The St Bernard Lab mix combines a purebred Labrador with a pedigree St Bernard to create a large, friendly dog. This mix is sometimes referred to as a Labernard, or some other variation of Labrador and St Bernard mix. The St Bernard Lab mix creates a large but gentle dog that will form strong bonds with its family. Though, owners should be prepared for a heavy shedding companion! Today we’ll share their breed traits, characteristics and help you to decide whether this giant dog is a good fit for your home and lifestyle.
- St Bernard Lab mix size and appearance
- Lab St Bernard mix temperament
- St Bernard Lab mix training and exercise
- Health, lifespan, and general care needs
- Finding St Bernard Lab mix puppies
However, as a mixed breed, the Labernard’s traits can be very unpredictable. So, two Lab St Bernard mixes can be very different from one another, in appearance and personality.
What is a St Bernard Lab Mix?
The St Bernard and Labrador mix combines two large, friendly, and gentle dogs. The trend for mixed breeds is relatively modern, and has seen most purebred dogs combined in search of ideal family companions. But, the nature of mixed breed puppies is unpredictable. There’s no way of knowing which traits puppies will inherit from either parent until they are born. Which means that mixed breeds won’t suit everyone.
The best way to learn what potential appearance and temperament a mixed puppy will have is to look at their parents. In this case, that will be a purebred Labrador and a purebred St Bernard. Here’s a general idea of what you might be able to expect from this unusual combination:
|Height:||21.5 – 30 inches|
|Weight:||50 – 180 lbs|
|Coat type:||Short, dense, double layered|
|Colors:||Parti, black, brown, yellow|
|Temperament:||Friendly, gentle, intelligent|
|Activity level:||Moderate to high|
|Average lifespan:||8 – 12 years|
|Average puppy price:||$1500|
The table above looks at some of the things you might be able to expect from this mix. But, all puppies will be different. So, let’s take a closer look at each aspect.
St Bernard Lab Mix Appearance
Since Labradors and St Bernards have quite different appearances, the appearance of this mixed breed can really vary from one puppy to another. But, there are a few traits that the parent breeds share, which will be more likely in puppies. One of these is their coat. Both have dense, double-layered, short coats that shed moderately all year round and heavily in the hotter months.
Coat colors will vary. Labradors only come in three official colors: black, yellow, and liver/chocolate. But, St Bernards have a huge variety of parti shades. Parti dogs have two colors in their coat, one of which is always white. Mixed puppies could be any of these shades, depending on the color of their parents. Black Lab St Bernard mixes are one of the most common, often producing black puppies with white chests.
How Big is a Labernard?
Size is an important factor to consider when choosing your next dog. But, size is yet another trait that can be difficult to predict in mixed breed dogs. Generally, mixed breed puppies will grow up to be somewhere in between the sizes of their parents. But, there are plenty of factors that can influence their size and development, including their gender, food quality, health, and so on.
The Labrador is a large breed. An adult Lab will stand somewhere between 21.5 and 24.5 inches tall. They usually weigh between 55 and 80 lbs. St Bernards are larger and heavier, falling into the giant category. As adults, they range from 26 to 30 inches tall, weighing between 120 and 180 lbs. So, this mix will be a large, or very large dog. Females tend to be smaller than males. But, puppies could grow up to be anywhere between the most extreme sizes of the parent breeds.
St Bernard Lab Mix Temperament
Temperament is another area in which puppies can differ. But, as well as the influence from their parents, their early experiences in life will impact their adult temperament. Socialization is important for all dog breeds, no matter how friendly they’re known for being. It will help to familiarise them with different situations and reduce the risk of aggression and fear as an adult.
Generally, both Labradors and St Bernards are friendly, gentle, and affectionate dogs that form strong bonds with their families. Labs are known to get along well with everyone and every animals they meet. St Bernards are very family-oriented, and great with kids, but can be a little more reserved with other dogs and strangers.
St Bernards are very protective around their immediate family. So, mixed breed puppies could inherit this trait. Socialization before 12 weeks old is all the more important because of this. Labradors are naturally a little more energetic than St Bernards, but both are intelligent dogs that will enjoy training and any time spent with you.
Training a St Bernard Labrador Mix
The Labrador Retriever is a very popular family companion, partly because of how enthusiastically it takes to training. Labs are clever and eager to please. They are also highly food motivated. So, positive reward methods work well and quickly when teaching Labs new cues.
The St Bernard is equally enthusiastic around its family. However, they might not approach training with quite the same level of gusto as the Labrador. Like the Lab, positive reward methods work best. A St Bernard Labrador Mix puppy could take after either parent in terms of trainability. So, some may be slightly slower to pick up new cues, and may be more easily distracted.
For best results, avoid punishment and aversive techniques. Keep training sessions short and consistent, and plan them for times when your dog will be hungry and the most eager to work for treats.
Labrador and St Bernard Mix Exercise Needs
Both the Labrador and St Bernard breeds are energetic and athletic dogs. Labradors excel at retrieving roles, and most other working positions. St Bernards are powerful dogs with high levels of stamina. This mix will usually have a high activity level, but the forms of exercise that they enjoy the most may vary.
Many of these mixed dogs will enjoy retrieving games. They will also enjoy active games that involve using their brains, including scent-work. As larger dogs, this mix can be prone to joint problems, so you should be wary of anything too strenuous on their joints. Swimming is a great form of gentle exercise for those with bad joints.
