The German Shepherd Labrador mix is one of the more popular mix breeds involving the German Shepherd dog breed (read about 15 popular German Shepherd mixes in this guide).
This probably has something to do with the fact that the Labrador and German Shepherd breeds were the number one and number two most popular dog breeds respectively across America in 2016.
Like all hybrid and mixed breed dogs, there is only one thing that is guaranteed with a German Shepherd lab mix puppy, and that is that they will have a diverse mix of genes from both parents and breeds (read more about purebreed vs. mix breed dogs and puppies).
This means physically and mentally – you can be getting any mix of traits from either breed.
In this guide we examine the Sheprador / LabraShepherd mix breed, including what it is, it’s origin and history, physical traits and temperament, colors, where to find puppies for sale from breeders, adoption + much more.
Let’s look at the German Shepherd lab mix in more detail…
German Shepherd Lab Mix: 15 Interesting Facts & Information About The Sheprador / Labrashepherd
1) Other Names For A German Shepherd Lab Mix
- German Shepherd Retriever Mix
- Labrador Shepherd Mix
2) What Is A German Shepherd Lab Mix – Are They A Registered Dog Breed?
The German Shepherd lab mix is not officially registered with a major dog breed registry like the AKC. So, they are not technically a breed of dog.
The best way to describe them would be a developmental or designer breed mix breed dog.
3) German Shepherd Lab Mix – Origin and History
German Shepherds were bred out of Germany in 1899 from local non standardised German herding dogs. They were bred to be the ideal working dogs with working bodies (appearance was not as much of a priority).
You can read about the history and the evolution of the German Shepherd dog breed from 1899 to now in this guide.
Labradors were thought to be bred from the St. Johns Water Dog (thought to be bred from English, Irish, and Portuguese working breeds) in the 1800’s after the breed creator came across the water dog on the island of Newfoundland.
They were bred for their ability to retrieve things like hunting fowl on shore, but also swim and retrieve things like fishing nets from the water for fishermen. Their sense of smell/scent was also impressive.
4) German Shepherd Lab Mix – Size, Height & Weight & Life Expectancy
An average German SHepherd might be 60-65 cms (24-26 in), and 30-40 kg (66-88 lb) for a male in height and weight, and a female 55-60 cms (22-24 in), and 22-32 kg (49-71 lb).
An average labrador might be 65–80 lb (29–36 kg) and 22-24 inches (57–62 cm) for a male in weight and height, and females 55–70 lb (25–32 kg) and 21-23 inches (55–60 cm).
A labradors typical life expectancy might be 12 to 13 years, whilst German Shepherds can be anywhere from 10 to 13 years.
A German Shepherd lab mix can be anywhere in between these dimensions and life expectancy.
5) German Shepherd Lab Mix Physical Traits – What Do They Look Like?
German Shepherds belong to the large sized breed classification, and are known for their black/tan or black/red markings and erect ears.
The show line German Shepherds have angulated backs and appear more narrow in their body proportions.
The working line German Shepherds have straighter backs, darker sable coat colors, and thicker more sturdy heads, necks and bodies overall.
Labradors belong to the medium sized breed classification, with black, chocolate or gold/yellow coat color, floppy ears, and stocky bodies/heads with longer legs.
There are two informal types of Labradors – conformance Labs (bred for appearance) and field labs (more a working type lab).
German Shepherd lab mixes usually fit somewhere in that medium to large range.
6) German Shepherd Lab Mix Temperament
Temperament is usually determined by the parents of the dog (this is where knowledgeable breeders are important to breeding puppy’s with stable temperaments) – so it differs dog by dog.
German Shepherds are intended to be brave, loyal, obedient, protective of family members and be wary of strangers, especially those they are unsure of.
They are loving around those they know, but the well maintained working lines in particular have the ability to perform protective and guard type work which requires a certain edge.
Labradors on the other hand are intended to be an outgoing, happy, friendly, kind, pleasant, gentle and relaxed dog breed.
If they are used in a working capacity, it’s usually a more passive activity like scent and detection work.
A G Shep lab mix could possess any combination of these traits in their temperament.
7) German Shepherd Lab Mix Colors – Black, Yellow, White, Black and Tan etc.
Labrador retrievers can be black, chocolate or a golden/yellow – with the most popular among pet owners being the golden and the chocolate Labradors these days.
German Shepherd lab mixes can be any of these colors.
8) German Shepherd Lab Mix Training & Obedience
Neuropsychologist Stanley Coren, PhD, wrote a book called The Intelligence of Dogs, where he focuses on trainability as a marker of intelligence in dog breeds.
He references the assessments of 110 breeds by more than 200 professional dog obedience judges who scored breeds based on working/obedience tests.
The top dogs absorbed commands in less than five repetitions and obeyed them 95% of the time or better.
He lists the top 10 breeds that met that criteria, and German Shepherds came in at number 3, whilst Labradors came in at number 7.
Safe to say, both dog breeds are highly trainable and obedient – so there’s a lower chance a German Shepherd lab mix is dumb or dopey.
