When you hear the name ‘Shepherd Pit’, it sounds like a site you don’t want to visit! Well, then, that’s not what it is. It’s a Pit Bull- German Shepherd mix; or what breeders fondly refer to as a designer (crossbreed) dog.
They’re the result of breeding two different dog breeds and used to be considered a solecism in the canine world. In recent times, it’s considered a completely acceptable and even desirable trait.
Change of perception…all right. Will anyone ever dare to call these dogs as mutts? This is what happens when you cross two of the world’s most fierce and equally affectionate dogs?
A Loyal, intelligent, confident and gallant German shepherd (black, white or brown)with a devoted, formidable and affectionate Pitbulls (usually the American Pitbull Terrier)… the offspring will be …… an affectionate, dedicated, formidable dog with a fierce loyalty!
The German shepherd-Pitbull Mix – Commonly referred to as German Sheppit, German Pit and Shepherd Pit.
German Shepherd Pitbull Mix Breed Characteristics Sheet
- Size: Large
- Dog Breed Group: Hybrid
- Purebred: No-Cross Breed
- Lifespan: 10-12 Years
- Height: Male: Height: 18-26 Inches (45-66 Cm), Female: 17-24 Inches (43-60cm)
- Weight: Male: 40-90 Pounds (18 – 40 Kg), Female: 30-70 Pounds(13-31 Kg)
- Coat Appearance: Normal, Short And Straight Coat
- Coat Colors: Tan, Black, White, Fawn
- Temperament: Alert, Athletic, Affectionate, Devoted, Intelligent, Lively, Loyal, Protective, Responsive, Spirited, Territorial, Watchful
- Good With Children: Yes
- Intelligence Level: High
- Good With Pets: No
- Hypoallergenic: No
- Grooming: Minimal
- Shedding: Average
- Barking: High
- Suitable For Apartments: No
- Need For Exercise: High
- Easy To Train: Yes
- Good For First Time Owners: No
- Health Issues: Demodicosis, Panosteitis, Hip Dysplasia, Hemophilia, Degenerative Myelopathy, Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency
- Litter Size: 5-10
- Average Price: 300- 600 Usd
German Shepherd Pitbull Mix History
It’s estimated that the Shepherd Pit started emerging en masse about 20-30 years ago, around the same time other cross breed dogs hit the scene.
Breeders need to thank Jessica Simpson and her Maltipoo, Daisy for that. While there’s no precise origin and history about GSD-Pitbull Mix, it’s speculated that this hybrid was designed to blend the Pit’s power and athleticism with the Shep’s smartness and loyalty.
Today, it’s one of the most common hybrids out there but it’s also one that is commonly found in animal rescues and shelters.
These are due to some very common misconceptions and many scathing attacks made towards both the parent breeds a well as mixes associated with these breeds.
Read on to figure out what’s factual and what’s fake about these dogs.
Is German Shepherd Pitbull Mix, The Right Dog For You?
If you want a dog who is
- Powerful, protective and Looks stern as well as Striking
- Strong, sleekly-muscled “masculine” build
- Smart, Loyal and makes an excellent watchdog.
- Looks imposing enough so that he makes an effective deterrent even when friendly
- Easy grooming requirements
Well, a Shepherd pit may be right for you.
If you don’t want to deal with
- Boisterousness and exuberant jumping when young
- Strong athletic streaks and energetic exercise requirements
- A calm, collected pooch that can some lines are bit timid around
- High prey drive and Potential aggression toward other animals
- Low boredom threshold. Destructiveness, when bored or, left alone too much
A Shepherd pit may not be right for you…keep looking
German Shepherd Pitbull Mix Size And Lifespan
Height – Male: Height: 18-26 inches (45-66 cm), Female: 17-24 inches (43-60cm)
Weight – Male: 40-90 pounds (18 – 40 kg), female: 30-70 pounds(13-31 kg)
German Shepherd Pitbull Mix Lifespan
A healthy GSD Pitbull Mix should expect to enjoy a life expectancy of between 10 – 12 years when properly cared for and fed a good quality diet to suit their ages.
German Shepherd Pitbull Mix Coat Color And Appearance
Their looks are not standardized and may vary based on the dominant parental gene. Since both breeds are of a larger size, your Shepherd Pit will likely be a medium-large sized dog with well-defined musculatures.
As experienced breeders reveal, the shepherd-pit looks more of a larger Pit Bull, with either a classic short muzzle or a longer muzzle like the GSD. Definitely not the largest canine when it comes to size, but it is fairly larger than the APBT and shorter than the GSD parent.
