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German Shepherd Mastiff Mix – Complete and Detailed Guide 2023

Large and fierce-looking German Shepherd Mastiff mix is a newer designer dog. Underneath their tough exterior is an incredibly loyal, gentle, and affectionate pooch that wants to spend time with its owners and be a part of the family.

But how big will a German Shepherd Mastiff mix get? Both German Shepherds and English Mastiffs are large dogs so their offspring will be the same. Most German Shepherd Mastiffs are between 25 and 30 inches tall and can weigh from 80 to 200 pounds. Given its sheer size, this mixed breed needs to live in a spacious house with access to a backyard. 

Are you looking for a large size guard dog that will watch over your property and your family? The Shepherd Mastiff mix might be a fantastic choice! Read on to learn more about this designer hybrid and whether it will fit in with your family.

What Is a German Shepherd Mastiff Mix?

True to its name, the German Shepherd Mastiff mix was developed by crossing a purebred German Shepherd Dog and a purebred English Mastiff. Although both parent breeds are recognized by the AKC, the Shepherd Mastiff is a designer dog breed without an official standard and recognition.  

Brief History

There isn’t a lot of information about these large dogs, and no one knows for sure when and where they were created. To understand this mix, let’s take a closer look at their parents – German Shepherd Dogs and English Mastiffs.

German Shepherd Dog

Originally bred to be a herding dog, the German Shepherd was developed in 1899 in Germany. Over the years, GSDs evolved into all-purpose working dogs that are used by the military and police as bomb detection, search and rescue, and guard dogs. 

English Mastiff

The English Mastiff descends from the Molosser, one of the most ancient types of dogs. These big dogs served as guards, war dogs, and entertainment over the years, but are nowadays kept as loving companions and guard dogs.

German Shepherd Mastiff Mix

When you mix a German Shepherd and a Mastiff you get a large-sized and powerfully built canine with a strong protective instinct. They are best suited for large homes with fenced backyards since they need regular exercise and ample space to move around freely.

Characteristics of the German Shepherd Mastiff Mix

Characteristics of the German Shepherd Mastiff Mix

While it’s hard to predict the exact appearance of any mixed breed, we can safely say that the Shepherd Mastiff will be a large and impressive-looking canine. Most inherit the big and round head from the Mastiff parent. 

The muzzle is usually broad, but not as long as that of a purebred GSD nor deep like the Mastiff’s muzzle. Most mixes have floppy ears larger than a Mastiff, but some dogs may inherit the German Shepherd’s erect ears. 

Shepherd Mastiff Highlights: 

SizeLarge-sized dog
Weight80-200 pounds
Height25-30 inches
Coat TypeShort, double coat
SheddingModerate shedding
Energy LevelEnergetic
Overall HealthVery good
Lifespan8-12 years


As a mix of two large dog breeds, most Shepherd Mastiffs are between 25 and 30 inches tall. Some may be shorter or taller though.


When it comes to weight expect your mix to tip the scales anywhere from 80 to 200 pounds!

Coat Color

Both German Shepherds and English Mastiffs come in different colors, so their mix can sport different coat colors as well. The most common coat colors are:

  • Brindle
  • Fawn
  • Sable
  • Black
  • Black and tan


The German Shepherd Mastiff mix has a short double coat that sheds moderately all year round. These dogs also go through shedding season and will shed more hair during spring and fall. 


When it comes to temperament, expect your pooch to exhibit traits from both parent breeds. Both the GSD and the Mastiff breed were used for guarding, so it’s safe to say that their mix will be an excellent guard dog (source).

Naturally very protective and loyal to their families, Shepherd Mastiffs will step up to defend their owners if they perceive a threat. 

At home, this mix makes a friendly and relaxed companion that likes to spend time with its owners. Although their size makes them look intimidating, the Shepherd Mastiff is a gentle giant at heart! 

When properly socialized and trained from puppyhood, this mix makes a calm, quiet, devoted, and gentle companion to a loving home. The Mastiff breed is known for its patience and laid-back approach and these are the traits you will likely see in your mix too.

Pet Friendly

Shepherd Mastiffs usually get along with other pets, especially if they were raised together. Early socialization is a must if you want your mix to get along with cats and dogs, so start introducing your Shepherd Mastiff mix puppy to other animals as soon as they are fully vaccinated. 

Child Friendly

Both German Shepherds and Mastiffs love children and are highly protective of them, so expect no less from your mix. Although they get along with kids, Shepherd Mastiffs can accidentally knock down a toddler, so they are better suited for homes with older children.

