Lab Terrier Mix

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Lab Terrier mix

Labradors And Terriers Are Two Very Different Types Of Dog. So You Might Be Surprised To Hear That The Lab Terrier Mix Is A Pretty Popular Combination.

But What Can You Expect From This Funky Cross?

We’ll Take A Look At Lab Terrier Mix Health, Temperament And The Characteristics Of The Most Popular Terrier Labrador Crosses.

The friendly Labrador Retriever is a sweet-natured, intelligent, sociable dog who is a definite people-pleaser.

It’s not hard to understand why this athletic, handsome dog is the most popular breed in the US.

Equally lovable but in stark contrast in terms of temperament and apperance, are the diverse array of dogs in the Terrier group.

This is a varied group, but they do have some general traits in common.

Terriers are a feisty lot, with spirited personalities that don’t mind a tussle or two, love digging and are quite vocal.

They also make loyal, loving, pocket sized pets.

So what happens when these two different breed types combine?

What is a Lab Terrier Mix

It might come as a surprise then, to discover that these two disparate breeds are used to develop a variety of cross breeds.

With names like Labrastaff and Staffador, the various Labrador Retriever Terrier mix canines showcase the qualities and characteristics of both parents.

Lab Terrier mixThis means that each Labrador Terrier mix puppy can be counted on to display the temperament, appearance, etc., of both Labs and Terriers, although it’s impossible to know in what combination.

In reality it’s possible for a Lab and Terrier mix to get any aspect of either parent, and even littermates can have vastly different personalities.

Are you thinking of bringing a Lab Terrier mix dog into your home as a pet?

If so, we’ve gathered together some useful information for potential Lab and Terrier mix owners.

Let’s start our exploration at the beginning, and what better place to begin than with the very conception of the unique Lab x Terrier cross!

Canine cross breed dynamics

As we’ve mentioned, the Labrador Terrier cross breed will mirror the traits and disposition of each parent. The tricky part is predicting how these characteristics will emerge.

In fact, no responsible breeder will guarantee the personality of any mixed breed dog.

It’s simply impossible to determine beforehand how a blend of two unique gene pools will merge and reconfigure into an individual pup.

The best anyone can do is consider each breed in turn, and realize that a cross breed canine will be a singular combination of several possibilities.

The best of both breeds, the worst of both breeds, or a glorious mashup of the two!

With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at both the Labrador Retriever and the Terrier pure breeds.

That’s because every potential aspect you need to know about the Lab Terrier cross can be gleaned by taking a careful look at the particulars of both the Labrador and terrier breeds.

Overview of the Labrador Retriever breed

Labs are a medium size dog with an impressive energy level.

The friendly, smart-as-a-whip Labrador Retriever breed originated from hunting stock in Newfoundland, Canada.

pooper scooperThere they enjoyed success helping fishermen with their arduous, labor-intensive work.

Today a high canine IQ combined with a natural people-pleasing personality makes Labs go-to dogs for search-and-rescue and law enforcement work. As well as being a popular choice for service dog duty.

Labs love everybody, or so it seems, and they make good pets for children and families.

You shouldn’t expect a loving Lab to be a ferocious guard dog; it’s just not normally in their nature!

Labradors have beautiful coats are come in three distinct colors: yellow, black, and chocolate.

Their “all-weather” fur is both thick and short.

Given all of their positive qualities, it no surprise that Labs are an enduringly popular pet breed.

Overview of the Terrier breed

There are several breeds with the Terrier group.

These include the Rat Terrier, Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Terrier, Fox Terrier and Border Terrier.

It’s believed that the majority of terrier breeds originated in Ireland and Great Britain, and a recent study found that dogs from within the hunting group originated in 19th century Europe.

Modern terriers are commonly grouped according to their function (such as hunting) or size.

Dogs from individual groups vary greatly in size, from around 2 to 3 pounds all the way up to 50 pounds and more. We’ll explore these, and other, individual Terrier differences in more detail later.

What many Terriers have in common is a history steeped in animal control (killing vermin such as rats, etc.) and herding.

Because their DNA is steeped in hunting and killing, terriers aren’t often tempted to back down from a real or perceived threat.