Shepherd pits more likely to have the face of the Pitbull, with a broad head and a short muzzle (or, sometimes longer muzzle like the GSD).
Large, round eyes (that can be seen in either a dark, light, or amber colored) that are set far apart, low down in skull and ears stand tall upon the head and have that well-known fold right at the tip that is easily recognizable as an APBT trait.
Shepherd pits have extremely powerful jaws with incisors meet in the front in a scissor bite.
Both his parent breeds are natural, hard-working dogs. So, obviously, the Shepherd Pits are going to have a sturdy, muscular appearance. They have a strong neck with a deep, moderately wide chest.
They have muscularly developed back which is straight and comparatively short. Long shoulder blades which are obliquely angled, withers are higher and loins are long enough to square the dog with the long, slanting hip.
The tail of a German pit is long, low set, thick at the base tapering to a fine point and extends to the point of the hock.
GDs are mixed with various breeds like Rottweiler, Husky, Welsch Corgi, Golden Retriever, etc. for great outcome of designer dog breeds like German Shepherd Rottweiler Mix, German Shepherd Husky Mix, German Shepherd Corgi Mix, German Shepherd Golden Retriever Mix etc.
German Shepherd Pitbull Mix Training
- Trainability – Easy
- Intelligence – High
- Memory – High
- Mouthiness – Low
- Prey Drive – High
- Wanderlust Potential – Average
This designer dog is one of the intelligent crossbreeds out there… This means that they won’t give you such a hard time in training and chances are they will need fewer repetitions than the average breed.
The GSD- Pitbull mix puppies without proper obedience training (at around 8 weeks of age) often grow up to have problems following orders as they think that they’re the pack leader and not the follower.
So stick to the right basics of dog training- such as positive reinforcement (in the form of praise or treats or both) and establish yourself as the ALPHA (pack leader) as well as remaining consistent all through the training.
GSD- Pitbull mix requires lots of stimulation and boundaries. Keep him busy with training sessions and interesting games every day.
They need a minimum of 1 – 2 long walks a day (20 or 30 minutes), keep training sessions short and shouldn’t be more than 15 minutes long.
Allow him to spent some time on his own in the patio or yard and take him as your jogging companion (use an anti-pull harness).
Are the GSD-Pitbull mix is really aggressive?
When you hear of a Pit Bull- German Shepherd mix behaving in a hostile way, it’s because that dog was not properly trained and raised. No dog is bad at heart. Bad owners/ trainers make for this dog’s bad reputations.
When someone raises dogs to be meanie and aggressive, lets loose one of these animals, it gives a bad name to all the rest of them. Mostly, a Shepherd Pit is very calm, collected, restrained and loyal.
Certainly, they’re very protective, so they will attack if given orders or if anyone in their pack (family), are in danger. But overall, it’s not an aggressive dog.
German Shepherd Pitbull Mix Temperament
Two badass Temperaments! Pitbull vs GSD
As befits its stocky demeanor, Pitbull is extremely gutsy and very protective.
While not naturally aggressive towards people; they have more “spider senses”, meanwhile, the GSD is a typical herder that is loyal, very protective and also has the warning bells (always ringing!).
Both the Pitbull and GSD are working dogs and the dogs came about this nature differently.
The two co-mingled bloodlines will turn out to be a smart, confident watchdog that fundamentally takes the Pit’s alleged “edge” off. And that’s perhaps just because of the wonderful mixture of genes at work.
When German pits are left alone too much, they can get separation anxiety. However, few others have a quite solid independent streak even when owners are around.
They’ll enjoy your company, and they appreciate your camaraderie, but don’t expect them looking your way to keep them engaged or to be constantly by your side. For some owners, this could be a windfall rather than a detraction.
If they meet head-on with unfamiliar people or pets and haven’t been taught how to behave, their guarding inclinations can take over. You can easily avoid this by early socialization and obedience training
While we can’t assure that every dog of this crossbreed is the same; they do have a tendency to be high energy, dominant and in need of lots of training.
That’s why we tend to be of the opinion that these dogs are better suited to an experienced dog owner.
For first time owners
GSD- Pitbull mix is a not a good choice for first-time owners. Having said that, this is a dog is adept to learn quickly and has a penchant for understanding – ‘what you want’, ‘what you say’ and ‘what you mean’.
The sooner you begin training this dog, better the chances you have of getting a loyal, affectionate and obedient family dog.
