Those of you who are familiar with Blue Heelers should know just how intelligent and capable these dogs are, not to mention their eagerness to learn. They constantly rank high in studies regarding the intelligence of popular dog breeds and are considered some of the most resourceful dogs on Earth.
On the other hand, we have the Labrador. These goofy dogs may be intelligent as well to some extent, but it isn’t their cleverness that makes them so popular. No, the Lab is better known for its friendly and lovable attitude, an affectionate dog that people cannot help but love for its amazingly positive attitude.
Having said that, you wouldn’t expect people to breed the two seemingly very different dogs, and yet they do. The end result – a dog that incorporates all the positive characteristics of both the Lab and the Heeler, with almost none of the flaws.
Table of Contents
- What is a Blue Heeler Lab Mix?
- Blue Heeler Lab Mix Personality & Temperament
- Caring For A Blue Heeler Lab Mix
- Quick Breed Summary Table
What is a Blue Heeler Lab Mix?
The Blue Heeler Lab Mix (also known as Labraheeler) came to be after mixing two very different dogs as far as their personality goes – the outgoing and goofy Labrador with the stoic and dependable Blue Heeler. The result was a dog with a mixed temperament yet one that showcases a tremendous loyalty.
Courageous and alert, these dogs are known for being decent guard dogs on account of how closely they like to protect their family members. Not just brave but also very adaptable by nature, these dogs make pretty good traveling companions and can easily adapt to new environments.
It is perhaps because of their versatility that they can meet such a wide range of expectations, not just from people who previously had one of the two parent breeds as a pet but also from people who are looking for a trusty companion and a dependable pet in a single furry package.
The Blue Heeler Lab Mix is a medium to large-sized dog that comes in a variety of coat colors and tends to incorporate many traits from its parent breeds. Although the exact characteristics cannot be predicted before a pup is born, you can definitely get a good idea of what the pup would look like by observing the parents.
What’s interesting about these dogs is that they possess unusual coat patterns that include patches, speckles, or tan markings across their bodies. This is unlike the Heeler or the Labrador, so it must be a genetic mutation that’s only present in their offspring.
Also worth mentioning is that these dogs can have either floppy, pointed, or regular ears, with no explanation for why some dogs lean either way. One thing’s for certain, they can vary considerably in body type depending on their parents’ physique.
Height & Weight
Most of these dogs measure between 17 to 23 inches tall at the shoulder, with pups that take after the Lab being somewhat taller than those who resemble the Heeler side of the mix. It is also expected for pups from the same litter to grow to a similar height when they reach adulthood.
As for the weight, the majority of these dogs weight between 40 and 60 lbs with males being commonly heavier than the females. This, of course, can also vary depending on their diet, exercise levels, lifestyle, and genetic heritage.
Coat & Colors
A Blue Heeler Lab Mix has a double-layered coat that requires occasional brushing and only during shedding seasons. This happens about twice a year during spring and fall, but people tend to brush their dogs a bit more often than that.
When it comes to coloring, know that these dogs can either be yellow, red, blue, or black for the most part, although some of these dogs can also have colored patches along the back. They include patches, speckles, or black & tan markings all over their bodies.
Blue Heeler Lab Mix Personality & Temperament
What everyone who thinks of adopting a Blue Heeler Lab Mix should understand is that both of the parent breeds are high-energy dogs and so is the hybrid. Unless you have the patience and resources to meet the dog’s exercise demands, you will find it rather difficult to properly care for the dog.
Loyal and affectionate, these dogs rarely go out of their way to hurt anyone or other animals for that matter. In fact, these are some of the most easygoing and temperate dogs you could own, dogs that by virtue of their temperament, make excellent family dogs indeed.
Bear in mind that these dogs aren’t just known for their friendly personality but also for their intelligence and dedication. Because of their intelligence and alertness, they may be difficult to train to some extent, or at least harder than other intelligent breeds.
Blue Heeler Lab Mix Behavior
One needs to understand that while Labradors are very friendly and tolerant, the Blue Heeler is actually quite stubborn and easily bored. A hybrid between the two may indeed inherit the Lab’s friendly attitude, but it is often paired with the Heeler’s stubbornness.
Also know that these dogs get bored easily and that you will need to provide them with a lot of entertainment to placate them on a daily basis. Although not aggressive, these dogs may end up causing a lot of material damage by chewing on things when they get bored.
Otherwise, the Blue Heeler Lab Mix is a fiercely loyal dog to both its family and its work. Although they tend to get the best characteristics of both Heelers and Labradors, they are in constant need of supervision on account of their smarts.
Blue Heeler Lab Mix Temperament
This is a courageous dog by most accounts, a dog that’s always alert and eager to please. It is for this reason that the Blue Heeler Lab Mix makes an excellent companion and a decent guard dog. Still, you want to offer the dog the attention it craves if you want the two of you to have a positive relationship going forward.
Highly adaptable by nature, these dogs do well in virtually any environment provided that you take the time to guide them through. Because of how loyal they are, they prefer to stick close to their owners and rarely stray away.
It is also important to remember that both the Lab and the Heeler are energetic dogs that require a yard to roam through. They don’t really do well in small apartments and can showcase great confusion if they aren’t shown the affection they require for a well-balanced temperament.
