- Overview of German Shepherd and American Pitbull Breed
- History of the Sheppit Breed
- Quick Summary of the German Sheppit Breed
- Pros of Owning a Sheppit
- Cons of Owning a Sheppit
- Fun Facts About the German Shepherd Pitbull Mix
- Is the German Sheppit a Guard Dog?
- What is the average life span of a German Shepherd Pitbull Mix?
- Temperament of German Shepherd Pitbull Mix
- How big a German Shepherd Pitbull Mix will Get
- Coat of the German Sheppit
- Grooming and Brushing
- Does the Sheppit Shed?
- Healthcare for Your Sheppit
- Is the Sheppit Tolerant to the Weather?
- Is German Shepherd Pitbull Mix good for Family?
- Is the Sheppit Good with Children and Pets?
- Is the Sheppit a Good Pet for New Owners or an Apartment Dog?
- Is the Sheppit Easy to Train?
- What Kind of Exercise is Needed for the Sheppit?
- Is the Sheppit Susceptible to Weight Gain?
- What Kind of Foods Should You Feed Your Sheppit?
- How much is a German Shepherd Pitbull Mix?
- How to Train a German Shepherd Pitbull Mix
- Where Can You Find a Sheppit Dog?
- Misconceptions of the Sheppit
- Final Thoughts
If you are looking for a mixed breed and want the best qualities of both the German Shepherd and the American Pitbull, this article can help you to decide if the Sheppit is right for you! Find out the temperament, size, lifespan, health concerns, misconceptions, costs and more of the German Shepherd Pitbull mix so you can know if you want to add this breed to your family!
The German Shepherd Pitbull mix is a loyal and hardworking dog that would make a great family companion if you are looking for a friendly and playful addition to your home.
This breed is a mix between a German Shepherd and the American Pitbull breed. They are a medium to large sized dog that is full of energy.
The German Shepherd and American Pitbull breed is often called a German Pit, the Shepherd Pit, the German Shepherd Pitbull and the German Sheppit.
The German Sheppit is the breed of purebred parents of the German Shepherd and the American Pitbull but is considered a mixed breed. This dog is a very intelligent dog and muscular and is known to be very loyal to its family and owners.
It is believed that the German Sheppit has been around for years and that it was a natural breed that began sometime in the 1900’s. This breed was put together in order to be a guard dog or a pet and it likely first appeared in North America. Even though this is a mixed breed, it is recognized as a breed by the Dog Registry of America.
The German Sheppit is not a very popular breed because many people are fearful of the Pitbull breed and there are many bans against owning Pit Bull’s throughout the United States and in other countries.
Overview of German Shepherd and American Pitbull Breed
This quick overview can show you what the best qualities are of both the German Shepherd and the American Pitbull breed.
Since the German Shepherd Pitbull mix is a mixture of both the German Shepherd and the American Pitbull breed it will have traits from both breeds and will get different characteristics from both parents in the looks and personality. Some believe this breed will look more like the Pit than the German Shepherd.
Quick View of the German Shepherd Breed and the American Pitbull Breed
German Shepherd Qualities
American Pitbull Qualities
|Origins from the 19th and 20th century.||Origins from the 1800’s in the UK.|
|Used as a sheep dog.||Strong hunting dog.|
|Has a strong work ethic.||Great tracking skills.|
|Said to be “wolf” like.||Protective over children and families.|
|Easy to train.||Easy to train.|
|Often used as a working dog in military or police work.||Hardworking dog and is often used as guard dogs.|
|Great guard dogs.||Protective of family and children.|
|Protective and playful.||Playful and compassionate.|
History of the Sheppit Breed
The Sheppit breed is a breed that is often misunderstood and is seen as a negative breed, but it really is a breed that is compassionate and caring.
This breed was a natural breed that came around in the 1900s and was bred for both companionships and to be a working dog. This is a hybrid mix between the German Shepherd and the American Pitbull breed. This breed can make an excellent guard dog, the family dog, and is very intelligent. It has the traits of both the German Shepherd and the American Pit Bull.
