Welcome to your complete guide to the German Pitbull Mix breed.
The “Shepherd Pitt” is a German Shepherd dog, crossed with an American Pit Bull Terrier. Two of the most commonly misunderstood dog breeds are out there.
In this article, you will learn more about the Pit Bull and German Shepherd Dog (or GSD) breeds as individuals.
Then we come into the German Shepherd mixed in with the expected looks, personality, and traits of a pit bull.
We also address the notoriety of the pit bull as an aggressive breed that is commonly associated with dog attacks.
Let’s get to know Pitbull and German Shepherd Dog, right?
What is a German Shepherd Mix?
A Pitbull Cross German Shepherd is a hybrid dog breed that results from the crossing of a purebred German Shepherd Dog (GSD) with a purebred American Pitbull Terrier, which is usually shortened to “Pit” or “Pitbull”.
As with many hybrids, the origin of the Pitbull x German Shepherd is not certain. One might assume, however, that the breed was likely developed to combine the extreme loyalty and intelligence of the GSD with the powerful pit of pit to create the ultimate working dog.
In the next section, we will dive into the origins of the Shepherd Pitt.
Where did the Pitbull German Shepherd Mix come from?
The mother breeds of the German Shepherd’s Cross Pitbull have an interesting origin.
The German Shepherd Dog (GSD), a member of the herding group, was developed with the hope of creating the perfect herding and companion dog.
In the cool and often humid European climate in which he worked, the GSD had to be very robust for long days under often brutal conditions.
The German Shepherd was finally recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1908. At this time they became popular with the military, police, and service work.
They thrive in these areas to this day.
Pit Bull story
The pit bull, also from Europe, comes from England, Ireland, and Scotland. Early bulldogs and terriers were crossbred to create an athletic, bold dog. One that should be used for hunting.
These early pitties were used specifically for bull baiting until it was banned in 1835. A practice where the dog would grab a bull, bear, or another large animal around the head. Their powerful jaws were designed to grip like an arrow.
After pit bulls found their way to the United States, they were widely used by farmers and ranchers to gather, hunt, and serve as pets.
Today, pit bulls are still very agile dogs that are great candidates for agility, weight gain, and tracking tests.
They are also still popular play dogs, although unfortunately they have also been associated with dog fight rings.
The AKC does not recognize the pit bull on its registry, but the United Kennel Club officially recognized the breed in 1898. However, in the UK the pit bull is a banned breed.
German shepherd mix with Pit Bull temperament
Unfortunately, both the German Shepherd and the Pit Bull have negative stereotypes.
Both breeds are generally with territorial aggression and biting humans, as well as with other dogs.
With mixed breeds, one cannot say with great certainty how much the offspring of two purebred dogs will take after their parents. In terms of appearance, health, and temperament. German Shepherd Pitbull puppies are no different.
Regarding a Pit Bull mixed up with a German Shepherd, a major concern is how much Pit Bull temperament the offspring inherit.
Pit Bull temper
The pit bull was first bred to attack fearless animals and later to work, hunt, and protect his family.
This means that he is strong and agile enough to chase after animals like cattle and pigs. And if necessary, to grab and hold a moving animal with its characteristic powerful jaws.
Because of its heritage, it is possible that a German Shepherd x Pitbull may inherit its pitty parents’ urge to hunt or attack other animals, as well as its territorial nature.
According to a 2008 canine aggression by breed, the most common human-directed attacks were actually attributed to Dachshunds, Chihuahuas, and Jack Russell Terriers. However, more than 20% of the Pit Bulls, Akitas, and Jack Russell Terriers in the study showed increased aggressiveness towards unfamiliar dogs more frequently.
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In addition, fewer pit bulls in the study tried to bite their owner or a stranger than those who tried to attack or attack a strange dog in the past.
While these results do not guarantee that every dog with Pit Bull blood will exhibit aggressive behavior, it does mean that proper socialization with other dogs and people is imperative if you are to own a Pit Bull or Pit Bull hybrid, preferably at a young age.
Let’s talk about the stigma of aggression in German Shepherds.
German shepherd temperament
German shepherds are often used as police and service dogs. This has led the general public to believe that shepherds must be wicked.
The assumption that all German Shepherds are always aggressive is simply not true, nor is it a fair statement about the breed.
Dogs used in the police force are very intelligent and well trained. They may also be conditioned to respond to an order given by their handler to attack. However, this does not mean that they are generally malicious.
We need to address a different Shepherd stereotype – to make them attack anyone who enters their home or territory.
German shepherds were bred to be herding and guard dogs. This made them extremely devoted and loyal to their owners and their home, a trait that has remained with them. A territorial dog can show aggression towards strangers and animals if it believes its home is in danger.
You can find out more about the advantages and disadvantages of the German Shepherd breed here.
Mixed dog temperament
As we touched on in our discussion of pit bulls and pit bull hybrids, proper training and socialization with other dogs and people from an early age can help prevent a German Shepherd puppy from engaging in aggressive behavior later in life developed.
As with any mixed breed puppy, the Pitbull German Shepherd puppies more or less resemble one of their two parent breeds.
German shepherds and pit bulls are breeds that may be more aggressive than other breeds. Your puppy needs thorough socialization from the day you bring him home.
It is also imperative to meet both parents and make sure they are friendly and relaxed examples of their breeds.
Pitbull mixed with German Shepherd of mature size and weight
The German Shepherd Pitbull Mix is likely to be a big dog.
