Bull Terrier Lab mix: mister popularity among bull terrier mixes
Another bull terrier mix that definitely deserves attention is bull terrier lab mix. When you mix two of the most popular breeds out there, such as bull terriers and Labrador retrievers, can you even expect anything less than perfect as a result? Just kidding. But really, what can you expect from a bull terrier Labrador mix? In this article you will read about:
Bull Terriers are considered moderate-sized dogs. They generally reach 40-45 cm in height and 25-35 kg of weight (more for males, less for females). Labrador retrievers are considered large dogs. Male Labrador Retrievers reach on average 60 cm in height and 27 to 40 kg of weight. Females are a little smaller.
A bull terrier lab mix tends to be somewhere in between the two breeds, leaning towards Labrador height and weight. It’s a fair-sized dog. Keep that in mind if you don’t have too much space in your house/apartment. Or if you would prefer a smaller dog.
A bull terrier lab mix has short coat and is an easy-to-groom dog. In terms of coat colors, it depends on the color of the parents. Labs are generally yellow, chocolate or black, with various shades of these three. Bull terriers can be white, tri-colored, brindle with white, red, red and white, white, black and brindle and some other combinations. When a lab and a bull terrier are mixed, many color combinations can theoretically ensue, although, more often than not, bull terrier lab mixes are white, black or yellow. Colors have no effect on the dog’s personality.
This is where bull terrier lab mix really shines. The two breeds combine into a perfect mix with balanced, sweet personality that makes for a great family dog. A bull terrier lab mix is a friendly, happy dog with an outgoing and energetic personality. It’s a great dog for families with kids. Your pup will never hurt a kid even if your kids play rough!
Bull terrier lab mixes inherit high intelligence from both their “parent” breeds. Due to their intelligence and eagerness to please the owner, the pups are easy to train. They quickly understand what you want from them and are happy to perform. Bull terriers can be very stubborn and can take a second to think whether they want to obey your command. Not so with Labrador retrievers.
If there is the most compliant dog breed out there – it’s Labrador retriever! That Labrador blood makes your bull terrier lab mix much more compliant and happy to obey commands than a bull terrier would. This is great if you want to have an easy to work with dog. You likely won’t need to go to dog trainer with this pup.
Labrador is an excellent hunting dog – smart, quick and eager to work with their human companion. Your bull terrier lab mix may inherit that preponderance for hunting if this is what you are interested in, but, of course, you will have to train them to retrieve. A small downside to that may be that your bull terrier lab mix may have stronger than average prey drive, although that’s not always the case.
Prey drive may express in chasing smaller animals such as smaller dogs, cats and squirrels. This may make your bull terrier lab mix not a great dog to let off leash in places where other people walk smaller dogs. You can try and work on your puppy’s prey drive from young age as well, teaching them to leave squirrels, cats, dogs and other “prey” alone.
High level of intelligence common for Labradors makes them excellent service dogs. They are often used as seeing eye dogs, rescue dogs and police dogs. Your bull terrier Labrador mix may very well show excellent potential for service work as well if you have such a desire. Of course, they will need a lot of training in that case as well.
Labrador retrievers are probably the happiest, least aggressive dogs out there. Bull terriers are also genuinely non-aggressive breed, at least as far as aggression towards humans goes. They were bred specifically not to be aggressive to humans. This is part of Bull Terrier temperament. However, some bull terriers can be aggressive towards other dogs, especially if they haven’t been well-socialized.
A bull terrier lab mix is generally a very friendly, easy-going dog. It will hardly ever display aggression, especially towards humans. As with any dog, there may be some territorial aggression as well as aggression towards other dogs of the same gender. As with any dog, socialization is important if you want to raise a dog that will behave nicely around other people and dogs.
The downside of low aggression levels in your bull terrier lab mix (if you can call it a downside) is that it won’t make for a good guard dog. If you need a guard dog, my advice would be to look into a better suited breed such as a German Shepherd, Doberman or other breeds.
