The Labrastaff is a mixed breed dog — a cross between the Labrador Retriever and Staffordshire Bull Terrier dog breeds. Athletic, loyal, and intelligent, these pups inherited some of the best qualities from both of their parents.
Labrastaffs are also sometimes known as Staffadors and Staffy Labs. You may find these mixed breed dogs in shelters and rescues, so remember to always adopt! Don’t shop if you’re looking to add one of these dogs to your home.
The Labrastaff is a dog with a lot of energy and athletic prowess. If you’re an outdoorsy type of family, this dog will love coming along on errands and trips to parks or hiking areas. They’re loyal to their family and will strike up strong bonds with the kids in a household. True to the dog’s social nature, they don’t enjoy being alone for long periods of time and may get into mischief if you leave them alone at home or in a yard. So ensure family members are around the Labrastaff as much as possible.
Contrary to popular belief, small size doesn’t necessarily an apartment dog make. Plenty of small dogs are too high-energy and yappy for life in a high-rise. Being quiet, low energy, fairly calm indoors, and polite with the other residents are all good qualities in an apartment dog.
Some dogs are simply easier than others; they take to training better and are fairly easygoing. They’re also resilient enough to bounce back from your mistakes or inconsistencies.
Dogs who are highly sensitive, independent thinking, or assertive may be harder for a first-time dog parent to manage. You’ll get your best match if you take your dog-owning experience into account as you choose your new pooch.
If you’re new to dog parenting, take a look at 101 Dog Tricks and read up on how to train your dog!
Some dogs will let a stern reprimand roll off their backs, while others take even a dirty look to heart. Low-sensitivity dogs, also called “easygoing,” “tolerant,” “resilient,” and even “thick-skinned,” can better handle a noisy, chaotic household, a louder or more assertive owner, and an inconsistent or variable routine. Do you have young kids, throw lots of dinner parties, play in a garage band, or lead a hectic life? Go with a low-sensitivity dog.
Some breeds bond very closely with their family and are more prone to worry or even panic when left alone by their owner. An anxious dog can be very destructive–barking, whining, chewing, and otherwise causing mayhem. These breeds do best when a family member is home during the day or if you can take the dog to work.
Breeds with very short coats and little or no undercoat or body fat, such as Greyhounds, are vulnerable to the cold. Dogs with a low cold tolerance need to live inside in cool climates and should have a jacket or sweater for chilly walks.
Dogs with thick, double coats are more vulnerable to overheating. So are breeds with short noses, like Bulldogs or Pugs, since they can’t pant as well to cool themselves off. If you want a heat-sensitive breed, your dog will need to stay indoors with you on warm or humid days, and you’ll need to be extra cautious about exercising your dog in the heat.
All Around Friendliness
Some breeds are independent and aloof, even if they’ve been raised by the same person since puppyhood; others bond closely to one person and are indifferent to everyone else; and some shower the whole family with affection. Breed isn’t the only factor that goes into affection levels; dogs who were raised inside a home with people around feel more comfortable with humans and bond more easily.
See Dogs Less Affectionate with Family
Being gentle with children, sturdy enough to handle the heavy-handed pets and hugs they can dish out, and having a blasé attitude toward running, screaming children are all traits that make a kid-friendly dog. You may be surprised by who’s on that list: Fierce-looking Boxers are considered good with children, as are American Staffordshire Terriers (which are considered Pit Bulls). Small, delicate, and potentially snappy dogs such as Chihuahuas aren’t always so family-friendly.
**All dogs are individuals. Our ratings are generalizations, and they’re not a guarantee of how any breed or individual dog will behave. Dogs from any breed can be good with children based on their past experiences, training on how to get along with kids, and personality. No matter what the breed or breed type, all dogs have strong jaws, sharp pointy teeth, and may bite in stressful circumstances. Young children and dogs of any breed should always be supervised by an adult and never left alone together, period.
