It is normal to see two strong breeds, with different temperaments and personalities like the German Shepherd and the Labrador, and to imagine both dogs sharing a home. Will they get along? Or will there be some tension between them because of toys and space?
To know if it would work to put a German Shepherd and a Labrador to live together in harmony, we must know these dogs more thoroughly.
Can German Shepherds And a Labrador Get Along Together?
The coexistence between different dogs in the same house is not usually something simple. They can get along and become best friends or it can become a whole war camp.
So how can you introduce German Shepherds and Labradors to a familiar environment? To know this, it is important to compare the similarities and differences of both breeds.
Keep in mind that this will give you a general idea of what to expect because regardless of their breed; every dog has its own personality.
Personality of the German Shepherd
They are loyal, strong, obedient dogs with a balanced temperament and a great capacity for work. Thanks to these personality traits, they are the police dogs per excellence.
The German Shepherd gets along well with people, children and other animals, but due to their protective instincts, they tend to be distrustful of strangers.
Even so, they do not usually behave aggressively, first they analyze the situation and do not attack without reason.
Like the Labrador, they don’t like to be alone too much, and have an enormous loyalty to their owner. This breed is considered smart and easy to train.
Personality of the Labrador
One of the most notable aspects about the Labrador Retriever is its character due to its friendly appearance and exceptionally sociable character. They are faithful, loving, calm, very energetic dogs.
Besides, they are sociable, with people (including unknown people) and get along with other dogs; they are usually not aggressive which makes them ideal for a family environment, including homes with children.
They possess good emotional stability and mature at a relatively fast rate, due to the fact that between 6 and 12 months of age they reach their adult height.
Like German Shepherds, Labradors are full of energy so they also need obedience training and daily exercise, preferably from an early age to prevent them from becoming destructive or very difficult to control.
In addition, they are very protective with their families and the home in general; they develop a deep bond, so they do not like to be too much time alone.
HOW DO YOU INTRODUCE A GERMAN SHEPHERD AND A LABRADOR?
You must know that when presenting two dogs that are going to live together (no matter which is their breed) a good first impression is fundamental, it is necessary that everything is calm and is taken in a natural way.
Dogs are territorial animals and if they feel that a new animal is invading their space there, can be problems of aggressiveness and even try to attack the other dog.
For this kind of introduction, is better to do it in a neutral place, where none feels invaded or threatened by the presence of the other.
The best places are canine park, square, or any place that is outdoors where there’s also other distractions, like sounds, people walking, other dogs around, etc. With the purpose of avoiding tension between both.
Once they are both in the same space, we should not force the situation. Neither make them love each other, nor even make them look each other in the eyes in a mandatory way, or they might confuse this act and react in a bad way.
Although when it comes to a German Shepherd and a Labrador, the good news is that both breed are very calm in general.
The German Shepherd can be fine with other dogs without problems as long as both are properly socialized and the situation is calm, although it will surely try to deal with any irregular situation.
On the other hand, a positive characteristic of the Labrador is that these dogs when finding themselves in a tense situation with another dog, generally will have a little more peaceful attitude, they usually avoid problems.
Labradors are dogs that transmit more positivism. Therefore, if they are two well-educated dogs, the presentation will be much easier.
HOW TO HAVE A PLEASANT ENVIRONMENT AT HOME FOR BOTH DOGS?
Once the presentation between both dogs has been successful, in order to have a German Shepherd and a Labrador at home, the main thing you must have is enough space for both.
Since they are large breeds, that have a lot of energy and love to play, they will need daily walks, exercises, stimuli, attention from their owner and much more.
Each dog should have its own space and its belongings, such as feeders and watering troughs for each one, which are separated, also each one should have its bed, and preferably, it should be in separate places.
And their own toys! But we can keep the toys stored when each one has gotten used to living with the other, this with the purpose of avoiding possible fights.
This will be different when time passes and they adapt to each other and learn to get along without any kind of non-rivalry, in that case, they can have their things close to each other without problems.
HOW TO KNOW IF THEY ARE NOT COMPATIBLE.
When having both dogs in the house, it is important to be attentive to the signs, and the way they relate to each other, you have to be patient if at first they don’t get along well.
It will not always be about the breed, maybe they were just used to a lifestyle and now one of them feels there is an intruder.
However, in case there are grunts or small habitual fights between them at the beginning, by any of the two, do not allow the dogs to maintain this type of attitude.
In case of fight, it is always better to separate the dog that has the aggressive behavior and then it is necessary to hope that they relax.
To separate them, you can pull the leash or in case they don’t have it on, you can use options such as putting a barrier, making a sound that scares them or even you can throw water on them.
If the fights start to get serious and create situations that get out of control, you need a visit from a professional who will guide you with guidelines and advice appropriate for your particular case.
However, as we have mentioned, the German Shepherd is not an aggressive dog by nature. On the contrary, it tends to be alert, but does not attack without reason and Labradors are friendly so we can hope for the best.
Both dogs are very familiar, sociable, protective, but not aggressive without reason. So if there is a good first impression between them, plus a previous training and socialization, adding enough space and love for both equally, will make these two breeds live together in harmony without problems, it would only be a matter of time!