German Shepherd Lab Mix is a hybrid dog breed known for being good-natured, affectionate, and friendly. Although sometimes they can be shy, they are usually consistent in having fun, good-tempered personality. The German Shepherd Lab Mix is also known as the German Sheprador.
German Shepherd and Labrador Retriever are two of the most common dogs in the U.S. These dog breeds are also the most popular all over the world. While there are many great things about these breeds, as well as the hybrid dog Sheprador, there are a few things to consider when it comes to these breeds.
Origin of German Shepherd Lab Mix
Learning the origin of the German Shepherd Lab Mix is essential in better understanding this hybrid mix. It is especially important to know about the parent breeds of the hybrid.
On that note, let us begin with learning about German Shepherd, one-half of the parent breeds of the mix. This particular dog breed was first bred in Newfoundland, Canada.
There, Newfoundlands were mated with smaller dogs used for hunting waterfowl. It was the offspring from this mating that began the line of Labrador Retrievers that the AKC recognized as a member of the sports club back in 1917. Like the parent breed, the Labrador Retriever is also used as hunting dogs. They are also used as service dogs besides as a household pet.
It was first developed to create the perfect guide or herding dog capable of enduring the harshest conditions. Over time, German Shepherds became famous police and military dogs.
In 1908, the AKC recognized the breed as a member of the group. Just like the ancestors of the modern German Shepherds, they serve as guard dogs, police dogs, and service dogs as well.
In the past 30 years, plenty of hybrid dogs were bred that makes it difficult to determine precisely when the Sheprador dog breed was first created, but we can look at the origin of its parent breeds.
German Shepherd Lab Mix Temperament
When looking for a new dog to bring to your home, its temperament is one of the critical traits you need to consider. It is even more important knowing that the German Shepherd Lab Mix is a mix of two breeds.
In most cases, you can only assume what the dog’s temperament would be even when comparing it with the parents’ general temperament.
With German Shepherds, there is a bit of controversy. As mentioned before, this breed is a famous police dog. Because of that, they often end up portrayed as vicious dogs.
In truth, Shepherds are not randomly aggressive, but merely protective. The protectiveness could be one of the traits that Sheprador can inherit.
If the hybrid dog takes after the German Shepherd parent, it is crucial that it is handled well by socializing with other dogs, humans, and places from the young age.
Socializing the dog is critical if one wants to help the dog feel comfortable. When the hybrid dog feels comfortable, it will reduce the dog’s need to guard their family or property, which is one of the reasons for the potential to be aggressive.
Since you will never really know how the personality of the pup is going to be, it makes it critical that you socialize your pet to ensure he will become a loyal companion.
On the other hand, there is the Labrador Retriever which is a breed known for being good-natured. Sometimes, however, it can become excitable.
The Labrador Retriever is one of those “in your face” types of dogs, not to mention it is larger than most breeds, which makes it a little intimidating.
It is important to note that when it comes to mixed breed, it is likely to adopt the temperament of one of the parent breed more closely. You can expect that the German Shepherd Lab Mix puppies are going to have hard to predict traits and personalities.
In most cases, the puppies are going to be intelligent, full of energy, and loving. They are also likely going to be a bit cautious when around strangers. The German Shepherd and Labrador mixed breed have the vigilant characteristic when with strangers.
It makes them excellent watchdogs or guard dogs. Besides the characteristics mentioned, Shepradors are also kind and even-tempered.
German Shepherd Lab Mixes are also known for being quite active. These dogs thrive on exercise and mental stimulation, so they need plenty of activities. Otherwise, they will turn on mischief and may develop unwanted behaviors.
Among such behaviors that they the mixed Lab and Shepherd dog can develop include chewing, barking, and digging. You can prevent this by proper training and socializing.
- Not Always Predictable
One of the common traits of mixed breeds such as a Sheprador Lab mix is their unpredictability. Both Labrador and German Shepherd are purebred dogs and great on its own.
However, it does not always mean that when the two comes together, it will result in a super dog. As mentioned throughout in this article, the behavior of a dog depends mostly on the parents, the breeding quality, and training.
- Shepradors are Family-Oriented
The German Shepherd Labrador mix is a family-oriented dog. It makes them an excellent dog for families with teens and kids. As stated before, some Shepradors can be as protective as their parent breed, the German Shepherd.
It makes them extremely loyal to their human families. It is a dog that is great to have for an active family, especially when it needs a little more attention and exercise.
- Regular Exercise
Both German Shepherd and Labrador Retriever are active breeds. As such, you can expect that Shepradors will also regular exercise. If you do not give a dog with proper stimulation, it will find other things to keep entertained. In most cases, you will not like whatever the dog chooses as entertainment.
