A Labraheeler is a mix between a Labrador Retriever and a Blue Heeler, or Australian Cattle Dog. It’s not an officially recognized breed, but this designer breed is gaining popularity thanks to the friendly and playful disposition of the Labraheeler. These dogs are active, affectionate, smart, and perfect for family life.
Labraheelers At a Glance
18 and 25 pounds and measures 18 to 20 inches in height
Short and straight
black, yellow, and chocolate
10 to 13 years
Did You Know?
Mixing the Lab and the Blue Heeler made sense since these two dogs share an active disposition and social nature. They have the same size, and both breeds thrive in a family setting.
Introduction to the Labraheeler Dog Breed
The Labrador Retriever is a breed that is famous for its friendly nature. It’s an active dog who loves playing and exploring the outdoors.
They make great family dogs and are fun companions who love going on adventures. They have high exercise needs and thrive in an environment where they get plenty of social interactions.
Labradors are one of the most popular breeds in the US, and you can find a wide range of Lab mixes, including designer breeds like Labradoodles, Boradors, Pugador, and more.
Blue Heelers are friendly, alert, and intelligent dogs. Australian ranchers originally bred these dogs for herding cattle, and Blue Heelers need challenges and stimulation. They’re a distant relative of the wild Dingo that has a distinctive sturdy build and multi-colored coat.
While some breeders mix Labrador Retrievers with other breeds to get a smaller or hypoallergenic dog, mixing a Lab with a Blue Heeler enhances the natural intelligence of the Lab and results in an animal that would make for a great watchdog.
Labraheelers share characteristics with these two breeds. The temperament of a Labraheeler can vary from one individual to another, but they tend to possess the intelligence of their Labrador and Blue Heeler parents. They’re also active, friendly, and need plenty of exercise and stimulation.
Labraheelers typically love to play, run, and swim. They respond well to training and will be happy and well-adjusted if you make them work by teaching them new commands or training them to complete agility courses.
Because Labradors and Blue Heelers have a similar size, the Labraheeler usually inherits a harmonious appearance and makes for a medium-sized athletic dog. These pets usually inherit the broad forehead of the Labrador but can get the ear shape of either parent.
Labraheelers are medium-sized dogs that share characteristics of both parent breeds. They’re easily recognizable thanks to their alert and intelligent look.
What Is it Like to Own a Labraheeler?
Labraheelers make great companions because of their friendly and social nature. However, it’s important to get a better idea of what owning a Labraheeler is like, especially when it comes to exercise requirements:
- Labraheelers need plenty of exercise. Labradors and Australian Cattle Dogs are two active breeds. Labs love walking, running, hiking, and swimming. Your Labraheeler mix will need at least two walks a day and will thrive if you can jog with them or have them trot along as you ride your bicycle.
- Boredom can lead to destructive behaviors and stress. Blue Heelers are working dogs who need stimulation. Labradors are a highly intelligent breed that also needs to stay busy. A Labraheeler requires a lot of attention and stimulation. Make sure you can spend plenty of quality time with your pooch and provide stimulation through training and exercise.
- Both parents have a friendly and social nature. Labraheelers make great family dogs and get along with other animals. They will get used to their new home quickly and bond with everyone in the family. If you socialize your Labraheeler properly, they will love meeting new people and want to greet strangers.
- Because of their social nature, Labraheelers will thrive in a family setting or a home with another dog. However, they might not do well if they have to spend most of the day alone. It’s also important to prove proper socialization to prevent them from becoming overly protective or aggressive.
- Labradors love the outdoors. They are ideal hiking companions and will never miss an opportunity to swim in a lake or river. Your Labraheeler will probably inherit this enthusiasm for adventure and love of water.
- Your Labraheeler will need training. Australian Cattle Dogs are working dogs who thrive when they have a job to do. You can train your Labraheeler to become a watchdog or to compete in agility events to provide the stimulation they need.
- The Labraheeler dog breed has an average lifespan of 10 to 13 years. The two parent breeds have a similar lifespan.
- Shedding can be a problem. Labraheelers typically have a short coat that doesn’t require a lot of maintenance other than weekly brushing, but the two parent breeds tend to shed a lot.
- Your Labraheeler will want to play a lot. Labradors are intelligent and playful dogs, and Australian Cattle Dogs crave stimulation. It’s important to introduce new games, offer new toys, and keep challenging your pup with new activities.
Labraheeler Breed Information
If you’re thinking about adopting a Labraheeler, there are a few things you should know regarding the breed’s exercise needs, potential health problems, and temperament.
Labraheelers are friendly and playful dogs that will fit right in, but it’s important to make sure you can offer an environment where your new dog can thrive.
The cost of a puppy can vary from one breeder to another, but you should expect to spend between $750 and $1,000 for this designer breed. Adopting a dog from a shelter is a lot more affordable, but it’s not likely that you will find this specific designer breed at a shelter.
There are additional costs to consider when adopting a dog, including an average cost of $250 a year for routine checkups at the vet and vaccination. You should expect additional health-related expenses as your four-legged companion gets older.
You will also have to pay for spaying or neutering, which typically costs around $1,200 for a medium-sized dog.
Because of the intelligent nature of both parent breeds, you should think about investing in obedience classes for your puppy if you’re a first-time dog owner. Expect to pay $30 to $50 per class.
