As I work as a volunteer in animal welfare activities, I learned that animals are like humans that need love and attention. Meeting different kind of animals, whether stray or not, made me change my perspective about them. I realized how much help animals needed, especially those abandoned pets and stray animals. With this realization, I decided to take a veterinarian assistant training to further immerse myself in helping animals in need. I chose to work in a nearby veterinary clinic after I finished the training program to help the animals in my community.
There are a lot of times where I saw heartbreaking moments in the clinic. There are sick and injured pets, but the worst is pets who had a near-death experience. The sight of the pet and the owner can be devastating at times. However, despite all that, the environment in the clinic gives me happiness. Seeing how other people sacrifice their time to take care of their pets made me realize that pets are a part of their family. Throughout the years, I experience handling dog, and I saw the bond, trust, and love between the pet and their owners. The relationship between every dog and their owners proved that they care for their dogs like their own family.
Catahoula Lab Mix
A mix between Labrador Retriever and Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dogs, Labahoula starts to be a popular dog breed. The mix contains characteristics and personalities coming from both of its parents. Although parents had a prominent use of being a hunting dog in history, Labahoula is a calm dog breed. The breeding process brings out the best traits of the parents due to the concept of hybrid vigor. Labahoula has the loving and gentle characteristics of a Labrador and a fearless and loyal personality of Catahoula.
Labahoula is an excellent addition to an active family since this mix requires a lot of exercise and activities. A large backyard where the dog can play and can train is a good investment also if you want to take care of a Labahoula.
3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Get a Lab Catahoula mix
- It requires ample space in your house or backyard. Although a Labrador Catahoula mix is a medium-sized dog, it has a high dog activity rate. It needs an ample area for their running playtime and their training. Smaller spaces can give negativity to your dog and causes possible aggression towards other people or animals. Building a fence around your backyard or house area is essential to your Labrador Catahoula mix. Labrador breeds like Labahoula tends to wander around the field as long as they can. Fences will keep them from going somewhere far and prevent them from possible accidents of injuries.
- It’s not a dog for potato couches. Having a Labrador Catahoula mix requires a lot of training and exercises throughout your life. If you are a person who wants to stay in your house and watch television all day, Labahoula is not the dog for you. Labahoula requires daily training and exercise due to its hyperactive and energetic personalities. The practice of your dog also needs intense time so better save energy for that. Take note that you should never tie your Labahoula outside if you want to rest. It will undoubtedly affect your relationship with them.
- It needs the training to be a social dog. A Labrador Catahoula mix requires practice to be able to socialize with other people and animals. Since both parents are protective, the combination has an instinct to protect their owner or family from strangers. Training at a young age will solve the problem. You need to socialize your puppy to prevent it from harming other animals, especially smaller ones.
3 Reasons Why You Should Get A Catahoula Labrador
- It is gentle and friendly to children. Due to its characteristics from its Labrador parent, it inherited its gentle and loving personality. If you have children in the family, a Labahoula is an excellent addition to your house. Your kids can play with it without any fear since a Catahoula Labrador is comfortable in playing with them. The mix also has a personality that yearns and loves human companionship. Of course, you still need to train your puppy to socialize with other people before letting it play with your children. Your Labahoula can also watch over your kids when they are playing, and you need to do something urgently.
- It’s perfect for an athletic and active owner or family. Since Labrador Catahoula mix requires a lot of exercises, their personality matches with athletic people. The athlete often needs daily training to get in shape and may include running, jogging or doing sports. Your Labahoula will join you gladly in any way possible. You can let them run alongside you, and they can be an excellent watchdog, which keeps you safe. The dog is perfect also for adventurous families. Catahoula Labrador mix doesn’t want to be left alone and will be more delighted to join you in your family activities.
- It’s low maintenance in terms of grooming. The coat type of the Catahoula Labrador mix does not need daily grooming. You need to brush their fur at least two to three times a week to keep their coat perfect. However, you can opt to do daily brushing as long as it will not irritate your dog. The mix also belongs to a hypoallergenic group, so hair allergy is not a problem. You can also save money because it does not require any professional grooming services.
