The Great Dane lab mix is a cross between a Great Dane and Labrador retriever. Great Dane labs are also commonly referred to as labradanes.
Labradanes grow up to 32 inches tall and weigh between 100 and 175 pounds. These dogs are well-suited to families because the dogs are patient, dependable, and get along well with kids and other animals. However, people who work long hours should avoid choosing this mixed breed as a pet because the dogs are prone to separation anxiety.
With proper care, this mix has a life expectancy of 7 to 12 years. Great Dane labs typically cost $500 to $1,500.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Great Dane Lab Mix Characteristics & Overview
|Common names||Great Dane lab mix, labradane|
|Origin||Britain, Germany, Newfoundland|
|Parent breeds||Labrador retriever and Great Dane|
|Colors||Black, chocolate, merle, brindle, fawn, yellow, white|
|Coat||Smooth, short, single or double coat|
|Life expectancy||7–12 years|
|Temperament||Affectionate, patient, dependable, playful|
|Shedding||Moderate to heavy|
Origin & Purpose
The history of the Great Dane lab mix isn’t known, though it’s likely breeders began to intentionally cross the Great Dane and Labrador retriever together in the 1990s — an era when designer dog breeds were highly sought after. This mixed breed was potentially developed as a smaller version of the Great Dane.
The Great Dane originates from Germany and was initially selectively bred as a powerful working dog capable of hunting wild boar. Over time, Great Danes were eventually bred for other uses, especially as family companions and protective watchdogs, and their hunting instincts soon diminished. Great Danes were officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1887.
Great Dane lab mixes often inherit the stature, smooth coat, and protective, patient nature of the Great Dane.
Labrador retrievers originate from Newfoundland and were bred to assist fishermen and hunters, particularly to retrieve waterfowl and fishing nets from cold water. The dogs were eventually shipped to England, where they were further selectively bred and gained their common name — Labrador retriever. The AKC recognized the Labrador retriever as an official breed in 1917.
Great Dane lab mixes typically inherit the Labrador retriever’s playful, energetic nature and facial features.
A Great Dane lab mix has an average life expectancy of 7 to 12 years. Health conditions, such as bloat and dilated cardiomyopathy, can shorten this dog’s lifespan.
Daily exercise, a nutritious diet, and regular health checkups can improve the labradane’s quality of life and help it live a long, healthy life.
Great Dane Lab Mix Appearance
The Great Dane lab mix is a large dog with a short, dense coat that comes in a range of hues, including fawn, chocolate, and black. The dog’s exact appearance depends on the traits it inherits from its parents.
Height and Weight
Great Dane labs are large dogs, with a height at the withers of 21.5 to 32 inches, and a weight of 100 to 175 pounds. Dogs that inherit more attributes from the Great Dane parent are typically 28 to 32 inches tall, while labradanes with a focus on the Labrador parent’s genes are usually 21.5 to 24.5 inches tall. Males are larger than females.
Labradanes reach their full adult size within two years. Weight can fluctuate throughout the dog’s life, depending on the dog’s diet, activity level, age, and health.
Great Dane lab mixes are typically black, fawn, brindle, chocolate, yellow, or white. The rarest coat hue is merle, and this coloration, which is the result of a genetic mutation, has been associated with health complications such as deafness and eye problems. Some labradanes have white or black markings.
Great Dane lab mixes can either inherit the single coat of the Great Dane, or the double coat of the Labrador retriever, though both coats are short, smooth, and glossy. Labradanes shed moderately throughout the year, particularly during spring and fall.
Great Dane Lab Mix Personality and Temperament
Great Dane lab mixes inherit a combination of personality and temperament traits from their parents. According to the AKC’s temperament guide, Great Danes are courageous, friendly, and dependable, while Labrador retrievers are outgoing and adaptable.
Although personality can vary, almost all Great Dane lab mixes are affectionate, playful, gentle, and loyal to their owners. These dogs are also highly trainable because they’re intelligent and eager to please.
Labradanes are particularly prone to separation anxiety, so they shouldn’t be left alone for long periods of time. Without proper care and lots of attention, these dogs can become anxious, unruly, and engage in destructive behaviors like excessive barking.
Some labradanes inherit the Labrador retriever’s mouthiness, and proper training can curb inappropriate chewing behaviors.
Great Dane lab mixes aren’t loud dogs and typically only bark to alert their owners. The dogs are more likely to bark if they aren’t provided enough mental stimulation, attention, or exercise.
Great Dane Lab Mix Care
While gentle and dependable, the Great Dane lab is moderately difficult to care for because of its large size, big appetite, and need for plenty of attention.
Great Dane lab mixes require 4 to 10 cups of food per day, split across two separate meals, with the exact amount depending on the dog’s metabolism, age, activity level, and stature. Because this mixed breed’s recommended daily calorie intake can vary, it’s best to discuss food needs with a veterinarian.
This mixed breed has an insatiable appetite and will eat anything it can find. Don’t overfeed labradanes, keep food out of their reach, and invest in dog-proof trash cans. Ensure that treats don’t make up more than 10% of the dog’s daily calorie allowance.
