But, before bringing this puppy home, check whether you are ready to provide an adequate amount of exercise to this large pet.
Common, let’s get to know more about this breed in this article!
What Is A German Shepherd Lab Mix? – Overview
The German Shepherd Lab mix or sheprador is crossbred of purebred German shepherd and purebred Labrador retriever. It is a medium-sized, active, friendly, and intelligent designer dog breed.
Sheprador is a large, playful dog as well and will make you awesome with its loyalty, energy, and pleasing nature. Both the German shepherd and the Labrador retriever are America’s most popular dog breeds.
But, this mixed breed isn’t as popular as other designer dogs such as Cockapoo or Labradoodle. This breed is not officially registered with a major dog breed registry like the American Kennel Club as well.
German Shepherd Lab Mix Breed Characteristics Sheet
- Origin: United States
- Size: Medium to Large
- Dog Breed Group: Working
- Purebred: No
- Lifespan: 10 to 14 years
- Height: 20 to 26 inches
- Weight: 45 to 95 lbs
- Coat Appearance: Double, Short, Silky
- Coat Colors: Black, White, Red, Blue, Gray
- Temperament: Active, Affectionate, Loyal, Intelligent, Alert
- Good With Children: Yes with training
- Intelligence Level: High
- Good With Pets: Yes with socialization
- Hypoallergenic: No
- Grooming: High
- Shedding: High
- Barking: Average
- Suitable For Apartments: No
- Need For Exercise: High
- Easy To Train: Yes
- Good For First Time Owners: Moderate
- Health Issues: Hip dysplasia, Diabetes, Bloat
- Average Price: $200 to $600
German Shepherd Lab Mix History And Origin
But, its parents don’t even have a blood relation with America. So, let’s take a quick look at the German Shepherd and the Lab’s background.
German Shepherd History
Originated to Germany, the German shepherd was first bred in 1899 by the Captain Max von Stephanitz, who started breeding sheepherding dogs, which are found across Germany, with the wolf-like dog breed.
Stephanitz was fascinated by the intelligence, stamina, and versatility of Germany’s sheepdogs started breeding them and created the first breed registry for German Shepherds.
The breed was initially developed for herding and guiding purposes. But during the 19th-century sheepherding was nearly in extinction and so the German shepherd was introduced for military and police works.
Later, during World War II, some soldiers were able to obtain this breed and it paved the way for this breed to America.
The American Kennel Club recognized it as a member of the herding group in 1908. Now, the German shepherd has become the 2 most popular breed in the United States of America.
Labrador Retriever History
The Labrador retriever belongs to Newfoundland, Canada, and it was originated in the mid to late 1830s.
It is believed that it is a descendant of St. John’s dog, which is a crossbred of old English, Irish and Portuguese working dogs.
But, a belief still exists that Labrador Retriever is a mixed breed of the dogs native to Newfoundland and the small local water dogs found in that area.
It helped the fisherman in the early days due to its outstanding retrieving skills. Later, it was brought to England by the third Earl of Malmesbury.
This breed was nearly in extinction during the 1880s. But the family of the Malmesbury and the fans of this breed revived this breed and it becomes America’s most popular dog today.
But, the information regarding when and where the Sheprador was first bred was unknown.
But, it is believed that the German Shepherd Lab mix was first developed sometime in the 1980s. And, this designer dog breed has been recognized by the International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR) and Dog Registry of America.
Fun Facts About The German Shepherd Lab Mix
Both the German shepherd and Labrador retriever are popular breeds. They are famous pets of many celebrities as well. So, it’s no wonder that their crossbred “Sheprador” is also popular among celebrities.
- Actress Edie Falco has a Lab Shepherd mix named “Marley.”
- Shepradors generally love winter but dislike hot weather.
- The German shepherd lab mix is a great swimmer just like their parents.
- This breed excels in tracking, retrieving, racing, and agility trails.
- The other names of German shepherd lab mix include “Labrashepherd,” “German shepherd retriever mix,” “Labrador shepherd mix,” etc.
