A Pomeranian Lab mix combines one small, fluffy dog with one large, sleek dog. In this article, we take a detailed look at how that combination is likely to turn out, and whether it’s a good idea.
- Pomeranian Labrador mix at a glance
- Our in-depth breed review
- Pomeranian Lab mix training and care
- Pros and cons of getting a Pomeranian Lab mix
These sweet Labrador puppies are a long way from becoming parents themselves, but what if they one day contributed half of a Pomeranian chocolate Lab mix?
Pomeranian Lab mix dogs are extremely variable in looks, and temperament. Unfortunately, mixing dogs of such dramatically different sizes can cause significant health problems too. This cross is best suited to very adaptable owners, who can accommodate lots of possibilities.
Pomeranian Lab mix: Breed At A Glance
- Popularity: Unusual and unexpected!
- Purpose: Companionship
- Weight: 30 – 50lbs
- Temperament: Energetic, affectionate, unpredictable.
Pomeranian Lab mix review: Contents
- History and original purpose of the Pomeranian Labrador mix
- Pomeranian Lab mix appearance
- Pomeranian Lab mix temperament
- Training and exercising your Pomeranian Lab mix
- Pomeranian Lab mix health and care
- Does a Pomeranian Labrador mix make a good pet?
- Rescuing a Pomeranian Lab mix
- Finding a Pomeranian Lab mix puppy
Origin of the Pomeranian Labrador mix
The Pomeranian and Labrador cross is so improbable that there’s no established history of breeding them at all. But, looking at Labrador and Pomeranian history separately can still provide us with insights into how their puppies will turn out.
The Labrador Retriever needs little introduction. Originally bred to retrieve shot waterfowl for hunters, they’ve since succeeded in service work, search and rescue, police and military roles. And for the last three decades, they’ve been America’s favorite pet dog too! Their background as working gundogs means they are quick learners, who crave the mental stimulation of working in partnership with a human handler. And, since their owners had a family at home at the end of the hunting day, they needed to be good natured towards children and guests too.
Meanwhile, the Pomeranian is descended from much larger, sled-pulling spitz dogs. The process of shrinking them down to lap-sized companion animals began hundreds of years ago in Pomerania – a region of Europe which has since become Poland and part of Germany. But it is Queen Victoria of England who is credited with getting them to their current size, and raising their profile as pets. After so many years as canine consort to monarchs and aristocrats, the modern Pom has a strong desire to be close to their owner at all times.
What to expect from a Pomeranian Lab mix
Lab and Poms are different in size, coat, the original purpose of their ancestors, and temperament. But if they are mixed, there are no guarantees which traits they will inherit from each breed. Unfortunately, whilst some combinations are merely surprising, others may be unsafe, and cause long term health problems. Let’s start with appearance.
Lab and Pomeranian mix appearance
What does a Pomeranian look like if you cross them with a Lab? Pomeranians weigh no more than 7lbs, and as little as 3lbs. Labradors on the other hand start at 55lbs, and large males can weigh over 80lbs. A full grown Pomeranian Lab mix dog is likely to weigh 30-50lbs, although some outliers could weigh more, or less.
Attributes like bone structure, coat texture and color will vary depending on their parents. You could end up with a dog that looks like a Lab but smaller, or one which looks like a Pom but bigger. Since both breeds have dense, double coats with a soft bottom layer and a coarse outer layer, their puppies’ coats will be the same. And they will shed!
Labrador coats come in just three traditionally accepted colors, and a small number of non-traditional colors. Meanwhile Poms are accepted for registration in over 20 colors! Some Lab and Pom mix litters will be born in predictable colors, if the exact genetic makeup of both parents is known. But a black Lab Pomeranian mix pairing could throw some surprising shades, if for example the black Lab quietly is carrying genes for brown or yellow!
Pomeranian Lab mix temperament
Just like looks, a Pomeranian Labrador cross can inherit multiple different combinations of personality traits from their parents. Labradors are known for being:
- Affectionate with their family.
- Very friendly with children, unfamiliar people and other dogs.
- Highly trainable.
- Energetic, and restless until their physical and mental stimulation needs have been met
Whilst Pomeranians are described as:
- Affectionate with their family.
- Tolerant of children, unfamiliar people and other dogs, but not wild about them.
- Vocal, and particularly inclined to bark at visitors approaching their home.
- Playful, but satisfied by short walks and indoor games.
- Smart, but not as motivated to learn as a Labrador.
Since Labs were bred to work in a close team with someone, and Poms were bred to provide company, this mix is likely to find spending long periods alone upsetting. This could even develop into profound separation anxiety.
Pomeranian Labrador mix socialization
Whilst lots of our pedigree dogs’ character traits are underpinned by genetics, their DNA isn’t the only thing that defines their personality. Other factors include:
- The specific individual personalities of their parents
- How well they are socialized as a puppy
- Whether their exercise needs are met
Socialization is particularly important. All puppies are much more inclined to form positive opinions of new things before they are 12 weeks old. Engineering lots of rewarding encounters with different types of people, animals, environments and even sounds before that cut off point can set them up with positive associations which last a lifetime. A good breeder will start the process before they even come home, and it is just as important for naturally friendly breeds as naturally aloof ones.
