If you are thinking of getting this lovely mixed breed or you recently adopted one, then this guide will help you out. This will better understand what this mixed breed is, how to care for this dog and how to properly care for it daily. I am confident that you will raise a happy and healthy German Shepherd Lab mix dog.
Labrador German Shepherd Mix
The Lab German Shepherd is a mix of two of the most popular dog breeds in the world: a purebred German Shepherd and a purebred Labrador Retriever. These dogs are known to be the most intelligent, hardworking and active dogs and combining the two genes is a miracle come true.
If you are looking for a dog that’s loyal, patient, loving and smart, then the Lab mixed with a German Shepherd is for you. Considering the characteristics and temperament of both parents, your Lab German Shepherd mix could become a service dog or a police dog.
The German Shepherd breed is from Germany and was bred to herd cattle. Because of this breed’s intelligence, patience, and loyalty, it has become one of the most –preferred police dog breeds in the world.
Meanwhile, the Labrador Retriever is from Newfoundland, Canada and was used for hunting waterfowl. Due to the Lab’s fantastic skill and unique intelligence, the breed has been used as a service dog and a guide dog.
Looking at the fantastic combination of these two breeds, your Lab German Shepherd puppy could become a police dog, service dog or a herding dog. But no matter what, he will surely be a very loyal family dog that will love you forever.
3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Get a German Shepherd Lab Mix
1. This Mixed Breed Needs Specialized Training
If you are quite busy and you barely have time for yourself, your family and your home, then don’t get a German Shepherd mixed with a Lab breed. This dog needs constant training and even highly-specialized training. Regular dominance-based training won’t work. You must be creative and think of ways to stimulate this mixed breed.
2. This Mixed Breed Dog Has Very High Activity Levels
If you get tired quickly or you don’t like physical activity then better look for another dog. The Lab combined with a German Shepherd needs A LOT of exercises. You need to take it out for long walks, play games with it and train it regularly. Overlooking any of these can lead to a bored and destructive dog.
3. This Dog Could Be In Your Face
One interesting characteristic of a Labrador Retriever is that it tends to be everywhere you are and do everything you do. This in your face behavior could be too much for some dog owners. If you can’t tolerate this then this mixed breed dog may not be the kind for you.
3 Reasons Why You Should Get a Lab Mixed with German Shepherd
- These Are Very Intelligent Dogs
When it comes to intelligence, the Lab German Shepherd mix wins hands down. Both its parent breeds are top notch dogs when it comes to wit which is why these dogs are employed as guide dogs, service dogs, and police dogs.
- These Dogs Are Loyal Guard Dogs
Both the Lab and the German Shepherd dog are loyal and will protect their family and their area at all cost. German Shepherd dogs are brave, witty and can be trained to attack assailants. Labs will bark when it senses danger and will never leave his master if he senses any danger.
- This Dog Will Make You Active
You will finally become active with this mixed breed dog. Since this dog needs long walks and more extended hours of playtime, you can become fitter and healthier yourself. Your German Shepherd Lab will become your trainer.
Other German Shepherd & Lab Mixes
Choosing the dog breed that aligns with your lifestyle is the most important decision you can make. Every year tens of thousands of dogs are abandoned or put up for adoption because the owner was irresponsible and didn’t do their research before choosing a dog that isn’t a great for their lifestyle.
Not sure the Lab German Shepherd aligns with your lifestyle? Consider adopting one of 50+ popular German Shepherd mixes or Lab mixes.
Doggypedia has conducted the most in-depth research into the most popular German Shepherd Mixes in America:
Appearance, Personality, and Traits of a Lab German Shepherd Mix
|Weight||Up to 88 pounds|
|Height||24 to 26 inches tall|
|Size||Medium to large-sized 0|
|Coat Type||Double coat|
|Coat Color||Solid color or mixed color|
|Amount of Shedding||High|
|Eyes||Round and dark|
|Ears||Alert or drooping|
|Temperament||Friendly, loyal, alert, playful|
|Life Expectancy||15 years|
|New Owners Friendly||Yes|
The size of a German Shepherd and a Labrador Retriever will give you a clue as to the mature size of your dog. Considering that the two are medium to large-sized dogs, it is likely that your Lab mixed with a German Shepherd dog will also be medium to large-sized when mature.
Considering the weight of both parent breeds, it would be safe to estimate that your Lab German Shepherd mix will be around 88 pounds when mature. And when the adult size of this dog is considered, it can measure anywhere from 24 to 26 inches tall from the shoulder.
So noting all this information, it would be safe to estimate that a Lab German Shepherd will be a relatively large dog when mature.
When it comes to the appearance of a Lab German Shepherd mix, this may vary depending on the dominant parent breed. This dog may have a combination of colors, or it may have a solid colored coat. If it takes after its German Shepherd parent, it could have characteristic black markings found along the face, back and on the legs.
Your dog may take after its Lab parent and have a short to medium coat. It may also have a short coat if it has a dominant German Shepherd gene. Your dog will have a double layer with a soft undercoat under a rough top coat which protects the dog from temperature extremes.