Even though the Sheppit is considered a mixed breed, it is recognized in the Dog Registry of America Inc.
Quick Summary of the German Sheppit Breed
|Lifespan||10 to 13 years of age.|
|Temperament||Loyal, loving, compassionate, playful, hard-working.|
|Average Height||17 inches to 28 inches in heigh.|
|Average Weight||35 to 100 pounds in weight. Males are larger than females.|
|Coat Type||Thick and short coat.|
|Grooming Needs||Nails trimmed, teeth brushed daily, bathed a couple of times a month when needed, brushing at least three times a week or more, regular vet checkups.|
|Brushing||Brush the coat at least three times a week or more.|
|Tolerant or Solitude?||Moderate.|
|Tolerance to Heat||Low to Moderate tolerance to heat.|
|Tolerance to Cold||Low to Moderate tolerance to cold.|
|Barking||Moderate to High.|
|Good Family Pet||Great family pet.|
|Good with Children?||Good with children when properly socialized.|
|Good with Other Dogs and Pets?||Good with other dogs and pets when properly socialized.|
|Good Apartment Dweller?||No. This dog will not live well in an apartment and needs a large place to run and to play.|
|Trainability||Easy to train.|
|Exercise Needed||At least three or more hours a day.|
|Tendency to Gain Weight||Yes. Keep this dog on a low-calorie diet and limit the treats and in between meal snacks.|
|Common Health Concerns||Hypothyroidism, Bloat, Skin Problems, Digestive Problems, Allergies, Hip Dysplasia, Heart Disease, Retinal Atrophy, Cancer, Blood Disorders, Von Willebrand’s Disease, Epilepsy, Megaesophagus, Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis, Bladder stones, Parvo.|
|Average New Puppy Price||$400 and $900 dollars.|
|Average Annual Medical Expense||$400 and $700 per year.|
|Yearly Cost to Own This Breed||$500 and $700 per year (not including extra medical bills).|
Pros of Owning a Sheppit
Owning a Sheppit can be very rewarding. Here are the pros of owning this breed of dog:
- Good for families.
- Good with children.
- Good with other dogs.
- Good with other pets.
- Make great guard dogs.
- Easy to train.
- Loves to run and play.
- Quick to bond.
Cons of Owning a Sheppit
All breeds have some cons and here are some cons of owning a Sheppit:
- Requires a lot of exercise.
- Are thought to be aggressive and territorial.
- Needs to have a lot of socialization.
- Large dogs.
- Not good in small apartments.
Fun Facts About the German Shepherd Pitbull Mix
- This is an unusual breed to see.
- Many famous people such as Reese Witherspoon and Tom Hanks have owned one of these dogs.
- This dog is banned in some countries because of a ban on Pitbulls.
- In 1898, the United Kennel Club recognized this breed, but it is no longer recognized as a registered breed.
- In some countries, this dog was used to bait bulls and bears because of its powerful jaws.
Is the German Sheppit a Guard Dog?
The German Sheppit was a natural breed that was created in hopes that the best qualities of both parents would be strong. With the qualities of the German Shepherd and the American Pitbull, this dog is very muscular and strong and was made for the very purpose of being a guard dog.
These dogs can be given hard duties to do, love to be stimulated, are very intelligent, love to be trained and they are considered to be very intense dogs.
Even though the German Sheppit breed began as a very popular breed in the 1990’s, the breed has declined in the popularity because of the fear of the American Pit Bull qualities and because a ban was put on owning a Pit Bull all around the United States and in other countries.
This breed is sometimes considered to be overly aggressive but that does not happen when these dogs are socialized and trained at a young age.
Your German Sheppit will be a mix of the German Shepherd and the American Pitbull breed and you will not know which characteristics will be passed down in their genetics and there is no real guarantee as to which characteristics will be dominate in your dog.
What is the average life span of a German Shepherd Pitbull Mix?
The lifespan of the German Sheppit is between 10 and 13 years of age.
Temperament of German Shepherd Pitbull Mix
The German Sheppit is a very muscular and strong dog and can make an amazing companion for you and your family. This dog does not like to be left alone for very long and they need to have long periods of exercise so that they do not have destructive behaviors.
