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German Shepherd vs Border Collie vs Labrador Retriever – Which one is a better dog breed for you?

"Find similarities and differences between German Shepherd vs Border Collie vs Labrador Retriever" Compare German Shepherd and Border Collie. Which is better: German Shepherd or Border Collie or Labrador Retriever?
Name German Shepherd Border Collie Labrador Retriever
OriginsGermany England Scotland Wales England Canada
Group Pastoral Dogs (Herding Dogs) Pastoral Dogs (Herding Dogs) Gun Dog
Popularity Rank2381
Reviews343
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Other Names Alsatian, Berger Allemand, Alsatian wolf dog (UK), Deutscher Schäferhund, Schäferhund Scotch Sheep Dog, Sheepdog Labrador, Lab
Breed Type Purebred Purebred Purebred
AKC Group Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1908 as a Herding breed. Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1995 as a Herding breed. Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1917 as a Sporting breed.
FCI Group Recognized by FCI in the Sheepdogs and Cattledogs (except Swiss Cattledogs) group, in the Sheepdogs section. Recognized by FCI in the Sheepdogs and Cattledogs (except Swiss Cattledogs) group, in the Sheepdogs section. Recognized by FCI in the Retrievers - Flushing Dogs - Water Dogs group, in the Retrievers section.
Breed Recognition American Canine Registry American Kennel Club America's Pet Registry Canadian Kennel Club Dog Registry of America Inc. Federation Cynologique Internationale Kennel Club of Great Britain North American Purebred Registry, Inc. American Canine Association, Inc. Australian National Kennel Council Continental Kennel Club National Kennel Club New Zealand Kennel Club United Kennel Club German Shepherd Dog Club Of America American Canine Registry American Kennel Club America's Pet Registry Dog Registry of America Inc. Federation Cynologique Internationale Kennel Club of Great Britain North American Purebred Registry, Inc. American Canine Association, Inc. Australian National Kennel Council Continental Kennel Club National Kennel Club New Zealand Kennel Club United Kennel Club The American Int. Border Collie Registry The American Border Collie Association American Canine Registry American Kennel Club America's Pet Registry Canadian Kennel Club Dog Registry of America Inc. Federation Cynologique Internationale Kennel Club of Great Britain North American Purebred Registry, Inc. American Canine Association, Inc. Australian National Kennel Council Continental Kennel Club National Kennel Club New Zealand Kennel Club United Kennel Club Canadian Canine Registry
Price $800-$2000 $600-$800 $1000-$2000

General Appearance - German Shepherd vs Border Collie vs Labrador Retriever

Size Large Large Large
Weight Male: 66-88 pounds (30-40 kg), Female: 49-71 pounds (22-32 kg) Male: 30-45 pounds (14-20 kg), Female: 27-42 pounds (12-19 kg) Male: 60-75 pounds (27-34kg), Female: 55-70 pounds (25-32 kg)
Avg. Weight Male: 77 pounds (35 kg), Female: 60 pounds (27 kg) Male: 37.5 pounds (17 kg), Female: 34.5 pounds (15.5 kg) Male: 67.5 pounds (30.5 kg), Female: 62.5 pounds (28.5 kg)
Height Male: 24-26 inches (60-65 cm), Female: 22-24 inches (55-60 cm) Male: 19-22 inches (48-56 cm), Female: 18-21 inches (46-53 cm) Male: 22-24 inches (56-61cm), Female: 21-23 inches (53-58 cm)
Avg. Height Male: 25 inches (62.5 cm), Female: 23 inches (57.5 cm) Male: 20.5 inches (52 cm), Female: 19.5 inches (49.5 cm) Male: 23 inches (58.5 cm), Female: 22 inches (55.5 cm)

Hair & Care - German Shepherd vs Border Collie vs Labrador Retriever

Coat Fuzzy Dense Feathered Straight Short Moderately Long Dense Waterproof Hard Short
Colors Silver Tan Red Black Black & White Tricolor Tan Blue merle Blue merle-tricolor Slate merle Red merle Black Brindle Gold Lilac Red Sable Sable Merle Saddleback Sable White & Blue White & Blue Merle White & Red White & Red Merle White Ticked Seal Slate White & Gold White & Sable White & Seal Yellow Chocolate Black
Grooming
Average: The German Shepherd requires average grooming effort.
Average: The Border Collie requires average grooming effort.
Effortless: The Labrador Retriever requires minimal grooming.
Shedding Level
German Shepherds are heavy shedders.
Border Collies shed moderately.
Labrador Retrievers shed moderately.

