Lab mixed with German shepherd

German Shepherd Labrador Mix - Guide to a Sheprador

German Shepherd and Labrador are two of the world’s most popular breeds. No wonder the breeders across the world are trying to mix the two breeds. But what do you get by mixing a purebred German Shepherd with a purebred Labrador? The result is a German Sheprador, also known as Labrashepherd.

So this brings us to the next question. What do you exactly get from the mix of two most intelligent and popular breeds? Is it the best of both breeds or the worst traits from the both species?

While a German shepherd has a history of some unfortunate health issues, it is believed that the good health of a Labrador Retriever can balance that out, the results in a healthy and happy Sheprador puppy.

A fully grown Sheprador can weight up to 43 kg and on an average grows 26 inches tall. They also have many interesting features and coats, depending on the colour lab and the parent breeds.

If you are thinking of buying this unique dog, read this article till the end to know everything about this amazing mixed-breed dog and make sure you are ready to take care of this amazing dog.

Characteristics of a Sheprador

Life Span – Sheprador generally has a life of 10 to 12 years. In some cases they can reach the age of 14.

Intelligence and trainability – As both the parents of this unique dog are from two of the most intelligent species, they are quick-witted dogs and very responsive to training. Training is important for these dogs as proper training reduces their chances of turning out as an aggressive dog.

Temperament – Being the descendants of German Shepherd, these dogs are loyal and love to spend time with their owners; but at the same time, they are highly protective and cannot be trusted with strangers, and they may get skittish around unfamiliar people and dogs. Also, one should avoid dominance-based methodologies, when it comes to training a Sheprador.

Children and other pets – Being the descendants of Labrador, these dogs are super friendly, playful and affectionate; which makes them perfect for kids. Usually, they’re friendly around other pets too, but they may take time to get used to presence of other dogs.

Activity level – As the background of these dogs suggest, they need a highly active and exciting life. You will have to devote several hours a day keeping your dog entertained.

Size – As discussed above, they are huge dogs, that are 20 to 26 inches tall and may weight upto 43 kg.

Coat – Like their ancestor ‘Labrador’ their coat is usually short. They will also have a double coat, as both the parent breeds have this feature. The upper guard coat is rough and the inner coat is soft & fluffy. The disadvantage of this double layer coating is that these dogs shed a lot. So, they are definitely not made for you, if anyone at your home suffers from allergies.

Colour – The colour and pattern of this charming dog is highly variable. Some have a solid colour like Labradors, while some have patterns on their coat like German Shepherd. As each of their parents is a pedigree, there is a huge variation in their appearance. So, if you cross with a chocolate lab, it doesn’t guarantee that colour in the offspring. However, in most of the cases, a dark Labrador will result in a darker coat in the mixed breed, and vice versa.

Hence, the colour usually depends on the colour of parent Labrador. You can have –

 

  • German Shepherd Chocolate Labrador Mix 
  • German Shepherd Yellow Labrador Mix
  • German Shepherd White Labrador Mix 
  • German Shepherd Golden Labrador Mix

Caring for a Sheprador

Grooming – You will have to pay extra attention on their grooming. The shorthaired coat of a Sheprador needs regular brushing. In the shedding season i.e. spring and autumn season you should brush their coat daily; and three to five times a week in other seasons. You will also have to take them to a groomer or veterinarian to get their strong nails clipped.

Feeding – Being foodies these dogs tend to have weight problems, so you should never overfeed them. Also, certain foods like beef, salmon and chicken can cause them skin allergies. Add high protein content to their diet to help them with the hip problems a Sheprador may experience.

Exercise – They require morning or evening walks, intense running and playing sessions, and mental stimulation for at least two hours a day. These dogs are not made for an apartment life. They need big houses with large spaces to run and play.

Some of the games recommended for a Sheprador are:

  – Running

 – Fetching ball or frisbee

 – Swimming

 – Puzzle solving

 – Hiking

If you do not spend enough time with this dog or do not pay enough attention on its mental and
physical exercise, it may show signs of: 

– Depression 

– Destructive behaviour 

– Obesity

Hence, if you cannot devote at least 1.5 hours per day on this dog, we would not recommend you to buy this dog.

Health Problems

As the dog is a mixed breed of German Shepard and Labrador, it is prone to inheriting health problems from both the species. Some of the common problems of these species are listed below:

Labradors

  • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
  • Obesity
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy 
German Shepherds 
 
– Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
 
– Degenerative Radiculomyopathy (lame back legs)
 
– Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (stomach twisting)
 
It is already a known fact that pedigree breeds do not have a very long life and have more health problems than crossbreed dogs. So, this is a good news for your furry friend.
 
Though the common health problems of both the breeds can still cause trouble. It is a duty of the breeder to carefully screen for these problems. Since this is not always the case, you should remember to ask the breeder for the medical history and health screening certificate of your puppy’s parents; particularly elbow and hip scores.
 
This cannot guarantee absolutely zero chances of any future health problems, but at least you know that the chances are low.

 

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