Since the German Sheppit is an active dog, it needs to be walked, played with and to have free time of running for around three to four hours a day. This type of dog loves to be in big families and they are very loyal to their owners.
Many people that own a German Sheppit describes them as loving huge families and being very playful and fun. They love to be trained and they love to be rewarded when they do something good.
The German Sheppit needs to be with a family that socializes them early to both pets and other people (especially children). These dogs will not be aggressive at all if they are socialized at a young age and the more people that they get to know, the more people that they will love.
This breed will become bored very fast and needs to have its day filled with fun and creativity. The German Sheppit can become frustrated and bored if they are left alone or ignored and this can lead to them being destructive and chewing things in the home.
The German Sheppit loves to test its boundaries but is not considered to be a very pushy breed. The best way that you can raise this breed is to stimulate its mind, take it for long walks, introduce it to new people, places, and experiences.
How big a German Shepherd Pitbull Mix will Get
The average height of the German Sheppit is between 17 to 28 inches tall. The male dog will usually be larger than the female.
The average weight of the German Sheppit is between 35 and 100 pounds. The male Sheppit will normally be larger than the female.
Coat of the German Sheppit
The German Sheppit has a coat that can be a different mix of colors depending on the coloring of the parents. The colors of the Sheppit are usually:
The coat of the Sheppit will hardly ever be one color and normally has at least two colors in the mixture.
The Sheppit has a coat that is thick and short, and this breed will shed a lot. You should brush the coat of the Sheppit at least two to three times a week or even everyday so that the hair will shed less.
Be careful not to bathe your Sheppit too often or it will take the natural oils out of the coat and will cause the Sheppit to shed even more.
Grooming and Brushing
Your Sheppit will have a thick and short coat and it will need to be brushed at least two or three times a week or even more in order to keep the shedding at a minimal.
Other grooming techniques that are important is to get your pet regular vet checkups so that they can see if there are any health issues early on and to help keep your pet strong and healthy.
This breed needs to be walked a few times a day and needs to have at least three or more hours of activity so that it can stay in a good weight limit.
Always check your German Sheppit’s ears for dirt, pests or other debris and make sure to clean them daily with a lightly wet cloth.
Your German Sheppit needs to have strong oral health. This is very important, and your dog needs to have its teeth brushed on a daily basis because they are prone to dental health issues.
The nails of your Sheppit need to be trimmed usually once a month so that they do not get too long and get caught on something. You will know when its time to trim the nails when you hear clicking on the floor.
Some Sheppit breeds need to have their anal glands expressed and this should be done by a professional. If you see your dog dragging or scooting their bottom against the floor, this can be a sign that you need to take your dog into the vet because the task is best done by a professional.
Does the Sheppit Shed?
The German Sheppit has a thick and short coat and it will shed a lot. This breed needs to be brushed often to keep the shedding at a minimal.
The Sheppit is not a hypoallergenic dog and is not recommended for someone that has allergy issues.
Healthcare for Your Sheppit
You need to get your Sheppit acquainted with your veterinarian immediately and make sure that you are taking your puppy in for annual visits. Your dog will need to have preventative treatments for heartworm, ticks, fleas, and other parasites and will need vaccines throughout its lifetime.
If your dog is sick or not acting normal, always seek veterinarian assistance immediately for treatment.
Since this dog is a mix of the German Shepherd and the American Pitbull, it has some predisposed conditions that both of these dogs may have. Even though this dog is usually considered a very healthy breed, it is important to understand some of the health problems that are common in the mixes such as:
- Skin Problems.
- Digestive Problems.
- Hip Dysplasia.
- Heart Disease.
- Retinal Atrophy.
- Blood Disorders.
- Von Willebrand’s Disease.
- Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis.
- Bladder Stones.
Make sure to take your pet in for a regular checkup to keep it safe and healthy.
The Sheppit is a dog that is fairly sensitive to touch.
Is the Sheppit Tolerant to the Weather?
