When shopping around for a new dog, you have an abundance of options. Between purebred and mixed breed dogs, there are upwards of 300 recognized breeds! Great Danes and Labradors are very popular throughout society today, but what if you could have the best of both worlds?
The Great Dane Lab mix, otherwise known as the Labradane, is a big dog, standing at about 30″ tall and weighing about 120 pounds. They are known as loving, playful, energetic, and caring pups who will stop at nothing to make their owners happy!
Mixing breeds is a highly controversial issue among dog owners. The combining of the Great Dane and the Labrador can pose a few health risks associated with each individual breed. I’ve compiled an entire guide on what you need to know about the Labradane!
The Labradane is a mix between a Labrador retriever and a Great Dane. Both of these dogs are known to be active and playful. There are a ton of loveable qualities about this mix.
Even though there are so many great aspects, Labradanes are not the best mix for everyone. They are pretty big and can be intimidating. They require lots of attention and exercise. In addition, Labradanes do have a few known health problems.
To get to know the Labradane completely, we will need to break it down a little bit further.
The personality of a dog is more often than not based upon that of its parents.
The Labradane is known for its loving, gentle personality. Labradors and Great Danes often have very similar personalities, so this really might be the best of both worlds!
Both breeds are known to be very good with families and children, so the offspring are known to be a family dog. This is the means for making the Labradane a definite candidate for guarding your home and taking on babysitting duty.
Great Danes often have a tendency to be fairly laid back and relaxed. They enjoy lounging around the house and light playtime with those around them
Labrador Retrievers are known as one of the most popular dogs throughout the United States. In their first few years, Labradors can be extremely active and hyper, while still avoiding any violent tendencies.
It is often said that Labrador temperament varies based on their color, but it is more often based on their breeder and how they are raised, just as it is with most dogs.
The Labradane is no different!
Although it is likely that the personalities of the parents of your Labradane will pass down, your influence on this dog’s life will shape how he trusts or views people, other dogs, and the world around him!
Labradanes, more often than not, are very playful and excited, but will still retain themselves and obey their owners if need be.
They have a special place in their heart for humans, and love to bond, connect and play with them.
Great Danes do have a habit of occasionally being somewhat stubborn. This could subtly pass onto their Labradane children but can be accounted for through training.
In total, your Labradane will have an abundance of love, excitement, and energy! He will love to please you, exercise with you, hunt with you like his ancestors, or simply lounge around with you and just enjoy your company (like his other ancestors)!
Great Danes and Labradors are both known to be very obedient and “people pleasing” dogs. This usually makes training go smoothly when the trainer knows what he or she is doing.
Great Danes have a history of assisting hunters and living alongside royalty, as well as competing in obedience competitions around the world.
Labradors are very intelligent and highly trainable. They love to please their owners!
I won’t lie to you, Labradors can be a bit wild in the beginning. Training at home or attending obedience school almost always proves to benefit these dogs substantially.
This mix may not be the best for an inexperienced trainer.
Because of these, the Labradane has the potential to be a very obedient, intelligent, and understanding member of your family.
The Great Dane is a huge dog, and no one will argue that. Labradors are medium to large in stature, making the Labradane a pretty sizable gentle giant.
Great Danes often grow in their adult years to an average of about 30″ tall, weighing anywhere from 120-200 pounds!
See what I mean? Great Danes are giants.
Adult Labrador Retrievers most often stand at about 23″ tall and weigh around 70 pounds. Labs are a bit smaller than Great Danes, but when combined, the size of the Labradane often reflects the size of their Great Dane parent.
A fully grown Labradane might weight a bit less than a Great Dane. They usually stand at around 28-30″ tall and weigh about 100 – 130 pounds.
The size will depend on which parent the Labradane takes after more. It’s hard to predict. Even pups within the same litter can vary vastly in the appearance and size department.
If you are thinking about getting a Labradane, you better find a big bed and have a lot of extra space! A big yard with a tall fence is recommended as well.
Coats will commonly be on the shorter side of the spectrum and come in brown, brindle, gray, or black.
A Labradane will be slender but muscular. Additionally, he or she will have floppy ears that need to be cleaned well.
Many breeds face health issues. Mix breeds will face the most risk for health problems that are common in both parent breeds.
Crossbreeding dogs is a highly controversial issue among the breeding community. Some say that this can cause hereditary health issues for the breeds and can affect the entire breed long term.
We will discuss this later on, but regardless of the controversy, health risks can be passed on from parent to child, no matter the breed.
In this case, there are a few issues prone to the Great Dane and the Labrador the could be a future issue for the Labradane. These are:
- Hip Dysplasia
The Great Dane, being such a large dog, automatically faces a number of health risks.
One of the leading killers of Great Danes is bloat.
Bloat is a medical condition in which the dog’s stomach is filled with excess gas and will expand to the point that it twists, and can be fatal to the animal.
This tragic condition is caused by ingesting large amounts of food in one sitting.
Unfortunately, this is highly common among large dogs and regrettably ill-informed owners. In order to avoid bloat, large dogs must be fed their daily intake in several smaller meals (at least 3) throughout each day.
