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German Shepherd Lab Mix
Happy and Cautious
The German Sheprador is a German Shepherd/Labrador Retriever hybrid dog. She has a life span of 10 to 12 years and is a large mixed or cross breed. She is also called the Labrashepherd and is multi-talented with skills in police work, tracking, agility, guarding, search and rescue and retrieving.
|Here is the German Sheprador at a Glance|
|Average height||20 to 27 inches|
|Average weight||50 to 100 pounds|
|Coat type||Short, dense, double, thick, water-repellent|
|Shedding||Moderate to high|
|Touchiness||Moderate to high|
|Tolerant to Solitude?||Moderate to good|
|Tolerance to Heat||Moderate to good|
|Tolerance to Cold||Very good – does better in colder climates|
|Good Family Pet?||Excellent|
|Good with Children?||Good to very good with socialization|
|Good with other Dogs?||Moderate to good|
|Good with other Pets?||Good to very good|
|A roamer or Wanderer?||Low to moderate|
|A Good Apartment Dweller?||Low – need space|
|Good Pet for new Owner?||Fairly good|
|Trainability||Easy to train|
|Exercise Needs||High, she is very energetic|
|Tendency to get Fat||Fairly high|
|Major Health Concerns||Bloat, DM, EPI, OCD, eye problems, epilepsy, heart problems|
|Other Health Concerns||Joint dysplasia, allergies, skin problems, ear infections, cold tail|
|Life Span||10 to 12 years|
|Average new Puppy Price||$150 – $600|
|Average Annual Medical Expense||$485 to $600|
|Average Annual Non-Medical Expense||$500 – $600|
Where does the German Sheprador come from?
Since this is not a purebred dog but a hybrid there are no real origins to be found on who bred her, where and why. A large number of designer dogs have been bred since the 1980s and this is one of them. Therefore to get a feel for what went into her we can take a look at the parents used in the cross in this case the German Shepherd and the Labrador Retriever.
The German Shepherd
This dog was bred to be a working dog right from his beginnings. Bred in the late 1800s, early 1900s by a German cavalry officer to be first a great sheepherder and then when there was less demand for that role, changed to work in the police and military. Captain von Stephanitz bred the dog to be intelligent, capable and athletic. During World War I and II the breed was used as a messenger dog, rescue, red cross, sentry, guard, and supply carrier. Rin Tin Tin, a Hollywood German Shepherd made the breed popular and famous in America.
The German Shepherd today is still very intelligent, likes to be doing something all the time, active and is still used as a working dog today. As a family dog he is aloof with strangers but once he is used to you he is friendly and loyal. He is a good watchdog, very trainable and protective. He does not do well left alone for long periods and if he is not given enough mental and physical stimulation he can become bored and poorly behaved.
The Labrador Retriever
The Labrador Retriever comes from Newfoundland in Canada where he was bred in the 1700s to help fishermen bring in lines, retrieve fish and then be a good family dog at home. He was observed by visiting Englishmen who admired his look and ability and temperament so took him home with them. It was in England he was called a Retriever. It is a good thing they thrived here because back in Canada thanks to new regulations and laws on breeding and taxes the dog disappeared. Importing to America from Britain happened in the 1920s and 1930s.
He is the top most popular purebred in several countries including Britain, America and Canada still today. He is a great working dog, used in the police, rescue, therapy and so on. He is also a great family dog being very sweet, eager to please, friendly, smart and trainable. He does have a lot of energy though and that needs to be taken care of to keep him happy and behaved.
The German Sheprador is wary or cautious like the German Shepherd when dealing with strangers. She has energy at times but is not as full on as the Labrador. She tends to be more even tempered and to her family she is loving and kind. She tends to be patient with other pets and children but can be submissive around other dogs. She is a great family dog, loyal, intelligent and eager to please. She is also quite alert making a good watchdog. She has a very cheerful and friendly nature when she is not being cautious.
What does a German Sheprador look like
The German Sheprador is a large dog weighing 50 to 100 pounds and measuring 20 to 27 inches tall. She tends to have a face and back like the Labrador but has legs and stomach of a German Shepherd. Her muzzle is longer and she has dark brown eyes and ears that can stand up but may not. She has a stocky body and her tail can either be otter like the Lab or fluffy and long like the Shepherd. Her coat can be dense, double, short to medium length, water-repellent and thick. Common colors include black, tan, white and brown.
Training and Exercise Needs
How active does the German Sheprador need to be?
She has a lot of energy coming from two dogs that also have a lot of energy! She needs a lot of activity each day, walking, jogging, running, playing as well as mental stimulation, to keep her happy and avoid weight gain. She is best suited to a family or owner that is active themselves so she can fit right in. She has a lot of endurance. She is not suitable for living in an apartment and really should have a yard she can play in.
Does she train quickly?
She does train easily, in fact with her intelligence and eagerness to please she should train with less repetitions than many other dogs, meaning she will train more quickly. Be firm and consistent when training her though and keep it positive, praise her, reward her. She loves her food so treats are a great motivation just make sure you watch how much she gets! Even with a great disposition and coming from two great breeds she should still be socialized and trained from a young age.
Living with a German Sheprador
How much grooming is needed?
She does shed a lot especially during seasonal times so you need to ready for the hair, she will need to be brushed daily and you will need to vacuum up after her daily too! Give her a bath when she needs it using a dog shampoo as people shampoos can damage the natural oils in her skin. If she does not naturally wear down her nails with activity trim then when they get too long, some leave this to a groomer as her nails have blood vessels and nerves in them unlike ours. She also needs her ears checked and wiped once a week, and her teeth brushed at least three times a week.
What is she like with children and other animals?
She is an excellent family dog, good with children and other pets, though sometimes her play can get a bit overly boisterous so small children should be supervised. Children should also be taught how to touch and play with her without hurting her. Early socialization and training are still key as with other dogs she can sometimes be skittish.
As mentioned she will overeat if allowed to so watch her treats and food. She should get something like 3 to 4 cups of good quality dry dog food a day divvied into at least two meals. She can be an occasional barker and she is also a good watchdog and will bark to alert you of an intruder. She likes to chew and with her sharp teeth this can mean she gets through chew toys quite quickly. She usually likes to swim and prefers colder weather to hot.
She can inherit the conditons her parents are prone to or at risk of, as with any offspring. For her this includes Bloat, DM, EPI, OCD, eye problems, epilepsy, heart problems, Joint dysplasia, allergies, skin problems, ear infections and cold tail. Also watch for specific food allergies to veal , beef, chicken and salmon.
Costs involved in owning a German Sheprador
The average price at the moment for a German Sheprador puppy is $150 to $600 as this is not a designer breed that is hugely popular right now, and when a dog trends it drives up the prices. She will need blood tests, a micro chip, spaying, shots, a crate, and collar and leash. This will cost about $450 to $500. Average annual medical expenses for pet insurance, flea prevention, medical check ups and vaccinations can be between $485 to $600. Average annual non-medical expenses for food, treats, training, toys and license can be between $500 – $600.
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She is an intelligent, happy friendly dog that is a great choice for anyone who can give her an active lifestyle and lots of love. She can have a cautious side to her so early socialization and training can help her with that in regaining some confidence. As long as you do not mind the shedding you will certainly never regret adding her to your family.
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Featured Image Credit: Crystal Alba, Shutterstock
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.
- Happy and Cautious
- Where does the German Sheprador come from?
- What does a German Sheprador look like
- Training and Exercise Needs
- Living with a German Sheprador
- Health Concerns
- Costs involved in owning a German Sheprador
- Top German Shepherd Mixes
- Popular Labrador Retriever Mixes