The German Sheprador is a mixed breed dog — a cross between the German Shepherd and Labrador Retriever dog breeds. Large, energetic, and loyal, these pups inherited some of the best qualities from both of their parents.
The German Sheprador is also called the Labrashepherd. Despite their unfortunate status as a designer breed, you may find these mixed breed dogs in shelters and rescues, so remember to adopt! Don’t shop!
German Shepradors are not a great choice for novice pet owners, but if you’re looking for a watch dog and family companion, please step right up! Big homes with yards are ideal but not required, as long as they exercise. While Shepradors are not excessively barky they will alert when strangers approach. They’re protective of their loved ones and friendly with people, children, and other dogs. Don’t leave them alone for long periods, though, or else they may become bored and destructive. Read on to learn more about the German Sheprador.
Some dogs are simply easier than others; they take to training better and are fairly easygoing. They’re also resilient enough to bounce back from your mistakes or inconsistencies.
Dogs who are highly sensitive, independent thinking, or assertive may be harder for a first-time dog parent to manage. You’ll get your best match if you take your dog-owning experience into account as you choose your new pooch.
If you’re new to dog parenting, take a look at 101 Dog Tricks and read up on how to train your dog!
Some dogs will let a stern reprimand roll off their backs, while others take even a dirty look to heart. Low-sensitivity dogs, also called “easygoing,” “tolerant,” “resilient,” and even “thick-skinned,” can better handle a noisy, chaotic household, a louder or more assertive owner, and an inconsistent or variable routine. Do you have young kids, throw lots of dinner parties, play in a garage band, or lead a hectic life? Go with a low-sensitivity dog.
Some breeds bond very closely with their family and are more prone to worry or even panic when left alone by their owner. An anxious dog can be very destructive–barking, whining, chewing, and otherwise causing mayhem. These breeds do best when a family member is home during the day or if you can take the dog to work.
Dogs with thick, double coats are more vulnerable to overheating. So are breeds with short noses, like Bulldogs or Pugs, since they can’t pant as well to cool themselves off. If you want a heat-sensitive breed, your dog will need to stay indoors with you on warm or humid days, and you’ll need to be extra cautious about exercising your dog in the heat.
All Around Friendliness
Some breeds are independent and aloof, even if they’ve been raised by the same person since puppyhood; others bond closely to one person and are indifferent to everyone else; and some shower the whole family with affection. Breed isn’t the only factor that goes into affection levels; dogs who were raised inside a home with people around feel more comfortable with humans and bond more easily.
See Dogs Less Affectionate with Family
Being gentle with children, sturdy enough to handle the heavy-handed pets and hugs they can dish out, and having a blasé attitude toward running, screaming children are all traits that make a kid-friendly dog. You may be surprised by who’s on that list: Fierce-looking Boxers are considered good with children, as are American Staffordshire Terriers (which are considered Pit Bulls). Small, delicate, and potentially snappy dogs such as Chihuahuas aren’t always so family-friendly.
**All dogs are individuals. Our ratings are generalizations, and they’re not a guarantee of how any breed or individual dog will behave. Dogs from any breed can be good with children based on their past experiences, training on how to get along with kids, and personality. No matter what the breed or breed type, all dogs have strong jaws, sharp pointy teeth, and may bite in stressful circumstances. Young children and dogs of any breed should always be supervised by an adult and never left alone together, period.
Friendliness toward dogs and friendliness toward humans are two completely different things. Some dogs may attack or try to dominate other dogs, even if they’re love-bugs with people; others would rather play than fight; and some will turn tail and run. Breed isn’t the only factor. Dogs who lived with their littermates and mother until at least six to eight weeks of age and who spent lots of time playing with other dogs during puppyhood, are more likely to have good canine social skills.
Stranger-friendly dogs will greet guests with wagging tails and nuzzles; others are shy, indifferent, or even aggressive. However, no matter what the breed, a dog who was socialized and exposed to lots of different types, ages, sizes, and shapes of people as a puppy will respond better to strangers as an adult. Remember that even friendly dogs should stay on a good, strong leash like this one in public!
