Is German Shepherd and Lab a good mix? A Labrador mix with a German Shepherd is a unique hybrid between a protective German Shepherd dog and an active and friendly Labrador retriever. So, what you will get when you mix the world’s most popular pooch with a GSD, the close second in the US?
This crossbreed is known to inherit the best traits from its parents resulting in a medium-to-large doggie that is loyal, lovable, and smart. The mix is a shedder and needs lots of practice. Does it sound like a good choice for you? Do not jump to conclusions yet before you know what it is like to own one.
In this article, we have included everything you need to know about the Labrador cross with German Shepherd including the size, temperament, training, weight, colors, and more.
What is a Labrador mix with German Shepherd called?
Dog enthusiasts also call a Labrador German Shepherd cross a Labrashepherd or German Sheprador. Others will call it a German Shepherd Lab. This mix is high in popularity but lower when compared to all other Lab mixes out there.
|Size||22 to 25 inches tall|
|Weight||50 to 80 lbs.|
|Lifespan||10 to 15 years|
|Grooming Needs||Sheds heavily|
|Temperament||Affectionate, Loyal, Energetic|
|Coat & Colors||Straight, dense & short topcoat; comes in a variety of colors|
|Suitable for:||Active individuals & families|
History of the Breed
Not much is known about the history of a Labrador Retriever mix with German Shepherd although some sources say it might have existed naturally over the years. However, the cross was intentionally bred by dog breeders around the 1990s in North America.
Like all designer dogs, the German Sheprador is not recognized by the AKC as a breed but is accepted by the IDCR and the DRA.
The Labrador Retriever – The earliest origins of the Labrador retriever date back to the 1830s in Newfoundland province in Canada. They come in two varieties, including the English and American Labrador. These adorable and intelligent dogs were originally fishermen’s dogs that hauled nets in the water. Labs were also used to retrieve fish that fell from the hook from icy waters. Their webbed paws and water-repellent coats make them excellent swimmers.
Labrador stands 22 to 24 inches tall at the shoulders for both males and females when fully grown. Males have a weight of between 64 and 79 lbs. while females are between 55 to 71 lbs. These purebred dogs are generally healthy and can live between 10 to 12 years. However, they are susceptible to common health problems like joint issues, bloat, obesity, ear infections, and heart disease.
When it comes to dog IQ, Labs stand in 7th position of the smartest pooches out of 138 distinct breeds. They are excellent with kids and have a calm character which makes them a top choice as a family dog, especially in America. The Labrador retriever was recognized as a breed by the UKC in 1903 and the AKC in 1917. Read about a Great Dane Lab mix.
The German Shepherd – Also known as the Alsatian or GSD, the breed’s history can be traced back to the 1800s and it originated from Germany. It was created by Max von Stephanitz by breeding the smartest, most obedient, and most alert local shepherd dogs. German Shepherds were first bred as working dogs but now are excellent family dogs. They have a high IQ (60) and are ranked as the 3rd smartest dogs globally which is why work as military and police dogs.
The height of a male GSD is between 24 and 26 inches at the shoulders for males and 22 to 24 inches for females. Males are 66 to 88 lbs. while females are 49 to 71 lbs. in weight. The breed is generally healthy but prone to common health issues such as hip & elbow dysplasia, epilepsy, diabetes, bloat, hemophilia, and cataracts. They have a lifespan of 9 to 13 years.
Knowing what your German Sheprador will look like is not easy since it may take after both parents and can favor one more. Since both parents are medium to large dogs, the Labrador mix with German Shepherd will be the same size (22 to 25 inches tall) with a weight of 50 to 80 lbs.
Your Labrashepherd might have floppy ears like their Labrador parent or pointed as those of the German Shepherd parent. A Lab German Shepherd mix will, in most cases, take after the Lab parent’s shorter double coat that sheds heavily. So, this crossbreed may not be a great choice if anyone in your home suffers from allergies.
When it comes to the coat color, it can either be solid like that of the Labrador retriever parent or a blend of colors like the German Shepherd parent. Whatever appearance your pup takes, it will still be attractive since both parents are gorgeous.
Check out the image below of a cute yellow Lab mix with a German Shepherd puppy.
Temperament and Characteristics
German Shepradors are protective in nature and love family companions which makes them admirable companions and guard dogs. They are intelligent which makes receiving commands easy and are always alert so you will know when a stranger approaches. While they are friendly, they are standoffish with people that are not family.
