What You Should Know About German Sheprador Crosses

We sometimes call a German Shepherd Lab mix a German Sheprador, and these are lively and intelligent animals. A German Sheprador is what is known as a designer dog or a crossbreed, which just means that it's a mix between two purebred dogs.

What is a German Sheprador?

A German Sheprador is a mixture between a German Shepherd and a Labrador Retriever. Depending on your breeders preference your dog may be the product of two German Sheprador parents, or one German Shepherd parent and one Labrador Retriever parent. Whichever option your breeder choose though, your puppy will mix the traits of both breeds of dog.

What's Important About Designer Dogs?

There are two important things you need to know about designer dogs. The first is that crossbreeds are generally healthier than purebred dogs. This is because traditional breeds have many genetic disorders that have developed because of the extensive in-breeding that has been done to produce certain breed characteristics. However, because designer dogs will inherit different traits from each parent, it is much more difficult to predict how big they will grow and what their temperaments will be like than it is with purebred dogs. We can only make guesses about your puppy's future size and personality based on what we know about the parent breeds.

How Big Will My Puppy Grow?

Both parent breeds are both mid to large sized dogs. German Shepherds usually grow to between 22 and 26 inches and weigh between about 77 and 85 pounds. Labrador Retrievers are a little smaller and generally grow to between 21 and 24 inches and weigh between 55 and 75 pounds.

Your pet will probably be somewhere between these two extremes, smaller than the average German Shepherd but possibly larger than the average Labrador Retriever.

What Will My Pet's Coat Be Like?

German Shepherds have thick, straight hair that's mid length to short; Labrador Retrievers have quite similar coats, though generally not as thick. Therefore a German Shepherd Lab mix will also probably have mid length hair that's straight and relatively thick.

Will My Pet Have Any Coat Concerns?

Unlike longer haired dogs, it's unlikely that your pet mix will need the services of a dog groomer. You won't need to style or trim your dog's coat. You will need to shampoo and brush your dog occasionally. There shouldn't be too much shedding either. Since both parent breeds have quite thick coats you'll need to be careful of overheating if you live in a hot climate though.

What Will My New Pup's Personality Be Like?

Both parent breeeds tend to be affectionate and sociable, they're highly trainable and intelligent dogs and can be very protective over their owners. German Shepherds are wary of strangers, so make good watch dogs, but are fine with children that they know. Labs are very good with children. Your mixed breed puppy will combine these personality characteristics and will be a loving and affectionate dog.

How Much Exercise Will My Dog Need?

A German Shepherd Labrador mix is going to be a mid-sized dog that's very active and lively, so you'll need to walk your dog at least once a day, with twice a day being better. This breed does not live happily in an apartment, and prefers to have a garden for running.

Does this Designer Breed Have Any Health Concerns?

Though crossbreeds are generally healthier than purebred dogs you'll still want to watch for ailments that are common in the parent breeds. Both pure breed parents are both prone to hip problems. German Shepherds may also suffer from blood or digestive issues, whilst Labradors are prone to some cancers as well as to obesity and eye problems.

How Do I Know if this Cross Breed is Right for Me?

These dogs do make great pets, but they need plenty of exercise, they do not like to be left alone, and they certainly won't be happy living in an apartment. It is a good idea to contact a local breeder too see if you can arrange a visit with his animals. You might also like to join an online forum for owners of these animals to find out more information about this breed.