Mixing different dog breeds can often result in unpredictable and fascinating outcomes. Enter the wirehaired terrier lab mix – a uniquely different and varying crossbreed. This combination of the obedient and social Labrador Retriever and the willful and passionate wirehaired terrier combines many of the best features of both breeds.
However, as quite a few of these characteristics are opposite to each other, you can’t always be certain which of the two parent breeds your terrier lab mix is going to look more like. This extends to more than just the crossbreed’s looks too, meaning that you can’t be certain about this mix’s personality ahead of time.
So, what do we know about the wire terrier lab cross?
What Does A Wirehaired Terrier Lab Mix Look Like?
A terrier lab mix full-grown size will usually be somewhere between the full-grown sizes of a lab and a terrier. And that’s a pretty wide range.
Wirehaired terriers themselves can vary a bit, depending on the sub-breed. However, we’re typically talking about weight of 10 to 25 pounds (4.5 to 11.5 kg) and a height at the shoulder of 13 to 18 inches (33 to 46 cm).
With labs, on the other hand, we can usually expect a 55 to 80-pound weight (25 to 36 kg) and a 21 to 24-inch height (53 to 61 cm). As you can see, that’s quite a difference. That’s why the father in this pairing should typically be the terrier and the mother – the lab. Otherwise, the birthing of these crossbred puppies can be difficult for a small terrier mother. Some wirehaired terrier breeds can be larger, of course, but even then they are typically smaller and lighter than the large Labrador Retriever.
So, what does this mean for your terrier lab pup? It means that it can range in size between a small-to-mid dog and a large dog.
As For Its Other Physical Characteristics
The coat will either be short and smooth with an undercoat like that of a lab or wiry (and still double-coated) like a terrier
The color will either be yellow, brown, or black like the lab parent’s color or will take on one or a couple of the colors typical for terriers – white, white and tan, white and black, or white, tan, and black.
Such a crossbreed’s snout will either have the terrier’s signature “goatee” or be more “normal” like that of a lab.
The overall body shape can also be either more balanced like a lab’s or be more front-heavy with taller front likes like a terrier.
As for the ears, both parent breeds have hanging V-shaped ears, however, terriers’ ears are shorter and face forward while labs’ ears are longer and hide to the side.
The tail will either be shorter and upright like a terrier’s or longer and hanging like a lab’s.
As you can see, this crossbreed really is a mixed bag of various physical characteristics and combinations of features.
How Much Exercise Does A Terrier Lab Mix Need?
All of it – this crossbreed needs all the exercise you can provide.
This is a bit of an over-exaggeration, of course, but these are generally highly energetic dogs. This means that they require some ~2 hours of outdoor exercise a day (depending on their size too). In addition, you’ll also need to give this breed some yard time every day – about a couple of hours again. Do remember that the yard needs to be well-fenced – terriers and their mixes often have a very strong prey drive and are likely to chase after a stray cat or another animal if given the chance.
If you don’t have a yard, you will need to have a spacious apartment/indoor space for your dog to run and place it. Having tolerant neighbors is also good in those cases – otherwise, terrier mixes are often not recommended for apartment dwellers.
What’s The Personality Of The Wirehaired Terrier Lab Mix?
These dogs will almost always be social, playful, and very active. Terrier mixes can sometimes be a bit anti-social, however, especially if you haven’t provided them with good socialization growing up. With good socialization, however, even a more terrier-like mix should be social enough around guests and strangers. These dogs should also be good enough with kids and with other dogs (again – when socialized well). Cat owners are warned, however – a terrier mix may not be a good companion for your feline as these dogs tend to have a very overwhelming pre-drive.
As for training, labs are generally very trainable while terriers can be more stubborn. So, your crossbreed can really go either way. Nevertheless, proper obedience training should do the trick, even if you are a first-time dog owner. Separation anxiety can still be a risk as it is for most labs but the terrier mix makes it somewhat less likely.
Terrier Lab Mix Lifespan and Health
The average lifespan of these dogs can vary between 12 and 16 years, depending on the exact wirehaired terrier sub-breed. Always get your puppies from reputable breeders who offer health certificates and guarantee proper lineage and breeding. A healthy pup can easily surpass 16-18 years with the right care (and a bit of luck) and even reaching 20 years is not that outlandish.
Some of the potential health issues to keep an eye on include:
Pros and Cons Of The Wirehaired Terrier Lab Mix?
- Independent, playful, and fun personality
- Highly energetic and great for outdoorsy people
- Generally social and outgoing
- May inherit the terrier’s strong prey drive
- Can be a bit too independent, i.e. more difficult to train than a purebred Labrador Retriever
- Difficult to predict a pup’s personality
Is A Wirehaired Terrier Lab Mix The Right Dog For You?
If you want a highly-energetic and playful dog, if you have the time and energy to keep up with it, and if you’re up to the task of training a potentially stubborn terrier-mix – this can be a wonderful family companion for you. If you are more laid back, however, and you want a calmer and more balanced dog breed, you may want to consider some other options.