Appearance, Personality, and Traits of Lab Catahoulas Mixes
|Coat Type||Short in length, Normal density, Straight texture|
|Coat Color||Sable, Fawn, Red, Black, Brown, Dark Brown|
|Amount of Shedding||Low|
|Eyes||Blue, Hazel, Brown, Amber|
|Nose||Black, Brown, Isabella|
|Ears||Short and floppy|
|Temperament||Friendly, Loving, Protective, Fearless, Gentle, Energetic, Loves attention, Affectionate|
|Life Expectancy||10-12 years|
|Kids Friendly||Yes (if trained)|
|New Owners Friendly||Yes|
|Breed Recognition||Dogs Registry of America Inc.|
The breeding of Labrador retriever and Catahoula leopard dogs resulted in a large breed with both of their personalities. The coat color and type are also inherited and can be a combination of the two parents. In terms of temperament, the mix inherited strong and energetic traits from both of its parents. The Catahoula parents give the fearless and protective personality while gentle and affectionate characteristics came from the Labrador. It’s essential to understand that a Catahoula lab mix tends to suffer from separation anxiety. Since they are tender, being left alone will have a significant impact on its well-being. Make sure to always include your dog in family gatherings or activities to prevent it.
There are considerations and questions about the breed since there are few recognition for the race. However, the Dogs Registry of America Inc. recognizes the Labahoula as an accepted dog breed.
Labahoula Puppies For Sale
If you wanted to buy a Labahoula puppy, never buy on online advertisements and stores. Social media groups that sell puppies are also not advisable. Don’t be fooled by the low price that they are offering. These kinds of stores offer puppies at a low cost, but they mistreat its parents and the pups often have serious problems. While the breeding process improves overall traits of the puppy, a parent with serious health problems may pass it to its puppies.
Before purchasing a puppy, make sure that you browsed the internet in reputable Labahoula breeders. Ask them about the medical records of their available parents to determine if they’ve health issues. If possible, try to take a tour of their facility to see their work ethics. It’s also crucial to know if the facility is using genetic testing, which identifies possible diseases of a dog. It’s advisable even to visit dog forum sites to know reputable dog breeders.
If you find it hard to look for breeders, here are some list where you can start searching:
There is also an ongoing movement in the dog community at the moment. The “Adopt. Don’t Shop” movement offers you to adopt or to rescue puppies or dogs instead of buying one. This movement is to stop the wrong treatment of some breeding facilities. If you want to opt to save or adopt one, here are some websites:
Grooming Your Labrador crossed with Catahoula
In terms of grooming, a Labrador Catahoula mix is low-maintenance. Due to its short and standard dense coat type, there are no professional grooming services needed for your dog. Brushing its fur two to three times a week is advisable to keep its hair perfectly clean. Your dog can take a bath whenever he played, and he got dirty or whenever necessary. However, keep in mind that excessive bathing will lead to dry skin and you should avoid that. The mix is a low to moderate shedder, and it’s hypoallergenic, so you don’t need to worry about allergies. It’s best to make sure that you own a vacuum cleaner in shedding season to help you clean their fur.
Aside from grooming and taking care of your dog’s fur, other areas need to be cleaned regularly. You need to check the ears, mouth, and feet area to avoid possible wounds and infections. Since a Labahoula dog’s ears are floppy, you need to check it weekly or twice a week for wax accumulation. Clean your dog ears regularly to avoid too much wax in its ears that can cause partial deafness and potential infections. Also, brush its teeth at least twice a week to keep it in perfect shape and to prevent dental diseases.
Since a Catahoula lab mix likes to run around, it’s essential to check its nails now and then. There are instances that nails can break and wounds can appear in a dog’s feet area, which cause diseases. Injuries and nail breakages allow entry of soil-borne bacteria that eventually lead to foot infections.
