|20 – 27 inches
|55 – 90 pounds
|10 – 14 years
|Black, white, red, cream, blue, grey, brindle
|Highly intelligent, loyal, protective, active, affectionate
|Families, singles, couples with or without kids or other pets; owners with very active lifestyles
The German Shepherd Labrador mix has become a highly sought-after designer dog. With parents ranked as the two most popular dog breeds in the United States, this cross has stirred up the interest of many canine lovers!
Whether you are a fan of either or both the German Shepherd and Labrador Retriever, knowing more about their mix will fascinate you. This will also allow you to widen your options for a new furry friend.
What traits do German Sheprador mixes inherit from their parents? Do they make good family dogs?
These questions and other necessary details about the German Shepherd Lab mix will be covered in this article. We will also let you in on little-known facts, tips, and more!
What Is a German Shepherd Lab Mix?
A German Shepherd Lab mix is a cross between a purebred German Shepherd and a Labrador Retriever. Also called German Sheprador or Labrashepherd, this medium to large-sized dog is known for being loyal, intelligent, active, and outgoing.
Just like other mixed-breed dogs, the appearance and behavior of German Shepradors may vary.
From their size, colors, and physical characteristics, you may get a rough idea from looking at their parents, but it will still be quite unpredictable.
Luckily, both parent breeds are known for their attractiveness and great temperament.
With this, you can expect a Labrashepherd to turn out awesome, too! Later on, we will tackle more about this mix’s unique looks and personality.
As hybrid dogs, German Shepradors are also not considered an official breed by the American Kennel Club (AKC). However, they are recognized by the Dog Registry of America, Inc. and the International Designer Canine Registry.
3 Little-Known Facts About the German Shepherd Lab Mix
Before we delve into the qualities of the Lab German Shepherd mix, there are some interesting facts about this crossbreed that you should know!
1. The German Sheprador is a relatively new mixed breed
In terms of canine breed history, German Shepradors have a short period of just over three decades. It is believed that breeders began crossing German Shepherds and Labradors during the 1990s.
This is why there is no existing breeding standard yet for the German Sheprador’s height. Nonetheless, breeders continue to produce German Shepradors as the demand for mixed breeds has increased over the years.
2. German Shepherd Lab mixes are tough dogs that like to work
Hailing from a lineage of two working dog breeds, German Shepradors generally love to work. They get happy and satisfied when they have jobs to do, no matter how big or small the job is.
German Shepradors get their toughness from their two parent breeds. German Shepherd dogs are known for being military, police, and guard dogs, while Labrador Retrievers are the top choice for guide, hunting, and rescue.
Moreover, Labrashepherds usually need a sense of purpose. They like to be physically busy and mentally stimulated. If a Labrashepherd gets bored, it tends to indulge in different forms of destructive behavior.
3. German Shepradors have famous parent breeds
Having two famous parents makes it hard for German Shepradors to have a life outside of the limelight. This is why this designer dog breed has also been wanted by many fanciers and dog lovers.
German Shepherd Lab Mix Origin and History: Where Does the Labrashepherd Come From?
The German Shepherd and Lab mix is considered a relatively new mixed breed believed to first exist during the 1990s. Its parent breeds are both beloved and popular for their intelligence, strength, and temperament.
The crossbreeding of German Shepherds and Labradors was intended to combine their best traits and create a genetically sound family dog with watchdog capabilities. From then on, the demand for Labrashepherds has been soaring.
To better understand this mixed breed, it’s best to look at the history of each parent breed. German Shepherds originated in Germany in the late 1800s and are known as the most intelligent, obedient, and responsive shepherd dogs.
Meanwhile, Labrador Retrievers originated in the 1500s from Newfoundland’s water dogs. These working dogs helped in waterfowl hunting. During the 19th century, the Labrador breed was standardized and refined.
As a result of two famous working dog breeds with respective worthwhile origins, it is not unusual to think and expect highly of the German Shepherd Lab mix.
Besides its history, there’s so much more to know and love about this mix, so keep reading!
