Written by Vet Tech

German Shepherd Pitbull Mix: A Dog Of Mistery

Amber LaRock
Written by: Amber LaRock, Vet Tech
The German Shepherd Pitbull Mix is a big mixed breed dog blending the best from Pitbull and German Shepherd. But what can you expect from this breed... More of Pit or German Shepherd? Let's discover.

Breed Characteristics:

The German Shepherd Pitbull Mix is a brave and loyal breed that has grown in popularity in the last decade. Since the German Shepherd and Pitbull are both beloved breeds in the dog world, it’s no wonder this mix has become so sought out.

In this article we’ll discuss the qualities of the German Shepherd Pitbull Mix, and what you should expect when you bring this special breed into your home.

History Of The German Shepherd Pitbull Mix

The German Shepherd Pitbull Mix is the combination of two misunderstood breeds. Though each of them has somewhat of a troubling past, this breed has all the tools to be a loyal and brave companion to add to your home.

There is no set time period as to which this we started breeding the Shepherd and the Pitbull, so it’s best that we dive into the history for each breed for a better understanding of this mix.

German Shepherd

The German Shepherd has a long history of working and serving alongside their humans. Originally bred for work in Germany, the Shepherd was used for guarding livestock, herding livestock, and protecting their family farm.

Their fierce work ethic and impressive demeanor led them to their careers in the military, in which they soon made their way to America during the Civil War.

Since making their way to America they have become a beloved breed among families and for work purposes. To this day you will see German Shepherds in distinguished service positions as well as loyal family dogs.

Due to their ability to protect and guard their owners/handlers, they are often associated with the stigma of being aggressive or overly protective. Due to its amazing traits, this breed is often mixed with other breeds. More on breeds of German Shepherd you can learn here.


The Pitbull has overcome a rough past in order to be seen as a beloved family dog in today’s world. Though the Pitbull has proven themselves to be a loyal and loving family member, it’s still hard for them to escape their aggressive past.

The Pitbull was originally bred for bloodsport and were the main stars in dog fighting rings, bull, and bear-baiting, as well as a number of other cruel and unfair practices.

The Pitbulls used in these practices were often trained and forced to tap into their aggression, leading them to be the poster breed of aggression and injury.

It has since been proven that if a Pitbull is raised in a loving and fulfilling environment, they are an incredibly kind and loyal breed that is no more dangerous than other family breeds. They are often referred to as “nanny dogs” due to their kind nature and their willingness to nurture and protect children. They are also prone to allergies, so providing the best foods for Pitbull is highly recommended.

Appearance Of The German Shepherd Pitbull Mix

Since the German Shepherd Pitbull Mix is a mixture of two breeds, the appearance of each individual pup can vary greatly. Though their appearance can range, they generally weight anywhere from 40-90lbs and generally stand up to 26 inches in height.

The German Shepherd has a few varieties of coat colors, but the Pitbull can come in a number of coat colors and patterns. Due to the possibility of coat colors on each side, the Shepherd Pitbull Mix can come in a variety of colors.

Some of these coat colors include brown, black, white, fawn, brindle, grey, or a combination of multiple colors in a variety of coat patterns. It’s truly amazing how many coat varieties this breed can display.

Though their coat can have several color possibilities, their coat is generally short to medium and thick and dense. This breed is known to shed quite a lot, so this may not be the best breed for those with allergies to pet dander.

Personality Of The German Shepherd Pitbull Mix

The German Shepherd Pitbull Mix is a loyal and affectionate breed when raised in a positive and loving environment. They are known for their fun-loving attitude and their enjoyment of being around their favorite people.

If a German Shepherd Pitbull Mix had their way, they would spend every single second cuddled up to their family members. This breed truly loves their people!

Since this breed is fiercely loyal and wants to protect their favorite humans, this quality can often result in growling and barking at unknown humans and animals around their home or when they are out and about on a walk with you.

Because of this possibility, it’s important to socialize your German Shepherd Pitbull Mix from the second you bring them into your home. Because this breed is so intelligent, it’s quite easy to train and socialize them in order to limit their unfavorable qualities.

Possibility Of Aggression With The German Shepherd Pitbull Mix

Anytime you have a breed that is known for fierce loyalty and a strong work ethic, there is a possibility of these traits kicking into overdrive when they are not properly trained and socialized.

Especially with having a mixture of two breeds with a bad reputation, it’s even more important to make sure you do your part to limit the possibility of these negative traits shining through.

Loyalty and passion for their family are great qualities in any family dog. Though this can be exactly what you’re looking for in a furry family member, this can be a recipe for disaster if the only world your dog knows is the world inside your home.

