Not many crossbreed dogs get much bigger than this one! Picture this: The German Shepherd and the Labrador Retriever…combined… to create the Sheprador!
A German Shepherd Lab mix is a unique dog with a lot of interesting characteristics that you will want to learn more about before you decide to bring one home. My guess is that you’ll decide, “Yes,” but better safe than sorry!
Whether you already own a Sheprador or you hope to adopt one, pay attention to this info to be the best owner around!
How German Shepherd Lab Mix Act
Understanding the expectations of how a dog might act is the first step to becoming a great dog owner!
Yes, the German Shepherd Lab mix is a very active dog!
Both the German Shepherd and the Labrador Retriever are known to be two of the most active dog breeds around, so you can be sure that any cross between the two is going to result in a dog that’s just as active…if not even more active!
This dog is going to love playing, moving around, and exercising more than any other dog you have ever known. A great way to make sure all of this exercise happens is to have a fenced in backyard where your Sheprador can roam and play to their heart’s delight.
There’s another activity your dog will probably love: chewing! Learn how to keep your new best friend from chewing everything:
- Buy a lot of chew toys. These will focus your dog on chewing select items.
- Make sure the chew toys will not break easily.
- Let the dogs chew on them when they are getting rowdy but you can’t take them out yet. This will release their excess energy.
Intellectual activity is also very important to a dog as smart as a German Shepherd Lab mix. Both Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherds are very smart, so you need to work their mind as well as their body:
- Make sure you don’t leave your dog alone for prolonged amounts of time. It will not thrive and may even become sad or depressed because they need their owner to spend more time with them.
- Play games with your dog regularly, and give them toys that challenge their mind as well as their bodies! This will keep their mind working even when you can’t be playing with them 24/7.
- Make sure you’re taking your dog for at least one daily walk. Seeing the world moving outside your home will keep their mind active.
- Do not get this breed of dog if you don’t have the time or energy to keep them entertained and mentally stimulated! They need this. If you can’t provide it, you should find another, less active dog instead.
- It’s OK to get this dog if you have a decent sized apartment, but remember that they will need to leave the apartment for proper exercise daily, so you have to be ready to commit to that requirement.
A Willing Guard Dog
The German Shepherd Lab mix can make an excellent watchdog. This dog is very smart and typically alert to its surrounds. German Shepherds are known for this characteristic, and this crossbreed is no different.
This type of dog tends to be wary of strangers. While they’ll be accepting of anyone you willingly bring into the home, strangers should take caution as they are unlikely to warm up to them. This type of train is perfect for a watchdog.
If an intruder or stranger were to encroach on your space, this dog would surely bark loudly to alert you and, if necessary, may leap into action in an attempt to defend your home and your family.
As with any dog, it is important that you take time to properly train and socialize your dog. Thankfully for Sheprador owners everywhere, this mix breed is fairly easy to train.
Both parent breeds are very intelligent, and they love pleasing their owners. This type of obedience is passed down to the German Shepherd Lab mix, so you can be sure that with the right encouragement, your dog will amaze you with everything they can learn to do.
It’s best to start training and socialization practices when the dog is puppy. The earlier you start training, the better success rate you will have.
How Sherpadors Look
Now that you know a bit about their behavior, let’s take a closer look at the appearance of the lovely Sheprador crossbreed.
Height & Weight
When it comes to their stature, the German Shepherd Lab mix looks more like it’s Labrador Retriever parent than the German Shepherd. Their bodies tend to have a similar slim, lean build that will remind you of a retriever.
These dogs are pretty large:
- Standing height: 20 to 26 inches tall
- Average weight: 40 to 100 pounds
Females will weigh in a bit lower at up to 60 pounds, and they’re usually a bit shorter in stature, too. As you can see, this dog is larger than many dogs out there.
Coats & Grooming
You’re likely to find that Sheprador mixes have either a brown, brown, tan, or white coat. Their fur tends to be short.
The coloring tends to follow in the bath of the German Shepherd parent, being mostly tan with a bit of a black saddle look that is common in Shepherds. No matter what their coat ends up looking like, you’ll need to take good care of it!
While their coat is short, it is probably very thick as well. This means that you will need to do the following to keep them in tip-top shape:
- Brush them frequently, up to three times per week
- Bathe them with gentle cleansers, but not too frequently, as it can dry out their skin
- Make sure to boost their diet with omega-3 fatty acids for a healthier coat
- Brush their hair daily during shedding season, and plan to become closely acquainted with your vacuum cleaner
In addition to taking care of their coat, you also need to keep up with basic grooming practices:
- Clipping nails (preferably done by a professional until you learn how to do this without harming the dog since trimming the Sheprador’s nails can be very hard)
- Brushing teeth regularly
- Cleaning ears regularly
- Protecting their paws from ice and wintery conditions
What German Shepherd Lab Mix Need
As previously mentioned, the German Shepherd Lab mix needs to have a place where they can exercise and exert their energy as needed. This means that they need space, or you should be near a dog park.
Additionally, you can bring this dog into a home with children in it. They will bond with your family and can become an excellent playmate for your kids. They’re friendly, playful, and super happy to have more people to get to know!
After all, Labrador Retrievers are one of the most popular family pets around, and this mix breed shares half of its DNA with a Lab!
Finally, don’t get this mix breed if you live in a very hot climate. The Sheprador does much better in cold climates compared to hot climates, so you should be aware of this fact.
Plan For The Future With Your Sheprador
There are a number of conditions that your Sheprador might deal with during their lifetime, but the scariest one of all is Hip Dysplasia, as it is the most common.
When this condition sets in, it causes the joints to go through a lot of physical pain and can develop into even worse issues. When dogs become overweight, eat an imbalanced diet, or do not have strong enough muscles, they are even more prone to this condition. So, it is important to keep up with your dog’s regular health care.
In addition to Hip Dysplasia, there are a number of other conditions to watch out for:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Eye diseases
- Allergies or irritations
- Food allergies
Talk to your vet about any symptoms you notice that may denote one of these conditions, as early detection is key to proper treatment.
If you keep your dog healthy, you can expect them to live for around 10 to 14 years, and you can be sure that your Sheprador will make those years the best years of your life!
Have you decided to give a German Shepherd Lab mix a place in your home and your heart yet? I hope so! These smart, loyal dogs make a great addition to families of any size. You won’t regret getting one!