The German Shepherd and Labrador Retriever are America’s two most popular dogs, so you may think that a hybrid breed between these two purebreds would create the ideal dog.
But do these two breeds together make the ultimate pet?
In this article, we will go into detail about everything you need to know about this promising mixture of two well-loved dogs.
After reading this, you will have a better idea about whether or not this dog is right for your family.
Let’s start by looking at this dog’s ancestors in order to understand its background.
- What Is A German Shepherd Lab Mix?
- What Does A German Shepherd Labrador Mix Look Like?
- Grooming Your German Shepherd Lab Mix
- How Big Will A German Shepherd Lab Mix Get?
- How to Train A German Shepherd Lab Mix
- Temperament of A German Shepherd Lab Mix
- Is a German Shepherd Lab Mix a Good Family Dog?
- How Much Is A German Shepherd Lab Mix?
- Where to Buy A German Shepherd Lab Mix
What Is A German Shepherd Lab Mix?
Because the Lab Shepherd mix is a hybrid dog rather than a purebred, there is no exact date known that the dog originated.
However, many hybrid breeds became popular in the 1980s, including this mix.
To get a feel for the Lab German Shepherd mix, let’s look at its parents.
The German Shepherd was first bred in the late 1800s to be a working dog.
A German cavalry officer created this breed with the hopes of having a superior sheepherder, and German Shepherds later went on to work in the police force and the military.
These dogs were bred to be smart, highly capable, and powerful.
The German Shepherd is still an extremely intelligent dog who enjoys being active and is therefore still used as a working dog.
However, they are also popular family dogs.
While they can be standoffish with strangers, German Shepherds are loyal to people they are used to.
They are exceptional watchdogs and protective of the people who take care of them.
They are very trainable and as long as they are getting the mental and physical activity that they crave, they are well behaved.
All German Shepherds can be traced back to a single common ancestor, but the Labrador Retriever’s ancestry is less concise.
The Lab originated in Newfoundland in the 1700s where he was bred to assist fishermen in catching fish and to then be able to go home and be a good family dog.
Here, they were called the St. John’s Water Dog.
This dog was then noticed by the English who brought the breed back home to England because of its abilities and calm temperament.
They renamed this breed to be called the Labrador Retriever, and these dogs thrived in England. During the 1920s, Labs came over to America.
The Labrador Retriever is the most popular purebred in many countries today such as England, America, and Canada.
They are efficient working dogs commonly used to help the police force in rescue missions. However, they are gentle enough to be used for therapy purposes.
Labs are great family dogs because they are very sweet, and they like to please the people who take care of them.
They are smart and full of energy, but they are very trainable and will remain happy and behaved if they are well taken care of.
What Does A German Shepherd Labrador Mix Look Like?
Their faces and back typically resemble those of a Lab, but they have the legs and abdomen of a German Shepherd.
Their muzzles tend to be relatively long, and they have brown eyes.
Often, the Shepherd Lab mix has ears that will stand up, but sometimes they will flop over.
While they all usually have stocky bodies, their tails can vary from long and fluffy to short with very little fur.
Their coats also vary in density and length.
The color of their coat largely depends on the type of Lab one of their parents was.
A German Shepherd Yellow Lab mix usually has a mid-toned coat, while a German Shepherd Black Lab mix is more likely to have a dark coat.
On top of their base color, the Labrador German Shepherd mix can also have the coat pattern of their German Shepherd parent which may look like saddleback markings.
Grooming Your German Shepherd Lab Mix
This hybrid breed sheds a lot, especially in the spring.
Because of this, it is important to give your Shepherd Lab mix a quick brushing every day, and you will probably need to vacuum often as well.
Give him a bath only as needed and make sure to use a shampoo that is designed specifically for dogs, as shampoos made for people can strip the oils in this dog’s skin and cause irritation.
If your Shepherd Lab mix doesn’t wear down her nails naturally, you can carefully trim them when they get long, making sure to not cut them too short.
You also want to make sure to wipe down his ears at least once a week to clean out any dirt, and brush his teeth at least every other day.
How Big Will A German Shepherd Lab Mix Get?
German Shepherds are known to be large dogs, standing between 22 and 26 inches tall at their shoulders, and weighing 49 to 100 pounds.
However, Labs are known to be of medium size, standing 22 to 25 inches tall at their shoulders, and weighing 55 to 80 pounds.
This means that there is some overlap in how big these dogs can get.
A Lab German Shepherd mix could grow to be the size of their smallest parent or they could be as big as their largest parent.