Friendliness toward dogs and friendliness toward humans are two completely different things. Some dogs may attack or try to dominate other dogs, even if they’re love-bugs with people; others would rather play than fight; and some will turn tail and run. Breed isn’t the only factor. Dogs who lived with their littermates and mother until at least six to eight weeks of age and who spent lots of time playing with other dogs during puppyhood, are more likely to have good canine social skills.
Stranger-friendly dogs will greet guests with wagging tails and nuzzles; others are shy, indifferent, or even aggressive. However, no matter what the breed, a dog who was socialized and exposed to lots of different types, ages, sizes, and shapes of people as a puppy will respond better to strangers as an adult. Remember that even friendly dogs should stay on a good, strong leash like this one in public!
Health And Grooming Needs
If you’re going to share your home with a dog, you’ll need to deal with some level of dog hair on your clothes and in your house. However, shedding does vary greatly among the breeds. Some dogs shed year-round, some “blow” seasonally, some do both, and some shed hardly at all. If you’re a neatnik, you’ll need to either pick a low-shedding breed or relax your standards. To help keep your home a little cleaner, you can find a great de-shedding tool
Drool-prone dogs may drape ropes of slobber on your arm and leave big, wet spots on your clothes when they come over to say hello. If you’ve got a laid-back attitude toward slobber, fine; but if you’re a neatnik, you may want to choose a dog who rates low in the drool department.
Some breeds are brush-and-go dogs; others require regular bathing, clipping, and other grooming just to stay clean and healthy. Consider whether you have the time and patience for a dog who needs a lot of grooming, or the money to pay someone else to do it.
Due to poor breeding practices, some breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, such as hip dysplasia. This doesn’t mean that every dog of that breed will develop those diseases; it just means that they’re at an increased risk.
If you’re adopting a puppy, it’s a good idea to find out which genetic illnesses are common to the breed you’re interested in. You may also want to ask if your shelter or rescue has information about the physical health of your potential pup’s parents and other relatives.
Some breeds have hearty appetites and tend to put on weight easily. As in humans, being overweight can cause health problems in dogs. If you pick a breed that’s prone to packing on pounds, you’ll need to limit treats, make sure they get enough exercise, and measure out their daily food servings into regular meals rather than leaving food out all the time.
Ask your vet about your dog’s diet and what they recommend for feeding your pooch to keep them at a healthy weight. Weight gain can lead to other health issues or worsen problems like arthritis.
Dogs come in all sizes, from the world’s smallest pooch, the Chihuahua, to the towering Great Dane, how much space a dog takes up is a key factor in deciding if they’re compatible with you and your living space. Large dog breeds might seem overpowering and intimidating, but some of them are incredibly sweet! Take a look and find the right sized dog for you!
Easy-to-train dogs are more adept at forming an association between a prompt (such as the word “sit”), an action (sitting), and a consequence (getting a treat) very quickly. Other dogs need more time, patience, and repetition during training.
Many breeds are intelligent but approach training with a “What’s in it for me?” attitude, in which case you’ll need to use rewards and games to teach them to want to comply with your requests.
Dogs who were bred for jobs that require decision making, intelligence, and concentration, such as herding livestock, need to exercise their brains, just as dogs who were bred to run all day need to exercise their bodies. If they don’t get the mental stimulation they need, they’ll make their own work–usually with projects you won’t like, such as digging and chewing. Obedience training and interactive dog toys are good ways to give a dog a brain workout, as are dog sports and careers, such as agility and search and rescue.
Common in most breeds during puppyhood and in Retriever breeds at all ages, mouthiness means a tendency to nip, chew, and play-bite (a soft, fairly painless bite that doesn’t puncture the skin). Mouthy dogs are more likely to use their mouths to hold or “herd” their human family members, and they need training to learn that it’s fine to gnaw on chew toys, but not on people. Mouthy breeds tend to really enjoy a game of fetch, as well as a good chew on a toy that’s been stuffed with kibble and treats.