They have a bold streak in their personality and a dash of fearlessness that can sometimes get the better of them.

However, on the whole Terriers are quick learners capable of getting along well with children when given the proper positive and supportive training.

They are also very loyal pets, and great fun to exercise, train and relax with.

Popular Labrador Terrier Mixes

There are many, many cross breed combinations possible between Labs and Terriers.

Here we’re going to explore several of the most fascinating cross breeds: Rat Terrier, Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Terrier, Fox Terrier and Border Terrier.

Rat Terrier Lab mix

The handsome, small to medium size Rat Terrier is a companion animal that is always game for his next adventure.

fox terrierHe has tons of energy and loves being in motion. Being a couch potato or purse dog is just not in his DNA!

But the Rat Terrier loves to please his humans so he should take well to consistent and supportive training methods.

Early socialization and training should render him a good companion for children, although he should not be left alone with other dogs.

The Rat Terrier’s lean little body is covered in a short, tight, dual-colored coat (that sheds seasonally) with colors that include black, red, tan, apricot and blue (sometimes in combination with white).

Rat Terriers are a relatively healthy group, but issues such as heart and eye disease, patellar luxation, and hip dysplasia have been known to crop up.

The latter two conditions are common among Labs, so it is important to have your pup tested for these issues.

This compact Rat Terrier comes in a miniature size ranging from 10 to 13 inches as well as a standard size of 13 to 18 inches.

Their typical weight range is from between 10 to 25 pounds, and life span varies between 12 to 18 years on average.

When you mix a Lab with a Rat Terrier the resulting pup could grow anywhere between these two sizes, and reflect any traits of either personality.

Bull Terrier Lab mix

The Bull Terrier is a lively dog that must have an outlet in order to stave off boredom and any subsequent destructive behavior.

Lab Terrier mixBull Terriers are loyal dogs but giving him other dogs as canine siblings is not recommended. In addition the Bull Terrier can sometimes display a “bratty” stance with his humans.

Therefore it’s lucky for the plucky Bull Terrier that he is highly trainable, and with positive and supportive behavior management training he can learn to polish up his manners.

This Terrier sports a short coat that comes in a plethora of colors and is considered to be low maintenance.

Bull Terriers have issues with heart murmurs, congenital deafness, and patella luxation.

The average Bull Terrier hovers right around 21 to 22 inches tall, and weighs from 50 to 70 pounds. Bull Terriers have an average lifespan of 12 to 13 years.

A Bull Terrier Lab mix could display any of these traits, or any of those of a Lab. They will range somewhere in size between the two as adults. What you can be sure of is that this mix will need human company for most of the day, and thorough socialization from puppyhood.

You can find out more about the Bull terrier here.

American Staffordshire Terrier Lab mix

The American Staffordshire Terrier Lab mix is also known as a Labrastaff. American Staffies are a very similar dog to the Pitbull Terrier.

Lab Terrier Mix

The American Staffordshire is a sturdy, medium size pooch described as an intelligent and self-assured dog.

His agility and adaptability make him a natural for search and rescue duty.

The American Staffordshire has a sparkling personality that hardly ever dims, and she can be counted on to be a loyal friend. However there are concerns with these Pitbull related dogs about temperament. You can find out more about this in our article on the Pitbull Lab mix here.

The American Staffordshire Terrier is both muscular and agile and has an attractive form that is stocky in the front, tapering to an impressively lean backside.

Moderate exercise is all that’s needed to keep this friendly guy happy, although they can still excel at spots like agility and canicross.

American Staffordshire Terriers have a few medical conditions to be aware of.

Hip dysplasia and heart disease are on the serious end of the spectrum. In addition immune system weaknesses can lead to allergies of the coat and skin.

Luckily there are screening tests that can identify affected dogs as well as those carrying the gene responsible for the condition.

American Staffordshire dogs have a soft, short, easy-to-maintain coat that sheds minimally.

American Staffordshire Terriers stand between 17 to 19 inches tall, and live 12 to 15 years on average.

Due to potential guarding instincts, you would need to socialize your puppy very carefully, especially to children and strangers coming into the home.

It would also be important to meet the American Staffordshire Terrier parent, to get an idea of what temperament they may inherit.

