The Blue Heeler Lab mix breed is an intelligent, caring, active dog filled with love, adoration, loyalty, and seemingly boundless energy. A fantastic combination of herder dog and service dog, The Blue Heeler Lab mix combined two extraordinarily intelligent breeds to create a reliable and loveable companion for any owner.
For anything thinking of getting a Blue Heeler Lab Mix puppy, or even for anyone that is simply interested in knowing a little bit more about these fabulous pups, we’ve put together this guide chock full of interesting facts, tidbits, and information we think you’d like to know.
- Height: 17-25 inches
- Weight: 35-80 pounds
- Life Expectancy: 10-16 years
- Energy Levels: Moderate
- Temperament: Loyal, Intelligent, eager-to-please, playful, energetic, hard-working, protective
- Suitable For: Working homes, families, active homes
- NOT Suitable For: Elderly homes, homes with limited space, solidarity
It’s worth noting that with the Blue Heeler Lab being a mixed breed, it is possible for them to grow to be the same size as the smallest Blue Heeler or the largest Labrador Retriever. Much like with humans, there’s no knowing exactly how they will be born as Labraheeler breeding is a genetic gamble.
What Is a Blue Heeler Lab Mix?
The Blue Heeler Lab mix (also known as the Labraheeler) is a crossbreed that is made up of an Australian Cattle Dog and the Labrador Retriever. The two breeds that make up the Blue Heeler Lab Mix are both extremely intelligent, high-energy dogs, however, the Blue Heeler is a herding dog, whereas the Labrador Retriever is a Gun Dog. Fortunately, as both are working breeds it does make them highly susceptible to training and great for working environments.
Blue Heeler Lab Mixes are known for not only being extremely hard-working, but they are also kind-hearted, intelligent, playful, loyal, determined, and make fantastic companions for both large active families and individual people.
However, it is highly recommended that anyone thinking of getting a blue heeler Lab mix is confident in training them. Due to their strong work ethic and high intelligence they can have a frustrating stubbornness about them in their youth. Blue Heeler Lab mixes require somebody who understands what it takes to get the best results whilst still maintaining a strong bond.
- The Blue Heeler Lab mix is very kind-natured and suitable for families.
- Its Blue Heeler dog parentage makes this an extremely energetic dog breed.
- Blue Heelers are herding dogs and Labrador Retrievers are hunting dogs, so both are highly energetic.
- The Labrador parentage gives the Labraheeler a higher prey drive.
- A Blue Heeler Lab mix requires firm training and a confident handler at the start.
- Mixed breed dogs like Lab Heelers tend to have fewer hereditary health problems.
- This breed goes by multiple names, including; Labraheeler, Lab Heeler, Blue Heeler Lab, Blue Lab Heeler, and the simple Blue Heeler Lab mix.
Blue Heeler Lab Mix Breed History
Blue Heeler Lab mixes are not pure-bred dogs; they are a combination of two purebred parent breeds – Australian Cattle Dogs (aka Blue Heeler) and Labrador Retrievers.
Blue heeler lab mixes are relatively new in the world of dog breeding. Because of this there is not nearly as much known about this breed as we might like when it comes to their history. Therefore, we can only deduce their history from the histories of their respective parent breeds.
There is every possibility that the creation of the Lab Blue Heeler mix came to pass naturally with the parents coming together and producing this beautiful puppy b entirely natural means. This would certainly account for the limited amount of information on offer in terms of the overall history of Lab Blue Heelers.
However, their popularity as a breed would suggest that this breed quickly entered the purpose-bred puppy market once breeders noticed how loved they are. Purpose breeding of hybrids gained popularity around the turn of the century, therefore we could deduce that it is likely the Blue Heeler Lab mix made its first real appearance around that time.
Blue Heeler Lab Mix Appearance
The Lab Heeler mix is classed as a medium-sized breed. As is the case with many animals, the males are slightly heavier and taller than the females. The Labrador retriever is also prone to excessive weight gain in old age, meaning a carefully balanced diet is essential for their well-being in old age.
Body and Head
Blue Heelers are generally more slender and leaner than Labradors, whereas Labrador Retrievers are typically large and softer in appearance. When combining the two breeds the resulting dog tend to have the look of a larger, softer Blue Heeler. Blue Heeler mixes often take a lot of their appearance from the Australian Cattle dog as their fur type and pattern is quite dominant.
In terms of the face, a Blue Heeler has a narrower, more tapered muzzle than the Labrador, however, it is often noticed that Blue Heeler Lab mixes inherit the larger head of the Labrador parent. The dog’s ears can also be anywhere from pointed and erect like the Blue Heeler, or floppy and friendly like the Labrador – you may even get a mix of the two.
Coat Type and Color
The Blue Heeler Lab mix typically has a slightly thicker coat than Labradors thanks to the Blue Heeler parent. This means that they can handle cold weather a little better than a purebred Labrador, especially seeing as Blue Heelers are bred to work in all weather conditions. However, this does also mean that their thicker coats are more likely to shed heavily during shedding season.
