should have no problem with an in-person visit. Many will go so far as to require a face-to-face meeting with potential customers.
Vet-certified proof of genetic testing is another must-have. These tests tell you if any ailments lurk beneath your puppy’s seemingly-healthy exterior.
Think carefully about the implications of a breeder who can’t (or won’t) provide these records.
Once you find the right breeder and look into your new Golden Chi’s eyes, you’ll see why all the groundwork was worth it.
Since we weren’t able to find a specific kennel that specializes in this designer dog, another great option is adoption.
Believe it or not, a lot of mixed breeds end up in shelters for different reasons. Adopting is a fulfilling experience, and you’ll get as much love from an older dog as you would with a breeder-bought pup.
Try to check with rescues near you once a week or so. That way, you’ll be among the first to know if they come across a Golden Chi.
If you’d rather grab the bull by the horns, look into rescue organizations explicitly dedicated to Chihuahuas or Golden Retrievers since they cater to hybrids, too.
Here are a few websites to get you started:
- Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies (Arvada, CO)
- Golden Retriever Rescue Resource (Waterville, OH)
- Texas Chihuahua Rescue (Pleasanton, TX)
- Little Diva Rescue (Stevenson Ranch, CA)
What are the best breeds to mix with Chihuahuas and Goldens?
With such distinct traits and a lavish price tag, it’s only natural that Golden Chis may not be every dog parent’s idea of the perfect pup. But don’t worry–you’ve got options.
If you’re still on the fence about the Golden Retriever Chihuahua mix, one of these other crossbreeds may be a better fit:
Chipit (Pitbull Chihuahua mix)
Chiweenie (Dachshund Chihuahua mix)
Chorkie (Yorkie Chihuahua mix)
Goberian (Golden Retriever Husky mix)
Golden Corgi (Corgi Golden Retriever mix)
Golden Shepherd (German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix)
What do you love most about the Golden Chi?
The Golden Chi is the designer dog we didn’t know we needed. Despite the odds, this hybrid is a magnetic combination of contradictions.
For such a strong dog, Golden Chis are well-suited to confident, energetic owners.
We’re dying to know: is it the Golden Chi’s charming good looks or their fearless spunk that won you over? Please share it with us in the comments!