By not exposing them to anyone or anything that may enter your home or be outside of the walls of your home, you are setting them up for uncertainty and possible aggression towards other people and situations.

It’s important to socialize your German Shepherd Pitbull Mix from the second they enter your home.

Try your best to take them to public places, introduce them to other animals, bring friendly visitors in your home, and open them up to the world around them. By doing this, you are helping to build their confidence in the world outside of your home, and limit the possibility of aggression toward unknown humans or animals.

Overall Health Of The German Shepherd Pitbull Mix

The German Shepherd Pitbull Mix can live a generally healthy life of up to 12 years on average, but there are some health conditions they are more prone to. These conditions include:

1. Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a structural issue with the hip joint which can lead to pain and degeneration of the joint over time. Since this is often a genetic disease, the onset of this condition will vary from dog to dog.

The common symptoms of hip dysplasia include pain, limping, looseness of the joints, lameness, and limited range of motion.

Since this condition can begin at any point and this breed is large in general, it’s best to start them on joint supplements from the point they reach adulthood.

2. Allergies

Just like us, dogs can experience allergies to food, allergens in the air, as well as contact allergies.

Common signs of allergies include skin redness, skin irritation, itching, ear infections, skin infections, gastrointestinal upset, and more. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s best to see your veterinarian for a plan of action.

3. Gastric Bloat

Gastric bloat or GDV is a life-threatening condition in which the stomach flips on itself, trapping the contents of the stomach and cutting off blood circulation.

Signs of GDV include wretching with no vomit production, distended abdomen, abdominal pain, weakness, pale gums, and collapse. If you fear your dog may be experiencing gastric bloat, you need to see your veterinarian ASAP as this condition is fatal if left untreated.

4. Progressive Retinal Atrophy

PRA is the progressive deterioration of the cells in the retina that can result in ultimate blindness in the late stages. If you notice any changes in vision or changes in eye appearance in your pup, it’s best to see your veterinarian for a plan of action.

5. Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a seizure disorder in humans and dogs that can cause frequent seizures and neurological behavior. Epilepsy usually starts around 1-3 years of age and can persist throughout their lives until proper medical management is established.

Epilepsy can be controlled with daily medication, and since seizures are damaging to the brain, it’s best to see your vet ASAp if your dog ever experiences seizure activity.

Training Your German Shepherd Pitbull Mix

The German Shepherd Pitbull Mix is a high energy breed, so this breed often requires an experienced dog owner. Though they are incredibly smart and eager to please, they can be a bit stubborn. They require a firm trainer that is confident in their stance.

Just like any other breed, the Shepherd Pitbull mix does best with positive reinforcement style training. They do not respond well to negative reinforcement or yelling in their training process, so you will have better results when your training routine is based on reward and positive outcomes.

Since this breed can be a bit on the stubborn side, it’s best to start your training from the moment they enter your home. You will, of course, have an easier transition the earlier that this process is started.

Exercise And Your German Shepherd Pitbull Mix

The German Shepherd Pitbull Mix has a large and lean body that is always ready to be on the move. This breed is full of energy and will require a family that is ready to set aside some time each day for play.

This breed requires a minimum of 1 hour of daily exercise, so it’s important that they end up in an active home or those who are ready to set aside an hour each day for playtime. They enjoy walks in the park, long games of frisbee, or even tagging along on your outdoor adventures.

Though the Shepherd Pitbull Mix loves to cuddle and enjoy downtime with their favorite people, you won’t often get this experience without the proper expulsion of their energy.

When this breed’s daily exercise is neglected they can often resort to undesirable and destructive behavior. If you want to avoid this behavior and enjoy daily cuddle time with your pup, make sure to satisfy their need for daily play.

Important Tips For Owning A German Shepherd Pitbull Mix

The German Shepherd Pitbull Mix will be an incredible addition to any active home. If you’ve made the decision to welcome a Shepherd Pitbull Mix into your life, it’s important to keep these things in mind:

  • They are filled with energy, so they will need 1 hour of daily play or exercise.
  • Their need to protect their owners can result in aggressive behavior if they are not properly socialized, so it’s important to socialize them from the moment they enter your home.
  • They are known to shed, so this may not be the best breed for those with allergies to pet dander.
  • This breed loves to spend time with their family, so if you are not often home, this is not a breed for you.

German Shepherd Pitbull Mix – Summary

The Shepherd Pitbull Mix is an adorable combination of two incredibly loyal and loving breeds. There’s no doubt that you will have a dedicated forever friend when you welcome this breed into your life!

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