Lab Pointer (English Pointer & Labrador Mix)

Height: 21-25 inches
Weight: 55-65 pounds
Lifespan: 10-15 years
Colors: Black, brown, and cream
Suitable for: Active families with plenty of backyard space
Temperament: Energetic, loyal, and intelligent. They can be independently minded but respond well to training.

Lab Pointers (also called Pointerdors) are medium to large-sized energetic dogs that are a crossbreed hybrid of the Labrador Retriever and an English Pointer. While it is likely that crossbreed Lab Pointers have existed since the 1980s, they came into popularity as a designer dog in the early 2000s.

They are highly energetic and sweet-tempered dogs that have short, dense, and weatherproof double coats. They make fantastic family pets but are best suited to families that live in a rural area where there is lots of space, in a suburban house with a big backyard. These dogs are not well suited to inner-city or apartment living.

While they generally consider themselves to be part of the family, they do have a bit of an independent streak, so they’re unlikely to be over clingy.

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Lab Pointer Puppies – Before You Buy…

When looking for a Lab Pointer puppy, you should keep in mind that there are three different types of Pointer dogs. The English Pointer, the German Short-Haired Pointer, and the German Wirehaired Pointer. All three have been crossed with Labrador Retrievers in the past, and you should check with your breeder what type of Pointer they are using for breeding.

For this article, we are considering and looking at only the English Pointer, which is the most common Pointer that is crossed by breeders to produce Lab Pointers.

It is also a good idea to visit your chosen breeder’s kennels before purchasing your puppy. Any reputable breeder will likely want to meet you too. And visiting the kennel is a great way to see for yourself the condition of the breeder’s dogs, their temperament and the general condition in which their dogs are kept.

While you are there, it is also an excellent idea to gain an understanding of the pedigree of your puppy’s parents. You should also ask to see the health certificates of the parent dogs. This will help you to ensure they are not at high risk of suffering from any adverse health conditions.

Energy
Trainability
Health
Lifespan
Sociability

What’s the Price of Lab Pointer Puppies?

Lab Pointer puppies can vary in price significantly. However, puppies typically sell for between $250 and $600.

You should also expect to spend about $50 per month on food. Of course, you will also need to allow money for some essential items like a collar, lead, dog bowls, and a dog bed. And throughout your dog’s life, you’ll have ongoing costs for things like vaccinations and veterinarian care.

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3 Little-Known Facts About Lab Pointer

1. The Pointerdor makes an almost perfect hunting dog.

People have been breeding both the Labrador Retriever and English Pointer as hunting dogs for many years. With both breeds having a slightly different purpose.

The job of a retriever is to flush out the game birds and retrieve them once the bird has been shot. Often this involves swimming into a lake or pond and taking hold of the game with their soft grip jaws and then swimming it back to the hunter.

Pointers, on the other hand, are particularly good at locating the game and pointing the hunter towards it. English Pointers don’t like to swim and retrieving isn’t in their skill set.

The Lab Pointer, being a hybrid of the two breeds, is a dog that has the ability to both point and retrieve. Thus, making them an almost perfect hunting dog.

2. Pointerdors can become destructive.

Lab Pointers are working dogs at heart, and if they don’t get enough exercise and mental stimulation, they can become quite destructive.

A board Lab Pointer will quickly start using their pent-up energy to dig holes in your garden and chew up everything in sight. They can also develop quite an annoying barking habit. For more information on how best to prevent this, see the section below on exercise.

3. The personality of each Pointerdor can be a bit hit and miss.

Labrador Retrievers are well known for their eagerness to please. They are very obedient dogs and will generally respond well to instructions. The English Pointer, however, can have a bit of a stubborn streak. Typically responding well to treats and affection, but they can become quite obstinate if they’re yelled at, or they don’t want to do something.

Unfortunately, neither personality trait is consistently dominant in Lab Pointers. And as such, it is impossible to tell which parent breed a Lab Pointer puppy is going to take after.

The parents of the Lab Pointer
The parents of the Lab Pointer. Left: Labrador Retriever, Right: English Pointer

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Lab Pointer

Lab Pointers are quite intelligent, loving, and loyal dogs that love being around people. As mentioned above, they can be a little headstrong if they take after their English Pointer parent. However, as a rule, the mix of the two breeds produces a friendly gentle and hard-working dog.

Lab Pointers need their human companions to take an active role in their lives, and they are not the type of dog that likes spending long periods by themselves. They need to be kept busy, with lots of physical exercise and mental stimulation, or as we’ve said above, they can become destructive.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

Yes, provided you have a large yard for them to run about in or you live in a rural area with plenty of open space, Lab Pointers make great family dogs. They are incredibly gentle with children and will have boundless energy to run around and play.

You will still need to watch them around young children. As Lab Pointers can become overly excited and may easily knock over a young child.

