Homedog breeds

German Shepherd Lab Mix – A Charming Cross For Active Families

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Meta: What will you call a puppy born to a German Shepherd and a Labrador Retriever? Sheprador? German Sheprador? Or Labrashepherd? What will they look like? Is there anything good coming out from crossing these two charismatic breeds? Or are they bred just for kicks? Let’s check this article out for more information!

German Shepherd and Labrador Retriever are two of the most favored dog breeds in the U.S. Many dog lovers have a hard time choosing between one over the other to be their companion. If you are one of them – who is torn between these two breeds when you only get to have one, then your dilemma is no more! For the German Shepherd Lab mix is here to save the day!

What Kind of Dog is This?

Technically, the puppies of these two breeds are designer dogs. Meaning they’re born to two acknowledged, purebred parents (contrary to mongrels who are born to complicated parent breeds).

No one actually knows for sure that their advent was on purpose or by accident. But the truth is that the German Shepherd Lab mix has been around for decades. Still, they’ve yet to be recognized as an official, distinct dog breed. Therefore, none of the appearance traits is deemed standard. This is something that you might be familiar when it comes to other hybrid dogs whose one of their parent is a German Shepherd, such as Boxer German Shepherd mix or German Shepherd Wolf mix.

They don’t even have an agreed-upon name. And because “German Shepherd Lab mix” is kind of lengthy, for time-saving purpose, people usually call them German Sheprador, Sheprador, or Labrashepherd.

That said, only the AKC does not accept the Labrashepherd (or any mixed breed, to be fair). This hybrid is still acknowledged by the IDCR and the DRA.

Prominent Traits of German Shepherd Lab Mix

Let’s see what can Labrashepherd puppies get from their purebred parents.

Life Expectancy

A decade together may be a bit short for the both of you. But with love and proper care, your sunshine pooch can be with you for a while longer – up to 12 years, which is a bit less than the Labahoula (when the Labrador is crossbred with the Catahoula).

If you decide to have one, let’s not dwell in the limited time. Make the most of it instead, and let it be one of the most unforgettable moments in your life

Outer Look

Directly inherited from their purebred parents, the Labrashepherd pups will either look like a Labrador or a German Shepherd. Puppies of first Labrashepherd generation have unpredictable appearances. But none of the traits is orthodox.

Specifically, your yipping ball will most likely have a Labrador’s face and back, whereas his legs and abdominal are like those of a German Shepherd. (i.e., long muzzle, dark chocolate eyes, may-or-may-not erect ears, sturdy body, and an expressive tail that is either long and bushy like a German Shepherd, or broad and otter-like like a Lab).

Other than that, the color and patterns on Labrashepherd pups’ coat will also mimic their parents’ coats. The most common appearance of Labrashepherd is a tan coat and drooping ears.

Also, as the German Shepherd has an extreme sense of smell, its hybrid puppy might also be inherited this great feature.

Body Measurements

You could take an average of German Shepherd’s and Lab’s measurements to speculate your pup’s possible figures. Respectively, a German Shepherd can get 22 – 26 inches high and weigh 49 – 88 pounds, while a Labrador can get 22 – 25 inches in height and 55 – 80 pounds in weight.

So, after some educated guesses, you can expect your Labrashepherd boy’s digits to be 55-85 pounds and roughly 27 inches tall. Because these are hybrids, it’s hard to tell anyway. But note that the males dominate their female counterpart in both weight and length.

Coat

If nothing else, expect your Labrashepherd darling to have a double, water-repellent coat like its purebred parents. Which means the coarse outer coat will have longer strands of hair, while the dense undercoat is closer to the body.

Labrashepherd’s hair will be dense and either short, mid-length, or long depends on the pup’s bloodline. However, Both German Shepherd and Labradors are short-haired dogs. And it’s uncommon (even rare) to see one purebred individual of either kind with long hair.

Besides, long-haired gene is recessive among Labrador breed, so most likely your Labrashepherd’s coat will be short, regardless of what type his other parent’s coat is.

Colors and Patterns

Now this may be the most pleasant surprise for you. Because neither you nor anyone can tell what the genetics decide. All you can do is waiting until the little dearly is born and falling in love with it.

Even if it is a mystery what color your future pup will get, there’re some common shades you can expect, such as tan, chocolate, black, yellow, the combinations of those colors, and even white. The odds to get a white German Shepherd Lab mix are significantly higher if one of its parents is a White German Shepherd and the other is a white-hued Lab.

Other than that, little Labrashepherd puppies also inherit either a plain, solid coat like their Lab parent or the typical patterns of their GSD parent (i.e., the saddle back markings).

Shedding

Shedding is the forever shadow of every double coat. That’s why grooming is a must if you want his hair always to be sleek and healthy. The longer the hair, the more frequently you need to groom him.

And you must do that as regularly as possible, too. Otherwise, the fallen strands will cover all of your stuff (and yourself, for that matter). A lot more so during shedding seasons, particularly.

Temperaments

Even though no one can tell whose temperament your puppy will take after more, it’s still not so hard if the founding dogs are purebred. Let’s see what the parents have first.

