Labs as trail hounds?

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  • Labs as trail hounds?
  • Premier Icon Bushwacked
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    Does anyone have a Lab that they ride with?

    Looking at getting a dog and labs seem to tick a lot of boxes but I’d like something to go out on occasional rides with – nothing epic or overly regular but a companion all the same.

    Hmm be very careful, Labs have a poor rep on hip dysplasia, make sure you buy one whose parents have been hip scored. Not saying they are all bad but the last thing you want is a dog that can barely walk let alone run beside the bike.
    Labs are not renowned for running all day heavy body short legs. I believe any dog can be a trail hound they just need to be bought into it slowlyn and not till they are 12 months plus.
    Good luck my dog loves it (long legged jack) and regularly bashs out 30 odd mile rides.

    Premier Icon coolhandluke
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    Our Retriever came on short rides with me. I’d only go a few miles and at his pace.

    He was a bugger for large sticks though and wiped out a front wheel when he put his stick in my spokes and nearly wiped out his teeth when he tried to get through a gate way with a 5′ long stick.

    Premier Icon ton
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    labbies come in all shapes and sizes, my last one was a big nearly mastif shaped thing, and was a bit to hefty to run for long.
    my present bitch is tall and slender almost doberman like, and she can run for hours.

    oh and both were full pedigree, with no hip issues.

    Premier Icon nuke
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    Our lab is from a breeder of working dogs. She’s quite petit for a lab (Nearly 2 years old and weighs 22kg), very athletic and will happily do around an hour and a bit with me riding (She’d do more but I’m wary of overdoing it). Beats me on the ups and keeps up on the downs. Even if I stop to give her a rest, she’ll tear off into the woods. Lovely temperament as well.

    Premier Icon Bushwacked
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    nuke – is that actually a lab??

    Jamesey – been looking at a Vizsla but wondering if they’ll be too hectic!

    Premier Icon Alex
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    Ours is a big unit at 35kg but in excellent physical condition. I used to take him out when kids were younger and he was a) useless at remembering where we were b) far too interested in eating the front tyre and c) not suited to running all the time.

    I’ll happily take him out walking with me for hours with other dogs and they’ll sprint a 100 times but that’s not the same as running by the bike. Maybe different for light gun dogs, but not a big lab from my experience.


    IMG_1992.jpg by Alex Leigh, on Flickr

    As I say tho, he’s a bit of a monster!

    That is a super light weight Lab ! nice mutt

    Premier Icon Alex
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    Poor so and so is having his love spuds off for Xmas. They are his favourite things as well. Sorry as you were 😉

    stoat
    Member

    I have a trail hound à la the above video, problem is said trail hound always pisses off when I slow down to pedal up a hill…

    Big fan of labs also, but there are a lot of monstrosities that go under the title of a lab so be careful. Pedigree certainly not everything! hip scores are a good starting point but again not everything. Contrast show labs with working labs, two completely different dogs imho. Show labs as athletic trail hounds, not sure myself. Workers, absolutely!

    My two penneth worth, (as a dog obsessed idiot!)I think a working stock Lab like Nuke’s would be ok, but a standard Lab that you see most of the time will be too heavily built for too much bike work. A lab crossed with something like a collie (mine is lab/collie/grey hound) she can keep going for ages and ages, although is less keen on cycling more keen to running across the hills e.c.t, you can’t throw a tennis ball that well from a bike!

    Spaniels, collies, crosses or best of the lot, would be a Cumbrian trail hound, built for running for mile and miles across the fells, meant to be lovely good natured dogs and you can sometimes find rescue ones too (for extra, “I have done a good thing” points!).

    As I said I am just a dog loving idiot but my student vet GF would back me up on this one.

    Premier Icon nuke
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    nuke – is that actually a lab??

    We do get asked that partciularly given her colour…both her parents were fox red which is a little rarer but yes she is a lab; we did our research, long established breeder and kennel club registered. To be fair that photo does make he look a lot less lab like than she does.

    How about this photo…

    Premier Icon ton
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    banks
    Member

    I’ll try & get a pic of ours up – Norfolk terrier cross with a boarder terrier. Mental, but prefect quite happy to go all day & night but just as happy having a lazy day. Hates the rain & the heat.

    Best coach I’ve ever had, picks all the best lines

    Premier Icon sandwicheater
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    Have you considered a lab/springer cross?