The German Sheppit has thick and short hair and so even though it can go in and out of the hot and cold weather, it should not be left outside in extreme conditions for very long.
If you take your German Sheppit outside, make sure that it has plenty of water to drink.
The German Sheppit is full of energy and loves to bark at noises and strangers. This is not always the case for this breed, and it depends on the amount of socialization that it has had over its lifetime.
This breed will begin to bark excessively and howl if it is left alone for too long by itself because it becomes bored and agitated quickly.
Is German Shepherd Pitbull Mix good for Family?
A German Sheppit that has been socialized and exposed to many people will love to have a large family and to be around different people.
The Sheppit is known to be a very good family pet and is considered to be loyal, loving, and playful. It loves to be active and will love a family that will take it out to play games, fetch and to run.
Spending time with your Sheppit will help to create a bond that will keep your pet loving and protecting you for a lifetime.
Is the Sheppit Good with Children and Pets?
The Sheppit is a breed that loves to be around large families and around children, as long as it has been exposed and socialized at a young age.
One problem with small children is the size of this dog and the dog could easily knock smaller children or toddlers down when playing.
Always teach your children how to touch and play with the Sheppit dog and never to pull its tail, fur or to take away its food or treats. Children should always be supervised around any pet breed.
This breed can get well along with other dogs and pets as long as it is socialized at a young age. If your pet was not socialized at a young age, it would probably take a strong handler for the dog to be exposed to other dogs and pets and this should be done carefully in public settings.
Make sure you socialize your Sheppit puppy at a very young age to as many pets, animals, and people that you can so that it will grow up to love attention.
Is the Sheppit a Good Pet for New Owners or an Apartment Dog?
No. The Sheppit has a lot of energy and needs to be in a place where it can run and play for many hours throughout the day. Since this dog has so much energy, it will want to play and run all day. The energy that this breed has requires there to be a larger place for the pet to be free to be active.
It would be hard for the Sheppit to release its energy when living in a small apartment and would not be a good choice for this breed. Not only is this breed full of energy, but it is also a medium to large sized dog and would require a lot of room.
It is advised that the owner of the Sheppit train this breed to sleep in a crate at night. This is also another reason why apartment living would be hard because the breed would require such a large cage for crate training.
This breed is a high energy dog and requires a lot of care and time. Even though a new pet owner might have a lot of love and patience for this kind of breed, it is suggested that this dog be housed with a pet owner that is active and has dealt with dogs in their past.
Is the Sheppit Easy to Train?
The Sheppit has the traits from both the German Shepherd and the American Pit Bull and this makes it a dog that is easy to train. This breed is intelligent, strong, fast to learn and motivated.
It is important to use reward-based training with this dog for the best results. Avoid punishing or yelling at your dog when it does unwanted behavior, doing this can cause your dog to become aggressive or fearful. Keep your training sessions fun and entertaining and your dog will love being trained.
What Kind of Exercise is Needed for the Sheppit?
The Sheppit has a lot of energy and wants to run, play and be outside for at least three hours or more a day. The Sheppit loves to have attention and so you can take your dog outside walking, running, playing fetch, and even doing obstacle courses with it.
It is important that your Sheppit gets its energy out because it becomes very bored and destructive when it is under stimulated and this can lead to bad behaviors such as chewing and howling.
One thing to note: Do not allow your dog to jump and run and play on hard things such as concrete or blacktop until it is at least two years old because it can cause there to be joint and muscle damage and not allow your puppy to form correctly. Always let them play on the carpet or the grass until that age.
Is the Sheppit Susceptible to Weight Gain?
The Sheppit is prone to weight gain and so it is very important that you feed them their daily dietary needs and that you do not overfeed them.
This breed will grow quickly, and they need to stay on a low-calorie diet so that they do not grow faster than they should because this can lead to bone problems.
To keep your Sheppit strong and healthy, give them plenty of exercise and limit the treats so they do not end up with problems in their bones, joints or become overweight.
What Kind of Foods Should You Feed Your Sheppit?
