For several years, I’ve been providing animal care in a variety of roles. This love for animals made me pursue the path of becoming a veterinarian assistant. After taking a 2 year-training program and getting my certificate, I started working in a veterinarian clinic where I got the privilege to provide health and medical care to animals together with colleagues who share the same passion.
Last year, I had the chance to meet hundreds of dogs and attend to their health care needs. As a dog lover, I found myself adopting some of these dogs belonging to different breeds. It’s my firm belief in life that dogs, like human beings, need a loving family, a great home and good friends.
Great Dane Labrador Mix
Also commonly known as the Labradane, the Great Dane Lab mix is cross between America’s two favorite dog breeds – the Great Dane and the Labrador Retriever. The Labradane is classified as a crossbreed which many breeders are starting to embrace. They may look intimidating at first glance because of their large size, but they are one of the most loving and sweetest dogs you’ll find.
If you’re a potential owner of a Great Dane Lab mix, then read on to know if this gentle giant hybrid is the perfect dog for you.
3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Get a Great Dane Lab
- Living in a Small Apartment Can be a ChallengeThe Great Dane mixed with Labrador is considered a large-sized breed, so living with them in a small apartment might be difficult. It’s a high-energy breed and hence needs regular physical activities. If possible, it is recommended to allow them to run and play in an open space area. Having a fenced garden or an open area at the house where he can play freely is recommended.
- Needs Regular ExerciseBecause they’re energetic dogs, the Lab Great Dane mix needs to exercise regularly. All dogs have a tendency to develop destructive behaviors when they get bored or when left in solitude. The Labradane is an excellent choice for families with an active lifestyle, so if you are the type of dog owner who doesn’t have much time to spend on your dog companion, then this crossbreed isn’t for you.
- May Suffer from Separation AnxietyThe Great Dane Lab is tolerant to solitude for short times but may suffer from separation anxiety if he’s left alone for an extended period. As a potential dog owner, this is something you should keep in mind especially if you’re planning to travel for a good bit.
3 Reasons Why You Should Get a Labrador Great Dane
1. Very Affectionate and Loving Dog
The Lab crossed with Great Dane is an amiable, loving and loyal dog. He is very enthusiastic about everything, including his affection to you and the family. He is a great family dog, and he will always be there at the center of family activities. The Labradane will surely reward you with loyalty if you offer him your affection and love back.
2. Great with Children
Although they may look scary because of their intimidating size, these dogs are great for children. He is gentle and loves the company of children. Their affectionate nature makes them great with kids of any age. Some experts, however, say that caution should still be observed when it comes to smaller kids. While the Great Dane Lab has no intention to harm a child, he may knock down a little kid accidentally because of his massive size.
3. Low-to-Moderate Grooming Needs
When it comes to grooming, this hybrid is one of those dogs with low-to-moderate maintenance requirements. You don’t have to worry much about massive shedding because this dog sheds lightly for most of the year. In other dog breeds, you may need to spend extra cash to meet all their grooming needs, but with the Great Dane Lab mix you can save up that money for other necessities.
Appearance, Personality, and Traits of a Great Dane Lab Mix
|Coat Type||Short, thick, dense, glossy|
|Coat Color||Black, fawn, brown, brindle, blue, white|
|Amount of Shedding||Moderate to high|
|Ears||Medium-sized and floppy|
|Temperament||Friendly, intelligent, energetic, playful, protective|
|Life Expectancy||6-12 years|
|New Owners Friendly||Yes|
|Breed Recognition/ Competitive Registration||International Designer Canine Registry (I.D.C.R)|
Designer Breed Registry (D.B.R)
DRA (Dog Registry of America, Inc.)
The Labrador crossed with Great Dane is a giant crossbreed weighing 100-180 pounds and is about 24-30 inches tall. He has a broad head, with a sturdy and robust physique. He has relatively long ears which flap over and a tail which may curl up over the back. His fur is short, dense, glossy and close to the skin. Common colors are black, fawn, brown, brindle, blue and white.
When it comes to temperament, the Labradane is a gentle giant. He is an intelligent and affectionate dog, who eagerly wants to please his family. He loves human interaction. He also enjoys getting along with children and is even great with other pets. Because of the Labrador Retriever in his lineage, this crossbreed is highly energetic and hence loves to move around a lot.