They are not the same breed as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier Lab mix

The medium size Staffordshire Bull Terrier is built like a brick: solid, heavy and strong.

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StaffieAnd at 14 to 16 inches tall, he is a bit smaller than his American Staffordshire brethren.

This lively dog needs lots of exercise to burn up his considerable energy, and if he doesn’t have a regular outlet his pent-up energy can turn destructive.

Traditional training may be an issue for the Staffordshire given his stubborn nature, so positive reinforcement training is advised.

On the other hand, this smart dog can be gentle with children provided that supportive, early socialization and training is provided.

Staffordshires have a short, low-maintenance coat that comes in a rainbow of 14 colors.

The Staffordshire Terrier stands approximately 14 to 16 inches tall and lives on average for 12 to 14 years. Males weigh between 28 and 38 pounds, with females a tad under that at 24 to 34 pounds.

A Lab mixed with a Staffie could display any of these tendencies, and will probably look like a shorter, stockier Lab with any number of potential color combinations.

You can find out more about the Staffordshire Bull Terrier here.

Fox Terrier Lab mix

Smooth Fox Terriers and Wire Fox Terriers are different breeds within the Terrier dog type. Their fur and coloration, as well as head shape are two of the main differences between them.

Fox terrier

Smooth Fox Terriers are a medium size breed with an average level of energy.

They average 15 inches tall and have a wedge shaped head. Their smooth, thick fur (which sheds seasonally) is mainly white, with tan or black markings randomly decorating the coat.

Although they have a short torso, these amazing animals have the grace of a gazelle.

Owners can expect their Smooth Fox Terriers to live an average of 12 to 15 years. The majority of these dogs are relatively healthy animals, although allergies and patellar luxation are typical issues.

The Wire Fox Terrier is named for his dense, springy low-shed coat. His wiry coat is predominantly white with brownish coloration about the ears and face.

Health issues to be aware of include patellar luxation and deafness.

This dog really, really, wants to be your BFF: he can never seem to get enough attention! The Wire Fox Terrier is always alert and spunky, ever ready to jump into playful action. This means that daily exercise and activity is a must.

Potential owners should also be aware that when their hunting DNA kicks in, Wire Fox Terrier pups are wont to run and chase moving objects that they shouldn’t, like cars, other animals, etc.

Like the Smooth Fox Terrier, the Wiry Fox Terrier is a medium size, medium energy dog who can be expected to live an average of 12 to 15 years. Males weigh an average of 18 pounds, while females average 16 pounds. Wiry Fox Terriers stand approximately 15 inches tall.

You should prepare for your Lab Fox Terrier mix to potentially inherit his strong prey drive, and start recall training early.

Border Terrier Lab mix

The Border Terrier is a cheerful, agile little guy who stands anywhere between 11 to 16 inches tall.

border terrier

The cute little dog with the head shaped like an otter’s has a dedicated work ethic and needs an exercise outlet to be happy.

They have a typically short terrier-type coat, although it comes with wiry, not smooth fur. Dual color schemes on the coat include blue and tan and grizzle and tan.

The Border Terrier will do fine with children but should not be left alone with other dogs. Border Terriers are a relatively healthy group, although allergies can crop up.

Border Terriers stand around a foot to 15 inches tall and live for 12 to 15 years on average. Males typically weigh 13 to 16 pounds, while females range from 11 to 14 pounds.

You Lab Border Terrier mix could inherit aspects from either parent, but is likely to be somewhere in between in terms of height.

Find out more about the Border Terrier here.

Lab Terrier Temperament

Knowing the kind of temperament a potential companion animal will bring to your home is crucial to forming a lasting bond.

Too often dogs are surrendered because of incompatibility issues, a situation that could have been avoided with just a little research and a few well-placed questions.

Your Lab and Terrier mix will inherit her disposition from her parents. Will she be more like an affable Lab, eager to please and friendly almost to a fault?

Or will she take on the spicier nature of the Terrier types? If so, your pup may be quite a handful, and may never learn to “play nice” with other dogs, even with training.

Then again, your pup may inherit the best (or worst) qualities of each breed, or she may be endowed with a mosaic of contrasting personality points.