- Apartment Living – No
- Good For First-Time Owners – No
- Sensitivity Level – High
- Loneliness – Hates To Be Left Alone
- Cold Weather – High
- Hot Weather – Average
- With Family – High
- Kids – Good
- Other Dogs – No
- With Cats – No
- Strangers – Suspicious
- Independence – Average
- Dominance – High
- Combativeness – Aggressive
- Indoors – Active
- Outdoor – Highly Active
- Territorial – Yes
- Easy Of Transportation – Good
German Shepherd Pitbull Mix Care
- Exercise Needs – High
- Intensity – High
- Activity Level – High
- Exercise Requirements – >60 Minutes/Day
- Walk Mileage/ Week – 10 Miles
- Playfulness – High
- Grooming Needs – Minimal
- Tendency To Drool – No
- To Snore – No
- Bark – High
- Dig – Low
- Social/Attention Needs – High
German Shepherd Pitbull Mix Food
- Daily Cost – $1.50 – $1.90 (average)
- Monthly cost – $39.00 – $52.00
- Pups between eight and 12 weeks old – 3 meals every 24 hours (275g- 400g).
- 3 to 6 months old – 3 meals every 24 hour period (400-600g)
- Feed puppies 6 months to 11 months- 2 bowls of food daily (600g)
- After 12 months, 1 or 2 bowls of adult dog food every 24 hours is typically all that’s necessary.
Remember, Adult dogs need to be fed a high-quality diet that meets all their dietary and nutritional requirements while keeping a close eye on a dog’s weight.
- Dogs weighing-30 kg = 400g to 500g ( depending on their activity level)
- 35 kg =400g to 500g
- 40 kg = 400g to 600g
Here is a rough Macronutrient breakdown for your glance.
- Protein content should be anything from 14 – 25%
- Carb content should be 30 to 60%
- Fiber content should be less than 4%
- Fat content should be less than 10%
- Calcium content should be 0.5 – 0.8%
- Phosphorous content should be 0.4 – 0.7%
- Sodium content should be 0.2 – 0.4%
The Ten Commandments to choose best dog foods:
- Substantial amounts of meat-based protein
- No unidentified meat ingredients, meat by-products
- Generic animal fats – No
- Artificial coloring agents – No
- No controversial chemical preservatives, fillers
- Fat-to-protein ratio 75% or lower
- Avoid unhealthy grains and fillers
- Modest carb content
- Choose certified organic labels
- should have essential vitamins and minerals
Top picks of 2018
- Taste of the Wild Wildfowl Recipe
- Fromm Gold Nutritionals Large Breed
- EUKANUBA Premium Active Adult Dog Food
- Wellness CORE Large Breed
- Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Puppy Food
- BLUE Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe
Best Foods for German pit Puppy on a Raw Diet
- Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Grain Free Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food
- Wellness CORE RawRev Grain-Free Natural Dry Puppy Food
- Merrick 1 Count Backcountry Big Game Recipe Puppy Food
Best Food for German Pit Puppy: Wet
- Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Wet Canned Puppy Food
- BLUE Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Puppy Wet Dog Food
- Nutro Large Breed Puppy Wet Dog Food
German Shepherd Pitbull Mix Grooming And Shedding
- Coat Density – Normal
- Length – Short
- Texture – Straight
- Brushing Frequency – Weekly Twice
- Trimming/Stripping – No
- Hypoallergenic – No
- Shedding – Average
Due to the German pits short and flat hair, grooming is considered to be low to the medium maintenance level.
A weekly brushing using a simple slicker brush or even a de-shedding fulminator slicker brush is more than enough to straighten out the coat hair. It is essential you brush your dog’s coat frequently during season shift periods.
Brushing the dog’s fur makes it detangle, remove shed hair, keeps it healthy and also maintains the natural sheen.
Wash your dog only when it is extremely needed as they don’t have a bad doggy odor. Just make sure to check and clean the ears often and trim the nails every few weeks to keep the paws healthy.
So if you are looking for a dog with easy maintenance (on grooming front) then the German Pit may be the one for you.
German Shepherd Pitbull Mix Health Problems
- Hip Dysplasia
- Degenerative Myelopathy
- Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency
- Elbow Dysplasia
- Von Willebrand’s Disease
- Footpad Disorder
- Cervical Vertebral Instability
- Cutaneous Asthenia
- Patellar Luxation
- Gastric Dilation-Volvulus
- Sebaceous Adenitis (SA)
- Pulmonic Stenosis
German Shepherd Pitbull Mix Names