Owning a Labraheeler pros and cons
Labraheeler dogs are an interesting mix between Labrador Retriever and Australian Cattle Dog. The combination of genes between these parent breeds result in a dog that inherits many good and some not so good qualities from the Lab and Cattle dog parents. What are the pros and cons to owning a Labraheeler dog? Let's first look at the positive qualities that so many Labraheeler dog owners are praising about their pets.
Pros to owning a Labraheeler dog include the dog's loyal and affectionate attitude towards his or her family. While Labs are known to be very friendly towards strangers, Cattle dogs are highly protective of their owners and may appear aloof towards unfamiliar people. As a result, some Labraheeler dogs that inherited the Lab parent's temperament may be more sociable around strangers whiles other Labraheelers may take some time before the dog is friendly towards new people in their life, which is a trait that comes from the protective nature of the Australian Cattle Dog that is known to be an excellent watchdog. For people interested in owning a Labraheeler dog, it may be a good idea to meet both parents of the Labraheeler puppy to better understand the type of personality as well as appearance that their pup inherited from the parent dogs.
Labraheeler dogs are excellent exercise partners for people who enjoy outdoor sports and want a dog that would be able to walk long distances without easily getting tired. Labraheeler dog is the right dog for that job. Labrador Retrievers as well as Cattle dogs are tireless dogs that really enjoy and even need long walks every day to stay in good mental and physical shape. If you have the time that it takes to properly care and exercise your dog every day - rain or shine - then Labraheeler may be the dog for you. Labraheelers need lots of space to thrive. Living in a city apartment is not ideal for these active dogs that need lots of outdoor exercise frequently which may not be possible in the cramped city environment. Even if you have a large park nearby but live in an apartment building then it would help to have neighbors with hearing problems, otherwise you may get many complaints that your dog creates too much noise. Labraheelers are naturally vocal dogs that will bark and they will bark a lot, especially when not left alone or when they miss their long walk and have the energy that needs to be used in some way. Barking may be a solution for a Labraheeler to keep himself or herself busy for some time but for your neighbors this may not be a pleasant experience. That is another reason why Labraheeler dogs are not recommended for people who live in a city apartment.
Labraheelers are great for people who can spend most of the day with the dog - Lab and Cattle Dog mix dogs do not like to be left alone. For owners with full time job and little time to dedicate to a family dog, Labraheeler is not a suitable dog. Labraheelers are great companion pets for people who understand the needs of this hybrid dog and have the time and desire to make themselves available to spend a few hours on walking the dog and on taking good care of this loving but demanding for attention pet.
Labraheelers are very intelligent and can be trained to a high standard which is another pro to owning this dog. While Labraheelers are easily trainable, they also need to be socialized starting when they are still young puppies. Proper socialization is a must with Labraheeler dogs in order to raise a well behaved dog that can be comfortable around unfamiliar people and can be calm and relaxed in different environments. Potential owners will spend a significant amount of time on socializing their pet and on training the Labraheeler puppy all the basic commands. The experience of raising a well adjusted Labraheeler dog may be very time consuming especially while the dog is still a young pup that needs your guidance and time most of the time, having a well trained and properly socialized Labraheeler dog is a wonderful gift that comes with a lot of effort on your part. Not everyone has the time and dedication that it takes to raise a well trained and sufficiently socialized dog, which can be challenging for most people who have full time jobs or young children in the family that need a lot of attention. Much of a new Labraheeler dog owner's time will be dedicated to taking care of the puppy, teaching the new four legged family member the things that the dog needs to learn.
Many potential Labraheeler dog owners forget to think about vacation times for the family - will the dog stay with a responsible adult when you are away? Or are you planning to take the dog on vacation with you? These are important things to consider especially if your family likes to get away every year.
Pros of owning a Labraheeler
Labraheelers respond well to being trained, which is an advantage especially for novice dog owners
Lab and Cattle dog mix dogs make excellent companion pets for active individuals
Labraheeler dogs are highly intelligent dogs
Many Labraheelers make good watchdogs and will bark at strangers that approach your home
Labraheelers are loving and loyal towards their family
Cons of owning a Labraheeler
Labraheeler dogs are very active and need energetic owners who can spend hours outdoors exercising the pet
Some Labraheelers may bark excessively
Labraheelers that are bored or left alone frequently may develop destructive behaviors around the home
Strong herding instinct may be present in many Labraheeler dogs and they may try to herd small kids or even other family pets
Labraheelers need a lot of time investment in terms of socializing and training the dog
Labraheeler health problems
Labraheelers may be susceptible to several health issues. Responsible breeders will need to carry out all the necessary screening tests, to ensure that only healthy dog breeds are used to breed.
Hip Dysplasia is a condition that affects the hip joints of some Labraheelers by not developing properly. The Labrador Retriever is usually the most affected by this disease although even the Australian Cattle Dog is also prone to it. These factors make the Labraheeler prone to the same condition, hence breeders advised to screen the parents, to avoid those with poor hip joints.
Epilepsy is a condition that usually affects dogs less than five years old when they experience their first fit. In other cases, the condition may be triggered by stressful situations while in others it just occurs out of the blue. When the dog has a fit, the veterinarian will first of all run tests to rule out any other triggers such as low blood sugar, liver disease, and toxic ingestion. Tests run will also include brain scans and blood tests. Dogs diagnosed with epilepsy will be managed by administering long term medication which will give the dog a relatively normal life.
Hypothyroidism is a condition that affects dogs by not producing enough thyroid hormone. This may be caused by idiopathic thyroid atrophy a condition that makes glands shrink hence making the functional tissues be replaced by fat cells. Lymphocytic thyroiditis is another cause of this condition which is merely an immune disorder whereby the dog's body affects the thyroid glands. Fortunately treating this condition is usually very successful and the prognosis is also great.
Other conditions that affect may affect Labraheelers include the following:
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Responsible breeding as well as lifestyle and diet play important roles in determining how healthy your Labraheeler dog will be.
What you feed your pet is very important. Whether the food is home-made or purchased, Labraheelers will need a well-balanced diet with all the necessary ingredients and nutrients combined. The food should be formulated according to size, age, and energy levels. The dietary needs will change from puppyhood, adulthood and later to the senior years.
As we have already seen, that Labraheelers enjoy being outdoors playing and romping around, they will need high-quality food that matches their energy levels. Experts will always recommend high-quality dry kibble food for your dog since it contains all the nutrients required.
Dividing the foods into two or three portions for the day will help your dog maintain their weight and health. Feeding a Labraheeler the food at once is not advised since this may expose your pet to certain health risks. Bloat, for instance, is one of the conditions that your dog may suffer from if fed large meals at once.
Dog owners are also advised to maintain a schedule that will always be followed to feed the dogs. Free feeding or leaving food out all day is a habit that is strongly discouraged.
If you are not sure about what and how to best feed your dog, ask your breeder or vet about diet recommendations for your Labraheeler dog.
Labraheeler dog info