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German Shorthaired Lab
The German Shorthaired Lab is a hybrid dog that is a mix of the Labrador Retriever and the German Shorthaired Pointer. She is a large dog with a life span of 10 to 14 years. She is also called a German Shorthaired Labrador Retriever, and she has talents in tricks, weight pulling, guarding and as a watchdog.
|Here is the German Shorthaired Lab at a Glance|
|Average height||about 28 inches|
|Average weight||55 to 80 pounds|
|Coat type||Shiny, short, silky, smooth, water-repellent|
|Grooming Needs||Low to moderate|
|Shedding||Moderate to fairly high|
|Brushing||Once a day|
|Touchiness||Low to moderate|
|Tolerant to Solitude?||Moderate|
|Tolerance to Heat||Good to very good|
|Tolerance to Cold||Moderate to good|
|Good Family Pet?||Excellent|
|Good with Children?||Very good to excellent|
|Good with other Dogs?||Very good to excellent|
|Good with other Pets?||Very good to excellent|
|A roamer or Wanderer?||Moderate to high|
|A Good Apartment Dweller?||Low to moderate|
|Good Pet for new Owner?||Good to very good|
|Trainability||Very good to excellent|
|Exercise Needs||Very active|
|Tendency to get Fat||Fairly high|
|Major Health Concerns||Cancer, Von Willebrand’s Disease, bloat, OCD, epilepsy, heart problems|
|Other Health Concerns||joint dysplasia, eye problems, skin problems, ear infections|
|Life Span||10 to 14 years|
|Average new Puppy Price||$500 – $1500|
|Average Annual Medical Expense||$485 – $600|
|Average Annual Non-Medical Expense||$500 – $600|
Where does the German Shorthaired Lab come from?
The German Shorthaired Lab is part of a growing trend in the last two decades to create different hybrid dogs, also referred to as designer dogs. There is not a lot of information about most of these dogs, a few have specific breeders who have claimed them, but most do not. The best way therefore to understand what goes into this dog and where her ancestors come from is to look at the purebred parents. In this case the German Shorthaired Pointer and the Labrador Retriever.
The German Shorthaired Pointer
The prototype of this breed was around in the 17th century but they started to look like what we know today in the mid to late 1800s. They were bred to be hunting dogs who were athletic and responsive but were also good companions at home being affectionate and intelligent. They first came to America in the 1920s and were recognized by the AKC in 1930.
Today the GSP is friendly, clever, enthusiastic and willing. While he will care about everyone in the house he is likely to bond more closely with one person. He does not like being left alone and can have separation anxiety. His eagerness and intelligence make him easy to train.
The Labrador Retriever
Labs come from Canada where they worked with fishermen in the 1700s to retriever fish and tow lines and then act as a companion to the family at the end of the day. They were imported to England to work as hunting dogs in the 1830s and it was the third Earl of Malmesbury who first referred to them as Labradors. In Canada by the 1880s the breed disappeared due to new laws and restrictions but thankfully in England he was a success and a popular dog. In 1903 he was recognized by the Kennel Club in England and in 1917 by the AKC.
Today the Lab is not just a very successful and popular family dog, he is also a great working dog still. He is often used in search and rescue, for drug or explosive detection, as a therapy dog, to assist those with special needs, and still as a retriever for hunters. He is a sweet dog, eager to please, very outgoing and great with people as well as other pets. He is also smart and easy to train. He has a lot of exuberance and needs a lot of physical and mental stimulation.
The German Shorthaired Lab is a well balanced dog having a mix of self confidence and submissiveness to her owner that is just right. She is intelligent, happy, watchful and very responsive. She enjoys being social and is friendly and loves to be where the family is. She even tries to be a lap dog at times but at 55 to 80 pounds she is a bit on the heavy side! She has a protective streak and she is loyal. She is not good being left alone for a long time and can be prone to separation anxiety should this happen. The German Shorthaired Lab can be a good working dog too. She likes to please her owners and is easy to train.
