The German Shepherd Pitbull mix can sometimes be known by various names.
This can include the German Sheppit, a German Pit, or a Shepherd Pit. But no matter the name, it’s pretty clear that this is a mixed breed that is going to look a bit different to how you may have imagined it.
The very idea of combining a German Shepherd with a Pitbull is perhaps not one you would automatically think about. Indeed, they are two large dogs that are known for being protective and aggressive.
However, that needn’t be a bad thing, and we strongly advise you take the time to learn more about the breed before making a decision as to whether or not this is a breed that may be of interest to you.
So, what should you know about this German Sheppit? Well, there are several important areas to check out.
Whenever you have a designer breed such as this, you will tend to have a real combination of both parents, and the German Pit is no different.
As is common, there are slight size differences between male and females.
For the male, they are going to measure between 18 – 26 inches in height. For the female, it’s more like 17 – 24 inches.
There’s also a slight difference in weight too. For the male, it’s anywhere between 40 – 90lbs while the female is slightly lighter between 30 – 70lbs.
For their actual appearance, then there’s a tendency for this breed to look more like the Pitbull in the relationship rather than the German Shepherd. However, the muzzle can vary with some being shorter, like the Pitbull, while others will have the longer muzzle like the German Shepherd.
But one area where it’s clear as to the origin is with the ears. They stand high on the head, but they have that bit of the ear folding over just as you will see with the Pitbull.
The German Pit has a strong, sturdy body with a long tail. The hair on the body is short, straight and not too dense. Thanks to this, it’s viewed as being a low maintenance breed of dog as you only have to brush them a few times a month.
Also, when it comes to bathing, then it can be done sporadically. He doesn’t generally come with some bad odor, but if he gets into some muddy situations when exploring outdoors, then that changes everything.
For their coloring, then you are looking at their hair coming in a variety of colors including brindle, cream, fawn, brown, and black. Their eyes can also come in different shades with hazel, brown and amber being possibilities, and the same goes for their nose with black, brown and a lighter color being possible.
But overall, the physical appearance of a German Pit is one of power and strength, but it’s not overly muscular at the same time. Like we said earlier, there’s more of a leaning toward the Pitbull side of things in the appearance area rather than the German Shepherd.
As with any breed of dog, there needs to be some concern regarding potential health issues. It’s often believed that designer breeds are going to be more susceptible to health issues, but how about the German Shepherd Pitbull mix?
In this instance, the Shepherd Pit does have a rather long list of possible health concerns. Now, there’s no guarantee that your dog will develop any of them, but you still need to be aware of the possibility.
However, there are some pretty major concerns when it comes to health issues. The most important ones for you to pay attention to include the following:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Perianal Fistulas
- Degenerative Myelopathy
- Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency
There are also a number of more minor health issues to be aware of including the following:
- Elbow Dysplasia
- Von Willebrand’s Disease
- Cleft Lip
- Footpad Disorder
- Cervical Vertebrae Instability
- Eye Problems
That is a long list when you put those two together, but it’s merely a combination of health issues that can affect either parent. However, like we said earlier, there’s no guarantee that your dog will develop any of these issues. Also, a number of them are very common across pretty much every single breed of dog, so it’s really nothing to worry about.
But there’s another part to their health, and that’s making sure they are able to get more than enough exercise.
They do have a high activity level, and that’s going to translate to you needing to take them out for a walk and to burn off energy a couple of times a day. Some people recommend that they are able to get around 180 minutes of activity each day.
However, if you are active and go running or biking, then let them tag along with you as they are going to love all of that, and it’s good for their health as well.
Also, in order to maintain their health, then you need to make sure they are fed the correct amount on a daily basis. Here, you should feed them three cups of high-quality food each day. Avoid providing them with too many snacks, they can fall in love with them, and that can lead to all sorts of weight issues.
Whenever people think of a Pitbull, they tend to conjure up some rather negative views of the breed, so when it’s combined with a German Shepherd, then people will often come up with a completely incorrect picture of the temperament of this breed.