Characteristics - German Shepherd vs Border Collie vs Labrador Retriever

Temperament Alert Courageous Intelligent Obedient Confident Curious Loyal Watchful Intelligent Alert Tenacious Protective Energetic Responsive Loyal Affectionate Cheerful Friendly Intelligent Loyal Playful Social Alert Energetic Gentle Loving Going Responsive
Intelligent Rank
Outstanding: German Shepherd is one of the brightest dog breeds.
Outstanding: Border Collie is one of the brightest dog breeds.
Outstanding: Labrador Retriever is one of the brightest dog breeds.
Trainability
German Shepherds are easy to train.
Border Collies are easy to train.
Labrador Retrievers are very easy to train.
Playfulness
German Shepherds, like any other dog breed, like playing.
The Border Collie is a highly playful breed.
The Labrador Retriever is a highly playful breed.
Sensitivity Level
German Shepherds don't like an irregular daily routine, noisy household and frequent guest visits.
Border Collies don't like an irregular daily routine, noisy household and frequent guest visits.
Labrador Retrievers don't like an irregular daily routine, noisy household and frequent guest visits.
Affection Level
German Shepherds are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving and affectionate dogs toward their handlers.
Border Collies are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving and affectionate dogs toward their handlers.
Labrador Retrievers may seem unfriendly sometimes due to their independence.
Social Needs
German Shepherds need for social interaction is average.
Border Collies need a lot of social interaction.
Labrador Retrievers need a lot of social interaction.
Barking
Low to Average: The German Shepherd rarely barks.
Low to Average: The Border Collie rarely barks.
Average: The Labrador Retriever barks occasionally.
Watchdog Ability
German Shepherds are one of the best watchdogs.
Border Collies are one of the best watchdogs.
Labrador Retrievers are average watchdogs.
Territorial
German Shepherds are extremely protective guard dogs.
Border Collies are extremely protective guard dogs.
Labrador Retrievers are average defenders.
Biting Potential High
The German Shepherd has a high chance of biting somebody.
Low
The Border Collie has a low chance of biting somebody.
Moderate
The Labrador Retriever has an average chance of biting somebody.
Mouthiness
German Shepherds have a strong tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
Border Collies have a strong tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
Labrador Retrievers have a strong tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
Impulse to Wander or Roam
German Shepherds are not the biggest explorers.
Border Collies have average wanderlust potential.
Labrador Retrievers have average wanderlust potential.
Prey Drive
German Shepherds have a higher impulse to chase and catch something than other dog breeds.
Border Collies have an average prey drive, which means that they don't have a high impulse to chase and catch something like a cat or any other small aminals, but it might happen.
Labrador Retrievers have low to an average impulse to chase and catch something like a cat or any other small aminals.
Apartment Friendly
German Shepherds are not the best choice for an apartment lifestyle, but they don't mind being inside if you walk them several times every day.
Border Collies are not recommended for an apartment lifestyle.
Labrador Retrievers are not recommended for an apartment lifestyle.
Adaptability
German Shepherds adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments.
Border Collies adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments.
Labrador Retrievers adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments.
Tolerates Being Left Alone
Just like every puppy, they are prone to panic, cry, bark, whine when they left alone by their owner.
Border Collies tend to have separation anxiety when their owners left them alone at home because they bond very closely with them.
Labrador Retrievers tend to have separation anxiety when their owners left them alone at home because they bond very closely with them.
Fighting Dog Yes
In history, this breed was unfortunately used for combat dog.
Not really
In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.
Not really
In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.

