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Labrador Retriever vs German Shepherd vs West Highland White Terrier – Which one is a better dog breed for you?

"Find similarities and differences between Labrador Retriever vs German Shepherd vs West Highland White Terrier" Compare Labrador Retriever and German Shepherd. Which is better: Labrador Retriever or German Shepherd or West Highland White Terrier?
Name Labrador Retriever German Shepherd West Highland White Terrier
OriginsEngland Canada Germany Scotland
Group Gun Dog Pastoral Dogs (Herding Dogs) Hunting Dogs
Popularity Rank1242
Reviews211
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Other Names Labrador, Lab Alsatian, Berger Allemand, Alsatian wolf dog (UK), Deutscher Schäferhund, Schäferhund Poltalloch Terrier, Roseneath Terrier, White Roseneath Terrier, Westie (or Westy)
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 1908 as a Herding breed. Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1908 as a Terrier 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 Terriers group, in the Small sized Terriers 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 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 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 Club Espanol De Terriers
Price $1000-$2000 $800-$2000 $900-$1200

General Appearance - Labrador Retriever vs German Shepherd vs West Highland White Terrier

Size Large Large Small
Weight Male: 60-75 pounds (27-34kg), Female: 55-70 pounds (25-32 kg) Male: 66-88 pounds (30-40 kg), Female: 49-71 pounds (22-32 kg) Male: 15-22 pounds (7-10 kg), Female: 13-16 pounds (6-7 kg)
Avg. Weight Male: 67.5 pounds (30.5 kg), Female: 62.5 pounds (28.5 kg) Male: 77 pounds (35 kg), Female: 60 pounds (27 kg) Male: 18.5 pounds (8.5 kg), Female: 14.5 pounds (6.5 kg)
Height Male: 22-24 inches (56-61cm), Female: 21-23 inches (53-58 cm) Male: 24-26 inches (60-65 cm), Female: 22-24 inches (55-60 cm) Male: 10-12 inches (25-30 cm), Female: 9-11 inches (23-28 cm)
Avg. Height Male: 23 inches (58.5 cm), Female: 22 inches (55.5 cm) Male: 25 inches (62.5 cm), Female: 23 inches (57.5 cm) Male: 11 inches (27.5 cm), Female: 10 inches (25.5 cm)

Hair & Care - Labrador Retriever vs German Shepherd vs West Highland White Terrier

Coat Dense Waterproof Hard Short Fuzzy Dense
Colors Yellow Chocolate Black Silver Tan Red Black White
Grooming
Effortless: The Labrador Retriever requires minimal grooming.
Average: The German Shepherd requires average grooming effort.
Advanced: The West Highland White Terrier requires a lot of grooming.
Shedding Level
Labrador Retrievers shed moderately.
German Shepherds are heavy shedders.
West Highland White Terriers shed none to minimal.

Characteristics - Labrador Retriever vs German Shepherd vs West Highland White Terrier

Temperament Affectionate Cheerful Friendly Intelligent Loyal Playful Social Alert Energetic Gentle Loving Going Responsive Alert Courageous Intelligent Obedient Confident Curious Loyal Watchful Affectionate Courageous Friendly Independent Alert Intelligent
Intelligent Rank
Outstanding: Labrador Retriever is one of the brightest dog breeds.
Outstanding: German Shepherd is one of the brightest dog breeds.
Average: West Highland White Terrier's has average obedience intelligence.
Trainability
Labrador Retrievers are very easy to train.
German Shepherds are easy to train.
West Highland White Terriers are easy to train.
Playfulness
The Labrador Retriever is a highly playful breed.
German Shepherds, like any other dog breed, like playing.
The West Highland White Terrier is a highly playful breed.
Sensitivity Level
Labrador Retrievers 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.
They are a little bit more sensitive than other dog breeds.
Affection Level
Labrador Retrievers may seem unfriendly sometimes due to their independence.
German Shepherds are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving and affectionate dogs toward their handlers.
West Highland White Terriers are highly affectionate dogs.
Social Needs
Labrador Retrievers need a lot of social interaction.
German Shepherds need for social interaction is average.
West Highland White Terriers are a social breed.
Barking
Average: The Labrador Retriever barks occasionally.
Low to Average: The German Shepherd rarely barks.
High: The West Highland White Terrier is a very vocal breed.
Watchdog Ability
Labrador Retrievers are average watchdogs.
German Shepherds are one of the best watchdogs.
West Highland White Terriers are average watchdogs.
Territorial
Labrador Retrievers are average defenders.
German Shepherds are extremely protective guard dogs.
West Highland White Terriers are extremely protective guard dogs.
Biting Potential Moderate
The Labrador Retriever has an average chance of biting somebody.
High
The German Shepherd has a high chance of biting somebody.
Low
The West Highland White Terrier has a low chance of biting somebody.
Mouthiness
Labrador Retrievers 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.
West Highland White Terriers have lower than average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people.
Impulse to Wander or Roam
Labrador Retrievers have average wanderlust potential.
German Shepherds are not the biggest explorers.
West Highland White Terriers have average wanderlust potential.
Prey Drive
Labrador Retrievers have low to an average impulse to chase and catch something like a cat or any other small aminals.
German Shepherds have a higher impulse to chase and catch something than other dog breeds.
West Highland White Terriers have a higher impulse to chase and catch something than other dog breeds.
Apartment Friendly
Labrador Retrievers 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.
West Highland White Terriers 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.
German Shepherds adapt very well to lifestyle changes and basically all living environments.
West Highland White Terriers adapt well to lifestyle changes and different 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.
Just like every puppy, they are prone to panic, cry, bark, whine when they left alone by their owner.
West Highland White Terriers do best when a family member is at home during the day or if their workplace is dog-friendly so they can take the dog at work.
Fighting 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.
Not really
In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.