Catahoula crossed with Lab Health Problems
Being a hybrid between two breeds of dog does not mean that a puppy will inherit only the excellent characteristics. Inbreeding processes, a puppy can also inherit serious health problems that their parents encountered before. Although the parents of a Labahoula are both generally healthy, it’s wise to know possible diseases that your puppy will encounter. In this case, you need to make sure that the facility you got your puppy uses genetic testing. Genetic testing will enable you to determine possible health issues before your puppy suffers from it. For starters, here are some common health problems that your Labahoula can get:
- Hip and Elbow Dysplasia: Dysplasia is a condition in which the joints of a dog is affected. Although all dogs tend to have these conditions, larger dogs are more prone to it. In a Catahoula lab mix, dysplasia happens in the elbow and hip areas. The sockets in the joint section in the dog’s elbow and hip experience malformation that causes bones not to connect. This condition gives extreme pain and joint arthritis to those who experience it. The dysplasia also affects the overall walking capability of a Catahoula lab mix.
- Cold Tail – Another term for the cold tail syndrome is “limber tail syndrome” or “dead tail syndrome.” This condition describes a tail of a dog that appears to be broken as it hangs down from its base. A sporting dog like Labrador Retrievers often suffers from this condition. Since Labrador is one of the parents of a Labahoula, the mix possibly inherits the disease. While there are no definite reasons why this condition happens, veterinarians believe that overexertion can be one. Exercises like swimming, which uses a lot of tail action, can cause cold tail episodes on your dog. It’s essential to not overexert your dog in whatever exercises that you will train him to do.
- Congenital Deafness: Congenital deafness is an inherited trait from a puppy’s parents. However, scientists and veterinarians concluded that the color has some association with this condition. Veterinarians found out that white-colored dogs often suffer from congenital deafness. Not all white dogs have this condition, and not all dogs who have congenital deafness are white. In Labahoula, dogs who have a heavy white spots markings in its coats are most likely to suffer from deafness. Behavioral changes are observable in dogs with congenital deafness. Dogs with this condition often misbehave and not follow their owner’s commands.
- Retinal Atrophy: Also called progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), this disease targets the retina of a dog’s eyes. Retinas are responsible for absorbing and reflecting light, which enables organisms to see clearly. PRA slowly damages the retina until the dog will suffer complete blindness. The first symptom of PRA is night blindness that inflicts harder navigation at night or in dark places. Bumping to furniture and walls also is one of the symptoms of this condition. When these symptoms are becoming observable, consult a veterinarian about diagnosing it correctly.
- Cataract: Cataract is another eye condition that affects the lens of a dog’s eyes. The lens often suffers from imperfection and opacity and appear as greyish or cloudy. If left untreated, cataract causes lifetime blindness. It’s essential to note the blood sugar level of your dog. High blood sugar level speeds up the onset of cataract. However, a Catahoula lab mix has a chance to inherit this condition from its parents.
- Ear infections: There are a lot of things that cause ear infections in dogs. Bacteria and viruses are the top causes of ear infections in dogs that causes excess itching. Ear infections also cause ear redness and foul odor and discharge from the dog’s ears. There are also cases where wax accumulation and excess moisture cause infections. Since a Catahoula lab mix has floppy ears, you need to check and clean its ears to avoid contamination regularly.
Catahoula crossed with Lab Food Requirements
Labradors Catahoulas have a medium to large size of body and are energetic, so you need to feed your dog to support its energy level. However, you need to consider that a Catahoula lab mix tends to overeat. You also need to prevent this overeating since being overweight or obese affects the mobility of your dog. In terms of consumption, three to five cups of dog food are the regular intake you need to give to your Labahoula. Keep in mind that you need to portion out those cups of dog food to prevent your dog from overeating.
