German Shepherd Lab Mix Care, Size, Lifespan & Temperament

The German shepherd lab mix is a cross between a German shepherd and a Labrador retriever. German shepherd lab mixes are also commonly referred to as German shepradors and labrashepherds.

These mixes are large dogs with loyal, friendly personalities.

Active families, preferably those who live in a house with a backyard, are good owners for German shepherd lab mixes. Potential owners should first consider the difficulties of owning this dog, including the labrashepherd’s destructive tendencies when left alone, and its potential to develop health problems that are common in the parent breeds.

German shepherd lab mixes typically cost $700 to $2,000.

German Shepherd Lab Mix Characteristics & Overview

German shepherd lab mix traits and characteristics

Common names:German shepherd lab mix, German sheprador, labrashepherd
Parent breeds:German shepherd and Labrador retriever
Breed group:Hybrid
Height:20–27 inches
Weight:75–95 pounds
Colors:Tan, black, chocolate, cream, mixed color
Coat:Double coat, short, or medium length
Life expectancy:10–12 years
Temperament:Friendly, loyal, protective, energetic, affectionate
Shedding:Moderate/heavy shedders
Barking tendency:Minimal

Origin & Purpose

The German shepherd lab mix was created by breeding the German shepherd and the Labrador retriever. The labrashepherd was first bred in the 1980s, and the dog’s exact country of origin is unknown.

It’s likely that this breed mix was made to combine the loyalty and protective nature of the German shepherd with the affectionate, energetic personality of the Labrador retriever.

For a dog to qualify as a German shepherd labrador mix, its parents must be a purebred Labrador and a purebred German shepherd.

Parent Breeds

This breed is a crossbreed between German shepherd and Labrador retriever parents. As these parent breeds are both large dogs with similar appearances, the resulting mix displays similar looks and personality traits.

German Shepherd

The German shepherd, or Alsatian, is a large, black-and-tan-colored dog hailing from Germany in the late 1890s. This large breed is good with children and is best suited to active families.

German shepherd lab mixes usually inherit the German shepherd’s medium-dense fur and coloring, as well as the shepherd’s loyal, protective nature.

Labrador Retriever

The Labrador retriever is a large British dog with cream, tan, or black coloring. This friendly, affectionate dog breed was developed from fishing dogs imported to the UK from Newfoundland in the 1830s.

Labrashepherds typically inherit the Labrador retriever’s relaxed temperament, head shape, and floppy ears.


The German shepherd Labrador mix lives for 10–12 years. The dog’s parentage, diet, activity level, and living environment all affect its lifespan.

Healthy, active dogs that eat nutritious foods and live stress-free lifestyles are likely to live longer.

German Shepherd Lab Mix Appearance

German shepherd lab mix appearance

German shepherd lab mixes are large dogs with medium-dense, short-to-medium-length fur. The dogs are usually black, brown, tan, or a combination of several colors.

The labrashepherd’s body and ears typically resemble a Labrador retriever, while the muzzle and markings resemble a German shepherd.

Height and Weight

German shepherd lab mixes are considered large dogs, with a height at the withers of 20–27 inches, and a weight of 75–95 pounds.

The size and weight of the dog depend on which parent the mix takes after most — German shepherds are taller and heavier than Labrador retrievers.


German shepherd lab mixes are typically black, brown, or tan. Commonly, the dog’s fur is a mixture of black and tan, resembling the German shepherd’s markings. Patches of white are common on the neck and muzzle. Blue and red are uncommon colors for a labrashepherd.

Occasionally, labrashepherds are all-black, all-brown, or all-cream, resembling the Labrador retriever.


The German shepherd lab mix has a medium-dense, double coat that sheds frequently. The outer layer of the coat is long and wiry, and the inner coat is short, thick, and soft.

The coat comes in a variety of colors, and the undercoat is a lighter shade than the outer coat.

Head and Face Shape

The labrashepherd’s head shape depends on which parent dog’s features the mix inherits. Most German shepherd lab mixes have the muzzle of a German shepherd and the floppy ears of a Labrador, although some mixes have the German shepherd’s pointed ears.

The majority of Labrashepherds have the German shepherd’s brown, almond-shaped eyes.

Personality and Temperament

German shepherd lab mixes have the combined temperament of the watchful German shepherd and the easygoing Labrador retriever.

According to the American Kennel Club temperament guide, Labradors are eager to please, adaptable, outgoing, and intelligent. Meanwhile, German shepherds are fearless, confident, eager, and alert.

German shepherds are known to be aloof with strangers, and Labradors suffer from separation anxiety. These two traits are often passed on to the German shepherd lab mix.

The confident, loyal, eager nature of the labrashepherd makes it a loyal family pet. The dog’s wariness with strangers and dislike of being left alone makes it unsuitable for people who spend a lot of time away from home.


The German shepherd lab mix has a low barking tendency. A properly-trained dog will only bark to alert its owners of a potential threat.

Keeping a labrashepherd entertained with daily walks and playtime should prevent the dog from barking out of boredom.

German Shepherd Lab Mix Care

German shepherd lab mix care

Caring for a German shepherd lab mix is easy as long as you have the budget and the energy to look after a big dog.

Labrashepherds need daily long walks, a nutritious diet, and plenty of mental stimulation to live happy, healthy lives.

Food Needs

Provide your German shepherd lab mix with a high-protein diet suitable for large, high-energy dogs. Feed the dog twice a day, and measure out portions carefully based on the dog’s age and activity level to prevent overfeeding.

