German Shepherd Lab mix puppies sound like a great combination don’t they?
German Sheprador (Labrashepherd) Puppy Quick Stats
» A combination of a German Shepherd and a Labrador Retriever
» Recognized as an official mixed breed by the International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR)
» Average estimated lifespan of between 10 – 12 years
» Average estimated weight of between 70 – 90 pounds
» Average height of approximately 20 – 24 inches
» Training difficulty – Low
» Grooming requirement – High
» Exercise requirement – Medium
Both breeds are intelligent, friendly and athletic. Because this is a very new recognized breed cross, there is no real way to tell how your German Shepherd Lab mix puppy will turn out.
But using what is known about each breed, there is plenty of useful information to help determine if this might be the right dog for you.
All About the German Shepherd Lab Cross
There are certain traits and characteristics that can be counted on in a German Shepherd Lab mix. Although the cross has been seen in shelters and rescue groups all over the US for many years, the two breeds were not intentionally crossed until recently in early 2001.
For the most part, you will find a German Shepherd Lab mix available for adoption in your local shelter or rescue groups but some breeders can be found with a little persistence.
A very important thing to note about the German Shepherd Lab mix cross is that two more different breeds could not have been chosen to create this interesting mix.
Characteristics and Traits of German Shepherd Lab Mixes
It is well known that both breeds are very intelligent, with the German Shepherd ranking 3rd and the Labrador Retriever ranking 7th in The Intelligence of Dogs: Brightest Dogs test developed by Stanley Coren.
This means that a cross of the two breeds should yield a very intelligent dog that will require plenty of mental and physical stimulation to keep him out of trouble.
It is also well known that the German Shepherd, although fairly friendly with people they know, are very aloof and guarded when it comes to meeting strangers.
Their high prey drive and athletic working ability make this protection dog a handful for most families. On the other side, the Labrador Retriever is a very people oriented and family friendly dog.
They do very well with strangers and family members alike and are generally not protective and do not have high prey drives as Labrador Retrievers love to work for people.
What this means is that your German Shepherd Lab mix puppy can be anything from a protective, high energy, prey chasing pet to a calmer, people friendly, and quiet friend. However, both breeds are very loyal and intelligent, so you can rest assured that you will be able to have a wonderful pet as long as you follow through with lifelong training and obedience.
Health and Care of a Labrasheperd
Because the German Shepherd Lab mix is a cross of two large breed dogs, there are certain health conditions you will need to watch out for. These will include hip and elbow dysplasia, diabetes, and various muscle and neurological disorders.
Most of these can be screened for by your veterinarian at an early age. You should also be sure that if you are purchasing a puppy from a breeder, that both parents have had their hips and elbows OFA certified and that they have been screened for any hereditary defects. You can avoid diabetes and most bone and joint issues by feeding a high quality dog food that is specially formulated for large breed dogs.
The average coat on a German Shepherd Lab mix should be short to medium in length. Both breeds are double coated and shed heavily twice a year. Between heavy shedding periods, it is best to brush your dog at least once a day and keep the nails trimmed once a week.
Also, be sure you provide plenty of exercise as the two breeds are high energy and very smart. They need adequate attention and mental stimulation to prevent behavioral issues. Participating in dog sports such as agility, fly ball, or AKC obedience is recommended.
No matter where you get your German Shepherd Lab mix puppy from, make sure you do lots of research about each breed separately. Also, be sure that you check the American Kennel Club website for local German Shepherd or Labrador Retriever breeders near you.
You can ask these breeders, as well as local dog trainers and groomers, if they know anyone locally who has crossed the two breeds. Remember, there are still plenty of German Shepherd Lab mix puppies and adults available at your local shelter or rescue groups.