German Shepherd Lab Mix Appearance: What Does a German Sheprador Look Like?
As a mixed-breed dog, the exact appearance of a German Sheprador is uncertain. It can take after either of its parent breeds. Although one thing’s for sure, its size will usually be medium to large.
Generally, a German Shepherd Labrador mix has an athletic body, brawny legs, and a long back.
A pup may inherit the German Shepherd’s upright ears or the Labrador Retriever’s floppy ears. A German Sheprador will also resemble either of the distinct muzzles of its parents.
Most German Shepherd Lab mixes have black noses. They can either have blue or brown eyes, depending on their parents’ genetics. Even their stance will depend on which dominant gene they will inherit.
German Shepherd Lab mixes also sport various coat colors and patterns. Black, white, red, cream, blue, and grey are among the most common colors.
Some may have solid colors while some may come in a mix of their parents’ coat colors.
For instance, if the Labrador Retriever parent has a black coat color, most of the litter will also be black as it is a dominant color.
With black as the most popular color of the Labrador Retriever breed, it is not unusual to spot a black Labrador German Shepherd mix.
Here’s what a black Lab German Shepherd mix looks like:
Meanwhile, the brindle German Shepherd Lab mix is considered the rare one. This is because brindle dogs are a result of complex genetics. Moreso, brindle Labradors are uncommon, and brindle German Shepherds are incredibly rare.
Here’s a brindle German Shepherd Lab mix:
Typically, German Shepherd Lab mixes have medium-length double coats that are quite dense and water-resistant. They may also experience changes in coat and coat colors, just like their Labrador and German Shepherd parents.
Watch this video to see how they look in action:
German Shepherd Lab Mix Size and Weight: How Big Do German Shepradors Get?
The German Shepherd Lab mix generally weighs around 55 to 90 pounds and stands about 20 to 27 inches tall. The measurement and growth of this medium to large size dog can vary depending on its genetic makeup.
Gender also plays a role in terms of how big a German Sheprador can get. Male German Shepradors are usually bigger than the female ones, as is the case for its Labrador and German Shepherd parent breeds.
Depending on which parent they take most after, Labrashepherds can reach their full growth ranging from 12 or 18 months up to two years and stop growing at 18 to 36 months.
A German Shepherd dog typically reaches full growth at 18 months to two years and stops growing at two to three years.
Meanwhile, Labradors often mature faster. They reach their full height at 12 months and stop growing between 18 and 24 months.
German Shepherd Lab Mix Temperament: Do German Shepradors Make Good Family Dogs?
As a result of two dog breeds, each with a reputation for being an amazing family dog, it is not shocking that German Shepradors are regarded as such. These loyal, affectionate, and protective canines enjoy being part of the family.
German Shepradors enjoy attention and love to be engaged in family activities, get-togethers, and playtime at home and outdoors.
A German Shepherd Lab mix usually has an innate friendly, kind, and easy-going attitude toward humans.
German Shepradors are also known as alert and brave dogs. These traits, plus their loyalty and protectiveness, enable them to be excellent guard dogs. They are also obedient, accommodating, and tolerant of different pets and kids.
However, when they are not introduced to other people and pets at an early age, they tend to develop aggression toward them. Early socialization and proper training can prevent this behavior.
Both parent breeds of the Labrashephers have also been recognized for their stamina, high energy, and intelligence. With these traits, German Shepradors will most likely be highly active, agile, and easy to train.
As they are both physically and mentally active, they need to be engaged and entertained more. Boredom and loneliness can easily creep into their routine, leading to destructive behavior such as digging holes or chewing furniture.
To avoid your German Shepherd Labrador mix from being destructive, ensure that you engage your dog in fun activities or interactive games that will benefit both its physical and mental stimulation needs.
German Shepherd Lab Mix Lifespan and Health Issues: Are German Shepradors Healthy Dogs?
The German Sheprador has an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years. They are considered a generally healthy mixed breed that can live up to 14 years.
However, just like other dog breeds, German Shepherd Lab mixes can also have different health problems.