Is A Blue Heeler Lab Mix A Good Family Dog?
It depends. As long as the dog inherits most of its personality traits from the Labrador side of the mix, then by all means, the dog will make an excellent family dog. If, however, it showcases most of the inquisitiveness of the Heeler without the friendliness of the Lab, then you might have your work cut out for you long-term.
The dog is also a direct descendent of herding dogs, so genetically speaking, they tend to gravitate towards children with the intent to herd them in any way they see fit. This may prove problematic if the dog isn’t properly socialized from an early age.
Overall, however, their tremendous sense of loyalty makes them exceptional pets in more ways than one. Although they require a lot of training and discipline, they are generally considered good family dogs.
Caring For A Blue Heeler Lab Mix
In order to properly care for such a versatile pooch, you will need to first take the time and socialize it well. As soon as you get it as a pup, do your best to socialize it with not just your family members but other pets you might have.
To put it bluntly, the Blue Heeler Lab Mix is a difficult dog to care for, a dog that may not have the highest grooming requirements, yet a dog that requires a lot of extra care. In a way, this dog exhibits needs that neither of the parent breeds has.
You see, these dogs will often test their owners’ boundaries on account of how stubborn and intelligent they are. Unless their physical and mental needs met fully, they will definitely lash out and/or become disobedient over time.
Mind you, this is a highly energetic dog, one that requires a decent amount of daily exercise in order to stay fit and healthy. Because of its background as a working dog, the Blue Heeler Lab Mix is known to exhibit destructive behavior if it doesn’t have something to occupy its time with.
A frequent training schedule is advised for a Blue Heeler Lab Mix, one that should include two hours of exercise on a daily basis. It may seem like a lot at first, but remember that these dogs will also spend a lot of energy by themselves, either by engaging in play or by egging you on to join them in a game of fetch.
Because of how energetic these dogs can be, it would also be a good idea to take them hiking or swimming, both being activities that the Blue Heeler Lab Mix absolutely loves. Remember that they recover their spent up energy rather quickly and that they’re always up for more stuff to do no matter how tired they may seem.
Grooming & Shedding
As we already pointed out earlier, this dog doesn’t really require a lot of grooming on a daily basis. Instead, you will do most of your grooming during spring and fall when the dog blows its coat. Even when that happens, however, it isn’t exactly something to write home about.
A moderate shedder at most, the Blue Heeler Lab Mix only requires occasional brushing, along with monthly baths to reduce any smell they might pick up during their daily walks. They do, however, require that their nails are regularly trimmed on account of how fast they grow.
Feeding & Diet
With a Blue Heeler Lab Mix, you are advised to employ dry food more often than not, preferably the type that includes a lot of protein. Being the high-energy dogs that they are, these dogs chew their way through any amount of food you may give them, so try your best not to overfeed them.
It is advised that you feed them twice a day and that you make the morning meals slightly larger than evening meals. More important in this regard is that you portion the dog’s food according to its age, energy level, health, and daily schedule.
Known Health Problems
Although the Blue Heeler Lab Mix doesn’t exhibit any serious genetic conditions, they do suffer from some of the afflictions that commonly affect the Labrador and the Heeler. Among them, Hip Dysplasia seems to be the most common, a condition that causes the hip socket to ineffectively cover the ball portion of the thigh bone.
Another issue the Blue Heeler Lab Mix is prone to is Progressive Retinal Atrophy or PRA, which is a degenerative disease that might lead to blindness. This issue usually manifests itself in puppies when they’re fairly young but can also lay dormant until the dog reaches adulthood.
How To Train A Blue Heeler Lab Mix
Given the good health most of these dogs are blessed with, they show a tremendous amount of energy and willingness to spend it. While physical exercise may tire them out, it is important that you use this occasion to bolster their discipline and sense of duty.
As we said, this hybrid is the result of mixing two highly energetic dogs, the type that was traditionally used for work. This way, your safest bet is to give them a purpose in your household, something to keep them occupied in the form of daily training routines.
Quick Breed Summary Table
|Size||40 to 80 lbs|
|Weight||17 to 26 inches|
|Lifespan||10 to 16 years|
|Color||Black, chocolate, yellow, or blue & red|
|Coat||Short, thick, weather-resistant|
|Shedding & Grooming||Rarely sheds, little grooming required|
|Temperament||Loyal, intelligent, dependable, somewhat stubborn|
|With Other Pets||It gets well enough with other pets|
|People Skills||Prefers the company of its family over that of other people|
|With Children||Gets along with children if properly socialized|
|Exercise Needs||About two hours every day, the dog has lots of energy to spend|
|Food||Mainly dry food, rich in nutrients|
|Known Health Problems||Hip dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy|
All Things Considered
These are highly energetic dogs that tend to make excellent family pets provided that they get the right guidance, training, and affection. Due to their fiercely loyal attitude, they make decent guard dogs and love spending time with their owners.
Although the dog may occasionally try to dominate other pets and disregard commands they disagree with, they only do that because of their huge personality. In a pinch, the dog is smart enough to follow its owner’s instructions and rarely steps out of line.
Overall, this is a healthy, energetic, loyal, and above all, highly intelligent dog that loves to work, solve problems, and spend time around the people it cares for.