Are you interested in a Hound Lab Mix? If so, you’re looking into a crossbreed that could have a wide range of characteristics, temperamental traits and unique health needs. Should this stop you from investing?
Of course not! The Hound Lab Mix may be somewhat unpredictable in a few ways, but there is still so much you can learn about this amazing hybrid.
So, without further ado, let’s learn about the Hound Lab Mix!
The Hound Lab Mix – A Brief Breed Overview
The Lab Hound Mix can come in a variety of sizes and shapes depending on his mix or parentage.
The Hound Lab Mix is a cross between the purebred Labrador Retriever and any type of Hound dog you can think of. Because there are so many types of Hound dogs, the characteristics unique to your specific Hound Lab Mix are going to vary.
For this reason, there is no real breed overview we can give you on the Hound Lab Mix, but we can cover a few basic traits and fun facts about this dog you should probably know.
Height: Can Vary
Weight: Can Vary
Temperament: Active, Intelligent, Energetic
Best Suited For: More Experienced Dog Owners
Lifespan: 10 to 13 Years
Health Issues: Ear Infections, Obesity, Gastric Torsion, Dental Disease, Osteochondritis Dissecans, Patellar Luxation, Hip Dysplasia, Lymphoma, Mast Cell Tumors, and Osteosarcoma
Clubs That Recognize The Hound lab Mix: None
Average Appearance: Can Vary
The reason you see so many “can vary” phrases above regarding the Hound Lab mix is for two reasons. First, the Hound Lab mix is a very broad description of a dog that could be a mix of a number of different hound breeds. And when it comes to Hound dogs, there are only a few traits they have in common.
The other reason a Hound Lab Mix can vary so much in so many different ways is because he is a crossbreed.
Let’s learn more.
What Is Crossbreeding? Understanding How The Hound Lab Mix Came About
Crossbreeding comes with both pros and cons, and it’s important to know a bit about why it’s controversial.
Crossbreed dogs are becoming increasingly popular, and chances are you already know a thing or two about some of the most coveted. That’s right, we’re talking about doodle dogs and a good variety of Labrador mixes.
The idea of a Hound Lab Mix isn’t that off the wall, especially when you consider that the Labrador in general is one of the most popular dogs chosen to mix with other breeds when it comes to creating hybrids.
And speaking of hybrids, that’s just what a Hound Lab mix is, which makes him unique but also somewhat controversial. Also known as a crossbreed, mixed breed or designer dog, the Hound Lab Mix is a dog with two purebred parents that were specifically chosen to create Hound Lab Mix offspring.
Crossbreeding has it’s pros and cons, with some supporters citing what is known as Hybrid Vigor as a major reason to support the practice. Hybrid Vigor is the idea that, due to their wider gene pool, crossbreed dogs like the Hound Lab mix have the potential to be healthier than their pubred counterparts.
However, others say that Hybrid Vigor is a theory, and that genetics are genetics either way. It’s also important to note that, while crossbreed dogs may be less susceptible to genetic health issues from one specific parent, they may also have a longer list of health issues to contend with now that they’ve doubled up on different genes from different breeds.
Something else you might consider before investing in Hound Lab mix is his predictability. While we did touch on this briefly above, it’s important to note that, unlike a purebred Lab or a purebred Hound dog, who are both going to have certain breed standards when it comes to appearance, health and temperament, a Hound Dog Lab mix is going to be unpredictable.
Origin Of The Hound Lab Mix
The Hound Lab Mix is a dog mixed with a Labrador Retriever and any other dog that falls in the Hound breed list.
The Hound Lab Mix may not be the most well known hybrid dog in the canine kingdom, but he’s certainly growing in popularity.
That said, the Hound Lab mix still has a way to go before his story is cemented in history. For that reason, in order to learn more about him we are going to need to take a look at the origins of his parent breeds.
Let’s begin with the Labrador Retriever.
The Labrador Retriever
According to the American Kennel Club, the Labrador Retriever currently sits at number one out of 197 on the AKC’s list of America’s most popular purebreds. Designed as a water retrieving dog and known globally as man’s best friend, the Labrador started off as a fishing dog in Newfoundland, Canada.
He comes in three colors and is a beloved family companion, getting along famously with strangers, children and other animals alike. Thanks to his intelligence and friendly nature, the Labrador is also one of the most commonly used breeds when it comes to service work.
Labs are high energy dogs, however, and are best suited for active households with securely fenced yards and owners who have time to commit to training and exercise.
Hounds are believed to be ancient dogs with a history going back as far as 10,000 BC. Remnants of these pups have been discovered worldwide, but it is believed that Hounds originated in North Africa.
Even back then, it’s likely Hound dogs were domesticated and used by nomadic people to help them hunt and find food. Throughout history and even today, Hounds are still used for a variety of tasks from nose work to sight work.