Here are some of the health issues common among Labrador German Shepherd mixes:
- Hip and Elbow Dysplasia: This hereditary condition is common in larger dogs like the Labrador and German Shepherd breed, so it’s not surprising that German Shepradors are prone to this, too. Elbow and hip dysplasia are often magnified by the excessive growth rate, exercise types, and improper nutrition and weight. The clinical signs of the elbow and hip dysplasia include pain and weakness in the hind legs.
- Ear Infections: Otitis externa is one of the most common infection types seen in dogs, particularly those with large, floppy ears. If a Labrashepherd takes after its Labrador Retriever parent’s ears, it can be more susceptible to ear infections. Usually, an examination is required to determine the diagnosis and course of treatment.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy: An inherited disease that causes blindness in canines, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is seen mostly in breeds like the German Shepherd and Labrador. With this, a Lab German Shepherd mix may inherit the condition and can begin to display symptoms at two years of age. To prevent this, make sure that the parent dogs have eye certification exams.
- Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus: Commonly known as bloat or gastric torsion, gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) is an acute, life-threatening condition that often happens in large, deep-chested dogs like the Labrashepherd. GDV needs immediate vet attention to save the dog’s life, which can occur at any time.
- Degenerative Radiculomyelopathy: Also known as chronic degenerative radiculomyelopathy (CDRM), this disease affects a canine’s spinal cord that results in weakness and paralysis in the hind limb. German Shepradors can be prone to this condition between middle to old age from 4 to 14 years. Unfortunately, CDRM is an incurable disease.
Most of the health issues of the German Shepradors can be prevented by looking after the parent breeds’ health and genetics.
Proper care, nutrition, exercise, hygiene, and vet visits are also necessary to fortify your dog’s overall wellbeing.
How to Take Care of Your German Shepherd Labrador Mix
Nutrition, hygiene, and exercise serve as the building blocks when it comes to taking care of your German Shepherd Lab mix.
As highly-energetic dogs of medium to large size, German Shepradors have specific requirements for each one.
Food and Diet
The ideal diet for a Lab German Shepherd mix dog includes a considerable amount of formulated dog food for large breeds with high energy.
Dry dog food or kibbles are recommended as they provide a balanced and complete meal. Choose a high-quality food that has a lean meat source as its top ingredient.
Avoid dog food containing meat by-products, cheap fillers, and harmful preservatives. Watch out for corn, wheat, or soy, as they don’t have any nutritional value.
Make sure that you stick to a regular feeding schedule. German Shepradors tend to gain weight easily, so avoid free feeding and limit giving out treats. To prevent overfeeding, you can divide the food over several meals a day.
Their dog food requirements also change as they grow. Typically, a full-grown Labrashepherd will need around three cups of kibbles daily.
You can also consult with your vet or canine nutritionist for a more tailored feeding plan for your pooch.
Cleaning and Grooming
As the Lab German Shepherd mix comes with a double coat, this dog needs a moderate amount of grooming. Brushing your dog should be done once or twice a week for a minimum of 10 minutes using a sturdy brush.
Typically, the shedding season comes twice during spring and autumn. Expect your German Sheprador to shed profusely during these times, especially if it is a long-haired German Shepherd Lab mix.
Though most German Shepradors have short-haired coats, some can have medium to long-haired coats if they have a long-haired German Shepherd parent.
If your dog sheds heavily, a shedding blade and a good-quality vacuum cleaner will help a lot.
Besides the regular brushing, the grooming routine should also include cleaning their eyes as needed and their ears once a week.
Bringing your pooch to a professional dog groomer for nail trimming is also recommended.
Brush your dog’s teeth thrice a week or as often as possible. Bathing your German Shepherd Lab mix every two months can also be enough unless your pooch needs it more.
Training and Exercise
With their intelligence and high energy level, the German Shepherd Labrador mixes can either be challenging or high maintenance to own. These are active dogs that are happy when they have work to do.