German Shepherd Lab Mix Appearance And Coat Colors
Sheprador may resemble either of its parents or both. Some dogs will have large ears, long muzzle and brown eyes like the German Shepherd and others resemble the Labrador retriever.
But, this breed has a strong, muscular body like German Shepherd and its face looks like a Labrador.
The tail of this dog will be either thick like the Lab or fluffy like the German Shepherd. Overall, Sheprador looks beautiful with its brown eyes, long muzzle, and a black nose.
German Shepherd Lab Mix Coat Colors
The coat type and color of this dog depend on its parents German Shepherd and the Labrador Retriever. So, Sheprador may have black markings in the face, legs and back of the body like German Shepherd.
Else, it may have a black colored coat with saddle-like markings when it is a mix of black lab and the German shepherd. If this breed is a mix of German Shepherd and the yellow lab, the coat color can be in a mild tone.
But, the Sheprador has medium length, two coats with dense and straight hair.
How Many Colors Can A Shepherd Lab Mix be?
The Shepherd Lab mix will come in many colors as both of its parents are available in a variety of coat colors. This dog may come in red, black, white, blue, gray, and cream colors.
Also, its coat colors will vary depending on its Lab parent. Sheprador may have a black colored coat with saddle-like markings when Black lab becomes one of its parents.
If this breed is a mix of German Shepherd and the yellow lab, the coat color can be in a mild tone.
Let’s look at how the coat color varies while the German Shepherd mated with a different kind of Lab.
German Shepherd Black Lab Mix
The German shepherd black lab mix will have either black colored coat or the traditional German shepherd markings.
The coat color of this mix breed can be in any traditional color of its black Lab parent due to the way the genes are carried. But, the Black Sheprador will have almost chocolate color all over from its nose to the tip of the tail.
German Shepherd Yellow Lab Mix
It’s not necessary that the German shepherd yellow Lab mix has the color of its Lab parent. This happens because of the first generation puppies (i.e. each of their parents is a pedigree) and it resulted in a huge variation in their appearance.
So, the German shepherd yellow lab mix will have a mild-toned coat or it looks like a crossbred of white German shepherd and the Labrador Retriever.
This mixed breed usually appears with dark muzzles and the ears that are similar to its German Shepherd parent. But, it has a soft coat that resembles its yellow Lab parent.
Black German Shepherd Lab Mix
It is a cross between a Black German shepherd and the Labrador retriever. Although the German shepherd is black, the Lab’s coat is lighter and so this mix breed will have the classic tan-colored coat.
German Shepherd Lab Mix Size And Lifespan
Sheprador will be in the medium to large size as the German Shepherd is a large dog and the Labrador retriever is an average-sized dog. So, this breed can stand tall from 20 to 26 inches.
Regarding weight, it will be quite hefty. A German shepherd can weigh around 49 to 88 lbs, whereas the Labrador retriever weighs between 55 and 80 lbs. So, the Labrador shepherd weighs anywhere between 45 and 95 pounds.
Generally, females of this German Shepherd mix weigh less than the males. Male Shepradors weigh between 45 and 95 lbs and the females weigh between 35 and 45 lbs.
But, the Labrador shepherd is considered as the large dog and it doesn’t suit for apartments.
What Is The Average Lifespan Of A German Shepherd Lab Mix?
As it is a mixed breed, its life span also depends on it, parents. A German shepherd can live from 9 to 13 years and the lab is expected to live from 10 to 14 years. So, the Sheprador lives for about approximately 14 years.
German Shepherd Lab Mix Temperament
The mixed breed of German Shepherd and the Labrador retriever, Sheprador will inherit the traits of both the parents. So, it is quite difficult to predict this breed’s behavior.
But, you can get an idea about the sheprador after taking a look at the temperament of both the German shepherd and Labrador retriever.
German Shepherd Temperament
German shepherds are more popular dogs in police and military works. They can serve well as guard dogs and service dogs. An active, loyal, courageous, confident, and smart dog breed, the German shepherd is a fast learner, too!
They are eager to please their owners. But, this breed needs productive ways to channel their intelligence and will do mischief when it gets boring.
