The mini German Shepherd or Miniature German Shepherd is not the same as the dwarf German Shepherd. It’s actually a mix of a purebred German Shepherd and a smaller dog. Usually a Collie or miniature Poodle.
Mixing a GSD with a Poodle seems unthinkable, almost absurd, doesn’t it? And not just any Poodle, the mini Poodle! But what won’t breeders do to get the next big breed? Or just to get some money.
But, what does this mix look like? And more importantly, what are they like? Are they like the GSD, the Poodle, or Border Collie?
Let’s find out!
Mini German Shepherd – The things you should know
As mentioned above, the mini GSD is a result of breeding the GSD with a smaller breed. GSDs are one of the most popular dog breeds out there. There probably isn’t one person that doesn’t know how these dogs look like. They are muscular and strong dogs. And they are definitely one of the scariest dog breeds in the world.
Then we have the mini Poodle. A gentle, small dog that loves to love. A dog that isn’t a threat to anyone.
Lastly, we have the Collie. Another breed the GSD can be bred with to get the mini GSD. The Collie is a work dog and they are used for herding livestock. So they are more similar to the GSD.
Breeders mix a female GSD with a male Border Collie or mini Poodle to create the miniature German Shepherd. Obviously, the goal of breeders was to create a dog that will have all the traits of a GSD, but as a smaller version. But, this didn’t go as planned.
There is no guarantee your mini German Shepherd will have mostly the traits of GSDs. That’s not how nature works. When you’re mixing two breeds, you don’t know which traits the miniature German Shepherd puppies will have. Will they be more like one parent breed or the other?
We have to add that the miniature German Shepherd is not accepted by the American Kennel Club, after all, it is a mixed breed.
Size and appearance
So, what does the mini GSD look like? Well besides being mini.
GSDs are big dogs. They are between 24 and 26 inches tall and weigh between 70 and 90 pounds. Obviously, the mini German Shepherd will be much smaller than that.
The size of a miniature German Shepherd depends on the breed that was bred with the GSD. But, generally speaking, they can be anywhere from 15 to 20 inches and can weigh up to 50 pounds.
As you can see the size difference is significant.
They will also look more like the GSD parent, than the other parent breed that was used to mix them. They come in many colors, but black and tan coloring is the most common. For example, they can be all black, sable, or even brown.
They shed moderately, so a weekly grooming routine is advised. They will also shed more twice a year when they are blowing their coat. During this time it’s best to brush them every day.
Despite being small in size these dogs still look as athletic as their GSD parent. They have a strong physique and a muscular body.
Now that we know what the mini GS looks like, let’s see what they’re like. What their nature is. How they act and behave.
The goal with the mini German Shepherd was to get a dog that acts like the GSD, but that is smaller in size. That they are more compact. Even though breeders didn’t fully succeed in this, the mini German Shepherd is still very close to the GSD.
But, what is sure is that this is a brave and intelligent dog. The mini GSD learns very quickly and is obedient and loyal to its humans. They make a great family dog.
Despite wanting to protect their home and family and being a great guard dog, the mini German Shepherd is still friendly and kind. They know when you’re in danger and will step in. But if they don’t sense any threat, they will remain calm and collected. Of course, if you train and raise them right. No dog knows what’s wrong and what’s right if you don’t teach them.
But, the good news is that the miniature German Shepherd is very easy to train. So, you shouldn’t have a hard time teaching them how to behave. Also, don’t forget that early socialization is important with every dog. No matter if you’re dealing with designer dogs or purebred dogs.
Are they good pets?
Given all these great traits of mini GSDs, does that mean they make good pets?
Well, it depends on what a good pet for you means. But they do have many great qualities.
For example, because of their size, they will fit in everywhere. No matter if it’s a big house or a small apartment. Their size makes it so much easier to handle them and keep them under control.
We can also say that due to both parent breeds traits, the miniature German Shepherd is great with kids. They are very affectionate and loving. They are also protective, so you know they will keep your kid out of trouble. At the same time, they have a lot of energy, so they can play with your kids. But, no matter how great they seem, please never leave your kid unsupervised with a dog. You never know what can happen.
I’ve already mentioned that they are very energetic. This means they need a lot of exercise and playtime. These dogs need regular walks and at least one hour of exercise a day. They also need mental stimulation, in form of puzzles, games, and so on.
So, it’s up to you to decide if the mini GSD is a good family dog or pet, or not. They definitely have many qualities that can put them into the category of a good pet.
Health of the mini German Shepherd
Mini German Shepherds are usually very healthy dogs and their life expectancy is up to 15 years. For comparison, the GSD lives between 9 and 13 years. The mini GSD lives longer because small breeds usually have longer lives than large breeds.
Even though the mini German Shepherd is considered to be a healthy dog, there are certain health problems they are susceptible to. For example:
- Hip Dysplasia – displacement between the hip joint and the thighbone
- Gastric Dilatation Volvulus or Bloat – a life threatening condition where the stomach rotates on its axis, cutting off the passage of food and water, and inhibiting circulation to the stomach and intestines
- Degenerative Myelopathy – a fatal, chronic, progressive, degenerative disease of the spinal cord
But the biggest health issue of this mix is probably hip dysplasia. That’s why it’s important to have regular vet checkups done and feed your dog a healthy and balanced diet.
A part of a dog’s health is making sure they have a balanced diet that will provide them with all the needed nutrients. Because we love to give our dogs human food, you should also know which human food is safe and which is not.
You can learn more about human foods in our “Food category” or check out the following articles: