The German Shepherd cross Labrador Retriever is a loving, protective and energetic dog who makes the perfect family pet. They easily make friends with just about anyone and are very gentle with children.
German Shepherd Lab mixes quickly become the center of any household. They thrive on attention and will do anything to get it.
You will soon wonder how you ever managed without this mix before!
They are bundles of energy with oodles of love, and you will never be bored or lonely with one around. Keep on reading to learn all about these goofy, loving, and protective family dogs.
|Breed Quick Facts|
|Height||20 to 26 inches|
|Weight||60 to 90 lbs|
|Color||Black, gray, blue, white or cream|
|Shedding||All year shedders|
|Temperament||Protective, goofy and loving|
|Barking||Can be talkative when playing|
|Training||Very quick to learn|
|Lifespan||10 to 12 years|
|Price||$500 to $900|
Table of Contents
German Shepherd Lab Mix Breed Guide
The German Sheprador is a mix between the German Shepherd and Labrador Retriever. They are excellent family dogs as they are easy-going, good-natured and gentle, yet playful.
These dogs love to be the center of attention and equally enjoy being fussed over by a crowd or playing tug-of-war one-on-one.
Given how popular both parent breeds have been in recent history, there is no doubt that accidental German Shepherd Lab mixes have been around for a while. But the first intended cross was bred in North American in the late 1990s.
The goal was to produce a family-friendly dog that could also act as a protective guard dog.
This mix has many Labrador traits and one of them is their retriever instinct. They are happiest when they have something in their mouths, whether that be one of their toys or one of your socks!
But they don’t just inherit traits from Labs.
They are protective and can make brilliant guard dogs just like their German Shepherd parent. Their guard dog instincts mean they are vigilant dogs who make good watch dogs for family homes.
They are particularly protective of their own family and might be wary of strangers coming into their home. With a little assurance from their owners however, they quickly make friends with everyone – humans and dogs.
There is no set standard for the appearance of the German Shepherd Lab mix.
Luckily, being a popular cross with two very popular parent breeds, there are many out there to give you an idea of what they usually look like.
The Lab German Shepherd mix is deep chested and has a sturdy build, with strong legs and thick tails. Their sturdy build is almost guaranteed given both parents have the same build.
Their ear shape is a little less predictable though. Most have triangular ears which are floppy like their Lab parent. Some have ears which are still triangular, but stand erect much like the German Shepherd. Others might have something in-between with ears that stand up halfway and then flop over at the top!
One thing you can be certain about is that German Shepherd Lab mixes will have kind, expressive faces and smiling mouths that reflects their loving, goofy and kind-hearted personalities.
Meet The Parents
German Shepherds and Labradors have been around for at least 100 years.
Ancestors of the German Shepherd were bred by a German Cavalry officer who wanted to produce the ideal herding dog. It turned out that these dogs weren’t just good for herding and guarding. Their speed, stealth, strength and protective nature made them very versatile.
German Shepherds were then used widely in the police force, military and as guard dogs.
Following the World Wars this breed suffered a decline in popularity as a result of their links with Germany. To combat this, they were renamed “Alsatians”. Soon enough people realized that they were still the same protective and loyal dogs.
Most people are back to calling them German Shepherds, but some breeders might still use the name Alsatian. Don’t panic as any Alsatian Lab mix is still the same hybrid.
Labrador Retrievers were first bred to retrieve ducks during shoots in Britain in the late 1800s. They also turned out to be an extremely versatile breed and have been used as guide dogs, therapy dogs and sniffer dogs.
Labs were bred to work alongside humans and this trait shows in the German Shepherd Lab mix’s friendly and loving personality. Many hybrids also inherit their powerful tail and love for water.
What Does A German Shepherd Lab Mix Look Like?
With so many different combinations of Labrador colors and German Shepherd patterns almost every litter of German Shepherd Lab mix puppies is unpredictable.
For example, breeding a standard black and tan Shepherd with a black Lab can produce completely black, black and tan, or puppies somewhere in between who are mainly black but with a tan undercoat.
RELATED: Black German Shepherd Breed Facts
Each and every puppy is unique, and this adds to their adorableness!
The German Shepherd Lab mix comes in six main colors:
Some hybrids might be a solid color, or others can have a pattern like their German Shepherd parent. If they do have a pattern they will generally have a darker shade over their back and sides and the tips of their tail, ears, and muzzle, with a lighter shade everywhere else.
The German Shepherd Lab mix does not have a breed standard for their full grown size. This means that although they are on average 60 to 90 pounds and 20 to 25 inches tall, they can fall either side of this range as well.
When these pups are born they will weigh around 5 pounds, but will quickly grow to around 15 pounds by the time you bring them home at two months of age. Although they grow quickly, they won’t properly finish growing until much later when they are about two.
Both parent breeds show a difference in sizes between males and females.
You can expect a male German Shepherd Lab mix to weigh about 10 pounds more and be up to 5 inches taller than a female. By the age of 10 weeks there is usually already a noticeable size difference between pups from the same litter.
Temperament and Personality
The German Shepherd Lab mix is about as loving, protective and family-friendly as any dog.
This sprightly, goofy and loving protector thrives when all the attention is on them! They love to play and enjoy being in the company of their family. Although goofy and energetic, they are gentle and loving with children. They are just as happy with cuddle and fuss as they are with a game of chase or frisbee.
German Shepherd Lab mixes are friendly and gentle dogs who want to be friends with everyone. They are great with other dogs and people and fit well into most households with other pets.
If the German Sheprador is bought up with cats or rabbits from puppyhood they tend to become good friends.
However, their Labrador Retriever parent may give them a slight prey drive. This instinct means some pups want to chase animals smaller than them. This is especially true if these animals run away from them as they see it as a game.
The German Shepherd Lab mix is an active dog who likes to have a job to do. Remember both parents are working breeds.
These dogs can be the ‘watchdog’ of the family, or the ‘designated sock collector’. Whatever it may be, they need something to keep their minds and bodies busy. This is especially true if they are left alone. They get easily bored and may turn to destructive behaviors such as chewing furniture if left without company for too long.
Some German Shepherd Lab mixes can be talkative. This might be especially apparent when they get carried away when playing. But their talkativeness doesn’t just come from the Labrador. They might also have a deeper, more intimidating German Shepherd bark when alerting to danger or strangers.
These dogs are protective and have a guarding instinct, just like the German Shepherd Rottweiler mix. Their instincts aren’t as strong as their German Shepherd parent, but they will bark and stand up to strangers who shouldn’t be in their house.
The Lab German Shepherd mix is likely to be cautious of new people and tends to err towards protectiveness. In order to gauge who to make friends with they often feed off their owner’s energy.
If their owner is comfortable with someone new they will make friends quickly and no doubt steal this stranger’s heart as quickly as they stole yours.
Reasons Why You Should Get One
You will never be short of a laugh when there is a German Shepherd Lab mix about. This dog is just about as goofy, loving, and protective as any dog could be! They vie for your attention in all sorts of wacky and energetic ways like throwing their toys around, bounding around, or pushing their heads onto your lap.
Don’t be surprised if a few of your socks go missing too.
Their retriever instinct means they can’t help but always have something in their mouths. Don’t worry you will soon find them in their hidden stash along with your shoes and hats behind the sofa!
German Shepherd Lab mixes are not just a blur of energy, they are affectionate and cuddly.
Their ideal Sunday morning is lying in bed with you while lapping up snuggles and belly rubs, followed by a long walk in the sunshine with plenty of treats. They are gentle and kind-hearted, making them perfect to have with children of any age.
The Lab Shepherd mix is tolerant of tail pulls and ear tugs so they get on well with young children.
Bear in mind, however, that they don’t enjoy it if the pulling and tugging becomes too hard. Remember to supervise very young children and teach them how to properly interact with dogs as the German Shepherd Lab mix is so gentle that they won’t be able to say no.
Who They Suit Best
A German Shepherd Lab mix will fit well into a family household where they are going to get plenty of that attention that they crave! They are gentle and kind dogs who get on with children of all ages.
They are friendly with other dogs and small pets so will easily fit into a multi-pet household too.
These dogs are better suited to those families who are very active and have a big house and garden. They need plenty of playtime, exercise and space to burn off energy.
They don’t like to be left alone so might not be best in families who will have to leave them alone for long periods during the day.
German Shepherd Lab Mix Price
The German Shepherd Lab mix is not a popular hybrid so their price is between $500 and $900.
Puppy price will vary depending on the breeder, however few Lab German Shepherd mixes will cost more than $1,000. German Shepherds and Labrador Retriever puppies cost on average $800 to $1,000.
Mixed breeds usually cost less than purebreds because they do not come with “paperwork” and are generally in lower demand.
Although the German Shepherd Lab mix is not an American Kennel Club recognized breed, both the parents are. This means your puppy’s parents should come with proper registering paperwork and be available for viewing. All reliable breeders will offer this.
A simple google search for German Shepradors in your state should bring up a whole list of potential breeders.
German Shepherd Lab Mix Care
Labrador Retrievers are known for their ferocious appetites. In fact, one in four are prone to obesity as they have a gene that is strongly associated with weight gain, obesity and a strong appetite.
There is a chance that your German Shepherd Lab mix might inherit this gene and have a veracious appetite. They will need to have a well-monitored and controlled diet. This includes not just their daily kibble, but treats and titbits as well.
This mix needs a large breed kibble from when they are a young puppy. This will ensure they are getting enough nutrients to support their quick growth rate into the big dogs they will become.
Once fully grown they should be getting around three cups of kibble a day, spaced out across two meals.
Some of this kibble can also be used as treats throughout the day and on walks. It is better to use kibble as treats, rather than using high calorie treats, as this will help keep the weight off.
These dogs are very intelligent and respond well to positive reinforcement dog training. They are easily trained as they love to please and enjoy training as it means they are the center of attention. Their Lab genes means they will do almost anything for a treat. Training this mixed breed is something even the novice dog-owner can do.
The German Shepherd Lab mix is full of energy as it has working-breed parents. These hybrids need at least one hour of exercise a day. Make sure their walks involve a strenuous activity such as hiking, running or swimming.
These dogs are known to love agility, although their large size and goofy nature can make them clumsy. Don’t expect to be winning any prizes with them for it!
German Shepherd Lab mixes live for between 10 and 12 years, however they are prone to two serious health issues.
Both parents are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, so this Lab Shepherd mix is at risk too.
Many breeders will “score” their dogs’ hips and elbows before breeding them. This means they are assessed for their risk of hip and elbow dysplasia. Choose a breeder that uses this technique to be sure the risk of hip and elbow dysplasia in your puppy is reduced.
These dogs are also at risk of bloat (gastric dilatation volvulus) which is an illness inherited from both parents.
Finally, they are prone to weight gain and obesity like their Labrador parent.
German Shepradors tend to inherit their German Shepherd parent’s thick, double layer coat. This coat is designed to keep them cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It is equally perfect for playing in the snow or in the sand. However, this type of coat sheds heavily all year round.
The German Shepherd Lab mix needs weekly grooming for up to an hour. It is best to use a slicker brush to help them shed and prevent any matting or knots. When brushing, focus especially on the armpits and under-belly, as these are the places mats most commonly form.
If a puppy inherits their Labrador parent’s shorter, waterproof coat, they will still shed all year round but to a lesser extent. These pups only need grooming for 30 minutes once a week with a soft bristled brush. This will help to keep their coat shiny and in tip-top condition.
How Big Do German Shepradors Get?
German Shepherd Lab mixes tend to be larger than a Labrador. They are more similar to the size of their German Shepherd parent. Fully grown they can weigh as much as 90 pounds and be 26 inches tall. The average is 75 pounds and 23 inches. Males will be larger than females by as much as 10 pounds and 5 inches.
How Smart Is A German Shepherd Lab Mix?
German Shepherds and Labradors are highly intelligent working dogs. They are known for their varied jobs, from guard dogs, herding dogs and police dogs to guide dogs and therapy dogs.
It should be no surprise that the German Shepherd Lab mix is a clever dog!
They know exactly what you want and can solve puzzles and games easily. However, sometimes you might find yourself questioning their smarts… in their desperate attempts for attention they can be extremely goofy and clumsy!
Are Lab Shepherd Mixes Protective?
In their home a German Shepherd Lab mix is goofy, playful, cuddly and affectionate. However they are protective of their families and have a strong guarding instinct.
Like their German Shepherd parent they will feed off their owner’s emotions. If their human is wary of a stranger you can expect a few barks. If their human greets a stranger with ease they will make friends.
The German Sheprador is a cross between the German Shepherd and the Labrador Retriever. Although most commonly known as the German Shepherd Lab mix, they are also sometimes called Labrashepherds or Alsatian Lab mixes.
German Shepherd Lab mixes weigh up to 90 pounds and grow to 26 inches tall, but the average is 75 pounds and 23 inches.
These hybrids live for attention and will do a wide range of goofy and wacky thing to earn the approval of their owners. They are loving, protective, gentle and kind-natured. These traits make them the perfect family pet for households with children of any age and other pets.
They are also eager to please and intelligent, so are very responsive to positive reinforcement dog training, especially if they are going to earn a treat.
These dogs usually inherit their German Shepherd parent’s thick, double layer coat. It is perfect for keeping them warm in winter and cool in summer. However, you might just find it all over the house as they shed all year round. They will need weekly grooming to keep their coat under control.
The German Shepherd Lab mix is about as loving, protective and family-friendly as any dog.
Do you think this mix would fit right into your family?