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I adopted the sweetest dog, Morris, from a shelter about 6 months ago. He was listed as just a lab mix. The shelter didn't get his age right (they said he was 7-vet said no older than 4) so it's possible they didn't get his breed right but I think he's definitely part lab because he has a solid yellow coat that looks like that of a purebred yellow lab.

Most people automatically think he's a lab when he sees them which is weird to me because he definitely doesn't have a lab body-type. He has a thin body with long legs and a thin head/long nose. He also has massive ears. I've only ever had labs and don't know much about dog breeds, so I have been trying to figure out for a while what kind of mix he is.

I keep coming back to coon hounds. He has almost the exact body type of an American English coon hound. He has an upturned tail, very large ears, long almost gangly legs, a deep chest and the same kind of concave hip-area that coonhounds have, and a long thin nose/face. I've always laughed at how odd and gangly he looks when he's sitting/laying down and how weird his feet are, but I've found a lot of pictures of sitting/lying coonhounds that look just like he does. I also think it's hilarious how giant his mouth is, especially when he's panting after he runs. Coonhounds have that same big nose/mouth. What struck me the most was the way he stands. When he's looking out the window or on alert, I've always thought it was so weird how he stands almost on his tiptoes. Most of the pictures I found of coonhounds standing at attention are exactly the same way. Also, I live in the south and apparently coonhounds are very common here.

He is very into smelling things and definitely has the "nose-deafness" that coonhounds have in that he will not listen when he smells something and will follow a scent wherever it leads. He spends half of his time at the dog park just smelling around rather than running and playing. He also has the characteristic hardheadedness of coon hounds, though he (thankfully) came to me well house broken. He's much more vocal than the labs I've experienced. He whines a lot to try to get his way and sometimes (but rarely) barks for attention. I've never seen him bark aggressively. Additionally, he's a great vertical jumper and although I've never seen "treeing" it seems like that resembles the way he jumps almost straight up. He's also very flighty and will definitely run out to chase a scent, like coonhounds do. He's been known to run down the halls of my apartment building if I leave the door open too long (it's okay though, all my neighbors love him.)

BUT, he has some aspects of his personality/appearance that make me think he's not a coon hound mix. He has a solid yellow coat the exact color of a yellow lab and I couldn't find almost any pictures of coonhound/lab mixes with a solid coat, let alone one that is light yellow. Also, coonhounds do well on land and don't like being inside, but we have an apartment and he's totally chill and not agitated at all, basically a model apartment dog. In fact, when I'm home at my parents' house for school breaks and he's outside with their lab he hates it and begs to be let in. We get out to the dog park once or twice a week unless it's a heavy test week for me, but other than the park he gets a 30 min morning walk, a 30 min night walk, and a short walk around the block at lunch just so he can pee. He acts as if that's more than enough exercise; he's not hyper or destructive. From what I've read, if coonhounds don't get daily runs/free outdoor romps they become destructive or agitated. Could this all be the lab in him coming out, as labs are good inside apartment dogs? Or does it point to him being another breed?

His exact breed really doesn't matter that much because he is an amazing, gentle, and lovable dog who is a great match for me. I got really lucky when I snatched him up. He'd been at the shelter for a long time and his incorrect age mixed with the fact that he had heartworms and had to go through very hard and long treatment after he was adopted meant that most families had passed over him. But I got him (for a pathetic five dollars) and I'm very very happy with him. I'm just overwhelmingly curious. I'm really close to buying one of those ridiculously expensive genetic testing kits.

Attached are some photos of Morris (sorry they're not great-it's hard to get far away full body shots of him standing still). He's still working off his post-heartworm-treatment weight, but I've seen a lot of pictures of coonhounds that look just like his body shape when he's about five pounds lighter. I wish I had a good far away of him standing, but he's too wiggly and stubborn to stand still while I take pictures of him. He has to be close to me!

Sorry for the really really long post. I wanted to get in as many details as I could think of in case they'll help someone who knows a lot about dog breeds! Also, I couldn't find much info on lab/coonhound mixes online so if you have training tips, anecdotes, behavior tips, or just general advice please let me know! :D
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I hate to disappoint you, but I have to tell you that there is nothing about Morris that looks like anything other than a Lab to me. He is nice and trim, but most people's idea of a Lab is a dog that is unnaturally overweight, and "show" labs are stockier in head and body than your average pet Lab. His ears might be a little long, but they're not hanging down below his face, and they have a Lab shape, not the pendulous shape and length of coonhounds'. He isn't a "perfect" looking Lab, but he might be somewhat poorly bred, as many dogs who end up in shelters are. In fact, my grandmother had a "Lab" who was really 3/4 and 1/4 Pit, and Morris looks a lot more pure Lab than he did!

