On the subject of high-maintenance dogs, the German Shepherd might not be among the first breeds…
The German Shepherd has been a well-loved breed even before it was recognized by the AKC in 1908. Their solid build, superior intelligence, and wonderful temperament make them the desirable dogs they are.
Because they have ideal physical, intellectual, and emotional characteristics, these dogs are often used to cross with other breeds and create some interesting offspring.
Read on to learn about the characteristics of various German Shepherd mixes.
15 Medium to Large-Sized GSD Mixes
German Shepherds are most often crossed with medium-sized to very large breeds. Their offspring typically grow to about the size of the average GSD or slightly larger, depending on the other parent.
Here are some German Shepherd mixes crossed with medium-to-large breeds:
1. The German Shepherd – Golden Retriever Mix
Crossing a Golden Retriever with a German Shepherd results in an intelligent and confident dog that’s friendlier and more playful than the average GSD. They are remarkably good with children and often do well with other animals.
The Golden Retriever German Shepherd mix, however, tends to be even more energetic and requires plenty of opportunities to exercise every day.
2. The German Shepherd – Rottweiler Mix
Combining a Rottweiler and a German Shepherd produces loyal and loving dogs with incredible guarding instincts. They have a lower tendency to bark excessively and are often much easier to groom.
Although they can be very good family dogs, Rottweiler German Shepherd mixes tend to have a higher prey drive. This means they should be properly trained to interact with small children and smaller animals.
3. The German Shepherd – Labrador Mix
Both the Labrador and the German Shepherd consistently rank among the top 3 most popular breeds in the United States. They are delightfully eager to please and are more playful, sociable, and welcoming to guests.
However, the Labrador German Shepherd mix is more prone to shedding and needs lots of activity to keep from developing unwanted behaviors.
4. The German Shepherd – Cane Corso Mix
The German Shepherd and the Cane Corso are both highly vigilant breeds that are very protective of their home and family.
Although they are affectionate dogs, they tend to be less playful than purebred GSDs. They are also slightly less energetic but still need regular exercise.
Additionally, Cane Corso German Shepherd mixes require less effort to groom. But if they inherit the Corso snout, they will have a higher tendency to drool.
5. The German Shepherd – Boxer Mix
Boxers and German Shepherds are both athletic breeds, so it’s no surprise that their offspring are incredibly active dogs.
They are bright companions that tend to be goofier and more fun-loving than purebred GSDs. Additionally, the Boxer German Shepherd mix is more open to the presence of strangers and is slightly less vigilant to potential threats.
6. The German Shepherd – Border Collie Mix
Border Collies and German Shepherds are ranked among the top three most intelligent working dog breeds. So, crossing the two will undoubtedly produce smart and highly trainable dogs.
The Border Collie German Shepherd mix is also eager to please, highly adaptable, and affectionate with family. However, they are high-energy dogs with an incomparable work drive, so it’s critical that they get plenty of physical exercise and opportunities for mental stimulation.
7. The German Shepherd – Shiba Inu Mix
The most common reason to cross a Shiba Inu with a German Shepherd is to have the ideal temperament and intelligence of the GSD in a smaller frame with a foxlike appearance.
The Shiba Inu German Shepherd mix is more open to strangers but always cautious of their presence. These dogs might not be as adaptable and easy to train as purebred GSDs.
Nevertheless, they are incredibly loyal to and affectionate with family. They are also more open to strangers but still cautious of their presence.
8. The German Shepherd – Rhodesian Ridgeback Mix
Like the German Shepherd, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is known as one of the best guard dogs not only because of their highly protective nature but also their trainability and loyalty to their family.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback German Shepherd mix is also easier to groom and has less energy to burn. Although they need daily mental and physical stimulation, they also have an off switch and are happy to relax with their family at home.
9. The German Shepherd – Coonhound Mix
Unlike the German Shepherd, the Black & Tan Coonhound is not a very popular breed. In fact, it ranks at #138 out of 200 dogs in the AKC Breed Popularity Ranking. Even so, it is an excellent choice to mix with a GSD as it produces courageous yet easy-going dogs.
Although their protective instincts are weaker, Coonhound German Shepherd mixes are wonderful household companions as their energy levels are much more manageable. They are also remarkably patient with other pets as well as small children.
10. The German Shepherd – Tibetan Mastiff Mix
When crossed with a German Shepherd, the Tibetan Mastiff contributes its imposing size and an abundance of fur. Their offspring is more independent-minded and so is slightly harder to train.
Despite their size, this crossbreed is surprisingly agile, although they lack the stamina of a purebred GSD. Additionally, the Tibetan Mastiff German Shepherd mix is much more cautious of strangers.
These dogs are very alert to changes in their environment and wary of potential threats.
11. The German Shepherd – St. Bernard Mix
St. Bernards have a reputation for being sweet and cuddly giant balls of fur, but they’re actually excellent guard dogs. When crossed with GSDs, they produce dogs that are welcoming of strangers but still watchful and protective of their family.
These dogs are incredibly affectionate and are gentle with children. However, the Saint Bernard German Shepherd mix is more self-willed, so training might require more effort and patience.
12. The German Shepherd – Australian Shepherd Mix
The Australian Shepherd contributes a smaller frame when crossed with a German Shepherd. These two breeds produce offspring that are extremely energetic but are highly trainable and eager to please.
