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German Shepherds are an excellent breed with many distinct physical features and characteristics that people consider desirable in both companion and working dogs. When mixed with other breeds, their puppies make very cool mutts.
But what if they’re crossed with a Bloodhound? Does the German Shepherd Bloodhound Mix make a good companion?
About The German Shepherd Breed
German Shepherds are one of the world’s most popular breeds. In fact, they rank 2nd in the American Kennel Club’s breed popularity ranking. Generally, they are known for their intelligence, work drive, and protective instincts balanced with loyalty, affection, and playfulness.
Although the GSD first demonstrated their abilities in the farms and fields, they are now mainstays in military, police, and personal protection. Nevertheless, these dogs are beloved companion animals with an even temperament and a confident disposition.
About The Bloodhound Breed
The Bloodhound is known for its remarkable scenting abilities and excellent work ethic. Although its origins are not thoroughly documented, it is believed that they are the same hounds noted in the 3rd century for their exceptional ability to hunt with their noses and keep on the trail until the job is done.
Until today, the Bloodhound’s unrivaled scenting abilities make them a top choice for various types of work, especially in the police force. They are highly valued in search & rescue, sniffing & detection, and even attack & apprehension.
As companions, they are not as popular as the GSD as they rank 49th in the AKC breed popularity ranking. Nevertheless, they are known as a docile and friendly breed.
Why Cross A German Shepherd With A Bloodhound?
The GSD already has incredible scenting abilities, but it is still no match for the Bloodhound. On the other hand, the German Shepherd is much more intelligent, agile, and confident.
Crossing these two breeds will likely result in the perfect trail dog that would be most useful in a wide variety of tracking roles.
Unlike the GSD, Bloodhounds are not known for their highly protective instincts, so a cross between the two will likely result in a more docile companion that’s more welcoming to guests and other animals.
General Characteristics of a Bloodhound-German Shepherd Mix
The German Shepherd and the Bloodhound are both large working dogs with many similarities. However, they are also different in many ways, which makes a cross between the two a very interesting mutt.
If you’re interested in getting a German Shepherd-Bloodhound Mix, here are some features and general characteristics that you might expect:
The Bloodhound and the GSD are similar in size. However, Bloodhounds generally have larger bones and thicker muscles, which make them much heavier than the GSD.
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|
|Bloodhound||25 – 27||23 – 25||90 – 110||80 - 100|
Given these figures, it can be assumed that the offspring and of German Shepherd and a Bloodhound could grow up to 27 inches tall and weigh up to 110 pounds.
The German Shepherd is a double-coated breed with medium to long hair and a dense undercoat. On the other hand, the Bloodhound is a single-coated breed with a coat that’s short and dense.
The coat of the GSD-Bloodhound cross will depend on which parent it takes after, but this mix will shed. As for color, they are most often black & tan, liver & tan, or red. In some cases, they may take after a solid-colored Bloodhound parent.
The grooming requirement of a German Shepherd Bloodhound mix would also depend on which parent it takes after. The short coat of the Bloodhound makes them much easier to groom as compared to the thicker and longer coat of the GSD.
Although both will shed quite heavily twice a year, the German Shepherd’s undercoat will be more difficult to manage during shedding season.
The frequency of nail trimming and teeth cleaning is the same as any other dog.
The ears, however, are something you might need to pay more attention to if your cross takes after the Bloodhound parent. Bloodhounds have large, floppy ears that make them prone to ear infections. Make a habit of cleaning the ears and keeping them dry.
The size and build of the Bloodhound-German Shepherd mix make them very strong dogs. Although they are not built for pulling work like sledding or carting, they’re able to use their strength in other ways.
This proves useful in working scenarios, but much care has to be taken in households since a little nudge from their strong bodies will be enough to topple a child or fragile senior over.
