I underwent a 2-year training program as a veterinary assistant as soon as I finished my stint as an animal care volunteer. When it ended, I began my work as part of a veterinary clinic, taking care of different kinds of animals. It was fortunate that my co-workers shared my love for animals.
For me, it’s very fulfilling to work as someone who treats animals and saves their lives. I love the feeling of making pet owners feel better whenever we administer health care for their pets. During the past year, I got to meet a lot of pet owners and care for their pet dogs. Getting to know those pets made me realize how important it was for dogs to have the best growing environment possible.
Whippet Lab Mix
A Whippet-Lab, or a “Whipador,” is the result of crossbreeding a purebred Whippet and a purebred Labrador Retriever. When comparing the two initial breeds, you’ll notice that their body types are completely different. The Whippet has a lean body while the Labrador Retriever has a bulkier built. Thus, when producing the mix, the different body types balance each other out. This gives the Whippet-Lab an average-sized shape.
3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Get a Lab Whippet
- It’s hard to leave them alone. The dog’s Labrador traits make them sensitive to being alone since they do not like solitude. If you are the type of person that needs to leave the house frequently, getting a Whippet Lab may not be a good idea for you.
- They chase after small animals. Both Whippets and Labradors tend to go after small creatures when they see or smell one. Should you have any pets that the dog might go after, you may have to think twice before getting a Whipador. Otherwise, the dog will bark at it or try to break off from its leash to give chase.
- They have destructive tendencies. When Whippet Labs experience bouts of depression, they tend to become very damaging. They can bite through your house stuff and wreck couches and shoes if not taken care of properly. Make sure to keep them happy and occupied.
3 Reasons Why You Should Get a Whippet Lab
- They have a lot of energy. For those looking for a playful pet, getting a Whippet Lab is a good idea. They are hyperactive pets and love to run around with their owners. It’s a good idea to spend time playing with them so that they will be happier and more fulfilled.
- They are very friendly. Whippet Labs get excited when seeing new faces. Whenever you have house guests come over, they will be sure to play with them and jump excitedly. They can be people-pleasers and will make everyone around them happy as well.
- They are reliable pets. Both Whippets and Labradors are hunting breeds, and the mix inherits both these qualities. They can be relied upon as retrievers and service dogs, and will gladly help out their owners when taken care of. They are fiercely loyal, and they know how to take care of their owners as well.
Appearance, Personality, and Traits of a Lab Whippet Mix
|Weight||25 to 80 lbs|
|Height||18 to 24.5 inches at shoulders|
|Coat Type||Either double-coat or short and smooth coat|
|Coat Color||Depending on which parent the mix resembles the most; may have white, blue, or black markings with/without a mask|
|Amount of Shedding||Moderate|
|Eyes||Dark; almond shaped|
|Temperament||Energetic, Friendly, Strong prey drive|
|Life Expectancy||10 to 12 years|
|New Owner Friendly||Yes|
The qualities of a Whippet Lab make them one of the best house pets for families. They are naturally very friendly and very reliable. They love playing with their owners and will excitedly welcome new guests, instead of being hostile towards them. Also, they also love snuggling with their owners after a day of being active.
As mentioned earlier, Whippet Labs are from two hunting breeds. If there are any pests or small animals trying to invade your home, they will make sure to track them down and chase them away for you. They also inherit the Labrador’s retriever traits, making them great service dogs.
Labrador and Whippet Cross-Breed Puppies for Sale
The friendliness and reliability of the Whippet Labs make them excellent choices when selecting a house pet. They are worthy investments since owners will gain both a trusty companion and a loyal friend. This is why a lot of people are looking to have Whippet Labs.
However, like other dog breeds, Whippet Labs are also susceptible to some congenital diseases. Before you finally purchase a puppy, make sure that you also understand the risks that your new pet will face, and what you need to do to take care of it. Taking prior precautions will ensure that your pet will live out its maximum lifespan.
When purchasing a Whippet Lab, don’t go straight to pet stores and large pet emporiums, since they rely on mass breeding of dogs. While they offer the convenience of making sure that you will be able to have a pet at once, they may not be able to check up on each dog if it is still healthy enough to live out a long life. Missing out on small issues could lead to future problems for your pet.
It’s advisable if you first consider small-time pet owners who are breeding Whippet Labs at a controlled environment. That way, you can ensure that the parents of the puppy grew up in areas that are conducive for living. This will also help you secure the puppy’s future growth.
Also, coordinating with a small-scale breeder will allow you to inquire about the puppy’s health history. You can find out if it inherited a disease from its parents and if that particular disease has been treated or not. It helps to have more information about your new pet before you take it home and take care of it yourself.
