This is one of the most interesting breeds in the world. When you put together two very beloved breeds, like German Shepherd and Labrador Retriever are, you get an amazing and instantly loved mix – the German Shepherd Lab Mix. Could this mix easily be the world’s best family dog? Let’s discover.
German Shepherd Lab Mix
This is one of the best family dogs. They are known for being loyal, playful, and highly intelligent. In addition, they will demonstrate love toward their owners on every step. And yes, this breed will show extra love if you provide enough exercise because they have a high energy level.
This German Shepherd Labrador mix is also named Sheprador. But what can you expect from a mix of America’s most popular next door dog, and the world’s most intelligent dog? Discover in a glance.
Real name: German Shepherd Lab Mix
Other names: Sheprador
Breed type: Mixed Dog
Weight: Males 45 to 95 pounds (20-43kg), females 35 to 45 pounds (13-20)
Height: Males 22-26 inches, females 20-24 inches
Lifespan: 10 – 12 years
Color: Black, sandy, brown, tan
Exercise needs: High
Age to maturity: 12-18 months
The German Shepherd Lab Mix, or Sheprador, got people’s attention, although this breed is still not popular like other crosses such as Labradoodle. However, this breed has so much to offer. This always large dog loves being a part of the family.
German Shepherd Lab Mix is highly intelligent, active, and crazy about spending time outdoors exploring or playing. Moreover, this breed is all about pleasing their humans. This dog will demand your attention and outdoor spirit because you will have to spend a minimum of 2 hours each day outside.
The great thing about this crossbreed is that everything about the parents is already known, so you won’t have major surprises, but only the complete knowledge about this breed. To learn what to expect from this breed, you need to take a look at the parents.
German Shepherd Lab Mix History
No one knows for sure when this breed was first bred. But, since both the German Shepherd and Labrador Retriever are popular breeds known for a while, the first breeding probably happened a while. When it comes to Sheprador’s parents, it’s known that:
- The German Shepherd has been around since 1899 and ever since this breed is one of the most popular breeds in the world. Originally, they originated in Germany, as working dogs.
- The Labrador Retriever is a true water-dog from Newfoundland, United Kingdom. This is also one of the most popular breeds globally, which originated in the mid to late 1830s.
German Shepherd Lab Mix Appearance
The first thing that you should know about this breed, is that you will always see a large german shepherd lab mix. After all, parents are considered to be large breeds as well, naturally, their offspring will follow their size.
Predicting the exact appearance of your German Shepherd Lab Mix is always a lottery. However, you can always be certain about the dog’s size. So, your dog will easily be between 50-80 pounds. Everything else is 100% lottery.
If you want a dog with tall Shepherd ears, you should opt for German Shepherd, because you can’t know for sure if your pup will get ears from the Shepherd side, or more gloppy ears from the Labrador side.
Their coat may also differ, and come in different patterns and colors. Basically, their coat will vary in pattern and color. Some have more coats like Labs, while others have more mixed colors, more similar to Shepherds.
The crucial role in determining the coat color is always linked to Lab, depending on their colors. However, just because you breed a German Shepherd with a golden Lab, it doesn’t mean that this color will appear in your puppies. The reason for this? The majority of puppies will be first-generation, meaning that each of their parents is a pedigree. Therefore, this results in a huge variation in their general appearance.
As a general rule, darker Labs will result in a darker coat. On the other hand, lighter Labs will have a lighter coat.
German Shepherd Lab Mix Temperament And Personality
With a crossbreed, you can never know for sure what personality and temperament your dog will have. Therefore, to understand Sheprador’s temperament, you need to understand the parent’s temperament. All in, both of these breeds are active, loyal, and intelligent dogs.
Labradors are especially known as extremely friendly toward humans and children, as long as children behave well around them. Moreover, they are easily socialized. On the other hand, German Shepherd will behave around children, but they are more loyal and protective dogs than they are about playing and goofing around, as Labradors are.
Don’t forget that they were initially bred to be working dogs. This results in them being disciplined, dominant, and above anything else highly protective over what’s there.
Interestingly, Labradors were bred as gun dogs. Basically, whatever the man hunted, Lab would retrieve from the ground or water. This is the main reason why Labs are obedient and highly motivated to please their owners.
But… What This All Means To German Shepherd Lab Mix?
While you can’t always know for sure, you can expect the following traits in your Sheprador:
- Love toward outdoors
- Friendly and easy-going attitude toward humans
- High intelligence level
Both of Sheprador’s parents are quick learners and eager to please. However, they are also prone to boredom if left alone for too many hours or if under-exercised. In that case, you expect some destructive behavior. Similar should be expected from Sheprador.
But, like any mix, you can expect to see a variety of traits. This is why it’s always a good idea to meet both parents before buying your dog. But, as your pup starts to mature you will see more traits from one of the parents and get a better idea of their personality.
