Labrador Chow Mix – Breed Info, Characteristics and Pictures

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Labrador Chow Mix also known as Chowbrador, Labrachow or Chow Lab Mix. Lab Chow Mix is a crossbreed of Labrador Retriever and Chow Chow, also known as Chabrador, Labrachow, or Chow Lab Mix. The Labrador Chow Mix lifespan is about 9 to 12 years. It’s a medium-size dog around 18 to 24 inches, weighing between 50 to 70 pounds. A Chabrador puppy price is around $1000.

Their looks are unpredictable, as can be their temperaments, and with their Chow Chow parent, they have the potential for aggressive behavior.

I’ve read quite a few concerns about the Chabrador, and in this article, I’m going to explain to you what you should expect when getting such a dog, and how you can prevent their behavioral problems.

You can’t know what your adult dog will look like

One of the characteristics of mixed breeds is the impossibility of being able to predict their looks as adults. The Chabrador is no exception, even though all of them have friendly eyes, a dark blue tongue, and furry ears.

Lab Chow Mix Photos

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Usually, these dogs have a Labrador’s head and a well built, compact body, with coats in various colors, ranging from black or brown, through to chocolate and fawn, on to golden, cream, and even red.

Most of them have thick coats, but it’s not uncommon to find a Chabrador with shorter hair, more closely resembling the Labrador’s.

There’s always an “if” when you get a Chabrador

The Chabrador comes from two large dogs with very different personalities. One is a loyal, but proud and independent spirit (frequently called the cat dog), while the other is friendly with everyone and loves to play and hang around her owners all the time.

The results from mixing these unique temperaments vary from one puppy to another. You can get a friendly dog with little or no Chow Chow independence, but you can also get an arrogant pet that doesn’t like hugging, and will always keep her distance from strangers.

However, breeders agree that mixed breeds usually have moderate temperaments so I wouldn’t prepare myself for the worst scenario, just for the sake of it.

In all situations, though, your dog will be your loyal companion, affectionate towards her family and with excellent watchdog abilities.

Professional training might be needed

Labradors are generally easy to train, but they can become stubborn as they grow up. Combine this with the Chow Chow’s attitude towards training and her “selective hearing”, and you’ll get a large dog, with little respect for rules.

Potty training is not hard, but you need to teach your Chow Lab Mix more than just how to ask herself out. If this is your first dog, or you have limited experience with training, I would recommend that you get professional help.

If you start obedience training at an early age, before she’s 14-16 months old, then your Chabrador should sit and stay on command, and also walk closely with you, both on and off the leash.

Training an adult is much harder – but not impossible. Just take a look at the progress this two-year-old Chow Lab Mix has made in just a few weeks:

A Chow Lab Mix will keep you busy

Lab Chow Mix This dog can be very demanding when it comes to exercise and grooming, so be ready to dedicate at least two hours a day to her.

A Chabrador, just like a Labrador, likes to play. However, as with all large breeds, your dog can inherit hip dysplasia, so you shouldn’t over exercise her when she’s a puppy.

Start with short walks several times a day, and gradually introduce running and more intense activities. Luckily, these dogs love swimming, which is a lower-impact alternative to traditional exercise.

As an adult, your dog needs daily walks, at least one short play session, and mental stimulation. She’ll enjoy having a yard as she needs her space to move and to run, so if you live in a small apartment, make sure she spends a couple of hours outside every day.

When it comes to grooming, her needs will vary depending on the type of coat she’s inherited. A Lab’s coat needs to be groomed once a week, while thicker fur similar to the Chow Chow’s needs more attention.

A Chow Lab Mix sheds a lot during the shedding season, but there’s going to be some hair loss all year, so don’t forget to save some time for regular cleaning of your carpets and couches.

This crossbreed isn’t the best choice for families with very small kids

Many Chabrador owners say they’re very protective of small children, however, a Chow Chow tends to become aggressive when others don’t respect her territory, and so does the Chow Lab Mix.

If you have kids, you should make sure they’re old enough to understand and accept this dog’s temperament, before bringing her home.


