12 Smartest Lab Mix Dogs That Should Be On Your Radar

Labrador Retrievers are known for their incredible intelligence, energy and work ethic. They are also known for their playful personalities and family-friendly nature. But what happens when you combine this clever canine with another brainy breed?

That’s what we’re here to find out. In today’s article, we are talking all about Lab Mix dogs and which 12 are the smartest.

But before we dive in, let’s first take a moment to talk about what exactly a Lab Mix entails. Keep reading.

What Is A Lab Mix?

1 a black lab
The Labrador Retriever is currently considered American’s top dog.

A Lab Mix is going to be a dog that is part Labrador Retriever and part any other purebred.

A Lab Mix of any kind is not considered a purebred dog. Instead, these dogs are considered hybrids, designer dogs, mixed breeds or crossbreeds.

Crossbreeds are interesting because they are less predictable than purebred dogs. This means that aspects of their temperament and appearance can vary depending on which parent breed they take after most.

For this reason, if you are considering a Lab Mix, we encourage you to look into each breed your potential Lab Mix is a combination of. Considering the temperamental traits, health issues, appearance and overall lifestyle needs of your Lab Mix will help you decide whether or not a particular mix is right for you.

With that in mind, let’s take a deeper look at the Labrador Retriever.

The Labrador Retriever – A Brief Breed Overview

Height: 21.5 to 22.5 Inches

Weight: 55 to 80 Pounds

Temperament: Friendly, People-Oriented, Playful, Affectionate, Energetic

Lifespan: 10 to 12 Years

Health Issues: Hip Dysplasia, Heart Issues, Hereditary Myopathy, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Exercise Induced Collapse, and Gastric Dilation Volvulus (AKA GDV or Bloat)

Ideal For: Active families, singles, couples, and first-time dog owners

Overview:

The Labrador Retriever is currently considered America’s favorite dog breed, according to the American Kennel Club. And it’s no wonder, when you consider all this breed has to offer. A mix of intelligence, athleticism, beauty and affection, the Lab is the whole package.

He is the quintessential family dog, perfect for young, active families with children and other pets in the home. When properly trained and socialized, Labs know no strangers and get along well with anyone.

They are available in three colors including chocolate, yellow and black, and are avid swimmers, joggers, hikers and road trip buddies. Labrador Retrievers are heavy shedders, however, and may not be ideal for those who suffer from allergies.

Luckily, there are a few Lab Mix dogs on our below list that are considered hypoallergenic. But before we talk about these mixed breeds, let’s first briefly discuss the designer dog debate.

What You Should Know About The Designer Dog Debate

2 a labradoodle next to a black lab
Not everyone agrees with the buying and selling of first and second generation crossbreeds.

If you’re interested in investing in a crossbreed like any of the Lab Mix dogs below, it’s important you know all the facts.

Crossbreeding is a practice that has been ongoing for centuries now, although it was originally designed to breed and perfect certain dogs in an effort to create future purebreds.

In fact, most of the purebred dogs we know today can be attributed to crossbreeding. The problem with modern-day crossbreeds, however, is that they are often not as carefully produced.

Over the last two decades, designer dogs like Lab Mixes have exploded in popularity. This trend has led to breeders quickly breeding and turning out first and second generation crossbreeds to the public.

The problem with this is that first and second generation crossbreeds are not very predictable when it comes to health, temperament and appearance. And while theories like hybrid vigor point to crossbreed dogs actually being healthier than purebreds, hybrid dogs may also have a longer list of potential health issues to contend with.

This is where the importance of responsible breeding practices comes in and why it’s imperative that you do plenty of research before you choose where you get your dog from.

Breeders often charge the same amount for quality Lab Mix dogs as they do for purebred Labs, but it’s important not to cut corners when looking for a Lab Mix puppy.

It’s also important to remember that the majority of Lab Mix dogs are not recognized by major breed clubs. Of course, this may not matter to you if you’re not planning on showing your dog in competitions.

That said, Lab Mix dogs are no less intelligent than their purebred Lab counterparts, which brings us to our next topic.

