German Shepherd Lab Mix: The World’s Best Family Dog?

German Shepherd Lab Mix
Four words: the perfect family dog.

The German Shepherd Lab Mix is what happens when you cross America’s dog next door, the Labrador Retriever, with the world’s most intelligent German Shepherd?

One of the best family-friendly dogs, this cross breed is loyal, intelligent, playful and will show its owners unlimited amounts of love. All it needs in return is copious amounts of fun-filled exercise.

A Sheprador (also known as a German Shepherd Labrador mix) is a medium to large sized dog with big beautiful brown eyes, and a variance in coat appearance from light to dark.

Are you worthy? Let’s get into our owners guide.

German Shepherd Lab Mix Infographic

German Shepherd Lab Mix Info Summary
Breed Type Mixes and more
Purpose Family Dog
Suitable For Out-going and active families
Size 22 to 26” (male) or 20 to 24” (female)
Weight 45 – 95 lbs (male) and 35 – 45 lbs (female)
Lifespan 10 to 12 years of age
Color Variations Tan, sandy, brown and black
Temperament Intelligent, loving, playful, energetic and loyal
Daily Exercise High – Preferably 90 – 120 minutes each day
Daily Food Consumption Three to four cups of high quality dry kibble per day
Known Health Issues Dysplasia and gastric dilation volvulus (bloat)

German Shepherd Lab Mix Breed Overview

German Shepherd and Labrador
The name Sheprador is given to a dog whose parents are a purebred German Shepherd and Labrador Retriever

Two of the world’s most popular breeds come together and give us a new designer dog breed. An ever so bold, intelligent and strong German Shepherd mates with the playful, energetic and extremely loveable, Labrador.

German Shepherd Lab Mix Puppies

A first generation German Shepherd Lab Mix puppy, from its purebred parent breeds the German Shepherd and Labrador Retriever, will only cost approximately $200 to $600 USD.

The Sheprador is not an expensive breed as they are yet to pick up popularity like other designer dog breeds such as the expensive yet petite Cavachon.

The price of this breed will vary from breeder to breeder but it is safe to say that the healthier the parent breeds, the more expensive the pup.

Each litter may vary with one parent usually dominating in appearance. The litter size varies in ranges from six to ten puppies on average.

Origin of the Sheprador

There is no set date as to when and where this mixed breed was first bred.cHowever, as both the German Shepherd and Labrador Retriever are popular breeds then they have probably been around for a while.

The German Shepherd is one of the world’s most popular dog breeds. They originated as a working dog in Germany in 1899.

The Labrador Retriever is also a highly popular breed worldwide and originated in the mid to late 1830s in Newfoundland which is located in the United Kingdom.

Today, both breeds are famous for their intelligent and loyal nature and both steal the top two spots for the most popular dog breeds in the world.

German Shepherd Mix Lab Temeperamnet and Behavior

German Shepherd Lab Mix
Four words: the perfect family dog.

It can be said, with absolute certainty, that this mixed breed is perfect for any family. They are incredibly friendly, loyal and loving companions. As long as they are trained, exercised and socialized correctly, then you should have no problems with this loving canine.

Characteristic Rating
Friendliness 5 Star Rating for Friendliness
Ease of Care 3 Star Rating for Ease of Care
Trainability 4 Star Rating for Trainability
Exercise Requirements 1 Star Rating for Exercise Requirements
Social Tendencies 5 Star Rating for Social Tendencies

A stigma surrounds one of the parent breeds, the German Shepherd, from their use a military dogs during World War Two. The behavioral trait of aggression is commonly associated with GSDs. However, although protective in nature, this breed is an aggressive dog.

If raised in a healthy environment, and well socialized, then the pup will generally show no signs of aggression. The same can be said for the German Shepherd Lab Mix.

They are fantastic with children due to their playful and energetic personalities. However, this is not the correct dog breed for a lazy family or owner; they require a fair amount of daily activity. If they do not receive the proper stimulation, and exercise, then they will become bored and destructive around the house. So if you’re lazy, or rarely home, then expect to come back to a war zone and destroyed sofa.