St Bernard Lab Mix Health
A mixed breed dog will be prone to any of the health conditions that its two parent breeds are prone to. So, it’s important for potential owners to learn all they can about the two parent breeds as a whole, and any ailments that the specific parents suffer from. As a large mix, the Labernard is very prone to joint issues. Here are some of the most significant problems that this mix might face:
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
- Gastric dilation volvulus
- Degenerative myelopathy
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Autoimmune thyroiditis
- Centronuclear myopathy
- Exercise induced collapse
It’s possible for breeders to test for some of these problems. But, even with testing, they cannot always be avoided. It’s also important for owners to provide the best possible daily care and lifestyle.
St Bernard Lab Mix Lifespan
Studies show that mixed breed dogs live, on average, longer than purebred breeds. But, the best way to predict a ballpark figure is still to look at the parent breeds. Fortunately, there are several studies that examine lifespan in purebred dogs.
The average lifespan for the Labrador Retriever is around 12 years. However, the larger a dog breed is, the shorter their average lifespan becomes. The St Bernard only reaches an average age of 7. Of course, some will live longer, but some may not even reach 7.
A St Bernard and Labrador mix will usually live somewhere between 10 and 12 years. Some individual dogs may exceed this average prediction, but others may have shorter lifespans like their St Bernard parent. Choose a reputable breeder and offer the best daily care possible to extend this potential lifespan.
Grooming and General Care Needs
A Labrador and St Bernard mix will need a balanced, nutritious food. A food designed for large dog breeds is usually best. When training, remember to subtract training treat calories from your dog’s daily allowance. As a food-motivated dog, this mix can easily become overweight. Excess weight and obesity can contribute to and worsen many health problems. Keeping your mix at a healthy weight is a good way to extend their lifespan.
A Labernard dog will usually have a dense, double layered coat that sheds moderately all year round. Most of these dogs have short hair, but some may have short to medium length fur. These dogs won’t need a huge amount of grooming to keep their coat looking shiny and clean. But, grooming is a great way to keep on top of shedding. So, can be important, particularly in hotter months.
This mix will also need an occasional bath, especially if they roll in anything smelly when exercising! Check their ears regularly for waxy buildups and infection. And, keep their nails trimmed to avoid breakages and splits. Grooming should start from a young age, to familiarise your pup with the processes and tools.
Is a St Bernard Lab Mix a Good Family Dog?
The St Bernard Labrador mix can be a good family dog in the right home. They will be a large, affectionate, energetic mix. So, they are best suited for homes with lots of space, and families that have lots of time to spend with them. Socialization is vital from a young age, particularly to reduce wariness to strangers and other dogs.
This mix is friendly and playful when well socialized. They are also going to be heavy shedding dogs. Their grooming needs won’t be particularly intense, but grooming can really help to control the amount of fur that falls around your home.
Training is also vital for the Labernard dog, as dogs as large as this can accidentally hurt people when they jump up or pull on the leash. So, owners must be prepared to dedicate time every day to training. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance breed, this might not be the right choice for you.
Finding Labrador St Bernard Mix Puppies
The trend for mixed breed dogs is ever growing. But, the St Bernard Lab mix is not one of the most popular combinations available. So, you may struggle to find breeders near you. It’s important to be cautious when choosing a breeder. Avoid backyard breeders and puppy mills, as these dogs and puppies are often less healthy, less well-cared for, and can experience behavioral problems as they age.
Instead, look for a breeder that provides evidence of health testing, and who puts the health and care of their dogs and puppies above all else. The best breeders will ask you plenty of questions, have no problems answering your questions, and will be willing to take the puppy if you need to return it for health reasons, or anything else.
How Much Does The Labernard Cost?
The cost of a puppy depends on a lot of different factors. This includes your location, the popularity of the mix, the quality of the parents, the color of the puppies, and so on. Since mixed breed dogs are so popular at the moment, their price may be higher than average due to demand. However, the St Bernard Lab mix is not one of the most popular mixed breed dogs available.
As a general rule, this mix will usually cost between $1000 and $1800. But, these prices may vary depending on your location, demand, and the coloring of puppies. More popular colors may cost more.
Rescuing a St Bernard Lab Mix
An alternative to buying your puppy from a breeder is to check local rescue centers. Many general rescue centers will accept mixed breeds, though they might not always know the exact genetic makeup of each dog they have. Breed specific rescue centers will also sometimes accept mixed breeds, as long as one of the mix’s parent breeds is the breed they specialize in.
Rescue dogs are usually cheaper than puppies from a breeder. They may be slightly older, which can mean you won’t know about their early upbringing. But, some may even have some basic training. And, a rescue dog can become just as much of a loving companion as a puppy that comes home at 8 weeks old.
St Bernard Labrador Mix – A Summary
The St Bernard Labrador mix isn’t right for everyone, but could be your next ideal companion. If you’re looking for a large, gentle, and affectionate dog that will get along well with the whole family, the Labernard is worth considering. But, make sure you have plenty of space, time for training and socializing, and patience for shedding fur!
And, be aware of the unpredictable nature of mixed breeds. This mix might not look exactly how you’d expect. It will all depend on the traits they inherit.
Do you have a Labrador St Bernard mix at home? We would love to hear about them in the comments!
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References and Resources
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- Farell, L. (et al), ‘The Challenges of Pedigree Dog Health: Approaches to Combating Inherited Disease’, Canine Medicine and Genetics (2015)
- Evans, K. & Adams, V. ‘Mortality and Morbidity Due to Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus Syndrome in Pedigree Dogs in the UK’, Journal of Small Animal Practice (2010)
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