The German Shepherd has been a well-loved breed even before it was recognized by the AKC…
The German Shepherd’s combination of remarkable characteristics makes it an excellent choice to mix with other breeds. Indeed, its solid build along with its trainability and unique personality offers an incredible base from which to develop other dogs.
What about crossing the GSD with a Greyhound? Is the German Shepherd Greyhound mix a good dog to have?
About the German Shepherd Breed
The German Shepherd consistently ranks as part of the American Kennel Club’s top 3 most popular dog breeds. Their history goes back to the late 1800s when they were first discovered and developed as herders with superior abilities.
By 1908, the breed was recognized by the AKC and quickly gained popularity across the country specifically for its intelligence, agility, and versatility.
GSDs are loved at home, in the fields, and practically in any type of workplace. Their confident stance, courageous attitude, and exceptional intelligence combined with their loyalty to and affection for their humans make them very much deserving of their fame and favor.
About the Greyhound Breed
Greyhounds are among the world’s first purebred dogs. In ancient times, this breed was a symbol of aristocracy and royalty. Noblemen from various parts of the world were often depicted with the likeness of this elegant hound.
Today, it is recognized as the breed that can run the fastest.
Greyhounds, which ranks 145 in the AKC breed popularity, is best known for its sleek, aerodynamic body. Today, it is commonly associated with the controversial sport of dog racing, which is notably being banned in a growing number of states.
Apart from racing, these hounds are excellent hunting dogs that excel in pursuing hares and other small and nimble game.
Why Cross a Greyhound With a German Shepherd?
A German Shepherd Greyhound cross, also sometimes referred to as the Shephound, is a large dog with a regal presence.
Typically, crossing these two breeds is an attempt to gain all the benefits of German Shepherds in a sleeker and more athletic package that’s consequently more agile.
General Characteristics of a Greyhound German Shepherd Mix
German Shepherds look vastly different from Greyhounds, but they’re also very similar breeds in many ways. It’s incredibly interesting to see the outcome when these two breeds are crossed.
Here are the characteristics you should expect when you get a Greyhound-GSD mix:
Although GSDs might seem more massive because of its solid build, Greyhounds are actually the taller dog.
They stand approximately 4 inches taller than the average GSD. Because of their more slender frame, they weigh around the same or less.
Here’s how the two compare in terms of height and weight:
|Breed||Height (in.)||Weight (lbs.)|
|German Shepherd Dog||24 – 26||22 – 24||65 – 90||50 - 70|
|Greyhound||28 – 30||27 – 28||65 – 70||60 - 65|
A Greyhound’s coat is short and smooth, which is vastly different from a German Shepherd’s medium-to-long double coats. GSD-Greyhound mix puppies can inherit either of the two coat types and so their appearance will greatly depend on which parent they take after.
Apart from length and texture, the coat color could also be one of a great number of possibilities. Greyhounds itself has 30 different coat color combinations recognized by the AKC while the GSD has 11.
That doesn’t even include the coats like blonde or panda, which the AKC doesn’t acknowledge. Given all these possibilities, German Shepherd-Greyhound crosses tend to look vastly different from one another.
Grooming a Greyhound-GSD cross is much easier if they take after their Greyhound parent. Apart from having much shorter hair that’s easier to keep clean, their single coats mean they don’t shed much.
Typically, all they need is a weekly rubdown using a hound glove or a damp cloth.
In contrast, those that take their coats after their German Shepherd side have double coats that shed steadily throughout the year and then more heavily twice a year.
GSDs need to be brushed at least once a week, but more frequently during the shedding season.
As for the rest of their grooming requirements, a Greyhound-German Shepherd mix will need regular bathing and frequent tooth brushing.
Their ears should be checked and cleaned on a weekly basis and their nails should be trimmed if they aren’t naturally filed down through their day-to-day activities.
Even though Greyhounds are not particularly known for its strength, its offspring with a GSD will undoubtedly be a strong dog.
This is not just because of its size but also because it can take its strength after its German Shepherd parent. Additionally, its size alone can make it capable of developing great strength.
Speed is where the GSD-Greyhound mix is likely going to excel. While it probably won’t be able to complete with the purebred Greyhound, it will undoubtedly run faster and with more agility than a purebred German Shepherd.
German Shepherds can run at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour while Greyhounds, which are considered the world’s fastest breed, reach top speeds of up to 45 miles per hour.
GSD-Greyhound crosses are expected to run somewhere between those speeds.
Because German Shepherds are incredibly energetic and Greyhounds even more so, you should be ready to give the Greyhound GSD mix plenty of opportunities to exercise.
Ideally, they would get at least an hour of physical exercise per day apart from having access to ample space where they can run and play independently.
Apart from physical exercise, the GSD-Greyhound cross needs opportunities to use their mental faculties so that they stay on their best behavior.
German Shepherds are known as one of the world’s most intelligent dog breeds. They rank 3rd in the Dog Intelligence Ranking, which means they obey commands at least 95% of the time and take as few as 5 tries to learn a new command.
On the other hand, Greyhounds rank at #46, which means they may take up to 40 repetitions to learn a new command, and they obey only 50% of the time. Nevertheless, what they lack in intelligence, they make up for in their eagerness to please their humans.
The trainability of a Greyhound German Shepherd mix will depend on which parent they take after. Although the intellect of GSD-Greyhound mixes can vary greatly, you can at least expect them to be easily housetrained and learn basic obedience with ease.
German Shepherd-Greyhound crosses are confident and courageous dogs. With proper training and socialization, they can be excellent family dogs.
However, because of the prey drive they might inherit from their Greyhound parent, they might need extra training and supervision if they need to share a home with smaller animals.
Additionally, Greyhound-GSDs are generally even-tempered and they are known to be gentle with their family members. They are remarkably affectionate and love their snuggles once they’re done burning off their energy for the day.
German Shepherd-Greyhound mixes are generally healthy, although they are susceptible to life-threatening bloat. Owners of this crossbreed should talk to a vet about how to avoid this condition.
Additionally, hip and elbow dysplasia are conditions that the German Shepherd-Greyhound cross can inherit from their GSD parent.
From the Greyhound side, the most serious health concern is a genetic condition called Greyhound Polyneuropathy. This is a progressive neurological disorder that severely affects their muscles.
A Greyhound-German Shepherd mix can be expected to live between 10 and 14 years.
Like all other dogs, they can live beyond the life expectancy of their parents when they are given a balanced, high-quality diet. Ample exercise, proper hygiene, and regular vet examinations will further enable them to lead long and happy lives.
Since the American Kennel Club primarily upholds the breed standards of purebred dogs, it does not recognize the German Shepherd Greyhound cross. These dogs, however, can register with the AKC through the Canine Partners Program.
By enrolling in this program, dogs that are not eligible for purebred registration and are disqualified from conformation events can participate in many other AKC events. These include canine sports like Agility, Flyball, and Diving Dogs.
How Popular is the German Shepherd – Greyhound Mix?
The GSD Greyhound mix is not very common. That’s because GSDs and Greyhounds are much more valuable as purebred dogs than when mixed with other breeds.
So, professional breeders do not have enough financial incentive to propagate this cross. If you’re lucky enough to find one, it would be safe to assume that it isn’t a product of intentional mating.
A Greyhound German Shepherd mix is undeniably a beautiful dog with a noble quality and a pleasing personality. Nevertheless, it is a large dog with boundless energy.
If you’re looking to welcome one into your home, you need to be sure you’re ready to meet their physical, emotional, and intellectual needs.