Linda Simon
Dr Linda Simon (MVB MRCVS, University College Dublin)
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A handsome and noble looking breed, this cross between the much-loved Labrador Retriever and energetic Bloodhound has resulted in a fun family pet and enthusiastic worker. Suited to a variety of tasks, including tracking and retrieving, this breed does best in a rural environment.

The typical Bloodhound eyes and ears are less pronounced in the Labloodhound, but still present to some degree. Their face tends to more closely resemble that of the Labrador, however their ears are typically much longer! Their short fur may contain shades of brown, black and white.

About & History

The Labloodhound is also known as the Labhound or the Labrador-Bloodhound mix. While the Labrador Retriever and Bloodhound may look somewhat similar and both come from hunting backgrounds, they share quite different histories.

The Bloodhound

The Bloodhound is thought to have derived from the St. Hubert’s Hound, a French breed which existed hundreds of years ago but which is now extinct. These large dogs would hunt boar and deer and were traditionally kept by monks in monasteries. Interestingly, it is even claimed that Bloodhounds were once used to pursue criminals; their superb sense of smell making them an asset to the police force at the time.

The Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever hails from Canada and was only officially established about 200 years ago. Like the Bloodhound, this breed was revered for its superior sense of smell and they were used to hunt on both land and water. They would hunt fowl with soft mouths, meaning they could retrieve the birds and return them to the hunter without damaging the carcass. A truly multi-purpose dog, while some Labradors are still used to hunt today, others are used as service dogs and many are kept as companion animals. In fact, the Labrador is often cited as being the most popular dog breed in the world.


Though it is impossible to know when, the first crossing between the Labrador Retriever and the Bloodhound likely occurred sometime in the late 20th century. Around this time, people all over the world began mixing pure-bred dogs to see what the results would be. Though these ‘designer dogs’ were typically bred to be kept as pets, a large proportion of Labloodhounds are used as working dogs today.


A large and athletic dog, the Labloodhound typically takes on the best physical traits from each parent, making it a successful athlete. Their bodies are large and muscular, with adults reaching weights of between 31kg and 45kg and heights of anything from 53cm to 63cm. Their powerful bodies and muscular limbs allow for both speed and stamina.

While the Labloodhound may not have the impressively long ears and noticeably droopy skin of the Bloodhound that many adore, they certainly have pendulous ears that are larger than average and those same soulful brown eyes. The large black nose of the Labloodhound sits prominently on their face. Some skin folds around the head and neck are possible though they are rarely seen to the same extent as in a purebred Bloodhound. The tail of the Labloodhound is long and slim, often carried straight out or up in the air.

The coat of the Labloodhound is short and dense with fur that may be brown, black or a mix of both. White patches of fur are not uncommon and many will have patches on the neck and paws.

Character & Temperament

As any Labrador Retriever owner will tell you, they are one friendly breed. While the Labloodhound is generally slightly more reserved than their Lab parent, they are well-rounded and social. Some will be wary of strangers and will require good socialisation from a young age if they are to tolerate guests in the home. When it comes to their own family, the Labloodhound is a breed that can be trusted and has a great reputation for being docile and good-natured with children, often acting like a ‘nanny’ dog.

Frustratingly, behavioural issues are not uncommon in Labloodhounds that are under-stimulated. They are a full-on breed and like to be kept active and busy. Dogs that are left home alone for prolonged periods may well develop unwanted vices, such as howling and digging behaviours. This can be avoided by ensuring these dogs receive plenty of exercise and are kept mentally motivated.

The characteristic baying and howling of the Bloodhound is usually passed on to the Labloodhound and they will make a lot of noise to alert their owner of any new activity. While this makes them superb watch dogs, it can become an issue if living in an urban area.


Curious and smart with superior scenting skills, the Labloodhound can be trained to perform a large number of tasks and is a very successful hunter. They often need reminders to stay focused so benefit from a dedicated trainer who has lots of patience. Extremely food motivated, these dogs respond well to ‘treat training’. As some are strong-minded, they may need quite a lot of persuasion to obey even basic commands that are not hunting related.

Recall can be good in this breed, but it is rare that they can be trusted off lead when in a public place as their hunting instincts are so strong. Once a Labloodhound has picked up a scent, there is not much an owner can do to call them back.


Certain conditions are more prevalent in the Labloodhound than other breeds, thanks to their genetics and conformation. Knowledge is power and simply knowing about these predispositions can enable owners and breeders to work together to prevent these diseases in future generations.

Hip Dysplasia

‘Hip scoring’ is a system whereby the hips of a breeding parent are assigned a score, ensuring that only those with good quality hips are bred from. Dogs with high hip scores are likely suffering from hip dysplasia and will develop osteoarthritis and mobility issues as they age so must be removed from the breeding pool.


The deep chest of the Labloodhound predisposes it to bloat, a potentially life-threatening condition that can present almost without warning. A dog’s stomach will fill with gas and liquid and may even twist over on itself, trapping any contents inside. The dog will become distressed and may pant, vomit unproductively and start to panic. Without prompt veterinary care, most affected dogs will pass away.

Ear Infections

There is no better place for an infection to fester than in the dark and warm ears of a hound or hound mix! Infected ears will be sore to touch and full of foul-smelling debris. Dogs may tilt their head to the side or rub their face on the ground. Some are so uncomfortable that they will vocalise when doing this. Medication for the infection should be started as soon as possible to prevent a chronic issue from setting in.


When eyelids do not sit perfectly on the surface of the eye and instead fold or droop outwards, this is known as ectropion. Without adequate protection from the eyelids, the surface of the eye can become dry and damaged. Dogs with ectropion are prone to eye infections and discomfort. Luckily, a straight-forward surgery can correct this defect.

Exercise and Activity Levels

Benefitting from long hikes and jogs, the Labloodhound does require a good amount of exercise each day. As well as time spend outdoors, they enjoy having their mind challenged so relish the opportunity to take part in scenting and hunting activities. Strong swimmers, any access to water should be taken advantage of.

Apartment life is not for the Labloodhound and they should live in a house with plenty of space. A back garden is a bonus, though it would need to be securely fenced to prevent any escape attempts.


The short fur of the Labloodhound can shed quite excessively during the warmer months so it is a good idea to give these dogs a good brush each morning outside of the home. At other times of the year, they will only moult moderately so a brush down twice a week will suffice. As their fur is short, they do not suffer from matting.

Any skin folds require diligent care and should be kept clean and dry at all times to prevent a moist dermatitis from setting in. Similarly, the droopy ears of the Labloodhound should be cleaned out about once a week to reduce the risk of otitis externa (an outer ear infection).

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