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The German Shepherd has a long history of being used as a working dog in military and

police settings because of their protective and loyal natures. In the home, and even without

protection training, the German Shepherd is an excellent guard dog who will not hesitate to

act if they perceive a threat to what they consider their territory or their family. That's not to

say they aren't very loving and affectionate dogs but they do have a very strong drive to

protect. The German Shepherd has to see you as their canine leader so they will look to you

for guidance in all situations rather than acting on their own.

The Labrador, despite being only slightly smaller than the German Shepherd, does not often

make a good guard dog because of their friendly and loving nature. The Lab is extremely

loyal to its family but does not have the same protection and guarding instinct to the level

that the German Shepherd does. While the Bab may bark at an intruder and if there is a real

threat they will likely act, as most canines will, but they should not necessarily be relied upon

to guard the home since they typically have no fear of strangers.

Our next category of comparison is intelligence. Both the German Shepherd and Lab are

considered very intelligent breeds and both excel at different types of speciality work. The

German Shepherd is known for a very high obedience level and willingness to please at a

competition level. They have a very high drive and thrive when they have a job to do.

The Labrador is very similar but excels mostly as a hunting dog retrieving downed game for

its owners and as a scent work dog. Both dogs are used for their sent to work abilities

sniffing out things like drugs or bombs or people.

The German Shepherd is very recognisable because of its thick coat and typical brown and

black markings. And they do have quite a bit of fur which means they shed continuously

year-round with seasonal periods of higher shedding.

The Lab was bred to excel in wetlands and in water so they have a thick undercoat and

water repellent outer coat. Their undercoat sheds frequently year-round and like the German

Shepherd and most double coded breeds, they blow their coat seasonally typically in the

spring and fall.

Both of these breeds will have higher grooming requirements than many other short coded

dog breeds and are considered to be on the larger end of medium-sized breeds. Both are

also known to develop a condition called Hip Dysplasia so extra care needs to be taken to

protect their joints throughout their lives.

The German Shepherd is typically a very high-energy dog that thrives in an environment

where they have the job to do and plenty of exercise. They excel at protection work with the

police and military because of this high-energy and drive to always be doing something.

They do like to be home with their family and will settle in for a night on the couch easily after

they've had a good long play session.

The Lab also tends to have quite a bit of energy and the needs at least a couple of hours

each day for mental and physical stimulation but they are at a slightly lower energy than the

German Shepherd. When conditioned properly they can run, hike, and swim all day and

without this exercise, just like us, they are prone to overeating and gaining weight.

Our final category of comparison is as a family dog. The German Shepherd is extremely

loyal to his family and tends to bond more closely with the person that trains and works with

them the most. Most German shepherds are good with children but play should be

supervised since they are large dogs with a high energy level and may perceive children

playing as a potential threat.

The Labrador is quite laid-back by comparison and makes a wonderful family dog. They will

play and engage with children loving a game of fetch and are watchful but not overly

protective. The Labrador is a medium-size dog so they should of course be supervised

especially around small children who can easily be knocked over or whacked by their always

wagging tail.

And there you have it, the main differences between the German Shepherd and Labrador. I

hope this has given you a bit more insight into two of the most popular breeds in the world so

you can make the best and most informed choice for your next canine companion.

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