Labradors make excellent guide dogs, assistance dogs, and even therapy dogs. Given their gentle personalities and natural intelligence, it is unsurprising that breeders and owners started cross breeding the Labrador.
A quick history of the Labrador
The Labrador was first bred as a working dog. Historically, Labradors worked as fishermen helpers. They hauled nets, fetched ropes, and even caught fish themselves. Today’s Labradors have it a little easier and are known for being friendly and sociable family dogs. But some still retain that old work ethic.
The Labrador’s personality
Labradors are sociable, loyal, and very affectionate. In most cases, these positive characteristics will be passed onto the crossbreed. However, as with any kind of breed, early socialisation and training are crucial to the development of a happy dog.
Common health problems
Pure breed Labradors tend to suffer from muscular/skeletal issues like patellar luxation (otherwise known as a dislocated kneecap). Other problems include hip dysplasia, which is a genetic deformity of the hip joint.
Any Labrador cross is at risk of inheriting these issues, as well as those commonly found in the other parent breed.
Given the wide range of crossbreds, a Labrador mix could live anywhere between 8 to 14 years.
Physical characteristics of Labrador crossbreeds
The Labrador Retriever is about 24 inches, and a male can weigh up to 80 pounds. But throw another dog into the mix and anything could happen! You will even see massive variation in each of the individual Labrador crossbreeds. For example, mixing a Labrador with a short-legged dog, such as a basset hound, can create a crossbred with either very long legs or very shorts legs.
If the size of the dog is very important to you, you might prefer a purebred instead. Alternatively, you could adopt an older Labrador crossbreed. They usually stop growing after 18 months or so.
Common types of labrador crossbreeds
There are dozens and dozens of different Labrador crossbreeds, and each one has their own distinct personality and looks. But here is a list of some of the more common mixes:
1. The Labradoodle: A cross between a Labrador and a Poodle
The Labradoodle is one of the most famous crossbreeds. They are playful, intelligent and very energetic. This crossbreed will need to be stimulated mentally and physically to be a happy pup. The Labradoodle is an amazing family pet.
2. The Spanador: A cross between a Labrador and a Cocker Spaniel
The Spanador is a very affectionate dog and will love to stay around its owner. This breed would suit a first-time owner as they are eager to please and will obey to commands. They are very intelligent and will learn fast, so make sure you have a lot of different tricks to teach your Spanador.
3. The Goldador: A cross between a Labrador and a Golden Retriever
The Goldador is a loving and loyal dog. This crossbreed will be your perfect companion as it loves being around people. They would be a great match for first time owners as they are really easy to train.
4. The Bassador: A cross between a Labrador and a Basset Hound
The Bassador can be smart, when it decides to be. If he inherits of the stubbornness of the Basset Hound parent breed, this dog will need a firm training. They won’t need huge amount of exercise but will definitely need their daily walk.
5. The Labbe: A cross between a Labrador and a Beagle
The Labbe is full of energy and will need an active owner by their side. They are extremely loyal and affectionate and will love to hang out with their owners and also with children. If they have the Beagle’s howl, they will make great guard dogs.
6. The Sheprador: A cross between a Labrador and a German Shepherd
The Sheprador is a large, energetic, and extremely loyal dog. This crossbreed is not the best choice for first-time owners as they need firm training. They are very protective and will alert their owner if they suspect anything. However, it is important for the Sheprador to be socialised at an early age.
7. The Borador: A cross between a Labrador and a Border Collie
The Borador is very intelligent, extremely active and playful. They will need to have a huge amount of exercise daily to feel fulfilled. Because of its intelligence, the Borador is a fast learner and will love to learn new tricks.
8.The Huskador: A cross between a Labrador and a Siberian Husky
The Huskador is extremely intelligent, affectionate, and very active. If they are socialised at an early age, they will get on with every human and animal. This high energy dog will need to be stimulated mentally and physically to be happy.
9. The Cavador: A cross between a Labrador and a Cavalier King Charles
The Cavador is a great family pet and gets on well with children and with other pets. These gentle, friendly, and intelligent dogs are easy to train and are a good choice for first time owners. The Cavador does need a lot of exercise.
10. The Labernese: A cross between a Labrador and a Bernese Mountain dog
The Labernese are gentle, calm and very intelligent. They also make great family pets as they get on well with children. The Labernese dog will need to be stimulated physically and mentally to be a happy pup.
What are the best types of labrador crossbreeds?
Like many things in life, this is a matter of opinion and suitability. A better question would be: what is the best type of Labrador crossbreed for me?
Prospective owners looking for an active, outdoor breed, are likely to prefer the Labrador/Border collie mix or the Labrador/Pointer crossbreed. These combinations of two different types of working dogs will require lots of rigorous exercise and outdoor space.
If you live a less outdoor lifestyle, or are limited by space, then you could look at low-maintenance crossbreeds like the Cavador (a Labrador/King Charles spaniel mix) or the Corgidor (that’s what you get if you add a Labrador and a Corgi together.)
Labradors crosses are a very versatile breed - just make sure you to take the time to find one that suits your lifestyle
How will I know what kind of labrador cross I’m adopting?
You might not, especially if you adopt an older rescue dog. Labrador mix breeds can look very different from their parents.
The Labrador crossbreed is a real individual, and the only way to really get to know them is by owning one. Each Labrador cross will come with its own challenges and needs, but, given the right attention and care, they will make a loyal and loving lifelong companion.
With any crossbreed, it is also a good idea to see if you can meet the parents of the pup you're thinking of adopting. This might not always be possible but spending just a few minutes with the mother can give a good indication of a puppy's personality. In other words, if mum looks happy and friendly, then the chances of adopting a puppy with the same traits vastly improves.
Check out these other mixed breeds:
- Everything you need to know about the Pomeranian cross
- Everything you need to know about the Rottweiler cross
- Everything you need to know about the Golden Retriever cross
- Everything you need to know about the Dachshund cross
- Everything you need to know about the Dalmatian cross
- Everything you need to know about the Border Terrier cross breeds
- Everything you need to know about the Border Collie cross
- Everything you need to know about the Beagle cross
- Poodle crossbreeds: everything you need to know
- Everything you need to know about the Husky cross
- Everything you need to know about the Shih Tzu cross
- The Jack Russell cross: everything you need to know
- Everything you need to know about the Chihuahua cross
- Pug cross: everything you need to know
- Everything you need to know about the French Bulldog cross
- Everything you need to know about the German Shepherd cross
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