    We’ve one and brillent dogs. Looks like a slim build lab and can run and run and run and run.

    All the temprament of a lab but with a bit more bounce and energy.

    My one used to be a trail hound, she is quite small, working as opposed to a show lab. Never the less you have to be careful as they are natural swimmers not runners, hips and knees can go quite easily. She’s 8 now and had a cruciate ligament problem so no running for her anymore. Took this one for his first ride three weeks ago and the lad did well – He is a Labradoodle, a bloody big one but light on his feet, eventually he will be good for a good four hours out I reckon.

    banks
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    Premier Icon Bushwacked
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    Nuke – that’s a beautiful dog… 🙂

    Not quite sure on Labradoodles… 😕

    Stoat – how do you find the Vizsla? need a heck of a lot of exercise but worth it?

    timberjack
    Member

    My old lab has just died at 14 and a half years old and he was excellent to run with me on the bike, he would run for hours until he was about 8 years old, he was working stock and very slight, the one we have now is huge and he had a really bad knee as a pup {bacterial arthritis ] so an hour is enough for him, gorgeous dogs though

    walleater
    Member

    Rescue Mutt FTW!

    Labs are ‘designed’ to run around though, so if you want to spend a load of cash on a pure bred, and you get a ‘good’ one, then I’m sure I’ll will be fine.

    Premier Icon porter_jamie
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    oz likes coming for rides, but i make sure it’s not too hot and i keep an eye on him all the time in case he overheats or gets tired.

    i didn’t take him until he was 18months, and even then it was short rides. take water for him, he drinks out of the camelbak

    fudge9202
    Member

    My wife has run a dog sanctuary and rehoming center for the last 20yrs and in my experience the best mix for health and endurance without the breed specific health problems is a lab/springer mix, they are very social, easily trained for obedience and extremely loyal and being soft mouthed have excellent temperaments, but try to rescue if you can.

    ontor
    Member

    Perrin the wonderhound is a black lab from working stock and amazingly game for riding.

    Inbred456
    Member

    Better dogs out there to run with a bike than labs. Having had a choccy lab she would run till she collapsed, too big and solid to run any distance at a fast pace. I would go with something a bit more leggy, collies or pointers would make a great trail dog.

    Lawmanmx
    Member

    I recently got a beautiful Patterdale terrier bitch, she took to running with me on the bike like a duck to water, amazing little doggie, very clever and easy to train, i only take her up to 10 miles until she matures (about spring time) but she never seems to tire or finds any pace a struggle, even if i get away from her on a really fast bit she soon reels me back in, so pleased and proud of her, she’s compact and only eats a small amount (cheap to keep) i cannot reccomend the breed highly enough.
    Note: mine is the taller leggier type

    matther01
    Member

    I have a Springer/Lab cross, specifically bred as a gun dog to get rid of the Lab hip issue.

    He never stops running, has great recall, is extremely obedient and great with people. He’s also a hell of a lot smaller than a normal lab (some which I have seen are monsters…especially the chocolate ones). He also costs hardly anything to feed and so far hasn’t needed any vet treatment other than the standard jabs.

    Have a look in the rescue centres before buying anything pure bred, as there are some really good dogs that deserve a home and don’t have issues.

    Poor Alfie was going to be shot by a farmer for simply being ‘too domesticated.’

    The only down side is that he is squirrel crazy!

    fudge9202
    Member

    +1 @ matther01

    Rescue dogs can be bloody hard work, but it’ll be the first place I look when we’re ready for another dog 🙂

    ontor
    Member

    Don’t confuse the chunky guidedog/pet/show labradors with the labrador retriever/field labrador. I think they should almost be considered two different breeds.
    A chunky choc lab or any other show type will be a poor choice, they have been selectively bred for temperament, steadyness and lower exercise requirements that suits their purpose.

    Perrin on the other hand comes from working and field stock, as you can see he is not chunky (29kg), has a slimmer profile along with a different shaped head/nose etc. He will happily join me for 3-4 hour rides every day of the week in the holidays and does a minimum of 2-3 hours of solid running daily (2 hours in the park in the morning with doggy pals and a 10k in the evening).

