Activities For Labbes

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Introduction

Labbe dogs are a cross between the beloved Labrador Retriever and the Beagle. This medium-sized breed usually has the laid-back, friendly personality of a Lab with the Beagle howl and love of digging.

The Labrador Retriever was originally bred to help fishermen catch fish, while the Beagle was used to hunt rabbits. As a result, your Labbe may have a very high prey drive, making them maybe not the best companions for cats and other small animals. Beagles are great watchdogs because of their attentiveness and curiosity. Those traits will likely pass onto the Labbe, as well as the Labrador Retriever’s sweetness and boundless energy.

Dog Park

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Sunny Day
Free
Easy
1 hr
Items needed
Leash
Harness
Activity description

Labbes are highly active dogs who are also very friendly and get along well with other dogs. They are perfect for dog parks, but you should expect other people to want to pet your pup a lot and ask what breed they are.

Given their medium size, it’s important to keep your eye on Fido at the park to make sure other dogs aren’t being too aggressive. Some people think dog parks are a social hour for the owners, but dogs can get in scuffles in seconds. Off-leash dog parks are a great place for your dog to run off all the energy and learn socialization skills, but probably not the best choice for you to practice your own.

Step
1
Car ride
This might be your pup’s favorite part -- a car ride to somewhere fun instead of the dreaded vet. On the way to the park, your dog will go nuts with anticipation but will be zonked out in the backseat on the way home. Be sure to practice safety in transporting your dog. They should be in harnesses or otherwise secured in because accidents can happen in a split second and seriously injure your pup. Letting your dog stick their nose out the window is cute, but it’s also dangerous without doggie goggles.
Step
2
Remove leash
While in the car and walking to the park entrance, your pup should be leashed. This prevents your pup from chasing after cars leaving and entering the park or taking off after a scent. Once you’ve securely entered the park, be sure to remove your pup’s leash almost immediately. A leashed dog in a dog park can feel threatened by the other dogs.
Step
3
Keep your eyes and ears open
Once you and your pup are inside the park, don’t gather around with your dog park friends and ignore your dog. It is essential to pay attention in dog parks to ensure your dog is playing well with the other park patrons. While most dog parks have vaccination and temperament requirements, not all dog parks do, so be sure to do your homework to find out rules and regulations beforehand.
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Therapy Dog

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Any Day
Expensive
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Leash
"Pet Me" Harness
Treats
Activity description

Therapy dogs bring people comfort and relaxation in stressful situations. They are used in airports, nursing homes, and many other places. A dog like a Labbe is instantly relaxing because of their calm, friendly presence. Start with regular obedience classes to see if your pup would excel at being a therapy dog.

Therapy dogs can work in any weather. While it doesn’t fulfill your pup’s daily exercise quota, it definitely provides the mental stimulation and the socialization they need to stay happy and healthy.

Step
1
Find a local class
Therapy dogs are much more common now than they were just a few short years ago. That means local classes are easier to find these days. If your pup is new to learning commands, start at the most basic level with a beginner obedience class. Work your way up from there.
Step
2
Practice at home
Dogs are super intelligent, especially Labrador Retrievers and Beagles. However, when training your dog, practice is essential. While dogs do remember things, they also tend to live in the moment. Asking your dog to remember something they learned a week ago without practicing it in the meantime is setting your dog up for failure and you for frustration.
Step
3
Scout airports and nursing homes
Once your pup has a certificate to be an official therapy dog, you need to scout local organizations where Fido will be the most use. Many airports have therapy dogs to ease anxious flyers. Nursing homes are also a great place to look. Hospitals sometimes do use therapy dogs, but there are still barriers and arguments over cleanliness.
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Agility Course

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Weave Pole
Tunnel
Hurdles
Activity description

If your dog has been through an obedience class with flying colors, they would love agility classes. Labbe dogs are very inquisitive from the Beagle part of their heritage. Agility classes help keep your dog focused and not chase after every scent that tickles their snouts.

Agility courses can be done indoors or outdoors, if you want to set up your own course in your backyard. Classes can be a bit on the more moderate to expensive side, but your dog will love the praise they get for completing the course successfully and experienced trainers are worth every penny.

Step
1
Set up agility course
Agility classes are great if you prefer someone to teach you how to train your four-legged performer. But some people prefer to be the leader themselves by setting up the course at home. Weave poles and tunnels are easily set up and taught at home. If your pup gets good enough, you can even consider entering them in local competitions.
Step
2
Praise
If you’ve ever watched any dog competitions, you’ve noticed that the handler subtly slips their dog a small treat after each course. You can use treats at first and then change to praise or continue to use the treats AND praise together. Most dogs love being told how good they are and it only makes them work harder.
Step
3
Make it harder
Once your pup has mastered the weave poles and tunnels, give them something harder to learn. The balance beam is a tough one, but you can also have hurdles. Dogs do love to jump over things, though your Labbe might not be able to jump too high due to their medium height.
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More Fun Ideas...

Teach New Tricks

Contrary to the saying, you really can always teach old dogs new tricks, especially dogs that are part Lab. Despite their sometimes goofy demeanor, Labrador Retrievers are extremely intelligent. Beagles are also a smart breed. A combined Labbe will have the intelligence and drive to learn new tricks easily.

New tricks can include new toys as a reward or just be encouraged with treats.

Swimming

The Lab part of your Labbe was born and bred to swim! Used to hunting fish in fishing villages in Europe, most labs take to the water as if they were the fish. Beagles also enjoy swimming due to their curious nature.

You can take your pup swimming in lakes or creeks, but be sure to use life vests. Even if your dog is a great swimmer, they can panic with the change of the wind.

Conclusion

Your Labbe is full of energy and spunk. Agility courses, off-leash play time in dog parks and swimming are great ways to exercise your dog’s brain and their body at the same time. As a therapy dog, your pup can use their relaxed attitude to help calm people who are in hospitals, nursing homes or other scary situations.

Labbes do not like to be left alone and the Beagle in them will dig a way out if left unattended in a backyard. One of the reasons Labrador Retrievers are at the top of the most popular dog list every year is due to their intense loyalty to their owners. 

Add these activities to your daily routines and you and Fido both will enjoy your family fun time.