Labrador Retrievers are one of the most popular pets in the US and some of their crosses are getting more common too. Meet the Catahoula yellow lab mix – a beautiful and lively cross. This mix is between two great New World hunting breeds – the lab from Newfoundland and the Catahoula from Lousiana. You’d guess this makes the Labahoula a good hunting dog but does it make it a good family pet?
Physical Characteristics Of The Catahoula Yellow Lab Mix
As the Lousiana parent of this breed is heavier than a standard lab, the Catahoula lab mix full-grown weight can be as high as 55 to 95 pounds (25 to 43 kg). Sometimes, the Labahoula can even go beyond 100 pounds too! This is a sizable difference compared to the standard 50 to 80 pounds (23 to 36 kg) of purebred labs. As for height, these dogs can get as tall as 21 to 26 inches (53 to 66 cm) – also a bit taller than a lab.
The coat type of the Catahoula lab cross is going to be short and straight with a dense undercoat. Thanks to the Catahoula parent, however, the shedding is likely to be lower than that of a purebred lab. Grooming and overall maintenance should be relatively easy. Brush your dog a couple of times a week and give it the occasional bath. Don’t forget to inspect and clean the eyes and ears too. Dental hygiene is also important as is the case for all breeds.
The colors will depend on the parents. Catahoulas come in the following colors: black, black merle, red, red merle, yellow, and brindle. Labs, on the other hand, are either yellow, brown, or black. We are especially big fans of the Catahoula yellow lab mix or the Yellow Labahoula.
As for the overall body type, this cross will look like a lab as so does the Catahoula. It will just look like an extra-large lab with a different coloring.
What’s The Temperament Of The Catahoula Lab Mix?
The Labahoula mix has a personality that’s similar to that of a lab – social, smart, affectionate, and playful. That’s because the Lousiana Catahoula is pretty similar to a lab too. There are some differences, however.
Firstly, the Catahoula is not strictly a hunting dog – it was also widely used as a working dog. This means a calmer and less hyperactive personality compared to the lab. Additionally, Catahoulas don’t always get along with other dogs, especially those of the same sex as them. So, the same may apply to the Labahoula mix.
Overall, however, these dogs will be social, loving, and smart. They will also be easy to train so obedience training should be a breeze (but still very important). Socialization is still also a must if you do want your dog to develop its social and friendly tendencies.
Without good socialization, your dog can easily become aloof or even aggressive toward strangers. Don’t think that just because this is a lab cross it will always be friendly and easy-going. This goes double if you want your dog to share a roof with another dog. Living with kids or cats should be less problematic, however. Still, that too will require socialization and initial supervision.
Also, keep in mind that the social and friendly side of the Labahoula has a drawback too – Separation anxiety. This means that there should always be someone with your dog as it won’t tolerate being left home alone for more than a couple of hours. Otherwise, you can expect to see restlessness, anxiety, disobedience, depression, and destructive behavior. This is normal for all highly social and affectionate dogs such as the Catahoula and the Labrador Retriever.
How Much Exercise Does A Catahoula Yellow Lab Mix Need?
Quite a bit. Labahoulas are the offspring and large hunting and working dogs so they have lots of energy to burn. These dogs will need anywhere between an hour and a half and two hours of outdoor time a day. This doesn’t include some yard playtime too. If you can’t meet your Labahoula’s exercise needs, the dog will likely grow restless and unhappy too, not to mention unhealthy.
Weekend hikes are also a great idea for these dogs, whether on a mountain trail, to a nearby lake for some swimming, or simply to a different park. Also, as there are some working dog genes in this mix, your Labahoula will like taking on some “working” tasks around the house or in the yard. For example, if you have kids, a favorite playtime/exercise would be to get the dog to carry them around or drag them in a trolley.
Catahoula Lab Mix Lifespan and Health
The standard lifespan of these dogs is 10 to 12 years. That’s just an average, however. With good care, a healthy Labahoula can surpass the 12-year mark easily. To get a healthy pup, however, you should never get a dog that’s been bred in a puppy mill or for a pet store. Otherwise, you risk encountering any of the following health problems:
- Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
- Cold tail
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
- Ear infections
- Congenital deafness
To avoid those, always get your dog from reputable breeders only. Ask the breeder for a health certificate as well as to see the dog’s parents. If you’re adopting, you should ask for a health check-up first.
Pros and Cons Of The Labahoula Dog
- Social and kid-friendly
- Playful and energetic
- Lower grooming needs than a purebred lab
- Very high exercise requirements
- Separation anxiety might be an issue
Is The Catahoula Yellow Lab Mix Right For You?
If you want a larger and calmer lab with a unique coat, the Labahoula is a great choice. Do keep in mind, however, that these dogs are still highly energetic and need lots of exercise. If you think the larger size means a couch potato canine – that’s not the case. If you are – or want to become – a more outdoorsy person, the Labahoula might be a good pet for you. Just make sure you can give this dog all the time and attention it needs to thrive.
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