Regardless of stronger traits from one of the parents, this dog should be trained early and socialized on time, if you want to have a good family dog.
Is A German Shepherd Lab Mix A Good Family Dog?
Both the Labrador and German Shepherd are known for being the first choice for family dogs. So, it should be no surprise that so many people choose to welcome a German Shepherd Lab mix into their home.
Very first thing when you should take into confirmation when getting a Sheprador is that you will have a large dog who needs space to move and feel comfortable.
Secondly, a Sheprador needs an active lifestyle to meet his high exercise requirements. If your family already has an active lifestyle, with regular hiking, running, or trail walking, etc., your Sheprador will be happy. Of course, you will have to engage your whole family to mentally stimulate your Sheprador. He may get bored easily without socialization and demonstrate destructive behavior.
Also, if you have young children, don’t forget to teach them how to act around the dog and never to disturb him while he is eating or drinking. Moreover, make sure that your children know why they should stay away from the dog’s space.
Last but least thing when it comes to Sheprador and family is that you will have to activate the entire family and clean inside the house. Both, Labradors and German Shepherds are known for shedding, so you will need proper grooming tools on hand and few brushes for the home or a good vacuum cleaner.
One note: if any of your family members have any kind of dog allergy, maybe you should think about hypoallergenic dogs. After all, just like his parents, your Sheprador will have a thick double coat.
To sum up, as long as you provide proper training, nutrition, and exercise you will have a loving member of your family.
German Shepherd Lab Mix Training And Exercise
If you read carefully the section about the temperament and the personality, so far you understand that you will have to deal with a working dog. Working dogs are simple actually: they are obedient, active, and will want to impress you. One more important trait of working dogs is: they are happy when they have a job to do. Some dogs are fine with being couch potatoes, while some, like Sheprador, are happy when they are active.
They will always look for something to do. This means that your Sheprador will require a lot of mental stimulation and training. Otherwise, he will get bored and eventually destructive. Luckily this dog is eager to please so, training shouldn’t be an issue as long as you don’t apply dominance-based training.
This is a large dog and he knows exactly how powerful he is, so any attempt of dominance training will result in his rebellion. Since this dog loves to please you, only train him using positive reinforcement – when you reward him properly, he will train hard.
The German Shepherd Lab Mix is an active dog. That being said, prepare for a minimum of one hour of exercise per day. Make sure that at least once a week you provide a few hours a day outside with your Sheprador.
This breed will demand running and intense play. Having a large backyard is just a plus. If not, prepare yourself to have a new running partner. If you never run before, this is a great time to start. Make sure that you stayed informed on how to run with your dog.
Without proper physical and mental stimulation, your dog will show signs of:
- Destructive behavior
If you don’t have at least 1.5 hours a day to spend with your Sheprador we recommend another breed. Make sure that when you are choosing the perfect dog, choose one that matches your lifestyle.
German Shepherd Lab Mix Grooming And Shedding
As you know already your German Shepherd Lab Mix will always come with a double coat. Therefore, he should be brushed once or twice a week. Make sure that you use a proper grooming tool.
A sturdy brush will do wonders, as long as you brush your dog for a minimum of 10 minutes. You can expect heavy shedding twice a year, usually during spring and fall. You will need to brush your dog during this period every day.
If your dog sheds, even more, you can use a shedding blade. Invest in a strong and high-quality vacuum cleaner. Next to regular brushing, grooming routine should include:
- Eyes cleaning (as and when needed)
- Ears cleaning (1x week)
- Nail trimming (quarterly and should be done at vets)
- Teeth brushing (3x week or use snack replacement)
Grooming your dog regularly will help reduce any unwanted dog hair and unwanted health conditions. Don’t bath your dog too many times, their coat protects them well. It’s recommended to brush your dog at a young age, so he can get custom with being handled.
German Shepherd Lab Mix Health
It’s worth noting that as a true mix of German Shepherd and Labrador Retriever your dog will have common health problems of these two loved and famous breeds.
The biggest Lab health problems are:
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
The biggest German Shepherd health problems are:
- Degenerative Radiculomyopathy (weak back legs)
- Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
- Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (stomach twisting)
It’s a general rule that mixed breeds live longer and have fewer health problems than pure breeds, which is only good news for your mixed dog. But this doesn’t mean that your dog is free from these health problems. They still may be a problem.
Responsible dog breeders always screen puppies for inherited medical problems so you should know once you get a puppy how worried you should be about these health issues or not. If you just adopted your German Shepherd Lab mix, make sure that you visit the veterinarian as soon as possible. After all, better safe than sorry.
Now that you know how special and amazing this mixed breed is, you can expect to have a great family dog and a loyal and trusting dog. But, don’t forget that you will have to provide enough training and exercise.
Although it’s almost impossible to predict the color of your puppy, you can know that you will have a great family member. If you love outdoors, you will have a great partner for an active outdoor lifestyle.