When it comes to choosing a dog, there are many factors to consider. Some people might be looking for a guard dog, while others might want a cuddly companion.

With so many different breeds of dogs out there, it can be hard to decide which one is right for you. In this blog post, we will compare two popular breeds of dogs: the German Shepherd and the Labrador Retriever.

We will look at their characteristics and see which one would be the best fit for your lifestyle!

Which One Is Better Between a German Shepherd and a Labrador?

Choosing between the German Shepherd and the Labrador can be tough. They are both great breeds of dogs with their own unique set of qualities. Read the following sections to see which dog would be the best fit for you!

Appearance

German Shepherds are large dogs with a strong, muscular build. They have a long head and nose, and their ears stand erect. Their coat is thick and dense, and can be either short or long.

Labrador Retrievers are also large dogs, but they have a more athletic build than German Shepherds. They have a shorter head and nose, and their ears hang down. Their coat is thick, but not as dense as a German Shepherd’s, and can be either short or long.

German Shepherds are usually black, tan, or black and silver. Labrador Retrievers can be black, chocolate, or yellow.

When it comes to German Shepherds vs Labrador Retrievers, there is no clear winner in the appearance department. It simply comes down to personal preference.

Size

German Shepherds are larger than Labs, standing 22-26 inches tall at the shoulder and weighing anywhere from 50-90 pounds. Labs are considerably smaller, with a height of 21-24 inches and a weight of 55-80 pounds.

Height

As mentioned, German Shepherds are taller than Labs. However, height isn’t always an indicator of size.

German Shepherds tend to be longer in the body than Labs, with a slighter build and less bulk overall.

Weight

German Shepherds are also generally heavier than Labs. However, there is more variation in weight within each breed than there is between the breeds.

There are “standard” German Shepherds and “oversized” German Shepherds, both of which fall within the acceptable range for the breed. The same is true of Labs, with “standard” and “oversized” varieties.

german shepherd vs labrador - two dogs with different fur colors sitting at the forest like

Coat Colors

German Shepherds can come in a variety of colors including black, tan, cream, and red. They can also have either long or short hair.

Labrador Retrievers are usually black, yellow, or chocolate brown. They have short, thick fur that doesn’t require much grooming.

You cannot compare the two breeds based on coat color alone. After all, they are two very different dogs that were bred for different purposes.

Physical Needs

German Shepherds are large, active dogs, while Labradors are medium-sized and require less exercise.

German Shepherds need a lot of space to run and play, while Labradors can be happy with a smaller yard or even just a few walks each day.

Energy Level

Both breeds need more than an hour of exercise every day to stay healthy. Therefore, you need to exert effort in giving German Shepherds and Labradors their daily exercise needs.

Labradors are less active indoors and are happy to lounge around the house, while German Shepherds need more of a challenge to stay occupied.

This means that German Shepherds are better suited for families with an active lifestyle, while Labradors can do well in a more laid-back home.

Exercise Needs

To keep a German Shepherd in good health, they need a lot of exercise – at least two hours every day. They are an energetic breed that loves to run and play.

German Shepherds are also very intelligent, so they need mental stimulation as well as physical activity.

A Labrador Retriever also needs a lot of exercise – about 80 minutes per day. They are a high-energy breed that loves to run, play fetch, and swim.

Labs also need mental stimulation, but not as much as German Shepherds. They are a very intelligent breed, but they are not as high-energy as German Shepherds.

Temperament

German Shepherds are highly intelligent, obedient and protective dogs. They have a strong work ethic and are often used in law enforcement and the military.

German Shepherds were bred to be loyal companions and working dogs, and they excel at both of these tasks.

Labrador Retrievers are also intelligent and obedient, but they were bred as hunting dogs and retrievers.

Labradors are known for their friendly, outgoing nature and their love of water.

Playfulness

The German Shepherd is an intelligent breed that is easy to train. They are also very playful and enjoy playing with their owners.

The Labrador retriever is also a very playful breed, which means that you will often find them fetching balls or chasing after Frisbees.