Also, aggression is commonly associated with the German shepherd although it has strong protective and guarding instincts.
So, if the Sheprador inherits the characteristics of German Shepherd parent, socialization is vital from a young age.
Labrador Retriever Temperament
Labs are friendly, loyal, loving, and outgoing dogs. They get excited at times and can be socialized well with children.
They were initially developed as gun dogs and so this breed loves to hunt with their owners. It can retrieve any wild game that had been shot.
Because of these hunting and retrieving skills, the Labrador retriever is generally a pleasing and an obedient dog.
Is A German Shepherd Lab Mix Right For Me?
The German shepherd lab mix is an incredibly friendly, loyal, intelligent, and loving companion dog. As it generally inherits the positive traits of their parents, it is the right dog for you in many ways.
The Sheprador is
A wonderful watchdog: It is an excellent watchdog that is aware of its surroundings and deals with anger toward the family members. It inherited the characteristics and barking traits of German Shepherd that help this breed to be a great watchdog.
A great family pet: A kind and friendly dog like the Labradors, it loves to be around people and spends time with the family.
Also a watchdog, this breed will behave well with children if given proper socialization training. So, it is certain that this kind, loving and friendly dog will look after your family with the utmost care.
How To Train A German Shepherd Lab Mix?
Both the German shepherd and Labrador retrievers are energetic, working dogs. Also, both breeds are fast learners and are pleasing personalities.
It is obvious that the German shepherd lab mix is, therefore, able to catch things quickly. But, aggression is one of the behavioral traits of German shepherd and this comes to a tricky question.
So, let’s look at whether the sheprador can be easily trained and its specific training requirements.
Is This Breed Easy To Train?
You can easily train Sheprador as both of its parents are active, smart and sharp breeds. Also, this breed has a pleasing nature and is eager to learn.
Reward-based methods will also help this dog to have a strong bond with the master and his family.
Apart from these methods, early socialization is essential for this breed due to the aggressive nature it inherited from its parent German Shepherd.
Lab Shepherd Mix Exercise Requirements
As the mixed breed of an active German Shepherd and the playful Labrador retriever, Sheprador needs an above-average amount of regular exercise.
So, take this dog for long walks, make it involve in retrieving games, etc.
It is also a better idea to let your dog roam in the backyard. But, ensure that the yard is fenced. Apart from these regular exercises, you can also get a high-quality bunch of toys for this breed to chew and play with them.
Therefore, if you are going to buy a Sheprador, keep in mind that you have to spend more time with it and to provide more amount of activities. Also, this dog is not suitable for apartments due to its size and energy levels.
How To Care For A German Shepherd Lab Mix?
The German shepherd lab mix is a double-coated dog like its parents. This breed has a warm undercoat and a coarse outer coat, which protects the dog from outdoor elements and keeps it warm.
But, both the German shepherd and the Labrador retriever shed their coat twice in a year. Also, both need frequent brushing.
So, let’s know about whether the Shepherd Lab mix is a heavy shedder and its grooming requirements.
Do Shepradors Shed?
Yes. Sheprador sheds its overcoat twice in a year, especially during spring and fall. So, you can see its hair everywhere at your home.
As the sheprador has a thick, double coat and both the parents are prolific shedders, this breed needs brushing more than three times a week.
And, its grooming requirements will increase several times in a week during shedding seasons.
German Shepherd Lab Mix
So, the owner of sheprador has to invest in a good grooming tool and pay keen attention to its coat. A good vacuum cleaner is also essential.
But, it is told that sheprador requires minimal grooming besides brushing. This breed requires
- Ear cleaning once in a week
- Eyes cleaning as and when needed
- Regular nail trimming
- Teeth brushing thrice a week
Here’re a few tips to groom the Sheprador.
- You have to brush its coat 2 to 3 times a week for at least 10 to 15 minutes to keep the coat glossy. Regular brushing is also needed for this dog.
- Trimming, the essential part of grooming, is must for any dog breed! So, no wonder is the Sheprador.
- Take this dog to a professional groomer in order to clip its strong and transparent nails.
- Bathing once in a month using a good dog shampoo is fine for this breed!
