Great Dane and Labrador Retriever Mix: A Comprehensive Guide

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Last Updated on January 31, 2024

The Great Dane and Labrador Retriever mix is an absolute unit of a dog. Also known as the Labradane, this mix between a Great Dane and a Labrador is a well-loved designer cross breed by those who have a deep affection for big yet affectionate canines.

Thinking of getting a Labradane as your newest furry, four-legged friend? Then we’ve got you! From their appearance, personality, life span, health, and training — learn everything you need to know about this wonderful mixed breed here

Great Dane and Labrador Retriever Mix Appearance

Great Dane And Labrador Retriever Mix
AWhit /

A Great Dane and Labrador Retriever mix is the product of having a Great Dane and a Labrador as parents. And having the “gentle giant” and America’s most popular dog breed as parents, there is no doubt that this mixed breed dog is loved by many.

A Great Dane and Labrador Retriever mix has triangular ears and short, dense double coat like its Labrador parent. And like its Great Dane parent, it has a deep set eyes, a glossy coat, and a square-shaped muzzle.

It also has the combination of its parents’ physical qualities. For example, a Labradane’s coat color may be black, brown, chocolate, and white like its Labrador parent and may be brindle or harlequin (which is rare for a Labradane) like its Great Dane parent.

Furthermore, the Labradane often appears to be slender, but is strong and sturdy — a great mix of its parents’ build!

And having its parent’s genes, it doesn’t come as a surprise that this is a HUGE dog. You can expect a Great Dane and Labrador Retriever mix to be between his parents’ sizes.

So, it’s not as heavily built as its Great Dane parent, but can definitely be bigger than its Labrador parent. This means it can weigh around 55 to 175 lbs and can grow from 21 to 35 inches.

Great Dane and Labrador Retriever Mix Breed History

The Great Dane and Labrador Retriever Mix is a designer breed, a hybrid of two pure breeds to get a first generation mix, of the Great Dane and Labrador dog breeds.

The designer breed is a result of a 1980s trend where people preferred their dogs smaller. Due to the rising demands of people, many large breeds, like the Great Dane, were crossed to produce smaller versions.

Furthermore, the Labradane was also produced for the purpose of creating a healthier version of the Great Dane breed.

And while Great Danes were officially recognized and registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1887 and the Labrador Retrievers in 1917, the Labradane breed is not officially recognized by the AKC.

However, as a mixed breed dog, it is recognized as a designer breed by the following organizations:

The Genesis Of The Great Dane and Labrador Retriever Mix

The Labradane’s parents, the Great Dane and the Labrador Retriever, have rich backgrounds and history. Continue reading below to find out more about the origin of the Great Dane Labrador Retriever dog breed.

The Labrador Retriever

Smiling Labrador Dog In The City Park Portrait
sanjagrujic /

The Labrador is one of America’s most loved dog breed. As a matter of fact, they have topped AKC’s most popular dog breed for 31 years, before being dethroned by the French Bulldog breed in 2022.

This dog breed has existed since the early 1800s, originating in Newfoundland before being brought by fishermen to England.

They came from the now-extinct dog breed, St. John’s Water Dog. And while this dog breed no longer exists, its gentle and loving temperament, enthusiasm for retrieving, and love for water live in today’s Labrador Retrievers.

Originally bred as a hunting dog helping fishermen, the Labrador Retriever is also now a popular service dog breed thanks to its intelligence and temperament. It is used for police work, rescue missions, and even as guide dog for blind people.

The Great Dane

Great Dane Leash Training At The Park
Guy J. Sagi /

The Great Dane, also referred to as “The Apollo of Dogs”, is a breed of working dog that has existed for at least 400 years, originating in Germany.

Before being acknowledged as a purebred dog, the Great Dane was actually a mixed breed a long time ago. And it is a mix of three different breeds: Mastiff, Greyhound and Irish Wolfhound.

These dogs were bred for the purpose of hunting wild boards. And when the Germans bred these dogs, they created two types – one that was slimmer (American), meant for climbing steep regions and another that was heavier (European), meant for plain areas.

Though intimidating in size, Great Danes are known as huge bundles of affection, loyalty and friendliness, even earning the nickname “Gentle Giant”.

Even though the breed originated in Germany, Americans adore these gentle giants. As a matter of fact, the AKC has named them as the 19th most popular dog breed in the country.

Great Dane and Labrador Retriever Mix Breed Personality

The Great Dane and Labrador Retriever mix has a wonderful personality, inheriting all the great qualities of both of its parents.

Both breeds are known as friendly, loving, devoted dogs that are good with kids and will protect you no matter what — all qualities that manifested in their Labradane offspring.

Great Dane and Labrador Retriever mix dogs are intelligent and eager to please dogs, so training them using positive methods will be easy.