Lab Great Dane Mix Puppies for Sale
It is vital that to purchase your Lab Great Dane mix pup from a trusted breeder. Make sure you negotiate with breeders who screen their puppies for an array of diseases and joint defects. It is wise to ask the breeder to provide you with health clearances of your new pup and its parents as well. This is to make sure that you’re getting a healthy Great Dane Lab mix puppy.
The best way to get a Labradane is looking at adoption from an animal shelter as an option, where the cost is mostly limited to adoption fees, spay/neuter, and vaccination fees. The great thing about adopting a puppy, rather than purchasing one, is knowing that you have saved the life of a homeless dog through providing a warm home and serving as his new loving family.
Here are some rescue organizations to help you start off your search:
- Rocky Mountain Great Dane Rescue
- Danes in Distress
- Monterey Bay Labrador Retriever Rescue
- Save a Lab Rescue
Grooming Your Great Dane Mixed with Lab
As previously mentioned, the Great Dane Lab mix has low-to-moderate grooming requirements. Shedding is light throughout the year, but it may get heavier during its shedding season. When shedding is light, brushing once or twice a week would suffice. While heavy shedding might require regular daily brushing. A firm-bristled brush may be used as it helps in maintaining the fur healthy and clean.
Bathing of your Labradane can be done only when needed, such as when its fur becomes too dirty or when he’s going to spend a heavy activity outside. You can also opt for a swimming activity since this hybrid dog loves swimming a lot.
Proper cleaning and care should be given to their ears as these sites tend to accumulate dirt and bacteria easily. If you suspect any signs of ear infection, clean the ears with a pH-balanced solution.
Long nails should also be trimmed to avoid problems concerning tearing or splitting if they are not worn down naturally.
Just like other dog breeds, dental health is also essential with your Lab Great Dane. Make sure to brush their teeth at least twice or thrice a week to prevent tooth decays.
Lab Mixed with Great Dane Health Problems
The Labradane is infamous for having health issues, but as living animals, he’s still prone to get diseases if his health is not maintained well. While none of the following conditions are guaranteed to happen to your Great Dane Lab mix, it’s wise to be an informed dog parent.
Here’s a list of some of the common health conditions seen in a cross between a Great Dane and a Labrador Retriever:
- Obesity: The Labradane can inherit the Labradors big appetite. That is why it’s best to monitor his diet plan and observe portion control. Regular exercise activities should also be helpful to keep off gaining excess weight.
- Elbow and Hip Dysplasia: These conditions are common among large dog breeds. It happens when the ball and socket joint is malformed, so instead of sliding smoothly across one another, the bones do not adequately meet. Dysplasia causes unbearable pain to your Great Dane Lab mix.
- Cardiomyopathy: Your Labradene may also suffer from heart conditions, such as cardiomyopathy. It’s a disease involving the heart muscle which often leads to an enlarged heart. Make sure to always to bring your Lab Great Dane to his veterinarian at least once a year.
- Panosteitis – Also known as Shifting Leg Lameness or Pano, this condition is occasionally seen among dogs with long legs due to the rapid growth of their bones. It’s characterized by bone inflammation and may be extremely painful to your Great Dane Lab.
- Bloating: Your dog may also suffer from bloating caused by gas buildup in the stomach. It may inflate like a large balloon wherein the abdomen may become overstretched. At worst condition, the heart and the stomach may not get enough blood and oxygen, which may cause the stomach to die. Bloating can be fatal.
The abovementioned diseases might look overwhelming and may discourage you to get yourself a Great Dane mixed with Labrador, but you don’t have to worry. As long as you make sure to get your pup from a trusted dog breeder and has presented you with complete health clearances, the Great Dane Lab mix is the best dog companion you’ll ever have.
Moreover, the key to having a healthy Labradane also lies in the care and attention you give your pet companion. Visiting the veterinarian for health checkups is highly recommended to prevent any severe health issues from developing while they’re still a puppy.