What does a German Shorthaired Lab look like
She is a slim and tall dog, large at 55 to 80 pounds and standing up to 28 inches tall. She has a skull that is flat and wide but in proportion to her body and deep set eyes that are almond shaped. Her ears hang down and her muzzle is on the long side. Her coat can be shiny, short, smooth and water-repellent and colors can be black, red, white, brown, and yellow.
Training and Exercise Needs
How active does the German Shorthaired Lab need to be?
She is a very active dog and needs to be with a family who enjoys being active so that she gets the physical and mental stimulation she needs. She will enjoy running, going on long walks or hiking, jogging along your bicycle, going to a dog park, playing in the yard and so on. She will be happy running through streams, dashing through a field, sprinting after a Frisbee in a dog park. She will need you to be committed to giving her this every day.
Does she train quickly?
This is a dog that trains quickly as she is intelligent, eager to please and enjoys the work. She will need her trainer to be firm with her, but still positive. Praise her, reward her, repeat. She will then respond very well and will be happy when the next session starts. She should have early socialization and training still to bring out he best in her. Remember a dog that has not been trained or has not been trained well may have behavioral problems as they grow no matter how good natured she is naturally.
Living with a German Shorthaired Lab
How much grooming is needed?
She has a coat that is very easy to groom and will just need a brush once or twice a week unless she is shedding in which case do it once a day. You should not bathe her too often as it can affect the natural oils in her skin, just use a dog shampoo and give her a bath when she really needs it. Her ears will need checking once a week in case of ear infection, and to clean them just wipe with a cotton ball or cloth. There are proper solutions you can use designed for dog ear cleaning. Her teeth should ideally be brushed once a day. Finally her nails may need to be trimmed if she does not wear them down herself. Take care as you do not want to cut down to the quick as that can hurt her.
What is she like with children and other animals?
She is good with children and can be trusted to play with them. She is playful and affectionate with them and is also accepting of other pets too. Early socialization and training will make sure of her temperament with them too. Do not forget that as much as you need to train your German Shorthaired Lab you also need to train your children. No pulling of ears or the tail or teasing her, or playing with her food for example.
She is good in most climates though is better in warmer one that extremely cold ones. She is a good watchdog and will bark to let you know if something is up. She is an average barker otherwise, but if that gets to be too much as long as she is trained she can be stopped. She will need 21/2 to 3 cups of good quality dry dog food each day, split into two meals.
To avoid having health issues with your dog either as a puppy or as she grows try to buy from breeders who clearly care about their puppies, perhaps can show you health clearances for the parents, and have a respect for the dog. Any offspring can develop an issue their parents may have passed to them. The ones that this dog could inherit include Cancer, Von Willebrand’s Disease, bloat, OCD, epilepsy, heart problems, joint dysplasia, eye problems, skin problems and ear infections.
Costs involved in owning a German Shorthaired Lab
A puppy will be about $500 – $1500. The prices range so much because there are a lot of different kinds of sellers out there offering different things. Some are breeders to avoid, and some are offering other important things with the puppy like health clearance, shots, deworming. If all you get is a puppy you should have it tested at a vet, then have it dewormed, neutered, micro chipped and get her a collar, leash and crate. These costs may be between $450 – $500. Yearly medical costs for emergency health care savings, flea prevention, shots and check ups are $485 – $600. Yearly non-medical costs for food, a license, training, treats and toys are $500 – $600.
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She is a great dog, and if you do not mind the shedding and are an active family or person already she is not going to be hard work either. She will be there for you when you need her and will love you unconditionally.
Popular Labrador Retriever Mixes
Featured Image Credit: Sheryl Lynch, 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.
- Where does the German Shorthaired Lab come from?
- What does a German Shorthaired Lab look like
- Training and Exercise Needs
- Living with a German Shorthaired Lab
- Health Concerns
- Costs involved in owning a German Shorthaired Lab
- Popular Labrador Retriever Mixes