If you share the same active lifestyle, this pooch will complement you with its eagerness to please you. German Shepradors are easy-to-train dogs that can complete even multi-step and complicated tasks.
They are also quick learners, especially when you use a positive reinforcement technique in training them. Avoid using dominance-based training as it may trigger your German Sheprador to rebel instead of training harder.
You also need to be consistent when training your dog. German Shepradors need lots of mental stimulation to not feel bored and ignored. Shower your dog with praises, give treats as a reward, and train it with love and care.
As active dogs, they need lots of exercise and spacious areas to exercise in. German Shepherd Lab mixes are also great hiking or running buddies as they have the stamina, energy, and interest in fun and adventurous activities.
How Much Does a German Shepherd Lab Mix Cost? Puppy Prices & Expenses
A German Sheprador puppy usually costs between $500 and $800. It’s not difficult to find a breeder for this mix as both parent breeds are popular. Some puppies can even cost lower than this price range.
It will also not be hard to spot a German Shepherd Lab mix in rescues to adopt at a significantly cheaper price.
Aside from the buying price, you also need to cover the expenses for your Labrashepherd’s needs. From its food and feeding items down to its medical bills, we prepared a list that will help you determine if this dog fits your budget.
Here’s a table of the initial expenses of owning a German Shepherd Lab mix:
|Type of Expense
|Food and Treats
|$100 – $120
|Food and Water Bowls
|$15 – $35
|$50 – $200
|$60 – $500
|Leashes and Collars
|$15 – $50
|$30 – $50
|$40 – $180
|Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications
|$50 – $200
|Initial Vet Visits
|$100 – $300
|Initial Vaccine Shots
|$75 – $200
|Neutering or Spaying
|$50 – $500
|$10 – $20
|$40 – $60
|$15 – $30
|Total Initial Cost
|$650 – $2,445
While some of the initial expenses listed in the table can be considered optional, you will need to prioritize the basic needs and medical-related expenses.
If you have a limited budget, you can save money by looking for cheap but good-quality items.
Places to Find German Shepherd Lab Mix Puppies for Sale and Adoption
Looking for a German Sheprador mix puppy isn’t really that hard, but searching for a reputable breeder can be! Luckily, we provided a list of online platforms that have trusted breeders of German Shepherd Lab mix puppies.
Here are some sources where you can find Lab Shepherd mix puppies for sale:
- Mawoo Pets – This online marketplace has a vast network of trusted breeders, including Labrashepherd breeders across the United States and Canada. They have a thorough vetting process to ensure safety, health, and socialization standards. Their fully-insured nationwide delivery service also comes with a flight nanny and ground transport.
- Keystone Puppies – Keystone Puppies is an advertising site for reputable breeders, including Lab German Shepherd mix breeders. They offer a stress-free delivery service and have health guarantees on all puppies for sale.
- Greenfield Puppies – This online advertising platform has trusted German Sheprador breeders located throughout Pennsylvania and the surrounding states. Each German Shepherd Lab pup sold in Pennsylvania carries a 30-day health guarantee. All breeders follow strict laws and regulations by state.
Alternatively, if you want to adopt a GSD Lab mix puppy, here are some rescues you can reach out to:
- Coastal German Shepherd Rescue of San Diego – A nonprofit charity based in San Diego, California, Coastal German Shepherd Rescue of San Diego is dedicated to rescuing and finding loving homes for abandoned German Shepherds and German Shepherd mixes such as German Sheprador dogs.
- Lab Rescue LRCP – This is a nonprofit virtual organization that has been rescuing Labs and its mixes in the areas of Virginia, Maryland, Washington DC, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware, and North Carolina. They have foster homes located in Maryland and Virginia, and their adoption fee varies depending on the dog’s age and medical and/or behavioral conditions.
- Washington German Shepherd Rescue – The goal of this rescue is to ease the overflow of GSDs and their mixes in shelters. They sterilize their rescued dogs and provide them with superior care prior to rehoming. You can visit their website to read about the success stories of their rescues.
