What do you get when you cross two of the most popular dog breeds, the German Shepherd and the Labrador? You get a german shepherd lab mix known as the Sheprador.
Like many designer dog breeds, the German shepherd lab mix is bred to get a mixed breed dog representing the best traits of both breeds of dog, the loveable Labrador retriever and the dedicated german shepherd.
Shepherd lab mix, be prepared
However, there is no guarantee that a shepherd lab mix dog’s genetics will work out that smoothly. So do your research thoroughly.
Being prepared for both the good and the not-so-good aspects of a shepherd and lab mix dog is vital. Not only will it help your dog fit right into family life. But also assist you in organizing the perfect puppy environment for your new housemate.
Since most designer breeds don’t have much in the way of history to look into, researching the parent breed of both dogs is key because it can give you vital clues as to the type of dog to expect and what you are letting yourself in for.
Alongside the temperament of the parent breeds. The origins of your mixed-breed dog’s parentage can provide you with valuable information about the sort of dog that you are bringing into your home.
Sometimes, understanding what your dog has been bred for can make the difference between having a dog that fits into your lifestyle or one that becomes difficult to manage. Breed history can help you understand energy levels, sociability, training requirements, and much more.
So if you want to know how to keep your German Shepherd lab mix happy, read on.
Compared with many dogs, the German Shepherd has a relatively short breed history. Originally hailing from Germany, it can be traced back to 1899.
German Shepherds were originally used for herding and guarding sheep. Dogs that displayed the traits most valuable for this role were selected and bred. However, these dogs did not conform to a ‘standard’ and varied considerably in size and appearance.
A man called Max von Stephanitz developed the purebred german shepherd breed as we know it today. Aiming to create the ultimate herding dog Von Stephanitz searched for a dog that would be athletic, intelligent, and loyal.
In 1899 Von Stephanitz found his ideal dog while attending a dog show and named it Horand v Grafeth. Stephanitz was so impressed by the dog’s prowess that he formed a society. Known as the Verein fur Deutsche Schaferhunde to develop a German Shepherd dogs breeding program based on him.
The Labrador retriever’s history can be traced all the way back to the 1700s. Originally known as the St. John’s dog, its love of water is well known.
The Labrador retriever’s legendary work ethic and desire to please make it a perfect partner for fishermen who used it to retrieve both nets and fish.
It was the work of two English Aristocrats that established the modern-day Labrador dog breed. James Harris, the second Earl of Malmesbury, and Walter Scott, the fifth Duke of Buccleuch, were responsible for bringing some of the first St. John’s dogs into the United Kingdom.
However, it was a chance meeting between their sons many years later that began the Labrador retriever’s current breeding program in the UK. Although the original St. John’s dog breed is now extinct, its genes run through the modern Labrador dog breed.
German shepherd Lab mix appearance
As with all mixed-breed dogs, there are a lot of genetic variables. Since both the Labrador and the German Shepherd breeds have a range of coat colors, and the German Shepherd can be either long or short hair, it’s hard to provide an accurate description.
However, it is possible to generalize the size and appearance of the shepherd lab mix as long as you bear in mind that mixed-breed dogs can differ a lot.
So, in general, the shepherd lab mix is a medium to large dog. Typically standing between 20 to 27 inches tall and weighing in at around 50-100 pounds.
While the Sheprador often has the Labrador’s rounded head shape, it often has a finer and longer muzzle more akin to their german shepherd parent. Also, the ears may be floppy or erect or somewhere in between!
In addition to this, their coat length and color also vary depending on the parent dogs. But include; tan, brown, black, white, and gold.
German shepherd Lab mix temperament
Dogs like the German Shepherd Lab mix are bred to benefit from the best of their parent breed characteristics. This includes appearance and behavior. But these mixed dogs can present an unexpected combination of personality traits.
Looking at the parents can again provide clues to what you can expect. In this case, both parent breeds are working dogs. The Labrador retriever was bred to retrieve and the German shepherd to herd. Combining these two breeds produces an active dog that thrives on exercise and mental stimulation.
So what else can you expect from your Sheprador? The German Shepherd lab mix often inherits the fun-loving, easy-going personality of the Labrador along with the confident, devoted, and protective nature of the German Shepherd, making it an ideal family dog.
Sheprador at its best Gentle, fun loving, devoted and loyal. A great all round family dog that is easy to train and easy going.
Since both breeds are intelligent and athletic, they are easy to train and thrive in dog sports like agility and canicross.
However, if running isn’t your thing, then Shepradors can also make great therapy or search and rescue dogs just like their parent breeds.
The mix of placid Labrador retriever and devoted German shepherd make the Sheprador a gentle dog that never the less is protective of its family.
Sheprador at its worse A large unruly dog with an overabundance of energy and exuberance that has an insatiable desire to chew.
With good early socialization, the lab german shepherd mix makes an excellent family pet that is patient and kind, yet energetic and playful.
German shepherd Lab mix exercise
If you are looking for a couch potato or a dog that is happy to spend most of its day sleeping. Then a shepherd lab mix puppy is not for you. With above-average exercise requirements sharing your life with a Sheprador means long walks and plenty of activity.
As the Sheprador is likely to inherit their parent breeds’ intelligence, too, keeping your dog mentally stimulated will be as important as their physical exercise. Not providing your dog with enough physical or mental exercise can lead to problem behaviors as your Sheprador puppy finds ways to entertain itself!
To get the best from your Sheprador, a minimum of an hour walk a day is needed and even better if it is two hours. They will also need playtime, mental stimulation, and many opportunities to socialize with both people and other dogs.
The shepherd lab mix is not for a lazy owner. Since both parent breeds are working dogs, your Sheprador will be happiest with a job to do. If you haven’t got a lot of time to commit to your new companion, there are plenty of other breeds of dogs that need less investment in both time and energy.
German shepherd Lab mix grooming
Your Shepherd lab mix is most likely to have a thick double coat that is water-resistant. Both the Labrador and German shepherd are relatively prolific shedders, so expect your Shepherd lab mix puppy to do the same.
You can look forward to continual hair loss that is medium to heavy throughout the year. And you will also be treated to a full-blown coat shed twice a year.
To keep your lab german shepherd mix coat in good condition, it will need regular maintenance. Weekly brushing with an undercoat rake will prevent knots and tangles from becoming an issue. Also, a bath a couple of times a year will keep them smelling sweet! Though if your Shepherd lab mix puppy inherits their Labrador parents’ love of water, then you may find the need to bathe your dog more frequently.
German shepherd Lab mix health
Your Shepherd lab mix is prone to some health issues that commonly affect their parent breeds. Since some of these conditions are well known, it’s worth researching your puppy’s breeder thoroughly and asking them about the health of the parent dogs.
Some of the more common health problems are;
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
- Ear infections
Despite these possible conditions. If you choose to share your life with a German shepherd lab mix, you can expect to do so for around 10 to 14 years.
German shepherd Lab mix highlights
There are good reasons that both the German Shepherd and Labrador retriever are consistently in the top ten most popular dog breeds.
Choosing a german shepherd lab mix is the ideal way of getting the best of both worlds. Loyal, kind, gentle yet protective, the Shepherd lab mix is many people’s idea of a perfect dog.
However, this is a large dog with boundless energy, who will flourish in an environment where they have a job to do, and that is kept busy for the majority of the day.
If you are not committed to the amount of mental and physical stimulation that the shepherd lab mix needs, you may find yourself with a destructive dog that barks, digs, chews, and displays other non-desirable behaviors.
On the other hand, if you can provide a home that can support a lab german shepherd mix needs, you will have a loyal and devoted dog for life.