Great Dane Mixes and German Shepherd mixes. But have you ever heard of Great Dane German Shepherd Mix dogs? This designer dog is also called Great Shepherd and there is a lot you should know about them! And for good reason! Both of these breeds, are famous dog breeds and not only for their large size!
The German Shepherd is known for being the fighter among dogs and a bit scary. The Great Dane is known for being one of the largest dogs. But what they have in common is that they are both loyal. And they want to protect their family. Needless to say, that both breeds are indeed purebred dogs that are recognized by the American Kennel Club or AKC for short.
So, what is the mix of these two breeds like, exactly, what is this German Shepherd mix puppy? That’s what we’ll talk about in more detail in this article! We’ll cover everything there is to know about the temperament of the amazing Great Dane Shepherd, including how much exercise they need, if they make good family pets and if they are in good health.
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German Shepherd Great Dane Mix – All known facts
When it comes to mixed breeds including Great Dane Shepherd we don’t know how they will be like or what they will look like. They’re a mix of two different breeds. So they can be like one or the other parent breed. Or they can be like the mix of them.
When getting a mixed breed, it’s best that you like both breeds and their traits. And you shouldn’t have many expectations. That way, you won’t be disappointed once you get your puppy. Be open-minded.
To get a better picture of what your Shepherd Great Dane mix will look like and act like, we need to look at both parent breeds and their traits separately.
Physical traits of a German Shepherd
The German Shepherd was first developed in the late 1800s and has come a long way since then. This breed looks like a very strong dog. German Shepherds are large, muscular dogs that are actually surprisingly long. In fact, they are much longer than they are tall. Males stand 24 to 26 inches; females stand 22 to 24 inches. Weight ranges from 75 to 95 pounds. They are robust, nimble, and well-muscled. They have a loping stride that allows them to cover a lot of ground while working. Their muzzle is long, their skull is square, and they have erect ears that are pointed. They have long, bushy tails and slightly slanted back and rear legs.
German Shepherds are divided into two types: German and American. German genetics generate dogs that are heavier, have straight legs and backs, and have longer coats. Some argue that these tougher dogs are better suited to hard work in the field. The American kind features finer bones, a sloping back, and inclined hind legs.
Some people prefer the American type because of the disagreement over the health and soundness of the dogs’ bone structure. However, because of the issue over the health and soundness of the dogs’ bone structure, such aesthetics have been limited. Less angled dogs with an unbroken gait are now preferred by regulations. German shepherds’ coats are often black and tan, with deep, rich colors. Solid black or solid sable, red tints, and a variety of mixes are some other coat options. Black masks on their muzzles and a black saddle patch on their backs are prevalent. White German Shepherds are not allowed to compete in AKC shows, despite the fact that this color is growing more fashionable.
Physical traits of a Great Dane
If you thought the German Shepherd is a large dog, wait until you hear about the Great Dane, they are the real giants! Well, they are gentle giants. Male Great Danes are 30 to 34 inches tall and weigh 120 to 200 pounds. Females are 28 to 32 inches tall and weigh 100 to 130 pounds. Some dogs can be smaller or larger than average.
Great Danes are enormous, powerful, and graceful dogs. The large skull of the Great Dane is thin and flat on top. The brows are pronounced. The ears are clipped to stand straight or droop forward. The neck is long and sturdily built. The Great Dane’s body is long and muscular, with straight front legs. The tail is of average length, thick at the base and tapering down to the hocks.
All Great Danes have a short, sleek coat that falls close to the body and gives them a shaved appearance. This short coat is a single coat type (as opposed to the multiple coats seen in fluffier dogs like retrievers or collies), making grooming a Great Dane’s coat a breeze. Most of the time, all that is required is a bath sometimes. Despite the fact that they only have one coat, Great Danes are considered light to medium shedders. Great Danes shed light to moderately. The coat comes in a range of hues, including brindle, fawn, blue, black, and harlequin, and is short and sleek.
