German Shepherd Pitbull Mix – Everything You Need to Know
It’s obvious that the hybrid under the spotlight is a combination of two breeds. A German Shepherd Pitbull Mix is a very interesting topic of discussion. Both breeds are staunch and fierce along with loving and loyal. “Bad to their bones but gooey and soft on the inside” is the best way to describe them.
Let me point out that a height of 26 inches and a weight of 70-90 pounds indicate the hybrid is perfect to be a guard dog. However, if you train him/her right, then they can be loyal at heart too.
So let’s find out everything you might possibly want to know about this particular breed.
German Shepherd Pitbull Mix – Breed Overview
German Shepherds are known for their intelligence and loyalty. As for Pitbulls, they’re pretty strong. When the former (dam) mates with the latter (sire) , 5-8 German Shepherd Pitbull Mix puppies are brought to life.
But the mixed breed is not recognized by major Kennel Clubs. At the same time, finding recognized breeders is also quite difficult. It’s because there are very few of them. Nevertheless, the average cost of one puppy is between the range of $200 and $600.
Breed Origin and History
A better understanding of history involves knowing where the German Shepherd and Pitbull breeds come from.
German Shepherds came about in 1899 in Germany. They were herding dogs back then. Needless to say, the breed is hard-working and intelligent. And this is what makes them an ideal choice for police and military use all across the world. In fact, German Shepherd is Germany’s most popular breed.
Moving on to Pitbulls, they’re also very intelligent creatures. They come from the UK’s bull breeds. When the breed was established in America, that’s when it got the name of American Pitbull Terrier.
The breed was brought up and bred to earn the title of fighting dogs. But that didn’t last for quite long since Pitbulls have a soft demeanor. Plus, they’re great around children.
So where does the German Shepherd Pitbull Mix come from? If you want an exact location, it’s got to be America during the 2000s. Since both the parent breeds are so intelligent, the hybrid is also a very intelligent and hard-working and loving dog.
German Shepherd Pitbull Mix – Nature and Temperament
Maybe you already know about the negative stigma associated with a German Shepherd Pitbull hybrid. That the breed is too dangerous and too aggressive. Now I’m not going to deny that. But it largely depends on how you raise and care for your puppy.
When proper social skills, training, and exercise are carried out, the breed can be incredibly loving. And even friendly toward family members. It’s what makes them so perfect as home or family pets.
The dogs are even safe to be around children too. After all, pitbulls are quite popular for their demeanor around little humans. You just have to make sure you introduce the pup to your kids.
It’s also important for you to teach your child the proper way of treating the family pet. This includes basic guidelines of what to do and what not to do. But that applies to any breed you get. Always teach your children to respect and love all the family members. No matter the origin of your four-legged companion!
So long as your dog is getting his daily dose of exercise, which should be more than 90 minutes, and a spacious yard, he/she is going to do just fine in your living environment. Meaning the breed doesn’t adopt any undesirable behavior like barking or chewing.
Also, since I’ve mentioned it in passing, a German Shepherd Pitbull hybrid is not suitable for small apartments. Due to its elevated energy levels! So if you don’t have enough room, I would highly recommend choosing a small breed.
German Shepherd Pitbull Mix – Caring for Them
In this section, I’m going to discuss the cross-breed’s diet, exercise, and training.
If you’re a responsible and caring owner, you certainly understand the significance of early socialization. Along with consistent, correct training. When these criteria are met, your dog inevitably becomes more loving. And even easy in terms of care.
So let’s get on with it, shall we?
German Shepherd Pitbull Mix Diet
How much should the breed eat? It’s time to get to know the right answer.
A diet that’s well-balanced consists of essential nutrients. This includes an appropriate amount of protein and calorie intake. After all, the hybrid is part German Shepherd and part Pitbull. Meaning the energy levels are going to be extremely high.
Generally speaking, large, active canines demand 30 calories for every pound of their body weight. But, obviously, this is not set in stone. You can increase or decrease the amount depending on the dog’s activity level, size, and age.
