German shepherd vs Pitbull vs Labrador: Which breed is the best?

So you love dogs and that makes you go through this post. Well, who doesn’t? These amazing four-pawed creatures win our hearts easily with their loyalty, charm, and playful attitude. Besides, protecting our household and guarding our family, we consider dogs as our biggest companion. Though every breed is equally loveable, each individual has their own personal preference while opting for a particular breed.

To adopt any breed one has to factor in a lot of things from caring, providing upbringing to maintenance and space, everything should be kept in account. Let’s get started with three of the popular breed who are adorable, protective, playful, and overall a great companion.

German Shepherd vs Labrador vs Pitbull

To know more about each breed we need to take a dig at their origin. All of them are pure breed and as the name states GSD has originated from Germany, whereas Labrador is from Great Britain and Pitbull comes from the USA.

GSD is known as herding dogs and they were bred to protect people and property, and Pitbulls are trained to be hunting dogs by keeping in mind their strength and fighting instinct. Whereas, Labradors are trained to become excellent gundogs due to their excellent retrieving capacity. But overall, these three breeds can be excellent family dogs and can be affectionate companions.

Well three of them are quite different in physical traits and also exhibit a varied personality but quite popular in case of adoption.

According to a study made by, labradors are considered to be the most popular breed for adoption across North America, followed by Pitbull and German Shepherd. 

Let’s get to know more about each breed in depth.

1. Life span

There are a lot of factors involved to determine the life expectancy of any breed. Three important factors like nutrition, exercise, and weight play a vital role to create an overall life expectancy. With advances in modern veterinary science and medicines, life expectancy has increased so far.

German shepherd vs Pitbull vs Labrador - Life span

The average life span of each breed is more or less the same. Pit-bull leading the other two species with an average life span of 12 – 16 years followed by a German shepherd with a life expectancy of 12 – 14 years. While Labradors are lagging behind with a life span of 10- 12 years

German Shepherd: 4/5 , Pit-bull:  4.5/5, Labrador: 3.5/5

2. Appearance:

What we first notice in any breed is its external appearance. Some prefer a huge strong dog while others prefer a smaller and cuter one. To get to know these breeds we should have some basic idea about their external appearance. Folded downturn ears, with a handsome look and mid athletic build is what a Labrador is all about.

German shepherd vs Pitbull vs Labrador - Appearance

A GSD on the other hand is a magnificent creature with alert and erect ears, beautiful almond eyes coupled with a strong large muscular body. Whereas a Pitbull is both powerful and athletic with a lean long body. They are of medium size with great strength and well built muscular body along  with cute round eyes. But more or less all three breeds are very handsome and uniquely stand out.

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German shepherd: 4.5/5 , Pit-bull:  4/5 , Labrador: 4.5/5

 3. Coat

Each breed can be distinguished pretty well with the appearance of the coat. GSD is the furry baby among all with long and dense hair and a dense coat. They have the thickest of the fur in the lot.

German shepherd vs Pitbull vs Labrador - coat

Labs have relatively shorter and very dense coats covering their body. Pitbull is less furry among the three with short and medium dense hair and a short coat.

German shepherd: 4.5/5 , Pit-bull:  3/5 , Labrador: 4/5

 4. Size

It is very important to have a good idea of the height and weight of any full-grown adult breed before adopting. Both German shepherd and Labrador is a larger breed compared to pit-bull.

German shepherd vs Pitbull vs Labrador - SIze, height, weight

The average weight of a male Lab is 67.5 pounds and female is 62.5 pounds and the average height for a male is 23 inches and for a female is 22 inches. Whereas GSD is a bit larger than Lab with an average weight of 77 pounds for males and 60 pounds for females and has an average height of 25 inches for males and 23 inches for females.

However, pit-bull is a comparatively small breed with an average weight of 50 pounds and height of 19 inches making them a comparatively smaller breed.