Being considered as one of the safest dog breeds for children, an active, lively, and friendly Lab loves nothing more than to be with people, just to shower them with its sunny attitude and affections. Whereas a German Shepherd is loyal, brave, confident, and just as energetic. Also, both breeds are exceptionally smart and insanely in love with exercises. Particularly the German Shepherd, who will adopt problematic behaviors if they’re bored.

So, some forms of characteristic combinations from those two could have been written in your bundle of joy’s genetics.

Habits

The Labrashepherd dogs love digging by default. That’s why you should keep him always entertained, lest your mischievous buddy be the threat to the flora in your garden. Here’s a hint for you: he has a weakness for balls! Insanely more so if the thing is tossed away.

By the way, his favorite pastime is mouthing. So unless you want him to chew a chunk off of your saving by gnawing on your new shoes, you really should consider investing in strong, durable, high-quality toys for him.

Family Dog

Any pup of the German Shepherd Lab hybrid can make an excellent family dog. This is because all of the valuable characteristics of his honorable parents are instilled in him. Therefore, traits like loyal, patient, watchful, and kind are already in his genetics. If being properly socialized during puppyhood, the Labrashepherd can be a reliable, protective nanny too.

However, this kind of dog enjoys the exercise of all kinds. So they’re the best buddies for active families and individual, who have time for them and whose house (and garden) is spacious.

Also, make sure your dog is comfortable during the hot season, for the Labrashepherds like and function better in cold climates.

General Care for a German Shepherd Lab Mix

Grooming

The German Shepherd Lab cross possesses a double coat that decidedly requires regular brushing. Normally your Labrashepherd pooch needs grooming at least once every week (ideally 3 times a week).

But the frequency will rocket up when it’s shedding seasons – which happen twice a year and last for 6 months in total. During such time you’ll have to brush him daily, each session should last for 10-15 minutes.

Even so, the shedding and “blows” are only limited down, not completely stopped. That’s why you should consider investing in a durable brush and a vacuum cleaner, too.

Bathing, Cleansing, and Trimming

It’s the grooming that needs your undying attention. Otherwise, you only need to bath your Labrashepherd once every month, or whenever your dog’s fur gets dirty. And while you’re at it, remember to clean his eyes as well. Aside from that, he needs teeth brushing (3 times per week) and ear cleansing sessions (once a week).

Large dogs like Labrashepherds have thick and long nails. So, the damages such strong nails inflict on your skin, wall, flooring, and furniture won’t be small. That’s why a nail trimming session should be scheduled whenever you hear the click-clack sounds follow his every step. You can also walk your dog regularly on hard surfaces (e.g., concrete) to keep his nails healthy and in good shape.

Exercises

Born to energetic parents, of course, your Labrashepherds will have an endless reservoir of energy, too. So you’ll have to provide him with lots of exercises, games, and other forms of entertainment in order to keep him from plotting your furniture’s demise.

Now this is the list of what you can do: Spare some time to walk him for 1 hour, twice a day (at least). These dynamic dogs won’t be picky about what kind of exercises he’ll do, so the two of you can go running, jogging, bicycling, even swimming and hiking.

Your Labrashepherd is highly intelligent, which means he’s a fast learner. Let’s take advantage of that fact and train him. He’d love to be stimulated physically and mentally. Anything that keeps him busy and burns off his enormous amount of energy is welcome.

Oh, and don’t forget that any German Shepherd Lab mix is crazy about balls! So make sure you have those rounded objects in your home (along with a couple of good-quality chew toys, too!)

Common Health Problems

You need to pay close attention to your Labrashepherd’s health. Because he’s a mix, any genetic diseases his parents have may be passed on to him as well. The common health problems found in both parent breeds include elbow and hip dysplasia, heart diseases, skin allergies, epilepsy, obesity and diabetes (you might want to check out best food for diabetic dogs).

Plus, if your Labrashepherd takes after his German Shepherd parent more, he’ll be prone to a bunch of digestive problems as well. So be careful of what you feed him, as well as its quantity.

How Much for a German Shepherd Lab Mix?

In the pedigree aspect, a hybrid pup may be deemed lowly in comparison with a purebred one. Ironically, when money involves, they tend to be higher evaluated than purebred dogs.

That’s why the average price for a new Labrashepherd puppy ranges from $150 to $600, licenses and other costs excluded. For there are medical insurance ($200 - $700), periodical health checkups, surprise vet visits, accessories and other stuff to ensure a fulfilled life for your precious pup.

Owner’s Responsibilities

You’ll have to research on the parent breeds beforehand. Doing so helps in providing you with the most basic ideas of what to expect when taking care of their hybrid pups.

Keep in mind that your Labrashepherd may inherit his parents’ everything – appearance, temperament, and health problems. So prepare yourself for more house cleaning and even more energetic, creative lifestyle.

The creative requirement is especially needed when you entertain him with new games. Otherwise your furniture and garden may be at risk of his destructive boredom.

So, make sure you only take him home once you’re ready to take all of these possibilities.

Conclusion

Though there’re quite a lot entailed issues to consider, all will be well once they’re sorted out. A German Shepherd Lab pup will probably be one of the most excellent choices to further perfect your life.

When his sunny face (and maybe with a ball in his mouth) greets you each morning, you know you never regret the day you take him home, live together under the same roof, and become soul-buddy of each other.

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