Great Dane German Shepherd mix physical appearance
There is no set standard for how the German Shepherd Great Dane mix or Great Dane Shepherd looks like. Not even two dogs from the same litter look the same. But we can give you an idea how your puppy might look like.
The German Shepherd and the Great Dane are large dogs. So you can expect their mix to be fairly big too.
Great Dane puppies can grow between 28 and 32 inches tall and weigh 110 to 175 pounds. The Great Dane really is one of the largest dogs in the world. They are actually even known for their enormous size!
The German Shepherd on the other hand is between 22 and 24 inches tall and weighs 50 to 90 pounds. So, they are quite big too.
When we take the size of both parent breeds into consideration, we can say that the Great Shepherd or Great Dane Shepherd will be between 28 and 30 inches tall and weigh between 65 and 100 pounds.
The Great Shepherd is a tall, strong dog. Their bodies are muscular, but at the same time lean. Their ears can be erect or drooping down. They have dark eyes and a long muzzle.
Coat color and grooming
The most common coat colors in Great Danes are black, brindle, blue, mantle, merle, harlequin, and fawn. On the other hand, the most common coat colors among German Shepherds are black and tan, black, red and black, sable, blue, grey, black, and silver.
So your Great Shepherd can be any of those colors. But usually, their coat can be black, brindle, fawn, harlequin, or a combination of two or three colors. Their coat can be either like the German Shepherd parent breeds’ or as the Great Dane parent breeds’.
The German Shepherd has a medium-length double coat. When a dog is double-coated that means they have a soft undercoat and a stiff outer coat. That double coat protects them from the cold and heat. German Shepherds shed all the time, but twice a year they will shed even more. That’s usually in spring and autumn. So if your Great Shepherd’s coat ends up being like the GSD’s, then you might want to invest in a good brush. You’ll have to brush them every day! Or at least every two days.
Great Danes however have a short coat and it’s very easy to maintain it. They shed minimally and you only have to brush them once a week. But, just like the German Shepherd, the Great Dane also has periods where they shed a bit more. Usually, that’s once or twice a year. But it’s nothing in comparison to the German Shepherd.
Temperament of the parent breeds
Just like we talked about the appearance of the parent breeds, we also need to talk about their personality and temperament. Every dog breed is unique, and so are their temperaments and personalities. That’s why it’s hard to talk about designer breed’s temperament.
We have already said that their appearance is a bit unpredictable, but the truth is, so is their temperament. There is no breed standard for a designer dog, so we can’t guarantee anything. They could inherit the traits of one parent breed or the other, there is no rule.
That’s why we love talking about the parent breeds separately, it’s much easier for potential owners to picture their future puppy’s personality that way. You are aware of all the traits they might inherit from their parents. That way there won’t be any surprises once they get their puppy.
Now that we’ve explained why it is a good idea to look at the parent breeds, let’s finally start talking about them!
German Shepherd dog temperament
The German Shepherd’s strongest trait is their deep, unflinching commitment to their families, which they were born to guard. (They make some of the best police dogs for a reason.) The courageous breed has also been known to put itself in danger in order to protect a family member. Unsurprisingly, the German Shepherd dog breed is not known for its sociability. They can be aloof, so you’ll have to work hard to gain their trust.
A German Shepherd, who is naturally apprehensive of outsiders, will go into “guard dog mode” if they fear their family is in danger. If you want your German Shepherd to be well-behaved with guests, it’s also crucial for him to have early social contact with children, babies, and other animals. This easy-to-train puppy can become a great companion with the right training.
German Shepherds have a natural ability to communicate. When they’re bored, they’ll bark, and if anything isn’t right, they’ll bark. But, training and exercise can help tame a rambunctious dog and limit their barking to when you need it most.