German shepherd: 4.5/5 , Pitbull:  3.5/5 , Labrador: 4/5

5. Personality

Three of them are extremely intelligent, loyal, and obedient. But each of them shows special characteristics features that make each individual very unique.


Labrador: Some of the characteristics that set them apart are ,they are lively, cheerful, and friendly, which makes them extremely adorable. Besides they are always energetic and very responsive towards human emotions.

GSD: These breed needs no introduction, with their alert upright ears and extremely protective and courageous nature makes them a suitable guard dog. They are always confident and watchful but not so social as Labrador.

Pitbull: Pit bulls are the most graceful and agile creatures. Due to their affectionate nature, they can be excellent family dogs and are even good with kids under supervision.  The high level of intelligence makes them good performing dogs but they need to be properly socialized.

German shepherd: 4/5, Pit-bull:  4/5, Labrador: 4.5/5

 6. Intelligence

Dogs are intelligent creatures; they learn and adopt tricks and commands easily. But whenever we are comparing the intelligence level among breeds we need to keep into consideration some facts like trainability and loyalty.

German shepherd vs Pitbull vs Labrador - intelligence

All three of the above-mentioned breeds are highly intelligent. The common fact among Labrador and German shepherds is that, they are easily trainable, while Pitbull and GSD are extremely loyal.

 German shepherd: 5/5 , Pit-bull:  4/5 , Labrador: 5/5

 7. Trainability

German shepherd vs Pitbull vs Labrador - trainability

Another important fact to keep in mind before buying or adopting any breed is their ability to train and learn. An intelligent breed can be easily trained and can easily understand and learn commands as a result are very easy to keep.

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Labrador shows the highest level of trainability while Pitbull and GSD respond equally to any amount of training.

German shepherd and Pit-bull = 4 /5,Labrador: 5/5


8. Watchdog Ability

German shepherd vs Pitbull vs Labrador - Watchdog Ability

 If you are looking for a dog who will be watchful towards your home and kids then you can blindly go for GSD as this breed score the highest rank in this particular trait. Whereas both Labrador and Pitbull show a moderate level of watchdog tendencies

German Shepherd: 5/5, Pitbull and Labrador= 3.5/5


9. Territorial

A lot of people need a dog that will be protective towards their territory or their home and family,  and will be extremely loyal.


All dogs are loyal but in this case, they can go for a Pitbull or GSD. These two breeds are extremely possessive towards their master and home which makes them extremely territorial.  

German shepherd: 5/5, Pit-bull 5/5, Labrador= 3.5/5

10.  Prey Drive

It is the instinctive impulse due to which a dog chases or catches smaller breeds other than dogs as prey. Every canine shows more or less predatory drive.  

 Prey Drive

In this case, GSD shows the maximum level of prey drive followed by Pitbull which also shows a very high level of prey drive whereas; Labrador shows a low level of prey drive

German shepherd: 4.5/5, Pit-bull 4/5, Labrador= 3/5

11.  Separation Anxiety

Dogs are social animals and love to stay with humans and it’s a reason why they show behavioral issues like anxiety when left alone.

Labrador bonds very closely with human so they show the maximum level of separation anxiety when left alone and tends to cry and bark.

German shepherd vs Pitbull vs Labrador- Separation anxiety

GSD also shows separation anxiety and starts to bark and panic when left alone but it is more noticeable as a puppy than an adult dog.

Pitbull behave excellent with their owners around but tends to panic a bit when left alone.

German shepherd and Pit-bull = 3 /5, Labrador: 4.5/5

 12. Health Issue

To adopt any breed one should be aware of the potential health risks and general health issues that are associated with him. Apparently, a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise keep any dog healthy but still, there are certain health issues that are associated and inherent with every individual breed.

German shepherd vs Pitbull vs Labrador- Health Issue

Labrador: Naturally healthy but prone to diseases like Acute Moist Dermatitis, Bloat, Elbow Dysplasia, Cataracts, etc. Regular health check-up along with a good diet is necessary to combat these diseases.

