The Labradane is a Great Dane Labrador Retriever mix breed. Discover everything you need to know about the big, friendly Great Dane Lab mix dog.
This intelligent, gentle giant may seem intimidating, but it’s friendly with people and other dogs. With hunting dogs for parent breeds, this energetic mix loves walks and large yards.
What’s In This Guide
Labradane: Breed At A Glance
- Popularity: Ranked 5th most popular mixed breed in a 2016 survey
- Purpose: Companion or guard dog
- Weight: 100-180 pounds
- Temperament: Friendly and energetic
Great Dane Lab Mix Breed Review: Contents
- History and original purpose of the Labradane
- Labradane appearance
- Labradane temperament
- Training and exercising your Labradane
- Labradane health and care
- Do Labradane make good family pets
- Rescuing a Labradane
- Finding a Labradane puppy
- Raising a Labradane puppy
- Labradane products and accessories
History and Original Purpose of the Great Dane Lab Mix
First used for fishing in Newfoundland, the Labrador Retriever began its popularity as a hunting dog named for its ability to retrieve downed game. The breed has gained favor outside the hunting realm as a family pet and service dog.
Great Danes originate from 17th century Germany where they were used to hunt wild boars. Though no longer boar hunters, Great Danes’ gentle nature also makes them suitable service and companion animals.
Great Dane Lab Mix Appearance
As a mix, you can expect you Labradane to look something like its parent breeds.
With two large parent breeds, you can expect your Labradane to be big. However, coat and eye color are up to chance, as both Labs and Great Danes come in a wide variety of hues.
A popular mix is a Black Lab Great Dane mix which usually produces a mostly black dog.
Labrador Retriever Appearance
Labrador Retrievers are medium to large dogs, weighing 55 to 80 pounds and standing between 21.5 and 24.5 inches tall.
Labradors have a short, dense double coat: a thick undercoat for warmth and a waterproof top coat.
According to the AKC, Labs come in three recognized colors — yellow, black, and chocolate — but you may also see silver, white, or fox red Labs. The latter two are hues of yellow, whereas silver is a shade of chocolate.
Standard Labs have triangle-shaped ears set far back and laying close to the head. They typically have brown or hazel eyes and medium length muzzles with black noses (brown for chocolate Labs).
Deviating from breed standards, there are also Labs with pink noses and golden eyes.
Great Dane Appearance
Some of the biggest dogs out there, Great Danes weigh between 110 and 175 lbs and standing between 28 to 32 inches tall.
Great Danes have deep set eyes and high set ears which fold over similarly to the Lab. Cropped ears are also common, and point straight up.
Their coat is short and sleek, and unlike Labs, Great Danes come in a multitude of colors. Of these, the harlequin color can be problematic and cause embryonic death.
Puppies with two copies of the problem gene die in the womb. Harlequins that survive have a different genotype than the embryonic lethal puppies.
The merle gene is also associated with deafness.
Lab and Great Dane Mixes
Based on the parent breeds, you can expect your Labradane to be large, have a short coat and floppy ears. The rest, however, is up to fate (and genetics).
Great Dane Lab Mix Temperament
As a designer dog, your Great Dane and Lab mix could take after either breed, although both are generally friendly.
Labrador Retrievers are currently the most popular dog in the U.S., according to the AKC. They are friendly, intelligent dogs, relatively easy to train and eager to please.
Typically, Labs do well in families with children. My family’s first Lab was patient with me and my siblings and loved to play with us outside.
Likewise, Great Danes are friendly, smart, and patient. These gentle giants do well with children, so you can expect the same of Great Dane Lab mix puppies.
Labs are active dogs, whereas Great Danes enjoy relaxation. Your puppy could be rambunctious or calm.
Meeting your puppy’s parents and asking questions about their temperaments may provide the best information about what to expect.
Despite being gentle in nature, the Great Dane’s size can seem intimidating, which makes for a good guard dog. This will be true for a Labradane as well, as it will be a big dog.
Training and Exercising Your Great Dane Lab Mix
With puppies, the first training concern is usually potty training. Our Puppy Potty Training Schedule will get you off to a great start.
With both parents being friendly animals, your pup may jump out of excitement. Because Great Labradane could easily knock over children or the elderly once fully grown this habit should be worked on from a young age.
Both parent breeds were originally bred to hunt (and the Lab is still a very popular choice for this). A Great Dane and Lab mix will have a good nose that may lead them to chase after critters in your yard. You will either want to dedicate time to training boundaries or invest in a fence if you don’t already have one.
Our collection of free training guides from best selling author Pippa Mattinson, including clear and detailed dog training lessons and exercises.
If you choose to crate train, we have a guide for that too!
It is important that your Great Dane–Labrador gets plenty of exercise. Not only will this keep them out of trouble, but it’s crucial to build up muscle and prevent weight gain that could lead to health issues.
If you do prefer a walk or a jog, be sure to talk to your vet about when your puppy is ready for longer and more strenuous outings.
If long walks aren’t for you, you can teach your dog to play fetch, which will be easy if your cross takes after the Lab.
Socialization will help your puppy be comfortable around other people and animals. Even though both parent breeds are usually amicable, socialization is still important.
Dogs that are not properly socialized with others may simply show disinterest, but at worst they can become fearful or aggressive. If you want your Labrador Retriever Great Dane mix to enjoy spending time with two-legged and four-legged visitors alike, then you need to socialize them.
Starting at a young age, you’ll want your puppy to meet and have positive experiences with a wide variety of people and animals. This includes people and animals visiting your home as well as encountering them out and about in the world.
Great Dane Lab Mix Health and Care
Unlike Great Danes, Labs shed a lot. Whichever parent your puppy takes after, weekly brushing is a good idea to keep the coat looking sleek.
