If Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherd are America’s two favorite dogs, does that make the German Shepherd Lab mix the best dog ever?
He is definitely a great contender for that title. Although the American Kennel Club does not recognize the Sheprador as an official breed (they don’t recognize any crossbreeds actually), he is still considered one of the best dogs to ever bark the face of the earth.
(Ba Dum Tss!)
So, what makes the Sheprador a special dog? What does he get from his purebred parents? We’ll find out more about that down below.
But first, let’s take a quick look at this crossbreed.
Don’t forget to leave a comment at the end of the article to let me know what you think of this amazing crossbreed dog.
When you mix the two most popular dog breeds in America, i.e. German Shepherd and Labrador Retriever, your puppy is called a Sheprador.
While we’ll have a list of facts about him, it is easy to understand how protective this dog can be.
The easiest Sheprador to notice is the one with a tan coat like the German Shepherd and floppy ears like the Labrador Retriever.
Descending from a guard dog parent on one side and a playful, sensitive parent on the other side, the Labrador German Shepherd mix is clearly a family-dog. He is ready to protect and serve, play fetch, and be lazy when it is possible (not always though).
To learn more about the crossbreed, it is mandatory to learn about its parents.
The parents of the Sheprador are the two most popular dog breeds in the United States (according to AKC stats for 2016). And they have been so for many years.
Americans have a profound love for the two breeds as they are probably the best dogs ever (after Huskies, that is. Debate me!).
The Labrador Retriever is America’s favorite dog, and he has been so for the last 26 years, going 27.
I don’t think there will ever be another dog to dethrone him.
This Lab comes from Canada where he used to serve as a companion to fishermen. So, water and cold don’t scare him off.
They are great therapy dogs and can be used to guide blind people or search and rescue. Their need to please their owners makes them ready to do anything for them.
For the better part of their lives, most people only recognize German Shepherds as police dogs. They are, indeed, the world’s most used dog breed in police force. And there is a reason for that.
German Shepherds are probably the most versatile and balanced dogs. They are large, sensitive, alert, playful dog with a strong tendency to protect their owner and keep an eye on the family.
Police use German Shepherd dogs as they are clearly ready to serve. They are also used for search and rescue missions, are popular among military K-9 units, and everyone loves a puppy GSD.
You can learn more about German Shepherds in our article here.
Now that you have an idea about the parent breeds, let’s just jump in and talk about the Sheprador himself.
The Sheprador is a love-on-first-sight dog. That means, as soon as you look at his eyes, you fall in love.
And if you are a dog enthusiast, it will take a lot of convincing to get you not to get one of those as well. After all, 8 dogs are enough!! (or are they now?)
There are a few things that you need to know about this big, cuddly goodboi. So, keep on reading!
Both German Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers are fans of balls tossed and fetched.
That’s why when their crossbreed puppy sees a ball, he will get super-excited.
Throw your ball as far you can, and the Sheprador will run after it like there is no tomorrow.
With a little bit of training, he’ll learn to bring back the ball, wait for you to throw it, and go get it again. Soon, a ball in his mouth is how he’ll wakew181 you up in the morning.
German Shepherds are masters of trainability and discipline, Labradors are less disciplined but equally clever. Mixing these two characteristics in one puppy brings a smartass but trainable puppy. You’ll need to be more firm and follow a positive reinforcement approach. Bringing treats and balls to your training sessions will make him more excited to learn new tricks. You say the word, and watch him excel at learning. That also means you need to have more than the basic commands to train him with.
While the Labradors are friendly dogs who everyone falls in love with, German Shepherds have a large proud history of scaring away any unwanted strangers. You can expect your Labrador cross German Shepherd to be just as lovable and scary as his parents. A thief may think the dog is cute, but seconds later they will be running for their lives. Friendly people, on the other hand, are welcome to pet the dog whenever they want to. If you socialize your dog enough, he’ll learn who’s nice and who’s naughty.
The Sheprador is not an excessively vocal dog.
However, since one of his parents is on top of the list of watchdogs, casual howling and barking are expected.
Usually, he’ll bark at the sight of some stranger approaching your home.
If he doesn’t recognize the smell, he’ll let you know.
On the other hand, if he knows who’s coming, he’ll be the first to greet them with a couple of friendly barks.
Only genetics can tell what color coat your Sheprador will have. So, there is absolutely no point in discussing what color is more likely or not. You can try some maths, but there is no guarantee that the result is a solid yellow or black coat. You have more chances in the lottery. (No, you don’t!)
What is important to know is that he’ll shed, and he’ll do it a lot during the shedding season. He has a dense, and waterproof double-coat that you need to brush on daily basis. Depending on the parents and their genetics, the coat can be either short or long. While a weekly brush is inevitable, the longer the coat, the more you need to brush him. You can reduce shedding if it gets too out-of-hand.
You will need more than a couple of balls in the house, a constant supply of chew toys, and definitely a hiding place for your shoes.
Both the parent breeds have a great love for chewing on things, especially those you need and love the most.
Your shoes are not safe around a Sheprador in the house, and nothing else is. If there isn’t a toy to keep his teeth busy while you do your human things, you’ll need a sponsorship from Nike or Adidas.