With luck and determination, you’ll be able to save a pup’s life while saving money. You can save up for later or use it for your pup’s other needs.
Pros and Cons of Owning a Lab Shepherd Mix
If you’re still feeling indecisive about owning a Lab Shepherd mix, then this pros-and-cons list surely comes in handy! This will help you figure out if this mix is really for you or if you should check out other crosses.
Owning a Lab Shepherd mix comes with advantages such as the following:
- Good temperament: German Shepherd Lab mixes are kind, loyal, affectionate, and friendly dogs. They get along well with other dogs, pets, children, and even strangers, especially if they have early socialization and proper training. They are amazing companions at home and outdoors.
- Highly intelligent and active: Training these energetic and smart dogs is easy because they are naturally working dogs that love to stay active mentally and physically. If you are an active person, then having a Lab German Shepherd puppy will absolutely be a good addition to your life.
- Excellent family and guard dogs: The loyalty and protectiveness of German Shepradors are impressive. These loving dogs will do their best to protect and please their dog owners. If you like a dog that is devoted to you or your family, then this pooch has got your back!
On the other hand, here are some of the cons of owning a Lab German Shepherd mix:
- High shedding and grooming needs: Labrador German Shepherd mixes can shed from moderate to heavy amounts. This means they need a grooming routine that can be quite demanding. With this, they are not ideal for allergy sufferers or those who do not like dog hair that can stick anywhere.
- Prone to develop destructive behavior: These intelligent dogs need their brains activated and stimulated most of the time. When these needs aren’t met, they tend to show destructive behaviors such as gnawing at pieces of furniture, among others.
- Not ideal for an apartment or tiny house living: As medium to large-sized dogs, German Shepradors need lots of space to roam around and play. They are also highly energetic, so they need spacious areas where they can do intense physical activities.
From looking at the list above, we can’t deny that the Lab Shepherd mix has inherited most of the best qualities from its parent breeds. However, the disadvantages are also not too petty to just be ignored.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are German Shepherd Lab Mixes Good Dogs?
Yes, German Shepherd Lab mixes are good dogs with a kind and affectionate nature. They are loving and devoted to their owners. These traits don’t come as a surprise as their parent breeds are famous for being good dogs, too.
Are German Shepradors Aggressive?
German Shepradors could develop aggression towards other dogs, people, or pets if they did not go through early socialization. This is not usually the case as they are accommodating and friendly dogs in general.
Are German Shepherd Lab Mixes Large Dogs?
Yes, the German Shepherd Lab mix is a medium to large dog breed. Both of their parent breeds have the same size as well. The male Lab German Shepherd mixes are usually larger than the female dogs of this mix.
Are Shepradors Good Guard Dogs?
Yes, Shepradors are naturally protective and loyal. Guard work is in their blood, and they are happier when they get to protect their owners.
These canines love to have a sense of purpose, and being a good guard dog makes them feel fulfilled.
Do German Shepherd Lab Mixes Shed a Lot?
In general, German Shepherd Lab mixes shed moderately. However, these dogs shed excessively during shedding season, especially the long-haired German Shepherd Lab mix.
It’s best to follow their specific grooming routine to manage shedding problems.
Are German Shepherd Lab Mixes Hypoallergenic?
Unfortunately, German Shepherd Lab mixes are not hypoallergenic. Just like their parent breeds, these dogs can trigger a reaction in people with pet allergies.
It’s highly recommended that you go through an allergy test before getting this mix.
Final Thoughts: Is a German Sheprador the Right Dog for You?
With a German Sheprador, you can get the best of two amazing breeds. This mix has been adored by many as it continues to live up to its parents’ names. Their great behavior, intelligence, and skills as working dogs are terrific.
However, this dog may not be perfect for those who live in small homes or don’t have a very active lifestyle. If you still choose to have one, then you can find ways to work out and deal with these disadvantages.
German Shepradors may require lots of time and attention. But those who deserve this pooch won’t see these concerns as a barrier! Taking care of a German Shepherd Lab mix will always be worth it if you commit yourself to it.