A Lab Dane mix’s ears should be checked regularly for infection if they are left hanging rather than cropped. Your dog will also need his teeth brushed often and nails trimmed as needed.
A puppy can inherit genetic or health issues from either parent, so it’s important to consider any health issues that affect each breed.
Labrador Retriever Health Risks
Labs are at risk for arthritis, bloat (gastric dilatation-volvulus), cruciate ligament rupture, epilepsy, eye problems including cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), retinal dysplasia (RD), hip and elbow dysplasia, and osteochondritis dissecans (OCD).
Cruciate ligament rupture occurs when a ligament in the hind knee breaks or tears. This can be partial or complete, sudden or degenerative. Depending on the severity, surgery may be required.
Additionally, Labs are at risk for obesity and their diet needs to be regulated to prevent weight gain.
Great Dane Health Risks
Great Danes are at risk for arthritis, bloat (gastric dilatation-volvulus), bone cancer, dilated cardiomyopathy, hypothyroidism, hip and elbow dysplasia, and wobbler syndrome.
Wobbler syndrome is a general term to describe several spine-related issues, including cervical spondylomyelopathy (CSM), cervical vertebral instability, and cervical vertebral malformation-malarticulation.
Seen most often in Great Danes and Doberman Pinschers, wobbler syndrome is related to a compressed spinal cord or nerve roots. Dogs will experience neck pain and other neurological problems, in addition to appearing to “wobble” as they walk.
Wobbler syndrome in Great Danes typically occurs before three years of age. Any signs of neck pain in your Labradane should be addressed immediately with a veterinarian.
Great Dane Lab Mix Health Testing
A responsible breeder will be knowledgeable about the health risks these breeds face and will have health tested both parents before breeding. Be sure to ask any questions you may have about the health of your future puppy.
Though there is no promise that any of them will occur, Labs and Danes share some health issues. It is important to understand the possibility of serious health problems and be prepared for expensive vet bills.
Do Labradanes Make Good Family Pets
Although the Great Dane Lab Mix has an even-tempered demeanor making it suitable for almost anyone, including families, there are other factors to consider before adopting.
As large dogs, Labradanes require lots of training and exercise to keep them fit and out of trouble.
Rescuing a Great Dane Lab Mix
The Labradane is a designer dog, which means it can be difficult to find one as a rescue, although it’s worth a look.
We are not aware of any Great Dane Labrador mix specific rescue organizations. You may find a one at a general shelter. Great Dane or Labrador Retriever rescue organizations may also take mixes of those breeds.
A shelter dog’s health history may be questionable or unknown, so this may add a layer of complexity when it comes to the dog’s future care.
Finding a Labradane Puppy
Designer dogs can be difficult to find. Your best bet is to look online and in local newspapers. Make sure to do adequate research and choose a breeder responsibly.
Once you find a Labradane breeder you are interested in, it is important to visit them, ask questions, and see the parent dogs. Make sure that the puppies are being cared for in a clean and safe environment.
You should ask about the parents’ health histories and any past injuries, like cruciate ligament ruptures in the Lab.
A responsible breeder will have health tested the parent animals and be willing to discuss the results with you. They may even ask you some questions to make sure that their puppies are going to a suitable home.
Use our guide to select a puppy for your best chance at avoiding a dog with serious health or behavioral issues.
Raising a Great Dane Lab Mix Puppy
Caring for a vulnerable Labradane puppy is a big responsibility. Of course, you’ll want to listen to your veterinarian regarding an appropriate diet for your puppy.
There are some great guides to help you with all aspects of puppy care and training.
Labradane Products and Accessories
Pros And Cons of Getting A Labradane
- Potential health issues
- Require lots of exercise
- Large size makes training them crucial
- Good temperament
- Minimal grooming
This article has been revised and updated for 2019.
References And Resources
- Baker, Lauren A., et al. 2017. “Genome-Wide Association Anaylsis in Dogs Implicates 99 Loci as Risk Variants for Anterior Cruciate Ligament Rupture.” Plos One.
- Bonelli, Marília de Albuquerque, et al. 2017. “Comparison of Angle, Shape, and Position of Articular Processes in Dobermans and Great Danes with and without Cervical Spondylomyelopathy.” BMC Veterinary Research.
- Cargill, John and Susan Thorpe-Vargas. 1998. “Hypothyroidism: A Highly Inheritable Canine Health Hazard.” Dog World.
- Clark, Leigh Anne, et al. 2011. “A missense mutation in the 20S proteasome β2 subunit of Great Danes having harlequin coat patterning.” Genomics.
- Gough A, Thomas A, O’Neill D. 2018. Breed Predispositions to Disease In Dogs and Cats. Wiley Blackwell.
- Kohler, Manette. 2003. “Understanding Wobbler Syndrome.” Dog World.
- Levine, Michael and George E. Moore. 2009. “A Time Series Model of the Occurence of Gastric Dilation-Volvulus in a Population of Dogs.” BMC Veterinary Research.
- Mattinson, Pippa. 2018. “Purebred Vs Mutt – Common Objections To Mixed Breed Dogs.” Red Cat Media Ltd.
- O’Neill et al. 2013. Longevity and Mortality of Owned Dogs In England. The Veterinary Journal
- Ramos, Renato M., et al. 2015. “Morphological Changes of the Causal Cervical Intervertebral Foramina Due to Flexion-Extension and Compression-Traction Movements in the Canine Cervical Vertebral Column.” BMC Veterinary Research.
- Strain, George M. 2015. “The genetics of deafness in domestic animals.” Front. Vet. Sci.
- Wargo, Meredith. 2011. “Beware of BLOAT.” Dog World.