If you’re interested in getting one, you may check out these sites:
Aside from these sites, you may also visit local rescue centers if they have any Whippet Labs that are up for adoption. Some examples are below:
- Pet Rescue By Judy (Sanford, FL)
- Animal Haven Center (New York, NY)
- Austin Pets Alive! (Austin, TX)
- Richmond SPCA (Richmond, VA)
- Nevada Humane Society (Reno, NV)
Grooming Your Whippet and Lab Cross-Breed
The Whippet Lab is a combination of two polar opposite dogs, in terms of shedding. Whippets don’t shed as much due to their short hair, but Labradors are heavy shedders. The mix of the two makes the Whippet Lab a moderate shedder.
Given this, it’s advisable for pet owners to have a vacuum cleaner ready if they want to have a Whippet Lab as a pet. They tend to run around a lot, so expect fluffs of fur all over your house if they are free to roam around. If you have any household members that are sensitive to hair, keep them away from the Whippet Lab’s area.
As with most dogs, Whippet Labs should be given baths when needed. Usual hygienic practices, such as trimming their nails and brushing their teeth, also apply to Whippet Labs. You may comb their fur as well, but again, watch for the shedding.
Labrador Mixed With Whippet Health Problems
Whippet Labs may be active and energetic, but they are still prone to some health concerns. Some of them are below:
- Nasal Health Issues: Given the Whippet’s naturally long nose, a Whippet Lab may be susceptible to sinus problems. Having a long nose also comes with the risk of having nose tumors and other nose-related issues.
- Hemangiosarcoma: The Whippet Lab’s fur isn’t that thick; it is prone to developing skin cancer when exposed to too much sun. The color of their skin also puts them at risk for skin damage and sunburns. It’s important to keep them away from too much sun exposure to avoid these problems.
- Mitral Valve Degeneration: While this condition is a common risk for dogs in general, Whippets have been observed to have an increased risk for cardiovascular diseases. If the Whippet parent has a history of MTD, the Whippet Lab puppy could inherit this.
- Autoimmune Thyroiditis: Some studies have shown that Whippets have a low level of thyroid hormones. This puts them at risk for hypothyroidism, something that the Whippet Lab could inherit from the parent. Additional medical precautions need to be taken to avoid this.
Whippet Mixed With Labrador Food Requirements
As with any dog, food has to be regulated for Whippet Labs to ensure that they live longer and happier. Overfeeding is not encouraged since Labradors tend to become obese. Luckily, Whippets aren’t prone to this, balancing out the obesity risk of the mixed breed.
Whippet Labs are active and energetic, which means that they need food that will sustain them efficiently. Make sure to look into food that can supply the energy they need to run around and play a lot more. Just make sure to avoid overfeeding them, as this could lead to hip and elbow dysplasia, something that the Whippet Lab is highly susceptible to. It would help to have a diet rich in fish oil, chondroitin, and glucosamine.
Some food samples are below:
- Victor High Energy Formula Dry Dog Food: One good thing about this particular product is that it is free from gluten and grain by-products. This makes it easy for the dogs to digest and regulates how much stool it produces, while still giving energy. It also has a lot of beneficial ingredients to promote a healthier immune system for your dog.
- Alpo Prime Cuts: This particular kind of dog food is packed with protein and 23 vitamins and minerals, perfect for an active breed like the Whippet Lab. Aside from ensuring muscle growth, it also gives your dog additional protection from possible diseases that it could develop.
- Vitality High Energy Dog Food: This was made for working dogs and show-dogs so that they would be supplied with sufficient energy. It has Beef and Lamb flavors that dogs love, and it also contains Omega oil for healthy skin and shiny coat. The odor fo the dog’s stools will also be minimized.
- Eukanuba Dog Food for Labs: Your Whippet Lab will gain from this dog food’s various benefits. It is packed with calcium so that your dog’s bones will grow stronger, which is perfect for running. It also has protein to help build your dog’s muscles. Additionally, it has an ingredient that prevents the build-up of tartar in your dog’s teeth.
- Purina Pro Plan Sport Active – Turkey and Barley Formula: This particular dog food is specially formulated for active dogs like the Whippet Lab. It’s grain free and soy free for easier digestion. It is also made for each stage of the dog’s life, so you’ll be sure that your dog will be getting its needed nourishment throughout its survival.
Aside from the ones mentioned above, you may also resort to raw food for your Whippet Lab. Feeding them raw meat and vegetables will give them a decent amount of energy and nutrients for their growth as well.
Whippet Combined with Lab Exercise Requirements
To ensure that the Whippet Lab will stay happy, exercise should be done, and the dog should be allowed to run around. Otherwise, it will become depressed and may ruin household objects. As such, the Lab Whippet should be allowed to stretch out at your home or in dog parks. Daily walks are also advised. If it’s possible not to tie up the dog, don’t do so, as it will be much happier and fulfilled if allowed to roam freely.
You may also play games with your dog to further exercise it. Playing catch or fetch is advisable, given its hunting lineage.