Health And Grooming Needs
Drool-prone dogs may drape ropes of slobber on your arm and leave big, wet spots on your clothes when they come over to say hello. If you’ve got a laid-back attitude toward slobber, fine; but if you’re a neatnik, you may want to choose a dog who rates low in the drool department.
Some breeds are brush-and-go dogs; others require regular bathing, clipping, and other grooming just to stay clean and healthy. Consider whether you have the time and patience for a dog who needs a lot of grooming, or the money to pay someone else to do it.
Due to poor breeding practices, some breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, such as hip dysplasia. This doesn’t mean that every dog of that breed will develop those diseases; it just means that they’re at an increased risk.
If you’re adopting a puppy, it’s a good idea to find out which genetic illnesses are common to the breed you’re interested in. You may also want to ask if your shelter or rescue has information about the physical health of your potential pup’s parents and other relatives.
Some breeds have hearty appetites and tend to put on weight easily. As in humans, being overweight can cause health problems in dogs. If you pick a breed that’s prone to packing on pounds, you’ll need to limit treats, make sure they get enough exercise, and measure out their daily food servings into regular meals rather than leaving food out all the time.
Ask your vet about your dog’s diet and what they recommend for feeding your pooch to keep them at a healthy weight. Weight gain can lead to other health issues or worsen problems like arthritis.
Dogs come in all sizes, from the world’s smallest pooch, the Chihuahua, to the towering Great Dane, how much space a dog takes up is a key factor in deciding if they’re compatible with you and your living space. Large dog breeds might seem overpowering and intimidating, but some of them are incredibly sweet! Take a look and find the right sized dog for you!
Easy-to-train dogs are more adept at forming an association between a prompt (such as the word “sit”), an action (sitting), and a consequence (getting a treat) very quickly. Other dogs need more time, patience, and repetition during training.
Many breeds are intelligent but approach training with a “What’s in it for me?” attitude, in which case you’ll need to use rewards and games to teach them to want to comply with your requests.
Dogs who were bred for jobs that require decision making, intelligence, and concentration, such as herding livestock, need to exercise their brains, just as dogs who were bred to run all day need to exercise their bodies. If they don’t get the mental stimulation they need, they’ll make their own work–usually with projects you won’t like, such as digging and chewing. Obedience training and interactive dog toys are good ways to give a dog a brain workout, as are dog sports and careers, such as agility and search and rescue.
Common in most breeds during puppyhood and in Retriever breeds at all ages, mouthiness means a tendency to nip, chew, and play-bite (a soft, fairly painless bite that doesn’t puncture the skin). Mouthy dogs are more likely to use their mouths to hold or “herd” their human family members, and they need training to learn that it’s fine to gnaw on chew toys, but not on people. Mouthy breeds tend to really enjoy a game of fetch, as well as a good chew on a toy that’s been stuffed with kibble and treats.
Dogs who were bred to hunt, such as Terriers, have an inborn desire to chase–and sometimes kill–other animals. Anything whizzing by, such as cats, squirrels, and perhaps even cars, can trigger that instinct. Dogs who like to chase need to be leashed or kept in a fenced area when outdoors, and you’ll need a high, secure fence in your yard. These breeds generally aren’t a good fit for homes with smaller pets that can look like prey, such as cats, hamsters, or small dogs. Breeds that were originally used for bird hunting, on the other hand, generally won’t chase, but you’ll probably have a hard time getting their attention when there are birds flying by.
Some breeds sound off more often than others. When choosing a breed, think about how often the dog vocalizes with barks or howls. If you’re considering a hound, would you find their trademark howls musical or maddening? If you’re considering a watchdog, will a city full of suspicious “strangers” put your pup on permanent alert? Will the local wildlife literally drive your dog wild? Do you live in housing with noise restrictions? Do you have neighbors nearby? Then you may wish to choose a quieter dog.
Some breeds are more free-spirited than others. Nordic dogs such as Siberian Huskies were bred to range long distances, and given the chance, they’ll take off after anything that catches their interest. And many hounds simply must follow their noses–or that bunny that just ran across the path–even if it means leaving you behind.
