German Shepherd Chihuahua Mix – Complete Guide

The German Shepherd Chihuahua mix is small to a medium-sized hybrid that makes a wonderful companion to experienced owners, singles, or families without children. As a mix of two very different dog breeds, German Chis can vary greatly in appearance. 

So how big will a German Shepherd Chihuahua mix get? Most German Shepherd Chihuahua mixes are small to medium-sized dogs. A fully grown German Chi can be from seven to 45 inches tall at the withers and weigh from eight to 60 pounds. Ultimately, the German Chi’s actual size will depend on which parent breed it takes after. 

Are you looking for a loyal, feisty, and lively canine to keep you company? Look no further than the German Shepherd Chihuahua mix! Keep on reading to get the full scoop on this unusual designer hybrid!

What Is a German Shepherd Chihuahua Mix?

The German Shepherd Chihuahua mix is a crossbreed developed by mating a purebred male Chihuahua with a purebred female German Shepherd dog. The German Chi is a fairly new and rare designer hybrid that isn’t recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Brief History

The exact history of the German Shepherd Chihuahua mix is murky, but it’s unlikely that these dogs existed naturally. 

A natural mating between a tiny Chihuahua and a large German Shepherd is impossible, so this mix is always created by artificial insemination. To avoid birthing complications, breeders always mate a male Chihuahua with a female German Shepherd. 

To understand what you can expect from this designer dog breed, you’ll need to meet its parents first! 

German Shepherd

The German Shepherd is a herding dog breed developed by Max von Stephanitz in Germany. Over the years, GSDs evolved into all-purpose working dogs that are used by the military and police but are also kept as family companions.

Chihuahua  

Originating in Mexico, the Chihuahua is the smallest dog breed in existence. What they lack in size, they make up with their larger-than-life personality that makes them highly popular with people looking for an affectionate and feisty pet.

German Shepherd x Chihuahua 

When you mix a German Shepherd and a Chihuahua you get one of a kind mixed-breed. German Chis make loyal and affectionate pets, but they can become overly protective and aggressive if not trained and socialized from a young age.

For this reason, this cute mix is best suited for experienced dog owners, singles, or families without children. 

Characteristics of a German Shepherd Chihuahua Mix

Characteristics of a German Shepherd Chihuahua Mix

As a mix of two very distinctive dog breeds, German Chis vary in appearance. Most have a sturdy body, long and strong legs, apple-shaped head, and small but marked eyes.

German Chi Highlights:

SizeSmall to medium-sized dog 
Weight8-60 pounds
Height7-45 inches
Coat TypeShort to medium-length coat
SheddingModerate shedding
Energy LevelModerately energetic
Overall HealthVery good
Lifespan10-14 years

Height

Due to a significant size difference between German Shepherds and Chihuahuas expect their mix to be from seven to 45 inches tall at the withers.

Weight

German Chis can weigh from eight to 60 pounds, depending on which parent breed they take more after. 

Coat Color

Both Chihuahuas and German Shepherds come in many different colors. Though German Chis often inherit the GSD’s darker coat they can come in a variety of colors. The most common are:

  • Tan
  • Brown
  • Black
  • Fawn 
  • Chocolate

Shedding

German Chis are moderate shedders that usually shed all year round, though some may also shed profusely during the shedding season. Needless to say, these small dogs aren’t a good choice for allergy sufferers.

Temperament

It’s hard to predict the exact temperament of mixed-breed dogs, and German Chi is no different. In most cases, you can expect to see a mix of traits seen in German Shepherds and Chihuahuas. 

German Chis are very loyal and protective of their people and make great family dogs. However, they are naturally suspicious of strangers and may even turn aggressive if not socialized from puppyhood (source).

It’s not uncommon for them to be territorial and exhibit guarding behavior, which results in barking and attacking anyone who comes near. Luckily, early socialization and continuous training can curb all problem behaviors. 

Pet Friendly

While properly socialized German Chis can get along with other pets, they prefer to be the sole pet of the household. If you already have a cat or a dog, this mix might not be the best choice for your family.

Child Friendly

Due to their small stature and aggressive tendencies, the German Shepherd Chihuahua mix isn’t a good choice for families with children. Younger kids have a habit of roughhousing smaller dogs which can cause a German Chi to snap or even nip a child. 

If you have kids, you should consider another more child-friendly German Shepherd mix, as Chihuahuas prefer adult-only households. 

German Shepherd Chihuahua Mix Care

German Shepherd Chihuahua Mix Care

The Chihuahua German Shepherd mix isn’t a high-maintenance dog when it comes to grooming and care, but they need an experienced owner. If you aren’t willing to spend a lot of time on training and socialization, the German Chi isn’t the right dog for you!

