The German Shepherd Lab Mix is a mixed Dog Breed between the German Shepherd and the Labrador Retriever. It is sometimes known as the German Sheprador. It is a large mixed dog, high energy and intelligent dog. They will make a great family pet as long as they are well socialized. They are alert, confident, and protective.
While we really recommend that you acquire one through a rescue, we understand that some people might go through a breeder to get their German Shepherd mixed with Lab puppy. That is, if they have any for sale. Always screen your breeders as much as possible to ensure that you are getting as high a quality dog as is possible. If intentionally bred, typically it is a German Shepherd Black Lab mix.
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Here is a brief history of both the Shepherd and the Lab. Being that this is a mixed breed dog, there isn’t a lot of history to it. However, we go more in depth to the history of both breeds.
As his name suggests, the German Shepherd originated in Germany, where he was created in the nineteenth century primarily by Captain Max von Stephanitz, who wanted to develop a dog that could be used for military and police work. The result was a dog that encompassed striking good looks, intelligence and versatility. World War I put a dent in the breed’s burgeoning popularity because the dogs were associated with the enemy. German Shepherds braved artillery fire, land mines and tanks to supply German soldiers in the trenches with deliveries of food and other necessities. After the war, movies featuring Rin Tin Tin and fellow German Shepherd Strongheart brought the breed back into favor. American audiences loved them. For a time, the German Shepherd was the most popular breed in the United States.
The Labrador Retriever is the most common dog breed in America for a reason. The modern Labrador's ancestors originated on the island of Newfoundland, now part of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. The founding breed of the Labrador was the St. John's water dog, a breed that emerged through ad-hoc breedings by early settlers of the island in the 16th century. The forebears of the St. John's Dog are not known but were likely a random-bred mix of English, Irish, and Portuguese working breeds. The Newfoundland (known then as the Greater Newfoundland) is likely a result of the St. John's Dog breeding with mastiffs brought to the island by the generations of Portuguese fishermen who had been fishing offshore since the 16th century. The smaller short-coated St. John's Dog (also known then as the Lesser Newfoundland) was used for retrieval and pulling in nets from the water. These smaller dogs were the forebears of the Labrador Retriever.
Height: 22 - 24 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 55 - 80 lb.
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Height: 22 - 26 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 75 - 95 lb.
Lifespan: 10 - 14 years
Much like the Shepherd, the German Sheprador is tentative when dealing with strangers. They will have a lot of energy but not quite as much as the Lab, they tend to have a more even temperament and can be sweet, loving, and kind. They tend to be patient with other pets and children but might be leary of other dogs. It is very important to give them plenty of socialization to overcome this. They will make a great addition to your family as they are loyal and eager to please. They should make a good watchdog alerting you when strangers are nearby.
All dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems as all breeds are susceptible to some things more than others. However, the one positive thing about getting a puppy is that you can avoid this as much as possible. A breeder should absolutely offer a health guarantee on puppies. If they won’t do this, then look no more and don’t consider that breeder at all. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the breed and the incidence with which they occur. Health clearances prove that a dog has been tested for and cleared of a particular condition.
The Lab mixed with German Shepherd might be prone to the following: Bloat, DM, EPI, OCD, eye problems, epilepsy, heart problems, Joint dysplasia, allergies, skin problems, ear infections and cold tail.
Do not purchase a puppy from a breeder who cannot provide you with written documentation that the parents were cleared of health problems that affect the breed. A careful breeder and one who truly cares about the breed itself, screens their breeding dogs for genetic disease and breed only the healthiest and best-looking specimens. One of the most common health problems with dogs is obesity. Keeping this under control is your responsibility.
They are going to shed a lot and are going to need lots of exercise. Be prepared to brush them a couple of times a week and have a good vacuum at your disposal to clean up the floors. Give them baths as needed, but not so much that you dry out their skin.
A lot of times diet is done on a per-dog basis. Each one is unique and has different dietary requirements. Most dogs in the U.S. are overweight. A mix like this one that is prone to hip and elbow dysplasia should really be on fish oil and glucosamine and chondroitin supplements as soon as possible.
Overfeeding any dog is not a good idea as that can really exacerbate health problems such as elbow and hip dysplasia.
A good diet to look into is Raw Food Diet.
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