There are 31 different hounds breeds today, and all of them were bred for hunting. Those 31 hounds are divided into two groups, including Sight Hounds and Scent Hounds.
The two Hound groups do what they sound like they might – they either sniff out or stalk out prey for their masters.
A few popular Hound dog breeds you may have heard of include the Bloodhound, the Whippet, the Greyhound, the Plott Hound, the Afghan Hound and the Basset Hound.
All Hounds do have a few things in common, including their knack hunting and the fact that they are active, intelligent and work-oriented. However, those are about the only characteristics different Hound dogs share with one another.
This is why pinpointing your Hound Lab Mix dog’s traits in this article is so difficult. With that noted, let’s break down the Hound Lab mix dog’s temperament as best we can.
The Hound Lab Mix Temperament and Personality Traits
The Hound Lab Mix can make a playful and friendly companion, though he’ll likely be determined to follow his nose.
Labrador Retrievers are friendly, athletic and intelligent. Hound dogs, regardless of the breed, are likely to be active, independent, and stubborn. While Hound Lab mix dogs can make excellent companions to the right home or owner, the combination between a Hound and a Lab can prove to be overwhelming for some novice dog owners.
Hound Lab Mix dogs are therefore best suited to live in homes with owners who are active, have lots of space, and who have a basic understanding of working breeds.
We should also note that the Hound Lab mix could have a high prey drive. If you invest in a Hound Lab Mix, keep this in mind and be sure you walk him on a leash and harness whenever out and about.
Your Hound Lab Mix may do his best to please you, but he won’t be able to ignore his instinct to chase something smaller than him that runs.
And while the Hound Lab mix does do well with children overall, it’s important to monitor young children around your dog to ensure everyone is getting along safely. Remember, any dog can nip or bite no matter how well-trained or behaved they are, especially if a small child is treating them too roughly.
To better ensure your child and pet get along harmoniously, we would recommend you take some time to work with your children on how to respectfully interact with the family dog. We also recommend you and your family learn about basic canine body language.
Not only will doing this help prevent a dog bite in the future, but it can also help strengthen the bond between you and your dog and provide you with a better understanding of him.
How To Train And Socialize A Hound Lab Mix
All dogs need proper training and socialization to ensure they grow up with confidence.
Labrador Retrievers have a reputation of being intelligent and eager to please. These are two traits that help to make them such wonderful family dogs. Hound dogs are, well, less accommodating to us than their Lab friends.
In fact, most Hounds are famous for their independent nature and hard-headedness. This stubborn behavior is a trait that can make a Hound difficult to work with, especially for the novice dog owner. That said, a hound’s seemingly “distracted” behavior should not be confused for stupidity. Hounds are bred to follow their noses and instinct, and they are motivated differently than Labradors.
Because your Hound Lab mix is a crossbreed, it’s likely he is going to develop certain traits from both his purebred parents. The type of Hound your Hound Lab mix is a mix of will determine much of his personality, but for the most part you can expect your Hound Lab Mix to be energetic, intelligent and probably somewhat independent.
A good owner of a Hound Lab mix will understand this and will be able to use this to their advantage when it comes to training and socialization.
Like all dogs, the Hound Lab mix is going to require routine training and socialization throughout his life, starting from the moment you bring your dog home and continuing on as he ages.
Proper socialization should consist of introducing your Hound Lab Mix to as many new people, places, sights, sounds, experiences and animals as possible as early as possible.
Making sure these first impressions are positive will help reduce fear in your Hound Lab mix, thus increasing confidence and building trust between your dog and the world around him.
This is why it’s best to refrain from forcing your Hound Lab mix into an experience that he isn’t ready for or seems frightened of off the top.
Along with socialization, training is another vital tool you’ll need to implement to ensure your Hound Lab mix grows up happy, healthy and well-rounded.
Training should be done often and consistently, and the best types of trainers for a Hound Lab mix will keep their training sessions short, gamelike and fun.
Remember, Hound Lab Mix dogs can become easily distracted and bored, so use high value treats as motivation and avoid punishment and scolding whenever possible.
How To Make Sure Your Hound Lab Mix Gets Enough Exercise
The Hound Lab Mix comes from two athletic parent breeds. This means he’ll need plenty of routine exercise.
Regardless of which type of Hound makes up the Hound part of your Hound Lab Mix, you can bet that your dog is going to be active. Both Hounds and Labradors are known for their high levels of energy, so it’s important you keep this in mind before investing in a Hound Lab Mix dog.
Ensuring your Hound Lab Mix dog gets enough exercise each and every day is key to reducing potential behavior issues like destructive behaviors including chewing, marking and barking.
Hound Lab mix dogs are intelligent, so they are going to need both their mind and their body exercised on a routine basis.
