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The German Shepherd is one of the world’s best-loved breeds because of its many positive characteristics. However, some people prefer to cross them with other breeds to produce offspring with unique traits.
For example, GSDs are sometimes crossed with Newfoundlands. But what is the German Shepherd Newfoundland mix like? This article will explore the main characteristics of this mix to help you learn more about this great crossbreed.
About The German Shepherd Breed
German Shepherds are recognized for their intimidating stance and even more forbidding bark. To their beloved family, however, they are loyal companions with a guarded but affectionate nature.
German Shepherds were bred from a highly intelligent class of herders. Because of their trainability, strong work drive, and eagerness to please, these dogs were soon given roles in various types of work.
Today, GSDs are known as multipurpose workers but are best recognized in police, protection, and military roles. Apart from this, they are excellent household pets that are fierce and alert enough for guarding but also gentle and patient enough to be around children and animals.
About The Newfoundland Breed
The Newfoundland’s striking appearance isn’t just due to its size but also its soulful and kind expression. It is a big-boned dog with an abundance of fur and an undeniably dignified stance.
Even though they are some of the world’s largest breeds, they are best known for their sweet and gentle nature.
Although they are now known as calm household companions, Newfies are actually working dogs. They were bred to carry out intense rescues in icy waters.
They are excellent swimmers and have the strength and endurance to save human adults from drowning. Today, however, working Newfies are mostly found in Newfoundland and Labrador, and are mostly kept as pets outside that region.
Why Cross A Newfoundland With A German Shepherd?
Ideally, crossing a German Shepherd with a Newfoundland will result in offspring that exhibit some of the most desirable characteristics of each breed. For example, the resulting dogs are likely to be larger but with a calmer temperament.
Crossing a German Shepherd with a Newfoundland is also likely to result in puppies that are more affectionate and more open to the presence of strangers. They are also likely to be more welcoming to other pets.
Nevertheless, the German Shepherd-Newfoundland cross will still have strong protective instincts and a remarkable work drive.
General Characteristics Of A Newfoundland German Shepherd Mix
The characteristics of a Newfoundland-German Shepherd mix will depend on which parent it mostly takes after. Even puppies from the same litter can be vastly different from each other. Nevertheless, here are some of the most common traits you can expect:
Although the German Shepherd is already considered a large dog, the Newfoundland is much bigger.
These dogs stand only a couple of inches taller than the typical GSD, but their massive bone structure and musculature make them much heavier. In fact, a Newfie can weigh double that of a German Shepherd.
Here’s how the Newfoundland and the German Shepherd compare with each other in terms of height and weight:
|Breed||Height (in.)||Weight (lbs.)|
|German Shepherd Dog||24 – 26||22 – 24||65 – 90||50 - 70|
|Newfoundland||28||26||130 – 150||100 - 120|
No matter which parent it gets its size from, you can expect the Newfoundland-GSD mix to be a large, if not giant, dog. They will require plenty of space and humans that are strong enough to handle their size and weight.
The typical GSD-Newfoundland cross has medium-length hair with an incredibly dense double coat. The color will depend on which parent it takes after.
Similarly, crosses that inherit their coat from the Newfie parent are likely to be solid black, brown, or gray.
If the parent is a Landseer—a type of Newfie that’s considered a different breed altogether in some parts of the world—they could inherit a white and black coat.
Because the German Shepherd Newfoundland mix tends to have very dense undercoats, keeping them properly groomed involves a thorough brushing several times a week.
This may become a daily requirement twice a year when they blow their coats and shed very heavily. Baths, however, can be done as infrequently as every 6 to 8 weeks.
As with any other dog, regular toothbrushing is an essential part of keeping the Newfie-GSD mix properly groomed. If they take after the Newfoundland parent, they’re likely to be droolers.
Maintaining proper oral hygiene will keep odors at a minimum and will contribute greatly to good health and longevity.
Both German Shepherds and Newfoundlands are strong dogs, so their offspring will definitely be strong as well. Just seeing their size and musculature gives you a good idea of the strength of these dogs.
This is a critical part of what makes them excellent working dogs.
Despite their size, Newfoundland-German Shepherd crosses are surprisingly nimble on their paws. While they aren’t known for reaching impressive speeds, they can run fast enough to be excellent herders as well as to work in criminal apprehension.
Additionally, mutts that take after the Newfie parent are especially agile swimmers.
Although GSD Newfoundland crosses are much calmer than purebred German Shepherds, they are still incredibly energetic dogs. They need lots of exercise to keep them on their best behavior.
At a minimum, these dogs would need 30 minutes of moderate-to-intense physical activity per day – however many of these mixes will need more especially in their younger years. Among the activities they are likely to enjoy are hiking and swimming.
Because of their heritage as working dogs, Newfoundland-German Shepherd mixes also require lots of mental stimulation. Enrichment games, puzzle toys, and regular training sessions will keep them sharp and happy.
Among the best traits of the German Shepherd Newfoundland mix is that they are incredibly sweet and affectionate with their family. They are also playful and patient with young children as well as tolerant of other animals in the household.
Despite their seemingly docile temperament, the Newfoundland-German Shepherd mix has strong guarding instincts.
They are alert to threats and are capable of engaging if needed. However, they are more open to the presence of strangers than purebred GSDs.
Newfie-GSDs are generally healthy dogs. However, their sheer size and weight make them more prone to bone and joint issues like elbow and hip dysplasia.
Ideally, both parents would be screened for such conditions before being allowed to mate.
If the dogs inherit the Newfoundland’s floppy ears, you may need to be extra careful to avoid ear infections. Make sure to clean them regularly and keep them dry.
Newfie-GSDs are expected to live between 9 and 14 years old. The dogs that inherit the German Shepherd’s smaller size tend to be healthier and have longer life expectancies.
Nevertheless, Newfoundland-GSD crosses often surpass this average lifespan when they maintain a healthy weight throughout their life. A high-quality, balanced diet is also essential to longevity.
Both the German Shepherd and the Newfoundland are recognized by the American Kennel Club. The offspring of these two breeds, however, can only be registered through the organization’s Canine Partners Progam.
The AKC Canine Partners Program enables mixed breeds to register with the club and participate in various sports and canine events. This includes the eligibility to compete for titles in such activities as Agility, Diving Dogs, and Flyball.
How Popular Is The Newfoundland German Shepherd Mix?
As far as crossbreeds go, the Newfoundland-German Shepherd mix is not very popular. That may have to do with the fact that each of these two breeds is more valuable as purebreds. So, most breeders don’t find any incentive in crossing the two.
Additionally, the Newfoundlands aren’t very common dogs themselves. While German Shepherds are ranked as AKC’s 2nd most popular breed, Newfoundlands rank the 40th.
Not many people have them so there aren’t really many opportunities for them to cross with other breeds, whether intentionally or accidentally.
The Newfoundland-German Shepherd mix is an undeniably beautiful dog. However, it requires a dedicated handler willing to take on the responsibilities of such a large and active dog. Nevertheless, they can be an excellent dog to have, whether as a working companion or as a family pet.
German Shepherd mixes come in many different forms and have many unique characteristics. If you’d like to know more about how GSDs mix with other gigantic breeds, some of the most interesting you’ll find are the Saint Bernard-German Shepherd Mix and the Irish Wolfhound – German Shepherd Mix.