A Chow Lab Mix has the potential of being a great dog, for both singles and families. She’s loyal, affectionate, and very intelligent, however she can inherit the Chow Chows’ pride, and in some rare cases, their tendency towards aggression.

From my point of view, any responsible owner can control these traits through consistent training. So if you like the unique looks of this crossbreed, don’t let the stories scare you.

What do you think? Do you like this mix between the Chow Chow and Labrador Retriever? Would you get one or do you have one already? Tell us your opinion of this beautiful dog in the comments below.

42 replies on “Labrador Chow Mix – Breed Info, Characteristics and Pictures”

  • earthmother says:

    Weeping over saying goodbye to an 18 year old chow lab lady named DeeDee. She was a rescue who came to live us at age 5 and was the most delightful and loyal companion imaginable. I’ve had many dogs over 6 decades and can truly say DeeDee had the best temperament of any. She was playful and enthusiastic almost to the end. She got along perfectly with other dogs, cats, horses and guinea pigs. She liked humans, too. People loved her sweet spirit and playful nature. I would have another of that parentage any time. If I’m lucky enough to find another chow lab needing a home, my door is open. Godspeed, DeeDee. See you on the Other Side.

    • animalso says:

      I’m sorry you’ve lost your companion 🙁 But this is a life. Hope you’ll find another Chow Lab, which probably will be able to refill your loss.

    • Jen Bussa says:

      I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. My chow lab was also a rescue, and also has the best temperament I’ve ever seen. I was never really a “dog person” until I met Maggie. I still remember the first time I met her.

      We lived in a trailer park at the time, and lived next to the maintainence man. She was found wandering the park, so he caught her and had her tied up outside until he could bring her to the shelter Monday morning.

      We had big windows in our living room, looking out to the tree she was tied up to. Every time my kids would be in the window, she’d just wag her tail and get all excited.

      I can remember not sleeping because of her crying at night that weekend. So Sunday, I told the kids to stay inside, I wanted to go see her. The first thing she did was bring me a stick. Right away I knew we needed to keep her from going to the shelter.

      So she wasn’t exactly a “rescue”. We did take her in, but I had to keep in mind that she may still belong to someone, so I still continued to share her pic and info. She was an amazing dog, someone had to be missing her.

      After having her, we realized why we found her out and about. Her nickname is Houdini. She managed to slip out of a harness on a tie out, and went under our chainlink fence. She also crossed our 55mph road, was hit by a car… the lady was able to slow down, but couldn’t avoid her. But instead of being run over, she rolled up and off to the side of the road. I saw it all. But somehow she managed to have just a collapsed lung and some internal bleeding that took care of itself.

      She’s my miracle baby. And I can’t even begin to think what life would be like without her. Her wonderful personality. Her talkative habits.

    • julie says:

      I just lost my sweet Pea a 17 year old Lab Chow. She was the best. She lived for every person in the household to pet her. She always was kind and loving. I will so miss her.

    • Barb says:

      Right now there is the sweetest Chow Lab at animal friends of the valley in lake Elsinore, Ca. She is so sweet! She was left in night drop and is three. Named Coco. I wanted her but my husband is concerned over chow in her. He was attacked by a chow when he was younger. He automatically said no. I feel in love with her. Good luck

  • Sallianne says:

    What type of temperament are chow labs supposed to have? I have one that is a bit shy and does not like to snuggle. She absolutely hates water which is not typical of the lab part of her. She is loved and we give her so much attention. I am wondering if it has to do with the fact that she was a Hurricane Katrina rescue and her travels north were not the smoothest.

    • animalso says:

      Hi Sallianne,
      Yes, this crossbreed’s temperament can vary from one puppy to another. Please refer to “There’s always an “if” when you get a Chabrador” paragraph for more info. And yes, her negative experience with Hurricane, of course, can affect her behavior. You might need to get a help of a professional trainer if you really want to change it.

