Chabrador

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50-75 lbs
20-23"
Unknown
Chow Chow
Labrador Retriever
Chab, Chowbrador, Chowder, Chow-Lab, Labrachow

The Chabrador dog is a hybrid between an ancient guard dog hailing from China, the Chow Chow, and a consummate gun and retrieving dog, the Labrador Retriever. The resulting canine is typically a loyal but friendly dog, suitable as a family companion and as an effective guard dog as well. They have moderate grooming and exercise needs, typically requiring less activity than the Labrador Retriever parent breed and less grooming than the Chow Chow parent breed. Crossbred animals can vary quite a bit from dog to dog, and some Chabradors may exhibit less desirable traits such as hyperactivity, standoffishness, and aggression. 

Purpose
Companion, Guarding
Date of Origin
Unknown
Ancestry
Chow Chow, Labrador Retriever

Chabrador Health

Average Size
Height: 21-24 inches Weight: 55-80 lbs
Height: 20-23 inches Weight: 50-75 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Cerebellar Abiotrophy
Minor Concerns
  • Cataracts
  • Diabetes
  • Wobbler's Syndrome
  • Corneal Dystrophy
Occasional Tests
  • Hip
  • Knee
  • Spine
  • Blood And Urine Protein Screens
  • X-Rays
  • Eye Examination

Chabrador Breed History

The Chabrador is a designer breed dog, an intentional cross between a Chow Chow and a Labrador Retriever. Although the Chow Chow breed was not given their name until they were introduced to England in the 18th century, these dogs are actually an ancient breed from Asia. We can’t be certain how long ago these dogs originated or whether it was in China, Siberia, or Mongolia, although dogs in written accounts and artworks that seem to depict Chow type dogs date back thousands of years in China. They were employed as temple guards and as hunting dogs, skilled at scenting and pointing, and had many names. They were first imported into England in the late 1700’s, listed in the ship's registers as curiosities or curios and given the name Chow Chow. The Chow breed gained popularity in England throughout the 1800’s and by the early 1900’s had gained popularity in the United States as well, enough to be officially recognized by the AKC in 1906. Although the Labrador Retriever is not as ancient as the Chow Chow, they are not exactly newcomers to the scene. The earliest ancestor that experts can agree on is the St. John’s dog, a 16th century water dog that became extinct in the 1980’s. The St. John’s dog had a short, oily coat, making it as at home swimming in the water as it was running on land. These dogs worked alongside the fishermen on the coasts of Newfoundland and, like the Labrador, they were retrievers. They specialized in diving deep into the water to retrieve nets, ropes, and even fish, rather than the retrieving water fowl as the Labrador does today. It was in the 1800’s that James Harris and Walter Scott, both of which had been breeding the St. John’s dogs to be gun dogs to retrieve fowl, met while out shooting. Mr. Harris made a gift of two of his male retrievers to Mr. Scott, who then bred them to his own dogs. The resulting canines were the ancestors of today’s modern Labradors. The Chabrador is typically calmer than the Labrador Retriever and more outgoing and friendly than the average Chow, although each dog is an individual.

Chabrador Breed Appearance

The Chabrador is a medium to large sized dog who is both solidly built and athletic. They have a wide, flat head with almond shaped eyes that can be any color from hazel to dark brown and they may or may not exhibit the distinctive blue-black tongue of the Chow Chow. The ears of the Chabrador can vary from dog to dog, with some dogs favoring the Chow genetics with triangular ears that are held upright, and others sporting long rounded ears that hang down from the sides of the head like the Labrador. Their double-layer coats are typically solid in color, although white spots may be found on the chest and occasionally on the feet. Both coats of their fur are very dense and provide protection against the weather, but the outer layers may differ considerably in length, texture, and appearance. The outer layer will be composed of hard straight hairs, but they may be short or medium length, coarse or smooth in texture, and they may even lay flat against the body or stand straight out from it. Some of these hybrids may even have a ruff around the neck and feathering on the feet and tail.

Chabrador Breed Maintenance

Although Labrador Retrievers have minimal bathing requirements, only requiring bathing every few months or when they get dirty from their activities, Chow Chow dogs require bathing at least once a month and are sometimes bathed as often as once a week. Unless their activities cause them to require extra baths, most Chabradors will benefit from a monthly bathing schedule. Their thick coat required thorough brushing on a regular basis to control shedding, a few times a week throughout the year and daily during the change of seasons, when these dogs shed heavily. It is important to ensure that the ears are cleaned and dried on a regular to prevent infection, particularly if the dog has the hanging type ear.

Chabrador Temperament

In most cases, the Chabrador is a friendly, even-tempered animal that is affectionate with the family but also makes a good watch dog. They tend to be tolerant of children and of other dogs but may be a little more reserved around strangers than your average Labrador Retriever and may have a tendency to chase small animals. A crossbreed like the Chabrador can inherit traits from either side of their family tree however, and in some cases, these animals may tend towards hyperactivity, standoffishness, and even aggression. These dogs are intelligent and most are generally fairly easy to train. Chow Chows are known for their independent natures, however, and some Chabradors may be a little more challenging in that area. Proper socialization at an early age will help bring out the best in this dog. Training should start early and plenty of mental stimulation should be provided for this animal to keep it from becoming bored and destructive.

Chabrador Activity Requirements

Although the Labrador Retriever is known to be an extremely active dog, the Chow Chow is a little less energetic; the combination of the two makes a dog that can be an enthusiastic exercise partner when needed, but does not require as much vigorous exercise per day to stay fit as the Labrador. An hour of activity a day is usually sufficient, although very high energy dogs or dogs that live in smaller spaces, like apartments, may require an hour and a half or more to release all of their energy. With the extra exercise and frequent grooming to control shedding, these dogs can adapt to apartment living despite their slightly larger size, but they are often more comfortable in a larger house with a yard. 

Chabrador Owner Experiences

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