Mixed breed dogs, such as Labradoodles and Goldendoodles, have become increasingly popular over the past ten years or so. Every year, more and more combination breeds, including the German Shepherd Labradoodle mix, seem to appear.
But are German Shepherd Labradoodles sociable dogs? Does this breed make a good family pet? And are German Shepherd Labradoodle mixes hypoallergenic?
Read this comprehensive guide to learn everything you need about the Labradoodle German Shepherd mix.
What Is A German Shepherd Labradoodle Mix?
As you can probably guess, the German Shepherd Labradoodle Mix is a cross between a Labradoodle and a purebred German Shepherd dog. To add something more to the mix, if an Australian Labradoodle is used, the dog might have some English or American Cocker Spaniel or Irish Water Spaniel genes, too!
All the breeds used in this intriguing hybrid breed were originally bred to do a specific job.
German Shepherd Dogs
The German Shepherd dog was bred to work alongside people as a livestock herding breed, rounding up large animals, such as cattle and sometimes sheep.
These days, you’ll find GSDs working in the police service or in the military as scent dogs or helping to apprehend criminals, control unruly crowds, and the like.
Labradoodles are a popular dog breed that’s created by crossing a purebred Poodle with a purebred Labrador retriever. Australian Labradoodles can also have English or American Cocker Spaniel or Irish Water Spaniel.
The Labrador retriever hails from New Foundland in Canada. These dogs were used to work in the hunting field, primarily to retrieve shot waterfowl from marshy areas or from the water.
Labs are athletic, loyal, trainable dogs that love nothing more than spending time with their human family.
The Poodle was also bred to fulfill a similar role to the Labrador retriever, working in the hunting field as a retriever. These dogs love water and are usually strong swimmers.
Spaniels are also working dogs that were bred to work as bird dogs, retrieving shot birds for hunters. Some varieties of Spaniels are also very accomplished swimmers.
German Shepherd Labradoodle Mix Traits
So, you can see that the GSD Labradoodle mixed breed has a rich history as a working breed. These dogs are literally born to spend their days alongside people, herding, retrieving, and hunting.
What Do German Shepherd Labradoodle Mix Dogs Look Like?
The GSD Labradoodle mix is a relatively modern hybrid breed rapidly gaining traction with dog lovers worldwide.
As far as looks are concerned, this breed can inherit any random blend of traits from any of the parent breeds in each puppy’s ancestry. However, these dogs typically have a muscular physique, a well-proportioned body, and a long tail.
Regarding coat color, it’s really anyone’s guess as to what color each puppy in a litter of Labradoodle German Shepherd mix pups will be!
German Shepherds are typically a mixture of black, tan, and cream. Labrador retrievers are black, yellow, or chocolate, and Poodles can be a multitude of colors, including white, black, cream, brown, red, or apricot, to mention just a few!
That said, GSD Labradoodle mixes are usually gray, sable, black, tan, and cream in combination, depending on which parent dog’s genes are most influential.
Again, it’s pretty much a case of educated guesswork when trying to work out how a German Shepherd Labradoodle mix puppy’s coat will turn out!
However, these dogs generally have medium-length fur that can be either wavy coats like a German Shepherd or more curly like a Labradoodle. The coat is typically a double coat that tends to shed somewhat, depending on the most dominant parent genes.
German Shepherd Labradoodles are generally one of the larger breed hybrid dogs. That’s not surprising when you consider the size of the mix breed’s contributory breeds:
- German Shepherd dog: 50 – 90 pounds, 22 – 26 inches high at the shoulder
- Labrador Retriever: 55 – 80 pounds, 21.5 – 24.5 inches high at the shoulder
- Standard Poodle: 40 – 70 pounds, Over 15 inches high at the shoulder
Using those stats as an average, you can expect your German Shepherd Labradoodle mix to measure around 20.5 inches tall and weigh roughly 65 pounds, give or take.
Of course, some dogs will be larger or smaller than average. Also, males are generally larger than females, so remember to remember when choosing a puppy.
Are German Shepherd Labradoodle Dogs Hypoallergenic?
