Linda Simon
Dr Linda Simon (MVB MRCVS, University College Dublin)
Photo of adult Labany
Have an image we can use? Message us here!

The Labany is a rare crossbreed that consists of the good-natured, classically handsome Labrador Retriever and the sensitive, French sporting dog that is the Brittany spaniel. A hybrid that has not been in existence for very long, they currently exist only in small numbers. Owners should be aware that they do require plenty of hands on training and exercise.

Medium-sized, they should not be built too heavily and should have good muscling. Many will inherit the endearingly crimped ears of the Brittany Spaniel, although this is not a guarantee. Coat colours can vary from black to brown and cream, with many having white patches and markings, particularly on their paws and faces.

About & History

A newcomer to the world of hybrid dogs, the Labany has not been around for very long and is not well known internationally. While they could potentially be used as retrievers, it is likely that most are kept purely as pets. Let’s take a look back at the history at each of their parents to gain a better understanding of where they come from.

The Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever is arguably one of the most recognised dog breeds in the entire world and comes in three colours: yellow, chocolate and black. They are well-loved for their docile natures that make them the ideal companion for young children. As they are so easily trained, they are commonly used to fill essential roles in society, such as seeing eye dogs and sniffer dogs.

Though most assume that they hail from Labrador in Canada, they are actually from the nearby area of Newfoundland. Their predecessors include the Newfoundland, as well as several small Spaniel type dogs. It was not until the start of the 19th century that these dogs were brought to the UK where they were further refined into the Labradors we know and love today. The original Labradors were kept as hunting dogs and were particularly good at hunting fowl, especially duck.

The Brittany Spaniel

The Brittany Spaniel is not as well-known as the Labrador but is an equally good hunting dog, classified by the Kennel Club in their Gundog group. Interestingly, many now call it the ‘Brittany’ rather than the ‘Brittany Spaniel’ as it was bred to also contain Pointer and Setter blood.

They are a type of hunter known as a ‘HPR’, which stands for hunt, point and retrieve. Their versatility along with their loving nature is what has made them the most popular French sporting dog. Perhaps the reason this dog is not seen more often as a pet is because they have seemingly endless energy and have extremely high exercise requirements; a wonderful trait in a hunting dog, but more of a hassle in a companion animal.


Shorter and leaner than the Labrador, the Labany is a medium-sized dog with an athletically built body. They have the broad forehead of the Labrador with well-spaced eyes and long muzzles. Their ears are pendulous but not overly large and may drop somewhat forwards, framing their face. Their eyes may be light or dark brown and while their nose is often black, it can be brown or even liver in some individuals. They have rather long necks, sturdy limbs and muscular bodies. While many Brittanys are known for having a short bob tail, this may or may not be inherited by the Labany.

The fur of the Labany is short to medium in length and may be slightly longer on the ears, undercarriage and back of the limbs, as is the case with the Brittany. Pups can be born with a range of coat colours, from brown to cream and white to red. Many will have patches and speckles. An adult Labany grows to between 50cm and 55cm and will weigh from 20kg to 25kg, with males weighing slightly more than females.

Character & Temperament

Friendly and easy-going, the Labany enjoys spending time with its family, as well as any guests that come by the home. They are remarkably sociable and are rarely shy or standoffish with anyone. For most, this is a positive trait, however, it does mean that they will never make successful watch or guard dogs.

The energy levels of the Labany tend to be off the charts and they always seem to be on the go. This makes them the perfect jogging companion but those with a lazy lifestyle should probably choose a different breed of dog. They can be relentless when it comes to wanting to keep active and play, which some owners may find overwhelming. If their needs are not met, their energy can become problematic and they may develop behavioural vices.

A smart dog that is eager to please, the Labany is a quick learner, which bodes well for training and dog classes. They pick up on new activities with ease and can excel in a number of disciplines, such as scent-trailing and agility. For many, their versatility is one of their best characteristics.


While they are an easy dog to train for the novice owner, it is with an experienced trainer that the Labany can really excel and start to show off their ability. They tend to do well at anything they try and are often top of their class. Their natural prey drive is present from a young age and is not something that can usually be trained out of them.

They do not require a lot of coercion or repetition before mastering a technique and frequently pick things up on the first go. Correct behaviours should always be rewarded, even if the Labany makes it look easy; they are still working hard!


It’s sensible for any owner to make themselves aware of which diseases their hybrid dog may be prone to, in order for them to keep on the lookout throughout their lifetime. With many conditions, the sooner they are recognized, the better the prognosis.

Hip Dysplasia

Malformed hips result in an unusual gait and localised pain which worsens as a dog ages. The earliest signs may be present from six months of age and can include a bunny hop run, reluctance to jump and an inability to keep up with peers on long walks.

X-rays are typically used to diagnose this orthopaedic condition. Surgical therapy is an option for some, while others will be maintained with medical management and lifestyle changes.


Epilepsy is a neurological disorder whereby seizures occur for no known reason. Dogs will be affected to different degrees, with some suffering frequent and intense seizures, while others may only have a handful of short seizures during their entire life.

Medications can successfully control fits in a large number of patients though can cause undesired side effects, such as weight gain.

Allergic Skin Disease

Chronic pruritus (itchiness) can have a number of causes, but allergic skin disease is one of the more common reasons that a Labany may be scratching. They can be allergic to one or more things and allergens include grasses, pollens, foods, dust mites, etc. When possible, the allergen should be completely avoided.


A reduced level of circulating thyroid hormone results in a dog that is sluggish and finds it hard to lose weight. Blood tests can detect the low hormone level and affected dogs will be given medication to correct this issue. It’s important that patients are routinely monitored to ensure they are on the correct dose of medicine.

Exercise and Activity Levels

A keen athlete with a good deal of stamina and a real zest for the outdoor life, the Labany enjoys being active and is best suited to a rural location where they have plenty of space to run freely. As well as walks and runs, they relish any opportunity to play with other dogs and to play games, such as Frisbee or fetch.


The short coat of the Labany is easy to maintain, however owners should be mindful to give them a through brush every couple of days to limit shedding around the home. They are by no means a hypoallergenic dog and can shed considerably in the warmer months.

Older Labany dogs in particular will need their claws to be clipped every few months, especially if they are not walked often enough on hard surfaces. Owners should be sure to get them used to claw clipping from a young age.

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.