Great Dane Crossed with Lab Food Requirements
Taking into consideration their large size and high activity level, this hybrid dog should at least eat 4 ½ to 6 cups of high-quality dry dog food daily. The Great Dane Lab diet should include lean meat-rich foods, with the right amount of vegetables and fruits. Make sure not to forget supplying him with a fresh, clean bowl of drinking water from time to time. Moreover, always remember to not feed your dog with foods stuffed with preservatives.
For healthier commercial food options, here are some recommendations:
- Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
- Wellness Core Natural Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
- Blue Buffalo Large Breed Freedom Dry Dog Food
- Diamond Naturals Dry Food for Adult Dogs
Lab crossed with Great Dane Exercise Requirements
The Labrador crossed with Great Dane is an energetic dog, so regular exercise is needed to release its excess energy and to keep him happy and healthy. Regular routine practice is not only good for your dog, but it is also beneficial for your health.
He requires at least 30 minutes of physical activity or interactive play sessions daily. If he’s still young, be careful not to get them overly exercised since puppies are still vulnerable to bones and joint problems.
The Labradanes love to go for walks, but you can also try other outdoor activities. Here are some examples that you can enjoy with your Labrador crossed with Great Dane:
- Hiking: It is a great way to turn your daily walk to an exciting and fun activity for you and your dog. You can try going to the woods near your area for a little adventure and hike for a few distances.
- Swimming: Because of the Labrador Retriever in his lineage, the Labradane is also one of those few dogs who love swimming. Swimming does not only serve as an exercise activity to yourself and to your companion dog, but it’s also a great bonding experience. It also provides relief from the heat during the summer months.
- Play Fetch: It’s a classic outdoor game that is great to do in summer. You may also add some twist to the activity by using either a Frisbee or a tennis racquet to throw the object farther.
Lab Great Dane Training
Since the Labradane is a highly energetic breed which can sometimes be overly enthusiastic and boisterous, early training and socialization are essential aspects in calming down this hybrid. This is important because they can be difficult to control once they become adults because of their sheer size.
Here are some types of training your Lab mixed with Great Dane may need:
- Socialization Training: Socialization at an early age has been proven to prevent your Labradane from developing aggressive behaviors, anxiety, and fearfulness later on in their adulthood. It should be included in the training routine of any responsible dog parent. The key to socialization training is to introduce and expose your dog to different people, animals, and environments as early as a puppy.
- Basic Obedience Training: Your Labradene puppy needs to grasp basic obedience training commands such as sit down, come, stay drop, stop and recall so you can control their behavior when needed. As previously mentioned, this crossbreed can be overly enthusiastic, so you also need to train him how not to get too excited.
- Crate Training: Because of its size, your Great Dane Lab should not be left alone roaming around your home when you’re outside the house or when you’re asleep. It’s dangerous as he might cause accidents due to his size. Encourage them to go inside their crate by using treats as rewards. This method is also useful for house training while you’re not keeping an eye on them.
When training your Great Dane Lab, keep in mind that your puppy must see you as the leader of the pack. Avoid being overly strict while training your pup as he may grow up fearing you instead of showering you with loyalty. Make sure to be gentle but firm in training him.
Take advantage of your dog’s eager-to-please nature. They will easily listen and follow your instructions and are eager to participate in the training session with you. Remember to implement positive reinforcement. Treats and praises can go a long way in helping good behavior stick.
Great Dane Labrador and Families
Despite his large size, the Great Dane crossed with Labrador Retriever is a great family dog because of his affectionate and loving nature. They are patient, friendly and gentle with children and other pet animals. Careful attention should still be given when they are around babies and infants as they can be overly-enthusiastic and they might unintentionally hurt small kids when playing due to their large size. It’s always best to supervise them when they are with small children.
With proper socialization and training, the Great Dane Lab should make a loveable and excellent family companion. He’s always full of energy and loves his human friends and their family members. They can be your loyal pet companion as long as you shower them with equal love and care. It all comes down to the manner on how you’ll be raising your dog. Be a responsible dog parent by feeding them well, socializing them and giving them sufficient amount of exercises and training.
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- Walton, Joel, and Eve Adamson. Labrador Retrievers for Dummies. Wiley Publishing, 2007.
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