High-energy dogs are always ready and waiting for action. Originally bred to perform a canine job of some sort, such as retrieving game for hunters or herding livestock, they have the stamina to put in a full workday. They need a significant amount of exercise and mental stimulation, and they’re more likely to spend time jumping, playing, and investigating any new sights and smells.
Low-energy dogs are the canine equivalent of a couch potato, content to doze the day away. When picking a breed, consider your own activity level and lifestyle, and think about whether you’ll find a frisky, energetic dog invigorating or annoying.
A vigorous dog may or may not have high energy, but everything they do, they do with vigor: they strain on the leash (until you train them not to), try to plow through obstacles, and even eats and drinks with great big gulps. These dynamos need lots of training to learn good manners, and may not be the best fit for a home with young kids or someone who’s elderly or frail. A low-vigor dog, on the other hand, has a more subdued approach to life.
Some breeds do fine with a slow evening stroll around the block. Others need daily, vigorous exercise, especially those that were originally bred for physically demanding jobs, like herding or hunting.
Without enough exercise, these breeds may put on weight and vent their pent-up energy in ways you don’t like, such as barking, chewing, and digging. Breeds that need a lot of exercise are good for outdoorsy, active people, or those interested in training their dog to compete in a high-energy dog sport, such as agility.
Some dogs are perpetual puppies — always begging for a game — while others are more serious and sedate. Although a playful pup sounds endearing, consider how many games of fetch or tag you want to play each day, and whether you have kids or other dogs who can stand in as playmates for the dog.
Dog Breed Group:Mixed Breed DogsHeight:20 to 27 inches Weight:60 to 95 pounds Life Span:10 to 12 years
More About This Breed
- The German Sheprador is a mixed breed dog. They are not purebreds like their German Shepherd Dog or Labrador Retriever parents.
- The main colors of German Shepradors are black, white, red, cream, blue, and grey. Sometimes their coats are solid, and sometimes they have a mix of colors.
- While they are not a good choice of dog for allergy sufferers, their coats are pretty easy to care for. A good brushing per week will probably do the job.
- Many German Shepradors absolutely love to run and play in the snow. Their double coats also help to keep them cool during hot summer months.
- German Shepradors make excellent family companions and watchdogs. Protective in nature, they will alert when strangers approach.
- Like all Retrievers, the German Sheprador is mouthy, and they’re happiest when they have something, anything, to carry in their mouth
- Do not leave them alone for long periods. They can easily become board, depressed, and frustrated, which will result in unwanted behaviors.
The German Sheprador dog breed may have existed naturally over the years, but designer breeders started intentionally mixing German Shepherds and Labradors in North America, possibly in the 1990s.
Breeders wanted to mix the two parent breeds to minimize health problems that affect many purebreds as well as create an ultimate family companion and watchdog. They continued to create German Shepradors as demand for the mixed breed pups climbed.
Even though the German Sheprador got their start as a designer breed, some have ended up in shelters or in the care of rescue groups. Consider adoption if you decide this is the dog for you.
Check your local shelters, look up German Sheprador rescues, or check with breed-specific German Shepherd and Labrador rescues, as they sometimes help to re-home mixed breeds.
German Shepradors are recognized by:
- International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR)
- Dog Registry of America, Inc.
As the German Sheprador is a relatively new mixed breed, there are few standards when it comes to size. That said, as a mix between German Shepherd and Labrador parents, you can expect the German Sheprador to be on the large side.
Most weigh in at 60 to 95 pounds and range in height from 20 to 27 inches at the shoulder. That said, many can be smaller or larger.
German Shepradors make excellent family companions and watchdogs. Protective in nature, they will alert when strangers approach. They may be aloof with people they aren’t family with. However, once they befriend you, you have a friend for life.
These pups hail from a line of two working parents. Their German Shepherd parents regularly work as military, police, and guard dogs, while their Labrador Retriever parents have jobs as hunting and guide dogs. German Shepradors like to work and need to have a job to do, whether big or small. Give them a sense of purpose, and this dog will earn their keep ten fold.
They are highly trainable, and thrive on positive reenforcement. Do not leave them alone for long periods. They can easily become board, depressed, and frustrated, which will result in unwanted behaviors.