    Regardless of breed, you needs to build up to the higher exercise levels and if you’re doing a lot of miles it’s worth talking to your vet & considering some food additive for joint care. I would also say that it’s worth investing in some ruffwear boots to help protect the dog’s pads if you’re doing a lot of long stuff/on trail centers/on the moor.

    hofnar
    Member

    Took mine regularly up in the lakes he loves it as long as we stop from time to time at a stream so that he can fish for rocks. Does 10-12 miles so a 2 hour trip easily. Try to rest him every half an hour for a bit and give him some stream or lake play time. He kills me up the hills and then waits for me generally in the middle of the ideal line. Shit at downhills though he tops out at 20 or 25 mph so i tend to feather the brakes quite a bit.

    Our rescue dog, trigger, long legged jack russell loves riding. He’s fast 28 mph clocked at, pickable up when needed barks when you stop and likes chasing one of the digswell chapter. See below

    Premier Icon slowboydickie
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    Is their size dictated by their parents or can you keep them lean thru good diet and exercise? We are looking for a choc lab at the moment.

    ChunkyMTB
    Member

    Agreed, flat coat lab retriever would be a good choice.

    kristoff
    Member

    Exactly as ondor says.

    I have a pedigree black Labrador who is from a working line. Far more slender than the show bred Labradors. He is now 18months old and just about fully grown (minus a little filling out) and now hovers between 28-30kg (show bred labs will generally be closer to 40kg!)

    He is more than happy alongside the bike. I’ve only started taking him out in the last few months but he will gladly do 5miles or so without too much bother and has no problem keeping up (or waiting for me on climbs).

    I always take some water with me and a few treats as rewards when he’s behaving.

    Wouldn’t change him for anything. His temperament is spot on too, absolutely besotted with our nearly 2year old daughter and the bond they have is incredible. Perfect family companion!

    This is Jinx

    And this was in the summer (him 1year, daughter 18months)

    kristoff
    Member

    showboydickie choc labs are generally of a chunkier build. Not to say they can’t be lean.

    Have a chat with your local vet if it helps. Ours gave us some useful advice about the first 12 months with our lab and to keep an eye on quantities versus the dogs change in build (was told when rubbing there sides you should always be able to gently feel their ribs).

    So don’t just go by what the packets of food say as they will let you gladly over feed as it will only line the companies pockets!

    Premier Icon slowboydickie
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    Thanks Kristoff. We are going off to have a chat with the venting the new year. Thanks for the tip.

    motorman
    Member

    Our Chocolate is the perfect trail mate, nice lean build & from a working dog breeder.

    stoat
    Member

    Bushwacked:
    Complete belter of a dog! You hit the nail on the head, very energetic and needs plenty of exercise. But do seem to switch off very well, in the evening say. Very soft in character, from working with them and plenty of other breeds, definately need a gentle hand to get the most out of them. I call them velcro dogs because given half a chance they will be glued to your side/lap! Flip side to that I’ve known some folk having trouble with seperatic anxiety with theirs.

    As regards bodyweight for dogs I find body condition score more useful that a set weight for given breeds. Think ribs and waist.
    -Ribs should be easily palpable but not sharp, short coated breeds you shoud be able to see the last 2 ribs as they stand at rest breating. Longer coated breeds imagine them shaved!
    -Waists should tuck in slightly, parallel with the ribcage is pushing it, bulging out/convex-too fat

    Premier Icon Bushwacked
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    Sounds interesting stoat. Whats you typical exercise routine of a week then?

    kristoff
    Member

    there we go a lean chocolate lab 🙂

    i personally prefer the look of the leaner working line labrador to the overbuilt show breeding line.

    Lawmanmx
    Member

    Some great doggies above for sure 🙂
    Only me with a Patterdale then?

    grim168
    Member

    we have a choocy lab. Judging by previous pics is from working stock. He was a nine month old rescue. He weighs in at 29kg and is often mistaken for a pup even though he is nearly three. Only problem was wearing his pads out once at Gisburn 8O. It was only when he limped on his evening walk that I realised a problem. Felt terrible but am carefull now not to go too fast. Go too slow and he buggers off into the woods. I started on canal tow path to get him used to bike.

    grim168
    Member

    thats scooby

    This is Charlie , a lab springer x . I am hoping she will make a good trail hound but she is only 4 months so its a bit early yet . I have been riding round the garden with her to get her use to it .

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