Good With - German Shepherd vs Border Collie vs Labrador Retriever

Stranger Friendly
German Shepherds are stranger friendly dogs.
Border Collies are average friendly towards strangers.
Labrador Retrievers are very stranger friendly dogs.
Child Friendly
German Shepherds are very kid-friendly dogs.
Border Collies are very kid-friendly dogs.
Labrador Retrievers are very kid-friendly dogs.
Cat Friendly
German Shepherds are average friendly towards cats.
Border Collies are average friendly towards cats.
Labrador Retrievers are cat-friendly dogs.
Dog Friendly
German Shepherds are not the most dog-friendly dogs.
Border Collies are average friendly towards other dogs.
Labrador Retrievers are very dog-friendly dogs.
Office Friendly No
German Shepherd is not the best dog breed for office environment.
No
Border Collie is not the best dog breed for office environment.
No
Labrador Retriever is not the best dog breed for office environment.
Senior Citizens Friendly
German Shepherds are one of the best breeds for elderly people.
Border Collies are one of the best breeds for elderly people.
Labrador Retrievers are one of the best breeds for elderly people.
Pet Friendly
German Shepherds are generally with other pets.
Border Collies are generally with other pets.
Labrador Retrievers are usually friendly towards other pets.
Good For First Time Owners No
German Shepherds are not good for novice owners, due to their stubborn personality.
No
Border Collies are not good for novice owners, due to their stubborn personality.
No
Labrador Retrievers are not good for novice owners, due to their stubborn personality.
Service Dog Yes
This breed makes good as a service dog.
Yes
This breed makes good as a service dog.
Yes
This breed makes good as a service dog.
Therapy Dog Yes
This breed makes a perfect therapy dog.
Yes
This breed makes a perfect therapy dog.
Yes
This breed makes a perfect therapy dog.
Detection Dog or Sniffer Dog Yes
A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones.
Yes
A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones.
Yes
A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones.
Search and Rescue Dog (SAR) Yes
The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and in locating missing people.
Yes
The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and in locating missing people.
Yes
The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and in locating missing people.
Boat Dog Not really
German Shepherd breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.
Not really
Border Collie breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.
Yes
Labrador Retriever breed usually likes being on a boat.
Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog Not really
A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling.
Not really
A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling.
Not really
A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling.

Health Factors - German Shepherd vs Border Collie vs Labrador Retriever

Health Issues
German Shepherds are commonly healthy dogs.
The Border Collie is a healthy breed, but there are certain health issues that you should check with your vet regularly.
The Labrador Retriever is a healthy breed, but there are certain health issues that you should check with your vet regularly.
Health Problems Allergies Blindness Bloat Cancer Cataracts Cherry Eye Chronic Diarrhea Cruciate Ligament Rupture Cushing's Syndrome Degenerative Myelopathy Demodectic Mange Diabetes Digestive Problems Elbow Dysplasia Epilepsy Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency Heart Disease Hemophilia A Hemophilia B Hip Dysplasia Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy Lens Luxation Lupus Megaesophagus Myasthenia Gravis Nail Bed Disease Osteochondrosis Pannus Panosteitis Paralysis Perianal Fistula Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) Retinal Dysplasia Seborrhea Vitiligo Von Willebrand's Disease Wobbler's Syndrome Allergies Collie Eye Anomaly Epilepsy Hip Dysplasia Osteochondrosis Dissecans Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) Acute Moist Dermatitis Bloat Cataracts Cold Tail Ear Infections Elbow Dysplasia Epilepsy Hip Dysplasia Myopathy Osteochondrosis Dissecans Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) Tricuspid Valve Dysplasia
Life Expectancy 10-13 years 12-15 years 10-12 years
Hypoallergenic No No No
Energy Level
German Shepherds are high energy dogs.
Border Collies are high energy dogs.
Labrador Retrievers are high energy dogs.
Exercise Need
German Shepherds need quite a lot of exercise.
Border Collies need a lot of exercises.
Labrador Retrievers need a lot of exercises.
Sleeping Need
German Shepherds don't need too much sleep.
Border Collies don't need too much sleep.
Labrador Retrievers don't need too much sleep.
Avg. daily food consumption 3 to 4 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals. 1.5 to 2 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two or three meals. Recommended daily amount: 2.5 to 3 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals.
Weight Gain Potential
Low to Average.
Average.
High: The Labrador Retriever breed has a strong tendency to overweight.
Weather & Climate Tolerates warm and cold weather. Prefers average to cold weather conditions
The Border Collie can adapt to well to cold weather conditions, some dogs even can be a good mountain dog.
Tolerates warm and cold weather.
Stinkiness Medium
The German Shepherd has an average chance of bad smell.
Medium
The Border Collie has an average chance of bad smell.
High
The Labrador Retriever has a high chance of bad smell.
Drooling tendency
The German Shepherd is a perfect example for very low drooling tendency.
The Border Collie is a perfect example for very low drooling tendency.
The Labrador Retriever is an average drooler.

Reproducibility - German Shepherd vs Border Collie vs Labrador Retriever

Gestation Length 60-64 days 60-64 days 60-64 days
How often can the have a litter? Once a year.
More frequent breeding is not healthy.
Once a year.
More frequent breeding is not healthy.
Once a year.
More frequent breeding is not healthy.
Litter Size 6-10 puppies 4-8 puppies 5-10 puppies

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