 Pitbull: They are generally healthy but prone to certain health issues like Démodé tic Mange, Hip Dysplasia, certain Skin Allergies, etc. than the rest of the two breeds.

German shepherd: They are the healthiest among the three breeds with some general health issues like Elbow Dysplasia, Hip Dysplasia, etc

German shepherd: 4/5  Pit-bull:  3/5  Labrador:  3.5/5

 13. Exercise requirements

More or less like humans every breed needs a certain level of exercise every day to keep healthy and active. Although Labrador needs it most as they tend to get obese. They need around 3 to 4 hours of exercise( Running and walking included) per day for healthy functioning.

 Exercise requirements

Followed by GSD, who needs around 2 to 3 hours of daily exercise. Whereas, Pitbull being a terrier breed are naturally very active and needs a good amount of exercise to channelize the energy else they will be obese. Around 30 minutes of vigorous exercise or a combination of moderate exercise of 1 – 2 hours is necessary.

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German shepherd: 4/5, Pit-bull:  4/5,  Labrador:  4.5/5

14. Maintenance

A very important and major factor that needs enough consideration before adoption. Each breed requires a different level of maintenance, so if you are looking for a low-maintenance dog then Pitbull should be your first consideration. As they require very less bathing and a low level of grooming. Also due to less hair, they shed a lot lesser than other breeds. But they can’t tolerate cold as much as the other two breeds.


A Labrador requires average maintenance as they need to have a bathed or brushing at least once every week depending on weather conditions and they also shed a lot more than the other two breeds. But are well tolerant to both cold and heat.

A GSD are very easy to maintain, although they shed higher than a Pit-bull they require occasional bath and average grooming. They are very resistant to heat and cold.

But in general, the food expenditure of each breed is average to high, so the rating can be sum up as

German shepherd: 4/5 , Pit-bull:  4.5/5 , Labrador: 3.5/5

15. Breeding

Whether you want to breed them or not that’s up to you, but one should be aware of their reproductive health and issues in relation to it.

German shepherd vs Pitbull vs Labrador - Breeding

None of the breeds shows any major dysfunction in reproduction. All of them are having the same gestation length around 60 – 64 days and litter once per year. But the litter sizes vary from breed to breed. A GSD produces the highest number of puppies around 6- 10 while a pitbull and Lab produce 5-10 puppies.

German shepherd: 5/5, Pitbull  and Labrador= 4.5/5

Our Verdict

Each individual can have their own perspective on how they see a particular breed. Every breed has its own set of capabilities. Some can run faster while some can protect better. So, it’s hard to choose one to be the best breed. However, we can recommend which breed might suits you the best. If you want a watchdog or a dog who will be protective towards you and your family then you should go for a GSD,  and if you are looking for a family dog yet protective enough to your territory then Pitbull will be the best pick. Or if you want a lively and smiling furry creature all around you and your home to light up your mood always then a lab might be a good choice. With all that being said, better knowledge is required before owning a dog to give them a loving home and get unconditional love in return.

Wrapping up,

Dogs are very much known for their loyalty. They are known to create bonds with humans and live within communities in harmony. Most of the time a dog gets aggressive due to a lack of proper training or socializing. Whether you want to adopt any of the above-mentioned breed or any other breed you must remember that every dog is amazing in their own way and need proper care and attention. They can be excellent companions of you and your family if treated properly.

Hope this article will help you to learn about each breed so that you can compare and choose your preferred one. With all that being said, better knowledge is required before owning a dog to give them a loving home and get unconditional love in return.

3 thoughts on “German shepherd vs Pitbull vs Labrador: Which breed is the best?”

  1. Hi furball lovers
    There nothing such as a good dog or a bad dog.
    Its how we treat them and how well we exchange our vibes with them.
    All female dogs have mothers instinct and we need to respect that. Every dog needs to be loved and the same comes back in return.
    If we have one just make it a point that they require our love and affection. They are stress busters.
    Hope and pray that we all love them. If you don’t love them at least don’t hate them.


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