This hybrid of a Labrador x German Shepherd is an offspring of two working dog breeds which means they will be ready to work on either small or big jobs. This means it will be active and full of life. It is recommended that you start early socialization if you want a well-behaved pooch. Otherwise, they get along with other pooches and kids too and have no bossy nature.
Because they love being around their family playing and exercising or even working, they do not like being left alone. Shepradors tend to develop destructive behavior if left alone for long periods. You need to keep them active, and their minds stimulated. It is also worth noting that while Labs love swimming, German Shepherds are the opposite. But since they are adventurous, they can be trained.
Ease of Training
Labradors and German Shepherds are both in the top 10 list of AKC’s most intelligent dog breeds. Their offspring, the Labrashepherd, is a very brilliant hybrid with a personality of trying to please you. Training them, however, is not as straightforward and will require tricks such as the clicker technique, positive reinforcement, consistency, and early socialization.
It is advisable that you train your Sheprador in a familiar environment because their Lab parent has a notoriously short attention span. Do not prolong your training sessions or your mix will get bored, and you will be doing zero work. If you want them to be swimmers like their Lab parent, introduce that at an early age.
The German Shepherd Lab mix is a high-energy dog that needs ample exercise. Therefore, make sure that you give them adequate time to walk, play, and run so they can burn off this energy. Labrashepherds love to play! They just can’t have enough! So, spend a lot of time playing with him in the yard outdoors as this also helps build a great bond between you two.
This crossbreed’s Labrador lineage will make it want to swim so make sure you take them to the local dog pool. Also, make sure that they have access to high-quality toys that they can’t tear apart during play. Looking for more options? Get large ropes for pulling games and Frisbee as well.
The best diet for a German Sheprador is the one prepared for large dog breeds with high energy. Age, size, and activity level are also some factors to consider. When your Labrashepherd is young, give them dog food for large breed puppies to support healthy growth. If you are unsure about how much food you should pour into your Lab German Shepherd mix’s bowl, talk to your vet. You can also follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on the back of the dog food bag.
Your doggie needs 25 to 30 calories per pound of weight every day. Shepradors love to eat so split the recommended number of cups per day into smaller meals to prevent bloating. When training your hybrid, avoid treats as they are prone to obesity which is a great health risk. Before you buy any dog food, make sure that you check its quality to avoid fillers and ingredients with empty calories that would only lead to weight gain.
Just like any other mixed breed, the German Sheprador is healthier than its parents but can inherit some health issues. Some of the common health problems in Shepradors include hip dysplasia as well as bloat and diarrhea.
You are recommended to maintain good care and visit your vet as scheduled if you want a healthy pooch.
A healthy German Shepherd Labrador mix has a lifespan of between 10 and 12 years.
How to care for them
As mentioned above, maintain regular vet checkups to keep your German Sheprador healthy. While these crossbreeds have high energy levels, they are susceptible to weight gain which means that you should not feed treats and monitor how much you feed them. Give them ample exercise and invest in sturdy toys to keep their mouthy nature in line.
If you are raising your German Sheprador from puppyhood, do not let them play or run on very hard surfaces. Wait until they are 2 years old, and their joints have formed fully.
Unlike the Labrabull, grooming your Labrashepherd is not easy because both parents have double coats and shed heavily. Brush your German Shepherd Labrador mix once every day when they are shedding and twice a week during normal days. You also need to buy a decent quality vacuum cleaner to help pick up the loose hairs in fall and spring.
Make sure that you check your Labrashepherd’s ears regularly for debris and pests and clean them as per your vet’s recommendations. Their nails should be trimmed once or twice each month and brush their teeth daily to maintain good oral health.
The Lab mixed with German Shepherd puppies for sale we found has a price range of between $200 and $2,500.
If you are looking for a Labrador cross German Shepherd for sale, you can go directly to the breeder if possible and ask for the parent’s medical and health records. Check the environment where they are bred and ask the necessary questions.
Where to Adopt
Should you opt for adoption, which is most preferred, the fee is significantly lower, and you have a chance of getting a very healthy and well-maintained, trained Sheprador. You can start at your local shelter or try any Labrador retriever or German Shepherd breed-specific rescues.
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