Canis lupus

Last updated: May 27, 2024
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff

The AKC does not recognize this breed or the parent breed Catahoula


Labahoula Scientific Classification

Scientific Name
Canis lupus

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

Labahoula Conservation Status

Labahoula Locations

Labahoula Locations

Labahoula Facts

Name Of Young
Fun Fact
The AKC does not recognize this breed or the parent breed Catahoula
Litter Size
4-12 puppies

Labahoula Physical Characteristics

Skin Type
10-14 years

Labahoula as a Pet:

General Health
Energy Level
Tendency to Chew
Family and kid friendliness
Yappiness / Barking
Separation Anxiety
Preferred Temperature
Average climate
Exercise Needs
Friendly With Other Dogs
Pure bred cost to own
Dog group
Male weight
- lbs
Female weight
- lbs

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Owning one of these dogs is much like having another human child in the family. They crave time spent with their owners and do not like being left out of activities.

Labahoula is a mixed breed from a Labrador retriever and a Louisiana Catahoula leopard dog. It is believed the breed was first developed in the late 1990s or early 2000s. The two origin species provide Labahoula puppies with the Labrador’s gentle disposition and the Catahoula’s physical agility. They are sweet, loyal, and loving dogs perfect for active families. But these designer dogs require lots of exercise, training, and socialization under experienced owners who can invest some time to ensure puppies grow into well-behaved adults.

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Because of their protective and loyal nature, these dogs do well as both companion and guard dogs. Its parent breeds, both Labrador Retrievers and Louisiana Catahoula leopard dogs are used in hunting. The Labrador is called a retriever for its birding capabilities. Louisiana Catahoula leopard dogs are also called “hog dogs” because they are effective in tracking and hunting wild boar in Louisiana’sswampy conditions. With these instincts, puppies can be trained for hunting but they are more often companion dogs and watchdogs.

With experienced owners, the Labahoula is an excellent addition to active, outdoor-loving families. They are great with kids and enjoy playing with humans of all ages. Because the dog is so gentle yet fearless, they are the perfect mix of behaviors as guard dogs and protective companions for families.

3 Pros and Cons of Owning a Labahoula

Excellent with kids and families: Because the mixed breed is a loving, protective, playful, and energetic dog, they make great companions for kids of all ages. They also provide great companionship for runners, hikers, and walkers who want a protective animal by their side during these activities.Not a lap dog: Labahoula is bred for their active spirits and constant desire to play, track, retrieve and herd. This means they are less often sleeping than they are up and moving. Their activity level means they are not good companions for less active households.
Life span of 10 to 14 years: With an average life span of 10 to 14 years, your pet will be by your side for many years.Not good with other animals: The breed is not good with other pets like cats or smaller dogs as they are constantly up for a chase. They can also be aggressive with other dogs.
Minimal shedding: They have a short, coarse coat that sheds very little compared to other breeds. They do not require professional grooming and can be bathed as needed.Requires a lot of attention: These active dogs want to shadow their humans everywhere they go. They are eager to play throughout their day and have lots of energy to burn. For these reasons, they need much time spent running around outdoors and playing fetch. They also beg to jump in the passenger’s seat anytime their owners pick up their car keys.

Labahoula Size and Weight

The Labrador-Catahoula mix is a medium-sized dog with short, coarse hair that sheds little. Males of this breed average 25″ tall and females average 23″. Male weight is typically 80lbs as a fully grown adult. Females weigh an average of 65lbs at full maturity.

Height (Male):25 inches tall
Height (Female):23 inches tall
Weight (male):80 pounds, fully grown
Weight (female):65 pounds, fully grown

Labahoula Common Health Issues

Labahoula dogs are usually healthy. They are not a breed known for specific health issues. But they can inherit the common hip and elbow dysplasia of their parent breeds, the Labrador retriever and Louisiana Catahoula leopard dog. Catahoulas frequently also have genetic hip joint malformation for which a Labahoula puppy may have a genetic predisposition. Catahoulas with heavily spotted and white-marked coats also tend to have deafness that a Labahoula may experience.