Behavior Towards Children

Both breeds are great with children and make excellent family pets. German Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers are both loyal, protective, and loving dogs.

However, you might need to exercise supervision when a German Shepherd is around small children. This is because German Shepherds can be a bit too protective for young kids.

Labradors, on the other hand, are very patient and gentle with children. They are also less likely to jump on or knock over a small child.

Behavior Towards Other Pets

German Shepherds are not always the best around other animals. This is due to their aggressive and territorial nature. They have been known to attack smaller pets, such as cats and rabbits.

On the other hand, Labrador Retrievers are typically very good with other animals. They are gentle by nature and usually get along well with others, including other dogs.

So, if you have other pets in your home, a Labrador Retriever may be the better choice for you. German Shepherds can be trained to get along with other animals, but it will take some extra time and effort on your part.

Behavior Towards Strangers

German Shepherds are bred as working dogs, so their natural temperament is to be reserved and protective of their family and property.

Labrador Retrievers are bred as gun dogs, so they have a natural tendency to be friendly and outgoing. This difference in temperament can be seen in how each breed behaves towards strangers.

German Shepherds will often be wary of strangers, while Labradors will usually greet them with a wagging tail. German Shepherds may bark at strangers as a warning, while Labradors are more likely to just start barking because they’re excited.

If you’re looking for a dog who is going to be friendly towards everyone, a Labrador is probably a better choice. But if you’re looking for a dog who will be more protective of your home and family, a German Shepherd is the better breed.

Health

German Shepherds are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, while Labradors are not. German Shepherds also have a higher incidence of degenerative myelopathy, while Labradors do not.

Lifespan

German Shepherds have an average lifespan of about 11 years while Labrador Retrievers live an average of 12 years. German Shepherds are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, a degenerative joint disease that can cause pain and lameness.

Labradors are also susceptible to this condition, as well as other health problems such as obesity, cancer, and hip dysplasia. However, with proper nutrition and exercise, both breeds can enjoy long, healthy lives.

Shedding

Shedding is one of the most important considerations when choosing a German Shepherd vs Labrador. German Shepherds are known for their heavy shedding, while Labradors shed less than German Shepherds.

A Labrador is probably a better choice if you’re looking for a dog that won’t leave your furniture covered in hair. However, Labradors still shed throughout the year; just not as much as German Shepherds do.

Grooming

When it comes to grooming, German Shepherds are much higher maintenance than Labradors. German Shepherds need to be brushed at least once a week, and they also need to be bathed more often than Labradors.

This is because German Shepherds have a double coat, which means that they shed more than Labradors. Labradors only need to be brushed once a week, and they only need to be bathed every few months.

Drooling

Drooling is not usually a problem with German Shepherds, as they are less likely to do so than many other breeds. Labs have a reputation for drooling, especially if they are hungry or excited.

If you’re looking for a neat and tidy dog, the German Shepherd is probably a better choice.

Weight Gain Tendency

German Shepherds are more likely to gain weight than Labrador Retrievers. If you’re not careful with your German Shepherd’s diet, they can easily become overweight.

Even though Labradors are prone to obesity, too, they don’t gain weight as easily as German Shepherds. If you’re feeding your Labrador the right amount of food, they shouldn’t have any trouble maintaining a healthy weight.

Common Diseases

Some common diseases that German Shepherds and Labradors are susceptible to include hip and elbow dysplasia, cancer, diabetes, and joint problems.

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

Hip and elbow dysplasia are common joint problems that can affect German Shepherds and Labradors. These conditions are caused by a malformation of the hip or elbow joint, which can lead to pain and arthritis.

Cancer

Cancer is a leading cause of death in German Shepherds and Labradors. Some common types of cancer that affect these breeds include lymphoma, bone cancer, and breast cancer.

Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition that German Shepherds and Labradors are prone to developing. This disease occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin or is unable to use insulin properly.

Allergies

German Shepherds and Labradors are also prone to developing allergies. Some common allergens that can affect these breeds include pollen, dust, and flea bites.