Training and exercising your Pomeranian and Labrador cross
Labradors are widely regarded as being one of the easiest dog breeds to train. Traditionally, Labrador breeders have always favored dogs who respond well to training, and modern pet Labs are not so far from their working roots that they have lost this trait. However, being very trainable is innately linked to a strong desire for mental stimulation. So, not training them isn’t an option either! Labrador owners need to dedicate time every day to occupying their Lab with training games and other enrichment activities like food toys and games.
Meanwhile, a Pomeranian is a little slower to learn new cues, and probably won’t be capable of learning as many cues over their lifetime as a Labrador can. But they are still clever, and like playing games and problem solving. A Pomeranian Lab mix could be a very quick learner, or a slightly less quick learner. They certainly won’t be slow though! Like all dogs, they respond best to force free, positive reinforcement training.
Labs need at least 2 hours of outdoor exercise every single day. But Pomeranians would struggle to keep up with this. Poms need a couple of short outdoor walks, but lots of indoor games to satisfy their love of fun without over exerting themselves. A Labrador Pomeranian mix could fall anywhere in between, depending on things like their size and which parent their temperament most resembles. If you’re relying on getting a dog which doesn’t need as much exercise as a Lab, or alternatively one who can keep up on an all-day hike, then a puppy from this mix might not be a wise choice for you. (But rescuing an older dog might be – we’ll look at both options in a moment!)
Pomeranian Lab mix health and care
We all want to avoid the cost and heartache of a dog who’s prone to lots of health problems. A pedigree dogs have some health problems they are especially vulnerable to, and mixed breed dogs may be at risk of the conditions that affect both their parents. The most frequent health problems affecting Labradors are
- Hip dysplasia
- Elbow dysplasia
- Heart disease
- Hereditary progressive blindness
- Allergies and atopic dermatitis
- Ear infections
For Pomeranians, the most commonly seen problems are:
- Hip dysplasia
- Periodontal disease
- Patella luxation
- Thyroid disease
- Traumatic injuries
The dangers of downsizing
A significant problem specific to the Lab and Pomeranian mix is the risk associated with crossing such differently-sized dogs. Pomeranian Lab puppies inherit a patchwork of genetic information from both parents, and this means that different bits of their anatomy can end up out of scale with each other. This is already seen in toy dogs with dental problems because their teeth haven’t shrunk as much as their jaws, and flat faced dogs who have breathing problems because the soft tissues in their palate haven’t shrunk as much as the bones in their skull. These kinds of health problems in Lab Pom mixes might not become apparent until they are fully grown.
Does a Lab and Pomeranian mix puppy make a good pet?
Labrador Pomeranian mix dogs all have the potential to be good pets for someone. But since they can be so variable in size, temperament and exercise needs, only people who can be very adaptable should consider bringing one home as a puppy. Since they are hardwired to crave human company and interaction, they aren’t suited to homes where everyone goes out to work or school all day. They are potentially a good match for active retired people, and self employed or home-based people who can plan their schedule to include lots of dog time. They are likely to be devoted, playful and affectionate with older children, but they should always be supervised with young children.
Rescuing a Pomeranian and Labrador cross
Interest in designer dogs (dogs with purebred parents from two different breeds) has been steadily rising for years. But due to the big size difference between a Lab and a Pom, most puppies of this mix are still likely to be the result of an unplanned accidental pregnancy. Probably because the parent’s owners didn’t think mating would even be possible!
Puppies from these accidental pregnancies may end up in a shelter for rehoming, and older dogs might also be surrendered due to behavioral problems, allergies, or changes in their owners’ circumstances. But, unless you’re reading this guide because you’ve already seen a Lab Pom mix being offered for adoption, the odds of one becoming available are still pretty slim. This is not a common crossbreed!
The advantage of rehoming an older dog if you do get the opportunity is that the shelter will be able to tell you more about which traits they have inherited from each parent. So you’ll be better able to judge whether they’re the right match for you.
Finding a Pomeranian Lab mix puppy
Due to the large size difference between a Pomeranian and Labrador, and the impact this can have and the health of their puppies, most reputable breeders will not consider deliberately producing this mix. However, puppies might still be offered for sale occasionally. Either as a result of an accidental pregnancy between a determined male Pom and a cooperative female Lab, or because a breeder intentionally plans to cash in on the trend for designer dogs, and is willing to overlook the risks. This article will help you spot a puppy farmer if you meet one.
Is a Pomeranian Lab mix right for me?
We’ve covered a lot of ground in this article, so let’s round up the pros and cons.
- Size, temperament and training needs are variable and impossible to predict in puppyhood.
- May suffer health problems due to their parentage.
- They shouldn’t really exist, so finding one without supporting the puppy mill industry is difficult.
Some different Lab mixes you could consider are:
- Black Lab Border Collie Mix
- Black Lab Australian Shepherd Mix
- Boxer Lab Mix – Pros and Cons of the Boxador Dog
References And Resources
Fleming et al. Mortality in North American Dogs from 1984 to 2004: An Investigation into Age-, Size-, and Breed-Related Causes of Death. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. 2011.
McGreevy et al. Labrador retrievers under primary veterinary care in the UK: demography, mortality and disorders. Canine Medicine & Genetics. 2018.
McGreevy et al. Some Practical Issues To Welfare Issues In Dog Breeding. Animal Welfare. 1999.
Serpell & Duffy. Dog Breeds and Their Behavior. Domestic Dog Cognition & Behavior. 2014.
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