German Shepherd Lab Mixes are smart. They are an intelligent mixed breed, but one that needs constant stimulation. It was mentioned earlier that this dog breed is quick to train.
They are fast learners that are often looking to make their owners happy. As such, you need to train and regularly play with your Sheprador happy and away from destructive behaviors.
What does a German Shepherd lab mix look like?
German Shepherds are a larger dog breed. However, the size of a mixed German Shepherd and Labrador is not always consistent with that of German Shepherds.
Just like with how unpredictable their temperament is, it could be that one mixed puppy can have the appearance and coat of a Labrador. On the other hand, the puppy could have the size and markings similar to a German Shepherd.
When it comes to sizes, you can find Shepradors standing at around 22 to 25 inches. They can weigh approximately 50 to 100 pounds. Dogs can fall into varying categories of sizes due to their genes.
However, it is typical for this mix breed to be a large dog. In that case, there is a high chance that your puppy will turn out to be as large as a German Shepherd.
The temperament and size of a Sheprador can be unpredictable. However, when it comes to its coat, you can be sure that it is consistent. A German Shepherd Lab mix always has a double coat.
The coat can be short, medium, or longer. By having a double coat, you can expect the Sheprador to shed seasonally. It also means it will need regular brushing.
German Shepradors are intelligent, fast learning dogs. They can quickly adapt to training but sometimes may need a little more practice to succeed.
You will have better chances of achieving if you give your dog a productive and fun training. It has to be training that lets them get the best exercise and proper stimulation. At the same time, you need to be firm and consistent while also being positive.
As mentioned before, Shepradors have double coats. They come in different lengths and texture. It means they will likely shed seasonally, two times every year.
It makes it essential to groom your dog regularly, brushing its coat well to ensure it remains healthy. The coat of this dog has natural oils keeping the fur healthy.
Washing regularly is not ideal for this dogs because it will remove the oils away. As a result, the dog’s skin will likely become dry.
Wiping the ears and eyes of the Sheprador regularly is also necessary as part of the dog’s grooming. If not routinely wiped, its discharge will build up, and that can be smelly as well as irritating for the dog.
German Sheprador Puppies
Sheprador puppies require careful attention when it comes to their coat since they are very young. The reason for this is the double coat of the puppy. It has an undercoat close to the dog’s skin.
The overcoat is, on the other hand, often much longer. The overcoat also sheds regularly. Taking care of puppies has to be careful to ensure it will be healthy and free from illnesses.
- German Shepherd Lab Mix Colors
Most of the time, the Labrador Retriever is the one to determine what will be the color of Shepard’s double coat. However, they can sometimes vary, and that makes the color coat of the puppy a bit of a surprise to know. You will not find out what color your dog’s overcoat will be until your dog starts growing.
The two most common colors are the dark chocolate color that is almost black and the yellow, sandy color. The black-Sheprador has a chocolate color usually from the nose to the tail tip. On the other hand, the yellow-Sheprador has a sandy body but with darker muzzles.
How Long Will German Shepherd Lab Mix Live?
If you have a Sheprador dog, you will probably share around 10 to 13 years as long as your dog is healthy. This life expectancy is the life span of both German Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers. It is possible that Shepradors have a little longer lifespan due to hybrid vigor.
However, it should be noted that both parent breeds tend to develop genetic conditions. Having these conditions can shorten the dog’s lifespan, which makes it crucial that you give them a high-quality diet.
It would be best if you also kept your dog in current vaccinations, parasite control, and heartworm preventative to ensure your dog will have an extended life.
How big does a German Shepherd Lab mix get?
The German Shepherd is a heavy and large dog. That being the case, you can expect that a mixed breed of German Shepherd and Labrador Retriever is also going to be heavy and large.
As mentioned before, Shepradors tend to have the body size of Shepherds, although of course there is a chance it resembles a Lab. A fully grown Labrador has an average weight of 25 kg and 35 kg. On the other hand, a fully grown German Shepherd weighs around 26 kg to 40 kg.
A German Shepherd Lab Mix could weight somewhere between 30 kg to 80 kg when fully grown.
Does a German Shepherd and Labrador Mixed Breed Shed?
It was mentioned before that this dogs have double coats. It makes them shed seasonally at around twice a year. So the question of whether German Shepherd Lab Mixes shed or not, the answer is yes. Seeing that this dog breed sheds a considerable amount, it makes it a concern to people with asthma or respiratory issues.
Is German Shepherd Lab Mix Hypoallergenic?
There are no dogs that are 100% hypoallergenic. There are only other dogs that are more tolerable, and unfortunately, the Sherpador is not one of them.
This dog is known to shed a lot, and the fur can be the reason for a severe problem. If you want a dog but has breathing problems, it is best to look at other options for more hypoallergenic dogs.
