The Mastiff Lab mix has the potential to be a perfect combination.
Plus, their enormous eyes and droopy jaws are hard to resist!
But does the reality really match up to this aim?
Everything might not be as it seems with these large dogs.
Where Does Mastiff Lab Mix Come From?
The Mastiff Lab mix comes from two rather different parents.
So to really understand his background, we need to look at their two separate histories.
The Mastiff is a dog with a long history.
The Mastiff is thought to have existed as early as the sixth century BC.
It is likely that they were originally bred to fight lions and other large animals in the gladiatorial arenas.
They were later used as both war dogs and hunting dogs.
The modern mastiff was not systematically bred until the 19th century when J.R. Thompson began producing them.
He purchased some mastiff-type dogs from various sources and eventually created the Mastiff we know today.
The Lab got its start quite differently
They originated on an island in Newfoundland, which is now part of Canada.
Instead of being systematically bred, the lab was the result of various random working dogs who had traveled to the new world with their Irish owners.
The Mastiff Lab mix is a crossbreed between these two dog breeds
There is some controversy surrounding the mixed breeding of dogs.
Some people claim that it is important to keep dogs pure.
After all, purebred dogs are more predictable than mixed breeds.
However, mixed breed dogs benefit from a larger gene pool.
This genetic diversity is called hybrid vigor and is known to exist among a number of species.
Simply put, the more genetic diverse an animal is, the less likely it is to inherit genetic disorders.
This makes Mastiff Lab mixes healthier than their parents in most cases, especially when the proper health tests are utilized.
Fun Facts About Mastiff Lab Mix
- Currently, a Mastiff holds the record as the largest dog in the world.
- Mastiffs were brought over on the Mayflower. But, the real importation of Mastiffs to America didn’t start until the 1800s.
- There is no maximum height for the Mastiff according to the American Kennel Club.
- Mastiffs also have a different growth rate than other dog breeds.
- The Lab is the most popular dog breed in the United States and has been for 26 years.
Mastiff Lab Mix Appearance
Like all mixed breed dogs, you never really know what a mastiff lab mix is going to look like.
They could look very similar to a lab, very similar to a Mastiff, or fall somewhere in between.
It just depends on what traits that particularly dog inherits from what parents.
A Mastiff lab mix could be about the size of a Labrador, or it could be incredibly large.
The size of the mastiff plays a huge role here. Mastiffs don’t technically have a “maximum size.”
They can be as big as possible.
If the mixed dog’s Mastiff parent is huge, they could be too. But, if the Mastiff parent is smaller, they will likely be smaller as well.
A Mastiff lab mix could weigh anywhere between 50 to 130 pounds
That is a vast range. We recommend checking on the weight and height of the mix’s parents for a better idea of what they could grow into.
Either way though, be prepared for a big, bulky dog.
The coat color will depend a lot on the Labrador parent’s color.
It is likely that the mixed puppy will inherit coloring from both parents.
But, because the Mastiff only comes in a very select coloring, the Labrador’s color will play a significant role in the puppy’s.
Like with everything, the mixed breed could look like a Labrador or like a Mastiff.
Or, like something in between. It is a toss of the coin.
Mastiff Lab Mix Temperament
Both the Mastiff and Labrador are pretty laid-back breeds.
They are known for their friendly, unassuming nature.
Neither canine has a particularly strong prey drive.
The Labrador does like to chase things, but their “soft bite” prevents this from becoming a massive problem in most cases.
Because the mastiff lab mix is a mixed breed, they can inherit their demeanor from either of their parents.
Their temperament will be unknown until they reach adulthood.
Because of this, training is essential.
Training Your Mastiff Lab Mix
It is imperative that you begin training your Mastiff Lab mix as soon as you get them home.
These dogs can grow into gigantic creatures who often don’t know their strength.
Even though they might not mean to, it is very easy for them to injure someone by pulling on the lease suddenly or jumping up in greeting.
Luckily, both the Mastiff and Labrador are decently easy to train
We recommend keeping training sessions short and sweet, especially if your dog appears to take after the Mastiff.
Due to their large size, they can tire from excessive training easily.
We also do not recommend encouraging your Mastiff Lab mix to run excessively, go on long walks, or jump until they are about three or so.
The Mastiff has a unique developmental pattern due to their huge size.
It is very easy for their growth plates to become injured due to excessive exercise.
This does not mean that you should keep your pooch locked up, though. Socialization is crucial for all dogs. Just avoid long romps at the dog park.
Mastiff Lab Mix Health
Like all dogs, the mastiff lab mix is prone to a few health problems.
To ensure that your canine lives a long and healthy life, it is essential to educate yourself on these potential problems so that you can catch them early and act if necessary.
Mastiffs tend to become prone to more health issues as they age
One of the biggest of these health problems is hip and elbow dysplasia.
Luckily, this disorder is treatable and lasting damage usually does not take place if it is caught early.
Mastiffs are also prone to bone cancer. This usually strikes them later in life.
As we have discussed briefly, Mastiffs are also likely to damage their growth plates.