These dogs are extremely intelligent, and when they have a task to accomplish, whether it’s working as a police or military dog, tracking or search and rescue, serving as a guide dog, or at home practicing scent work or solving puzzles for a treat, they’re at their best. They are also great watchdogs. When they’re with their family, German Shepherds will flip their toys in the air and roll about on their backs, displaying their goofy side.
Most German Shepherds with a typical temperament are good with children if the dog was trained well and grew up with them and the children are well-behaved as well. If you have young children, but, you should be extremely cautious about bringing an adult German Shepherd into your house with an unknown history. That dog should have a great temperament that has been verified by professional rescuers. Also, I wouldn’t feel safe around toddlers with some high-drive German Shepherds. These ferocious dogs have the potential to send a toddler flying without even realizing it.
Great Dane temperament
A well-bred Dane is one of the friendliest dogs you’ll ever meet. They’re calm, friendly, and affectionate dogs who enjoy playing and are at ease around kids. They are easy to train since they have a strong desire to please. Great Danes are adored for their happy dispositions and affectionate friendship, so they are a good choice for families. Great Danes form strong bonds with their owners and are excellent family pets. In fact, at some point, they won’t only be a family pet, but turn into family members.
The Great Dane desires to be with his family. They enjoy meeting new people, even strangers, and children, and will gladly welcome visitors unless they believe you need to be defended. They can then become ferociously protective and have great watchdog abilities. Even if you and your lap strangely keep moving, some Danes wish they were—or actually believe they are—lapdogs, and they’ll keep attempting to get there.
Great Danes, as friendly as they are, require early interactions with a variety of people and exposing them to different sights, noises, and experiences—when they are young. Socialization is important for your Great Dane puppy’s development as a well-rounded dog. You might even want to enroll them in puppy kindergarten, it is a terrific place to start. Regularly inviting visitors over, as well as taking your dog to crowded parks, dog-friendly stores, and leisurely strolls to meet neighbors, will help them improve their social skills.
These dogs really are gentle giants who make wonderful family pets. Great Danes, like all breeds, can become aggressive. They are ferociously territorial dogs who can strike without warning. Victims of a Great Dane bite can suffer significant and life-altering consequences.
Great Dane German Shepherd mix temperament
We know what, what’s the German Shepherd Great Dane mix like? Well, there is no standard to that either. But, we can give you an idea of what they could be like.
The Great Shepherd is usually a very social and smart dog. The Great Dane is a friendly dog, the German Shepherd is a bit more reserved. So, some Great Shepherds will be very friendly and outgoing. Others will be more protective and reserved.
What is for sure is that both of the parent breeds are highly intelligent. So their mix will be too. This means they need a lot of mental stimulation and you’ll have to play different games with them, train them and get them puzzle toys.
These dogs want to please you. So they will do anything you want. So, training them is super easy. You can pretty much teach them any trick or command. But, don’t forget that positive reinforcement is the best teaching method for canines. We don’t recommend punishing your dog when they do something wrong.
Socialization is also very important. We’ve already said that these dogs can be protective. So, socialization is a must if you don’t want them to lash out at every strange face, sound, or place. It’s significant to socialize them when they are puppies. Let them see as many people, animals, and places as possible. That way they won’t be anxious and aggressive.
The Great Shepherd loves attention and they hate being left alone. If they feel like they didn’t get enough attention or if you left them alone for too long they will become bored and destructive. They might even chew on your shoes or furniture. If you’re out for long periods of time, then this dog is definitely not for you.
Health of the parent breeds
You know that mixed breeds are usually healthier than purebreds. And they live pretty long lives. Their life expectancy is between seven and 10 years. Generally speaking, giant dogs live much shorter than small dogs. Given that the German Shepherd Great Dane mix is part Great Dane they will inherit their large size. So we can say that being one of many Great Dane mixes and being so large, actually makes them live much shorter.
Let’s go back to the health issues Great Dane German Shepherd mix can have. We said that designer dogs are healthier than their purebred parents. But just because they are healthier than their parent breeds, that doesn’t mean they can’t get sick. There still are certain health problems Great Dane German Shepherd Mix is susceptible to.