Lab Pointers usually form strong bonds with all their family members and will always be keen to come inside with them each night. They are also quite protective dogs, and although their bark is considered worse than their bite, a Lab Pointer will do an excellent job of sounding the alarm if you have any unwanted intruders.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

The Lab Pointer has a highly developed prey drive, and as such is not the best dog to have around small pets. Provided they are socialized while they are young, they will quite likely accept another dog coming into the family, and if raised with a cat will also consider your cat to be part of the family.

Socializing your Lab Pointer is essential if you intend to allow your dog to play off-leash in dog parks and open spaces. It should be conducted when they are young and continue throughout the life of your dog.

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Things to Know When Owning a Lab Pointer:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Lab Pointer’s are active dogs that require a diet that is going to give them the nutrition and energy they need.

We recommend that a Lab Pointer should be fed high-quality, breed-specific dog food, such as Royal Canin’s Labrador Retriever Adult Dry Dog food. Though formulated for one of their parent breeds, it will meet all their daily nutritional requirements.

With a Lab Pointer, it is also essential to keep in mind that they tend to overeat. If you give them too much food, they won’t stop when they’re full, but instead will continue until all the food is gone. This is a trait that they inherit from the Labrador Retriever and like the Labrador, they are prone to putting on excessive weight. To avoid this, you should be careful with the amount of food you give your dog and taking the time to measure it out correctly is a good idea. You should also consider feeding them twice a day, giving them half of their food on each occasion.

Of course, there are many other brands of food available. And if you have any specific questions about feeding your dog, you should seek the advice of your vet.

Exercise 🐕

As we’ve already mentioned, Lab Pointers is a dog that has a ton of energy that they need to burn off every day. If you are planning on owning a Lab Pointer, you should be prepared to take them out for at least two long walks, for about an hour each, every day.

Lab Pointers are also great jogging companions, and it is a great way to have them burn off energy while you are out doing your exercise.

They will happily also run along beside a bicycle; however, you should only do this while they are off-leash. Of course, you will also need to consider your local laws, as in many areas, dogs are not permitted off-leash.

As well as giving them a physical workout, Lap Pointers need mental stimulation. This is something that can be achieved with an enjoyable romp with other dogs at your local dog park, or with a game. They will respond well to a hide-and-seek type game where you hide a treat or a toy and then release them in the yard to find it. Although, you should expect it will take you longer to find hiding places that it will for your Lab Pointer to find their prize.

lab pointer puppy
Credit: Olena Lesen, Shutterstock

Training 🎾

The Lab Pointer’s are often eager to please and generally quite easy to train. You should keep in mind that they can sometimes have a bit of a stubborn personality, and if that is the case will respond much better to praise and reward than being spoken to harshly.

As they are quite big dogs, training them not to jump up on people should be one of your priorities. It may be cute and fun while they are small little puppies, but this behavior will become problematic when they get bigger. Training sessions are also a great way to give your Lab Pointer some of the mental stimulation that they require, so don’t be afraid to try new and exciting things with their training. You might just be surprised by what your dog can achieve.

As mentioned earlier, these dogs can also be excellent hunting dogs. If you intend to use your dog in this way, you will need to undertake some specialized training, and you should seek professional advice on this.

Grooming ✂️

Lab Pointers are quite easy to look after in terms of grooming. However, they do shed, and you will likely need to give them a brush at least once a week to keep their coat looking its best. During Spring and Fall, which is when they shed the most, a Lab Pointer may require brushing more regularly.

You won’t need to bathe your Lab Pointer too often and can probably be guided by how dirty your dog gets during its play or work rather than any specific bathing schedule. However, Lab Pointers are prone to ear infections, and as such, their ears must be routinely checked and cleaned with an approved canine ear wash.

Health Conditions 🏥

As with all mixed breeds, when you are considering the health of a Lab Pointer, it is important to consider the conditions to which their parent breeds are prone to suffering.

Of course, you should also always consult your veterinarian if you have any concerns about your dog’s health.

Some conditions to look out for include:

Minor Conditions
  • Weight gain
  • Diabetes
  • Ear infections
  • Cataracts
  • Exercise-Induced Collapse
Serious Conditions
  • Retinal Dysplasia
  • Canine Hip Dysplasia
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Heart Disease

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Male vs Female

Many dog owners give less consideration to the sex of their dog than they do to its appearance and temperament. However, with Lab Pointers, the gender you choose can affect how well your new pet will fit in with your family and existing pets.

Male Lab Pointers tend to be less independent and will happily get on with their life in and around the family. In contrast, whole (non-spayed) females tend to be more independent; offering their affection more selectively than males.

For the most part, many of these undesirable behaviors can be remedied, or at least reduced, by spaying or neutering your pet. As once they have been spayed or neutered, both female and male Lab Pointers tend to settle down, and there will be very little difference between the genders.

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Final Thoughts:

If you have the time and space to care for them properly, Lab Pointers make great family pets. They are affectionate, loyal, and intelligent dogs that genuinely enjoy being around people, and they will love every second of the time they spend with you.

They do, however, take quite a bit of looking after, particularly with the amount of exercise that they need. So, unless you can commit to meeting all their needs, you may want to consider a different breed of dog.


Featured Image: Avaniks, Shutterstock