However, the German Shepherd Pitbull breed’s daily caloric consumption is high indeed. The dogs live healthy and happy on high-quality, specially formulated dry kibbles. The kind that is specifically created for large, active breeds!
And if you’re going to feed your hyperactive furry friend plenty of kibbles, then it would be best to divide the servings. For the pup version of this hybrid, 2-3 meals daily are enough.
German Shepherd Pitbull Mix Exercise
You don’t need me to tell you just how solid and strong the breed is. One look at them and you know this to be true. So let me make it very clear here that the exercise requirements aren’t optional. Don’t think of them as “guidelines” since it’s crucial and absolutely necessary for you to make sure your German Pit gets enough exercise done on a daily basis.
Without it, the breed tends to become quite aggressive. So destructive behavior like unwanted chewing, excessive barking, and digging is inevitable. Think of your German Shepherd Pitbull as a gym-junkie or fitness freak, if you will.
The breed loves to exercise. So around 90 minutes each day should be enough to get your canine’s blood flowing.
Now I’m not suggesting you go running with your dog, which is something you can totally do if you’re as athletic as the little creature. But if you’re not so keen on running, try cycling. Hop on the bike, hold on to the leash, and let the dog run right next to you.
The leftover exercise you can add into play time. When you play with your dog, it improves your bond with him/her. What the activity also does is promote mental stimulation. Not just for your four-legged companion by the way, but also for you.
During playtime, be patient with your dog. The good part here is that German Shepherd Pitbulls are very intelligent. And they adore food. This means they don’t take much time to figure out games like Flip the Cup.
German Shepherd Pitbull Mix Training
Yes, the cross-breed is intelligent. But a German Shepherd Pitbull hybrid is also stubborn. So you might have to practice a lot of patience in terms of proper training. This is why it’s highly advisable for only experienced dog owners to choose a German Pit. The dogs are not such a great option if you’re a brand new member of the pet community.
The German Pitbull Mix comes from 2 very independent and tough breeds. So it goes without saying that the dog is going to want to be the leader. But this is what makes the correct form of training even more important.
The 3 primary components to be used for training purposes are positive reinforcements, patience, and time. While it’s true that giving up on your puppy seems very tempting, but you shouldn’t choose that path at any cost.
Also, keep in mind that dominance and negative reinforcements as a part of the training are quite ineffective. On the contrary, they downgrade the welfare of your dog. So never neglect the importance of praise and treats during training exercises.
Socialization Requirements of German Shepherd Pitbull Mix
Proper socialization, no matter the breed, is supposed to be a part and parcel of just about any training plan. And you have to make sure of that as a responsible and caring dog lover. But this factor is even more important in the case of a German Pit. Since the hybrid comes from German Shepherds and Pitbulls that are known to be aggressive breeds.
When puppies socialize as much as they should, the chances of aggressive behavior during adulthood get minimized. This also applies to fearfulness and anxiety. So encourage your pup to socialize with other dogs, people, and environments.
Now I know this seems like a time-consuming activity. But the goal here is to introduce your puppy to new experiences so he/she is not sensitive or averse to them.
- Puppy classes
- Neighborhood walks
- Daycare for dogs
- Dog-friendly cafes/parks
These are some of the places where you can begin. Allow your furry friend to interact with his/her fellow furry buddies. Take the leash off for a while, if possible. Don’t keep your dogs from connecting with other humans and settings too. Just make sure you’re around them during this time. Supervision is necessary.
German Shepherd Pitbull Mix – Common Health Concerns
Did you know that a German Pit can reach the age of 12 years when healthy? But just like any other breed, the dog is prone to developing health problems. However, knowing about these potential medical conditions just makes you more aware. So you can treat the dog accordingly.
If you’re dealing with a good breeder, getting access to your future pet’s health history is very much possible. The chances are the breeder provides you with all the information you might need about the parents of your dog.
Even so, let me discuss the most common health concerns associated with the German Shepherd Pitbull breed.
