German Shepherd Lab Mix Overview
Dog Breed Group:
Weight: 50 – 100 lbs
Height: 17 – 20 inches
Lifespan: 10 – 12 years
Common Health Issues: Joint Dysplasia, Heart Failure, Bloat, Epilepsy
Coat Colors: Black, Yellow, Chocolate, White, Tan
Common Traits of the German Shepherd Lab Mix
This hybrid mix dog is considered to be an affectionate, good-natured and friendly dog. They tend to be somewhat shy but stay consistent with a good temper and fun personality.
The German Shepherd Lab Mix, commonly known as the German Sheprador, is a mix of the German Shepherd (GSD) and the Labrador Retriever. While these two breeds are two of the most common dogs in the United States, and popular throughout the world, there are a few things to consider about this breed.
Mix Breeds Aren’t Always Predictable
While the German Shepherd and the Labrador are great purebred dogs, that doesn’t always mean they’ll come together and make one super dog. The hybrid German Sheprador is a popular mix, but the behaviour is usually dependant on the parents, training, and quality of breeding.
They make a great family dog and work well with teenagers and kids. German Shepherds also bring a protective side to the breed, making them very loyal to their families. The breed also requires quite a bit of attention and exercise, which would be great for an active family.
Generally, this dog should be exercised on a regular basis, as both the Labrador Retriever and German Shepherd are active breeds. If German Shepradors aren’t properly stimulated, they will find their own means of entertainment, which often leads to destruction.
The German Sheprador is a very smart dog breed that requires quite a bit of stimulation. They adapt quickly to training and are fast learners looking to please their owners. Because of this, you’ll need to train and play with them on a regular basis.
German Sheprador History
The origins of the German Shepherd Lab Mix aren’t set in stone., This hybrid breed has probably been around for decades and conceived as an accident or experimental breeding. To understand the history of the German Sheprador, we can look at the roots of both base breeds.
We find that the German Shepherd Dog appears in Germany during the 1850’s. In an effort to standardize the shepherd breed, farmers from all parts of Germany began breeding these dogs to how they felt the dog best suited their work. This was practised within particular regions or towns of Germany, thus standardization was slow to be achieved.
This is where Max von Stephanitz comes in. Von Stephanitz was somewhat of a dog connoisseur and was out seeking a great shepherd dog. In 1899, at a dog show, he came across a dog named Hektor Linksrhein who he immediately fell in love with.
After purchasing the dog on the spot, he changed the dog’s name to Horand and created the Society for German Shepherd Dogs (SGSD). Horand became the cornerstone for breeding and eventually led up to the dog we know today as the German Shepherd Dog.
As the most popular dog breed in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, the history of the breed is somewhat unclear. The Labrador as we know today has roots from the island of Newfoundland, which is the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.
The founding breed of the Labrador is known as the St. John’s Water Dog. The history of the origins of this breed is unclear, although it’s thought to be the product of mix breeds from English, Irish, and Portuguese working breed dogs.
The short coated St. John’s Water Dog was used for retrieving and pulling nets from the water. This is what leads to Labradors retrieving tendencies and love for water.
German Shepherd Lab Mix Appearance
The German Sheprador is described as a large dog breed, although this isn’t always consistent. One puppy may come out with the coat and appearance of a Labrador, while another puppy could have the markings of a German Shepherd.
Generally speaking, the Sheprador stands around 22 to 25 inches and can weigh upwards of 50 to 100 lbs. Although they can fall into different size categories because of genes, they are generally a large dog.
The one thing that stays consistent is that the German Shepherd Lab mix will always have a double coat. All other factors are up for grabs until the litter is born. The fur could be short, medium, or even longer.
Double coat means that the German Sheprador will shed seasonally, and won’t hold back. Regular brushing will be a must.
Training and Personality
The German Shepherd Lab mix usually retains the best qualities from its parents. As stated above, both the German Shepherd and Labrador are very intelligent breeds, so naturally, that’s passed down.
While personality is dependant on bloodline and breeding, generally the German Sheprador is a protective, fun-loving dog that is great with families and other dogs.
They’re an outgoing and active hybrid and love interaction. This can lead to boredom and separation anxiety, so regular exercise is required.
The German Sheprador is a fast learning, intelligent dog. They adapt very well the training but may require a little extra training to thrive.
It’s best to provide them with productive, fun training that allows them to get exercise and get proper stimulation. It’s important to be firm and consistent with training while being positive. Treats are always a great motivator.
German Sheprador Grooming
German Shepherd Lab mix tend to have thick double coats. These can come in all lengths, including short and smooth, to soft and long. This means that they tend to shed on a seasonal basis, twice a year. Regular brushing is a must for a healthy coat.
Dog’s coats come with oils that naturally keep their fur healthy. Washing the dog on a regular basis isn’t necessary as it will lead to washing those oils away and drying the dog’s skin.
Just like with other dog breeds, the German Sheprador needs their ears and eyes wiped on a regular basis. They build up discharge that can be irritating and even smelly.
‘The German Shepherd Lab mix can inherit common health conditions for the parents. This includes the following:
Bloat, or Gastric Dilation and Volvus (GDV), is when the dog’s stomach is twisted and filled with gas. IF this issue isn’t treated quickly, it can lead to death. Bloat will look like a swollen stomach, excessive drooling, panting and anxious walking.
Epilepsy is another issue passed down through Labradors and German Shepherds. These symptoms include stiffening, jerking, muscle spasms, and loss of consciousness. The dog may also fall on its side making fast paddling movements.
Heart Disease or Congenital Heart Failure is another problem to look out for in German Shepradors. Dogs that show symptoms of this problem will show excessive coughing, shortness of breath, lethargy, swollen belly, and weight loss. If you notice these problems, it’s essential to see the vet.
Joint Dysplasia, which commonly occurs in the elbow, according to petmd is the degeneration of the elbow joint. It is the most common cause of elbow pain and lameness and is a common cause of forelimb lameness in large and giant-breed dogs.
Other common issues to look out for include EPI (lack of digestive enzymes), OCD (Osteochondritis Dissecans), and eye problems such as cataracts.
Is a German Shepherd Lab Mix for you?
If you’re looking for a large dog that is a loyal companion, loves to have fun and exercise, this dog is great for you. Make sure you have an adequate living area for the German Sheprador, as well as the time to get them the right amount of play and training.