The Blue Heeler Lab Mix is a companion dog bred to work on farms or ranches.
They are half Australian Cattle Dog and half Labrador Retriever.
This mix is loyal, smart and active with the sportiness of Blue Heelers and the friendliness of Labs!
Whilst the origin of the Labraheeler remains unknown, their amity has been well-known amongst farmers for over a century.
Keep on reading to learn more about this unique farm dog…
What Is A Blue Heeler Lab Mix?
A Labraheeler is a mix of Blue Heeler and Lab.
It is thought that Blue Heelers first met Labs in the 20th century
They are definitely not for someone who prefers a slow-paced dog. They are extremely active and constantly need activities to prevent them from becoming bored. This also means they are not suitable for apartments or homes without yards.
There are many misconceptions surrounding this dog’s temperament and appearance.
Many assume that hybrid dogs take after both parents it equal amounts. The truth is mixed breeds are very unpredictable:
- Some have more prominent Blue Heeler traits such as a stubborn attitude or speckled blue coat.
- Others look and act more like a Lab with their floppy ears and friendly nature.
There is very little information about why Blue Heeler Lab Mixes were bred. Both parent breeds are working dogs so it is assumed they are also bred for the same purpose.
This mix has been well-known amongst farmers for over a century for their loyalty, hardworking nature and herding ability.
However, they have only recently become popular with American families.
Let’s look at the parent breeds to learn more about this mix.
The Blue Heeler
Blue Heelers originated from Australia in the 1800s.
Thomas Hall bred sheepdogs with Dingos and other breeds (e.g. Bull Terriers and Dalmatians) to create the Australian Cattle Dog.
In 1903 the Australian National Kennel Council accepted this breed and named it The Australian Heeler. Their name was officially changed to Australian Cattle Dogs shortly after.
Many farmers used this dog to herd cattle over rough terrains.
They are one of Australia’s most popular breeds but are not very popular in the United States. They were official recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1980.
The history of Labs begins in Newfoundland in the 1500s.
Newfoundland dogs and smaller water dogs were bred to create St. John’s Water Dogs. This dog helped fishermen bring in nets and catch fish.
In the 1800s this dog was imported to England and quickly earned the reputation of being excellent dogs for shooting sports. St. John’s Water Dogs were refined over generations and became known as Labradors.
The American Kennel Club recognized Labradors in 1917.
Today Labs are loved by many and are #1 on the list of most popular breeds.
Why We Love This Mix
- These dogs are very loyal. Both Blue Heelers and Labs adore their owners and will be very faithful of their family.
- They make great exercise partners. They are naturally agile and enjoy outdoor sports and exercises such as swimming, running and agility.
- Blue Heeler Lab Mixes are affectionate and make awesome companions. They love spending time with their owners.
- They are highly intelligent and can be trained to do many tricks. If you live on a farm or ranch they make great working dogs.
35 to 80 pounds
17 – 24.5 inches
$500 – $1,500
10 to 12 years
Blue Heeler Lab Mix Price
Typically Blue Heeler Lab Mix puppies are sold for $500 – $1,500.
There are normally 5 to 8 puppies in each litter.
These puppies are very active, playful and destructive. They will require lots of patience and training, especially if they inherit the stubbornness of Blue Heelers.
Most puppies are born with white fur (like their Dalmatian ancestors) and will change color as they mature.
Because the Labraheeler is a mixed breed you should ask the breeder about their parents’ behavior and temperament.
When choosing a puppy make sure you see their mom. This is the best way to predict how big your puppy will grow and their appearance.
Ask about the parents’ genetic history too.
This hybrid is not a very common breed so you will need to search hard to find a reputable breeder.
What Does A Blue Heeler Lab Mix Look Like?
They will have the physical aspects of both parent breeds, but can appear more like one parent than the other. That is why some of their traits can vary widely (e.g. coat color or ears).
Normally a Blue Heeler Lab Mix is a medium sized dog with a merle coat. These dogs usually weigh 35 – 80 pounds and measure 17 – 24.5 inches.
Their nose is typically black or brown.
Their ears can point up like Blue Heelers or flop down like a Lab.
They have a long, lean body since both parent breeds are very sporty.
Blue Heeler Lab Mixes are commonly multi-colored and have patches of different patterns such as merle, brindle or spots.
They can either be black, white, blue, red, gray, golden, cream or different tones of brown.
Their coat is normally low shedding, short and straight.
Blue Heeler Lab Mix Temperament
- Very playful.
- Easily Bored.
This mix has a very loyal and protective temperament.
Many owners love using this hybrid as a watchdog because they know their dog will keep them safe.