The truth is that this breed is going to be very loyal and very protective. This shouldn’t be a surprise as both parents are known for being very protective, so combining these two won’t change that part.
Of course, both parents are used for their natural aggression, and that does mean a German Pit is going to have the same type of natural aggression. That’s something you need to be aware of if you plan on owning this breed, and it does mean this breed is not for someone who is inexperienced as a dog owner.
However, putting that to one side, you do have a dog that is going to be very affectionate to its family. It knows who its family is, and it will become a wonderful dog for the family. They can have a softer side to them, and they will love for you to show them affection as well.
Also, if you are looking for a dog that does not bark too much, then a German Pit could be perfect. They will bark when it’s required, but they aren’t going to yelp at any little noise that’s being made.
So basically, what you have here is a dog that will be quiet, but alert. They can become quite boisterous when playing so you need to be able to keep on top of that and train them in such a way to stop it happening.
There’s no need to fear this breed. Forget worrying about the fact that a Pitbull is included in the mix. With the correct training and care for this breed, you are going to have a wonderful dog with an amazing temperament.
When it comes to training, then this breed is going to require some work from an early age.
You need to train them in order to maintain control over that natural aggression, and if you have young children, then you must make sure they are comfortable around them, and their interactions, even when a puppy.
Socialization is going to prove to be exceptionally important here. That’s the thing that will stop them from becoming aggressive with other dogs, animals, and even people.
This is also a breed of dog where you need to almost always work at giving them something to do. Remember, they are working dogs, as well as companions, and that means they like to stay busy as much as possible.
You also need to add some variety into their training. That’s going to keep them interested and entertained for as long as possible. Boredom is a bad thing for this breed. They can end up causing some trouble and getting up to mischief, so training is the key to avoiding this.
You must pay attention to how they learn to be around young children. Keep in mind that they have a significant amount of power, and the sudden movements of a young child can prove to be too much for them to deal with if spooked. That means you must make sure they are used to what a child can do, and that means spending a lot of time with them to ensure there are no adverse reactions.
But overall, training a German Pit is going to be relatively easy to do. They are an intelligent breed, so they will pick up on things relatively quickly. However, like we said, they do require some challenges from time to time, and to keep things nice and varied from a training perspective.
For us, we feel that the best approach when it comes to the training of a German Pit should be along these lines.
- Start as early as possible. The formative years are extremely important with this breed to eliminate bad behavior and possible problems later on in life.
- Don’t stick with the same thing over and over. Boredom is going to be a huge issue, and the German Pit is not immune to this.
- They are intelligent, so be prepared for them to pick up on things very quickly. They won’t disappoint with their ability to learn new things.
- When reprimanding them, you need to be firm but don’t shout. A tenseness in your voice is going to be the key here.
- Play games and offer rewards when they do something correct. That is going to keep them interested and they have a natural desire to try to please their owners.
Basically, there’s nothing complex about training this breed as long as you keep them interested.
Who is it For?
This breed is going to be best for people confident around dogs. If you are relatively inexperienced, then this is not the breed for you.
Confidence is key here in keeping control of your German Pit. They do respond well to their pack leader, but they will seek to push and prod in order to get a bit more control. It requires an experienced dog owner to counteract this approach and to make sure that they stay under control at all times.
In addition, this breed does have a significant amount of power and strength. You need to also be confident in dealing with a dog even when they can have so much power. That is where understanding the correct way of training a dog is going to prove to be useful.
So you should only consider owning a German Pit if you have had experience with either individual breed before, or if you have previous experience of training and caring for a large, strong dog. It should never be for a novice at any point.
The German Shepherd and Pitbull mix is a wonderful dog to own. Loyal and protective, it will certainly work at keeping its family feeling safe at all times.
However, you do need to have some experience in dealing with dogs if you want to own this breed. They can be a whole lot of fun, but they can also be rather challenging at other times.
With the correct upbringing, this breed can end up being a big softie, but if someone tries to do something to their family, then that big softie issue is going to vanish.
This dog will protect and won’t be afraid to use its strength. However, don’t let that thought put you off owning one or bringing one into your home. They will be a loving companion for years to come.