It sometimes seems like there’s a new dog breed being created every other day. As dog lovers around the world try to combine the best characteristics of two separate breeds into one package, an increasing range of adorable (and creatively named) crossbreeds are being developed.
Some of these hybrid breeds make perfect sense; others, like the Great Dane Chihuahua Mix, do not.
Imagine a dog with the charm of the Chihuahua and the nobility of the Great Dane. The Chihuahua’s sassiness with the Great Dane’s easy-going nature. The majesty of a Great Dane but in a smaller, more manageable package.
It all sounds wonderful in some ways, sure, but in practical terms it raises many potential problems.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these lovable breeds to find out why successfully crossing them is little more than a pipe dream.
The Great Dane
Height: 30-32 inches (male), 28-30 inches (female)
Weight: 140-175 pounds (male), 110-140 pounds (female)
Lifespan: 7-10 years
Standing around 30 inches tall and tipping the scales at up to 175 pounds, the Great Dane is very great indeed. Just reading the numbers on a screen doesn’t do justice to how big these dogs really are, but meet one in person and you’ll realize that Great Danes take up a whole lot of space.
Originally bred in Germany as hunting dogs, Danes later took on the role of guard dog and family protector. But while they’re powerful and imposing dogs, they are excellent companions when paired with the right owners.
Easy-going and friendly, Great Danes have plenty of love to share with the people they care about. They have a steady temperament and are patient with their family, but won’t hesitate to get between you and danger should the need arise.
Height: 5-8 inches
Weight: Less than 6 pounds
Lifespan: 14-16 years
The Chihuahua is sometimes referred to as a “big dog in a small package”, and with good reason. Weighing in at under six pounds, this pint-sized toy breed appears graceful and delicate at first glance.
But behind these refined good looks you’ll find a breed that’s full of personality. Alert and confident, the Chihuahua exudes terrier-like tenacity and an attitude that says he’s not afraid to take on the whole world all on his own.
An ancient breed with a long history as a treasured companion animal, Chihuahuas have shot to fame in recent years as the pampered pets of many Hollywood A-listers. And with their intelligent and loving personalities, they can also make wonderful family pets.
Is it possible to cross a Great Dane and a Chihuahua?
Is it possible to cross these two very different breeds? Theoretically, yes. Is it recommended? No.
You don’t have to be an expert dog breeder to work out that when you’re creating a cross-breed dog, size matters. As we all know, the Chihuahua and the Great Dane are at completely opposite ends of the dog size spectrum.
And as you’d expect, crossing a dog that weighs less than six pounds with another that can weigh up to 175 pounds poses a number of unique challenges.
With such a vast size difference between the two dogs, the prospect of natural mating between these breeds is next to impossible. A male Great Dane trying to mate with a female Chihuahua would be just plain cruel, while the opposite seems like a logistical nightmare.
Artificial insemination is the most practical approach, but it raises its own challenges and is also an expensive process.
Gestation and birth
The next problem is for the mother to be able to safely carry the puppies and give birth to them. If the Chihuahua is the mother, think of the potential issues of her trying to carry to term puppies that will be much larger than her.
Then there’s the actual whelping process, where a C-section would be required for obvious reasons.
OK, so let’s say the Great Dane is the mother, that she’s successfully artificially inseminated and that she carries the puppies to term. The next issue is whether the mother will actually be able to feed her pups.
For example, will the pup’s mouths be big enough to allow them to suckle from their mother’s teats? If not, the puppies will need to be hand-fed for many weeks until they’re ready to leave their mum’s side.
Aside from the obvious animal welfare issues, breeding a Great Dane Chihuahua Mix is potentially a very expensive exercise. Artificial insemination doesn’t come cheap, while the cost of C-sections and other specialist veterinary care can be just as significant.
Crossing these two breeds is likely to leave you significantly out of pocket. And even after all the expense, you still might not be able to produce Great Dane Chihuahua Mix puppies.
Finally, there’s one other issue to be aware of: there’s no way of knowing exactly how the puppies will turn out. And when you’re crossing a giant breed with a toy breed, there are many potential health problems that may develop. For example, will you end up with a pup that has a big head on a tiny body?
The Chihuahua and the Great Dane are two beautiful breeds, and it’s easy to see why they’re adored the world over.
But crossing a Great Dane and a Chihuahua sounds like an outlandish idea — and it is. The massive size difference between the two breeds raises issues from a practical perspective and also in terms of animal welfare, so the Great Dane Chihuahua Mix is simply not feasible.
Instead of trying to create a new hybrid, why don’t we just love each of these adorable dogs just the way they are?