The following dog organization and dog breed registry recognize the Lab mixed with German Shepherd dog breed:
- Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA)
- International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR)
German Shepherd Mixed with Labrador Puppies for Sale
It is likely that you’ll be looking for a Lab German Shepherd mix pup from dog breeders. Start searching for three or more breeders and rank them according to reputation. Pay attention to any review or recommendation for the breeder to prove its good standing. You may visit the Pet Professional Guild to help you find a reputable breeder in your area.
As much as possible, talk to the breeder about the health conditions of both parent breeds of the dog that you wish to take home. The health clearances of both parent dogs are essential as well. The breeder should be able to show proof that the parents were crossed to create the German Shepherd Lab mix dog or pup.
The following are sites that are found to have ads for German Shepherd mixed with Lab pups or dogs.
- PuppyFind.com (International)
- NextDayPets.com (International)
- Adopt-a-Pet.com (United States)
- Petfinder.com (United States and Canada)
- Green Field Puppies (United States)
While buying a German Shepherd Lab mixed pup seems to be the easiest way to get one, it is still better to adopt a dog from a local shelter or rescue in your area. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is against the purchase of puppies and dogs online and recommends getting one from a shelter instead.
Grooming Your German Shepherd Crossed with Labrador
A German Shepherd Lab mix needs weekly grooming because of its dense double coat. If it has inherited its German Shepherd’s moderately long or shaggy coat, then it needs grooming up to several times a week to remove knots, enhance shine and improve coat health.
These two parent dogs shed a lot so expect your Lab crossed with a German Shepherd to do so especially during warmer seasons or shedding season.
Use a durable brush with a good handle and tough natural bristles to groom your dog. You must also use an efficient vacuum cleaner to remove hair from your furniture and on the floor.
Bathing should be done as necessary. Over bathing can dry up your dog’s coat leading to itching and irritation. Consider bathing your dog if he comes home from a swim to remove chlorine or dirt. The following are good shampoo brands to consider:
- Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo
One of the most trusted brands in pet shampoo is Earthbath. It is all-natural, so there are no ingredients that will only harm your dog’s perfect coat. It is also available in a wide variety of scents like green tea, mango, almond, and vanilla.
The formula of Earthbath All-Natural Pet Shampoo is very gentle on the dog’s skin. It is packed with vitamins and minerals for a healthy coat and is non-irritating too.
- 4-Legger Certified Organic Dog Shampoo
The 4-Legger shampoo is hypoallergenic ideal for dogs with sensitive skin. It comes with an organic, safe formula that will clean skin and soothe it. This shampoo contains natural ingredients including olive oil, coconut oil, and jojoba oil. The smell of this shampoo is comparable to, and it also helps repel fleas and ticks.
- Oxgard Organic Oatmeal Dog Shampoo and Conditioner
The Oxgard Organic Oatmeal shampoo is for dogs with itchy skin. It is 100% vegan, and it’s safe to use regularly. It has a tear-free and soapless formula, so it’s safe to use on puppies too.
Keep your dog’s nails and paws clean. Inspect this regularly to make sure that these are clean and free from any scratches, marks, and injuries. You may also have your dog professionally groomed if you want.
German Shepherd Lab Mix Health Problems
The Lab German Shepherd mix may be affected by many health problems that are found from its parent breeds, however, if a dog has poor health, lack of exercise and has not visited a vet from the time you took it home, then he more susceptible to some medical conditions.
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
- Degenerative Disc Diseases
- PRA or Progressive Retinal Atrophy or blindness
- Ear infections
It is critical to take your puppy to a vet as soon as it gets home. There is no way to find out if your puppy will develop any of these conditions. All you can do is to take care of your dog properly to prevent some of these severe medical conditions.
Lab German Shepherd Mix Food Requirements
Feed your Lab German Shepherd puppy top-quality food suitable for its weight. Your growing dog should maintain a healthy weight because extra weight can be an additional weight on its spine. The ideal dog nutrition will also depend on any nutritional needs of your dog.
If you are training your dog, never give treats as a reward. This encourages obesity and will only cause more problems for your dog. Here are top dog food brands that your German Shepherd Lab will surely love.
- Holistic Select Large and Giant Breed Puppy Health Dog Food
The dog food for large breed dogs such as German Shepherds and Labs. Its core ingredients include ground brown rice, lamb meal, white rice, and chicken. It is all natural and contains no preservatives. Even a picky puppy will surely love this dog food.
- Precise Holistic Complete Large Breed Adult Formula
Precise Holistic contains chicken, brown rice, chicken fat, and oatmeal and is considered the best organic dog food for large dogs. This comes with extra calcium and phosphorus needed by dogs to achieve its full, large size.
- Purina Beyond Grain-Free Canned Dog Food
The Purina Beyond is made from real beef, salmon and chicken. This is a portion of irresistible dog food for large breed dogs such as your Lab German Shepherd mix. It comes with all-natural ingredients plus vitamins and minerals for your dog’s optimum health.
Just like any other dog, never give your German Shepherd Lab the following human food. Not all human food is safe for dogs.