Being a dog owner may mean that you want to purchase dry kibble. This food will suffice the Sheppit mix but you need to make sure to purchase food that is for large, active dogs. You can even choose to find raw or low processed kibble to help keep the calories down. Always feed your Sheppit low calorie foods to keep it from gaining weight.
Supplementing with canned food is always an option or you can feed your dog human foods. By supplementing with canned food, your dog can get all of the fiber and nutrients that it needs to live a healthy and full life.
Some foods that can be fed to your German Sheppit to keep it strong and healthy include:
- Fatty wild-caught fish.
- Sweet Potato
How much is a German Shepherd Pitbull Mix?
Puppies can cost between $400 to $900 dollars to purchase. You will also have to have a crate, a leash, collar, food, and a veterinarian checkup. This can run you between $400 and $600 dollars more.
How to Train a German Shepherd Pitbull Mix
If you want to train your German Shepherd/American Pitbull Mix here are some tips:
- Always be firm and confident because this breed will try to be in control.
- Be patient.
- Use positive reinforcements such as treats and praise.
- Do not use punishment when training.
- Socialize your dog so that they will not be timid or have timid behaviors.
- Take your puppy out places to desensitize it and show it new things.
- Use crate training.
- Use leash training.
- Start training the Sheppit around 7 weeks old.
You can use simple things to help train your dog such as a collar, leash, and rewards. You can also use your own rewards such as petting, praising, and doing something fun with your pet.
Here are some training techniques you might want to teach your dog:
- Socialization-one of the most important trainings that your puppy can learn. Pick a time while they are as young as 8 weeks old to begin this training. This will be a time when you need to visit neighbors, put them in an obedience class or take them to greet other animals. Drop in at your groomers or your vet so that they can be spoiled. This will help them to get used to different people, sounds and experiences.
- Basic Manners-Teach your puppy to be respectful and to follow basic commands. Teach your dog to “sit,” “stop,” and “come.” It is important at this stage to keep your dog busy and reward them with fun things when they do things that you ask them to do. Be firm if they do unwanted actions such as chewing on things, using the bathroom in the house, or ignoring your commands.
- Biting-One habit many puppies have is to bite and mouth things. Their puppy teeth are very sharp and when your dog begins to use their teeth such as biting on you, say, “OUCH!” in a sharp tone and redirect them to their toys.
- Recall-Another important training is recall training. This is a way that you can motivate your dog to learn new things. Allow your dog to be rewarded when you call them and they come, you say their name and they pay attention and when they follow your basic commands. Take your dog out and teach them new skills and teach them to respect and understand you.
Where Can You Find a Sheppit Dog?
It can be hard to find this specific breed of the German Shepherd and American Pitbull mix since they are a mixed breed but you can try different places such as German Shepherd or American Pitbull breed specific rescues because they may end up with this kind of mixed breed.
Look for places online that have mixed breeds of German Shepherds or mixed breeds of American Pitbull and do your search.
You can also look online at places such a “Save a Bull Rescue,” to get more adoption information. Look in your local newspapers and online for those that are specifically rehoming or breeding Sheppit pups.
Misconceptions of the Sheppit
The Sheppit often has a bad reputation because of the mix of the Pit Bull. Here are some misconceptions about this breed:
- They are usually only associated with being aggressive and biting and not all Sheppit dogs are aggressive, especially if trained correctly.
- They are considered vicious but not all are vicious but many of them are very intelligent, loyal, and hardworking dogs.
- They are considered territorial. Like other dogs, the Sheppit will protect its family and its home but when it is socialized correctly, this dog will show love, kindness, and loyalty to all that it meets.
Is the German Sheppit a dog breed that is really right for you?
There are hundreds of breeds of dogs that you can choose from and finding the perfect dog for you and your family is not easy. If you are looking for a dog that is intelligent, protective, loyal, and loving, the Sheppit could be the perfect dog for you!
Remember, since the Sheppit is a mix between the German Shepherd and the American Pitbull breed, you will be getting a dog that has all the traits and personality from both of these breeds. Enjoy a lifetime of companionship, loyalty, and fun by finding the perfect breed fit for your family!