For some owners it is exciting to see a puppy’s personality unfold and develop, for others, not so much.

Whatever camp you fall into, remember that there is no guarantee what sort of temperament your mixed breed dog will be blessed with.

You must be happy with either temperament and the training requirements they could have, before you decide to commit to a Lab Terrier mix.

Lab Terrier mix – how big do they grow?

In the previous sections we’ve looked at the various Terrier dog dimensions including weight and height.

Your cross breed will be within the ranges of his parents, depending on which Terrier and Lab are bred together.

So, how big do Labradors get? I’m glad you asked!

Male Labs range from 22 to 25 inches tall, while females tend to average 21 to 24 inches in height.

Likewise, males usually weigh more than females. A typical male Lab will range from 65 to 80 pounds and females typically weigh in between 55 to 70 pounds.

Labrador Terrier general health

Allergies are common among the different types of Terriers.

Allergic response occurs when the immune system reacts to common substances (allergens) as dangerous, resulting in an extreme physical response.

Allergens can affect the respiratory and/or digestive systems as well as the skin. Dogs with allergic skin reaction are at risk for skin infection, hair loss, and scabbing.

We’ve listed the known health issues of the various Terrier types, so now let’s take a look at the health issues that come along as part and parcel with the Labrador Retriever breed.

Joint issues are at the top of the health issue list, including hip/elbow dysplasia and luxating patella (kneecap dislocation).

Dysplasia occurs when a joint and its socket fail to align properly resulting in a painful grinding and rubbing motion versus a smooth movement.

Unfortunately the outcomes of these disorders can include severe pain, distress, and loss of function for your pooch, as well as costly surgery.

Eye disease is also a concern with Labs. They are at risk for Canine Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), a disorder that affects the retina and can lead to blindness.

Cataracts pose another concern for Labs. Cataracts affect the eye lens by obstructing incoming light resulting in compromised vision.

The Labrador parent must be hip and elbow scored, PRA clear and have a clear eye test of less than a year old.

The Terrier parent must be tested for any health conditions relevant to their breed too.

Lab Terrier general lifespan

Labrador Retrievers have a life expectancy of approximately 12.5 years

Keeping in mind that a Lab and Terrier cross breed will enjoy the same approximate lifespan as it’s parents, so let’s revisit the various Terrier dog lifespans.

Most of the terrier breeds we’ve discussed live for 12 to 14 years on average. In general you can expect a healthy, well cared for mix breed pup to survive for around 10 years up to 12, and maybe a bit beyond.

Smaller dogs and mixed breed dogs tend to live a little longer on average, so this gives your pup a good chance of a slightly increased time with you.

Lab Terrier mix breeders

If you are considering welcoming a Lab Terrier mix breed dog or puppy into your life, it’s important to do your due diligence where health matters are concerned.

Your mixed breed dog is at potential risk for any of the health issues that face her parents.

Health testing should be done for the issues that impact both parent breeds.

Ask to see the parents’ certificates proving that they were tested and cleared of hereditary diseases. In particular look for Labrador hip and elbow scores and eye tests.

Lab Terrier mix puppy

Working with a responsible breeder is one of the most important things that you can do to minimize unhappy surprises regarding your Lab Terrier mix puppy.

This is as true for Black Lab Terrier mix puppies as it is for Terriers crossed with Chocolate and Yellow Labs.

The Labrador Handbook by Pippa Mattinson

Conscientious breeders will help you to learn what you need know about health issues, as well as ancillary concerns such as temperament, grooming, etc.

For example, hip dysplasia is just one of the serious health issues which impact Labs and some Terriers.

In order to make an informed decision when choosing your pup, it is crucial to know as much as possible about the parent breeds’ health conditions, and this is where a responsible, knowledgeable breeder comes in.

Remember, your mixed breed dog can inherit any aspect of either parent, so it makes sense to understand all health implications before making a lifelong commitment to a mix breed dog.

Keep in mind that all puppies are individuals in their own right, and even littermates can exhibit vastly different temperaments, sizes, etc.

Is a Labrador terrier mix right for my family?

If you’re wondering if a Lab and Terrier cross breed dog will happily fit in to your home and with your lifestyle, here are a few considerations to ponder.