Some examples of dog toys for your Whippet Lab are below:
- Kong AirDog Tennis Ball Set: This is a good fetch toy for your Whippet Lab to run after. It also functions as a squeaker toy for your dog to play around with. Its soft material won’t damage your dog’s teeth, unlike an actual tennis ball. You can use this to give your dog some exercise while teaching it to fetch.
- Ifetch Interactive Ball Launcher: This is a fantastic dog toy that your Whippet Lab can play with for hours on end. It launches a ball that the dog will fetch, then re-launches the ball once the dog returns it to the machine. It will keep the dog occupied while you can focus on other things.
- Nylabone DuraChew Double Bone Chew Toy: For those times when your Whippet Lab is getting bored or depressed, this toy comes in handy. It’s made of a very durable material, allowing your dog to fulfill its chewing desires without you worrying if the toy would break. It keeps the dog from looking at other household things as chew toys.
Labrador Combined with Whippet Training
To further understand how the Whippet Lab can be trained, you have to know how its parents think. For Whippets, it’s advisable to create a bond with the dog before teaching it. It has to recognize who is in charge so that it will obey commands effectively. Having a stronger relationship with the Whippet makes training it so much easier.
Labradors, on the other hand, are natural service dogs and are motivated by positive reinforcement. They respond well when rewarded, especially with food. They are also people-pleasers, which means that they will work hard to perfect a particular skill to satisfy their owners.
Naturally, the Whippet Lab will inherit these qualities from its parents, giving you a dog that is highly motivated by strong bonds and positive reinforcement. Both breeds are quite intelligent as well, so you can teach the dog various tricks.
You may follow these tips to make training easier:
- Be firm with commands. You have to establish that you are the alpha and that the dog must obey your commands. When you issue an order, make sure the dog follows you. You should also be clear and consistent with rules to avoid confusion.
- Provide varying levels of positive reinforcement. After a dog learns to do the trick repeatedly, you have to start withholding rewards. This will teach the dog to work harder for the next treat. Repeat this until the dog successfully improves specific skills.
- Make your bonds strong. To appeal to its Whippet side, you have to make sure that you have enough time with your dog. Exercise with it and give it cuddles to enhance your relationship. Try to please it as much as it will try to please you.
- Give it enough exercise. The more activity a Whippet Lab gets, the easier it becomes to train. Make sure to walk the dog often and give it enough space in your home to roam around. Take your dog to parks and allow it to socialize with other people and other dogs.
Whippet Combined With Lab And Families
Having a Lab Whippet as a family dog is a good idea. Labradors are naturally social dogs, so bonding with it will come quickly. Both breeds also exhibit fierce loyalty to its owners, ensuring that you won’t have too many problems with your Whippet Lab. All members of your family will have fun bonding with the dog and playing with it.
Whippet Labs are also safe around children, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to supervise them during playtime. If you have hyperactive kids, you can make them run with the dog so that they will both bond and have exercise at the same time. When you or someone in your family are out for a morning jog, take the dog with you. It’s a great bonding moment for all.
The “service dog” side of the Whippet Lab comes out naturally as your bond strengthens. It will do its best to please everyone in your family, so it’s a good idea to have healthy relationships between the dog and your family members. If everything goes well, you’ll have a long-time companion in your household that will work hard for you and your family.
Whippet labs are one of the best dog breeds to consider when you’re thinking of purchasing a dog. It is the result of the union of two great hunting breeds: the loyal Whippet and the reliable Labrador. As long as you know how to take care of the dog, it will give everything it can to take care of you as well. Just make sure to remember everything that you read here.
Keep the dog happy by making sure it gets its exercise daily. Let it expend its naturally high energy by letting it run around and play. Use dog toys to keep the dog occupied and make sure it doesn’t become bored or anxious. If it gets tired, let it rest, and take that opportunity to cuddle with it. Feed the dog specific food that will give it back its energy and strengthen its muscles and bones. Take care of its health as well by knowing how to avoid health risks.
When training the dog, make sure to have a strong bond with it and reward its good behavior. Work hard to please the dog, and it will begin to please you as well. Make your family members bond with the dog so that its socializing tendencies are fulfilled as well. Teach it useful skills so that you can utilize its service dog qualities.
Once you follow all these tips, you’ll be sure to have a great experience with your Whippet Lab. Make the dog’s years meaningful, and it will give your years a lot of meaning as well.
- 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.
- Somma, André Tavares, et al. “Characterization of a Novel Form of Progressive Retinal Atrophy in Whippet Dogs: a Clinical, Electroretinographic, and Breeding Study.” Veterinary Ophthalmology, vol. 20, no. 5, 29 Nov. 2016, pp. 450–459., doi:10.1111/vop.12448.
- Walton, Joel, and Eve Adamson. Labrador Retrievers for Dummies. Wiley Publishing, 2007.
- Bengtson, Bo. The Whippet. Kennel Club Books, 2010.