But, if you think you can rise up to the challenge, here’s everything you need to know about caring for this mix!

Health Risks

The German Shepherd Chihuahua mix is a relatively healthy designer breed. However, they can develop the same health problems that affect German Shepherds and Chihuahuas. 

The most common health issues seen in this mix are:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Patellar luxation
  • Degenerative myelopathy
  • Bloat
  • Congenital heart defect

The Chihuahua German Shepherd mix has an average lifespan of 10 to 14 years. But they can live longer if taken to regular veterinary checkups and are properly cared for.

Grooming

Most German Chis have a short coat, but they can also inherit a double medium-length coat. Short-haired dogs shed less and are easier to maintain with weekly grooming. 

If your mix inherits a double coat, you’ll need to brush them at least three times a week to remove loose hairs and minimize the shedding. 

Bathe your mix once every two to three months using a hypoallergenic shampoo that won’t dry up their skin or damage their coat. 

You’ll also need to trim your dog’s nails once a month or when you hear them clicking on the floor. Inspect their ears weekly for dirt, mites, and waxy buildup and clean as necessary.

Chihuahuas are at a higher risk of developing periodontal disease and other dental problems because of their smaller jaws, so brush your pup’s teeth daily (source). Regular teeth brushing is the most effective way to prevent plaque and tartar buildup! 

Food or Diet

An ideal diet for a Chihuahua German Shepherd mix is formulated for small or medium-sized dogs with moderate energy. Find the highest quality food you can afford and make sure that it contains appropriate levels of protein, fat, and fiber.

Your German Chi’s nutritional needs will change from puppyhood to adulthood to senior years, so always feed age-appropriate dog food. When feeding treats, follow a 10 percent rule and make sure that treats make up to 10 percent of your dog’s daily calorie intake.

Training and Exercise

The German Shepherd Chihuahua mix is a moderately active breed that doesn’t need vigorous exercise to stay healthy and in good shape. Besides regular walks, take your dog jogging or for a hike to keep them exercised. 

German Chis are a playful bunch, so any type of game will be an instant hit with your mix! Interactive play, puzzle toys, or games such as fetch, hide and seek, or Frisbee will keep your pooch entertained and exercised.

When it comes to training German Chis can be very cooperative or stubborn. Patience is a must when training this mix, as your dog will likely try to test you more than once.

Start training your mix as soon as you bring them home, and only use positive reinforcement training methods. Use treats, verbal praise, and toys to reward good behavior and refrain from yelling or punishing your dog.

German Chis are intelligent canines that quickly learn commands, but only when they want to! 

Socialization is an important aspect of training and should start as soon as you bring your mix home. German Chis are naturally territorial and aloof with strangers and can become a real menace when not properly socialized.

Expose your puppy to different people, places, cats, dogs, children, sounds, smells, and everything in between to build their confidence. This will help them grow into well-mannered and friendly dogs.

Housing

Due to their smaller size, German Chihuahuas adapt well to apartment living, but they can also live in a standalone house with a fenced backyard. It doesn’t really matter where they live, as long as they are indoors with their families. 

Where to Get a German Shepherd Chihuahua Mix

The German Shepherd Chihuahua mix is a fairly new and rare designer dog, so you may have a hard time finding one. If you decide to try, you can either adopt or go through a breeder.

German Shepherd Chihuahua Mix Breeders

As the German Chihuahua is a new and unusual mix, there are not many reputable breeders that make puppies available. You’ll need to do an extensive search to locate a reputable breeder, and may even have to travel to another state to meet and pick up your puppy.

German Shepherd Chihuahua Mix Price

German Shepherd Chihuahua mix puppies will likely cost from $800 to $3000 from a reputable breeder. The exact price can vary and depends on the breeder, pedigree, coat color, location, and supply and demand. 

Adoption

This is a rare new mix, so you may be hard-pressed to find one at your local shelter. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try!

Contact your local shelter and rescue organizations to see if they have any Chihuahua German Shepherd mixes for adoption. Reach out to German Shepherd and Chihuahua breed-specific rescue groups as they also take in their mixes. 

Conclusion

The German Shepherd Chihuahua mix is a new man-made designer dog. Due to the huge size difference between Chihuahuas and German Shepherds, this mix is created solely by artificial insemination, which makes them rare and hard to come by.

If you decide to get one, be prepared to train and socialize your German Chi from day one and continue to do so for the rest of your dog’s life. In the right home with a loving owner, the German Chi makes an affectionate, loving, and protective companion.