Health Problems of German Shepherd Lab Mix
Both parent breeds of the German Shepherd Lab mix are prone to some hereditary conditions. Shepradors are also prone from the inheriting these health conditions from its parents. Some of these health illnesses are bloat, epilepsy, heart disease, and joint dysplasia. Below are some explanations about what these ailments are.
One of the common illnesses passed down through the parent breed is epilepsy. Its symptoms include muscle spasms, jerking, stiffening, and the loss of consciousness. Dogs with this condition would fall on its side and show quick paddling movements.
Bloat is also known as Gastric Dilation and Volvulus or GDV. This condition is characterized by the twisted stomach of the dog, which is also usually filled with gas. If a bloated stomach untreated as soon as possible, it may lead to death. Symptoms of bloat include swollen belly, panting, excessive drooling, and anxious walking.
- Heart Disease
Heart disease, also known as congenital heart failure, is yet another condition you should look out for in your German Shepherd Lab mix. The symptoms showing that your dog might have this condition include shortness of breath, excessive coughing, swollen belly, lethargy, and weight loss. If you see these problems with your dog, you should bring it to a vet.
- Joint Dysplasia
Another illness common to German-Sheprador is called joint dysplasia. It is a condition that usually occurs in the elbow causing dogs elbow pain, as well as weakness. Most large breed dogs suffering from forelimb lameness could be suffering from joint dysplasia.
Besides the health conditions mentioned above, Shepradors can also suffer from OCD or osteochondritis dissecans, EPI or the lack of digestive enzymes, and eye problems like cataracts. Knowing Shepradors can be susceptible to various illnesses makes it vital that you take well care of its health.
How Much Does a German Shepherd and Labrador Mixed Breed Cost?
The price for a German Shepherd Lab mix puppy can be around $200 to $600, which depends on several factors. It includes factors such as its family history, the breeds, the owner, and the puppy’s age. All these things can affect the price of a Shepherd.
However, if you don’t want to buy one and pay for a puppy, you can choose instead to adopt from rescue or shelters. When finding a reputable breeder of German Shepherd Lab mix, make sure they are “OFA certified.”
Make sure to ask for the breeder’s certificate then check with OFA to double check. If the breeder has a long history on every puppy, then that is all the better.
Adopting a Dog from a German Shepherd Lab Mix Rescue or Shelter
One way to get a Sheprador puppy is by adopting from a rescue or shelter. You are likely to find a German Shepherd Lab Mix that served as a police dog or rescue dog, which you can provide them with a new home. You can visit your local animal shelter or rescue group to find a puppy you can adopt.
The advantage of adopting a Sheprador from a local shelter is they usually conduct a complete medical check-up of the pet before they give it to you. With that, you can be sure of your new pet’s health before adoption.
Is a German Sheprador a Great Dog for the Family?
Based on all the information previously stated in this article, you can probably already know the kind of dog a German Shepherd mixed with a Labrador Retriever is going to be. However, it all depends on what type of dog you are looking for, which will determine if this mixed breed of dog can meet your requirements.
This breed is going to need some space. After all, it is more than likely going to be a large dog given that both its parents are larger breeds. You will need a vast expanse of a secured yard for the dog to run around and exercise.
Taking care of this dog means you need to be home most of the day even during the weekdays. If you can’t, then you need to find a doggy daycare for when you need to work.
Labradors are bouncy dogs, so the mixed breed might also be the same. In that case, it must need more toys, especially the chewy ones since they may also be chewy puppies.
Intense socializing is necessary for German Shepherds if you want to lessen the possibility of your dog never leaving you and your property, always guarding and alert for anything.
As your puppy matures, you have to slowly deal with the things that might make your Sheprador an extremely attached dog. You can make that happen by spending much time in the training and exercise of your dog for at least the next 10 or so years.The grooming is weekly at a minimum, which was already discussed prior in this article.
In short, it is going to be much work to take care of your dog However, even if this dog needs lots of your attention, it is undeniable that they are an excellent family dog as it has the potential to be a loving, loyal member of your family. With the right care and training, you can be sure that this mixed breed dog is an excellent addition to your family.
To conclude, the German Shepherd Lab mix breed is a superb family dog for as long as none in your family has problems with shedding. Get your family members tested to be sure. German Shepherd Lab Mixes are also great if you have the time, space, and energy to commi9it on training, exercising and socializing the puppy.
If you think you have all it takes and are confident you can take care of a Sheprador, do not wait to get your new best friend today. Now is the perfect time to ask around for a reputable breeder or maybe visit a rescue around your neighborhood. Adopting a German Shepherd Lab mix would be a better choice than buying an expensive puppy.