Though they may seem like they can handle it, Shepherd Mastiffs aren’t ponies! Do not let your children ride your mix, as your dog can become injured in the process. 

German Shepherd Mastiff Mix Care 

German Shepherd Mastiff Mix Care 

Like all other dogs, the Shepherd Mastiff needs a loving owner who’ll understand their needs and care for them properly. When it comes to caring, here’s what you’ll need to do:

Health Risks

Shepherd Mastiffs are generally healthy, but like all other designer dogs, they too can inherit certain health problems from their parent breeds. The most common health issues are:

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Bloat
  • Cherry eye
  • Progressive retinal atrophy

The Mastiff German Shepherd mix has an average lifespan of eight to 12 years. 

Grooming and Maintenance

These dogs have a short, double coat that sheds all year round, so be prepared to groom your mix regularly. Brush your dog at least four times a week to keep the shedding under control during the off-shedding season. During spring and fall, you might need to brush your pooch daily.

Bathe your dog only when they are dirty, once every three to four months using a hypoallergenic dog shampoo.

You’ll also need to brush your dog’s teeth daily and trim their nails once a month. Check their ears for dirt and mites once a week and clean them as necessary using an ear cleaning solution for dogs.

Food or Diet

An ideal diet for a Shepherd Mastiff should be formulated for large and active dogs. Make sure that the food you pick contains high levels of protein and moderate levels of fat and fiber.

As a large breed dog, this mix can benefit from taking mobility supplements that contain glucosamine and chondroitin (source). You can also include salmon oil, as it contains omega 3 fatty acids that also promote better mobility.

When feeding, stick to a regular feeding schedule of two meals a day for adult dogs and three smaller meals for puppies. Since this mix is at an increased risk of bloat, don’t feed your dog right before or right after exercise.

Training and Exercise

The Shepherd Mastiff is an active dog that needs around 60 to 90 minutes of exercise every day. Take your dog jogging or hiking, or start practicing agility to keep them exercised and in good shape.

These dogs also love to play and will grab any chance to play with you! Games such as fetch, Frisbee, tug-of-war, and hide and seek will keep your dog mentally stimulated and also serve as a form of exercise.

When it comes to training this mix, things can go either way! While German Shepherds are very obedient and highly trainable dogs, Mastiffs tend to be stubborn and uninterested in training. 

Expect your mix to be more responsive than its Mastiff parent, but not as obedient as purebred GSDs. Use positive reinforcement coupled with short training sessions to teach your mix of basic commands and obedience. 

Although they don’t look like it, Shepherd Mastiffs are sensitive dogs, so do not use any choke chains and dominance training techniques. These won’t work, and can only make matters worse by pushing your dog into fear-induced aggression.

Besides training, you should also start socializing your mix as soon as you bring them home. Shepherd Mastiffs are naturally aloof with strangers so it’s very important to introduce your puppy to different people, other animals, sounds, situations, and environments from a young age.


Despite their large size, Shepherd Mastiffs should live indoors with their families. Their size and energy levels make them better suited for homes with access to fenced backyards. They can adapt to living in a larger apartment too, as long as you are committed to exercising them every day.

Where to Get a German Shepherd Mastiff Mix?

Whenever you want to welcome a new dog into your home, you have only two options. Either adopt or shop!

German Shepherd Mastiff Mix Breeders

German Mastiffs still aren’t as popular as other designer dogs, so you may have difficulties finding a breeder in your area, or state. Take some time to research different breeders and check their references.

Once you are sure that the breeder in question is ethical, schedule an appointment to meet the puppies and the mother and inspect the conditions they are kept in.

German Shepherd Mastiff Mix Price

German Shepherd Mastiff puppies on average cost from $350 to $1100 from a reputable breeder. Prices can vary a lot and depend on supply and demand, the breeder, location, bloodlines, and coat color. 


Regardless of their designer breed status, German Mastiffs still end up abandoned and in the care of rescue groups and animal shelters across the country. If you are thinking of getting one of these dogs, consider adoption! 

Check out your local shelter to see if they have any German Mastiffs for adoption. You can also contact breed-specific rescue groups that rehome German Shepherds and English Mastiffs as they often have their mixes too.


While not as popular as other designer dogs, the German Shepherd Mastiff mix can be a great addition to your family! If you have enough space to house a large pooch and are willing to properly train and socialize it from a young age, the Shepherd Mastiff is a superb choice!

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