The German Shepherd Pit Bull mix is a highly intelligent, affectionate, and loyal designer breed. Often misjudged as being aggressive, this crossbreed makes a friendly and devoted companion in the hands of an experienced owner.
What is a German Sheppit? The German Sheppit is a mix breed dog created by crossing the German Shepherd Dog with an American Pit Bull Terrier. Best suited for experienced owners, this mix needs a lot of exercise and access to a fenced yard. A properly trained and socialized German Sheppit makes a great family dog.
In this article, we’ll tell your everything you need to know about the German Shepherd Pit Bull mix size, temperament, exercise needs, and more. Keep on reading to learn everything this amazing breed has to offer!
What Is a German Shepherd Pit Bull Mix?
A German Shepherd Pit Bull mix is a cross between a purebred American Pit Bull Terrier and German Shepherd Dog breeds. Also known as German Sheppit, German Pit, and Shepherd Pit, this dog breed isn’t recognized by the AKC.
However, the German Shepherd Pit Bull mix is currently recognized by the Dog Registry of America.
It’s highly likely that German Sheppits existed naturally over the years. However, breeders started intentionally crossing German Shepherds and American Pit Bull Terriers in the late 1990s.
Designer breeders started mixing these two dog breeds to create a companion guard dog. However, due to breed-specific legislation targeting Pit Bulls, this mix isn’t as popular as before (source).
German Shepherd Dog
The German Shepherd Dog is a working dog breed, bred in Germany to herd and guard sheep. Known for their wolf-like appearance and impeccable work ethic, German Shepherds are prominent members of military and police units.
American Pit Bull Terrier
Originally bred for the vicious sport of bull-baiting, the American Pit Bull Terrier is often misunderstood and labeled as dangerous. But nothing can be farther from the truth.
American Pit Bulls are clownish and friendly family members that love children and are very devoted to their owners.
German Shepherd Pit Bull Mix
When you mix the two, you get a German Sheppit – a highly energetic, intelligent, and loyal dog that likes to be a member of the pack. Social and affectionate this mix craves attention and companionship and is the happiest when surrounded by their family.
Characteristics of German Shepherd Pit Bull Mix
It’s hard to predict the exact appearance of any mixed breed and your German Sheppit’s looks will depend on the genes it inherits from both its parents. Still, German Pits usually look more like Pit Bulls than German Shepherds.
Expect your mix to have an athletic build, broad head, floppy ears, and short muzzle.
German Sheppit Highlights:
|Medium to large-size dog
|Short to medium-long, thick coat
|Moderate to high shedding
The German Shepherd Pit Bull mix grows to be a medium to large size dog.
Most German Pits are between 17 and 26 inches tall at the shoulder, but some may be shorter or taller.
Expect your German Sheppit to weigh between 30 and 90 pounds. Male dogs are usually larger and weigh from 40 to 90 pounds. Females are on the smaller side and usually weigh between 30 and 70 pounds.
The German Shepherd Pit Bull mix can come in a variety of colors, and their coats are usually a mix of their parents’ coat colors. German Pits coats are often a mix of two or more colors and are seldom solid.
The most common coat colors are:
Most German Pits have short thick coats, although some may have a medium-long thick fur. Depending on the coat type, your mix can be a moderate or heavy shedder, either way, you will have to vacuum a lot.
It’s difficult to guess the exact temperament of any individual German Pit since they inherit traits from both their parent breeds. But one thing is for sure, the German Shepherd Pit Bull mix isn’t naturally aggressive nor vicious.
In fact, most German Sheppits are loyal, affectionate, devoted, and intelligent dogs who love to spend time with their families. They form strong bonds with their owners and are highly protective of the people they love.
This mix craves attention and companionship and can easily develop separation anxiety when left alone a lot (source). And they can also get easily bored and destructive if not properly exercised or mentally stimulated.
A bored and anxious German Pit is a recipe for disaster! They will howl, dig holes, and chew through concrete if under-exercised or ignored by their family.
However, when provided with all the attention and affection it desires, the German Pit is a wonderful companion.
German Pits get along well with other dogs, especially if raised with them. However, they can be a bit domineering and try to dominate other dogs in the household.
Proper training and early socialization can help curb your German Pit’s pushy demeanor.
A properly trained and socialized German Pit makes a great companion to children. However, due to their large size and energetic nature, they can easily knock down a toddler by accident in the heat of the play.
Therefore, you should always supervise your dog around small children to prevent injuries to both parties. Furthermore, teach your kids how to interact and play with your dog safely, without pulling their tail and ears.
German Shepherd Pit Bull Mix Care
A German Shepherd Pit Bull mix may require more time and effort on your part than some other designer breeds. As with all other dogs, you should keep up with your German Pit’s regular veterinary checkups and develop a care routine as soon as you bring your puppy home.
German Sheppits have a dominant personality, so you must start training and socialization early on (source). Otherwise, you will end up being bossed around by your dog and may have trouble controlling them once they reach their full size.