The Pros And Cons Of Raising An Intelligent Dog

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Clever dogs can be more difficult to train, according to some experts.

As we like to say, not every dog is right for every owner, and this is especially true when it comes to brainy breeds.

It’s a common misconception that smarter dogs are easier to raise. The reality is that intelligent canines are actually more prone to suffering from behavioral issues that stem from anxiety, stress, depression and frustration if their unique mental and physical needs are not met.

Brainy breeds like Lab Mix dogs actually require a lot more work than you might think, and they can be independent thinkers who can outwit novice dog owners.

Many Lab Mix dogs are not low maintenance and will do best in homes with owners who have an understanding of working breeds.

Keep this in mind when considering which of the below smartest Lab Mix dogs are right for you. And with all that in mind, without further ado, let’s get to the good stuff.

Here are 12 of the smartest Lab Mix dogs that should be on your radar!

1. The Shebrador (German Shepherd Lab Mix)

4 a Sheprador
The Sheprador is a mix between the German Shepherd and the Labrador Retriever.

Height: 20 to 27 Inches

Weight: 60 to 95 Pounds

Temperament: Intelligent, Friendly, Devoted, Protective

Ideal For: Active Families, Couples, or Singles and Experienced Dog Owners

Lifespan: 10 to 14 Years

Health Issues: Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atorphy, Obesity, Bloat, Chronic Degenerative Radiculomyopathy, Panosteitis, Gastrointestinal Disease, Allergies, Epilepsy, Anal Infections, and Underactive Thyroid

Overview:

The Sheprador, or the German Shepherd Lab Mix, is a family-friendly and highly intelligent dog ideal for more experienced dog owners. While the Labrador side of your Sheprador is people-oriented and friendly, the German Shepherd part may be more suspicious of strangers.

This is a hybrid dog who requires plenty of early socialization and training to ensure he grows up happy, healthy and well-rounded.

Shepradors are also energetic and athletic dogs, and they’ll require at least an hour or so of exercise each day. They can be susceptible to Bloat and gastrointestinal issues, so diet is particularly important for this crossbreed.

2. The Labradoodle (Poodle Lab Mix)

5 a Labradoodle
The Labradoodle has exploded in popularity over the past few years.

Height: 21 to 23 Inches (Medium), 22 to 24 Inches (Standard)

Weight: 30 to 45 Pounds (Medium), 40 to 65 Pounds (Standard)

Temperament: Athletic, Highly Intelligent, Friendly, Trainable

Ideal For: Active Families, Singles or Couples and First Time Dog Owners

Lifespan: 12 to 16 Years

Health Issues: Hip and Elbow Dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Von Willebrand’s Disease, and Bloat

Overview:

The Labradoodle is perhaps one of the most popular designer dogs in the canine kingdom. Originally created to make hypoallergenic service dogs for those with allergies, the Labradoodle has quickly become one of America’s favorite family companions.

This hybrid comes in two size varieties and is ideal for both homes and larger apartments, so long as his exercise and mental stimulation needs are met. Labradoodles also do well with children and other pets, though they may have a high prey drive when it comes to smaller animals.

3. The Aussiedor (Australian Shepherd Lab Mix)

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Aussiedor Mixes are some of the most intelligent dogs in the world.

Height: 22 to 25 Inches

Weight: 40 to 80 Pounds

Temperament: Friendly, Loyal, Smart, People-Oriented

Ideal For: Active Families and More Experienced Dog Owners With A Flexible Schedule

Lifespan: 10 to 12 Years

Health Issues: Cataracts, Autoimmune Thyroiditis, Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia

Overview:

The Aussiedor is a mix between a ranch-hand’s dog and a water retrieving dog, making him the ideal working companion for anyone in need of a sidekick. This dog is incredibly smart, coming from two of the world’s most intelligent purebreds.

For this reason, the Aussiedor is a Lab Mix that is going to be best suited for experienced dog owners and owners who have a flexible schedule. He does well in families and gets along well with children and other pets.