Dogs who were bred to hunt, such as Terriers, have an inborn desire to chase–and sometimes kill–other animals. Anything whizzing by, such as cats, squirrels, and perhaps even cars, can trigger that instinct. Dogs who like to chase need to be leashed or kept in a fenced area when outdoors, and you’ll need a high, secure fence in your yard. These breeds generally aren’t a good fit for homes with smaller pets that can look like prey, such as cats, hamsters, or small dogs. Breeds that were originally used for bird hunting, on the other hand, generally won’t chase, but you’ll probably have a hard time getting their attention when there are birds flying by.
Some breeds sound off more often than others. When choosing a breed, think about how often the dog vocalizes with barks or howls. If you’re considering a hound, would you find their trademark howls musical or maddening? If you’re considering a watchdog, will a city full of suspicious “strangers” put your pup on permanent alert? Will the local wildlife literally drive your dog wild? Do you live in housing with noise restrictions? Do you have neighbors nearby? Then you may wish to choose a quieter dog.
Some breeds are more free-spirited than others. Nordic dogs such as Siberian Huskies were bred to range long distances, and given the chance, they’ll take off after anything that catches their interest. And many hounds simply must follow their noses–or that bunny that just ran across the path–even if it means leaving you behind.
High-energy dogs are always ready and waiting for action. Originally bred to perform a canine job of some sort, such as retrieving game for hunters or herding livestock, they have the stamina to put in a full workday. They need a significant amount of exercise and mental stimulation, and they’re more likely to spend time jumping, playing, and investigating any new sights and smells.
Low-energy dogs are the canine equivalent of a couch potato, content to doze the day away. When picking a breed, consider your own activity level and lifestyle, and think about whether you’ll find a frisky, energetic dog invigorating or annoying.
A vigorous dog may or may not have high energy, but everything they do, they do with vigor: they strain on the leash (until you train them not to), try to plow through obstacles, and even eats and drinks with great big gulps. These dynamos need lots of training to learn good manners, and may not be the best fit for a home with young kids or someone who’s elderly or frail. A low-vigor dog, on the other hand, has a more subdued approach to life.
Some breeds do fine with a slow evening stroll around the block. Others need daily, vigorous exercise, especially those that were originally bred for physically demanding jobs, like herding or hunting.
Without enough exercise, these breeds may put on weight and vent their pent-up energy in ways you don’t like, such as barking, chewing, and digging. Breeds that need a lot of exercise are good for outdoorsy, active people, or those interested in training their dog to compete in a high-energy dog sport, such as agility.
Some dogs are perpetual puppies — always begging for a game — while others are more serious and sedate. Although a playful pup sounds endearing, consider how many games of fetch or tag you want to play each day, and whether you have kids or other dogs who can stand in as playmates for the dog.
Dog Breed Group:Mixed Breed DogsHeight:17 to 24 inchesWeight:40 to 80 poundsLife Span:10 to 14 years
More About This Breed
- The Labrastaff is a mixed breed dog. They are not purebreds like their Labrador Retriever and Staffordshire Bull Terrier parents.
- The most common colors of coat for a Labrastaff are black, brown, and brindle.
- When it comes to grooming this mixed breed, you’ll need to undertake daily brushing sessions to keep the dog’s coat in its best and healthiest condition.
- In general, the Labrastaff is a pretty adaptable dog when it comes to climates, whether they’re hot or cold.
- Labrastaff dogs and children get on great together. They will form strong bonds, and the dog will take on a guardian role to your kids.
- Early socialization really pays off with this mixed breed. Make sure to reward your Labrastaff for good behavior and adhere to a proper training regimen when you bring them home to your family.
Labrastaffs are a relatively new mixed breed dog, so there’s not too much accurate information floating around about their exact history. But the dog’s parent breeds are another matter altogether.
The Labrador Retriever originally hails from Canada, where it was bred for hunting and retrieving before changing roles and becoming renowned as a guide dog. The Labrador Retriever is widely believed to be one of the most popular dogs in the United States.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier has hunting roots. The’re breed that was first used to bait bulls and fight in pits. Nowadays they make great family pets, and most of their aggression has been bred out of them.
The Labrastaff has become known as a designer dog breed, but many of them unfortunately end up in shelters. So consider contacting your local rescue groups and shelters if you’re thinking about adding the Labrastaff to your home.