- Clean the ears and eyes once in a week using a damp cloth to prevent infection in ears.
- Brush its teeth weekly once for good dental health.
An important thing you have to keep in mind is not letting out this breed much in hot weather in order to keep it cool!
German Shepherd Lab Mix Foods
This breed is fond of food. So, it is better to feed 3.5 cups of dry food daily. But, remember not to overfeed this dog as it may prone to obesity!
So, you have to ensure a few things while feeding this dog.
- You can feed large-size kibble according to its age and activity level.
- The high-quality dog food is recommended as it may be prone to bloat, colitis, and diarrhea.
- Avoid feeding chicken, salmon, and beef as they may cause skin allergies to this dog.
- Choose for dog foods that contain meat as the first ingredient.
- Foods having glucosamine is good for its health as these foods may avoid joint issues and hip dysplasia.
- Avoid foods that contain rich amount of carbohydrates and grains as it may induce this dog to overeat!
German Shepherd Lab Mix Health Problems
Health problems are more common in designer breeds due to the inheritance of diseases from parents. So, the sheprador may be born either with health issues or it may develop several issues as they age.
It’s also possible that the strong Lab can balance out the health issues in German shepherd and improve the health of Sheprador. But, no clinical research has proved this yet.
So, let’s take a look at the common health problems in German shepherd and the Labrador retriever. You will get an idea on the health issues that can be inherited to Sheprador from its parents through this information.
German Shepherd Health Problems
The German shepherd is prone to many health issues due to its size and breed associated disorders. The following are the more common health problems in this breed.
- Chronic degenerative radiculomyopathy
- Elbow and hip dysplasia
- Gastric dilation volvulus
But, most of these diseases are easily detectable. The German Shepherd is also prone to
- Anal infections
- Eye diseases
- Underactive thyroid
Labrador Retriever Health Problems
Overall, the Labrador retriever is a healthy breed. But, it is prone to a few health issues due to aging. The most common health issues found in them are
- Hip dysplasia
- Elbow dysplasia
- Progressive retinal atrophy
Obesity is also the major health issue in Labs and it occurs due to overeating. The less common but serious issue in Labs is ear infections. Although ear infection can be treated easily, it requires frequent veterinary visits and care.
Common Health Issues in Shepherd Lab Mix
The German shepherd lab mix inherits common diseases such as hip dysplasia from their parents. Other ailments you can see in this breed are eye diseases, diabetes, epilepsy, cardiovascular disease, seizures, skin irritation, and allergies.
1. Hip Dysplasia
It is a malformation of your dog’s hip joint, which will cause pain and inflammation. Diet and genetics are the major causes of this condition in canines. Some dogs get to inherit this condition from their parents.
Hip dysplasia may develop in puppyhood, but most dogs don’t have clinical signs until they become old. You can see the following symptoms in your dog having hip dysplasia.
- Weakness and pain in the hind legs
- Reluctant to rise from a sitting or lying position, to climb stairs
But, these signs are visible in dogs that are between 1 to 2 years of age.
It depends on your dog’s clinical signs and level of discomfort. But, the vets decide the choice of medication based on individuals.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are very effective and have minimal side effects.
- Vet-approved glucosamine, omega-3 fatty acid nutritional supplements, and chondroitin sulfate are also effective in dogs having hip dysplasia.
- Many dogs with painful hip dysplasia will also benefit from polysulfated glycosaminoglycan injections on a regular basis.
But, moderate daily exercise and avoiding high-risk activities such as jumping may help your pooch prevent from this disease.
Physical therapy is also highly effective in improving the dog’s quality of life and should be part of the treatment regimen. Weight loss is also strongly recommended in overweight dogs.
2. Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV)
It is a severe twisting of your dog’s stomach due to the buildup of gas after eating. In this condition, the gas becomes trapped instead of expulsion, which leads to the buildup of pressure and pain.
The exact cause of GDV is unknown. But, several factors including genetics, environment, ingestion of excessive amounts of water or food, and too much activity after eating are the major causes of this condition in canines.