Because they are such giant dogs the Great Shepherd is prone to hip dysplasia. It’s when the hip joint doesn’t grow how it’s supposed to grow. The ball and the socket of the joint don’t fit together properly, so they rub against each other. With time this will cause symptoms similar to arthritis.
Other health problems of Great Dane German Shepherd mix is prone to:
- heart disease
- eye issues
- autoimmune thyroiditis
- pancreatic acinar atrophy
- allergies including food allergies
But, to better understand the health issues of Great Dane German Shepherd mix or Great Dane Shepherd we will take a look at the health of both parent breeds.
German Shepherds health problems
For the right owners, the German Shepherds can be wonderful dogs, but you should also know that they are susceptible to many diseases and ailments that are widespread in the breed. The truth is, German Shepherds health problems are uncountable. That is why it’s important to make sure your puppy’s parents have received the appropriate health screenings. This will help you get a healthy puppy and lessen the likelihood of your puppy being impacted by many disorders.
To better understand how sick German Shepherds can actually get, you should know that this breed belongs to a group of breeds classified by The American Kennel Club as Category Three. That is the highest level of a health concern due to their conformation. Now, let’s talk about all the possible health issues of German Shepherds. The following are some of the conditions that German Shepherds may develop:
- Hip dysplasia – a hereditary condition in which the hip joints do not fit together properly and cause pain and discomfort in your dog. This condition can also result in arthritis.
- Elbow dysplasia – another hereditary disorder in which the elbow socket of a dog does not form properly, causing pain and other issues. This is something for which there is a screening test.
Hip dysplasia and Elbow dysplasia are very common in large dogs, they are actually two of the most common health issues found in almost all large breeds!
But, Hip dysplasia and Elbow dysplasia aren’t the only health problems in German Shepherds.
- Canine Degenerative Myelopathy (DM), also known as Chronic Degenerative Radiculomyopathy (CDRM) – a condition in which the back legs become weak and eventually paralyzed. A screening test is possible for this condition.
- Anal furunculosis – a painful condition in which a dog’s bottom becomes ulcerated.
- Eye ilnesses – German Shepherds are very susceptible to eye problems like cataracts and multifocal retinal dysplasia
- Epilepsy – a seizure-inducing neurological condition.
- Pituitary dwarfism – a hormonal deficit that causes significant development issues and shortens life expectancy.
- Haemophilia A and B – both conditions are bleeding disorders in which blood does not clot properly and wounds bleed excessively. There are screening tests available for this health problem.
Now, we’ve mentioned only some of the most common health problems of German shepherds, the list actually goes on and on… Because of these health issues, the German Shepherd food requirements aren´t simple either.
Great Dane health problems
In the case of health, bigger isn’t always better, large dogs have generally more health problems than small dogs. The Great Dane is prone to “bloat and torsion,” a condition in which the stomach bends inward, trapping air inside. This is the most serious emergency you’ll ever have with your dog, and surgery is the only way to save his life. There is a plethora of home remedies and advice on the Internet for avoiding an expensive trip to the emergency room. If you want to save your dog, ignore them and go to the veterinarian.
Great Danes are gentle giants with an abundance of love and compassion for their families. Unfortunately, they, like so many other purebred dogs, are susceptible to specific breed-related diseases and conditions. If you’re thinking about getting a Great Dane puppy, check sure the parents have had the appropriate health tests to limit the risk of your puppy contracting certain diseases. Looking for a Kennel Club Assured Breeder is a good idea because they satisfy additional requirements that will enhance your puppy’s health.
The following are some of the conditions that Great Danes may develop:
- Gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV) or bloat – a condition when a dog’s stomach fills with gas, food, or fluid and subsequently twists. It’s definitely a medical emergency that necessitates immediate veterinarian assistance.