Despite being protective these dogs are very fun and playful with their family. Their personality makes them best suited to owners who enjoy active lifestyles and different physical activities.
Finally they are very intelligent because of their lab parent. They can be trained to do many tricks and excel in working farm roles.
Unfortunately because of their protective personality these dogs bark a lot. This is good if you want a watch dog. However, they also nuisance bark because of boredom, at the arrival of strangers on your property, or at animals, such as squirrels.
Keeping these dogs entertained is key to avoid unnecessary rowdiness and destructive behaviors.
They also have a very high prey drive because of the Blue Heeler’s feisty nature. The cattle dog in them gives them a tendency for herding, whether it be children or other pets.
The personality of a Blue Heeler Lab Mix can vary, but in general they are very faithful and loyal to their family.
Their natural behavior is to be reserved around strangers. They are very defensive of their loved ones and will act out if they believe their owner or family member is in danger.
These dogs are confident in their ability to work and protect.
Are They Good Family Dogs?
Blue Heelers are not the friendliest dogs with small children so this mix is likely to be the same.
Labraheelers are not well-known for their patience.
They can get a little rough when they are playing and might accidentally herd, knock or nip a child.
Because they are loud and need plenty of exercise they are also not recommended for seniors.
However, for families with teenagers, they are a great match. Teenagers love how energetic these dogs are.
Known Health Issues
The Blue Heeler Lab Mix has a lifespan of 10 – 12 years. Some have surpassed this range and have lived to 16 years.
These dogs will have a healthy and happy if given the proper amount of exercise and mental stimulation.
Their genetic diversity makes them less prone to specific illnesses their purebred parents suffer from. But this does not guarantee that your dog will remain healthy for its entire life.
Some of the major health concerns reported in this breed include:
- Hip dysplasia
- Patellar luxation
- Progressive retinal atrophy
Patellar luxation occurs when the dog’s kneecap slips out of place and can lead to arthritis. There are varying levels to the severity of dislocation. Many dogs are able to live a normal life with minimal discomfort.
Hip dysplasia occurs when the hip joint doesn’t fit properly or grows abnormally. It can also be a mild condition with little to no symptoms.
Progressive retinal atrophy occurs when a dog gradually loses vision. It can be genetically tested for so both parents should be clear before being mated.
Responsible breeders will screen for progressive retinal atrophy before mating.
Care Guide (Grooming, Feeding & Exercise)
The most intensive part about caring for this type of dog is keeping up with their energy levels. Owners who prefer quiet, sedentary lifestyles will not be able to keep up.
A Blue Heeler Lab Mix needs a lot of patience, attention and time.
They love spending time with their owners and do not react well if they are left alone for long periods of time.
This mix constantly needs activities or responsibilities to keep them entertained. Boredom can cause these dogs to take out their frustration on furniture and should always be avoided.
|Daily Food Consumption|
|Cups of Kibble|
These active dogs need a diet that is filled with nutrients and proteins to keep them energized.
You should feed a kibble that is formulated for active or working dogs rather than food formulated for their size.
A Blue Heeler Lab Mix should be fed twice a day – ideally one or two cups of kibble in the morning and a final cup of kibble in the evening.
Make sure to feed them at least 30 minutes after exercise to avoid bloat.
|Favorite Exercise||Swimming and Long Runs|
The best form of exercise for these active dogs is running, swimming or hiking.
Daily exercise of over 60 minutes is required to keep them stimulated. They should be walked for about three miles a day.
Without exercise they will become destructive and very rowdy.
Some fun games to play include fetch, tug of war or obstacle courses.
The Blue Heeler Lab Mix is very intelligent and loyal – so you would think training them is easy.
Unfortunately they are very stubborn because of their Blue Heeler parent.
They are not recommended for novice owners or people who have trouble establishing order. These dogs can be stubborn and need to be well-trained and socialized.
You will need lots of patient for training.
Besides patience, you will also need to learn how to reinforce good behaviors with positive reinforcement. This can be done with a snack, toys or praise.
These dogs typically learn basic obedience quickly.
They can also learn lots of fun tricks such as play dead, roll and dance.
Make sure you are ready for a rowdy, action-packed, high-energy dog!
Before adopting a Blue Heeler Lab Mix make sure you are ready to participate in their active and adventurous lifestyle.
They are the perfect dog for people who love the outdoors. They can make a great family pet for families with older children but are best as working farm dogs.
These dogs are loved for their loyalty and playfulness. Labraheelers form very strong bonds with their owners and make a great companion dogs.
Let us know what you think about this mix below.