Your dog having gastric dilation volvulus may exhibit the following symptoms.
- Abdominal pain
- Anxious behavior
- Excess drooling
- Vomiting to the point of unproductive dry heaving
Further physical examination may indicate rapid heartbeat, labored breathing, weak pulse, and pale mucus membrane.
As gastric dilation volvulus is a life-threatening disease, it requires immediate veterinary intervention.
The veterinarian may first try to release the pressure through a stomach tube and later insert a large-bore needle through the skin into the stomach.
If this doesn’t work, shock treatment must begin immediately using intravenous fluids and emergency medications.
Once your pooch becomes stable, surgical correction of the GDV will be performed. But, making sure that your pup doesn’t eat food in a rapid manner is one of the best ways to prevent GDV.
It is essential to make sure that Sheprador which you buy from a breeder has tested their parents for the inherited problems.
You should also ask the breeder about the pup’s parents’ medical history and for health screening certificates.
So, with the help of the right foods, proper feeding, and regular exercises, Sheprador will stay healthy and happy!
German Shepherd Lab Mix Puppies
The first generation German shepherd lab mix puppy is developed from its purebred parent breeds “German shepherd” and the “Labrador retriever.”
Generally, the Sheprador gives birth to 6-10 puppies on average in a litter. But, each litter may vary with one parent that is usually dominating in appearance.
The German shepherd lab mix puppies are one of the best companion dog breeds for your family.
You can easily train these puppies and a new trainer will also feel comfortable to train them. Sheprador puppies can work well, specifically as watchdogs with their size and appearance.
German Shepherd Lab Mix Puppy Names
Looking for a gorgeous name for your German shepherd lab mix puppy? You will get an umpteen number of names through many websites. But, it is advisable to keep in mind a few things while choosing a name for your puppy.
- Keep the name short and simple that you can call loud. The short name should roll off your tongue easily.
- Find a name base on your coat color, dog’s temperament, and specific traits.
- Popular names as well as naming your dog based on the German shepherd and the lab’s origins are also a good idea.
- Don’t choose a name that is embarrassing to yell out.
- Avoid choosing a name based on negative personality traits.
- It is better to avoid finding names based on current trends.
- Reject names that sound like common dog commands.
Have a shortlist of names for your lab mix that sound good. always makes your job easier. Also, spend time for looking through the meanings for names that suit your dog.
German Shepherd Lab Mix Price And Breeders
The Sheprador is not an expensive breed as they aren’t so popular when compared with other designer breeds such as Cavachon.
The price of this breed will also vary from breeder to breeder. But, it is common that the healthier the parent breeds, the more expensive the pup.
How Much Do German Shepherd Lab Mixes Cost?
Generally, hybrid puppies tend to be costlier than purebreds. But, Shepradors aren’t much expensive and the average price of a Sheprador puppy can range from $200 to $600.
But, you should aim to pay around $500 to $600 for the pup that you buy from a responsible breeder.
How to Find the Right Breeder?
Finding the right breeder is hard work, but it will be worthwhile in the long run. Buying a safe, healthy puppy will save you money.
Most breeders are interested in purebred dogs and so there is a possibility for the breeders to mix inappropriate dogs to make money.
So, the first thing you should do is to meet both the pup’s parents when buying a puppy. If the breeder refuses, walk straight away from the place.
You should also ensure that the breeder has utilized genetic testing on both the parents. This will help you to determine what health conditions the Sheprador puppy may have.
The right breeder will
- Ask you more questions about your home, lifestyle, knowledge of dogs, and your care to the puppy.
- Assist you in meeting the Sheprador’s parents and encourage you to have a strong bond with the Sheprador’s mother.
- Screen for genetic health problems in the parent breeds before breeding.
- Make sure that both the parents have a minimum of excellent hip and elbow scores and recent eye tests.
You can notice that a reputable breeder never push you to buy the puppy. And, they will be interested in making sure that the pups will go to good homes and in good hands.
It is also essential for you to ensure a few things before you buy a Sheprador from a breeder.
- An OFA certification from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals for both the dog’s parents.