The hybrid is susceptible to experiencing skin irritation. This particular problem they get from their Pitbull side. The skin is more sensitive, so it reacts very strongly. This means ticks, fleas, and insect bites are going to cause a tremendous amount of skin irritation.
So how do you prevent the reaction? Simply by using high-quality flea and tick treatment. You can even tweak your canine’s diet at such times. Include more omega 6 and 3 fatty acids for improving your dog’s coat and skin. They also reduce inflammation.
This is a medical condition that develops during the growing stages of the breed. And the result takes the form of a loose or unstable hip joint. Both Pitbulls and German Shepherds are likely to get affected by hip dysplasia.
What works here is weight management. But this applies to every dog breed. However, the importance of weight management is even greater in the case of the current breed. It’s because when the weight is kept in check, there’s no unwanted or excessive stress falling on the hip joint.
Apart from skin irritation and hip dysplasia, German Pits are prone to developing the following conditions as well. Although they might not be as common as the two discussed above.
- Bladder stones
- Heart disease
- Patellar luxation
- Von Willebrand’s Disease
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis
- Zinc-responsive dermatitis.
German Shepherd Pitbull Mix – Color and Coat
Bold stature and solid build; an average German Shepherd Pitbull is 26 inches tall and 90 pounds heavy. The face of the dog resembles that of Pitbull. Meaning large head, slightly bent ears, and short muzzle. But in some cases, the snout is longer like that of a German Shepherd.
The hybrid version has an incredibly muscular body covered with short, medium, or thick coat. The thickness of the coat is entirely dependent on the genetic makeup of the four-legged creature. However, in most cases, the fur is tan in color with black saddle. Other colors include fawn and black.
Now you should know that the appearance can vary greatly. It’s not important for every litter to have puppies looking the same. Whatever the appearance though, German Shepherd Pitbulls are large, muscular, and solid.
German Shepherd Pitbull Mix – Grooming Requirements
Let me bring to your attention that the requirements for grooming are based on the breed that’s more dominant. Is it the Pitbull side that appears to be superior? Or are the German Shepherd characteristics more dominating?
Let’s assume that your dog has inherited the coat from his/her German Shepherd side. In that case, you might want to make regular brushing a part of daily grooming. It’s because German Shepherds have a thick double coating. That is more prone to shedding often. But this is something you don’t have to worry about with the short coat of Pitbulls.
As far as daily grooming is concerned, the hybrid demands no excessive maintenance. Just like any other breed, bathing and nail trimming are essential. And so is brushing the teeth and regular dental follow-ups.
Common Traits of German Shepherd Pitbull Mix
Just like any other cross-breed dog, it’s not easy determining the temperament of German Pits. But generally speaking, they have the following characteristics:
- High Energy
Exercise on a daily basis is a must. It’s how the breed, any breed stays fit. Let alone a large dog like a German Shepherd Pitbull. After all, the hybrid comes from two breeds that are labeled as working dogs.
So 90 minutes of activity every single day is necessary. Apart from having enough outdoor space where your little hyperactive creature can expend his/her remaining energy throughout the day. But if a yard is not a part of the picture, why not include walk #2 during evening time!
When your dog gets this kind of exercise done on a daily basis, you’re eliminating concerns like excessive barking, chewing, and aggression. After all the activity and physical requirements are met, your furry companion is glad to relax and settle down with you.
I don’t need to tell you anymore just how intelligent Pitbulls and German Shepherds are. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to find out that their product is also much the same. You can expect your German Shepherd Pitbull cross-breed to be incredibly responsive and quick. When it comes to listening to commands and training.
I have stressed the importance of physical activity, yes? But what’s also equally essential is mental stimulation. So don’t keep from training your pup from a very early stage. By early, I mean as small as 7-8 weeks old. It’s during this growing stage that puppies begin to understand and respond to basic commands. Such as “stay” and “sit”.
- Loving and Loyal
Needless to say, these dogs are quite affectionate toward their owners and families. But that’s only if they’re raised with care.
