What is a Chihuahua Lab Mix or Labrahuahua?
As the name implies, the Labrahuahua is an unusual breed of dog that is achieved by cross-breeding a Labrador and a Chihuahua. As you can probably imagine, it will be very hard for a female Chihuahua to bear pups that can be a lot bigger than its breed. So the only way for Labrahuahuas to be produced is by artificial insemination of sperm from a Chihuahua sire into a Labrador dam.
Appearance of the Labrahuahua
Mixing breeds can make it hard to predict how the outcome will be. Just like humans, one parent can pass on more traits to their kids than the other parent. In the case of a Labrahuahua, the biggest difference you’ll see will be in the size of the dog. A Chihuahua usually reaches a max of 8 inches while a Labrador can grow as big as 24.5 inches. That being said, a cross between the two will definitely be taller than a Chihuahua but smaller than a Labrador.
The coat can also be different as Chihuahuas and Labradors have very different coats compared to each other. A mix can have short to medium length of fur with the slightly greasy and coarse feeling like that of a labrador or it can be fine and smooth like a Chihuahua’s. Labrahuahua colors are usually black, white, beige, or tricolor.
History of the Labrahuahua Breed
The mix between Labradors and Chihuahuas started in the 1980s. They began with the popularity of cross-breeding to produce what they called designer breeds.
Crossbreeding has been a common practice among breeders which comes with its own pros and cons. Not only is this done to create a totally different appearance compared to its parent breeds, some also claim that doing so can prevent certain diseases that are common to one breed. The mix between Chihuahuas and Labradors was done in hopes of producing a more sociable and hypoallergenic breed.
Food and Nutrient Requirements of the Labrahuahua
Like any other dog breed, your Labrahuahua will need a well-balanced diet which you can easily get from a high-quality kibble. The amount of food that it requires will also depend on the size of your dog and the energy it uses up. Typically, a Labrahuahua can consume 1.5-2 cups of kibble every day.
This breed is prone to easily getting overweight so you need to be very attentive to its food intake. If it inherits the appetite of a Labrador, this is all the more probable. If you notice that it’s getting too heavy and plump for its size, you may start reducing its food and treats or switch to a weight-managing kibble.
Cost of a Labrahuahua Puppy
As mentioned, the conception of the Labrahuahua does not come naturally and requires artificial insemination, and that takes skill to perform successfully. With that, a puppy can cost from $800-$1000 which if you will compare to other puppies of its size seems to be a little steeper. A Labrahuahua inheriting the yellow coat of a Lab had gained more popularity thus, breeders can charge a higher price for this color.
Temperament and Behavior of the Labrahuahua
Labrahuahuas are very social dogs that love to play with their family. It can be well-behaved and energetic like a Labrador but can also be lazy and sleepy some days just like a Chihuahua. Labrahuahuas have also inherited the intelligence of their Labrador parents making them easy to train. While they may be barky at strangers, they easily warm up to people and get familiar with them. This behavior makes them great as family pets and kids’ companions.
On the other hand, they can also inherit the egoistic and stubborn behavior of Chihuahuas so it is important to get them trained on behaving properly early on.
Keeping Labrahuahuas Fit and Healthy
Labrahuahuas are very active and playful dogs. They will require long walks and plenty of playtimes to keep them fit. It also is a good way to help them shed some weight with the appetite that they can inherit for Labradors. This mix breed also enjoys fetching and ball games so it is highly recommended that you don’t keep them on a leash when it’s playtime. You can also let them play on their own in parks or on fenced grounds.
Apart from the physical activities, they also love to get their intelligence stimulated so it will be a good idea to have puzzle games and agility training.
Grooming Your Labrahuahua
The coat of Labrahuahuas does not grow very long thus it doesn’t require too much when it comes to grooming. Brushing their coat at least twice a week will keep their fur feeling soft and shiny. However, if they inherit the coat of the Labrador, they may be shedding more often and require more frequent brushing of the fur.
If they have droopy ears, that can be prone to infection so you would need to check their ears regularly to ensure that there is no water or dirt build-up. Their nails also tend to grow out rapidly which can affect their activities, like running and playing, so be sure that you check their paws to see when their nails need cutting.
Their teeth need to be brushed at least once a week. More often if they have smaller mouths like the Chihuahua.
Training Your Labrahuahua
Just like any other dog, it is imperative that you start training your Labrahuahuas at a young age. While both parents are smart and intelligent breeds, Chihuahuas can be very independent and stubborn. If your puppy inherits that trait, training can be a bit more challenging and you may need to seek help from a professional trainer.
Positive training and short training sessions work effectively for Labrahuahuas. You will also want to train him with commands to improve your owner-pet relationship, lessen unnecessary barking and curb destructive behavior.
Labrahuahua’s Common Health Problems
The labrahuahua is a healthy breed and can easily last 12-14 years if properly taken care of. However, like any other breed of dog, there are common health problems that you would want to look out for. Here are some health concerns that the Labrahuahuas can inherit from their parent breeds.
If your puppy leans on the bigger side, it might also be prone to hip and elbow dysplasia like its Labrador parent. If it is smaller, then it may have the same health problem as the Chihuahua which is patellar luxation.
Both parent breeds are also known to have heart problems like cardiomyopathy and mitral valve disease. So it would be a great idea to have your furry friend checked up about this regularly. Also, both parents of the breed are known to have eye problems, with major concerns being cataracts, entropion, and progressive retinal atrophy.
Labrahuahuas as Family Pets
With all the traits mentioned, Labrahuahuas make good family pets. They are very sociable and love cuddling and playing with their family. They also generally show friendly and playful behavior towards kids and other animals. While they may have aggressive behavior from the Chihuahua side, it can easily be trained when they are younger. They are low maintenance when it comes to grooming and is a very adaptable breed to different environments.
The Labrahuahua is a wonderful breed that perfectly balances the traits of the breed of its parents. Though they may pose a challenge in training, if you are patient and capable enough, you can shape the dog’s personality to be more obedient and behave. If you are planning to have one, you only need to make sure that you can give it the time it needs for training and play and you will surely be in for more than a decade of fun and love with this little furry angel.