- Hip dysplasia – a condition that happens during the growing period. It causes the hip joint to relax, resulting in pain and dysfunction. The cartilage and bone in the dog’s hip begin to wear away as he grows. This leads to arthritis, muscular atrophy, and decreased mobility over time.
- Elbow dysplasia is a condition in which the elbow joint does not fit together properly. It occurs when the bones that make up the elbow joint do not fit together perfectly, resulting in painful forelimb movement.
- Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) – a form of cardiac disease in which the heart is larger than normal and does not function normally.
- Eye difficulties – Great Danes are susceptible to a number of eye issues that include inward or outward turning (entropion) of the eyelids, glaucoma, cherry eye, and medial acanthus. For some of these conditions, BVA/KC screening is available.
- Wobbler Syndrome – a condition in which the bones in the neck are unstable, causing weakness in the back legs.
- Certain types of cancer – Lymphoma, also known as lymphosarcoma, is a cancer that affects Great Danes more frequently than any other breed. It´s a very serious condition where the Great Dane´s body forms aberrant lymphocytes, which are a type of white blood cells.
- Inherited myopathy of Great Danes (IMGD) – a rare inherited degenerative muscle condition that affects Great Danes. Symptoms in affected dogs usually appear before they reach the age of one year. Exercise-induced tremors, muscular atrophy, and difficulty exercising are the most typical symptoms.
Caring for a German Shepherd Great Dane mix
Despite having so many health problems, the Shepherd Great Dane Mix is still an amazing dog and the good news is you can do a lot about their health! Obviously, with the right care, you can help your dog stay healthy and live a long and happy life.
Great Dane German Shepherd mix dogs have a lot of energy! This is a high energy designer dog! They are large dogs with large exercise needs. They require a lot of activity to stay happy and to prevent them from barking or nibbling on the furniture out of boredom. And we’ve already mentioned that barking is a big problem of this mix. How important activity is for these dogs is explained by the fact that a lack of activity and stimulation can cause behavioral issues in the Shepherd Great Dane mix. They need plenty of exercises.
But how much exercise is enough? Well, your Great Dane German Shepherd mix or Shepherd Great Dane will need at least two hours of exercise. Yes, at least two hours! So if you’re a couch potato, then this dog would definitely not be for you. Physical activity should include long walks, and off-leash exercise in a safe environment like the dog park, as well as additional playtime and training, to provide diversity. Also, don’t forget mental stimulation, either.
We do have one important tip for you that can make your life easier. Rather than trying to complete two hours of exercise in one sitting, try spacing it out over the day. It’s easier for you and better for your dog to have four play sessions of 30 minutes than one long play session.
If you prefer long walks and spending a lot of time outside, these dogs are the perfect breed for you. But, we’ll say it one more time, if you are unable to provide them with the exercise they require and proper training, either don’t get them or hire a professional like a dog trainer and dog walker Great Dane German Shepherd mix. Make sure that you meet your dog’s needs at all times. If you don’t do it, who will?
You should know that it’s perfectly fine to feed your dog a kibble-only diet. Alternatively, you can supplement their diet with cooked or raw meat, fish, veggies, and grains. Even though many dog owners like to feed their dogs a raw meat diet, and while this might be beneficial for some dogs, there are several key things to keep in mind. Because some pet meat and bone products contain preservatives that might be harmful to your Great Dane German Shepherd mix dog´s health, choose human-grade meat.
The chance of both you and your Great Dane German Shepherd mix contracting a food-borne bacterial infection such as campylobacter or salmonella is considerable, so practice perfect food hygiene. Dogs can consume a little amount of cooked meat like boiling chicken or lamb, but avoid cooked bones and poisonous chemicals like onion sauces that may be present on the meat.
Also, don’t be afraid to include cooked pumpkin or raw grated carrot in your dog’s dish. Many brands of dog foods are deficient in fiber, so adding cooked pumpkin or grated carrot to their food can help improve the digestive health of your Great Dane German Shepherd mix.