The thing about German Pits is that they keep themselves pretty entertained. Even so, the breed loves to hang out around humans. This also means they don’t like to be left alone for a long time. And by a long time, I mean over 3 hours at a go.
Their nature is very protective if you ask me. This is because German Shepherds, back in the days, were bred for herding and guarding livestock. So when your cross-breed is showing hostility toward strangers, know that he/she is only trying to protect the “pack” from potential threats.
But if you want to get rid of this kind of growling behavior, make sure you encourage your four-legged friend to socialize with others. Both people and dogs!
Let me begin by telling you that German Shepherds, by nature, assume the title of pack leaders. So it’s only common sense and biological to expect German Shepherd Pitbulls to also exhibit leadership qualities. Their desire for domination is ingrained in their blood, even though partly.
Now, this is not necessarily a bad thing until it turns into aggression. So to avoid that, you have to keep an eye out. Make sure your puppy starts socializing from a very early age. Create a friendly environment where the little one interacts with other dogs. Like in the park or during training classes.
But please don’t assume that every such mixed breed is going to share the same characteristics. Nevertheless, what remains on the same level is the high energy and need for proper training. And the best way to go about is to get a German Pit only if you’re an experienced owner. Newbies might not be able to handle or train a stubborn, tough cross-breed like this one.
Frequently Asked Questions about German Shepherd Pitbull Mix
What is the life expectancy of a German Shepherd Pitbull Mix?
The answer to this question is 11-12 years.
On average, German Shepherds live for around 11 years. And Pitbulls for about 11-13 years. So the life expectancy of a German Pit is approx. 11-12 years.
But this obviously varies depending on the dog’s lifestyle, and health conditions if any.
How much does it cost to buy a German Shepherd Pitbull cross-breed?
Have you already decided to make a German Shepherd Pitbull a part of your family? If yes, then you’ve got to buy from a well-known breeder. One that does health screening on puppies! Such breeders insist on meeting the pup first. So you get a better understanding of how naughty, playful, and unique he/she is.
Typically, a puppy costs about anywhere between $200 and $600. There are other expenses too. Like getting a crate, collar, leash, blood tests, neutering, and chipping. The cost of these things rounds up to $500.
Is the German Shepherd Pitbull Mix a dangerous breed?
This is a commonly asked question. I’m sure even you, at some point, were thinking about it. Whatever the case, here’s the correct answer.
The cross-breed has developed a reputation for being aggressive. But you should know that the dog’s temperament is decided by how you choose to raise him/her.
The thing about German Pits is that they’re intelligent, protective, bold, and loyal. And they love to spend time with family. Their personality is also loving and calm. So as long as your dog is receiving enough care and attention from adults and children, the chances of an aggressive behavior taking form are highly unlikely.
I have again and again highlighted the importance of proper socialization. And even the correct form of training. If these practices and requirements are not met, expect your dog to be just the opposite of friendly and well-behaved.
Now you should also know that the cross-breed comes from two separate dominant personalities. But when raised in an environment where other creatures also exist, the mixed breed learns to cohabit peacefully. Needless to say, early socialization and training are crucial if you want to do away with the dangerous aspect.
How to train German Shepherd Pitbull Mix puppies?
What’s unfortunate here is that these hybrids aren’t easy when it comes to training. So if this is your first time with a dog, the task is going to pretty tough. I won’t lie to you about that. So how about you go for a smaller breed instead?
If not, then just keep in mind that being confident and firm goes a long way. You have to let control be in your hands. And not the other way round.
Also, patience is essential. And so are positive reinforcements. Dogs learn quickly when praises and treats are a part of the training exercise. And always choose praises and treats instead of punishment. The latter, no doubt, is ineffective.
What you should also remember is that socializing helps in calming down all the stubbornness. When your little creature gets to interact with and meet other dogs, an understanding of adaptability is established in him/her. Being social fixes timid and anxious behavior as well. So it becomes easier for your pet to get along well with family members.
But the job is easier said than done, right? Encouraging social skills is a time-consuming process. And the only useful tool at such times is patience. Just remember that the goal is to desensitize your dog. When it comes to meeting new people and being in new environments.