The Labrastaff is usually described as a medium-sized dog. Although, as is always the case with newer mixed dog breeds, exact size standards might vary.
Most weigh in at 40 to 80 pounds and range in height from 17 to 24 inches. Female Labrastaffs might be visibly smaller than their male counterparts.
Tolerance is one of the Labrastaff’s great virtues. This is especially so around young children–overly energetic play tactics usually won’t antogonize the breed. True to the dog’s social streak, they prefer to be around people rather than being left alone for long periods of time. So if you can offer a safe and fenced in outdoor space that you can also supervise, your kids and your Labrastaff will frolic away the afternoons very happily indeed.
While Labrastaffs are usually great around humans, they can become wary of other dogs. For that reason, it’s imperative that the breed is socialized and trained properly from day one. Aggressive tendencies might otherwise emerge.
But as long as your Labrastaff knows their boundaries around people and other animals, you’ll be looking at a super faithful and friendly companion and a great addition to any family who can commit to spending a lot of time around the dog.
Labrastaffs are generally considered to be healthy dogs; although, the breed can be predisposed to some of the same conditions that the Labrador Retriever and Staffordshire Bull Terrier face. As always, it’s important to schedule regular wellness visits with your dog’s vet.
Some of the more common health problems Labrastaffs suffer from include:
- Hip Dysplasia
The Labrastaff is a dog that thrives in an outdoors arena. You’ll want to aim to complete at least one hour of exercise every day. Ideally, walks will also offer the opportunity to turn into runs and swims; safe off-leash areas will also bring out the best in the dog.
Due to the breed’s service heritage, the Labrastaff will love to take on tasks and jobs, which help keep the canine mentally stimulated and satisfied.
A Labrastaff maintenance routine will involve checking your dog’s ears and looking for any signs of excessive dirt or odor. You’ll also need to clean the dog’s teeth and trim their nails on a regular basis. Ask your usual vet for advice about specific grooming techniques and considerations if you’re new to the task of grooming a dog.
An ideal Labrastaff diet should be formulated for a medium-sized breed with high energy.
Labrastaffs need to stick to a healthy diet, as overeating can cause weight gain and associated health problems, especially if adequate exercise isn’t offered.
As with all dogs, the Labrastaff’s dietary needs will change from puppyhood to adulthood and will continue to change into their senior years. You should ask your veterinarian for recommendations about your Labrastaff’s diet, as there is far too much variation among individual dogs–including weight, energy, and health–to make a specific recommendation.
Coat Color And Grooming
The most common colors of coat for a Labrastaff are black, brown, and brindle.
The Labrastaff’s coat veers towards the short and dense end of the spectrum. Its texture is straight. When it comes to grooming this mixed breed, you’ll need to undertake daily brushing sessions to keep the dog’s coat in its best and healthiest condition. Getting your Labrastaff used to being groomed from a young age is key–otherwise the breed might start to act stubborn around the brush!
In general, the Labrastaff is a pretty adaptable dog when it comes to climate. But always make sure to provide a dog coat if the weather gets too frosty and your canine seems cold. Also, during hotter months, make sure shade and fresh water are always available during the outdoor play times the breed loves so much.
Children And Other Pets
Labrastaff dogs and children get on great together. They will form strong bonds, and the dog will take on a guardian role to your kids. Just be wary to leave the breed alone during feeding times–this is a dog that does not tolerate being busied while trying to chow down!
If you have existing household pets, be sure to properly introduce your Labrastaff to them and set boundaries. This also applies to dealing with other dogs encountered during walks.
Ultimately, early socialization really pays off with this mixed breed. Make sure to reward your Labrastaff for good behavior and adhere to a proper training regimen when you bring them home to your family.
It may be hard to find a breed-specific rescue for Labrastaffs because they are a mixed breed. However, you may want to try Labrador Retriever or Staffordshire Bull Terrier breed-specific rescues, as they often care for mixes, as well. Here are some rescues you can try:
- Lucky Lab Rescue & Adoption