German Shepherds are particularly susceptible to skin allergies.

Training

Training is where German Shepherds and Labradors differ most. German Shepherds are bred as working dogs, and their training reflects this.

They are intelligent, obedient, and eager to please, making them easy to train for a variety of tasks.

Labradors, on the other hand, are bred as hunting dogs and retriever dogs. This means that their training is focused on scent work and retrieving.

Both German Shepherds and Labradors are highly trainable dogs, but their training will be different depending on their breed.

Difficulty Level

It is easier to train a German Shepherd than a Labrador Retriever. German Shepherds are bred to be working dogs, and they have a higher drive to please their owners.

Labs are bred as hunting dogs and have a strong instinct to retrieve. This can make training labs more difficult because they often want to do their own thing.

Intelligence

Intelligence is one of the German Shepherd’s most well-known traits. They were bred for their working abilities, and their intelligence makes them quick learners.

German Shepherds are known for being loyal, obedient, and protective of their families. They make great guard dogs and are excellent at obedience training.

Tendency to Bark

German Shepherds will bark more often than Labradors. This is due to their bred history as German Shepherds were originally bred for herding and guarding sheep.

On the other hand, Labradors were bred as hunting dogs so they tend to be less vocal.

Mouthiness

Mouthiness is another area where these two breeds differ. German Shepherds are notorious for their mouthiness, which can be a problem if not properly trained and socialized.

On the other hand, Labs are known for being much less mouthy. This doesn’t mean that Labs don’t like to chew – they just tend to do it in a less destructive way.

Tendency to Chase

German Shepherds are more likely to chase small animals and birds than Labradors. This is because they were bred to herd livestock, while Labradors were bred as hunting dogs.

German Shepherds are also more likely to guard their territory, which can make them less friendly with strangers.

On the other hand, Labradors are known for being friendly and good with children. They are also less likely to bark than German Shepherds.

So, if you’re looking for a watchdog, a German Shepherd is probably your best bet. But if you want a laid-back family dog, a Labrador is probably the better choice.

Adaptability

In terms of adaptability, the German Shepherd is a more versatile breed. They can be comfortable in most climates and environments and are less likely to experience separation anxiety than Labradors.

German Shepherds also tend to be less vocal, making them better suited for apartments or other noise-sensitive situations.

Labradors are very social dogs that require a lot of attention and interaction with their owners. They are not the best choice for someone who is gone all day or lives in a small space.

Apartment Living

German Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers are both popular dog breeds, but which one is better for apartment living?

German Shepherds need a lot of exercise, so they may not be the best breed for people who live in small apartments. On the other hand, Labrador Retrievers are known for being calm and easygoing, so they may be a better choice for apartment dwellers.

Just make sure to commit to taking your dog for walks or to the dog park on a regular basis, no matter which breed you choose.

New Owners

When it comes to meeting new owners, German Shepherds are usually the more aloof of the two breeds. Labs are known for their outgoing and friendly nature, while German Shepherds tend to be a bit more reserved.

However, both breeds are quick to warm up to their new families and make loyal, loving companions.

Sensitivity

German Shepherds are highly sensitive dogs. They are able to pick up on the slightest change in their environment and respond accordingly. This makes them excellent guard dogs and loyal companions.

Labrador Retrievers, on the other hand, are known for their laid-back attitude. They are friendly and outgoing, which makes them great family pets.

However, their relaxed nature also means that they may not be as alert to changes in their surroundings.

Being Alone

German Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers are both social breeds that do not like to be left alone for long periods of time. If you are gone all day, it’s important to have someone check on your dog or take them for a walk.

German Shepherds may be more prone to separation anxiety than Labradors, but both breeds need plenty of attention and interaction.

Cold Weather

German Shepherds are known for their double coats, which keep them warm in cold weather. Labrador Retrievers have a single coat, which means they don’t have the same insulation against the cold.

If you live in an area with cold winters, a German Shepherd may be a better choice.