If a hybrid puppy chases its shepherd parent, it can mature anywhere between 80 and 90 pounds.
If he’s more similar to his pit bull parent, he can reach 30 to 60 pounds.
If he’s a happy mix of both parents, he’ll likely drop between 30 and 90 pounds.
You can assume that a GSD-Pitbull hybrid will grow to 17 to 24 cm at the shoulder.
Pitbull and German Shepherd mix colors
With mixed breed puppies, you don’t know exactly what length or color of coat you will have. However, you can make an educated guess based on the characteristics of their parents as well as the general appearance of the parent breeds.
Also, hybrids may look more like one parent than the other, or they may seem like a nice mix of both parents. It really is a litter!
If pit bulls are mixed with German Shepherd puppies, the genes of the Shepherd parents inherit more than those of the pit bulls, then they may have the shepherd’s solid coat and black spots.
If German Shepherds with Pit Bull puppies look more like a pit bull, they can come in virtually any color or color combination!
German Shepherd and Pitbull Mix Coat
A German Shepherd Pitbull Mix can inherit the medium-length double coat of the German Shepherd (a soft undercoat lies under a rough top coat). Or he inherits the pit bull’s short and somewhat stiff coat.
German Shepherd Pitbull grooming and shedding
If a German Shepherd Pitt has the double shift of the German Shepherd, it will need to be brushed weekly and a little more during the insemination period.
However, the pit bull’s short and sleek coat can only be brushed occasionally.
Pitbull German Shepherd Dog
Inherited health conditions can affect both mixed breeds and purebred dogs. Common examples are hip or elbow dysplasia, eye diseases, dental diseases, allergies, and skin irritations.
Depending on the parent breeds, some mixed dogs can be particularly prone to the conditions listed above in addition to the breed-specific conditions.
To learn more about the diseases and conditions a German Shepherd is prone to, check out our article on German Shepherds.
Pitbull health problems
Pit bulls, in particular, generally have the following:
Allergies – Allergic reactions to pollen, mold, and dust cause itchy skin on feet, stomach, skin folds, and ears.
Patellar Dislocation – When the kneecap loosens while the dog is in motion.
Hypothyroidism and Subsequent Dry Skin – When the thyroid gland is not working properly, resulting in a deficiency in thyroid hormone and resulting in dry skin and fur, hair loss, obesity, and sometimes behavior changes.
Zinc Responsive Dermatitis – Dry, hairless, oozing skin on the face, nose, and/or balls of the feet due to insufficient zinc absorption or a lack of zinc in the diet.
Neural ceroid lipofuscinosis – Progressive nerve damage that leads to weakness in the legs and sometimes blindness.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) – An inherited condition in which deterioration of the retina leads to blindness.
Bladder stones – In Pit Bulls, this happens when the hyperuricosuria condition is inherited. The urine is too acidic, causing a precipitate of solid matter called bladder stones or kidney stones (depending on where they form).
Parvo – A viral infection that causes vomiting, fever, and bloody diarrhea, to which pits do not develop a strong immunity.
Because of their ancestry, Shepherd Pits are particularly prone to developing hip dysplasia, allergies, and skin conditions. In the next section, learn how to prevent or reduce the severity of hip dysplasia.
Additionally, if you are looking for a breeder who will receive a Shepherd Pitt puppy, find one who will use genetic testing of their breeding animals to determine what condition puppies may be prone to. Make sure the breeding herd has good hip scores.
Pitbull German Shepherd mix exercise requirements
Since German Shepherd Pitbull Mix dogs are particularly prone to hip dysplasia, you need to take extra precautions to ensure your dog does not become obese. Especially if your dog has hypothyroidism in their genes.
You need to plan daily walks, playtimes, and off-leash exercises.
Additionally, both pit bulls and German Shepherd dogs are breeds that are more energetic than other dog breeds. It is therefore best to keep them where they can play and run in a yard.
They won’t live well in a small apartment or if they stay in a box most of the time.
How long does Pitbull mix German Shepherds?
You can expect a Shepherd Pitt to live between 10 and 15 years of age.
German Shepherd Pitbull mixed puppies
Pitbull German Shepherd Mix puppy in your future?
Since many breeders raise and refine purebred dogs, the more likely you will find a Shepherd Pitt puppy or dog at a local animal shelter or humane society. This is the cheapest option.
However, when you come across a breeder of hybrid dogs, you can expect the cost to increase by what the breeder attaches to their parent animal.
Is a Pitbull German Shepherd Mix a good family dog?
If you are considering a German Shepherd Pitbull Mix dog, consider the following tips before making your decision to purchase a dog.
A shepherd Pitt can grow into a great dog with a lot of energy. Working with the intelligence and desire of the German Shepherd Dog can be a little mischievous too.
He’ll need a yard or large room to practice in, as well as multiple walks and playtimes throughout the day.
In addition to the energy outlet, exercise is also important for these hybrids, as there is a high probability that they will develop hip dysplasia.
Genetic testing of parent animals can determine whether a puppy is particularly at risk of developing this disease.
The Shepherd Pitt does not need much grooming if he inherits the Pitty’s short coat. But if his coat is longer, like the shepherd, it needs to be brushed weekly and more when it sheds.
We recommend young puppies, strangers, children, and dogs to socialize as regards Pitbull and German Shepherd for territorial aggression.
As a family dog, this hybrid may not be ideal for households with young children or other dogs.