They are an intelligent breed so be sure to treat them like one. Throw in some cuddles while you’re at it. Loving and smart this breed is the perfect addition to any sized family.

How to Care for a German Shepherd Lab Mix

Food and Diet Requirements

Your German Shepherd Lab Mix may just love food as much as they will love you. A big and active dog always has a big appetite so be prepared.

How much does a Sheprador eat?
On average, a large, healthy and active dog requires 30 calories per pound of body weight per day. For this cross breed should will eat two to three cups of high quality dry kibble per day. This can be calculated using the table below:

Gender Weight Daily Calories
Female 35 – 45 lbs 1050 – 1350 calories
Male 45 – 95 lbs 1350 – 2850 calories

As you can see, a male German Shepherd Mix Lab requires more calories than a female due to their differences in size. However, it is important to remember that even males will vary in size, and therefore their calorie allowance should be adjusted accordingly. This is also true during their puppy and growth phases.

Additionally, calorie requirements of your pup may change in response to differences in their age, size and activity levels.

There are forms of high quality dry kibble which are made specifically for the larger dog breeds. These diets are formulated to contain the accurate amount of proteins and fats required by your large dog to maintain their robust figure.

Meals should be spread out over multiple servings to aid correct digestion, and reduce the chances of bloat.

Two meals can be split up into breakfast and dinner. Think of it as a reward after all that exercise and energy consumed.

Speaking of rewards, although it may be tempting to give your well-adored pup human food and treats; please do not.

One purebred parent breed, the Labrador, is prone to weight gain and obesity and therefore it is important that this breed is not over fed; stick to healthy snacks.

Exercise Requirements

On average, the Sheprador requires a minimum of one hour of exercise per day; some days enjoying a couple of hours.

Exercising your German Shepherd and Lab Mix should consist of plenty of running and intense play. Having a large and spacious backyard is therefore beneficial. If this doesn’t appeal to you, then why not make your pup your new running partner?

Try take your dog for some scenic runs along your local river or park, or why not stop at the park after work? Both your dog and your kids will get their much needed playtime to burn all their energy off to ensure a peaceful and well-deserved relaxed evening by the fire.

Without proper exercise, your dog may get restless and bored and even worse, lazy and obese; which will reduce the quality of their life.

Training a German Shepherd Lab Mix

How to Train a German Shepherd Lab Mix

Training any dog isn’t easy, however, this designer mix will make your life a little easier as both the German Shepherd and Labrador are intelligent and hard-working breeds who love to please.

All you need to train your dog is you and good ol’ positive reinforcement. And of course, your dog too. dominance based training has been debunked and therefore should not be used.

Reward your dog during positive behavior with treats, affection or toys. It is up to you to decide which type of reward your dog is more responsive to. You can also test this too.

The trick to training your dog is to mix mental stimulation and exercise together. This will keep your dog engaged and alert in the learning process and will turn training time into extra play time.

Good Ideas for Mental Stimulation

Why not try attend to this quality with some fun, interactive games.A simply game of fetch will do the trick.

Simply go out and purchase your pup a dog friendly ball, throw the ball, and watch in awe as they sprint off to catch the retrieve the ball; repeat!

Mental stimulation can be provided in more ways than you think. You can alternate running/walking routes, take them to new and unfamiliar locations and watch as they excitedly take the new environment all in.

Socializing This Dog

Socialization of this breed is very important, especially due to the protective nature of their German Shepherd parent. Because of this, human socialization is also important for your pup. Your mix should get used to meeting new people from a young age so that they do not get stressed in changing environments. This will also help your Sheprador become a friendly and well-trained adult.

Known Health Problems

Your mix will have a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years on average. Although designer dogs are usually bred to produce the perfect mix of breeds with minimal health problems, they may still unfortunately be inherited. The German Shepherd Mix Lab has been known to suffer with Dysplasia and Bloat.