  • Sherrie fielder says:

    I just had to put down my yellow lab chow male. He was 13 years old and had diabetes for almost 5 years. He was a wonderful laid back dog. He never played or retrieved and only tolerated loves. But he circled me and did not let my neighbors pits get near me. He was an ok guard dog. Barked but never aggressive. He didn’t play with other dogs. He was a roamer tho like the lab. When I adopted him when 2-1/2 he got out when I was working and sitting on the side walk waiting for me. I’d put his in and then call him out. Would patch that spot and after a number of these incidents, I put in a new fence. That was the lab in him. Everyone liked him and I got many compliments on him. He was a beautiful dog. I miss him.

  • Nettie Deemer says:

    We just got a 1 year old lab/chow mix. What’s the best way to acclimate her to cats?

    • Cathy says:

      My baby, Bella, was raised with cats so we have no problems with her and cats. When we moved to our farm, the neighbors had a pitt bull. We were warned we could not have cats because the dog would kill them. One of my cats was not afraid of anything and the pitt bull loved me. So, everyday we sat on the back porch with the cat on one side and the dog on the other. If the dog behaved himself, he got loving and treats. If he did not, he was chastised. Eventually his attitude towards cats changed. We were even able to have kittens without him hurting them. BTW, that wonderful cat, Tiger, was even able to change the dog’s owner’s attitude about cats around.

  • Theresa DiCarolis says:

    We rescued Molly 8 years ago. She was a very flighty dog – did not like people, but would play with other dogs. We had an awful time with her for a while – she was abused in the short life she had before we got her and we had to get rid of the broom because she was so scared. It took months, and endless weeks of trying to get her to go to people. Once she warmed up to the person, she became a lap dog! She has turned out to be a wonderful pet, still hates the mailman, Fed Ex and UPS, but we know when they are coming. My husband takes her out every day to run and play; and I have a neighbor that walks her every other night. She is a love and I am so glad that we rescued her. Black like a lab; black tongue like the chow and hair similar to the chow. She gets many compliments on what a good, pretty and happy dog she is. We just love her.

    • Felicia says:

      Hi there.

      We did adopt a Rescue Chow x Lab from our Shelter. She is 2 years of age. I do have a 4 year old and a 6 year old. After a week I noticed that she seems not to be that fond of my 4 year old child. I did had an animal behaviorist to give my children a talk regarding giving this breed its space. Need to mention I do teach my children from a very young age to respect dogs and teach them that they can bite. This was not a case of my child hurting her. She was very traumatised and had mange when we got her. After a month now my 4 year old is still not able to play and give her hugs. He is aloud to rub her tummy. Do you think I will be able to put a smaller breed puppy with her?. I do have a 10 year old Toypom. She is ok with him. But is unsure of how this mix breed will react with a smaller puppy. My other concern is how protective might she become towards the puppy and will she try to protect it “against my children”?. She is very lovable toward adults and teens.

  • Lauri says:

    Do all lab chow mixes have purple tongues?

  • Chris says:

    I just rescued three lab-chows, all females, and was wondering since they have different personalities should I worry? Two are really mellow and laid back while the other is really shy and hides in a corner. I give them affection and lovings but she wants nothing to do with us.

    • James says:

      My 2 month old is doing the same thing and she yells when you try to direct her. She doesn’t want to walk on the leash or come when she’s called. Even when there’s a treat involved she tries to take it from a distance. You would think someone is killing her the way she screams.

  • Kyla says:

    I just got a chabrador. He’s roughly a year old. He shows the labs loving nature but as soon as someone he doesn’t trust or he thinks is a threat comes near me or my friends he has every intention to warn them off. He’s laid into someone once because that particular person was drunk and hit him and was going to start a fight with me. He l9ves meeting new people however if he decides he doesn’t like you you probably shouldn’t try approaching him. Honestly he is the best dog I have ever had. I grew up on in a ranch with cattle dogs and a wild hybrid they don’t come any where close to how loyal the chabrador are. Mine has when through training and still gets training for a few minutes out of the day. I’ve heard these guys can go south on you if you don’t keep them in check and train them. Mine is fairly easy to train. I would recommend if you are looking to get one. Get a pup and make sure he has early socialization with other animals and people. Mine found a mouse in the barn and herded it into it’s home without killing it. I have yet to see him kill anything. You will enjoy a chabrador. They are a really good breed.