This commonly takes place in puppyhood when they are exercising excessively.
To avoid this, we recommend only taking your Mastiff Lab mix on moderate walks and not encouraging them to jump or run excessively.
On the other hand, the Labrador is prone to obesity
This can be a problem when you combine it with the overall massiveness of the Mastiff.
It is vital that you feed your puppy appropriately and not based only on appetite.
Labradors are prone to overeating, and it is possible for your puppy to inherit this as well.
Like the Mastiff, the Labrador is also prone to hip and elbow dysplasia.
This means that it is especially essential for you to keep a close eye on your mixed breed.
It is possible for breeders to X-ray both parent dogs before breeding them together to avoid hip and elbow problems being passed onto the puppies.
Labradors are also prone to specific vision problems
PRA is the most common, but other inherited vision problems are possible as well.
Because these vision problems are inherited, it is possible for dogs to be tested for them before they are bred.
Despite these problems, both of these dog breeds are generally healthy.
They do not suffer from only disorders caused by conformation.
In other words, they have not been bred for extravagant features that might cause health problems.
This makes them healthier than many other dog breeds and increases the likelihood of their puppies being healthy as well.
Do Mastiff Lab Mix Make Good Family Dogs?
The mastiff lab mix can make a wonderful family dog.
One of the biggest things to keep in mind, however, is their size.
They do get quite large. So, you should only adopt one if you are prepared to handle their large size.
They also require quite a bit of training.
But, if you have the time and space available, these dogs can make a great addition to your family.
Rescuing a Mastiff Lab Mix
Finding an exact mixed breed in a shelter can be difficult. But it is not impossible.
If you manage to locate a Mastiff lab mix, there are a few key things you should do to help the adoption run smoothly.
Firstly, you should prepare for your new dog to take a while to adjust.
Even though these dogs are large, they can be shy and nervous in new environments.
Secondly, both the Mastiff and the Labrador are somewhat prone to chase smaller animals.
When you adopt a puppy, it is easy to train away this habit before they become big enough to cause a problem.
But, when you adopt an adult, this is not always possible. So, we recommend taking extra caution if you have small animals in your home.
Thirdly, remember to take your pooch to get a health screening as soon as possible.
This is important to ensure that there aren’t any problems with your dog’s hips or elbows before they get any worse.
Finding a Mastiff Lab Mix Puppy
Mixed breeds have picked up in popularity over the years.
But it is still somewhat challenging to find a breeder that specializes in a particular mixed breed puppy.
While it might be tempting to purchase your puppy from a pet store or breeder, these dogs are almost never ethically bred and are prone to health problems.
We recommend taking the extra time to search for a breeder instead.
You can read more information about finding the perfect puppy here.
Raising a Mastiff Lab Mix Puppy
Every pet owner wants to get off on the right foot when it comes to caring for their puppy.
To make this happen, we recommend reading up on some basic puppy care principles before you bring your puppy home.
After all, it is always better to have the answers beforehand than to try and search for them in the heat of the moment.
Plus, by educating yourself, you’ll feel more confident in caring for your puppy.
Mastiff Lab Mix Products and Accessories
This mixed breed is so unique that it can be challenging to choose the right products for it.
We recommend reading our complete guide on healthy dog food.
And, while you’re at it, you might also be interested in our indestructible toy guide.
Pros and Cons of Getting a Mastiff Lab Mix
This unique dog mix can make a great family dog under the right conditions.
They are quite large and have some unique exercise requirements.
They also require training to stay safe when they get older.
After all, you can’t correctly walk a 100-pound dog if they’re pulling on the leash.
But these dogs are extremely friendly and very loyal.
For the right family, they can be the missing puzzle piece.
Similar Mastiff Lab Mixes and Breeds
Any mix that comes from a Labrador or a mastiff is going to be somewhat similar to this one.
Plus, of course, the mastiff and Labrador share many traits with these mixed breeds!
Mastiff Lab Mix Rescues
Here is our list of rescues. If you would like to join the list, leave a comment below!
Is a Mastiff Lab Right for Me?
If you have the room and the time, these dogs can make great pets.
They are loving and loyal.
Just make sure you have the space before committing!
Do you own a Mastiff Lab mix? We’d love to hear about them so drop us a line in the comments below.
References and Resources
- Chen, Jeffrey, 2010. “Molecular mechanisms of polyploidy and hybrid vigor.” Trends in Plant Science.
- Smith, 1990. “New concepts of coxofemoral joint stability and the development of a clinical stress-radiographic method for quantitating hip joint laxity in the dog.” Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
- Rowell, Jennie, 2011. “Dog models of naturally occurring cancer.” Trends in Molecular Medicine.
- Vezzoni, 2018. “Proximal tibial epiphysiodesis to reduce tibial plateau slope in young dogs with cranial cruciate ligament deficient stifle.” Thieme.
- Downs, Louise, 2013. “Genetic screening for PRA‐associated mutations in multiple dog breeds shows that PRA is heterogeneous within and between breeds.” Veterinary Ophthalmology.