Chihuahua/Retriever Mix (Golden Chi): A Complete Guide

Golden Retrievers and Chihuahuas are two of the most popular dogs on the market and, when mixed together, their babies make for super adorable dogs. This breed of dog is fairly new and doesn’t have a lot of information out there, so here is a complete guide on the Golden Chi.

What is a Chihuahua/Retriever ? A mix between the dog breeds of Golden Retrievers and Chihuahuas is called a Golden Chi. They typical weigh around 15-30 pounds and they are considered to be a designer breed because of the way the puppies are conceived.

There are so many fun things to learn about the golden retriever and chihuahua mix. How much they cost, what their health is like, and more will be answered in this complete guide.

A Complete Guide To Golden Retriever and Chihuahua Mixes

Mixing Golden Retrievers and Chihuahuas has been a fairly new process and has created some adorable puppies. If you’ve ever wanted a miniature golden retriever then this mix is just for you.

Even though their breed is fairly new, Golden Retriever and Chihuahua Mixes have been given the name or nicknamed Golden Chi. They are smart, sassy, and seriously so adorable.

Below we have all the information you could possible want to know about a Golden Retriever and Chihuahua Mix, plus more. So, keep reading and find out what the Golden Chi is all about.

How Golden Retriever and Chihuahua Mixes are Made

Golden Retrievers and Chihuahuas couldn’t be more different. Golden Retrievers weigh about 60-75 pounds and are typically 20-25 inches tall while chihuahuas weigh in at 3-6 pounds with a height of about 6-9 inches.

Needless to say, these dogs are extremely different. Because of that, one may wonder how these two dogs are even bred together in the first place. With one so big and one so small it seems impossible and it would never be able to happen in the natural world.

But with modern technology now these two dogs genetics can be combined to create a new breed of dog. This process in known as Designer Breeding and it is expensive for the breeders.

What happens is that both dogs are taken to the vet, who takes the sperm from a male chihuahua and inserts it directly into the female golden retriever.

Because this is a complicated process, it isn’t done very often but it does make some adorable puppies. Imagine a miniature golden retriever and the idea of a Golden Chi makes your heart melt.

Health Problems

Golden Chis are new and haven’t had a lot of testing done on them. Plus each litter is so different because of the major genetic differences between the Golden Retriever and the Chihuahua.

So, for now, the only way that we can guess at their health expediencies is to look towards the parents. Luckily Chihuahuas are fairly healthy animals that live long lives. On the other hand, Golden Retrievers, unfortunately, have quite a few health issues.

Golden Retrievers typically live about 10-13 years and are known for having quite a few health issues that are passed down genetically.

This does not mean that all Golden Retrievers have these issues or even one of these issues, but they all are at risk of developing one or more of these things throughout their lives.

Golden Retriever Health Concerns

A portrait of a cute Golden Retriever dog sitting on the floor, isolated on white background

1. Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is also known as Thyroid Hormone Deficiency and golden retrievers are known to be susceptible to getting it.

Thyroids are responsible for producing essential hormones and releasing them in the body. When a golden retriever gets Hypothyroidism their bodies don’t produce enough of the T4 and the T3 hormones that help stabilize metabolisms.

This normally flares up or becomes apparent in golden retrievers around years 4-9 and usually shows itself with symptoms like:

  • Inactivity
  • Overly Sleepy
  • Weakness
  • Poor Hair Growth
  • Skin infections
  • Unexplained Weight Gain

Luckily if it is diagnosed Hypothyroidism can be treated. The lacking hormones can be administered to your golden retriever in doses that are prescribed by your vet based on your individual dogs needs.

2. Elbow Dysplasia

Elbow Dysplasia is an abnormal development of the elbow in dogs that can lead to degeneration of the elbow joint.

Unfortunately not all golden retrievers will show signs of Elbow Dysplasia young, but it is still important to ask your vet to check for it at every check up.

The signs that your golden retriever may have Elbow Dysplasia are:

  • Episodes of elbow lameness
  • Pain when extending or flexing the elbow joint
  • Diminished range of motion
  • Lameness in the forelimb brought on by exercise

Really the only treatment for Elbow Dysplasia is surgery and then physical therapy for the dog after the surgery.

3. Osteosarcoma

Osteosarcoma is bone cancer and unfortunately golden retrievers are susceptible to developing it. It is an aggressive cancer and spreads quickly.

The symptoms of bone tumors and Osteosarcoma specifically are hard to pin point because they are so subtle. Some include:

  • Lack of Eating
  • Tiredness
  • Lameness

Treatment of Osteosarcoma will require chemotherapy as well as surgical removal of the tumors.

4. Hip Dysplasia

Hip Dysplasia is a malformation of the ball and socket joint in the hip. This joint rubs and grinds together because the ball portion doesn’t fit into the socket correctly.

This is a common disease in a lot of dogs and starts when they are young and starts around 3-5 months of age. Some of the symptoms are:

  • Hoping or Swaying Gait
  • Loose joints
  • Lack of Activity
  • Difficulty Standing and Sitting
  • Reluctance to run and climb

Treatment for Hip Dysplasia really just depends on the dog. There are surgical options and options for physical therapy.

Making sure that your dog isn’t overweight is a huge factor and can help your dog be in less pain. Swimming as well can help lessen the pain your dog feels.

A Few Other Things to Watch For

There are a few other heath issues that golden retrievers are susceptible too. These include

  • Sub-aortic Stenosis
  • Eye Disorders
  • Tumors
  • Seizures
  • Lymphoma
  • Skin Problems

These are the diseases that golden retrievers could develop. That does not mean that all golden retrievers will develop one or more of these things.

A golden retriever can easily live a healthy and full life without any of these health issues. Especially when they get regular check ups with the vet.