As herders, it’s not surprising that German Shepherds can run quickly, reaching top speeds of 30 mph. The Bloodhound doesn’t reach those speeds but has the advantage of incredible stamina that enables them to work for longer.
The German Shepherd-Bloodhound Mix would ideally have the speed and agility of the GSD and the endurance of the Bloodhound.
Since Bloodhounds are generally calm and docile, many mistakenly believe that they don’t need much exercise. In reality, they will need long daily walks and will ideally have a yard for independent play. German Shepherds require even more opportunities to expend their energy.
Given that both parents are active and energetic, the Bloodhound-German Shepherd Mix will need at least 30 minutes of intensive exercise or 1 hour of walking per day. Otherwise, they will expend their energy in other, likely destructive ways.
The ease at which a German Shepherd Bloodhound Mix can be trained will depend greatly on which parent it takes after.
The German Shepherd is one of the most trainable breeds and, in fact, ranks the 3rd most intelligent working dog. Not only can they learn something new in fewer than five tries but they are also so obedient that they only miss commands 5% of the time.
In contrast, the Bloodhound takes the 74th spot in the dog intelligence ranking. They share this tier with other hounds like the Beagle, Basset Hound, and Basenji.
At this level, dogs need more than 100 repetitions to learn a new trick and are likely to ignore commands up to 70% of the time. However, it’s essential to note that the difficulty training Bloodhounds is often the result of hounds getting distracted by scents. With scent work, however, their focus is stellar.
With proper training and socialization, a German Shepherd Bloodhound cross is expected to be good-natured, friendly, and have an even temperament.
Ideally, the mix will exhibit the GSD parent’s confidence and eagerness to please, and the Bloodhound’s mild-mannered nature that makes them more willing to be held and approached by others. This would make them excellent companion dogs, even in households with children and other pets.
The GSD-Bloodhound mix is a large dog. As such, they are prone to bone and joint issues like hip and elbow dysplasia. Both parents would ideally be evaluated for these conditions to minimize the likelihood of their puppies developing these later on.
Other health issues this crossbreed might have include ear or skin infections. If your pup has low-hanging ears and skin folds like the Bloodhound parent, make sure you keep them dry at all times and check frequently for signs of irritation.
Additionally, these mutts might be prone to bloat and other digestive issues like their GSD parent.
German Shepherds typically live between 12 to 14 years while Bloodhounds live between 10 to 12 years. Although their cross would likely have average lifespans of 10 to 14 years, a lot depends on their general health and lifestyle.
To give them a better chance of living long and healthy lives, feed them a high-quality diet and take them to regular vet visits for monitoring. Additionally, give them plenty of opportunities for physical exercise and keep them from becoming overweight.
The AKC does not maintain a registry for the German Shepherd Bloodhound Mix because it is not a pure breed. However, it does have a Canine Partners Program where hybrids and mixed breeds of all kinds can register and participate in various AKC events, including canine sports.
Among the sports, a Bloodhound-GSD cross will likely excel in are Tracking and Rally. These dogs will also likely do well in achieving Search & Rescue titles.
How popular is the German Shepherd Bloodhound Mix?
Although Bloodhounds and German Shepherds have been crossed for decades, the German Shepherd-Bloodhound Mix is still a rare breed.
There is still no association or kennel club dedicated to the cross and it’s still difficult to find a reputable breeder dedicated to this mix. That’s probably because each of these dogs is valuable as purebreds that there’s little incentive to reproduce their crosses.
The German Shepherd Bloodhound Mix is often the result of an accidental mating. When these dogs are crossed deliberately, it is usually done to produce working dogs with superior work ethics and tracking abilities.
There any many distinct advantages to having a Bloodhound-German Shepherd cross. Not only do they have excellent working abilities but they are also delightful companions.
If aren’t yet convinced that the German Shepherd Bloodhound Mix is the right crossbreed for you, check out how the GSD mixes with other breeds like the Dalmatian, the Saint Bernard, or even the Jack Russell.