There are additional expenses to consider, including food, puppy pads while you potty train your new puppy, and toys. You will probably need to purchase new toys regularly to keep your pooch stimulated and replace old ones since this designer breed can be rough on toys.
Are Labraheelers Good Apartment Dogs?
It depends on your lifestyle, but keep in mind that the Labraheeler dog breed needs plenty of exercise. If you live in an apartment and live an active lifestyle where you spend plenty of time outdoors, your Labraheeler could thrive. Taking your dog to a park or a trail where you can run would be ideal.
However, it’s easier to adopt a Labraheeler if you have a house with a fenced-in yard where your new companion can run and play.
What Are Some Common Labraheeler Health Issues?
Like all designer breeds, Labraheelers can inherit health issues that are common among both parent breeds:
- Hip and elbow dysplasia are a fairly common issue among Labradors, and there is also a risk of developing this condition among Australian Cattle Dogs. It’s a condition that breeders should screen the parents for.
- Patellar luxation, which affects the kneecaps, is a common health problem among Labs.
- Distichiasis is a condition where dogs have abnormal eyelashes that can cause irritation and inflammation of the cornea. Labradors are more likely than other breeds to develop this condition.
- Labrador Retrievers are at risk for diabetes and weight gain if they don’t get enough exercise. They can become obese and develop additional health problems.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy is another condition Blue Heelers are at risk for. It’s an inherited eye disease that causes a dog to gradually lose their vision.
- Blue Heelers are at risk for congenital deafness. It can affect one ear or both, and it’s something a breeder can detect when a puppy is born.
The good news is that Lab mixes tend to be healthier and less likely to develop health problems like hip dysplasia compared to purebred dogs. They also tend to have a slightly longer lifespan.
Even though there are risks of developing health issues because these conditions exist among the two parent breeds, you can reduce these risks by choosing a responsible breeder. Ask questions about the parents and the screening process for conditions like hip dysplasia before purchasing a Labraheeler puppy.
Are Labraheelers Hard to Train?
The good news is that Labraheelers love the social aspect of training sessions. They are usually food-motivated and can learn new commands quickly.
Training sessions will help you bond with your new pooch and provide some of the stimulation they need. You will have to keep introducing new commands and new games to keep your Labraheeler motivated and appeal to their nature as a working dog.
Because the two parent breeds are highly intelligent, you might get a Labraheeler puppy who is a little stubborn or who becomes destructive when there isn’t enough stimulation. The key is to provide training sessions and playtime several times a day and to be consistent with training.
What Colors Do Labraheelers Come In?
There is a wide range of colors for this designer breed. You can find Labraheelers with one of the traditional Lab coat colors, including black, yellow, and chocolate.
Some Labraheelers will have a coat that looks more like their Australian Cattle Dog parent. Blue Heelers get their name from their blue coat with speckles or spots or lighter hair. There is also a red variant of this coat with lighter speckles or spots. A Labraheeler can inherit this blue or red coat, as well as white or tan markings.
Labraheelers usually get short and straight fur that is easy to maintain. You will have to brush them at least once a week to reduce shedding.
How Big Do Labraheelers Get?
Labradors and Blue Heelers are medium-sized dogs. Their offspring usually weighs between 18 and 25 pounds and measures 18 to 20 inches in height.
Are Labraheelers Good With Kids?
The answer is yes. Labraheelers are amazing family dogs with a friendly and energetic temperament. They bond easily with children, and playing with children is a great way to keep your pooch active. Games like fetch or Frisbee are a great way for your new pet to bond with your children.
The main concern is that a Labraheeler might be overly excitable and play too rough with a toddler or young child. It’s also essential to socialize your puppy properly to get a family dog that interacts with children in a safe and friendly manner. Because of its nature as a herding dog, the Blue Heeler can become overly protective if there isn’t enough socialization.
Nine Fun Facts You Should Know About Labraheelers
Here are a few fun facts about Labraheelers and their parent breeds:
- The AKC considers Labrador Retrievers as sporting dogs and Australian Cattle Dogs as herding dogs. The Labraheeler belongs to both categories.
- Herding is an instinct for Blue Heelers. You might see your Labraheeler herd other animals and even humans.
- Blue Heelers are a mix of wild Dingos, Dalmatians, and Collies from Scotland. Ranchers created this hard-working herding dog in the early 1800s.
- Blue Heelers are still a popular breed for herding cattle.
- Labradors come from the St. John’s Dog. The St. John’s Dog was originally a Canadian breed, and British breeders selected desirable traits to create the Labrador Retriever.
- Labrador Retrievers are popular family dogs, but breeders originally created these dogs for hunting waterfowl.
- The Labraheeler isn’t an official AKC breed, but it’s a popular designer mix of the intelligent and friendly nature of these dogs.
- Labs have been one of the most popular breeds in the US for more than 20 years.
- In 1981, a Lab mix named Bosco won the mayoral election in Sunol, CA, and remained the city’s mayor until his death in 1994.
Labradors are popular family pets because of their energetic and outgoing nature. Blue Heelers are intelligent dogs who need plenty of exercise and stimulation, but they’re also loving and loyal companions. You can get the best of both worlds with a Labraheeler, but make sure you’re able to meet this breed’s needs for exercise and stimulation before adopting a puppy.