  • Jon says:

    Oversite. They make great cattle dogs in parts of Mexico and Baja California.. a real workhorse if you willl

  • Joan says:

    I just figured out yesterday that my 1 year old rescue puppy is a lab chow mix. Daisy has a lot of these personality traits. She is independent and loyal. Likes moderate attention. Loves to fetch balls and she is protective of her home by barking and growling at passerby’s. However, she is not people or dog aggressive. She goes to the doggy daycare and dog park and is a little shy and can be fearful at first but quickly comes out of her shell. She prefers smaller dogs and wags her tail a lot when she is around puppies.
    Daisy is short and has long hair and she doesn’t have excessive shedding. She appears to small in comparison to our other dog (Lab Shepherd Mix) but she weighs about 45 lbs. Her tongue is pink, not purple.
    She doesn’t like cats, squirrels, or birds. Thankfully, she is not a good hunter and, I have not been presented with any gifts.

  • Anni says:

    I got this adorable puppy for my husband 16 years ago. He was so fluffy and black he looked like a bear cub, so he got the name “Bear.” He was the perfect pet and all the family loved him. He was gentle, loving, and in his later years was pretty much my constant companion following me around the house and sitting or resting as I went about my chores. Bear passed in January and I am still heartbroken. What a wonderful addition he was to our family. I would note that he merely tolerated baths and if he could he would escape if he knew what was coming.

  • Whitney says:

    I have a 6.5 yr old Chowbrador (DNA (blood) test determined he’s 50% Chow, 40% Lab-Beagle, 5% Min Pin & 5% other) that looks like an oddly built lab with a very serious expression on his face & Beatle-like sound effects.
    He’s got all the best & worst traits of his primary breeds but I’d adopt a Lab, a Chow or a Lab-Chow again without hesitation.
    He’s the love of my life.

  • Lucky says:

    My cousin gave me her 2 years old Chow Lab named Maggie. I was shocked that she gets along with me and with my 9 years old son instantly. She is very playful and really missed me every time i am not around. are these type of dog don”t have the hard time in grooming? because Maggie doesn’t want to be comb or cut her nails (NOTE FROM EDITOR: Purchase dog nail clippers from Amazon here) 🙁

  • Sue Helwig says:

    I also have a 14 1/2 year old lab chow named Bear. I rescued him at 3 months from the local shelter. He has been a great companion, he has just recently begun showing signs of aging including limping and slowing down. I am not looking forward to what’s coming. It is interesting to see that most of lab/chows mentioned have lived close to 16 years. My vet says Bear has already outlived his life span. I am keeping him close and doing what I can to keep him comfortable. Bear also hated bathing and would not tolerate cats! My “Bear Bear” will always be my buddy!

  • Anonymous says:

    Apparently this dog was a lab/chow mix. This may visually explain how territorial this breed may be.

  • Dianne says:

    I have just rescued a chow / lab mix , wonderful and loving dog and really smart !! The people that had her were not doing a very good job. My Husband and I are retired and have a 11 year old mix breed that we have had for 10 years and will not give up. But this sweet chow/lab needs more than we can give her. She has lots of energy and loves walks and we are not able to keep this up do to our older dog can’t keep up.
    She is is about 7 or 8 years old. We have gotten all her shots and she is spade.
    If there is a loving family out there who can help we would really like to meet with you and see
    if she would be a fit . Thank you

  • Susie says:

    I have a chow lab mix. Got him from the local shelter. I was really worried about what i was getting myself into. What with the chow part. But we both earned each other’s trust slowly, and that has lead to the ultimate foundation. He’s kinda aloof, but very laid bad. I love that he doesn’t need constant attention and loves. He’s skittish of strangers, but warms up quick. He really sucks as a guard dog. But honestly, he’s my best friend. He’s got the “soft mouth” from the lab, which is awesome. Water?? Eh?? He hates the hose lol. My guess, his personality is half and half lol. Anyway, I’m done bragging lol