The Australian Shepherd German Shepherd mix may not be as vigilant and protective as a purebred GSD. However, they have a remarkably strong work drive and they thrive best when they have a job to do, especially if the job entails both physical and mental stimulation.
13. The German Shepherd – Akita Mix
When German Shepherds are mixed with Akitas, they produce larger offspring that are energetic but require slightly less exercise and mental stimulation. Despite being less affectionate, the Akita German Shepherd mix is highly protective of their family.
They are aloof and cautious around strangers. They also require socialization and training to behave well around children. Nevertheless, they are beautiful, dignified dogs with a profound sense of loyalty.
14. The German Shepherd – Husky Mix
The Siberian Husky brings some mischief and hard-headedness to the German Shepherd breed. When crossed together, their offspring has weaker guarding instincts than purebred GSDs as they are more playful and open to the presence of strangers.
These dogs are also shed more heavily and tend to be much more vocal. Nevertheless, Siberian Husky German Shepherd mixes are beautiful dogs that are outgoing, affectionate, and excellent with children as well as other pets.
15. The German Shepherd – Pit Bull Mix
Amongst the unfamiliar, the Pit Bull’s reputation makes them seem threatening. However, when crossed with German Shepherds, they actually contribute their playfulness and affectionate nature.
The Pit Bull German Shepherd mix tends to be more sociable and open to strangers but requires proper socialization and training around young children and small animals due to their high prey drive.
Nevertheless, these dogs are amazingly loyal, sweet, and eager to please, which makes them a delight to own.
6 Small German Shepherd Mixes
Smaller breeds are not typically used to cross with German Shepherds because the size difference can cause some health risks both to the mother and to the offspring.
Nevertheless, these crosses do exist either because of accidental mating or through the careful supervision of a responsible breeder.
Here are some German Shepherd mixes with smaller breeds:
1. The German Shepherd – Poodle Mix
The Standard Poodle is also among the top three most intelligent dogs. Additionally, it consistently ranks among the top 10 most popular dog breeds.
When crossed with a GSD, it produces a highly trainable but playful dog with watchdog tendencies. In terms of care, the Poodle German Shepherd mix (also commonly called the Shepadoodle) may inherit the Poodle’s curly coat. This requires plenty of attention but sheds much less copiously and so is more suitable for allergy sufferers.
2. The German Shepherd – Pomeranian Mix
The Pomeranian is a much smaller dog than the German Shepherd, so much care must be taken when crossing the two. When done successfully, however, the Pomeranian German Shepherd mix can be a delightful dog to own.
Apart from requiring less space and physical activity, these dogs have bright and lively personalities. However, training them may require more patience as they are more self-willed and have a weaker drive to work.
3. The German Shepherd – Jack Russell Mix
Crossing a Jack Russell Terrier with a German Shepherd results in a smaller dog yet with much more energy to burn. These crosses are bold dogs that are often self-willed. So, they need firm leadership and socialization at an early age.
They also tend to have a high prey drive, which makes supervision necessary around small animals and very young children. With proper handling, however, a Jack Russell German Shepherd mix can be loving, playful, and sweet.
4. The German Shepherd – Beagle Mix
Introducing Beagle genes into the German Shepherd breed results in a smaller dog that’s an excellent companion. They may not be very affectionate but they are wonderful with young children as well as other dogs.
In fact, they prefer the company of other pets to play with. The Beagle German Shepherd mix is also an incredible scenting dog that can easily become fixated on a compelling odor. This poses a challenge for training.
Nevertheless, these crossbreeds are delightful companions as they are adaptable, easygoing, and generally happy dogs.
5. The German Shepherd – Cocker Spaniel Mix
When crossed with a German Shepherd, the Cocker Spaniel offers not only its smaller frame but also its gentle demeanor. The Cocker Spaniel German Shepherd mix is an excellent match for households with small children and other pets.
They are not very alert to threats and are happy enough to relax at home. Nevertheless, they are still energetic and will need to burn off energy to switch off.
Crosses that inherit the Cocker Spaniel’s long, silky double coat will require more attention and occasional professional grooming.
6. The German Shepherd – Dachshund Mix
The Dachshund might be a spunky little dog, but when mixed with the GSD, they produce dogs that are affectionate, playful, and eager to learn new things.
With proper introduction, the Dachshund German Shepherd mix loves being with other pets but they do not typically tolerate young children very well.
Additionally, these dogs are more open to strangers but can also be protective if they sense a threat.
Why Are German Shepherd Mixes So Popular?
There are several significant benefits to responsible cross-breeding. The most obvious is the possibility of taking ideal attributes from two breeds and producing them into a single dog.
Because of their many positive characteristics, German Shepherds are an excellent base for mixing with other breeds.
Additionally, the risk of genetic disorders is lower in mixed breeds. When the German Shepherd is crossed with another stable breed, their offspring will be less likely to suffer from health issues that are common to the breed.
That includes elbow dysplasia, bloat, and dilated cardiomyopathy.
Just like their purebred counterparts, German Shepherd mixes are a delight to own. They typically have all the desirable attributes of the GSD combined with the unique characteristics of other wonderful breeds.
No matter the specific traits you’re looking for in a canine companion, you’ll surely find a GSD mix that’s right for you. But if you’re looking to share your life with a unique German Shepherd but aren’t convinced that any of these mixes are for you, consider purebreds with unique coat colors like panda, blonde, or liver.