The German Sheprador mixed breed is predisposed to some of the same conditions that the German Shepherd and Labrador Retriever also face. While most are generally healthy, some may be prone to a few health issues, which is why it is important to maintain good care and regular veterinary checkups.
Some of the more common health problems German Shepradors suffer from include:
- hip and elbow dysplasia
- digestive issues (bloat and diarrhea)
As with all dogs, you should keep up with your German Sheprador’s regular veterinary checkups to detect any health concerns early. Your vet can help you develop a care routine that will keep your dog healthy.
German Shepradors are prone to weight gain, and they have high energy levels. Make sure your dog gets at least one hour long walk per day with several shorter walks mixed in. Hiking and other adventurous activities are also recommended.
Check their ears for debris and pests daily and clean them as recommended by your vet. Trim your dog’s nails before they get too long–usually once or twice per month. They should not be clicking against the floor. Your groomer can help with this.
Your main concern when it comes to your German Sheprador’s care will be maintaining their oral health. You should brush their teeth daily, as this mixed breed is prone to tartar build-up. Your veterinarian can instruct you on how to brush your dog’s teeth properly.
You’ll need to take special care if you’re raising a German Sheprador puppy. Don’t let your puppy run and play on very hard surfaces such as pavement until they’re at least two years old and their joints are fully formed. Normal play on grass is fine, as is puppy agility with its one-inch jumps.
Like all Retrievers, the German Sheprador is mouthy, and they’re happiest when they have something, anything, to carry in their mouth. They’re also a chewer, so be sure to keep sturdy toys available all the time–unless you want your couch chewed up. And when you leave the house, it’s wise to keep your pooch in a crate or kennel so they can’t get themselves into trouble chewing things they shouldn’t. Crate and kennel training should start in puppyhood.
An ideal German Sheprador diet should be formulated for a large breed with high energy. They have a tendency to gain weight if they are overfed, so you should stick to a regular feeding schedule and not leave food out during the day. Limit their amount of treats, as well.
As with all dogs, the German Sheprador’s dietary needs will change from puppyhood to adulthood and will continue to change into their senior years. You should ask your veterinarian for recommendations about your Sheprador’s diet, as there is far too much variation among individual dogs–including weight, energy, and health–to make a specific recommendation.
Coat Color And Grooming
German Sheprador coats are often a mix of their German Shepherd and Labrador Retriever parents’ coats and colors. The main colors of German Shepradors are black, white, red, cream, blue, and grey. Sometimes their coats are solid, and sometimes they have a mix of colors.
They usually have medium length, dense coats, and while they are not a good choice of dog for allergy sufferers, their coats are pretty easy to care for. A good brushing per week will probably do the job and bathing is recommended every few months with a mild shampoo. Too much bathing can strip the coat of its natural oils.
Their double coats do shed quite a bit. You will definitely want a vacuum on hand. You will need it. Have you tried robot vacuums? See if the Eufy RoboVac is right for you!
Their double coat gives them an edge when it comes to extreme weather. Many of these dogs absolutely love to run and play in the snow. Their double coats also helps to keep them cool during hot summer months. Keep in mind they are an indoor dog and need to live indoors.
Children And Other Pets
The German Sheprador not only loves kids, they enjoy the commotion they bring with them. They’ll happily attend a child’s birthday party, and you can possibly even get them to wear a party hat. Like all dogs, however, German Shepradors need to be trained how to behave around children and vice versa.
As with every breed, you should always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while they’re eating or sleeping or to try to take the dog’s food away. No dog, no matter how friendly, should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
If a German Sheprador has had plenty of exposure to other dogs, cats, and small animals, and has been trained how to interact with them, they’ll be friendly with other pets, too. Learn more about this awesome breed by reading about their parent breeds the German Shepherd and Labrador Retriever.
It may be hard to find a breed-specific rescue for German Shepradors because they are a mixed breed. However, you may want to try German Shepherd Dog or Labrador Retriever breed-specific rescues, as they often care for mixes, as well. Here are some rescues you can try:
- German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County
- Lucky Lab Rescue & Adoption