  • Lynda Hensley says:

    We recently adopted from a rescue a Chabrador. She is definitely a jewel. She is about 4 yo and has quite a bit of training. She is smart and loves a challenge. We do see a bit of the aggression when she wants affection and our Golden gets in her way. She listens well and is beautiful. She has short yellow hair. She is also protective and a great guard dog. We feel blessed to have her share our home

  • Tara says:

    I have had my chow lab mix for about one month now. I found her abandoned on the street. She was so well mannered I knew she had to belong to someone, and after two days of looking for her owner, I found out her owner had passed away, and her owners family abandoned her. She is about 7 years old and she really is a good dog. She hasn’t been aggressive at all, she is very well tempered and clearly was loved, trained, and taken care of prior to her owner’s passing. She plays well with other dogs, and avoids my cats. Thank you for this article about the breed, it was an informative read.–Tara

    • Alexandra says:

      Here we have another heartwarming story :’) Thanks for sharing, Tara! And subscribe to our newsletter to get more dog posts right into your inbox

  • Staci says:

    Growing up I had a lab/chow mix, he was literally the greatest dog ever. He had the sweetness of a lab and loved everybody but if a stray animal came on the property he was very protective of his home. He was our protector when us kids were outside him and our border collie watched over us. But truly he was a fantastic dog, I wish I could have had more time with him, I still miss that dog very much.

  • Donna Younker says:

    We have just recently rescued a retriever chow mix. Bart is 5 yesrs old . The adoption center had very little info on his background . We have been having a really tough time when he sees other dogs , he becomes extremely aggressive. Being that he is older, he it too late to try and train him to not be so aggressive? He is also aggressive when people come over, but after a few minutes he calms down, again is it too late to try and work on this aggressive behavior?

  • Jeanette says:

    I rescued a half lab and half chow puppy. She is six months old and is having a hard time with potty training and eats her poop. I am giving her chews that are supposed to stop her from eating it but she still does.
    My concern is her training with door manner is still awful. Should I have a professional train her? I have a black lab 6 year old and just have to split my time. It is getting very difficult. Advice?

    • Alexandra says:

      Hi Jeanette,

      Please look into our potty training guide here

      If you won’t get any insights from it, please ask comment on that article and try to be as more specific as possible and we’ll try to provide you advice 🙂

  • Meg says:

    I love my chow lab. I have cats and dogs.and he is good with them. He has scented out rabbits and killed a few. I am curious which side of his heritage gave him this instinct. I would like this to stop and want to scent train for fun so no bunny gets hurt.

  • Tabitha W says:

    I didn’t know there was this whole community about the lab/chow mix. I got my Petey when I was 8 years old and he was only about 13 weeks. He was a great guard dog, barked at any car in our driveway/yard that he didn’t recognize. But he was very sweet to everyone once he got to know them. He had to be put down when I was about 22 years old. he had hip dysplasia and his health had started to decline. He was the sweetest dog. I miss him very much.

  • Darrell oeltjen says:

    I had a male lab/chow mix was the best dog I have had.He would protect my ex-wife to his death!The only issue I ever had with him is if a dog was his size or larger he wanted to fight but never bothered smaller dogs or cats.And am in search for another male puppy!

  • C says:

    We rescued a chow/lab (and 3 other breeds thrown in) from certain death. She is 25% chow and she is fiercely protective and we like that. Our other rescue baby is a much gentler mix of Australian shepherd/ lab / and 3 others thrown in and amazingly enough part chow.

    But she is 5 years older and I can’t tell if she’s more chilled because she’s older, or that she’s only 12.5% chow, whereas the first one is only 3 and she is 25% chow. Plus we’ve traveled more with the 2nd than the first. Abby is the 25% chow. She doesn’t care for small children which isn’t great because we have 2 small grandchildren.

    I grew alarmed at her behavior when I witnessed her closing the gap to the baby whom I snatched up immediately before she got too close. Some weeks before we had gotten her a ball that makes small animal sounds when it rolls.