You’ll save yourself a lot of trouble if you get your dog chewing toys adapted to his age. Too young for him and he’ll destroy it second. Too old and he won’t like to play it at all.
German Shepherds are prone to many digestive problems. Their health is heavily impacted by what they eat and how much they eat it.
Shepradors seem to inherit this characteristic by default. Therefore, you need to pick food that is both for your dog’s breed (large, working dog) and his age. The ingredients must include a specified source of meat as the first ingredient, and shouldn’t have filler content such grain.
The better the food you serve your dog, the healthier he will be, and the longer he will live and make you happy.
Don’t serve more than what your dog needs (consult your vet about that), otherwise he’ll just keep on eating it. This can lead to many health problems, the least of which is overweight. Let’s no mention how bad it can get.
Here’s a video of a Sheprador catching treats:
Your German Shepherd Labrador mix isn’t fit to be a lazy apartment dog. They were bred to be large, working dogs, and that instinct is still big in them.
Your Sheprador will require daily walks and maybe a few runs if you can keep up. Actually, this crossbreed is great on a leech, so you don’t have to worry about it not waiting for you.
You can bring the whole family along for the ride, as well. It’ll keep the dog both physically and mentally busy as he tries to become the pack leader, at least for that one morning run.
It goes without saying (yet I’m saying it) that if you can’t handle such a demanding dog, you should consider a less energetic dog.
German Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers are the Fast & Furious of dog breeds; it’s all about family.
As soon as you introduce these breeds to your house, they will shower everyone with love and kisses. Their crossbreed puppy is even more loving and affectionate, in that sense.
The love and appreciation a Sheprador has for his family are beyond words, and it can be seen whenever you come back home, even after a 2-minute call outside.
It will be hard for your dog to stay lonely for long hours. If there is no companion at the house, he won’t be making friends with the furniture. With training (and a few toys to keep him distracted), your dog can learn to leave the furniture alone while you’re gone.
Well, that statement is true for all breeds. There is nothing special about a Sheprador you get from a shelter. Except that you can find many Shepradors ready to give you special love.
Many dog owners fall in love with the puppies at first sight, but as they grow, they realize they are larger than what they can handle. Often, Shepradors are brought to Shelters because their owners simply cannot keep up with them.
So, if you think you have enough time in your day to care for a loving, caring companion dog, you won’t be disappointed. Your best chance at getting a German Shepherd Labrador mix is probably waiting patiently for you in a dog shelter.
I’ll help out with that, here’s the nearest shelter to you. Now, go get a best buddy!
Or, if you're in the U.S., here is a list of the top 31 shelters to choose from!
While I wish I could guarantee the temperament of your Sheprador puppy (or any puppy, for that matter), it is just not possible. Unless you know exactly the temperament of the parents of your puppy, you can’t know what to expect.
As a matter of a fact, you won’t know for sure even if you were breeding the crossbreeds yourself. Usually, crossbreed dogs are a balanced mix of both parent characteristics, but you never know. A Sheprador can take any and all of characteristics of either of his parents.
However, what is sure is that your dog will be loving, caring, friendly and ready-to-train to be the goodest boy of them all.
The Sheprador’s lifespan goes up to 12 years, a little shorter than the average lifespan of dogs in his size. However, those 12 years are filled with love that will remain unforgettable as long as you live.
He can grow to weigh between 60 and 85 pounds, all in a 27-inches large body. Pictures of the German Shepherd cross Labrador Retriever show him in a majestic posture, ready for your next command.
The most common health issues that your dog may face are hip and elbow dysplasia. They are also prone to digestive problems that dog food may be the originator of.
Despite these health issues that he can inherit from either parent, the Sheprador can live all his years jogging around the house and neighborhood, playing fetch in your yard, and making the most out of his life as a beloved family dog.
I wouldn’t recommend a Sheprador for someone living in an apartment. This dog requires a lot of space to feel comfortable. That is why it’s best to have a yard for your dog to play and dig in. He can even stay outside and play guard dog every now and then. I promise* no one passes by without you knowing about it.
*If someone does pass, and you don’t hear about it, I’m blaming you, not the dog. So, don’t sue me for false promises.
However, if you have a nice dog park, or a human park where dogs are allowed, you will be fine.
Daily trips to exercise, socialize, and make new human and dog friends will keep your dog (and yourself) happy.
The German Shepherd Lab mix is a great dog to have at the house. He’ll greet you every day with love and a ball. Mainly with a ball, though. That’s what he loves the most.
I always encourage you to find a shelter near you and adopt a lovable dog. They aren’t there because they are bad; they just need another chance at the goodboi life.
Once you see this dog in action, you will forever fall in love with him.
Let us know if you or someone you know owns a Sheprador. Send us pictures and videos if possible!
Don’t forget to leave your comment down below telling us more about why you love this dog.
Hey world! Sam here! I am a writer and a blogger, with keen interest in pets, dogs especially. Writing about those creatures make time melt like an ice cube in a desert! Dogs are just unbelievably amazing!
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