Labs are heavy shedders, with a moderate-plus need for exercise, and they have a reputation for chewing on the very things that owners don’t want them to gnaw on!

However, they will provide loyal and friendly companionship year after year.

Many Terriers can be a handful of live-wire energy, and in general they should be watched when in the company of other dogs.

They like to be active and should not be considered a purse-dog or bought with the intention of having it be a lap-sitter.

Should I buy a Lab Terrier mix?

Your Black Lab Terrier mix, Yellow Lab Terrier mix, and Chocolate Lab Terrier mix has the potential to inherit these and other typical breed qualities from each parent.

Are you prepared to handle and live with the characteristics that both Labs and Terriers bring to the table?

Do the combined traits of the various Terriers and Labs sound like the ones you’re looking for in a forever companion?

If the answer is yes, the next step is to find a responsible breeder in your area, and begin the happy process of adopting a new four-legged forever friend!

Do you have a Lab and Terrier cross breed? We’d love to know more about your experiences with this unique animal, in the comments section below!

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17 COMMENTS

  1. I just adopted a yellow lab mix. I believe the mix is Jack Russell terrier. She is 3.5 months old and sweet as can be. I hope to train her as my service dog. She loves to cuddle and play. Judging by the size of her feet she is going to be a large dog. In love with my girl.

  2. I have a beautiful 6 month old Staffordshire/yellow lab mix. She is brindle. 54 lbs. We have a reactive, territorial blue heeler whom she has never backed down from. They get along great. Very vocal! When she hears a noise outside, she barks and runs towards the door. We let her out but she generally waits for big bro (heeler) before she’ll investigate. Shes a non stop chewer so we leave her basket of toys accessible. Sometimes she is affectionate and other times she grumbles at me when I try to give her love. She is a voracious eater and doesn’t come up for air until her bowl is empty. Good with people, kids and other dogs.

  3. I have an 8 year old jack Russell lab mix. He’s a little bit bigger than a jack Russell and weighs about 40-45 lbs. He’s super sweet, obedient, protective, and hyper. He has his days where he’ll just chill on the couch and then there’s days where he loves to run around outside. He always brightens up my bad days, getting a Jack Russell lab mix was the best decision I’ve made ❤ If you have any questions feel free to ask, I’ll do my best to answer them 🙂

  4. I have what looks like an Amstaff/lab mix, but I’m not sure. I got her from a relative who got her from somebody else. I guesstimated her age to be 6 mths, based on size. I was not really looking for a dog when she came into my life. But my relatives didn’t want her and she was on her way to the shelter. I am so glad I saved her. She also saved me from loneliness. She is now approximately 6 yo, and is the friendliest, most playful doggy you ever saw. She’s so eager to please that I was able to train her myself, tho I had no guidance and very little experience. She sits, stays, always comes when called, walks well on a leash (I trained her to sit down at intersections), she has NEVER pooped in the house, but there was some peeing when she was a puppy. She will go to her bed on command. On top of all that, she has a glossy black and white coat which is absolutely beautiful. I actually appreciate the fact that her face has bully features, because living in the city, I want people to be wary. Nonetheless, when I walk her, she is approachable and affectionate to strangers if I allow them to pet her. Her snout and body are much more streamlined than a typical “pit bull,” so I can only guess that’s the lab in her. Basically, she is the greatest dog ever, but I have noticed a bit of dominant behavior around other dogs, so I haven’t taken her to dog parks, etc. Also, she does chase prey, including cats, if given the chance. Too bad, because I am also a big cat lover and would like to have another cat. My beloved tabby lived to the ripe age of 20 before becoming gravely ill. To sum, three cheers for my Staffador (if that’s what she is). She’s the best of both breeds.

    • Awesome! I have a black and white jack Russell terrrier/lab puppy and she is awesome! She has pitbull features as well. She has one ear that sticks up…sooo cute!

  5. In November 2017 we adopted a hard to place 6 yo female black Labrador mix. We’re really not sure of the other part is though from internet pictures we think cattle dog. At first she was aggressive and afraid so we think she may have been abused in some fashion. As of this posting I’m happy to say that with patience and love she has become very affectionate and is only mildly aggressive when placed in unfamiliar surroundings. She exhibits the lab side of personality most often. Bella is now our 47 lb. “baby”.