Another risk that Great Danes face is cardiomyopathy. Cardiomyopathy is a heart muscle disease resulting from large hearts, common among very large dogs.
This can be managed through medication from your veterinarian, but unfortunately can shorten the life of your dog.
One of the most common risks a Labrador faces is hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is a hip socket irregularity, often being passed down from parents.
This irregularity is somewhat common among large dogs, including both the Labrador and the Great Dane, but is more commonly an issue in Labradors due to their active lifestyles.
It is unfortunate that these health issues can be passed onto Labradanes. Although, these conditions can often be avoided!
One of the most important and overlooked aspects of being a dog owner is the fact that you are caring for a living thing with feelings! Your dog looks up to you and wants to care for you, so you should take care of it!
One of the surest ways to extend your pet’s life and keep them happy is by living a healthy lifestyle!
Dog foods that contain organic ingredients as well as plenty of fats and proteins are very important to keep an active, energetic dog like the Labradane healthy and happy.
Always be sure to take your Labradane to your local veterinarian at least once every year in order to keep your dog in the healthiest condition possible.
I know, I know. It seems like a Labradane just comes with a bunch of health problems! Remember, these all can be avoided. Better yet, there is a silver lining that comes with the Great Dane Labrador mix!
Great Danes are large dogs, and take a lot of power to keep going. They usually have a life expectancy of about 7-10 years. This is mostly due to their size and weight.
The Labrador, on the other hand, mostly because of the size difference, has an average life expectancy of about 10-12 years! Because of this, the Labrador blood will likely extend the life expectancy of your gentle giant by at least a few years.
It all depends on how well you take care of them!
Great Dane Origins
If you had a time machine, where/when would you go? I know where/when I’d go.
I would want to go back to 16th century Europe and find myself a Great Dane! Back in these days, hunters were searching desperately for a companion to assist them in hunting deer, wolves, and the famous European wild boar.
After trial and error over and over, the hunters finally decided on the Great Dane. The Great Dane was brave, tough, and fast.
After becoming more familiar with the dog, hunters would let their Great Dane loose to track and chase down the wild boar. As the hunter made their shot, their trusty Great Dane would tackle and hold down the beast until hunters could finish the job.
Gruesome, yes, but necessary in that day and age.
The Great Dane proved to be a worthy companion of these hunters. After many years of running side by side, Great Danes began to be exclusively adopted by royalty and the elite upper class.
These “boarhounds” were known throughout the continent as tough, loving, and brave warriors with big teeth and a bigger heart.
Eventually renamed the “German Mastiff”, and then the Great Dane, the gentle giants slowly gained the interest of the rest of the world.
Today, Great Danes are members of families all around the world through all social and economic classes.
They are known to love, care for, and protect their families with strength and courage that is exclusively known as that of none other than the Great Dane.
The Labrador Retriever is in a class of Sporting Dogs.
The actual origin of the Labrador is unknown. Although, the earliest ancestor of the Labrador is from Newfoundland, Canada and was referred to as a St. John’s Dog.
St. John’s Dogs were bred actively as Newfoundland fisherman became more prominent in the 1500s.
The St. John’s Dog was used to catch fish that had fallen off fishermen’s hooks, or to haul out fishing lines through the water. The dogs loved their job. They were eager to please the fishermen, and seemed to enjoy swimming around catching fish!
It is said that the fishermen and their dogs would work for hours and hours in the cold water catching fish all day, only to come home to the families of the fishermen so they could play with the dog.
These dogs worked and played until they physically couldn’t anymore!
Owners of these dogs must be careful when working or playing with the dog in warm or hot weather. They will work or play until their physical capability is reached and they overheat!
These truly are exuberant dogs.
Although hunting has been a popular use of Labradors for many years, these dogs have become a family favorite all around the world. Labrador Retrievers are known by families for their gentle, loyal, and fun loving personality!
When combined with the Great Dane, you get a dog that has a good amount of energy, but can control it because of the hunting background. Labradanes are excellent family dogs and will stick by your side.
What a Labradane Needs
With such a great mix, it seems like you might be saving up your money to get a Labradane.
All these great qualities and needs mean that you need to prepare yourself.
So here is just a quick list of things you need to do mentally and physically if you are going to take care of a Lab / Great Dane mix:
- Lots of room – as we touched on before, a big dog with energy will need a lot of space to play. Make sure there is a good play area or you’ll find your pup bumping into your things all day long.
- Moderate level of activity – Great Danes are not known to be the most active dogs out there, but when a Lab is thrown into the mix, there will need to be a regular exercise to keep a Labradane healthy. There should be at least 45 – 60 minutes dedicated to keeping this mix healthy every single day. This means you will have to make time to take your pup on a walk or run every day.
- Weekly brushing – even though this mix does not have a ton of fur, your Labradane will shed moderately. This means you should brush him or her once a week. Don’t forget to clip nails and clean ears regularly.
If you feel like you are going to be able to provide these things to support a loving Labradane, you are ready!