As a mix of two breeds, your bull terrier lab mix may inherit health conditions common for both “parent” breeds. Although both Labradors and bull terriers don’t have very many genetic diseases and are quite healthy breeds, there are still a few conditions that you may need to keep in mind.
Blepharitis and other eye conditions in Bull Terrier Labrador Mix
Various eye conditions are fairly common for Labradors and thus for bull terrier Labrador mixes. They may be quite dangerous, not in the least because the owners are often too late to notice symptoms. This is why it’s important to pay close attention to your dog’s health and well being. One of the eye conditions that is common for bull terrier lab mixes is blepharitis, a condition that happens when the dog’s eyelids get inflamed. It can happen due to trauma, infection or parasitic invasions.
Another condition that can affect your pup is cataracts which can often lead to blindness. Cataracts can be congenital or happen with age, especially as the dog gets older. They can also be genetic, which is why genetic testing is so important. Granulomas are also not uncommon, which happens when the pressure inside the eye increases. Another eye condition that a bull terrier lab mix can get is conjunctivitis.
To catch any of the eye conditions early enough, you need to pay close attention to the condition of you pup’s eyes, especially such symptoms as eye redness, exudation of fluid from the eyes or squinting. If you notice any of these symptoms, take your dog to the vet ASAP.
Osteochondrosis is quite common for labs and lab mixes. It happens when the dog’s bone cartilage starts to thicken, which can be genetic or caused by lifestyle factors such as inappropriate exercise or bad nutrition. Osteochondrosis usually affects the dog’s knees and shoulders, which affects the dog’s movement and overall quality of life. The condition can be treated conservatively or surgically depending on the gravity of the situation.
Hip and elbow dysplasia
Hip and elbow dysplasia are often found in bull terrier lab mixes, and can be inherited from both Labradors and bull terriers. It can be genetic or acquired due to inappropriate exercising or movement patterns in the dog (such as over-exercising in puppyhood). Some of the symptoms are limited mobility and limpness that usually shows in puppies after 5 months of age. X-rays are used to diagnose the condition. Like osteochondritis, hip and elbow dysplasia can be treated conservatively or surgically.
Weight issues in Bull Terrier Lab Mix
One issue that is common in bull terriers as well as Labradors, and, thus, can affect your bull terrier lab mix, is gaining too much weight. Both breeds are somewhat genetically predisposed to gaining extra weight, especially if they have an underlying thyroid condition (such as hypothyroidism).
But of course, the main issue is usually an unbalanced diet. Too many carbohydrates in the diet (in the form of vegetables and especially grains) can be the main reason. Another reason could be giving your pup too many treats throughout the day. They are great in training, but they aren’t always good for your pup’s health, especially in excessive amounts.
If your pup seems to be on the heavier side, you could try limiting carbohydrates in their diet, as well as the amount of treats you are giving them.
Ear and hearing conditions
One of the issues common for bull terriers, that your bull terrier lab mix may inherit, is deafness. Almost 18% of all bull terriers may have issues with their hearing, which is quite a large number. Because deafness is often genetic, your bull terrier lab mix may inherit it unless your puppy’s breeder has done a good job with genetic testing of the parents.
Kidney and heart disease
Kidney disease is not uncommon in bull terriers and can also be inherited. Heart disease is another disease bull terriers are fairly susceptible to, and various forms of heart disease are genetically inherited.
Patella luxation is a condition affecting the dog’s knee joints also often happens in bull terriers, and predisposition to it may be genetically passed to your bull terrier mix.
Taking how many various health conditions your bull terrier lab mix pup can potentially inherit, genetic testing is absolutely critical. If you work with a good, reputable breeder, they will make sure that the lineage of both parents of your puppy are free of genetic disease. This is as close to a guarantee of a healthy puppy as it gets.
Of course, you must play your part as well. This includes paying close attention to your puppy’s health from their very first days at your house. Proper exercise, good nutrition and timely vaccinations and vet checkups are all helpful to ensure your pup grows up into a healthy dog.
Wikipedia about Labrador Retriever: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labrador_Retriever
More on Labrador Retriever: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/labrador-retriever/