They do well in families with children and other pets, because like their parents, they are smart, gentle and patient in nature.

Furthermore, since they are loyal and their size can be intimidating like their Great Dane parent, they make excellent watchdogs and will ensure their loved ones are safe from danger.

These dogs, like their Labrador parents, can be master sniffers! Thanks to their keen sense of smell paired with their alertness and playful temperament, they can be curious of the outside world more than other dog breeds.

Taking Care Of A Great Dane and Labrador Retriever Mix

Since a Great Dane and Labrador Retriever mix is a curious, alert, and playful pooch, taking care of this breed can be a little demanding.

Physical Activities

With hunting dog for its parents, the Great Dane and Labrador Retriever Mix is an energetic pup that loves walks and large yards for them to explore.

A Labradane needs plenty of exercise. This is to help them keep physically and mentally stimulated, but also to prevent weight gain that can lead to health problems in the future.

And if long walks is not an option, you can always teach a Labradane to play fetch!


Proper training is a must for any dog, but it’s especially crucial for a dog as large as a Great Dane and Labrador Retriever mix.

With both social and friendly dog breeds for its parents, Labradanes can easily get excited and jump around, often forgetting they are a fairly large canine that can easily knock over children (and even the elderly)!

And of course, with a size that can frighten other people, making sure a Labradane knows how to behave properly around others is important. Socializing them at a young age, teaching them basic commands, and how to properly walk on a leash are a must!

Also, since Labradanes can be such playful and curious dogs that love to sniff, boundary training may also come in handy.


As we’ve mentioned earlier, a Great Dane and Labrador Retriever mix has a short, dense double coat, which means it is high shedding.

This means the breed requires frequent brushing, and during their shedding season, you’re looking at multiple grooming sessions a week! You can use a pin brush to brush them regularly, and a de-shedding tool during shedding season.

A Labradane, like both of its parents, have floppy ears. And floppy-eared dogs are prone to ear infections because dirt, bacteria and moisture can easily be trapped inside.

So, it’s important to clean their ears at least once a week to prevent dirt and bacteria build up and infections.

Life Span

The Great Dane and Labrador Retriever mix’s typical lifespan is 8 to 13 years. And if the dog is smaller and/or have inherited more of their Labrador Retriever parent’s genetic, then you can expect them to live a few more years.

Fortunately, most Labradanes do not inherit their Great Dane parent’s short life span, which is about 6 to 10 years, with most not even reaching the age of 7.

Potential Health Risks

They say mixed breed or designer dogs are a lot healthier as compared to purebred dogs. And to some extent, this is true.

However, no one can easily conclude if a designer dog such as the Labradane is healthy or not, because all dogs are not the same.

In the case of the Great Dane and Labrador Retriever mix, they can either inherit more of their Labrador Retriever parent’s gene and won’t be prone to health problems or inherit more of their Great Dane parent’s gene.

As a large breed dog, Great Danes are susceptible to a number of health issues, which you should look out for in your Labradane. These are the following:

  • Cancer
  • Unusual growth
  • Heart disease
  • Dysplasia
  • Eye and ear problems
  • Epilepsy
  • Skin ailments
  • Bloat
  • Obesity

One sure way to ensure that a Labradane puppy will grow up healthy is to choose one from a reliable breeder.

Debate On Purebred vs Designer Breed

A Young Great Dane Puppy Plays With An Adult Lab Mix In A Wide Open Field Under A Blue Sky
Dmussman /

There is a common belief that designer breeds are healthier than pure breeds. This is because designer breeds are believed to have a more resistant genetic make up, meaning they inherit less health problems than purebred dogs and therefore, live longer.

However, any dog can be susceptible to diseases and illnesses, regardless if they are purebred or a mix of two breeds.

So, purebred dogs can also be considered fit, especially if a responsible pet owner knows exactly what they’re getting into when they get a purebred dog.

What Does Science Say?

While it’s true that both purebreds and designer breeds can be healthy dogs, a research conducted by researchers at the University of California, Davis reveals that purebred dogs are more prone to genetic disorders.

The study, which used medical records of more than 27,000 dogs and compared the incidence of 24 genetic disorders reveal that 10 genetic disorders (42%) was significantly greater in purebred dogs.

Meanwhile, mixed breed dogs were found to be more susceptible to ruptured cranial cruciate ligament.


When it comes to choosing a puppy to adopt, the dog’s breed is something most potential owners consider in their decision-making.

If you don’t mind owning a designer dog then you might want to consider a Great Dane and Labrador Retriever mix. They are the perfect family companion and are everything you would want in a dog.

Furthermore, if you want to ensure that your Labradane puppy is healthy, then we recommend getting a puppy from a reputable and responsible breeder.

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