Labradoodles were originally created to be service dogs with low-shedding coats that would suit allergy sufferers. Although the purebred Labrador has a thick double coat that sheds constantly, the Poodle’s coat is single and barely sheds at all.
So, a Labradoodle can have a coat type that’s straight like the Labradoodle, wavy, or very curly like the Poodle. Straight, “hair” coats shed quite heavily, whereas fleece and curly coats are very light shedders.
In complete contrast, the German Shepherd is a heavy shedder. These dogs shed year round, with a coat blow or massive shedding event, twice a year.
Although you can’t precisely predict what kind of coat your puppy will have, it’s a safe bet that it won’t be a light shedder, so it can’t be considered hypoallergenic.
Regardless of your puppy’s coat type, you will need to brush him regularly.
If your puppy has a straight coat, you’ll need to brush him every couple of days to keep the shedding under control and prevent your home from becoming upholstered in dog fur.
Dogs with curlier coats must be brushed daily to stop the hair from matting. Thick mats can irritate the dog’s skin, potentially causing hotspots and even triggering painful infections, so you must prevent tangles. Curly coats should ideally be professionally clipped or shaved every four to six weeks to make maintenance easier and keep the dog looking tidy.
Do Labradoodle German Shepherd Mixes Make Good Family Pets?
Both parent breeds are loyal family dogs that form strong bonds with their human family, and both are highly social dogs, too.
German Shepherd Labradoodles are happiest when close to their handler. If you leave these pups alone for too long, destructive behaviors can develop, such as excessive barking, chewing, and digging. Stress-related conditions, such as separation anxiety, can also become a problem.
For that reason, if you tend to be away from home or out at work all day, this breed will not be a good choice for you.
Although Labradoodles are usually friendly, lovable dogs that get along well with everyone, including other pets and kids, German Shepherds are more reserved. In some cases, the GSD is known to show aggression.
So, it’s important that you socialize your puppy from day one to curb those undesirable traits. Early training and socialization can also reduce the breed combination’s urge to chase and hunt.
Bearing in mind these character traits, we recommend that you supervise this mixed breed around small kids and other pets.
This combination breed is extremely active and is, therefore, happiest when kept busy with mental and physical exercise and stimulation.
Because of this hybrid dog’s genetic inheritance, these pups will most likely love to spend time in and around water. So, a trip to the lake or to the beach is the perfect day out for this hybrid dog breed. The Labradoodle German Shepherd Dog mix loves a long walk, a game at the dog park, and energetic games, such as fetch or tug-of-war.
German Shepherd Labradoodle Mix Training
This hybrid dog breed loves to learn and please its owner. Many GSD Labradoodle mixes are highly food-oriented, too.
For the best success when training these dogs, always use positive reinforcement and short, fun training sessions so your dog doesn’t lose interest. Never use punishment-based training methods. That can encourage stubbornness and aggression and will destroy that crucial bond you’re trying to build with your dog.
Basic obedience training is essential for these large dogs, but they also love agility training, dock diving, and other canine sports.
German Shepherd Labradoodle Mix Health
Crossbreed dogs, in general, often enjoy better health than purebreds. That’s due to a health advantage known as “hybrid vigor.”
What Is Hybrid Vigor?
Purebred dogs are continually inbred to promote the purity of the breed’s genetic line. Unfortunately, that means the same congenital health defects are carried down the line.
When two purebred dogs of different breeds are crossbred, those conformational and genetic defects are to some extent bred out of the new breed, thanks to what’s called Hybrid Vigor.
That said, it’s still possible that one or two health conditions common to both parent breeds can be passed on to their offspring.
For that reason, you should always use a reputable, responsible breeder who has their breeding dogs health-screened for the following conditions that can affect Labradoodles and German Shepherds:
- Autoimmune thyroiditis
- Cardiac issues
- Centronuclear myopathy
- Degenerative myelopathy
- Exercise-Induced Collapse
- Eye problems
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
- Sebaceous Adenitis
German Shepherd Labradoodle Mix Lifespan
German Shepherd Labradoodle mix dogs generally have a life expectancy that’s influenced by the puppy’s genetic makeup.
