A Staffy Cross Labrador is a mixed dog breed that’s popularity is on the rise in a big way. Below we take an in-depth look at the staffy lab cross, we look at the temperament and the nature of this dog and the even more in demand puppies for sale.
What do you get when you breed two of the most popular dogs in the country, which are playful, clever, loving and great with children?
Yes, that’s right a Staffador.
For those of us who, like Goldilocks, want something not too big, not too small, not too hard not too soft.
This mix-up of a Staffy and a Labrador is just right. We think they are the perfect choice for a family pet.
A Staffy Cross Labrador Is a True Mix Of The Parent Breeds
Staffordshire Bull Terriers
Staffordshire Bull Terriers are one of the most popular breeds in the UK. With them and their crossbreeds accounting for around 1 in 4 dogs. Standing at around 12-16″ and weighing in at 23-35lbs for females and up to 40lbs for males they come in all colours of the canine rainbow except liver and merle and are exceptionally strong for their relatively small size.
Stocky and muscular they have suffered from a bad reputation in recent years, which is entirely undeserved. Unfortunately, they are the breed most often to be found in rescue centres around the UK and account for the majority of the 8,000 dogs put to sleep every year.
To find your nearest rescue centre try here:
The silly Staffy is the joker of the canine world, his tail is always wagging and he is at his happiest when amongst his family, especially children. Playful, kind yet energetic Staffies are the perfect family pet.
England’s bloodthirsty history contributed to the Staffordshire Bull Terrier being originally bred for bull or bear-baiting and subsequently dog-fighting in the mid-1800’s. Bulls arriving at markets were actually set upon by dogs as a way of tenderising the meat. Therefore, these early bull breeds were not bred for looks but rather gameness and stamina.
They were also used as protection for the wives and families left behind, of soldiers fighting the Crimean war. Their loyal, gentle, protective nature earned them the nickname of “Nanny Dog.” They were recognised by the Kennel Club on the 25th May 1935 with the first champions being Ch. Gentleman Jim and Ch. Lady Eve
Staffies are one of only 2 breeds of dog recommended by the Kennel Club as being suitable for living with small children, an opinion that is backed up by The Dogs Trust, Battersea Dogs Home and the RSPCA.
Staffy’s have an impressive physique. A broadhead with dark round eyes, short snout and a wide mouth that gives them a permanently smiling expression. They have a scissor-like bite and rarely drool. A strong neck leads to a square muscular body and they have a powerful tail.
These athletic dogs suffer from a few health problems although they can be susceptible to skin allergies. They have a lifespan of between 12-16 years. They are keen to please and one of the easiest breeds to house train. They need to be socialised at an early age as they can be aggressive towards other dogs.
Staffies do have some terrier traits they love to dig and left alone outside can easily burrow under a fence. They can also have a strong prey drive like most terriers, so watch out if your hamster escapes. They are being used more often these days as working dogs they have a good sense of smell and make excellent therapy dogs.
Contrary to popular belief they don’t make good guard dogs they just love people too much. The job they adore the most though is childminding, playing with and cuddling their extended family. Loyal and fearless a well-trained Staffy loves life and is a happy addition to any home.
The Labrador Retriever or Lab as it is commonly referred to, is one of the most popular breeds in the world being ranked number 1 in both the USA and UK in 2015. Highly intelligent, gentle, kind and even-tempered they make fantastic pets as well as working dogs. Getting on with both children and other animals
Unlike many other dog breeds, with their dense coats and webbed feet they love the water, are excellent swimmers and can tolerate extremely cold water for long periods. Eager to please their retrieving abilities made them a fantastic sporting dog being the “king of retrievers” their mouths are so gentle they don’t damage the fowl. In fact, a Labrador can carry an egg in its mouth without breaking it.
The name Labrador was first mentioned by the Earl of Malmesbury who wrote a letter referring to them as his “Labrador Dogs” and the name stuck. Over the years they were imported to England where, because of their exceptional qualities they were bred into other retriever lines including the Curly Coated Retriever. They were finally recognised by the Kennel Club in 1903.
Labradors come in 3 colours, black, chocolate, and yellow, which can range from pale cream to a red fox-like colour. Puppies of all colours can be found in a litter, originally only the black ones were recognised as true Labs. The brown and yellow are caused by a recessive gene and these pups were culled at birth. These days all colours are acceptable..
There are two types of Labrador-Show and field lines. Show Labradors or English Labradors as they are known in the US, tend to be smaller and stockier than their counterparts with a thicker coat, otter-like tail and more sedate nature. Field or working Labs are taller, rangier, lighter in frame with a less broad face, longer nose, more energetic personality and are easier to train.
Labradors along with German Shepherds and Spaniels are some of the most common working dogs on the planet. Their outstanding sense of smell means they excel at tracking and make excellent search and rescue dogs being used by both the police and military over the years. Gentle and intelligent they also make fantastic assistance and therapy dogs but the job we are most used to seeing them doing is as guide dogs for the blind.
Guide Dogs is the world’s largest breeder and trainer of working dogs. Pioneered by two British women in 1931, there are now over 5,000 guide dogs working in the UK with 25% being purebred Labradors. The majority of dogs being bred now are now Labradors crossed with Golden Retrievers which produce puppies having the best characteristics of both.
Labradors mature at around 3 years of age and up until that time can be extremely boisterous, (Who hasn’t seen Marley & Me) Because of their size and strength, they need consistent training and mental stimulation otherwise they can develop behavioural problems, the main one being chewing.
Labradors love to chew and they don’t care what. Shoes, socks, furniture, hands they just love having something in their mouths, which is why it is a good idea to have a box of strong dog toys handy to give them something appropriate to munch on.