It’s essential to feed your dog high-quality dog food to support your dog’s proper growth and development. Always give your Labahoula a dog food without any fillers like grains. Since a Catahoula lab mix tends to suffer from dysplasia, glucosamine can be a great additive in your dog food. A consultation with your dog’s veterinarian will enlighten you what diet you need to give on your dog. Here are some high-quality dog foods that you can get for your Labahoula:
- Wellness CORE Grain-Free Large-Breed Adult Recipe: This product contains the right balance of protein and fats, which supports your dog’s weight and energy. The dog food also contains glucosamine for your dog’s joint and omega fatty acids for the fur.
- Earthborn Holistic Grain-Free Dog Food: This dog food provides the right amount of protein and fat that supports your dog’s steady growth. The product also includes vegetables to keep your dog’s fur perfect.
- Now Fresh Grain-Free Large-Breed Adult Recipe: The product contains animal proteins and glucosamine, which supports nutrients and joint health, respectively. The ingredients of the product also make it highly digestible for your dog.
Lab mixed with Catahoula Exercise Requirements
Catahoula lab mix requires regular exercise and training since it has an energetic personality. A long walk, jog, or run will be perfect for your dog as a form of exercise. These exercises keep your dog healthy not only physically, but mentally, too. Here are some toys and products to keep your dog attention during training:
- Spiky Core Ball Toys: A Catahoula lab mix enjoys playing fetch or playing around with a ball around your backyard. However, every dog tends to overbite their toys and result in a broken one. With spiky core ball toys, after they broke the leather ball, there’s a spiky plastic ball that your dog can play.
- Shuck N’ Chuck Corn Cob: Treat dispensers are a great toy to give your dog if you want to prevent being occupied. This product comes with the shape of corn that makes your dog curious about it. It also trains your dog’s mental capability as it plays with the toy to get its treat.
- Jumbo Tennis Ball: Since your dog loves playing with a ball, increase its intensity by playing with this product. Jumbo tennis ball is three times larger than the regular one. Your dog will surely enjoy playing and chasing it within your backyard. However, make sure that your yard has a fence to prevent your dog from wandering outside.
Catahoula mixed with Labrador Traning
Both Labradors and Catahoulas are intelligent dogs, so training your Labahoula is not difficult. You can opt to hire a professional trainer, but it’s manageable to train your own dog. Here are some notes to keep in training your Labahoula:
- Train your puppy as early as possible to allow it to socialize among other animals. Labradors Catahoulas tend to be aggressive to smaller animals if not trained. You need to train your puppy with obedience exercises for it to follow your commands in the future.
- In training your dog, never chain them since it will give them stress. Chaining your dog will stress it and causes possible aggression and disobedience.
- You can teach your dog to swim. Labahoula dogs have a great ability to swim and belong to the best swimmers breed. If you are a swimmer, including swimming exercises as a part of the training is a good thing to do.
- Give him occasional treats and rewards to motivate it. However, keep in mind that you don’t want to overfeed your dogs with rewards.
Lab Catahoulas and Families
Labradors Catahoulas always want to be a part of a family’s activities. Its sweet and energetic nature allow it to participate in your adventures. The gentle and loving personality of a Labahoula makes it a great addition to a family with children. The mix would love to play with them and guard them if they need protection. However, you need to ensure that you have ample space in your house or backyard if you want to adopt or to buy a Labahoula.
A Catahoula lab mix would be a great companion for you and your family. Due to it’s intelligent, taking care of this mix have no difficulty but keep in mind its possible health issues. Treat your dog like one of your family members and make sure that they receive the love they deserved.
- Davison, L.j., et al. “The CaninePOMCGene, Obesity in Labrador Retrievers and Susceptibility to Diabetes Mellitus.” Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, vol. 31, no. 2, 8 Feb. 2017, pp. 343–348., doi:10.1111/jvim.14636.
- Slaughter, John. Catahoula: Louisiana State Dog. University of Louisisana at Lafayette Press, 2015.
- Walton, Joel, and Eve Adamson. Labrador Retrievers for Dummies. Wiley Publishing, 2007.