Here are some things you should pay attention to:
The German Shepherd Pit Bull mix is considered a generally healthy crossbreed. However, some may be predisposed to the same health conditions that affect German Shepherds and American Pit Bull Terriers.
Therefore, it’s important that you take your German Pit to regular veterinary checkups and keep them up to date on their vaccinations.
The most commonly seen health problems in this mix are:
- Hip dysplasia
- Skin irritation
- Heart problems
German Sheppits have an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years, but with proper care and regular veterinary checkups, some may live longer.
Grooming and Maintenance
Most German Pits have a short thick coat, but some may inherit a medium-length coat from their German Shepherd parent. Either way, you can expect your mix to be a moderate to heavy shedder that will lose a steady amount of hair all-year-round.
To stay on top of loose hair, brush your mix at least three times a week. During the shedding season, you may need to brush your dog every day to minimize the shedding.
Regular brushing will help distribute skin oils throughout the length of hair and keep your dog’s coat healthy and shiny. It will also remove any dirt and debris that gets tangled in your dog’s fur helping it stay clean and odorless longer.
Since German Sheppits are prone to skin irritations, bathe your dog once every two months or as needed. Only uses mild or hypoallergenic dog shampoos that won’t irritate your dog’s skin and dry it any further.
The rest is basic care and involves regular teeth brushing, nail trimming, and ear cleaning. Make sure to check your dog’s ears daily for dirt and debris and clean as needed to prevent painful ear infections.
Food or Diet
The ideal diet for a German Shepherd Pit Bull mix should be formulated for medium to large breeds with high energy. Feed your dog with high-quality food that contains high levels of protein and fat and has all the essential vitamins and minerals.
Feed your adult German Pit two or three small meals a day to prevent the risk of bloat.
As a German Shepherd mix, your puppy is at risk of developing bone disorders if they grow rapidly when they are four to seven months old. To prevent any problems from arising, feed your puppy with a high-quality low-calorie puppy food that will hinder fast growth (source).
As always, if you have any questions or concerns regarding your dog’s diet talk with your vet or canine nutritionists. They can help you design a feeding plan based on your dog’s unique dietary needs.
Training and Exercise
Like its parent breeds, the German Pit is a highly energetic dog that can easily become bored and destructive if under-exercised. This mix needs between 90 and 180 minutes of exercise every single day.
Brisk walks, hiking, jogging, running, biking, or any other type of activity that will tire your pooch is a good form of exercise. Your mix will also want to play, and games such as hide and seek, tug-of-war, fetch, Frisbee, or flyball are great ways to exercise your dog and keep it mentally stimulated.
Starting socialization and training early is especially important for a German Shepherd Pit Bull mix. Dominant by nature, this mix can exhibit stubborn or aggressive behavior if not properly trained from a young age.
Known for their high intelligence, German Sheppits respond best to positive reinforcement and reward-based training. Since they can be stubborn at times, patience and consistent training is a must!
Please note, this mix is best suited for experienced dog owners who know how to train a dog and assert themselves as the leader of the pack. If you haven’t owned a dog before, the German Shepherd Pit Bull mix isn’t the best dog to start, so please consider other, less dominant dog breeds.
Due to their size and high energy levels, German Pits are best suited for large homes with spacious backyards. The yard has to be properly fenced so your dog can run around and play in it safely without being visited by neighboring dogs.
Where to Get A German Shepherd Pit Bull Mix?
As with all other dogs, there are only two ways you can get a German Sheppit – either adopt or shop.
German Shepherd Pit Bull Mix Breeders
Since the German Shepherd Pit Bull mix isn’t as popular as before, few breeders make puppies available regularly. You may have trouble locating a reputable breeder in your area and need to spend a bit of time and effort on locating one.
When you find a breeder, schedule an appointment to meet both parents and to check the conditions the puppies are kept in. If anything looks suspicious or strange, walk away and look for another breeder.
German Shepherd Pit Bull Mix Price
The average price of a German Shepherd Pit Bull mix puppy is between $300 and $800. Depending on the breeder, the puppy’s lineage, coat color, and gender you may end up paying more than the average price.
Although technically a designer breed, you can find German Sheppits in animal shelters and rescue groups. You may have a hard time finding a breed-specific rescue organization for German Pits since they are a mixed breed.
However, you can check German Shepherd and American Pit Bull Terrier breed-specific rescue groups since they often care for mixes too.
Loyal, protective, and affectionate the German Shepherd Pit Bull mix makes a great family pet and a devoted companion. German Pits are dominant dogs and can be stubborn at times, so they need an experienced owner who will know how to assert leadership.
Not for novice owners or those with a sedentary lifestyle, the German Sheppit needs consistent training and a lot of exercises to be on its best behavior. When not provided with the things it needs, this mix can become destructive and develop separation anxiety.
If you owned dogs before, lead an active lifestyle, and have a backyard, the German Shepherd Pit Bull mix can make a wonderful companion and workout body.