Physically Exercising a Hound Lab Mix
The average exercise for a Hound Lab Mix will consist of at least an hour’s worth of exercise each day. This could include a good walk morning and night, hikes, jogs, or even trips to the dog park.
Along with an hour of dedicated exercise, the Hound Lab mix will also appreciate free playtime in a securely fenced in backyard.
Remember, when you are exercising your Hound Lab Mix, it’s important to use a proper leash and harness. This is a mixed breed that can be prone to having a high prey drive, which means your Hound Lab mix may take off after smaller animals when outside like rabbits, birds or squirrels.
This could put him in harm’s way, especially if you’re near a busy street.
The PetSafe Easy Walk Dog Harness
For athletic, energetic dogs with a high prey drive, we like to recommend the Easy Walk harness listed above. This is a front clip dog harness that not only ensures your dog is kept safely with you during outings, but also that your dog doesn’t pull excessively.
Unlike other harnesses, this harness clips in the front to reduce your dog’s natural urge to pull while redirecting him back gently if he does pull. This is an excellent and much safer alternative to prong collars, choke chains, and other equipment designed to reduce pulling.
Mentally Exercising A Hound Lab Mix
All dogs require some form of mental stimulation, but this is especially important for work-oriented dogs like Hound Lab mix breeds. These dogs are bred to have a job, and if they are left to their own devices throughout the day, they can be prone to becoming bored, depressed, anxious and destructive.
To help ensure your Hound Lab Mix is happy and healthy, we recommend using consistent training and teaching your Hound Lab mix different tricks and ques as he ages. You can also set up agility courses inside and outside of your home to test or challenge your dog’s abilities, and even invest in puzzle toys to help keep your dog busy during down time.
The Snuffle Mat Interactive Dog Toy
Many Hounds enjoy digging, especially Hounds like Beagles. They like to use their noses to find things, so a Hound Lab mix will probably have fun with a puzzle toy like this digging puzzle toy listed above.
This Snuffle Mat is designed to look like grass and is made to hide treats and toys inside it’s fabric. Then your dog can dig and sniff to his heart’s delight until he finds all the tasty treats or toys you’ve hidden for him.
Toys like this can help reduce boredom and help push your dog to use his head. You can, of course, order different types of puzzle toys as well based on your Hound Lab mix dog’s abilities, temperament and preferences.
Potential Health Issues and Lifespan of A Hound Lab Mix
All dogs can be susceptible to certain genetic health issues, so it’s important to know what your Hound Lab Mix could be predisposed to.
As we’ve now covered, the Hound Lab mix is an umbrella term for any dog mixed with a Labrador Retriever and a Hound type dog.
That said, the average lifespan and common health issues of your Hound Lab mix are going to vary depending on the specific Hound your Hound Lab mix is crossed with, so it will be important for you to do some deeper digging once you determine which type of Hound is in your dog’s DNA.
We should also note that, while Hound Lab Mix dogs may have the added benefit of hybrid vigor when it comes to their overall health, this mix may still be susceptible to any and all of the same genetic health issues as each of their purebred parent breeds.
On average, a Hound Lab mix has a lifespan of between 10 and 13 years. Some of the most common health issues to Labs and Hound type dogs include:
- Ear Infections
- Gastric Torsion
- Dental Disease
- Osteochondritis Dissecans
- Patellar Luxation
- Hip Dysplasia
- Mast Cell Tumors
- And Osteosarcoma
Many of the above health issues are common in different types of large breed dogs, including hip dysplasia and Osteochondritis Dissecans (elbow or shoulder dysplasia). However, there are a few health issues on the above list that are more common in dogs like Hounds and Labs that you should watch out for.
These health issues include Bloat, Obesity and Ear Infections. Luckily, there are a few ways you can go about combating specific health issues in your Hound Lab Mix. Take a look.
Keep Your Hound Lab Mix On A Quality Diet:
The Hound Lab mix should eat a quality dog food specified for his age, weight and activity level. If put on the wrong dog food or without enough exercise, the Hound Lab Mix can be prone to obesity, which can exasperate other health issues this mix is predisposed to.
The Hound Lab mix is also prone to some dietary related health issues like Bloat, which can be life threatening. Along with ensuring your dog is on a proper diet, it’s also a good idea not to let your dog eat or drink immediately after exercise or play. You might also consider investing in a slow feeder to help reduce air swallowed by your dog during mealtimes.
Don’t Skip Routine Grooming:
Grooming your Hound Lab mix is another great practice that can help reduce or catch health issues early. All Hound Lab mix dogs are going to be shedders, and they will shed most twice a year during shedding season.
Be sure to brush your Hound Lab mix once or twice a week to reduce loose hair and pay special attention to your Hound Lab Mix dog’s ears to help keep ear infections at bay. We also suggest bathing your hound Lab mix just once every five to six weeks to keep their coats stay healthy.