They are also renowned for having voracious appetites and are not generally fussy eaters so their food intake and exercise needs to be monitored to prevent them from becoming overweight.
For more on labradors exercise requirements, it’s here.
Obesity is the most common health problem associated with Labs along with a couple of inherited conditions including Progressive retinal atrophy, Hip and Elbow Dysplasia. A relatively healthy breed their lifespan is usually around 10-12 years.
What Can You Expect from a Staffy Cross Lab?
A Staffordshire Bull Terrier crossed with a Labrador will be a medium-sized dog and they will be strong and quite heavy set with a broad head and a permanently wagging tail. Both breeds are boisterous and energetic so if you are looking for a low energy pooch this combination is not for you.
Depending on which characteristics they inherit from the parents the health problems should be fewer. The dense coat of the Lab helps with Staffy’s susceptibility to skin problems and keeping them warmer, and Staffy’s slightly longer lifespan and good health counteracting the Lab’s propensity for hip dysplasia.
They will more than likely be greedy dogs as both Staffy’s and Labs have a love of food and depending on which gene is the more dominant these pups will be a variety of colours although solid white won’t be as common as it is with purebred Staffies.
Here are some of the things you need to know about a Staffy X Labrador
Are they easy to train?
Without a doubt, yes! Both breeds are intelligent and have an inherent eagerness to please their owners. Even novice owners should quickly and easily be able to train their Lab x Staffy everything needed to become a well-mannered adult.
However, it should be noted that both breeds are boisterous, and mouthy when young, things which need addressing sooner rather than later. They can cause a fair bit of damage knocking over both ornaments and people when excited and the puppy’s teeth are sharp even when playing or not meaning any harm.
Both of these dogs are also renowned pullers on the leash so invest in a proper harness for strong pullers or start drumming in the “Heel” command early on in training.
Does a Labrador cross Staffy need much grooming?
All dogs benefit from grooming it gets them used to being handled, improves circulation and is usually a pleasurable bonding session between pet and owner.
That said a Staffy cross Labrador coat is likely to be short if slightly thicker than a purebred Staffy so should just need regular brushing. With the prices of professional groomers equipment increasing every day it’s no wonder dog owners are taking on the job themselves and doing it at home.
Both breeds are average shedders so a daily brush through will keep hairs to a minimum. Another thing to watch out for is a muddy puddle both these breeds love mud so if you don’t fancy too much bathing keep them away.
Does a Staffy x Labrador retriever need much excercise?
Although not as much as some breeds a Staffy cross Labrador definitely needs quite a bit of exercise. As mentioned above both breeds can be excitable, a well-exercised dog is calmer in the home and less rowdy.
Also both dogs are prone to overeat and may suffer from health problems caused by obesity such as arthritis and diabetes. So it is important they have regular walks to burn those calories.
You find the exercise needs for most breeds here.
Temperament-Is a Labrador x Staffy good with children?
There should be no better playmate for your children than this crossbreed. Both the Lab and the Staffy have a special place in their hearts for our offspring and are incredibly tolerant, playful and gentle. Neither breed is particularly nervous or highly strung so can cope happily with the noise and rough and tumble of the average family home.
As with any dog, they should always be supervised with young children as a pulled ear or lip can provoke a reaction from the gentlest of dogs.
What is the cost of owning a Staffador?
Both these breeds suffer few health problems so vet bills should be lower than some purebred dogs. Of course, any breed can become ill or suffer an accident so it is always worth taking out insurance.
The cost of this will also be lower not only due to the fact it is a dog of medium size but also a crossbreed. Depending on where you live, the amount of excess and the dogs age you will probably pay between £10-25 per month. Food shouldn’t be expensive either as neither breed are fussy eaters and will chow down on almost anything.
So, Is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier x Labrador Retriever the right breed for you?
If you want a dog that fits in with your lifestyle, is inexpensive to keep, is pretty low shedding and will be a loyal, affectionate companion for up to 15 years then this breed could be perfect. They would benefit from a garden as they love to play and can be quite rambunctious.
Neither are particularly good guard dogs but have a bark that will definitely act as a deterrent. They love people, especially children and although they don’t like to be left alone for long periods with proper training they do not suffer the same separation anxiety as some breeds.
Staffy cross Labrador need to be socialised early to prevent the Staffys’ sometimes aggression with other dogs being allowed to develop and consistent training to avoid behavioural problems like chewing. A cheerful friend will always make you smile and are definitely the perfect family dog.
Related Article: Bullmastiff Cross Staffy
Can Staffy Cross Labrador live with cats or other pets?
With the proper socialisation from an early age yes, however, if you rescue this crossbreed or have an older unsocialised dog you could encounter problems as Staffies can be dog aggressive and Labradors were bred to retrieve birds so your canary might be a temptation too far. Generally, though both these breeds will happily cohabit with other pets.
How big do Staffy Labrador cross become?
A Labrador crossed with a Staffy is likely to be a medium-sized dog. There are no guarantees which of the parent’s appearance and characteristics will be inherited by their offspring but this crossbreed should be bigger than a Staffy while not quite as large as a purebred Lab.
The recommended diet for labrador cross staffy
Neither of the parent breeds is known for being fussy eaters and are usually happy to eat just about anything including the odd shoe. So, good quality dried food, raw diet or a mixture of wet food and kibble would be suitable. Do some research and experiment to see which your dog thrives on.
You can learn more about which raw dog food to feed in this guide.
Both these breeds have a tendency to overeat so whichever diet you choose it is important not to overfeed and give too many treats otherwise they will become overweight and struggle with exercise which can result in health problems.
Both breeds can also be mouthy so it is advisable to provide plenty of strong chewy toys to avoid them finding their own entertainment.