Other issues these dogs sometimes experience in old age are progressive retinal atrophy and cataracts.

Health and Entertainment for your Labahoula

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A summary of the Labahoula’s most common health issues includes:

  • Canine hip dysplasia
  • Deafness
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Cataracts

Labahoula Temperament and Behavior

The Labahoula is known as being well-tempered, loyal, and gentle, yet protective. They are excellent companions for families with young children and have a sweet and loving personalities. However, they do require patience during early training. Owners also must pay close attention to these dogs when other people or animals are around, particularly dogs of the same size or larger. They can be intimidating to strangers who visit and will bully, herd and track other animals.

The Labahoula’s behavior is shaped by their early training in puppyhood. For the best results, it is important to use treat-based reinforcement and start both training and socialization early. Many owners describe their puppy’s behavior as stubborn during early training. But these are smart dogs capable of learning obedience for a happy and healthy life both inside and outside of the home.

As part of everyday life, it is also important to not leave a Labahoula alone for very long. They can get wild and destructive if left to their own devices. Many of their pet parents describe them as “naughty” when not monitored. Obedience training largely focuses on curbing the wilder tendencies and traits in the Labrador-Catahoula mix.

Being so energetic and healthy means a Labrador-Catahoula mix is an outgoing, personality-driven companion throughout their lives. They need activity and exercise for at least 90 minutes each day. Because of their activity traits, they are not good pets for apartments or city dwellers. They need their own space, typically being best suited for suburban or rural homes with ample lawns or land.

How To Take Care of Labahoulas

Labahoulas are easy to groom and have few major health issues beyond hip dysplasia. But people interested in owning a Labrador-Catahoula puppy must consider the breed’s need for daily activity and companionship. These pets also require training from an early age.

The Best Dog Food for Labahoulas

Labahoula puppy food: With their tendency toward hip dysplasia, it is important to find a specially formulated pet food with high calcium content for good bone and joint formation as they grow.

Labahoula adult dog food: An average-sized adult Labrador-Catahoula mix dog eats about 3.5 cups of dry kibble or other pet food each day. As with a puppy of this mixed breed, an adult dog needs more calcium than some other breeds to prevent hip dysplasia problems. For this reason, they likely need a calcium supplement to take in enough of this important mineral. Because they are highly active pets, their food must contain a healthy balance of carbohydrates with proteins and fats.

To support an active lifestyle, A-Z Animals thinks the best dog food for Labahoulas is Nutro Ultra Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food.

This protein-rich formula uses real chicken and lamb as natural glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate sources for strong joints that resist dysplasia and discomfort. The salmon is an excellent source of omega fatty acids for complete wellbeing. And this food is enriched with vitamin A to keep Labahoulas’ eyes as clear as possible, with the full range of vitamins and minerals to supply this spunky breed’s energetic antics.

Here’s where you can buy Nutro Ultra Large Breed Dog Food on Chewy and Amazon.

Overall Best
Nutro Ultra Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food
  • Lamb and brown rice recipe for large dog breeds
  • Contains glucosamine and chondroitin to support healthy joints
  • Antioxidants for immune health
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Maintenance And Grooming

Labahoula dogs are extremely easy to groom and maintain. They have short, coarse coats of hair that shed very little and require only a light brushing every week to two weeks. Besides an occasional bath as needed, there are no real professional grooming needs. Of course, it is important to brush their teeth about twice weekly to prevent dental disease. You should check your dog’s ears and clean them every one to three months. Look for signs of wax build-up, debris, or infection. If your dog remains active outside, it may not need regular nail clipping. But you should trim their nails as needed every two to three weeks.


Training a Labahoula is not always easy. They are smart dogs but can be stubborn in both the puppy phase and as adults. Obedience, socialization, and potty training should start as soon as possible. However, general obedience requires some reinforcement throughout their lifetime. They do very well with treat-based positive reinforcement. The mixed breed’s main issues tend to be misbehavior when left alone when around other animals or among people they do not know.