Blue Heelers are also beautifully patterned dogs, so for example, if you have a chocolate lab blue heeler mix, the chances are that the resulting pup will pick up the rich chocolate color whilst also having the spotted, brindle, striped, or mottled appearance of a Blue Heeler with a base color of brown, grey, or white.
An Australian Cattle Dog Lab mix can stand as tall as 25 inches and weigh anywhere between 35 and 80 pounds. However, a small side note is that females are usually an inch or two shorter and could be anywhere up to 5-10 pounds lighter than males.
As previously mentioned, as they are not purebred dogs, they can take after either of their parents when it comes to appearance, size, weight, and temperament, so any Blue Heeler Lab mix owner should be prepared for the different ways in whilst the puppy could develop.
The Blue Heeler Lab Mix Personality
As adorable as Lab Heeler puppies might be, they do still come with their difficulties and quirks. Therefore it’s worth knowing a little more about the temperament of these adorable pups if you’re thinking of getting one for yourself.
Their high intelligence can be both a blessing and a curse with this beautiful breed. Intelligent can cause stubborn behavior with proper training initially. However, if you’re patient, persistent, and use plenty of positive reinforcement, they will learn quickly and efficiently, to such a point where Many Lab Heeler owners entrust their Labraheelers with simple household tasks, not only to maintain obedience but to keep their minds more active.
This is also a great blend of two very loyal dog breeds that develop strong bonds with their families. That loyalty can sometimes be shown through protective behavior, so it is worth monitoring your dog for any signs that their protectiveness is becoming a problem.
They’re eager-to-please, quick learners, kind-hearted, playful, and energetic. These loveable traits make the Blue Heeler Lab mix a great family dog, so long as the children within the family are taught to handle them properly.
Other Pets and Animals
A well-trained Lab Heeler shouldn’t have any real difficulty with other pets so long as it’s properly trained and socialized from an early age. Though there is no guarantee that everyone’s pet is going to like them back. They’re typically quite boisterous and are relatively large, meaning they can be unnerving for smaller pets such as other dogs (especially small breeds) and cats.
A Blue Heeler Lab mix is very playful and relatively easy to keep entertained, though this entirely depends on how well exercised you keep them on a day-to-day basis. Because they are an energetic and intelligent breed Blue Heeler Labs can have a tendency to develop destructive behavior as a means of coping with their boredom. They can also become somewhat antisocial and difficult if they are frustrated.
The key thing to keep in mind when looking after a Lab Heeler is that they are extremely intelligent dogs as they are born of two intelligent breeds, this means they not only need physical stimulation but mental stimulation as well. A few good ways to maintain mental stimulation include:
- Teaching them names for their toys
- Obedience training
- Puzzle toys
- Canine sports
- Puppy training classes
- Work tasks
- Teaching them new tricks
Labrador Heeler mix dogs are extremely loyal to their families, including large and small children. In fact, they often develop strong bonds with children in particular because children are able to entertain them with games and interaction when adults are perhaps too busy to do so.
Though as previously explained this loyalty can sometimes lead to them becoming overly protective, which can manifest itself as aggression in situations where they feel their family could be threatened. This type of behavior is something you can train your Lab Heeler out of if you notice it starting to kick in.
It is extremely important that any child you think will have close contact with your Blue Heeler Lab mix puppy is aware of how to handle it properly. If a dog starts to feel threatened or especially stressed the likelihood of them lashing out grows significantly. Children can often get overexcited around dogs, which can result in them becoming unintentionally heavy-handed and invasive. When a child is invading a dog’s space when it wants to be left alone it can lead to them getting growled at, barked at, snapped at, or even bitten in more severe cases.
So long as children are aware of the ways in which they should approach dogs, and know to leave well enough alone when the dog is showing signs of wanting space, there shouldn’t be any issues. It is very rare that a dog would actually bite a child unless they feel they have no other choice, typically they are more likely to snap or bark at them in a warning.
Blue Lab Heeler Mix Care
Their short coats and generally easy temperaments make Blue Heeler Labs relatively low maintenance. Grooming in particular is a pretty simple affair (depending on the color of the dog). For anyone thinking of adopting an Australian Cattle Dog Lab mix, here are a few quite and easy tips for caring for the breed.
Though Blue Lab Heelers do have thicker fur as a result of their blue heeler parentage (who naturally have a thick double-layered coat), the fact that the fur is quite short makes it much easier to manage. Additionally, their fur is not quite as thick as a pure-blood Blue Heeler.
Simply brushing your Blue Heeler lab a couple of times a week will suffice with keeping on top of their shedding. Though in the change of the seasons you may need to up this to 3-4 times a week to compensate for any coat blowing they might be doing (in which large amounts of fur are dropped in a small space of time).