That said, the Australian Shepherd in particular is a bred herding dog and could have herding instincts, especially with young children and smaller animals. These instincts will need to be worked with to keep your Aussiedor from becoming bothersome to family members.

4. The Labrakita (Akita Lab Mix)

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Labrakitas are known for their loyalty.

Height: 21.5 to 26 Inches

Weight: 70 to 110 Pounds

Temperament: Devoted, Intelligent, Work-Oriented

Ideal For: Experienced Dog Owners, Active Dog Owners

Lifespan: 10 to 13 Years

Health Issues: Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Hearing Loss, Vision Loss, Obesity, and Bloat

Overview:

The Akita Lab Mix, also affectionately known as the Labrakita, is a beautiful Lab Mix coveted by a number of dog enthusiasts. However, these dogs are a mix between a very friendly and outgoing dog (the Lab) and a fastidious, loyal and sometimes hard-headed dog (the Akita).

The Akita is especially protective of his family and home, so a Labrakita Mix should be properly trained and socialized at an early age to prevent potential behavior issues down the road.

That said, the Labrakita does make an affectionate family companion. He gets along well with children and other pets when properly trained and socialized, though families should monitor youngsters around the dog to ensure everyone is getting along safely.

Akita Lab Mix dogs are also not overtly energetic, though they do require routine exercise each and every day to stay happy and healthy.

5. The Bullador (American Bulldog Lab Mix)

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Bulladors are gentle, affectionate dogs that are very people oriented.

Height: 17 to 20 Inches

Weight: 50 to 90 Pounds

Temperament: Affectionate, Devoted, Energetic and Protective

Ideal For: Active Families, Singles, Couples and Experienced Dog Owners

Lifespan: 10 to 12 Years

Health Issues: Obesity, Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Bloat, Eye Infections and Allergies

Overview:

The Bullador is an adorable mix between the Labrador Retriever and the American Bulldog. While American Bulldogs, (and many Bully breeds, for that matter) have a bad rep, the reality is that Bullador dogs get along well with children and other pets.

They should be properly trained and socialized, of course, and are highly athletic. They also become very bonded with their families and can be prone to destructive behavior like chewing or marking if left alone for too long.

So long as their mental and physical stimulation needs are met, Bullador dogs do well in a variety of homes, though they are not ideally suited for apartment living.

6. The Labraheeler (The Blue Heeler and Lab Mix)

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Labraheelers are a combination of two working dogs, so they will enjoy having jobs to do around the house.

Height: 17 to 24 Inches

Weight: 35 to 80 Pounds

Temperament: High Energy, Work-Oriented, Loyal

Ideal For: Active Families, Owners With Large Homes and Lots of Space, Experienced Dog Owners

Lifespan: 12 to 16 Years

Health Issues: Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, and Arthritis

Overview:

Are you looking for an active, work-oriented Lab Mix? Then the Labraheeler may be just what you’re in the market for. These gorgeous dogs make for devoted companions, but they are certainly not for the faint of heart.

This is a Lab Mix that is anything but low maintenance. A mix of the Blue Heeler and the Labrador Retriever, Labraheelers are incredibly active and energetic. This means they are happiest when they have jobs to do. This intelligent Lab Mix can get along well with children and other pets, but he’s not the best apartment dog.

We would recommend the Labraheeler to those in more rural environments with lots of yard space where their Labradheeler can run and play. This Lab Mix will also require an owner with plenty of time to commit to training, socialization, mental stimulation and exercise.

7. The Borador (Border Collie Lab Mix)

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The Lab Collie Mix is a great addition to active homes with children.

Height: 19 to 24 Inches

Weight: 40 to 64 Pounds

Temperament: Sweet-Natured, Happy, Excitable

Ideal For: Active Families, Singles, and Couples

Lifespan: 10 and 12 Years

Health Issues: Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Collie Eye Anomaly, Hypothyroidism

Overview:

A mix between the Border Collie and the Lab, the Borador makes for a happy-go-lucky, family-oriented Lab Mix perfect for families with young children. This is a dog who also does well with novice dog owners, as he is incredibly intelligent, eager to please and easy to train.