Canine Dysplasia
A very common skeletal disease found in German Shepherds; which was one of the reasons the Shiloh Shepherd was bred. It is a malformation of a dog’s joints which may cause pain and inflammation.

Canine dysplasia can begin at an early or older age. If left untreated, your pup will be in severe pain and may even require surgical treatment.

Gastric Dilation Volvulus (i.e. Bloat)
Bloat occurs when the canine’s stomach dilates in response to a large meal. Instead of expelling the gas normally, it becomes trapped, pressure is then built up and causes pain. As Labradors are deep chested, they are susceptible to bloat. It is important they you make sure your pup does not eat their food too fast. If you notice your pup is in discomfort, then do not hesitate to contact your Veterinarian.

German Shepherd Lab Mix Appearance

German Shepherd Lab Mix Appearance
Don’t let their big size scare you, this breed is a gigantic softy!

Your dog may grow as big as a German Shepherd, or it may resemble the size of a Labrador. A female will weigh anywhere from 35 to 45 pounds and males are generally larger from 45 to 90 pounds. The height to their withers is usually around 20 to 26 inches.

Classed as a medium to large dog breed, weighing from 35 to 95 pounds, your dog will have a medium to long sized muzzle and a robust, bold figur.

Short, alert and pointed ears like that of a German Shepherd, or soft and drooping ears like that of a Labrador. The appearance of your German Shepherd Lab Mix will vary quite dramatically from pup to pup and cannot be predicted.

As this is a designer dog breed, there is no breed standard for this dog; the appearance may resemble either the German Shepherd or Labrador.

Their eyes will melt even the coldest of hearts. Big and brown, they’re definitely hard not to fall in love with!

The Lab Mix German Shepherd has a short, double coat, with colors ranging from tan to brown to sandy and even to black (from the black GSD).

Grooming Your Mix

Both parent breeds shed a lot of hair; especially during spring and fall. During this period, your pup is preparing his or her winter and summer coat accordingly.

Grooming your dog regularly will help reduce any unwanted dog hair from accumulating around the house. To minimise excess shedding, try brushing your dog two or more times per week. It is recommended that you start brushing your pup at a young age.

Try bathing your dog monthly, maybe with homemade shampoo. Regular nail clipping is also recommended. Also, don’t forget your dog’s teeth. Try brushing them daily or simply give them a dental treat.


So, have your kids started begging you for a German Shepherd Lab Mix yet?

An intelligent, easy-to-train, playful and loyal mixed dog breed with a hint of protectiveness. This is the perfect addition for your family and children.

If you have a spacious backyard, an energetic family, and lots of love to give then consider the German Shepherd Labrador Cross as a perfect canine.

A perfect running companion, child-minder and family member. Comment below and tell us a heart-warming story of you and your German Shepherd Labrador Cross.

About John Woods 278 Articles
John Woods is the founder of All Things Dogs, member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, graduate in Animal Behavior & Welfare and recognized author by the Dog Writers Association of America.


  1. I just got a month old German Shepherd lab pup, he is the cutest I’ve seen in a while. He’s so sweet and he listens so well. He loves going to the park and he’s such a fat boy, loves his wet food mixed with dry. He’s brought me so much happiness into my life! I wish the life span for his breed was like a THOUSAND YEARS 😇 If you are considering getting a dog I recommend German Shepherd of course but one mixed with lab makes it better 💕 ALSO, my pup is potty trained only took him about a week! GET YOUR PUP AND LOVE HIM LIKE A CHILD 🐶🥰

  2. Hello everyone my 13 year old lab Shepard mix daisy just passed. I’m going to tell everyone now she was the smartest, kindest , listened to everything you would say she would not come in the kitchen never we told her once that was or. We could leave her on the lawn out front and she would not move unless me or the husband told her guarded me and the girls like we were her children but never barked or growled unless she deemed someone shady. She never once came to the table for good she would sit up with head held up and when we would give her Hunan food into her food bowl and she would go and meet me there. Never came up the stairs unless she was scared of thunder her only weakness. In my opinion the best mixed breed I have had the pleasure to own. Thanks for reading.

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