Chihuahua Health Concerns

14275448 – chihuahua puppy, 3 months old, sitting against white background

Chihuahuas on the other hand have very few health issues and most are related to the fact that they are so tiny.

1. Injury

Oddly enough, the biggest health issue that affect chihuahuas is injuries. Chihuahuas have very little bodies and very little bones, so their chances of jumping off something and hurting themselves is huge.

Luckily this issue is mostly taken care of when Chihuahuas are bred with a larger dog like the Golden Retriever. Because they tend to be born larger and continue to grow into medium-sized dogs they are way less likely to have bad injuries.

2. Teeth Issues

Along the same lines as injuries Chihuahuas have small jaws and small teeth. This sets them up for problems with teeth decay, tooth loss, tooth rot, and cavities. If owners will practice good dental hygiene most of these problems can be subverted or avoided.

While Golden Chis are way less likely to have such sever teeth issues they may still develop some because Chihuahuas genetically have little enamel in their teeth. But the chances of them having a normal mouth are way higher when they are bred with golden retrievers and when their mouth hygiene is on point.

3. Hypoglycemia

Chihuahuas really struggle with Hypoglycemia. Their little bodies just can’t seem to regulate their blood sugar correctly. Luckily this is easily treatable and easy to catch early. The Symptoms are:

  • Shivering
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Hair Loss

When Golden Retrievers are bred with Chihuahuas, it mostly solves this issue because its body is larger but it can still be passed into a Golden Chi pup and the warning signs should be watched for just in case.

So, although the exact health nature of the Golden Chi has not been identified at this time, it is extremely helpful to look towards the parents and get their health situations as well as knowing the common health issues with those to breeds.

When you do your research and are vigilant you can have a healthy and happy Golden Chi. Hopefully they will get all healthy genes and you won’t ever have to worry about the issues mentioned above.

Golden Chi Appearances

I know it seems silly to talk about looks right after talking about health, but let’s be honest, everyone wants to know what that adorable little puppy is going to look like.

Obviously each puppy is different and some take more after the Golden Retriever side while others take more after the dad and look more like a Chihuahua.

Luckily, most of the Golden Chi puppies have a really nice mix of both their mom (Golden Retriever) and dad (Chihuahua). They blend together to make a medium sized dog that can weigh anywhere from 15 to 35 pounds.

Their coats tend to take after Golden Retrievers. It is normally thicker than a Chihuahuas coat and can even get that retriever wave that is so beautiful. They tend to have golden coats as well.

Because they have the nice and luscious coats of the Golden Retriever, they do shed quite a bit and need to be brushed at least once a week during their shedding months.

The nice thing though is that they get the Golden Retriever coats without all of the hairballs lying around the house. Everyone knows how much Golden Retriever shed, but Golden Chis really only shed a quarter or half of what Golden Retrievers do.

Their faces normally lean towards a Chihuahuas features, although larger and more proportional. Their ears normal will flop like Golden Retriever ears do, but you can find one with stiff ears every once and a while.

Golden Chi Personality

Talking personality with a Golden Retriever and Chihuahua mix is hilarious to me, because these two breed couldn’t have more different personalities. Chihuahuas tend to be more aggressive and stubborn while Golden Retrievers are usually more gentle and calm.

Needless to say Golden Chis have a lot of personality going into them. So far like almost all puppies each one has it own unique personality and blend of both mom and dad.

Typically Golden Chi’s have the gentle nature of the Golden Retriever but the energy and stubbornness of the Chihuahua. This comes into play big time when it comes to training your Golden Chi puppy.

Most people suggest taking your puppy to a dogie training class, even if the course is only a couple of days. That way your puppies stubbornness can be worked through a little bit.

One word of caution about Golden Chi’s is that sometimes that get that overly protective and aggressive side from the Chihuahuas that can make them bad to have around young kids.

So, if you can spend any time at all with the puppy before you buy it, it would be wise. That way you can scope out its personality and make sure you are finding the right fit for you and your family.

Golden Chi Prices and How to Find Them

Golden Chis are a designer breed, which means that they come with two rather large problems that prevent a lot of people from buying them. The first is their price and the second is actually finding a breeder.

Golden Chis are expensive to reproduce and expensive to buy. Just going on price Golden Retriever and Chihuahua mixes can range from around 2,000 dollars to 3,5000 dollars.

They are expensive little puppies, but they really are adorable and sweet animals that make for a great pet. They will live a long time so it is worth the money for a lot of people.

The next problem that comes with designer breeds, and especially ones like the Golden Chi, is that it is almost impossible to find someone who breeds them.

You have to make a lot of phone calls and search for a long time on the web to try and find a good breeder.

Sometimes you will have to go to a different state to find a breeder who breeds Golden Chis, so you have to add in the expense of traveling to go and actually acquire the puppy.

This is a big deterrent for some people, but a lot of people think it is worth it and they will do whatever it takes to get one. Once you’ve met one or have seen a picture of one it becomes a lot easier to see why people go through so much trouble to get one as a pet.

Related Questions

Is a Golden Retriever a cross breed? Golden Retrievers are not a cross breed. As long as two purebred Golden Retrievers are breed together they are considered pure bred. Golden Retrievers have been breed with other breeds to create new cross breeds.

Do Golden Retrievers bark a lot? While Golden Retrievers do bark because that is how all dogs communicate, they are considered a quiet breed because they do not bark often.

Are Chihuahuas smart dogs? Chihuahuas are very intelligent and are fast learners, but they are very stubborn and can resist training so a lot of people mistake them for being stupid dogs.

Lord Holmes

I am a funny English major who loves to read books or cuddle on the couch with my husband. I love writing and while I try to be funny it just never seems to come through as well as in conversation.

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