Along with brushing and bathing, the Hound Lab mix should shave his nails trimmed often to keep them from cracking and his teeth brushed at least once a day using a dog-safe toothpaste and toothbrush kit.
Consider Canine Health Screening:
If you get your dog from a reputable source like a quality breeder, then you’ll likely receive paperwork proving your puppy was screened and cleared of any serious health issues. If not, you might want to have your Hound Lab Mix health screened using a dog DNA kit.
These kits can provide tons of information regarding your dog’s health, including any potential diseases or issues he may be predisposed.
Schedule and Keep Yearly Vet Visits:
Just like humans, dogs should see their doctor at least once a year for annual checkups. In fact, many vets request that dogs over the age of 7 be seen twice a year.
If you’re worried about keeping up with vet visits or the medical expenses incurred by the potential health issues of a Hound Lab mix, you always have the option of considering canine health insurance.
Last, Keep To A Good Exercise and Training Routine:
Like grooming, exercise and training play an important role in your dog’s overall health and happiness. Not only will training and exercise help to keep your Hound Lab mix from developing behavioral issues, but these practices will also help reduce anxiety and stress, both of which can lead to a weakened immune system down the road.
You And The Hound Lab Mix – Is This A Good Match?
Are you a good match for a Hound Lab Mix? It’s important to know for sure before you invest.
The Hound Lab mix can make a great companion to the right owner or family, but he’s not the best dog for every household. Remember, this is a mixed breed that does best in homes with experienced dog owners or, at the very least, dog owners who have a basic understanding of hunting and working breeds and is committed to training, exercise and socialization.
If you have children or other dogs, you’re in luck. When properly raised and socialized, the Hound Lab mix gets along great with children and other pups. That said, he does have a high prey drive and could be prone to taking off after smaller pets like cats, birds, rodents and reptiles.
The Hound Lab mix is also best suited for homes with large, securely fenced yards. These are not the ideal apartment dogs and require lots of exercise and activity throughout their day to reduce destructive behaviors.
How To Find A Healthy Hound Lab Mix Puppy Or Rescue
It’s important to choose your puppy or rescue from a source you trust, like a qualified breeder or well-known shelter.
Are you and the Hound Lab Mix a perfect match? If so, you’ll want to start looking into reputable sources so you can obtain the healthiest puppy or rescue dog available.
Remember, not all sources are created equally, and the source from which you get your dog will determine quite a bit about your dog’s overall health and sometimes even temperament in the long run.
If you’re going through a breeder to get a Hound Lab mix, expect to pay between $500 to $2,000, depending on the breeder, the type of mix your dog is, and sometimes even the gender of puppy you’re interested in.
Some Hound Lab mix dogs cost more than others, with the Lab Bloodhound Mix (AKA the Labloodhound), going for upwards of $2,000.
This is where research is going to come into play, as well as a few tips from our experts on who to avoid when looking for a puppy.
Try not to go through unqualified sources when getting your dog. This includes backyard breeders, unlicensed online sellers, or anyone selling puppies for much too high or much too low.
We also encourage you to ask for references and paperwork proving your dog’s overall health and pedigree. Sometimes, you’ll even get to meet your Hound Lab mix’s parents to get a good idea of how big he’ll get or what he’ll look like.
If you would prefer to go through a rescue, you’re in luck. Depending on the type of Hound Lab mix you want, there are many rescues and shelters that specialize in these types of dogs.
Adopting a dog is not only about a fraction of the cost of going through a breeder, (usually around $250 to $500), but it also allows you the option of adopting a dog that is full grown, which means his appearance and many of his temperamental traits will be easier to determine.
Adopting an adult Hound Lab mix could also mean you wind up with a dog that has already been spayed or neutered and potentially even microchipped. How great would that be?
Of course, while we do support rescue, we understand that it’s not right for everyone. If you prefer to go through a breeder to get your puppy, that’s completely up to you.
Either way, we are happy you found us and know you’re going to make a great pet parent, as you’re already on the right track by doing your research.
We hope this has been a helpful guide on the Hound Lab mix and that you’ll keep us posted on your future endeavors with your dog!
Best of luck and thanks for reading!
Jen Jones is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. As the founder of ‘Your Dog Advisor’ and the ‘Canine Connection’ rehabilitation center, she applies a holistic, empathetic approach, aiming to address root causes rather than merely treating symptoms.
Well known for her intuitive and compassionate approach, Jen adopts scientifically-proven, reward-based methods, encouraging positive reinforcement over punishment. Jen specializes in obedience training, behavior modification, and puppy socialization. Her innovative methods, particularly in addressing anxiety and aggression issues, have been widely recognized. Jen has worked with many of the world’s leading dog behaviorists and in her free time volunteers with local animal shelters and rescue groups.