Labradane puppies grow rapidly and need specially formulated kibble to support their bone growth.
Despite having short coats, Great Dane lab mixes shed heavily. Groom these dogs weekly, or daily during heavy shedding periods, to brush out trapped hairs and distribute the natural oils.
While brushing, examine the ears and skin for signs of infection, inflammation, fleas, and ticks.
Wash the dogs once every few months or when dirty. Brush the labradane’s teeth two to three times per week to maintain good oral hygiene, and trim the dog’s nails if the dog doesn’t wear them down naturally.
Great Dane lab mixes are moderately active dogs that require one to two hours of exercise per day. Running, walking, swimming, agility, and games like fetch are all suitable activities.
Avoid overexercising labradane puppies because their bones are fragile. As a guideline, exercise puppies for five minutes for every month of age and stick to gentle walks in flat environments.
Great Dane labs can grow extremely large and tend to be energetic, which makes them unsuitable for cramped apartments.
Aside from regular exercise, Great Dane lab mixes also need at least an hour of mental stimulation per day in the form of learning new tricks, playing with puzzle toys, water play, scent work, and interactive games.
Common Health Concerns
Great Dane Lab mixes are generally healthy, though their large size and rapid growth can make them prone to joint and bone problems like hip dysplasia. These dogs are also susceptible to the conditions experienced by their parent breeds.
- Dilated cardiomyopathy: A form of heart disease where the heart is abnormally large and doesn’t function correctly. Symptoms include lethargy, labored breathing, coughing, and excessive panting. Dilated cardiomyopathy is managed and treated with medication and diuretics
- Bloat: A life-threatening condition where the stomach distends and twists. Symptoms include lethargy, retching, a swollen belly, and excessive drooling. Bloat requires immediate veterinary attention
- Hip Dysplasia: When the hip joint doesn’t fit into the socket properly, causing lameness and pain. Depending on the severity of the condition, treatment involves surgery, physiotherapy, lifestyle changes, and dietary changes
- Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA): An inherited disease that affects the retina of the eye, causing deterioration over time. PRA eventually leads to blindness and can’t be cured
- Hypothyroidism: When the dog’s body doesn’t secrete enough thyroid hormone, causing a slow metabolism. Symptoms include lethargy, obesity, cold sensitivity, and hair loss or thinning. Hypothyroidism is treatable with long-term medication
- Wobbler syndrome: A condition that affects the cervical spine in dogs, causing a distinctive, wobbly gait. Other symptoms include neck pain, stiffness, paralysis, and lameness. Treatment involves surgery, anti-inflammatory medications, and activity restriction
Great Dane Lab Mix Training
Great Dane lab mixes are easy to train because of their intelligence, patience, and eagerness to please. The dogs respond particularly well to reward-based training and high-value treats.
Introduce labradane puppies to all kinds of people, animals, environments, sounds, and situations to help them grow into outgoing, well-adjusted adults. Keep training sessions under 15 minutes and always praise your dog before finishing a session. Don’t use punishments during training because these can cause dogs to become fearful, stressed, or aggressive.
Great Dane Lab Mix Price
Great Dane lab mixes are relatively expensive dogs because they need large amounts of food, regular vet checkups, and frequent grooming. Adopting an adult labradane from a shelter is cheaper than buying this breed as a puppy from a breeder.
How Much Is a Great Dane Lab Mix?
A Great Dane lab mix typically costs $500 to $1,500. Healthy puppies with rare coat colors or prized lineage are the most expensive.
Adopting an adult labradane is a much more affordable option, with adoption fees around $50 to $250 on average. Many rescue shelters cover initial health expenses such as puppy vaccinations, worm treatment, and neutering.
How Much Does it Cost to Own a Great Dane Lab Mix?
Caring for a Great Dane lab mix costs around $150 to $250 per month, which covers necessities such as food, grooming products, vet checkups, treats, and toys.
Expect to pay significantly more in the first year, around $300 to $400 per month, especially if you buy a puppy. This amount covers initial supplies like a leash, bed, and crate, as well as puppy vaccinations and neutering.
Is a Great Dane Lab Mix Right for You?
Great Dane lab mixes are patient, gentle, dependable dogs that make wonderful family companions. These dogs are sure to brighten your home with their playful antics and affectionate natures.
While adaptable, labradanes aren’t suitable for all people, lifestyles, or home environments because of their large stature and proneness to separation anxiety.
Labradanes Are Suitable for:
Great Dane lab mixes thrive with an owner that can walk, train, and groom a dog regularly. These dogs are particularly ideal for families with children and people that spend a lot of time at home.
These dogs do best in households with large, secure yards where they can properly stretch their legs and run around freely. Great Dane lab mixes also need an owner that can afford their care.
Labradanes Are NOT Suitable for:
Great Dane lab mixes aren’t suitable for cramped apartments, inactive families, and people that are anxious around large dogs. People who work long hours should also avoid this mixed breed because the dogs are prone to separation anxiety and don’t tolerate being alone.
As heavy shedders, labradanes aren’t ideal for people that like a clean home environment.