Today is National Dog Day so I'd like to take a moment to pay tribute to my stepdog. Neither my husband nor I ever planned to be dog owners, but a few years after the divorce my stepsons' mom got a dog "for the kids" and after a while it became clear that both the kids and the dog were happiest when they were under the same roof so...that was our path to dog ownership. And hey, all of the adults involved are very happy with this arrangement as well.
I had always accepted the story that my stepsons were told, which was that once upon a time a German Shepherd met a Black Lab and they Loved Each Other Very Much, but recently we learned that there is an official name for this kind of dog: a Sheprador. Intrigued, I did a little research, by which I mean that I read the first hit that google brought up: 7 Things You Need to Know Before Buying a German Shepherd & Lab Mix (A.K.A. Sheprador). The first thing on the list made me giggle, so I felt that I needed to write a response to the 7 things.
Thing #1: "You’ll say goodbye to your cozy couch, at least for a few hours every day"
Yes! Yes! Yes! These guys know what they are talking about, we do say goodbye to our cozy couch for hours every day.
Oh wait, they don't mean it like that, they mean it like this:
that checks out as well. This is an active dog. She is a sweet and
gentle soul who loves a good nap but the w-a-l-k is nonnegotiable. If you're looking for a dog that you can just let outside a few times a day, this is not it. Every once in a while stepdog will randomly cut a walk short and she won't go out if it's storming, but other than that she wants a walk 365 days most years and 366 days this year.
However, the article says that Shepradors require 2 one hour walks a day
which yeah, we're not quite there and I don't know of any working
family that would be. Prior to quarantine stepdog got a five minute
stroll in the morning to take the kids to the bus, a 20 minute walk
after dinner, and the occasional bonus weekend walk. Since March she
now gets a regular lunchtime walk in addition to her after dinner walk, which is an hour a day at most. I've occasionally tried to take her out for a third walk and she isn't interested.
Thing #2 "Keep your Shepherd Lab Mix busy, or she’ll mess up your house" Aw dude, no, never has she ever. Stepdog is the best behaved dog in the history of dogs. We do play with her of course, and when the boys were younger they kept her busy 24/7. But prior to quarantine stepdog spent most weekdays alone and she never messed with anything in our house.
Exhibit A on the left: stepdog with one of her toys. Exhibit B on the right: stepdog with one of the kids' toys.
Thing #4 "You’ll have to hide your shoes because these dogs love to chew" What??? No. If I leave my slippers where she can get to them, she will carry them off and snuggle with them but she doesn't chew them. She's never touched anyone else's shoes.
Thing #5 "You rarely get to know exactly what you're buying" What they're getting at is that you can't tell how big a Sheprador will grow or personality wise if the dog will fall on the Shepherd side or the Lab side. Fair point if you're getting a puppy, but stepdog was two, so the boys' mom had a pretty good clue that this was an awesome dog.
Thing # 6 "Keeping a Sheprador is expensive, but you won’t file for bankruptcy".
I can confirm that none of us have filed for bankruptcy since adopting
stepdog. With the shared ownership it's tough to figure out exactly how
much stepdog "costs" but whatever it is, it's worth it.
Thing #7 "You should buy your dog from a responsible breeder". Or adopt an older dog like my stepsons' mom did;-) Hey BTW the whole point of National Dog's Day is to encourage adoption.
So those are 7 things about a Sheprador. Based on our experience I disagree that a Sheprador will mess up your house and chew up your shoes and I 100% agree with the author's conclusion that this is a wonderful dog and that we are very lucky to have her in our lives.
Happy National Dog's Day to the pups! Tell me about your dog!