A bath once every few months should be fine for overall cleanliness, though if you’ve got yourself a Blue Heeler Lab mix with pale fur (such as a yellow Labrador mix) you may have to bathe them more frequently to keep up appearances.
An active lifestyle is ideal for a Labraheeler as the two breeds they are a combination of were initially bred for hard work, making this an extremely high-energy dog. This can be quite demanding on new owners, so be sure to plan how you intend to exercise your Labrador Blue Heeler mix pup before adopting one.
Lab Heelers thoroughly enjoy going for a run, being active dogs, and can gain a lot of benefits from a wide variety of exercise options such as:
- Agility training classes
- Going for runs
- Doggy play dates
- Dog park visits
- Cycling (if they’re able to run fast enough to keep up)
- Swimming, (though they may not necessarily want to do this)
Blue Heeler Lab Health
Fortunately, the Labrador Heeler mix dog’s health is pretty good when compared to other purebred dogs. This is due to the fact that when two breeds are crossed their hereditary health conditions are diluted, or even weeded out altogether in some cases – making mixed breeds naturally stronger against the issues that impacted the parent breeds.
Though this is no guarantee that those health conditions won’t still rear their ugly heads, therefore it is worth knowing the different conditions that affect both the Australian Cattle Dog and Labrador Retriever breeds so that you can be prepared for anything they may have difficulty with in their life:
Hip Dysplasia – This is a condition that affects the hip joints, causing them to dislocate easily, leading to lameness, pain, and mobility. It can be treated with physiotherapy, medication, and in some cases surgery. However, it is not a condition that can be fully cured, unfortunately.
Hyperthyroidism – Hyperthyroidism typically impacts a dog’s ability to maintain steady body weight. Hyperthyroidism also impacts their energy production, resulting in a dog that can appear hyperactive. This hyperactivity can also trigger anxiety as it causes their heart rate to increase. Fortunately, hyperthyroidism is treatable with the right medication.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy – Progressive retinal atrophy affects your dog’s vision and is seen with most dog breeds, much like with humans. It often worsens with age and can eventually lead to partial or full blindness. Unfortunately, there is no treatment for this condition.
Arthritis – A typical problem with dog health is the impact on the joints. Arthritis causes the joints to stiffen painfully. Sadly, there is no cure for arthritis, though there are treatments that can help to ease some of the symptoms.
Lipoma – Lipomas are benign tumors of fat that develop under the skin and can grow to any size. Experienced dog owners with senior pups may have already come across this problem. It can be treated with surgery, though one tumor usually leads to more in the future.
Deafness – A problem that often affects the Blue Heeler, your Lab Heeler may begin to lose its hearing as it gets older, this will become more noticeable and recognizable by how well they respond to being called. Treatment is possible depending on the cause of the deafness.
Whilst there is more of a chance of you having a healthy dog for the entirety of your dog’s life, there is always the possibility of a health condition cropping up – especially in old age. Just be mindful of your pup and seek professional help from your veterinarian if you’re ever worried.
Where Can I Get a Lab Blue Heeler Mix?
These fabulous, loveable, hard-working dogs are constantly growing in popularity. However, because the Labraheeler is not officially recognized by the American Kennel Club, it can be difficult to find a reputable breeder who specifically breeds Lab Heeler mix puppies.
As a result, we would recommend speaking to breeders of either of the purebred parents or rescue organizations for these breeds that may be able to provide some information to help with your search. An Australian Cattle Dog Club may know of breeders that are looking to create a mixed breed. The same can be said of Labrador Retriever clubs.
Blue Heelers tend to be quite sought after as these energetic dogs are exceptionally good herding dogs and are often in demand for herding cattle as working dogs. Crossbreed dogs with Blue Heeler parentage are therefore usually the more affordable and accessible option for someone not looking to get themselves a good family dog that’s not needed specifically for herding work.
Adopt Where Possible
The Australian Cattle Dog Labrador Retriever mix may even be found in general rescue shelters, as their very high energy and strong herding instinct can sometimes prove difficult for inexperienced owners. This, unfortunately, leads to them being surrendered or abandoned.
Every dog deserves a second chance at life, and you may find the right dog for you is simply awaiting adoption. By adopting a dog you discourage puppy mills from force-breeding
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: What is the best work for a Blue Heeler Lab mix?
A: It is possible for Labraheelers to become service dogs owing to their Labrador parentage and their intelligence which allows them to adapt to almost any job role. Additionally, they could work as hunting dogs (as Labradors are historically used as gun dogs) or even herding thanks to their Australian Cattle Dog parentage.
Q: Are Blue Heeler Lab Mixes aggressive?
A: Not so long as they are raised socialized and trained properly from an early age, there is no reason a Lab Heeler would show aggression to anyone. Though they can be protective which can lead to aggression in severe cases.
Q: Are Labraheelers purebred dogs?
A: No. Blue Heeler Lab is a mixed breed made from two purebred parent breeds – the Australian Cattle Dog (aka the Blue Heeler), and the Labrador Retriever.