GSDs can live from 12 to 14 years. Poodles can live from 10 to 18 years, with smaller types having a longer lifespan. And Labs typically survive from 10 to 12 years.
So, a German Shepherd Labradoodle mix usually has a life expectancy of around 14 years, which is pretty impressive for such a large dog breed. Of course, your puppy’s general health and the level of care he’s given will heavily influence your dog’s lifespan.
Always buy from a reputable breeder to ensure your puppy gets the best start in life and enjoys good health.
German Shepherd Labradoodle Mix – Pros and Cons
If you’re still wondering whether the GSD Labradoodle mix would be a good choice for you, let’s summarize the pros and cons of the breed.
The Good …
Both the German Shepherd and the Labradoodle are known for the loyalty and protectiveness of their human family and home.
The German Shepherd is a brave breed that can be trained as an attack dog, and Labradoodles will bark a warning if they sense danger or detect intruders in their home.
This popular breed will encourage you to do more exercise simply because the breed is extremely active!
You’ll become fitter and healthier as you take your dog for walks and play with him in your backyard. And that has to be a good thing for both of you, right?
German Shepherd Labradoodles are smart dogs that are highly trainable. In fact, this breed’s parent dogs are bred to learn, which is why you see them working in challenging roles with the police force, the military, and as service dogs.
So, training your dog to be obedient and mannerly should be a breeze!
The Bad, And The Ugly …
Of course, these dogs don’t suit everyone’s needs for a canine companion, and there are a few notable downsides to the German Shepherd Labradoodle mix.
These dogs need a lot of exercise every day. If you’re not into exercising in all weathers and you prefer to spend a rainy afternoon vegging out on the couch, a German Shepherd Labradoodle mix is not the ideal furry friend for you.
If you don’t give your pet the exercise he needs, you can expect your dog to become unhappy and potentially destructive.
Labradors can be extremely clingy dogs that follow you around wherever you go. Often, the German Shepherd Labradoodle can inherit that trait. That can cause problems if you work away from home, if you like to go out a lot without your dog, or if you have a young family that demands most of your time.
So, if you can’t stand an in-your-face furry friend or you have young kids that take up most of your time, this mixed-breed pup is not the best fit for you.
If you want a dog that doesn’t shed much, you might be best focusing on a Labradoodle or a Goldendoodle with a very curly coat.
The German Shepherd Labradoodle generally has a straight or wavy coat that does shed. If your puppy inherits more of his GSD parent’s genes, you might end up with a dog that blows his coat twice a year, and that’s not great if you don’t like vacuuming or if you have allergies.
Is The German Shepherd Labradoodle A Good Fit For You?
So, if you’re active and have plenty of time to devote to training and socializing your dog, this mixed breed could be a good choice.
The German Shepherd Labradoodle is probably not a good choice for you if you have a demanding job that takes you away from home a lot or if you have a young family. Also, those with pet allergies should not choose a German Shepherd Labradoodle.
Where To buy A German Shepherd Labradoodle Puppy
The German Shepherd Labradoodle is a relatively new hybrid crossbreed that is not as easy to find as a regular Labradoodle.
Be sure to do plenty of research into a breeder before you part with your cash and bring a puppy home. Remember, you want a reputable breeder who has their breeding dogs health-screened for genetic health conditions and produces healthy, well-socialized puppies. If you want to see documentary proof that any tests have been carried out, don’t just take the breeder’s word for that.
Ask the breeder to let you see the parent dogs and any other puppies they have available. The dogs should appear happy and interested in what’s going on around them.
Since this crossbreed has yet to gain popularity, you can often find puppies for around $1,000 or a little less. However, a very cheap puppy could be from a puppy mill, so always be prepared to spend more to get a well-bred, healthy pup.
Did you enjoy our guide to German Shepherd Labradoodles? If the information contained in the guide was helpful, please share it.
The German Shepherd Labradoodle is becoming a popular breed that’s created from a Labradoodle and a German Shepherd dog. These energetic dogs can make good family pets, but they demand a lot of one-to-one attention, training, and exercise, so they are better suited to a single-parent household without young children.
Do you have a German Shepherd Labradoodle? Tell us about your furry friend in the comments box below.