What happens when a purebred German shepherd dog falls in love with a purebred Labrador retriever? A batch of German sheprador puppies are born! Also known as the labrashepherd, German retriever or Labrador shepherd, the German Shepherd Lab Mix is not a breed, but is actually considered to be a hybrid. A hybrid consists of the offspring produced when breeding different purebred dog breeds. What can you ultimately expect when two of the most loved breeds in America are mixed? Dog owners expect the German sheprador to feature the best of both worlds, the wonderful temperament of the Labrador and the energy and spunk of the German shepherd. The end result is a friendly, intelligent dog with loads of energy to spare.
The Handsome Looks
When you cross two purebred dogs of the same breed, you are granted a good level of predictability over the appearance of the pups; whereas, when you cross two purebred dogs of different breeds, you can expect quite some interesting genetic variance. With a Labrador and German shepherd mix, you can make some educated guesses as to what the puppies will look like. Since Labs and German shepherds are both large dogs, expect a German sheprador to weigh anywhere in between 50 and 80 pounds and to stand anywhere between 22 to 26 inches at the withers.
The coat may have the typical black-and tan marking as seen in the German shepherd dog or it may be solid tan, brown or black or a combination of these, for a good part depending if a yellow, chocolate or black Labrador was part of the mix. Consider that the black coat of a black Lab is a dominant gene, therefore it tends to prevail. The head may resemble the Lab, but the German shepherd may contribute to a longer muzzle. The ears may be floppy as in the Lab or erect as in the German shepherd. The eyes are almost always dark brown and the overall expression is of a bright, alert and highly intelligent dog.
As with physical appearance, the best way to determine personality traits of hybrid dogs is by looking at both the parent breeds. Both the German shepherd and the Labrador retriever were selectively bred for some type of work. On one hand, you have the Labrador retriever, a dog in the sporting group who was utilized to retrieve downed birds, on the other hand, you have the German shepherd, a dog in the herding group who was bred to herd sheep. The combination of these two breeds yields an active dog who thrives on exercise and mental stimulation. If not exercised enough, the German shephrador may turn mischievous, with the end result of potentially engaging in undesirable behaviors such as chewing, digging and barking.
Because of this breed’s imposing looks and size, the German sheprador has the potential to make a great guardian dog. The German shepherd bloodlines may contribute to a natural protectiveness and loyalty, while the Labrador tones this predisposition down a bit, contributing to a mild temperament and gentleness. These latter qualities contribute to making this dog a potentially child-friendly candidate, especially when properly socialized and raised with kids who are taught how to properly behave around dogs. As with any other dogs, close supervision when around kids is a must.
The German Shepherd Lab Mix sports a double coat with a dense top coat and a thick undercoat meant to protect this breed from the cold. The Labrador retriever, on the other hand, boasts a short, weather-resistant coat meant to repel water and protect from the cold. Most German shephradors are blessed with a thick coat that will tend to shed twice a year in spring and fall. Frequent brushing can help reduce the amount of stray hairs deposited around the house.
Is It The Right Dog for You?
These dogs enjoy an active lifestyle and thrive on exercise and mental stimulation. If you live in an apartment or don’t have enough time to commit to this dog, your German shepherd Lab mix may easily get bored and wreak havoc in your home. You may want to look for calmer dog breeds. Those who have time though to dedicate to this dog, will be rewarded by a highly trainable companion who has the potential to make a wonderful family dog. German shepradors love running, playing and swimming and they have what it takes to excel in several canine sports.