- Check whether the dog’s grandparents had any hereditary medical problems.
- The puppy that your buy has been screened for hereditary health conditions.
If you have thought of buying a specific colored Sheprador, for example, a chocolate Lab German Shepherd mix, you have to wait a little longer for the right pup.
Where can I find a Sheprador for adoption?
You can adopt a Sheprador from the rescue shelters as rescuing dogs have few advantages. First, it saves your money by reducing the initial costs.
The second thing is rescuing may cut down bad behaviors such as chewing and digging in puppies.
But, it’s not easy to find it in a shelter unless you’re lucky! In most cases, a Labrador Shepherd has high potential and is a great family dog.
Also, hybrid dogs may have unpredictable personalities and health issues as well.
You can also buy Shepedors from the rescue centers at a considerably cheaper rate. But, ensure that the puppy is genetically tested before you buy it.
Another thing is to ensure that all the eye certificates are cleared for less than a year old puppy.
So, if you wish to rescue an adult Sheprador, first check out your local animal shelters as well as German Shepherd or Labrador retriever specific rescue centers.
It is also advisable to keep in mind the following before you take home an adult Sheprador from the rescue centers.
- Some rescue shelters might have provided homes to mixed breeds which are a cross of their primary breed. In such cases, you may have to provide the best foods to an adult dog with serious health issues, which can increase your estimated cost considerably. So, think twice before you take it to your home.
- Keep in mind about the pup’s chewing habit. You have to buy chew-resistant toys, which are expensive, to those dogs to keep them busy.
- Ensure that the dog is not too sick because taking care of a sick pet is expensive.
- Never underestimate the importance of medical insurance for the dog that you buy. Pet insurance will add between $200 and $700 to your annual costs, based on the cover you choose.
German Shepherd Lab Mix FAQs
1. How big does a German Shepherd Lab mix get?
Both the German Shepherd and the Labrador retriever are large dogs. So, the German Shepherd Lab mix will be a medium- to large-sized dog.
A Labrador German Shepherd can stand tall 26 inches at the shoulder and weigh up to 88 pounds. The German Shepherd lab mix is, therefore, a fairly large pet to consider.
2. Is German Shepherd Lab mix a good family dog?
Of course, they make good family pets. Both the German Shepherd and the Labrador retriever are family dogs. So, it’s no wonder that German Shepherd lab mix is a good family dog.
But, the large, active Sheprador will definitely need more exercise needs for their mental stimulation. It won’t tolerate being left alone for long periods and will involve in undesirable behaviors if gets bored.
So, the German shepherd lab mix will best suit for families that have an active outdoor lifestyle (i.e. hiking, running, etc.).
But, you should also note their thick, double coat, which is non-hypoallergenic. The Sheprador won’t be the right dog for your family having people prone to allergies.
To summarize, Sheprador is a great family dog and will make a loving member of your family, provided you meet its needs.
3. How much do German Shepherd Lab mixes shed?
The German shepherd lab mix will shed more like their parents. This breed is a seasonal shedder as well.
You can see your dog’s hair almost everywhere at your home during the spring and fall seasons. So, you have to be prepared with the grooming tools during these seasons.
4. How Long Do Lab and German Shepherd Mixes Live?
Both the parent breeds of Sheprador have a long life. The Labrador retriever lives for about 14 years and the German Shepherd’s life expectancy is between 9 and 12 years.
So, it is obvious that the German Shepherd lab mix has a long life span as its parents. You can expect this breed to live for approximately 10 to 14 years.
5. Where Did The German Shepherd Lab Mix Come From?
The German shepherd lab mix hails from America as it is home to most of the designer breeds. But, its parent’s German shepherd and the Labrador retriever belongs to Germany and Newfoundland, respectively.
6. What health issue are they at high risk for?
Shepradors are more prone to hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and gastric dilation volvulus. But, they are also prone to eye diseases, allergies, and skin irritations.
7. Is the Sheprador a heavy shedder?
Yes, the sheprador is a heavy shedder. Both the German shepherd and the lab have double coats and are seasonal shedders. So, this breed sheds more during the spring and fall seasons.