Labahoula dogs need at least 90 minutes per day of physical activity. This playtime can include games like fetch, fieldwork, swimming, or just free time to run and socialize around an open space. They are active dogs and do not live well in apartments or small settings. They make excellent companions for runners, hikers, and other people who love to be outdoors and active daily. Among other breeds of dogs, these are some of the most active pets. Pet owners can expect to walk or run their pet an equivalent of at least 15 miles per week.


These mixed breed puppies need to be socialized and trained from a very young age. They need regular exposure to people of all ages and other pets from the start. At the same time, they must go through rigorous training to curb some of their tendency toward protection and stubbornness. Otherwise, the dog becomes difficult to manage within a household and around other people or animals.

The mixed-breed also misbehaves when left alone for too long and will require crate training to manage this streak. Puppies to adult dogs can also irritate other pets because of their tracking, herding, and chasing behaviors.

Labahoulas and Children

These puppies are playful, loving, and lively around children from the start of their lives. They eagerly want to participate in family activities and make loyal and protective family companions. Because they have a high need for activity, they make great pets for households with multiple children. At the same time, they provide the family with protection.

Dogs similar to Labahoulas

There are multiple dog breeds similar to Labahoulas. These include the Labraheeler, collie, and Bouvier des Flandres.

  • Labraheeler – The labraheeler is similar to the labahoula in intelligence and energy. They share many of the common traits of their labrador retriever origin. Both require active households, have a tendency to “watchdog” and need early training and socialization. These dogs also have similar color variety as the labahoula’s coat.
  • Collie – The adult collie is similar in size to the labahoula. Both breeds are very good with children and share a tendency to herd people and animals. They enjoy similar life spans and also dislike being separated from their humans.
  • Bouvier des Flandres – These dogs also require lots of exercise due to their active nature. They are herding dogs, sharing the tendency to herd people and other animals around the household and outdoors. Both breeds share moderate separation anxiety when away from their humans or left alone for lengthy periods.

Popular names for labahoulas include:

  • Bella
  • Blue
  • Sadie
  • Cooper
  • Tucker
  • Pepper
  • Duke

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Dogs are our best friends but which breed is your perfect match?


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AZ Animals is a growing team of animals experts, researchers, farmers, conservationists, writers, editors, and -- of course -- pet owners who have come together to help you better understand the animal kingdom and how we interact.

Labahoula FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How much does a Labahoula cost to own?

They are a mixed breed not yet recognized by the AKC. This means they are relatively inexpensive as puppies, typically costing about $500 to $900. Because they are a mixed breed, they are also often available in animal shelters. Their food costs between $50 and $60 per month. Between vet bills and general upkeep, you can expect the annual cost of your Labrador-Cahoula mix to be about $900.

Is the Labahoula good with kids?

A Labrador-Catahoula mix is great with kids within his or her own household, being loving, gentle, and loyal companions with a high need for daily activity. But they require early socialization and training to be equally good with kids they do not know.

How long does a Labahoula live?

These dogs live an average life span of 10 to 14 years. Of course, they can live longer if kept healthy through a balanced diet, daily exercise and veterinary care.

How big will a Labahoula get?

Males grow to 25″ tall and 80lbs. Females of this mixed breed grow to about 23″ tall and 65lbs. Among other breeds, they are considered to be medium-sized.

Are Labahoulas good dogs?

Labahoulas have a loving temperament. They are loyal and protective companions for their human family. They certainly have a stubborn streak and require a lot of activity and attention. But they make great family dogs for people living in suburban or rural areas who are willing to train and work with their dog toward the best behavior.

What are Labahoulas used for?

Labrador-Catahoula mix-breeds are primarily companion dogs for active families and people who enjoy being outdoors. They are bred from hunting and retrieving breeds, so they have a natural animal-chasing streak. But they are best known for being family pets and watchdogs.

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