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

"Find similarities and differences between Labrador Retriever vs Border Collie vs German Shepherd" Compare Labrador Retriever and Border Collie. Which is better: Labrador Retriever or Border Collie or German Shepherd?
Name Labrador Retriever Border Collie German Shepherd
OriginsEngland Canada England Scotland Wales Germany
Group Gun Dog Pastoral Dogs (Herding Dogs) Pastoral Dogs (Herding Dogs)
Popularity Rank1382
Reviews3105
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Other Names Labrador, Lab Scotch Sheep Dog, Sheepdog Alsatian, Berger Allemand, Alsatian wolf dog (UK), Deutscher Schäferhund, Schäferhund
Breed Type Purebred Purebred Purebred
AKC Group Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1917 as a Sporting breed. Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1995 as a Herding breed. Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1908 as a Herding breed.
FCI Group Recognized by FCI in the Retrievers - Flushing Dogs - Water Dogs group, in the Retrievers section. 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.
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
Canadian Canine Registry
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
German Shepherd Dog Club Of America
Price $1000-$2000 $600-$800 $800-$2000

General Appearance - Labrador Retriever vs Border Collie vs German Shepherd

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

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

Coat Dense
Waterproof
Hard
Short
Dense
Feathered
Straight
Short
Moderately Long
Fuzzy
Colors Yellow
Chocolate
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
Silver
Tan
Red
Black
Grooming
Effortless: The Labrador Retriever requires minimal grooming.
Average: The Border Collie requires average grooming effort.
Average: The German Shepherd requires average grooming effort.
Shedding Level
Labrador Retrievers shed moderately.
Border Collies shed moderately.
German Shepherds are heavy shedders.

Characteristics - Labrador Retriever vs Border Collie vs German Shepherd

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

Good With - Labrador Retriever vs Border Collie vs German Shepherd

Stranger Friendly
Labrador Retrievers are very stranger friendly dogs.
Border Collies are average friendly towards strangers.
German Shepherds are stranger friendly dogs.
Child Friendly
Labrador Retrievers are very kid-friendly dogs.
Border Collies are very kid-friendly dogs.
German Shepherds are very kid-friendly dogs.
Cat Friendly
Labrador Retrievers are cat-friendly dogs.
Border Collies are average friendly towards cats.
German Shepherds are average friendly towards cats.
Dog Friendly
Labrador Retrievers are very dog-friendly dogs.
Border Collies are average friendly towards other dogs.
German Shepherds are not the most dog-friendly dogs.
Office Friendly No
Labrador Retriever is not the best dog breed for office environment.
No
Border Collie is not the best dog breed for office environment.
No
German Shepherd is not the best dog breed for office environment.
Senior Citizens Friendly
Labrador Retrievers are one of the best breeds for elderly people.
Border Collies are one of the best breeds for elderly people.
German Shepherds are one of the best breeds for elderly people.
Pet Friendly
Labrador Retrievers are usually friendly towards other pets.
Border Collies are generally with other pets.
German Shepherds are generally with other pets.
Good For First Time Owners No
Labrador Retrievers 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
German Shepherds 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 Yes
Labrador Retriever breed usually likes being on a boat.
Not really
Border Collie breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.
Not really
German Shepherd breed usually doesn't like 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 - Labrador Retriever vs Border Collie vs German Shepherd

Health Issues
The Labrador Retriever is a healthy breed, but there are certain health issues that you should check with your vet regularly.
The Border Collie is a healthy breed, but there are certain health issues that you should check with your vet regularly.
German Shepherds are commonly healthy dogs.
Health Problems Acute Moist Dermatitis
Bloat
Cataracts
Cold Tail
Ear Infections
Elbow Dysplasia
Epilepsy
Hip Dysplasia
Myopathy
Osteochondrosis Dissecans
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
Tricuspid Valve Dysplasia
Allergies
Collie Eye Anomaly
Epilepsy
Hip Dysplasia
Osteochondrosis Dissecans
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
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
Life Expectancy 10-12 years 12-15 years 10-13 years
Hypoallergenic No No No
Energy Level
Labrador Retrievers are high energy dogs.
Border Collies are high energy dogs.
German Shepherds are high energy dogs.
Exercise Need
Labrador Retrievers need a lot of exercises.
Border Collies need a lot of exercises.
German Shepherds need quite a lot of exercise.
Sleeping Need
Labrador Retrievers don't need too much sleep.
Border Collies don't need too much sleep.
German Shepherds don't need too much sleep.
Avg. daily food consumption Recommended daily amount: 2.5 to 3 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. 3 to 4 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals.
Weight Gain Potential
High: The Labrador Retriever breed has a strong tendency to overweight.
Average.
Low to Average.
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 High
The Labrador Retriever has a high chance of bad smell.
Medium
The Border Collie has an average chance of bad smell.
Medium
The German Shepherd has an average chance of bad smell.
Drooling tendency
The Labrador Retriever is an average drooler.
The Border Collie is a perfect example for very low drooling tendency.
The German Shepherd is a perfect example for very low drooling tendency.

Reproducibility - Labrador Retriever vs Border Collie vs German Shepherd

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 5-10 puppies 4-8 puppies 6-10 puppies

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