Hot Weather

German Shepherds are not good at tolerating hot weather. They are prone to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Their thick coats make them vulnerable to overheating.

Labradors, on the other hand, are much better at handling hot weather. They have a light coat that doesn’t insulate them as much as German Shepherds. This makes it easier for them to stay cool in the heat.

Feeding

Both German Shepherds and Labradors need high-quality diets that are nutritious and well-balanced. German Shepherds require about 30% more calories than Labradors since they are larger dogs.

German Shepherds also need more protein in their diet than Labradors.

german shepherd vs labrador - two dogs with different breed playing at the snow field

How Often

When it comes to feeding German Shepherds and Labradors, both breeds should be fed twice a day. German Shepherds will need more food than Labradors since they are larger dogs.

German Shepherds also need more protein, so their meals should be slightly different than Labradors. German Shepherds require a high-quality diet that is nutritious and well-balanced.

How Much 

Feeding German Shepherds and Labradors two to three cups of food per day is sufficient. German Shepherds will require more food than Labradors, so make sure to adjust the amount you are feeding them accordingly.

FAQs

Who is smarter, Labrador or German Shepherd?

There is no definitive answer to this question since both breeds are intelligent. German Shepherds are known for their obedience and loyalty, while Labradors are known for their eagerness to please and trainability. However, it really depends on the individual dog when it comes to determining who is smarter.

Will a Lab and German Shepherd get along?

Yes, German Shepherds and Labradors can get along. Both breeds are known for their friendly and outgoing nature. However, it’s important to introduce them slowly and make sure they have plenty of time to get to know each other.

Who would win in a fight between a German Shepherd and Labrador?

German Shepherds are larger and more muscular than Labradors. They also have a higher pain tolerance. However, Labradors are known for their tenacity. If a fight were to break out between these two breeds, it’s hard to say who would come out on top.

Which dog is the best for first-time owners, a German Shepherd or Labrador?

Labradors are generally considered to be the better breed for first-time owners. They are known for their trainability and eagerness to please. German Shepherds are also intelligent and loyal, but they may be too much dog for a first-time owner.

Which pet is more friendly, German Shepherd or Labrador?

Labradors are friendlier than German Shepherds. German Shepherds are loyal and protective, but they can be aloof with strangers. Labradors are outgoing and eager to please, which makes them more approachable to people who don’t know them.

Which breed has less maintenance cost? Lab or GSD?

German Shepherds have higher maintenance costs than Labradors. German Shepherds need more exercise, training, and grooming than Labradors. They also tend to be less healthy overall, which can result in higher veterinary bills.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to German Shepherd vs Labrador, there is no clear-cut answer. Both breeds make excellent pets and loyal companions. The decision of which breed to choose ultimately comes down to personal preference.

If you are looking for a large, active dog that will require plenty of exercise, then the German Shepherd may be the better choice. If you are looking for a smaller, more laid-back dog, then the Labrador may be a better fit. Whichever breed you choose, you are sure to have a furry friend for life.

Rate this post

Was this article helpful?

👍 👎
×

How can we improve it?

×

We appreciate your helpul feedback!

Your answer will be used to improve our content. The more feedback you give us, the better our pages can be.

Follow us on social media:

Facebook Pinterest

Author

by Nicole Barnett

Nicole has been a freelance writer for over 10 years. She has three dogs, two of which she rescued from the streets. When not furiously typing away at her computer, you’d either find her chasing after her adorable dogs and kids, or volunteering at a local shelter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our Newsletter

    https://doggosdaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/dots.png
    https://doggosdaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/dots.png
    Icons-PawsitiveFood
    _Health
    Icons-PawsitiveTraining
    Icons-PawsitiveGrooming
    Icons-PawsitivePlay
    bt_bb_section_top_section_coverage_image
    Rate this post

    ×

    How can we improve it?









    ×

    We appreciate your helpul feedback!

    Your answer will be used to improve our content. The more feedback you give us, the better our pages can be.

    Follow us on social media:

    Facebook
    Pinterest

    Author