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Breed Profile: Sheprador (German Shepherd / Labrador Mix)

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Breeds By Kate Brunotts 8 min read March 10, 2021

sheprador dog breed

Searching for a sweet, loyal, and playful pooch? The sheprador, sometimes called the Labrashepherd or German sheprador is a mixed breed doggo created by breeding a German shepherd with a Labrador retriever. 

These canine cuties make great pets for the right families, so we’ll discuss everything you need to know about them to determine if they’re a good match for you. 

The Sheprador Breed Profile: Key Takeaways

  • The sheprador is a mixed-breed doggo created by combining a Labrador retriever and a German shepherd. Like most mixed breed puppers, shepradors usually exhibit a combination of their parent breeds’ traits, though they certainly vary a bunch.
  • Shephradors are usually good family dogs, but they aren’t always ideal for first-time owners. Labs and German shepherds can both present some challenges for first-time owners, as can their mixed-breed offspring.
  • If you decide to add a sheprador to your family, be prepared for plenty of training and walks. Early socialization and training are important for keeping your new pooch friendly, and these high-energy doggos need lots of exercise too.

The Sheprador’s Parent Breeds

Shepradors are mixed breed pups, created by crossing a German shepherd and a Labrador retriever. And, as always, it can be helpful to understand the parent breeds to gain insight into a mutt’s potential personality. 

While the distribution of traits is unlikely to be a pure, 50-50 split, it’s still worth considering your pup’s parents to ensure that the sheprador is an ideal choice for your family. 

Labrador Retriever 

Shepradors are part Lab

Half of the sheprador’s personality and appearance can be attributed to the happy-go-lucky Labrador retriever. 

These popular pooches consistently rank as the AKC’s most popular breed and it’s easy to see why. Labradors (and Lab mixes) are usually adaptable, loving dogs that do well with families or single owners as long as their needs are taken care of. 

Modern Labs were bred as bird hunting dogs, and they have a legacy of working all day long and retrieving waterfowl for their people. This ready-to-go nature continues to be seen today as the active Labrador is keen to join you on any adventure (and they’re always happy to take a swim). Labrador retrievers weigh between 50 and 80 pounds and come in golden, chocolate, or black coat variants.

All in all, these pups are well loved for their trainability, friendly nature, and friendship — simply put, they make  amazing canine companions.

That being said, these athletic dogs need a lot of daily exercise to stay mentally stimulated and physically fit. Moreover, Labs may be more predisposed to certain genetic disorders like hip dysplasia or hypothyroidism due to careless practices by some breeders.

German Shepherd 

Shepradors are part GSD

German shepherds (and most German shepherd mixes) are noble allies, who are always apt to be by your side and ready to protect you at a moment’s notice.

These courageous canines are natural all-purpose workers, often a popular dog breed for service work and as part of police task forces. German shepherds are medium to large size dogs weighing between 65 and 90 pounds, but their thick coats can make them look even larger than they are. 

These smart pups were originally bred to herd and protect flocks of sheep as livestock guardians, which is probably where they get their strong work ethic and alert nature.

The German shepherd is a loyal, loving companion that bonds closely with his family. That being said, these pups can be somewhat aloof towards strangers, so puppyhood socialization should be handled with extra care. German shepherd dogs also need ample exercise to satisfy their hard-working attitudes. 

These popular pooches consistently rank as the 2nd most popular breed by the AKC. Just note that they may be susceptible  to conditions like canine hip dysplasia, arthritis, and bloat. German shepherds are highly trainable companions that are happy to accompany you wherever you go. 

The Sheprador: What Do You Get When You Combine Labs & GSDs?

crossing Lab with shepherd

As with any mixed breed dog, it can be difficult to pin down the exact characteristics and personality of the sheprador. Every dog is different, and it’s entirely possible that your sheprador may seem much more like a German shepherd than a Labrador or vice versa. 

That being said, here are some general guidelines of what a sheprador may be like so that you can determine if they’re a good pick for you.