This sweet-natured Lab Mix is all about his family and he loves to make friends everywhere he goes. He is also relatively healthy and does well in a variety of home types. However, this is a Lab Mix who needs plenty of exercise and mental stimulation every day in order to stay happy and healthy.

He is a shedding dog so he may not be great for those who suffer from allergies. Otherwise, his coat is simple to groom and easy to maintain, although he can be prone to some matting in his ears.

8. The Doberdor (Doberman Pinscher Lab Mix)

11 a Doberdor
Doberdor dogs are intelligent, playful and affectionate.

Height: 21 to 24.5 Inches

Weight: 55 to 80 Pounds

Temperament: Devoted, Intelligent, Energetic

Ideal For: Experienced Dog Owners, Homes With Yards

Lifespan: 10 to 13 Years

Health Issues: Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Allergies, Skin Issues, Bloat, and Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Overview:

The Dobrador, or Doberman Lab Mix, is certainly an interesting and beautiful hybrid. This is a dog who does best with experienced dog owners and owners who are active, outgoing, and have a flexible schedule.

Dobrador dogs are highly intelligent and require lots of time with their people. They need early socialization and training to ensure they grow up happy and healthy, and training should be consistent throughout their lives.

When raised properly, Dobrador dogs get along well with children and other pets. They enjoy going on outings with their people and will love being an important part of their family unit.

9. The Dalmador (Dalmatian Lab Mix)

12 a Dalmador
Dalmadors are perhaps some of the most unique looking Lab mixes on our list.

Height: 20 to 24 Inches

Weight: 50 to 80 Pounds

Temperament: Intelligent, Sensitive, Energetic, Family-Oriented

Ideal For: Active Families, Singles, Couples, and Somewhat Experienced Dog Owners

Lifespan: 10 to 14 Years

Health Issues: Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Ruptured Ligaments, Eye Issues, Epilepsy, Cancer, Heart Disease, Allergies

Overview:

The Dalmador is a newer crossbreed to the Lab Mix scene, but we won’t be surprised if he quickly skyrockets in popularity. This gorgeous dog brings the whole package – looks, brains, and personality to match!

A mix between the Dalmatian and the Lab, Dalmador dogs are highly intelligent and family-oriented, though experts caution first time dog owners. While this Lab Mix can do well with committed novice dog owners, they are best suited for owners with some canine experience.

This is a crossbreed that becomes very bonded with his people and needs lots of daily exercise. He is also prone to destructive behaviors if left alone for too long throughout the day.

Like all dogs, Dalmador hybrids require plenty of training and socialization at an early age. They can do well with children and other pets, but parents should monitor them around very small youngsters.

10. The Goldador (Golden Retriever Lab Mix)

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Goldadors have the energy of a Lab and intelligence of a Golden Retriever.

Height: 22 to 24 Inches

Weight: 60 to 80 Pounds

Temperament: Clever, Affectionate, Loyal, Friendly

Ideal For: Active Families, Singles, Couples, and Novice Dog Owners

Lifespan: 10 to 12 Years

Health Issues: Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Bloat, Subaortic Stenosis, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Cruciate Ligament Rupture, and Cancer

Overview:

The Goldador is a mix of two of America’s most favorite dogs breeds. Both the Golden Retriever and the Labrador Retriever have similar traits when it comes to personality, temperament and even appearance.

This means that their Goldador offspring is going to be more predictable than some of the other Lab Mixes on this list.

Best of all, Goldador dogs are great companions for first time dog owners. They are friendly, outgoing, athletic and traininable, though they are also full of energy. The Goldador is another Lab Mix on this list that requires routine daily exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy.

They can also be heavy shedders, and may require more upkeep when it comes to grooming and coat care.

11. The Labrasetter (Irish Setter Lab Mix)

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The Labrasetter makes for a beautiful and brainy mix.

