Are you aiming to get yourself a German Shepherd terrier mix? If so, you are in for a pleasant surprise.
Combining the energetic, intelligent characteristics of the German Shepherd dog with the courage and curiosity of the terrier will likely produce an exciting result.
Your mixed breed pet will be smaller than the purebred German Shepherd dog and possibly more manageable.
Either way, you will have a pet with an adorable or challenging temperament that will stimulate your interest in keeping busy.
As with any crossbreed, they will have positive and negative aspects, but pet owners understand these delightful animals’ tradeoffs surrounding guardianship.
The Physical Appearance Of The German Shepherd Terrier Mix
A German Shepherd terrier mix is a bit like playing potluck–you can never be sure of what you will get. Multiple terrier breeds range from the Jack Russel to the Pit Bull, Cairn Terrier, Boston Terrier, Bull Terrier, and several others. The German Shepherd also varies slightly from the Japanese akita to the Australian shepherd.
Terriers range in size from small to large such as the Airedale Terrier. Hence, the German Shepherd mix‘s physical appearance relies on the type of terrier that forms part of this combination.
It is possible to understand how this hybrid will look once grown despite multiple breed variations.
German Shepherds and terriers have long, pointy snouts and pointy ears, so that the mixed breed will have a similar head shape.
Likewise, both breeds have long tails, so the German Shepherd mix will inherit this characteristic.
#1 Height of this hybrid mix
If the German Shepherd is crossed with small dogs, like a Jack Russell terrier, the mixed breed will likely be short. Larger terrier mixes will ensure that this hybrid is much taller.
Puppies will either inherit the larger parent’s genes or the smaller parent, mainly resulting in an average height of the two parent breeds.
To give you a better idea of a crossbreed‘s height, assuming a mix between a Pit Bull and a German Shepherd, adult dogs may achieve heights of anything between 24 and 30 inches.
The males are noticeably larger than the female dogs.
Looking at the puppies’ paw size provides a hint of the extent that the dog will grow, but this is not always a reliable measuring tool.
If the puppy’s paws are large and out of whack with its overall size at birth, you may expect it to grow into a large dog. Likewise, if the feet are tiny at birth, the puppy will probably only reach a medium height.
A German Shepherd mix is unlikely to breed a very small dog, so a terrier crossed with a corgi or beagle would be a better option if that is what you want.
#2 Weight of this dog
Crossing German Shepherds and terriers means that the puppies will inherit genetic traits from both parent breeds.
The outcome is nearly impossible to predict as the mixed breed puppies may look more like the German Shepherd or the terrier involved.
One puppy may look more like the terrier or its German Shepherd parent and vice versa.
Alternatively, some puppies may inherit a distinctive combination of both breeds’ appearance. In other words, the weight of the adult dog will be small, medium, or large, depending on the mixture.
If the terrier is small, the adult crossbreed will likely be small to medium.
This hybrid adult’s weight will also possibly be an average of the combined weight of the parent with significant variations in either direction.
It is impossible to predict the weight of the German Shepherd terrier mix, other than to offer a general idea of them being the average weight of the parents unless you do genetic testing before breeding to get breed information.
As an example, with the German Shepherd Pit Bull mix, the adult offspring’s weight will probably be between 70 and 120 lbs.
By the same token, a German Shepherd Jack Russell mix will produce offspring that weigh between 75 and 94 lbs.
#3 Coat color and texture
Again, mixing these dog breeds will deliver a combination of outcomes, reliant on what type of terrier is crossed with the German Shepherd.
Most terriers have short straight, coarse hair, but some have long curly hair. If you want a dog with curly hair, a German Shepherd poodle mix, called a shepadoodle, is much more likely.
Coat colors and markings of terriers also differ vastly.
When you consider a German Shepherd terrier mix, the coat colors will include white, tan, red, black, brown, and blue.
Markings will be as diverse as that of the German Shepherd’s lineage and the terrier breed.
The offspring of this combination may or may not have a double coat. This is the thick outer layer of fur on the German Shepherd and other dogs like a golden retriever or chow chow. so you can either do genetic tests or use your imagination to envision the adult’s appearance.
Most dog breeds have a predisposition to certain diseases. When you mix species that share these dispositions, the risk increases that the offspring will develop the same conditions.
However, not all offspring from the German Shepherd breed will suffer from common breed diseases, and neither do all terriers develop these diseases.
To understand how the German Shepherd terrier mix will impact the puppy’s health, it is worth looking at dominant German Shepherd diseases. These include:
- Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)
- Dental disease
- Perianal fistulas (PF)
- Thyroid disorders
- Heart disease
- Malabsorption (Pancreatic Enzyme Insufficiency)
- Bloat or torsion (Gastric Dilatation Volvulous)
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
- Hip dysplasia
- elbow dysplasia
- Skin allergies
- Systemic Lupus Erythematosis (SLE)
- Von Willebrand’s disease
If the terrier shares any weaknesses in these areas, these will be evident in this hybrid’s offspring.
Pet owners can take preventive action by looking after their dogs from a young age. Provide your pet with sufficient exercise through play and professional training to maintain its physical and mental health.
High-quality, nutritious food is necessary to maintain health. Ensure your pet’s weight remains stable and give it supplements to support its health.
Take your pet for regular medical examinations to detect problems early on, as medication can help extend your pet’s life and enhance its quality of life.