On average, German shepherd lab mixes need about 3 cups of kibble per day.

Grooming Needs

Labrashepherds have thick fur that’s prone to tangling, so the dog’s grooming needs are high. Use a slicker brush and brush in the direction of hair growth, applying fine strokes that remove dead hairs and mats.

Wash the dog’s coat every one or two months to keep it in good condition.

Exercise Needs

The German shepherd lab mix is an energetic breed that needs at least one hour of daily exercise, divided into two or more walks.

Ideally, give your labrashepherd access to your backyard throughout the day between walks to allow your dog to run around and let out energy.

This breed isn’t suitable for apartment living because of its active nature.

Mental Needs

Provide at least 30 minutes of daily mental stimulation to keep your German shepherd lab mix happy and satisfied. The breed is intelligent and enjoys playing hide-and-seek, fetch games, and puzzle games with food release toys.

Labrashepherds are known to be destructive when they’re bored, so provide your dog with plenty of toys for entertainment while you’re busy.

Common Health Concerns

German shepherd lab mixes inherit some of the common health issues affecting their parent breeds.


Like Labrador retrievers, labrashepherds are prone to overeating and obesity. Lab results have found that Labradors are missing all or part of the POMC gene, which senses body fat storage and regulates appetite.

Don’t overfeed the dog and don’t allow treats to make up more than 10% of the dog’s calories. Give this mix plenty of exercise to prevent weight gain.

Skin Allergies

German shepherd lab mixes are sensitive to mites, dust, pollen, and chemicals, which cause itchy skin and skin allergies. Redness, rashes, persistent itching, infections (especially around the ears), and hair loss are all common signs of skin allergies in dogs.

Treatment for skin allergies includes diet changes, avoiding triggers, and medication to reduce itching.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a common hereditary condition in large dog breeds, including the Labrador retriever and the German shepherd. The condition causes the hip ball and socket to deteriorate and lose function.

This issue commonly affects overweight or under-exercised dogs. Symptoms of hip dysplasia in dogs include decreased range of motion in the back legs, decreased activity, lameness, and limping.

The condition is treated with physical therapy, weight reduction, and surgery.


German shepherd lab mix training

Labrashepherds are intelligent dogs that enjoy being praised, so they’re easy to train with a basic command and reward strategy. Consistent training is important for this breed, so train your dog for at least 15 minutes every day.

Start training your puppy from the age of eight weeks old. The first six months of the dog’s life is the most critical learning period, so make sure to cover all basic training — including toilet and leash training, basic commands, and socialization — within this time.

German shepherd lab mixes are high-energy dogs, so a dog that isn’t responding well to training might be feeling too energetic to focus on training. To prevent this, train your dog during or after a long walk.

German Shepherd Lab Mix Price

The labrashepherd is a moderately expensive dog. While the breed mix is affordable to buy, the expense of feeding a large dog is high.

The upfront cost of a German shepherd lab mix depends on whether you buy from a reader or adopt the dog from a shelter.

How Much is a German Shepherd Lab Mix?

A German shepherd lab mix typically costs $700–$2,000. Factors that affect the cost of the dog are age, coloring, and whether the dog is adopted or bought from a breeder.

Adults are about $500 cheaper than puppies. Adoption fees are about $200. Dogs with rare coat colors are more expensive than dogs with common colors.

How Much Does it Cost to Own a German Shepherd Lab Mix?

The cost of owning a German shepherd lab mix is about $60 per month, including the cost of food, healthcare, grooming, and toys.

Additional, optional costs are dog sitting and boarding, professional dog grooming, and dog training classes.

Is a German Shepherd Lab Mix Right for You?

The German shepherd lab mix is an affectionate, loyal, energetic dog that makes a great family pet. However, this dog has traits that make it unsuitable for some people and lifestyles.

Who Should Get a German Shepherd Lab Mix?

Labrashepherds are high-energy dogs that are ideal for active, outdoorsy households. The dogs are affectionate and friendly, so they’re good pets for families with children.

German shepherd lab mixes are responsive to training if proper boundaries are established, so this mix is best suited to people who have the time to train the dogs from an early age.

Who Should Not Get a German Shepherd Lab Mix?

German shepherd lab mixes have a lot of energy to burn so they’re not suitable for apartment living or inactive owners. The dogs are known to chew furniture and bark when left alone for long periods, so they’re not good pets for people who spend a lot of time away from home.

Labrashepherds are large dogs that require a lot of food, so people who can’t afford to care for a large dog breed shouldn’t own this breed mix.

More German Shepherd and Labrador Retriever Mixes

Want a German shepherd mix or Labrador retriever mix but aren’t keen on the German shepherd labrador mix? Check out these other hybrid dog breeds:

German Shepherd Mixes

Labrador Retriever Mixes

About Thomas Woods 224 Articles
Thomas has been a dog lover since he was 6 years old when his parents got him a rescue Labrador. Since then his love for dogs has lead him to study Animal Behavior & Welfare. He now keeps a six year old English Bullmastiff and educates pet parents through his online publication Perfect Dog Breeds.


  1. Thanks for all the information on the Shepard lab mix. I had this mix when I was a Young man and Was telling my wife a few days ago that was probably the best dog I’ve had.

    • Good to know Scott. I too grew up with a german shepherd & black labs.
      (seperate breeds not mixed)
      The shepherd was my best friend.

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