- Chicken bones or cooked chicken bones
- Grapes or raisins
- Salty foods and junk food
- Chocolate, coffee, or tea
- Onions, chives, and garlic
German Shepherd Lab Exercise Requirements
A German Shepherd crossed with a Lab is a mixed breed with pure energy. There’s just no time to rest when you are playing with this dog! Because of this, you need to spend ample time in a day to exercise and to walk this dog otherwise; it can develop destructive behavior.
There’s no specific amount of time to walk or play with this dog just a simple rule: a tired dog is a good dog.
Play with your dog regularly to develop a strong bond with your pet. But if you can’t take it out for a walk, ask the help of a family member or a dog walker instead.
Remember that this dog will love to swim because of its Labrador Retriever lineage. A local dog pool or a pond would work great with your dog. If you have a large yard, an old, large vat will work great just for him to play and cool off.
All dogs love to fetch and play Frisbee. Use other kinds of toys like large ropes so you can play pulling games. Use a giant ball for fetches like an old football or a tennis ball. Just make sure that the toys you let your dog play on won’t tear apart to avoid any small piece from being eaten.
Here are a few ideas
1. KONG Classic Dog Toy – Treat Dispensing
Not only will this be a fun dog toy but it dispenses treats too. This is available in six sizes so you will surely find the best size for your medium to large-sized Lab German Shepherd mix. It is indestructible so your dog will undoubtedly spend hours playing with it.
2. Nylabone DuraChew Double Bone Chew Dog Toy
The Nylabone DuraChew is perfect for puppies and young dogs. It is made from durable materials that will never break or chip. This is indestructible, and your dog will surely love to play with this over and over again.
3. Top Paw Valentine “I Licked It” Bone Dog Toy
Cuddly and fun, this is a plush bone dog toy that also squeaks when it is bit. It is soft but is made to be indestructible. Your pet will surely love to chew on this soft bone. This will be his favorite toy in no time.
Lab German Shepherd Mix Training
The Lab crossed with a German Shepherd is a brilliant dog, but it may need more than simple traditional training techniques to train this dog. The following tricks will help you make your dog obey you in no time.
1. The Clicker Technique
Learn how to train your dog using a clicker. This is a small handheld device that’s as big as a car button key. Press this, and you will hear an audible click, a sound that dog loves very much. The clicker may be used in all kinds of tricks, but the most common is for positive reinforcement.
Just click the clicker when your dog can follow the trick and then click again if you want to repeat the behavior. Invest in a good clicker which is available in most pet stores online.
2. Give Your Dog Positive Reinforcement
Never offer treats every time your dog does something right. This can contribute to obesity and other health problems related to being overweight. Reward good behavior by patting your dog, playing with him or giving him a good scratch. Tell your dog what a good dog he is and combines this with a lot of pats as reinforcement.
3. Early Training For Puppies
As soon as your German Shepherd Lab pup arrives home to teach him simple house proofing tricks. Show him where he’ll sleep, eat, drink and where he will poop. Every dog takes his time so you must be patient.
4. Be Consistent
Place your dog’s things in the same area. His bed should at the same place where he found it the first time while his food bowls should also be in the same area. Consistency is the key to training dogs important stuff. Also, consider talking to everyone at home regarding your rules and commands to reinforce consistency in training your dog.
5. Train Your Dog In A Familiar Environment
Dogs like the Lab are easily distracted; therefore you must train your pup in a quiet and familiar environment first before you take him out for further training.
Start inside a quiet room with only you and him. You can train him outdoors once he is less distracted to noise and the presence of other pets and people.
You may also opt for professional training for your Lab German Shepherd mix dog if you want your pup to grow up and become a service dog or police dog.
German Shepherd Lab Mix and Families
Lab German Shepherds can be great family dogs because these dogs love to be with their masters and to please them every way they can.
These are patient with children and will never roughhouse or bite. They can even tolerate toddlers and very intense games like dress up and role play games.
Lab German Shepherd mix dogs will love to be with other pets and even other dogs. They are not domineering and will never cause a fight.
The Lab German Shepherd mix may become anti-social and may become aggressive with people or other dogs when they are not introduced to people and other pets early on. Your dog should be trained first and exposed to other dogs and people to prevent this untoward behavior.
- Madhusudhan, H. S., et al. “Estimation of Maintenance Energy Requirements in German Shepherd and Labrador Retriever Dogs in Bangalore, India.” Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, vol. 102, no. 1, 26 Apr. 2017, doi:10.1111/jpn.12709.
- Langille, B. L., et al. “Mitochondrial Population Structure and Post-Glacial Dispersal of Longnose SuckerCatostomus Catostomusin Labrador, Canada: Evidence for Multiple Refugial Origins and Limited Ongoing Gene Flow.” Journal of Fish Biology, vol. 89, no. 2, 28 June 2016, pp. 1378–1392., doi:10.1111/jfb.13042.
- Coile, D. Caroline. German Shepherds for Dummies. Hungry Minds, 2003.
- Walton, Joel, and Eve Adamson. Labrador Retrievers for Dummies. Wiley Publishing, 2007.