The German Shepherd terrier mix has a lifespan of about 12 to 14 years. If you take care of this dog mix, you will hopefully have a companion that reaches this age range.
The German Shepherd terrier mix does not fit the mold of any idea you may have about this animal’s temperament.
You may expect the humor and intelligence of the German Shepherd to reflect in this hybrid, or you may anticipate that this pet will have the cheeky traits of the terrier.
What you get may be something totally at odds with your expectations.
While the German Shepherd is an excellent herd and guard dog, some terriers are proficient at hunting mall prey. It is difficult to determine the temperament of such a combination.
Will your German Shepherd terrier mix be good at guarding and hunting, or will one character trait dominate the other?
Or will this hybrid be an incessant yapper that keeps everyone awake at night?
It is almost impossible to tell. Each dog is unique, just as all people are individuals. They will share certain traits and not others.
What is sure is that this mixed breed will be loyal and protective towards the dog owner, like a labrador or collie. This makes it a good family dog.
The German Shepherd terrier mix will undoubtedly have high energy, love exploring and playing stimulating mind games.
Take your pet on extended walks in nature or engage it with learning new tricks at home. One advantage of a smaller German Shepherd terrier mix is that it will need less exercise than the bigger German Shepherd, which needs lots of exercise just like any large dog.
Where the German Shepherd is known to be clever, the terrier is known to be persistent.
You might find that the hybrid of these two breeds is not that clever but is willing to learn, even if at a slower pace than the German Shepherd.
But, as with many dog breeds specifically, if you raise your pet well, socialize it properly and nurture it as if it were a family member, it will be well-behaved.
Give your pet sufficient love, and it will respond in kind because that is what most dogs are wired to do.
Likely, this dog will demonstrate signs of being exceptionally alert like the German Shepherd. Because both are types of working dog, they should respond well to training.
They could also surprise you with their sense of humor, willingness to protect and serve and be a great family dog, although one that should undergo training.
If you have small children in the home, training is always a viable option to raise a family pet that understands its boundaries.
Terriers are extremely alert, and so are German Shepherds. Both breeds revel in stimulation, so training them will provide them with additional nurturing to raise an excellent guard dog that possibly enjoys digging up your garden.
Besides the German Shepherd terrier mix‘s digging characteristics, this breed can learn to contain its energy levels with training.
Although the terrier’s stubbornness may come to the fore in training, a stern hand will soon teach them who the leader of the pack is.
Similarly, the German Shepherd is a powerful dog breed with a strong personality who responds well to a firm hand, much like a Great Dane. Make them understand who is in control and respect your leadership.
Showing a firm hand does not, however, mean oppressing this animal.
Few dogs respond well to being mishandled, which is not the route to take with personal or professional training. If you want your German Shepherd terrier mix to guard you well, give it the tools to do so.
Positive reinforcement, routine, treats, love, and persistence will take your pet’s skills to the next level.
A comprehensive, professional training program will also enable your pet to tell the difference between friends and strangers. Although these dog breeds have an inbuilt instinct for threats, training gives them an extra edge.
Training will help them distinguish threats and protect their family and home.
The herding Shepherd’s inherent ability and the hunting terrier combine to produce a watchdog with an acute sense of hearing. Slight disturbances place them on alert, compelling them to investigate the source of a sound.
You will know whether you have an intruder around immediately. This German Shepherd terrier mix responds with vicious barking to wake you.
Keep this mixed breed fit with 30 minutes of exercise daily. Stimulate their natural curiosity with games and learning tricks. Take them for long walks and introduce them to neighborhood pets to provide them with a sense of their environment and socialization.
Add professional training to their education, so they learn special skills like following commands. There is nothing more rewarding than a well-trained dog that responds quickly and willingly to its master’s directives.
Obedience, intelligence, and a strong desire to please will eventually produce a pet that will make you proud.
Who Is It For?
Many pet owners tend to avoid the costs and time that training them requires. Unfortunately, the outcome is a dog that can become easily bored, depressed, or destructive.
Poor pet behaviors frustrate owners, often prompting them to abandon their dogs or take them to shelters or a kennel. Neither of these choices is acceptable. If you want a pet, treat them as family members, or don’t go down that road.
Training any dog breed is an advantage. Your pet will receive constant mental stimulation that keeps it happy, learning positive behaviors and tricks, and socialization. You will actively involve yourself in your pet’s life.
The outcome is a happy dog, which makes for great family pets. Your dog will socialize better with people, children, and other animals and be more manageable.
Training your pet is mutually beneficial, makes for a rewarding relationship, and minimizes the risk of costly legal action should their behavior cause harm to people or property.
Train your pet well for its sake and yours because they deserve comprehensive care to learn boundaries just as any child would.
Hybrid dog breeds are known to be healthier than purebred dogs. A designer dog like a pug, bulldog, chihuahua or boxer can come with many health issues. The German Shepherd terrier mix can be a healthier dog as its genetic heritage contains the best of both breeds.
However, there is no guarantee that this mixed breed will be better than the German Shepherd or the terrier type that forms part of this mixture.
You will get an intriguing family pet that has a delightful personality and is full of energy, which you can manage through professional training.
For more ideas on mix breeds, see the GSD lovers 13 Most Interesting German Shepherd mixes.