A German Shepherd Lab mix could weigh as little as 49 pounds or as much as 100 pounds, depending on his parents.
As with other breeds, female dogs usually fall into the lower end of this weight range and male dogs are often the larger ones.
Again, the best way to try to predict how your German Shepherd Lab will look as an adult is to look at the size of his parents.
How to Train A German Shepherd Lab Mix
As with any dog, training the Lab and German Shepherd mix is an ongoing commitment throughout the dog’s lifetime — beginning when they are just puppies.
Even though Shepherd Labs typically inherit a love for people from both sides of their ancestry.
It is still important to properly socialize them and teach them to have the necessary confidence to meet new people.
With their intelligence and eagerness to please their owners, these dogs learn with fewer repetitions than many other breeds.
When you are training your dog, you have to be firm and consistent and keep your message positive by using praise and rewards for good behavior.
These dogs love to eat, so giving him treats is a great way to motivate him to behave in the manner you are looking for.
It is important to start doing this at a young age so your dog doesn’t develop bad habits that are difficult to break.
Start training your dog when he is a puppy and make sure that you give him plenty of opportunities for socialization so he can learn how to act appropriately around other dogs and people he is not familiar with.
Temperament of A German Shepherd Lab Mix
A Shepherd Lab mix can inherit any mix of traits from his parents, which is why it is ideal to meet both parents before committing to buying a puppy of this breed.
The Shepherd Lab mix is cautious like German Shepherds are when they’re around strangers.
While they have bursts of energy, they are not as constantly energetic as a purebred Lab can be.
They’re even-tempered and loving toward their families and have great patience with other pets and children, making them an ideal family dog.
Shepherd Lab mixes are loyal, intelligent, and alert, which also makes them a good breed for a watchdog.
They can easily become cautious if they sense and threat to themselves or to their families.
Like other dogs, this mix needs to be given productive ways to channel their energy and intelligence or they may turn to mischief to fight boredom.
Is a German Shepherd Lab Mix a Good Family Dog?
These dogs are excellent family dogs because they are good with children and with other pets.
They can have bursts of energy and become overexcited, so little children should not be left alone with this pet.
A large Shepherd Lab mix could easily knock over a child during the excitement of playtime.
Children also need to be taught how to properly handle these dogs without hurting or aggravating them.
Providing your Shepherd Lab with early socialization and training are both important to be able to get the family dog that you are looking for.
He will be accepting of other dogs in the house that he grows up with but he may be skittish if you adopt another dog after your Shepherd Lab is already a part of your family.
These dogs need exercise every day to burn off their energy.
They should be walked or played with outside and given mental stimulation to keep them happy and physically healthy.
Shepherd Lab mixes work best in active families who have a lot of time to dedicate to their pet because of their high levels of endurance.
This might not be the right dog for you if you live in an apartment or other housing that doesn’t have some type of yard.
How Much Is A German Shepherd Lab Mix?
The current average price for a Lab and German Shepherd puppy is between $150 and $600.
This is a lower cost than other hybrid breeds because this particular mix isn’t extremely popular right now, and trending dog breeds tend to cost more money.
Once you find a dog that you want to adopt, he will need blood tests, spaying, vaccinations, a crate, and collar, and a leash, which will add up to about $450.
The average annual medical expenses for these dogs including insurance, flea and tick prevention, vet check-ups, and shots will be between $485 and $600.
On average, the yearly non-medical expenses for food, treats, toys, and a dog license will run you between $500 and $600.
Where to Buy A German Shepherd Lab Mix
Shepherd Lab puppies are widely advertised for sale throughout the country at a lower price than other crossbreeds.
However, it costs a lot of money for breeders to have two healthy parents in order to breed a healthy litter of puppies.
Because of this, you should be cautious if you find an advertisement for Lab and German Shepherd mix puppies for an extremely low price.
Aside from the typical puppy matching websites, there are several designer breed registries that can be found online that maintain directories of breeders who specialize in German Shepherd and Labrador breeding.
If you want your dog to come from a specific type of Lab so he can be the color that you are looking for.
It may take a bit longer to find the right dog for you than if you are open to both a light and a dark colored dog.
Is the Shepherd Lab the right breed for you?
These dogs are intelligent, happy, and friendly, making them a great choice for pet owners who can give their dog a lot of attention and an active lifestyle.
They may act cautious in unfamiliar situations, so it is important to socialize and train Shepherd Lab mixes when they are puppies to allow them to build the necessary confidence when these situations arise.
These dogs are known to shed, so as long as you are comfortable with keeping up with the dog hair, the German Shepherd Lab mix will be a positive addition to your family.
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