    It was amazing and concerning as we watched her “challenge” the ball emitting the animal sounds; she’d raise up on her hind legs and make a diving motion down upon it and push it violently with her nose and paws. We laughed at the time but after we saw her attempt the same with the grandchildren we put them both in the back bedroom while the kids were over.

    We told an animal behaviorist about this and made some recommendations like bringing home one or more of the kids’ favorite stuffed animals with the kids’ unlaundered clothes on them. But since the kids live in a nearby state it’s hard to know if this has been effective. Just thought I’d share.

  • Yana says:

    Me and my son had German Shepard, Sire, Komondor and St Bernard girls , all rescues before we got Mishka chabrador boy, of cause a rescue, 2 years old. Heart worms, etc worms, after his previous parents just dropped him on the street supposedly 6 month before he was taken to shelter. He was just bones and gorgeous coat!!! 38 lbs… 2 years later , now, we have a 80 lbs happy protective cuddler, yes, he was bit difficult to train at first, compared to other dogs, bit son and me, early in our life together, because we did not realize he is different then other breeds we had… So proceed with caution. Sweetie boy now, best companion ! PS: Mishka in Russian means clumsy bear cub and it is what he really looks like!

  • Topher says:

    My husband and I have a chabrador whom we adopted from the shelter when he was only a few months old; he’s five years now. He came with the name Ivan, but I renamed him Titan. I felt kinda bad taking him from his brothers and sister, especially after he saw his own reflection in the dishwasher door and pawed at it, but after a couple of days hiding behind a chair, he quickly warmed up to us and assimilated.
    He’s the least affectionate dog I’ve met – he’s mostly independent and keeps to himself, but he insists on a walk every morning, playing fetch, and now and then begs me to pet and scratch his head. But that’s okay since we decided to adopt a loyal, protective dog after our house was robbed; he’s not at all friendly to strangers, though he doesn’t attack, just incessantly barks if someone comes too close to us.
    He looks mostly like a Labrador but has five different colors of fur – he’s mostly black and white, but has noticeable tan on his legs and tail, and chocolate and cinnamon highlights that are very visible in bright light. His tongue is mostly pink, but has a bluish tinge, and his lips and gums are purple. He certainly does have the stubbornness and feigned deafness of a chow chow at times, though.
    Interestingly, he does not like water at all; he hates baths and retreats from surf at the beach.
    He’s a handful sometimes, but we love him, nonetheless.

  • Popal says:

    We got a lab chow mix when she was 10 weeks old to give to my Mom who was dying near Christmas and all my Mom wanted was a dog for Christmas. When introduced to my Mom she stayed by her side until her death 4 days later, Dec. 27, 2017. She would not allow anybody to take her away from my Mom until she passed, not to eat or go out. That characteristic in its self told me she was a loyal and loving dog. Since it was my idea to get the dog for her, we took her after my Mom passed. My Mom named her BowBow and we kept that name. She is now 5 and a white bundle of fluff. She has the body of a chow, although the vet insists she is not chow. She does have a partially blue tongue. The vet continues to tell me she is overweight but looking at pictures of some mixed dogs, I don’t believe she is. She came to us with worms and fleas, which of course were taken care of. She was very destructive when she came to live with us and still can be if left by herself for a long period of time. She is very stubborn when she wants to be. Only listens when it suits her. She is very protective of us and her territory, but loves kids. She barks her head off at adults but greets children with her tail wagging and lots of kisses. She doesn’t like being hugged, but does enjoy the occasional scratch on her butt. She has never enjoyed toys no matter how much we have tried playing with her. She is fearful of many things that I can only assume came from her puppy home before us. She is scared of vehicles that are running and will not get in one running or not, loud noises, and isn’t particularly fond of water. I am mostly her person. She follows me no matter where I go in the house. I have a lot of medical problems and she always senses when I am not well. She has never tried biting anyone, so that is a good thing. Most people are quite fearful of her bark and it takes a lot to convince them that she won’t hurt them. One thing I find puzzling is that she has always had a black nose but in the last few months or so it has turned mostly pink. All in all she is a sweet dog. Even with her fallbacks, I would not trade her for anything in the world.

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