The breed is very intelligent indeed, but it’s also quite stubborn. So training is not a piece of cake. You have to be consistent. It’s the only way your puppy develops new habits and learns decent behavior.
Make leash training and crate training a part of the plan. It helps with reducing excessive barking. Begin from the age of 7-8 weeks itself. Don’t postpone it because puppies are way easier and less annoying to train than their adult counterparts.
How much grooming does a German Shepherd Pitbull Mix need?
The cross-breed coat can be either short or medium in length. You can breathe a sigh of relief in knowing that too much maintenance is not required.
If the dog’s coat is like that of a German Shepherd, then regular brushing is very important. And that’s because German Shepherds have a thick double layer coating, which sheds very often. So you can use a brush to do away with those concerns, the hard bristle kind of course.
Once again, introduce the grooming technique at a very young age. As an adult, your dog should be well accustomed to all the brushing and cleaning.
As for bathing, avoid over-doing it. Once in a month is perfectly fine. Otherwise, what happens is skin irritation takes control. And German Shepherd Pitbull dogs are already highly prone to developing allergies or skin irritation. Buy a shampoo that’s specifically designed for sensitivities in dogs.
Another grooming task is to get rid of earwax from the ears. Did you know that German Pits, since floppy-eared, are susceptible to building up earwax and other ear infections? So don’t think twice before getting your canine’s ears checked once every month. You either go to your vet or a reputable groomer.
German Shepherd Pitbull Mix – Highlights in a Nutshell
If you’ve read so far, it means you’re very keen on getting a German Shepherd Pitbull. Am I right? So now that you have gone through pretty much everything you need to know about the cross-breed, it’s time to make a decision.
In that case, here are all the important points at a single glance:
- Average size is large.
- Average height is 24-26 inches.
- Average weight is 70-90 pounds, which is 32-41 kilograms.
- Average life expectancy is 11-12 years.
- The average cost of a puppy is between $200 and $600.
- Average non-medical yearly expense is between $500 and $600.
- Average medical yearly expense is between $500 and $600.
- Common health issues are skin irritation and hip dysplasia.
- Other commonly known names are German Pit, German Sheppit, and Shepherd Pit.
- The breed type is obviously cross-breed.
- The type of coat is thick and dense. The length is either medium or short.
- Common coat colors are tan, black, fawn, and white.
- Moderate grooming requirements.
- Highly sensitive to touch.
- Quite frequent barking.
- The large breed requires more space, thus not suitable for a small apartment.
- The stubborn breed demands experienced handling, thus not suitable for first-time owners.
- Energy levels are high, so exercise time should be at least 90 minutes daily.
- Moderate tendency for gaining weight.
- Low tolerance when it comes to isolation.
- Moderate cold and heat tolerance.
- In terms of safety, the hybrid is safe to be around children. Provided proper training and early socialization needs have been met.
- Shedding of hair is moderate. But it can be heavy if the dog takes more after his/her German Shepherd parent. In that case, regular brushing is necessary.
- If friendly, a German Pit is good with his fellow four-legged friends. And if not, expect aggressive behavior.
- Fairly good in terms of training. But once again, you have to be experienced to train.
The End Note
Needless to say, a German Shepherd Pitbull mix is a very bold, intelligent, loyal, and protective dog. The breed is the best for those who have taken care of dogs before. German Pits are very active with high energy levels. So the training requirements are going to be heavy-duty.
The build of the breed is strong and athletic. So if you’re an adventurous person or family, you have nothing to worry about. Access to a spacious backyard for the dog to expend his/her energy is also another crucial point of consideration.
The breed is not aggressive or hostile in any sense. As long as consistent, positive training is a part of the pup’s life into adulthood!
So don’t let misconceptions ruin the experience here. Any dog, when cared for responsibly and lovingly, can be a bundle of positive energy, joy, love, and protection. Even the product of two tough, stubborn breeds like German Shepherd and Pitbull.