So you think it’s time to get yourself a new best friend. Either that or you’re tired of going on walks alone? It could very well be your desire to have a four-legged companion to call your own. In any case, look no further, as we here at DogBreedo got just the read for you.
Today, we put two of the most famous and adorable breeds against each other – the German Shepherd and Labrador. So let’s find out which furry friend will be the best choice for you.
Weight and Size
Your average German Shepherd will be about 60-66 cm in size and weigh 40-45 kg for males. Whereas for females, they are about 55-60cms in size and weigh 35-40 kg.
Your average Labrador on the other hand, will be about 57-62 cm in size and weigh 30-35 kg for males. Whereas for females, they are about 55-60 cm in size and weigh 29-32 kg.
German Shepherds, also known as the Alsatians, are a large breed of wolf like dogs with a slender body, long snout and two pointy ears. As the name suggests, this working breed originated from Germany and was given the name “Alsatian”, by the British later on. They were trained for herding livestock.
These dogs come in the colors tan with a classic black saddle, full black as well as other variations. Their bushy tail is accompanied by a dense and luscious double coat that acts as an insulator in the winter months and also keeps them cool in the summer.
Labradors, also known as the Labrador Retrievers, are a breed of large working dogs with a muscular build, thick long tail and two floppy ears. They originated from Newfoundland and were trained for water sporting and retrieving wild game. These dogs come in the classic blonde or yellow, black and even chocolate. And have a short and coarse coat.
German Shepherds, by nature, are loyal dogs. Their herding past has made them extremely observant as well as vigilant. This makes them amazing companions as they stay close to their owners and of course, fantastic guard dogs due to their protective instincts. They are generally gentle and friendly dogs, but these qualities need to be nurtured right from the beginning with proper socialization and training.
Labradors are also very loyal animals. They are lively, happy and very affectionate. These qualities make them extremely compatible with children. They’re also known to be quite apartment friendly and are easily adaptable to different situations. Interestingly though, they are also not afraid to put up a fight when needed.
See also: 6 Most Affectionate Dog Breeds
German Shepherds, like any dog with a thick double coat, require a good amount of grooming. They are prone to constant shedding. This can easily be combated with consistent brushing and trimming. Avoid shaving off the coat completely, as besides acting as natural protection, it may not grow back properly again. Also avoid excessive bathing, even in the summer months, as this will result in poor skin conditions. Keep a constant eye out for ticks and fleas as well as trim their nails if long.
Labradors, unlike your German Shepherds, are much easier in the grooming department. They do tend to shed and require consistent brushing, cleaning their ears, eyes and trimming their nails. But all in all, avoid frequent baths, as once or twice a month should be sufficient. Make sure you’re also regularly brushing their teeth as doggy dental health is very important.
The monthly maintenance for both these large breeds comes in around Rs 2,500 to 5,500 a month. This amount will obviously differ based on food of choice including pet food, kibbles, whole foods, chew treats and medication such as vaccinations, de-worming tablets, coat vitamins etc.
See also: Dog Breed Selector
Diet and Nutrition
Large breeds such as your German Shepherds and Labradors are prone to obesity, joint pains and other breed specific ailments. Therefore it is highly recommended that you check in with your veterinarian regularly to make sure you’re providing your dog with the most appropriate nutrition and meal plan in accordance with their weight and size.
In addition to that, pay attention and observe your dog’s habits and eating behaviour. Don’t overfeed and avoid table scraps as much as possible.
A good amount of protein like chicken, eggs and fish, starches such as rich vegetables like carrots and pumpkin make excellent meals for your furry friends.
German Shepherds are energetic and ever ready to play. They can easily get aggressive or destructive when bored. Large breeds like these tend to be prone to obesity. Therefore, half an hour to an hour of pure playing fetch, running, swimming or long walks everyday shall be enough to keep your puppy satisfied as well as healthy.
Labradors are also big fans of playtime. They crave activity and can get bored or stressed when not given that attention. Their water sporting past has made this breed a lover of swimming, running, walks and much more. They’re also prone to obesity, so an hour of exercise everyday will be good for your puppy’s health.
German Shepherds are an extremely intelligent breed. They are quick learners and you as an owner will definitely benefit from training them well. If you have kids or elders in your home, it’s a good idea to socialize these dogs to different situations and individuals at a young age. They can easily take advantage of you if not handled properly.
Labradors, just like German Shepherds, are a smart breed. They can very easily be trained right from puppyhood. It’s always a good idea to stimulate your dog’s brain with various games, tricks and puzzles. A few treats are always welcome as encouragement. Proper socialization as well as consistent brushing up of training is the key to a successful dog owner.
In the end, it is up to you to make the right choice on what breed will suit your needs the best. It is also recommended to keep in mind that you should be able to give your pet the proper treatment and love that they deserve.
To know more about these two breeds, read these detailed articles on German Shepherd and Labrador.
Also read: German Shepherd vs Doberman