  6. The shelter I got our puppy from did a DNA test that told us our pup is 37.5 AmStaff, 12.5 Labrador, 12.5 Boxer, and the rest is a mix of working dog breeds. Here’s a little about him and our training:

    So far, at two months, Darwin (what we call him) is curious, alert, friendly, and playful. He’s mouthy, but this makes perfect sense because he still has his first molars coming in. We just redirect his biting or chewing towards safe options like toys or treats. We refuse to allow our dogs to have bad habits (which tend to come from owners allowing them and being inconsistent, in my opinion), so he’s already in a training program and getting well-socialized. He loves coming to my school with me and playing with the students – especially our special needs students. He’s great with other dogs too, of all sizes. He’s almost potty trained – he’s at least learned where the door is (and where we keep his food!). He learns quickly. He knows to sit before we place his bowl down. He’s learned to come at hearing his name.

    The key to developing a well-behaved and well-trained dog in my experience, is consistency, plenty of socialization, and confidence. It doesn’t hurt to let them spend some time alone either, even when you are with them a lot. As I am newly deaf, Darwin will start a 2 year hearing dog program when he turns one to become my service dog (this is why we got him).

    Darwin is 9weeks old, 12lbs, and about 10-12 inches tall.

    He’s sweet beyond belief, but mostly, he’s just learning from us as much as we are learning him. I can’t ask for more!

  7. I bring my half lab half terrier outside for 20 to 30 min. And five min. After I bring her in she potties in side the house. Sometimes she potties outsid then goes inside and potties again. How do I stop her from potting inside the house.

  8. We adopted a lab mix at the Humane Society last year. I couldn’t figure out what he was mixed with until one day he looked up at me and I saw a Jack Russell Terrier face. He is such a sweetie. He was rather mouthy for about six months, but now he’s a great dog. He LOVES to play fetch and always wants to tug the toy. He’s very smart. I taught him several tricks and within 2-3 times of doing it, he had it down. He looks like a Yellow Lab except for the narrow face. He has a small white streak on his forehead and the wrinkles between the Terrier ears. He now weighs about 54 pounds. I wouldn’t trade him for the world.

  9. I just adopted a dog. They say he’s a lab mix. They lied about his age, telling me he was 3.5 months old (we were skeptical cause he’s 23 lbs), and when we took him to the vet, he said that he’s 6 months old. He looks like he might be mixed with terrior (we don’t know the mix), but he doesn’t really look like these mixes. He kinda resembles a jack russel terrior, but he’s all black and also has lab features.

  10. I have a staff lab she is 12. Totally nanny dog, love ppl and kids, any animals. Not a lap dog tho. She loves her bed but also a nice long walk more so when she was younger. Took her til 4 yrs to mature and was distructive in her early yrs, but nothing too bad. She totally food driven and likes a chat. Fab dog love her to bits

  11. My lab terrier is 30 lbs. She stays in the yard off of a leash, but will run after squirrels and rabbits. She puts up with the kids. She is a protector. She doesn’t have “too much” energy for our active life. She wouldn’t hurt a fly. She’s is very territorial and does not get along well with other dogs. I never trained her too much and she will come in the house immediately when I call. She is kennel Trained and goes in there herself when she see the kids get there coats on, when the adults grab the keys, or when the baby is put in the car seat. SHe sheds a lot. She only barks when people come over to the house or when she wants to come in from outside. I couldn’t ask for a more perfect pup! (She’s 9 now)

  12. i have a labterrior mix his age well the shelter i adopted him from said he was a year not true is is under a year i excerise him he has a big yard but my problem is i can’t let him loose he runs off and when i call him back he ignores me he is hyper and i want to train him to be my service dog but i have my doupts that will be possiable he jumps on people and no matter what i say he won’t stop i love him but he is so frusting to train first dog i ever had i find hard to train

    • Doesnt have the rite temperament for a service dog im afraid. Sounds like hes left footed. For a service dog u need a rite footed dog. (The foot the first lead with at the front).

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