When focusing on training any dog, you want to put a time into:
- Early socialisation (puppy pre school, dog parks etc.)
- Building a bond with your dog through exercise, play time and relaxation time
- Basic commands – sit, stay, come, drop, leave it etc.
- Regular exercise
- Standard obedience classes
- Positive reward training
- Being a consistent and strong leader (calm, patient and fair)
9) German Shepherd Lab Mix Working Ability and Versatility
As mentioned above, German Shepherd’s were bred from German non-standardised shepherds to produce to ideal working dog – German Shepherds belong to the herding group.
Labradors were bred from the St. John’s water dog to produce a dog ideal for both retrieving on shore (particularly in hunting and gun sports or activities), and retrieving from the water (pulling in fisherman nets in particular) – Labradors belong to the gun dog retriever group.
When you combine these dog breeds, you get an extremely varied and strong mix of working type characteristics.
German Shepherds would be the more versatile of the two breeds overall, but Labradors are probably stronger with their scent and tracking, swimming and retrieval capabilities.
This is evidenced in the police force for example where Labradors might be used more for airport bomb and drug detection (sniffer dogs), whereas some lines of German Shepherds possess that hard line working edge and controlled aggression necessary for suspect apprehension.
10) German Shepherd Lab Mix Shedding & Grooming
Most German Shepherds and Labradors will shed considerably.
Both breeds usually have a double coat – a soft undercoat for insulation from the cold, and an outer more wiry coat that protects them from weather, dirt, bugs and other external environmental factors.
Double coat dogs like these usually shed all year around consistently, and then twice a year very heavily between certain seasons when they are losing their undercoat for the warmer months.
You’ll want a good dog brush to groom your German Shepherd lab mix’s coat at least 2 or 3 times a week. This will help minimise hair dropped inside and the amount of vacuuming and cleaning you have to do.
You can use an undercoat deShedding tool for the undercoat, and a slicker brush for the top coat – and that should provide you with a good grooming foundation.
If you want to read more about Short Haired vs. Long Haired German Shepherds, you can do so in this guide.
11) German Shepherd Lab Mix Adoption – Where To Find A Rescue or Shelter Near Me?
Adopting a German Shepherd lab mix is a great option to start looking before you go to a breeder.
There’s many homeless dogs out there in shelters and rescue out there (maybe due to owner abandonment and overpopulation due to breeders), and because of a lack of room, time, support and funds there are dogs being euthanised every day.
Contrary to the stigma, there are many dogs in shelters and rescues who are loveable and social, and just need a new owner to give them a chance to restore their self esteem.
If that sounds like something you are interested in, here’s some great guides to help you in knowing where to start with that process:
- Things To Consider When Adopting or Rescuing A German Shepherd
- Where To Find A German Shepherd Rescue or Shelter Near You
12) German Shepherd Lab Mix Puppies For Sale – Where To Find German Shepherd Lab Mix Breeders Near Me
Because Labrashepherds are designer type dogs, the types and quality of breeders out there are going to be all over the place.
Yes, there are going to be people out there who just want to make quick money and they might not have the best interests of the dogs or the owner at heart.
But, there are also breeders out there who might have knowledge about dog breeding, and make an effort to do the right thing by the dog and the owner.
When looking to buy german shepherd lab mix puppies from breeders, you’ll want to make sure the breeder places an emphasis on the good physical health of the dog, breeds from parents with no temperament issues, offers a guarantee on the dog and makes sure the owner is a right fit for the dog.
If you’re not sure where to start in finding a breeder, you may contact a designer breed registry and ask for a list of recommended breeders.
In addition to that, we wrote some helpful guides which help you identify good and ethical breeders, and where to find them.
They are written for German Shepherds, but you can find some very useful principles and tips you can use to find German Shepherd lab mix breeders in your area:
- What To Look For When Buying A German Shepherd Puppy: Ethical Step By Step Guide
- Where To Find The Best German Shepherd Breeders Near You
You can use them as a starting point for filtering and screening breeders – to sort the ethical from the unethical.
13) German Shepherd Lab Mix Price – How Much Do They Cost?
It really depends on the quality and knowledge of the breeder, the quality of the dogs, location, demand of the market and other factors (like pedigree, titles etc.).
You do have to consider that these mix breeds are a ‘designer breed’ – so unethical breeders may be out to charge exorbitant prices and extort buyers.
Consider this, for a regular German Shepherd puppy you might pay between $500 to $1500 for a family pet type dog, and for a Labrador you are looking at about the same or maybe slightly less.
Use that as a guide, and don’t get ripped off.
When buying from an adoption centre, you might pay anywhere from $50 to $500 for a German Shepherd lab mix – which essentially only covers the cost of caring for the dog (adoption centres aren’t usually out to make a profit).
14) German Shepherd Lab Mix Puppy & Dog Photos & Pictures
15) What Is A German Shepherd Retriever Mix?
A German Shepherd retriever mix can be a German Shepherd mixed with any breed of retriever type dog like a Labrador or Golden Retriever for example
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