  • Size and Shape: Shepradors are usually medium to large dogs weighing anywhere from 60 to 95 pounds. They’re usually 20 to 25 inches tall though mixed breed doggie dimensions certainly fluctuate. Sherpradors may have a primarily Lab-like build, though they may be a bit more toned and have slightly arched ears due to their German shepherd influence. 
  • Temperament: These pups make excellent watchdogs and family companions though they may not be suited for first time dog owners as they have high activity needs and may be overprotective. The sheprador is lively, always ready for the next adventure, and bonds closely with family members. These loyal dogs make lifelong furry best friends for owners who can keep them mentally and physically engaged as needed. The sheprador craves human companionship and shouldn’t be left alone for long periods of time. 
  • Coat and Colors: The sheprador tends to have a short coat like his Labrador parent, but he can also have a thick coat like the German shepherd. The coat color can vary between black, white, cream, red, grey, and blue or a mixture of these colors.    
  • Intelligence: The sheprador is naturally intelligent due to the quick wit of both of his parents. These people-pleasing pups are fairly easy to train as long as there are some delicious treats involved. You’ll want to make sure you have plenty of puzzle toys around as this smart mixed breed needs to stay mentally stimulated. 
  • Training Challenges: Like any breed, the lovely sheprador comes with his own set of training challenges. These pups can be a bit mouthy, so you’ll have to have plenty of toys around for redirection purposes. In addition, shepradors have high energy levels, so they’ll need to get plenty of exercise and playing sessions or they may become bored and destructive. Shepradors can also be somewhat wary of strangers so you’ll need to focus heavily on the socialization process while your pooch is young. 
  • Grooming: This pooch is likely to shed all over your house so you’ll want to make sure you have a good vacuum available. The sheprador’s short coat should be easy to brush at least once a week. These pups have large ears that should be cleaned regularly to prevent ear infections and should be bathed monthly. 
  • Health: These are generally healthy pups that live around 10 to 12 years. They are unfortunately susceptible to ailments faced by both Labradors and German shepherds. Some of these conditions include hip dysplasia, bloat, and skin issues. As with any dog, the sheprador should have his teeth brushed on a nightly basis. 

Best Families and Owners For Shepradors

A Lab-shepherd mix

Are you thinking of welcoming a loyal, smart sheprador into your life? Here is a quick check to make sure these fantastic dogs are a good fit for your home. 

  • You don’t have dog allergies. Shepradors are prone to heavy shedding, so they won’t be the best pick for owners with bad allergies. You’ll also want to make sure you have time to vacuum the house on a regular basis. 
  • You crave adventure. These pups are certainly not couch potatoes and will need owners who can match their high energy levels. The sheprador is easily prone to boredom so you’ll need to be able to have the time and energy to keep these pups engaged. They have the potential to make great hiking companions or running partners!
  • Someone is usually home. These pups crave human companionship and do best in homes where someone is around to keep them entertained. If this need is left unmet, these pups may be prone to boredom and become destructive. 
  • You’re looking for a running buddy. The sheprador is an active dog who needs ample exercise to stay mentally and physically fit. Make sure you can keep up with this active, lively mixed breed. 
  • You’re interested in training. The smart sheprador loves to learn tricks and perform agility exercises. If you’re interested in teaching complex tricks and training, the sheprador might be the perfect pooch for you. 
  • You have plenty of space. While these medium to large sized dogs are fairly adaptable as long as their needs are met, shepradors certainly appreciate having access to a large fenced-in area where they can burn off some of their boundless energy. 
  • You’re an experienced dog owner. While this isn’t a set in stone rule, shepradors probably aren’t the best pick for first time dog owners. Their high energy levels and occasionally over protective tendencies need to be paired with an owner who can offer firm, focused, and consistent training sessions. 
  • You’re looking for a life-long best friend. Shepradors are incredibly loyal, loving dogs that are sure to leave a pawprint on your heart. If you’re looking for an athletic canine companion, this is a great mixed breed to consider. 

***

It’s clear that the sheprador is an amazing mixed breed with lots of love to give. These canine companions are always ready to join in on the action and are happiest alongside their beloved families. 

Do you have a sweet sheprador? What’s your favorite thing about this unique mixed breed? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!

The springador mixed breed dog
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Written by

Kate Brunotts

Kate is a dog-loving content specialist with over a decade of canine-care experience. She is currently a professional dog walker and pet sitter, with previous experience working at the Heart of Chelsea Animal Hospital in Manhattan. When not spending time with four-footers, she can usually be found crafting top-notch dog-care articles that pet parents can trust. Kate loves dogs of all shapes and sizes, but Bernese Mountain Dogs hold a special place in her heart.

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