Trying to decide which dog breed will be the next addition to your family? Maybe the “Labahoula” is the right dog for you! Check out this article to find out.
The Catahoula Lab Mix
The Catahoula lab mix is a designer breed that has been nicknamed the “Labahoula.” The VCA Hospitals explain that “designer breeds combine the best of both worlds. Registered, pure dog breeds are “mixed” on purpose to create designer breeds. Intentional mixing of breeds optimizes the best characteristics of each parent. Sometimes the dog may have more than two pure breeds in his bloodline, but unlike a mutt, his lineage can be identified.”
Mixing purebreds is becoming more and more common—hence the Labahoula. But before we jump into the potential traits, temperament, and personalities of a Labahoula, let’s look into the traits of each parent breed. Then you’ll know all of the possible outcomes of the Catahoula lab mix.
The Catahoula Leopard Dog
The Catahoula leopard dog is very unique in its appearance, and has quite an interesting history. The American Kennel Club says that Catahoula leopard dogs originated from wild dogs in Louisiana “who looked like a wolf but barked like a dog. These native dogs were crossed with the ‘bloodhounds, mastiffs, and greyhounds’ brought by the Spanish explorers [in 1539]. In Northern Louisiana, the Native Americans called these new dogs ‘Wolf Dogs.’ Once the French arrived with their hounds, they were crossbred again, resulting in today’s Catahoula Leopard Dog.”
These adorable dogs can come in a variety of colors—typically bicolor or tricolor, and often with spots and speckles. They can also have blue eyes, brown eyes, or one of each. Catahoula leopard dogs are definitely working dogs, known for their instinctive herding skills. They were often used for creating “canine fences” where they would surround wild hogs and cows, while their owners directed the wild herd.
They stand 22-24 inches tall, weigh 50-95 pounds, and live 10-14 years. They are affectionate with their family, and are good with children and other dogs. But they are very protective watchdogs, so they need intentional training and socialization starting at a young age.
Keep in mind that they have very high energy and need lots of mental stimulation and physical exercise to be happy, and to behave. These dogs need a job and a sense of purpose. The Catahoula leopard dog would be a great work dog on a farm, or a good exercise partner when going on runs or hiking through the woods.
The Labrador Retriever
Labrador retrievers are a part of the “sporting group” of dog breeds. They are the number 1 most popular dog breed in the United States, according to the American Kennel Club. Labs are known for being friendly, active, and outgoing.
These sweet dogs are very affectionate with their family, very good with kids, and very good with other dogs. They also score high on being open to strangers, being playful, adaptable, and trainable. Labrador retrievers are about medium level watchdogs, but have high energy and a need to be mentally stimulated.
They are considered to be medium to large sized—standing 21.5-24.5 inches tall, weighing 55-80 pounds, and living 10-12 years. Their fur comes in a black, brown, or yellow dense coat. These friendly, kind dogs make great companions, and will bond with the entire family.
But the American Kennel Club reminds us to not “mistake his easy going personality for low energy: The Lab is an enthusiastic athlete that requires lots of exercise, like swimming and marathon games of fetch, to keep physically and mentally fit.” Labs make great family dogs, but especially for those who have large backyards, or are frequently active outdoors.
Catahoula + Lab = Labahoula
The Catahoula lab mix will be some combination of its two parent breeds, but you can never predict which traits he or she will get from which parent. So make sure to be prepared for both. The real hope is that your Labahoula will have “the loving and gentle characteristics of a Labrador and [the] fearless and loyal personality of [a] Catahoula.”
Whichever traits come out stronger, you can be sure that your Labahoula will be about 22-24 inches tall, 50-95 pounds in weight, and live about 10-14 years. That is the safer part about mixing breeds of similar stature. As far as color—that will definitely depend on the colors of their specific parents. But you can probably expect for those fun speckles and spots from the Catahoula leopard dog to come through.
The Catahoula lab mix will be very affectionate, good with kids and good with other dogs. Just remember to be intentional with training and socialization around children and other dogs starting at a young age. They will also be protective watchdogs, very trainable, have high energy, and need lots of mental stimulation.
So if you’re thinking about adding a Labahoula to the family, be prepared for lots of outdoor time and exercise! And having a large, fenced-in backyard would most certainly help. If that sounds like it fits your personality and lifestyle, the Labahoula could be the perfect fit for you and your family. And don’t worry… You can always keep track of your dog’s location and daily activity levels with the Fi Smart Dog Collar.
Adopt a Labahoula Today
Ready to bring home a Catahoula lab mix today? Check the American Kennel Club for reputable breeders. Or you can adopt a Labahoula! There are websites like PetFinder.com that can help you find the breed mix you’re looking for right near you.
For more articles about breed mixes, fun dog-friendly activities, and helpful pet parenting tips, check out the Blog at TryFi.com.