The Doberman Lab mix is hybrid designer dog with a purebred Doberman Pinscher and a pedigree Labrador Retriever for parents. Known as the Doberdor, temperament traits and characteristics range a lot with the F1 mix. However, it’s likely that when a well-trained Doberman is crossed with a Lab, the resulting offspring will be intelligent, large dogs that have endless energy and a love for play. They all have tipped over ears, short coats and long muzzles. Their build is even and athletic, a sign of their strong working histories.
Doberman and Labrador Histories
The Doberman Lab mix has a rich working history, specializing in two very different jobs.
The Labrador Retriever breed was first developed in Newfoundland, Canada. Where smaller water-fowl hunting dogs were mated with Newfoundlands to make the ultimate retrieving companion. Modern Labs are prized working dogs, service companions, therapy animals and of course family pets.
The Doberman Pinscher was first bred in Germany during the late 1800s as a protection dog.
To develop this type of dog, short-haired Shepherd-type dogs were bred with Rottweilers, black and tan terriers, and German Pinschers. The Doberman’s role today has expanded from his original use as a guard dog to search and rescue, agility and obedience competition, service and police work, tracking and hunting. Even military work!
What Do They Look Like?
Your Doberman Lab mix dog will be tall, lean and leggy. They have naturally floppy ears and long slim muzzles.
As their name suggests, chocolate Lab-Doberman puppies could come out chocolate brown, like their chocolate Lab parent, or they could come out looking more like a Doberman. There’s also the possibility that they could be some mix of both parents’ colors.
Generally, Doberdors are solid colored like the Lab, but they may be bicolored like the Doberman.
Labrador Doberman Mix Coats
Doberman Lab mix coats are all short, but some are thick like a Lab’s with an undercoat and others are more fine like the Doberman.
A dense double coat will require weekly brushing. But if he inherited the Doberman’s thin and shiny coat, then a Doberman Labrador mix would benefit from occasional grooming. You probably won’t know which until your pup is a little older.
Doberman Lab Mix Temperament
Because he is a hybrid dog, the Doberman Lab’s temperament can be hard to predict. His personality may more closely favor the Doberman or the Labrador’s temperament. Or it may be an equal mix of each parent…
You can increase the odds of a favorable temperament by breeding or selecting from parent stock whose personalities closely match what you’re looking for.
Doberman Pinschers have long been viewed as dangerous dogs. It’s thought that they aren’t suited for homes with children or small animals. This is due to the early Doberman’s sharpness and quickness to bite.
Fortunately, this “bite first, think later” temperament has been gradually gentled through generations of breeding. While most Dobermans are no longer bred with such aggression in mind, it’s important to note that every Doberman is different… Just like every other dog breed.
Some Dobermans may have a more severe temperament than others. Additionally, Dobermans do not take well to being caged for long periods of time. They do not do well with isolation at all.
Labradors also have a tendency to get bored and destructive if left alone for lengthy periods. These breeds are not advised if you work away from home during the day.
If you plan to get a Doberdor, you might like to have two of them. Or maybe another pet that you know your Doberman Lab mix gets along with.
Developing Personality Traits
It’s vitally important that you socialize your pup with other dogs, places, and humans. This is to help prevent territorial and/or aggressive behavior. It’s also important that you begin obedience training at as early of an age as possible.
You can’t know how they will turn out temperament wise, so all Doberman Lab mix pups should be given this thorough socialization. All of these precautions should help reduce their need to guard their property or family from people or other pets.
While most Labrador Retrievers aren’t particularly territorial, they tend to be excitable and can be a bit too “in your face” for some people’s liking.
As the Doberman Lab tends to be a good-sized dog, some people may find one that likes to jump a bit intimidating. For your guests’ as well as your own benefit, you may need to work on a Doberdor’s obedience training. Ideally so that he won’t jump and will sit when guests arrive and he’s not crated.
Since Labradors are, well, retrievers, a Doberman Lab mix may let his nose get him into trouble once he’s on a scent. Or once he spies something that resembles a bird or squirrel! A great recall is essential.
Until you have this a Doberman Lab mix would greatly benefit from a fenced-in yard. This way they can play, be trained and exercise risk free.
Doberman and Labrador Health
A few common canine ailments that are common across breeds. These include hip dysplasia, eye diseases, allergies, and skin irritations. However, hybrids like Doberman Labrador mixes may inherit the health conditions that are common in their parent breeds.
Doberman Lab mix dogs have the potential to inherit health conditions from either parent. Both the Doberman and Labrador mother or father should have great hip scores and be tested clear for Progressive Retinol Athrophy. There should also be no history of heart problems on the Doberman parent’s side of the family, and a clear test for von Willebrand’s Disease
Doberman Lab mix have a tendency to develop hip dysplasia coupled along with an energetic nature. You absolutely will need an exercise plan for one of these active and playful fur babies.
Exercise is especially important if your Doberman Lab takes after his Lab parent in the weight category, as he may easily gain too much weight without adequate exercise.
We recommend that you have time for at least one walk per day and plenty of room for your pooch to self-exercise when you’re gone and to play in when you’re home, be that in the house or a fenced-in yard.
Your pup will be even happier if he gets to stretch his legs at the dog park every so often!
Hybrid dogs generally have the same life expectancy as their parent breeds. So, the Doberman Lab mix has an estimated life expectancy of 10 to 12 years.
Doberman Lab Mix Puppies
Your Doberman Lab mix puppy should come from a breeder who prioritises health and temperament. You should be confident that they know you can handle a dog of either temperament, and ask you lots of questions about what you plan to do in terms of training and exercising your new puppy.
The best Doberman Lab mix breeders are open, honest and have ensured both parent dogs were fully health tested.
Should I get a Doberman Lab mix?
The good news is that you shouldn’t have to worry about a lot of grooming – even if a Doberdor has the double coat of its Lab parent, it will require weekly grooming, at most.
You’ll be quite lucky in the grooming department if you find a Doberman Lab mix with the Doberman’s thin and shiny coat.
As with any dog, mixed or not, you must also be prepared to deal with any ailments that come with the breed or breeds, especially hip dysplasia and loss of eyesight, in this case. There are a host of other inherited conditions that a Doberman Lab mix may develop, so we also recommend genetic testing of breeding stock before you purchase a puppy.
Last but certainly not least, socialization and obedience training from a young age is necessary for Doberman Lab mixes, as they may inherit the Doberman’s guarding tendencies or the Lab’s over excitable nature. Both of these personality types can be handled with proper training.
The Labrador Site Founder
Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.
She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program
Pippa's online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website