Height: 22 to 25 Inches

Weight: 55 to 80 Pounds

Temperament: Clever, Highly Energetic, Playful

Ideal For: Active Families, Singles, Couples, Those With Lots of Space, and More Experienced Dog Owners

Lifespan: 10 to 15 Years

Health Issues: Hip DYsplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Epilepsy, Osteosarcoma, Hypothyroidism, Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy, and Bloat

Overview:

Also known as the Lab Setter or Labrasetter, the Irish Setter Lab Mix is intelligent, energetic, and fun loving. These dogs can grow to be up to 80 pounds, and they are full of energy. This means that the Labrasetter will need lots of space to run and play both inside and out.

While they are not the ideal apartment dogs, the Lab Setter Mix does make a good family dog. He does great with children and other pets and enjoys being with his family. This is a Lab Mix that is best united for more experienced dog owners.

12.The Labsky (Siberian Husky Lab Mix)

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The Labsky is an incredibly high-energy dog and is best suited for experienced dog owners.

Height: 20 to 24 Inches

Weight: 35 to 80 Pounds

Temperament: Energetic, Athletic, Playful, People-Oriented

Ideal For: Active Families, Singles, Couples, and Experienced Dog Owners With Lots of Time

Lifespan: 10 to 13 Years

Health Issues: Obesity, hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Allergies, Eye Issues

Overview:

Last on our list of most intelligent Lab Mixes is the ever popular Labsky. This Husky Lab Mix is a one of a kind combination of beauty and brawn, though he’s not the ideal Lab Mix for everyone.

Labrador Retrievers are already famous for their energy, but you can multiply that times ten when it comes to a Siberian Husky. These dogs require tons of exercise and mental stimulation each day in order to keep them from developing behavioral issues.

They get along well with children and other pets, and they will enjoy having other dogs around the house to play with. Husky mixes are not good apartment dogs, nor are they low maintenance when it comes to training.

However, with the right owner, this Lab Mix can make a fabulous companion unlike any other.

Picking The Best Lab Mix For You – Tips To Consider Before You Invest

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Not every dog is right for every owner. Be sure that you do plenty of research before deciding which of the above Lab Mixes would be best for you.

As we mentioned briefly above, not every dog on our list of Lab MIxes is going to be right for every owner or family. It’s important to do plenty of research on the Lab Mix you are considering.

If you’re a first time dog owner, we recommend more low maintenance Lab Mix breeds who require a moderate amount of exercise, grooming, and lifestyle needs.

Of course, remember that all dogs require a certain amount of time and commitment. Before investing in any dog, it’s important to make sure your lifestyle is conducive to raising and nurturing these emotional and intelligent animals.

Your research should also include looking into the background of both your Lab Mix dog’s parent breeds, as well as investigating potential breeders or shelters in your area.

And speaking of breeders or shelters, be sure to be careful about going through irresponsible sources to obtain your Lab Mix.

Backyard breeders, unqualified online sellers, or breeders selling puppies for too high or too low of a price should be avoided.

Stick with reputable breeders who have a history of breeding the specific Lab Mix you are interested in. Also go with breeders who can provide you with paperwork proving their puppies have been screened and cleared of any serious health issues.

The price of Lab Mix dogs can vary and will depend on your region, the breeder you are going through, and the mix you are interested in. However, the average cost for a Lab Mix through a reputable breeder is generally between $800 and $1,200.

Of course, you also have the option of going through a rescue to obtain your Lab Mix. There are some shelters throughout the United States that specify in certain breeds and mixes, which can cut back on the time and research you’ll need to do to find the Lab Mix of your dreams.

Other benefits of adopting a dog is price. In fact, adopting a dog is often much less expensive than buying one through a breeder, with average costs ranging from $250 to $500.

Of course, there are pros and cons to both adopting a dog or buying through a breeder, and it will be up to you and your unique situation to decide which route is best. That said, so long as you take your time, do your research, and have a good sense of what your unique Lab Mix is going to need in order to thrive, you’ll be starting off on the right foot.

Best of luck and thanks for reading!

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