Good With - Labrador Retriever vs German Shepherd vs West Highland White Terrier

Stranger Friendly
Labrador Retrievers are very stranger friendly dogs.
German Shepherds are stranger friendly dogs.
West Highland White Terriers are stranger friendly dogs.
Child Friendly
Labrador Retrievers are very kid-friendly dogs.
German Shepherds are very kid-friendly dogs.
West Highland White Terriers are kid-friendly dogs.
Cat Friendly
Labrador Retrievers are cat-friendly dogs.
German Shepherds are average friendly towards cats.
West Highland White Terriers are average friendly towards cats.
Dog Friendly
Labrador Retrievers are very dog-friendly dogs.
German Shepherds are not the most dog-friendly dogs.
West Highland White Terriers are dog-friendly dogs.
Office Friendly No
Labrador Retriever is not the best dog breed for office environment.
No
German Shepherd is not the best dog breed for office environment.
No
West Highland White Terrier is not the best dog breed for office environment.
Senior Citizens Friendly
Labrador Retrievers are one of the best breeds for elderly people.
German Shepherds are one of the best breeds for elderly people.
West Highland White Terriers are usually recommended for elderly people.
Pet Friendly
Labrador Retrievers are usually friendly towards other pets.
German Shepherds are generally with other pets.
West Highland White Terriers 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
German Shepherds are not good for novice owners, due to their stubborn personality.
No
West Highland White Terriers 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.
Not really
This breed generally not used as a service dog.
Therapy Dog Yes
This breed makes a perfect therapy dog.
Yes
This breed makes a perfect therapy dog.
Not really
This breed generally not used as a 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.
Not really
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.
Not really
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
German Shepherd breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.
Not really
West Highland White Terrier 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 German Shepherd vs West Highland White Terrier

Health Issues
The Labrador Retriever is a healthy breed, but there are certain health issues that you should check with your vet regularly.
German Shepherds are commonly healthy dogs.
Very healthy dog breed.
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 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 Atopic Dermatitis Cataracts Craniomandibular Osteopathy Globoid Cell Leukodystrophy Hyperplastic Dermatosis Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Legg-perthes Disease Patellar Luxation Pulmonary Fibrosis White Dog Shaker Syndrome
Life Expectancy 10-12 years 10-13 years 12-16 years
Hypoallergenic No No Yes
Energy Level
Labrador Retrievers are high energy dogs.
German Shepherds are high energy dogs.
West Highland White Terriers have a higher energy level than other dog breeds.
Exercise Need
Labrador Retrievers need a lot of exercises.
German Shepherds need quite a lot of exercise.
West Highland White Terriers need quite a lot of exercise.
Sleeping Need
Labrador Retrievers don't need too much sleep.
German Shepherds don't need too much sleep.
West Highland White Terriers are quite energetic dogs and they don't spend to much time with sleeping.
Avg. daily food consumption Recommended daily amount: 2.5 to 3 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals. 3 to 4 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals. 1/2 to 1.5 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.
Low to Average.
Average to High.
Weather & Climate Tolerates warm and cold weather. Tolerates warm and cold weather. Prefers average to cold weather conditions
The West Highland White Terrier can adapt to well to cold weather conditions, some dogs even can be a good mountain dog.
Stinkiness High
The Labrador Retriever has a high chance of bad smell.
Medium
The German Shepherd has an average chance of bad smell.
Low
The West Highland White Terrier has a low chance of bad smell.
Drooling tendency
The Labrador Retriever is an average drooler.
The German Shepherd is a perfect example for very low drooling tendency.
The West Highland White Terrier is a perfect example for very low drooling tendency.

Reproducibility - Labrador Retriever vs German Shepherd vs West Highland White Terrier

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 6-10 puppies 2-5 puppies

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