In terms of him always smelling things, Labs are hailed as amazing retrievers, but they also have fantastic noses. MANY Labs are used as bomb, drug, cadaver, and arson sniffing dogs, as well as search and rescue dogs right alongside Bloodhounds. (Not to say their noses are as good as Bloodhounds, but still). There is nothing you've described about his personality that sounds particularly un-Lab like. I'm curious as to why you specifically see so much American English Coonhound in Morris. I personally have never even met one, and I believe I've met almost every other breed of coonhound. They're extremely rare, probably the rarest of coonhounds to be honest. I'm about 99% sure you can eliminate that unless you have some concrete evidence of that breed in his lineage.

In conclusion, it's quite possible Morris has some sort of hound--not specifically coonhound, but hound in him. However, it's also very possible that your boy is 100% Lab.
 

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Hard to tell in the pics. Can you post a side view with profile of face/head? also. how big (weight/height) is he?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I hate to disappoint you, but I have to tell you that there is nothing about Morris that looks like anything other than a Lab to me. He is nice and trim, but most people's idea of a Lab is a dog that is unnaturally overweight, and "show" labs are stockier in head and body than your average pet Lab. His ears might be a little long, but they're not hanging down below his face, and they have a Lab shape, not the pendulous shape and length of coonhounds'. He isn't a "perfect" looking Lab, but he might be somewhat poorly bred, as many dogs who end up in shelters are. In fact, my grandmother had a "Lab" who was really 3/4 and 1/4 Pit, and Morris looks a lot more pure Lab than he did!

In terms of him always smelling things, Labs are hailed as amazing retrievers, but they also have fantastic noses. MANY Labs are used as bomb, drug, cadaver, and arson sniffing dogs, as well as search and rescue dogs right alongside Bloodhounds. (Not to say their noses are as good as Bloodhounds, but still). There is nothing you've described about his personality that sounds particularly un-Lab like. I'm curious as to why you specifically see so much American English Coonhound in Morris. I personally have never even met one, and I believe I've met almost every other breed of coonhound. They're extremely rare, probably the rarest of coonhounds to be honest. I'm about 99% sure you can eliminate that unless you have some concrete evidence of that breed in his lineage.

In conclusion, it's quite possible Morris has some sort of hound--not specifically coonhound, but hound in him. However, it's also very possible that your boy is 100% Lab.
Not dissapointed at all! I love labs and I have 0 experience with coon hounds (or any other breed) so I would be totally okay with him not being even a smidge hound.

I don't think my pictures really showed the similarities as well as they could have. I was trying to show his paws, which are frankly different from any I've ever seen on a dog and look just like those I've seen on coonhounds in my research, and his legs and tail. I recently destroyed a phone and was forced to take new pictures of a sleepy and uncooperative dog haha. I'm going to try to post a full body picture if I can get one tomorrow (he's fast asleep right now) but his body shape and head shape are almost exactly those of coonhounds. It's much easier to see if you can see his head from the side, especially when his mouth is open.

I've seen a lot of labs in my life: my grandparents have anywhere from 5 to 10 labs on their ranch at a time, and while I've definitely seen the varieties of body types I've never seen one that is as close to Mo's body as the hound body shape is, even in labs that have the working retriever body type. I've never seen a deep chest (especially visible in the way he sits) and/or tail like his on any other dog. Because of this, I actually thought he may be a smidge greyhound at first but he would be much taller if that were the case. My grandpa is a retired vet and was the one who actually set me researching Morris' background because he said there was no way Mo was all lab.


I see what you mean about his personality, I may have been exagerating his traits in my head to fit this idea to explain his unusual shape. But his non-responsiveness and stubborness really stuck out to me. Everything I've read/seen about labs says they're relatively easy to train and learn quickly. Maybe this has something to do with his background, though, and not necessarily his breed.

Maybe he's like a quarter hound (or something else), and his lab parents just happened to be of the particularly lean variety :)

that being said, he looks exactly like the few pictures of totally yellow lab/coon hound mixes I've found! That's not to say that the coonhound body shape is particularly unique though. He could definitely be something else!
 

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He looks all Lab to me. The top obedience Lab in the country a few years ago (2008 & 2009 National Obedience Championship, runner up in 2010, 2nd in the World Obedience Cup at Crufts in 2010, the won it a couple of years later) had an ear set very similar to your guy, and a somewhat upturned tail. There's pictures of Tyler in the link.


Don't let the nose deafness "confuse" you- our Lab has , too.

https://www.purinaproclub.com/resource-library/todays-breeder/issue-76/a-knack-for-obedience
 

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Looks like a field bred Labrador to me. They are rangier and not as thick as the English type Labrador or some of the show type. I have been around all sorts of hounds and don't see any hound in him.
 

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Coonhound lab mix

We just lost our Coonhound / Yellow lab mix Buddy this year. He was the sweetest, most loveable dog we have ever had.

Liked to kill possums, but with kids, mailman and neighbors you couldn't ask for a better dog.

Yours definitely looks like a coon hound Lab mix. Here is a picture of buddy.
 

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