- Activity Level: high
- Grooming Level: moderate
- Trainability: moderate
- Adaptability: moderate
- Kid/Pet Friendly: often
- Average Size: Large
- Prey Drive: moderate
- Watchdog: very alert
German Shepherd Mix Breed Profile
The German Shepherd Mix is not a purebred dog or a designer dog breed. Any puppies that qualify as a German Shepherd Mix are a cross between a German Shepherd and another dog breed. In a mixed breed, you can get any mix of characteristics in the parent breeds. German Shepherds tend to be strong-willed, intelligent, playful, and loyal. To get a full idea of what to expect in your puppy, be sure to ask the breeder about the other dog breed in the cross and check out the mother dog in-person to get a general idea about size and temperament.
On the German Shepherd side, you have an independent dog with high intelligence and a playful spirit. German Shepherds make great family pets and are born protectors. Because of their protective instinct, they can be suspicious of strangers. Socialization early and often can help curb this suspicion and make them more open to new people and situations. German Shepherds also tend to be loving and have a lively personality.
The German Shepherd Mix can have any or all of these characteristics plus any characteristics from the other parent breed in the mix. Before buying a German Shepherd Mix puppy and bringing them home, be sure to talk to the breeder about the other parent breed. You’ll want to know about that breed’s temperament and whether or not they tend to be good with children before making your decision. If the puppies are being family-raised around children, you should be able to get an idea of how they will do in a family setting that includes children.
The German Shepherd is a moderately adaptable working dog that was bred to guard, work, and herd. They do not tend to do well in apartments and are best-suited for houses with yards. GSDs prefer to be with their families and do not like to be alone. They also tend to prefer cooler climates as they are sensitive to heat.
With a German Shepherd Mix, you could get a moderately adaptable dog that is just like a purebred German Shepherd. You could also end up with a dog that is more like the other parent breed. Talking with the breeder about the other parent breed can give you a good idea of what to expect.
German Shepherds can be prone to elbow and hip dysplasia. You will need to ask the breeder about the other parent breed in the cross to get an idea of any other health concerns to be aware of in your German Shepherd Mix. Health screenings, clearances, and the genetic history of the parents can help allay concerns about potential health conditions.
On the German Shepherd side, training and obedience classes are highly recommended for novice dog owners. Although GSDs are highly intelligent, pick up on things quickly, and train fairly easily, they can be stubborn with an independent streak.
Regardless of the other parent breed in the cross, you should be prepared to enroll in obedience and training classes with your German Shepherd Mix. The experience will be beneficial to both you and your puppy and will also offer some opportunities for socialization. You will still want to ask the breeder about the other parent breed in the cross to get an understanding of what to expect during the training process.
Because the German Shepherd Mix coat can be any combination of the parent breeds, your dog’s coat may require more or less grooming than a German Shepherd. A German Shepherd’s coat will shed and requires daily brushings to keep shedding in check. Professional grooming a few times a year and the occasional bath is also recommended.
Regardless of the coat type, your German Shepherd Mix will need to have their nails trimmed monthly and their teeth brushed regularly. Brushing your dog’s teeth daily is ideal. Not every dog will allow you to do this, so try to get a tooth brushing session in at least a few times a week to reduce tartar buildup. This will help prevent dental problems like tooth decay and gum disease. Plus, it will help cut down on bad breath!
German Shepherds tend to have a high activity level. They were bred to run, herd, guard, and protect, so they are used to working and having a job to do. They are definitely not a lazy dog breed! Be sure to talk to the breeder about the other parent breed in the mix. You will still want to go in prepared for a high energy dog with the understanding that your German Shepherd Mix puppy may have an activity level closer to the other breed in the cross. If both are high energy dogs breeds, expect to end up with a high energy dog.
A German Shepherd is a large dog breed that generally weighs between 55 and 90 pounds. They also usually stand between 22 and 26 inches tall at the shoulders. The other dog breed in the cross could result in a smaller or larger German Shepherd Mix. You’ll still want to ask the breeder about the other parent breed, but you can get a good idea of what size to expect in your German Shepherd Mix by taking a look at the mother.
A German Shepherd generally lives for 9-12 years. You should be able to expect a similar range in your German Shepherd Mix, but the other dog breed in the cross could affect this range.