German Shepherd Terrier Mix: All You Need To Know

If you want an adorable hybrid dog yet territorial when the need arises, this breed should definitely interest you. Being a combination of the energetic, intelligent nature of the German Shepherd and the confident, inquisitive nature of the Terriers, you are definitely in for the time of your life with this dog breed as your furry companion. 

What is A German Shepherd Terrier Mix? 

The German Shepherd Terrier mix is a product of crossing two purebred dogs: the famous German Shepherd and the Terriers. As you should have already contemplated, using the term “vague” may seem a bit ambiguous. This is because Terriers aren’t a specific breed. Instead, they are a group of rather distinct dogs. 

German Shepherd Terrier mix, shepherd mix

As such, the nature and characteristics of the German Shepherd Terrier Mix you will get would depend on which of the Terriers were combined with a German Shepherd to produce your dog. For instance, the pup of a German Shepherd × Jack Russell Terrier would be very different from that of a German Shepherd × Bull Terrier mix. 

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However, they share some general characteristics, like their highly energetic nature. Keep reading to find out more about this crossbreed and what the outcomes of several Terrier crosses might be. We have compiled a comprehensive guide; you will get all the necessary information here. 

Origin — Overview of the German Shepherd

The origin of the German Shepherd dates back to the 1800s in Germany. The ex-captain of the Berlin Veterinary, Max Von Stephaniz, created this breed to create an efficient working dog that is equally adorable. He had the belief that good work dogs also have the possibility of owning gorgeous traits.

After attending a dog show in 1899, he came across a dog named Hektor. Hektor had all the physical traits he needed for his project, so he went to purchase him immediately. Soon, after, changed his name to Horland.

Horland would become the dog used as the foundation breed for his projects, and from him, the German Shepherd we know today was born.

Shepherds predominantly used german Shepherds to guard their flock from prey. Soon after the first World War, the breed’s popularity grew and spread to other parts of the world. They played an essential part in the efforts of the military. Much credit due to its intelligence, trainability, and courage.

Origin — Overview of the Terriers

Terriers are small, wiry-coated dogs initially bred to hunt foxes and badgers. This dog breed is fearless, as what they lack in size, they are made up for in spirit and zeal. Terriers aren’t a single dog breed. Instead, they are made up of dogs usually categorized by size and function. 

There are five groups of Terrier dogs, each with different shapes and sizes. They include Jack Russell Terrier, Patterdale Terriers, Fell Terriers, Bull Terriers, and Lap Terriers, the most common being the Yorkshire Terriers. 

The bravery of this dog breed was extensively exploited in the early days during sporting contests, and they partook in all kinds of sporting events. To sharpen their hunting and athleticism, they were crossed with Hounds In the 18th century.

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These crosses led to the many variations of Terriers we see today. As against their hunting history, Terriers today are primarily used as companion dogs or family pets and are loyal and affectionate to their owners. 

The appearance of the German Shepherd Terrier Mix

When it comes to the characteristics of the Shepherd Terrier mix, it’s more or less like playing a game of dice. You never really know what you get! You can have pups in the same litter with physical characteristics that differ. Some will often take on the appearance of the German Shepherd, and others the appearance of the Terrier.

Several Terrier dog types range from Jack Russell to Boston Terrier, to Cairn Terrier to Pit Bull, amongst several others. These different Terrier dogs have varying characteristics; thus, the traits of your mixed breed would depend on which Terrier was used. 

While there are no definite traits, there are some characteristics that both the German Shepherd and Terriers have, such as long, pointy muzzles with pointy ears and a long tail. So you can expect your mixed breed to have the same head shape and type of tail. 

The German Shepherd is unlikely to breed a small dog based on its body build, so you should expect your hybrid to be medium to large-sized. German Shepherds are large dogs, so the height variation depends on the Terrier type. For instance, if the cross was done with a Jack Russell, you should expect a medium-sized dog. Larger Terrier dog types would likewise reproduce larger mixes. 

Coat & Colour German Shepherd Terrier Mix

Just as with its body shape, you can get all sorts of coat and color combinations with this hybrid. Although, most German Shepherd Terrier mixes have been observed to take on the coat of the Terrier. Most Terriers usually have short, straight, coarse hair, but a few, like the Shepherd Poodle Mix (commonly called Shepadoodle), have long curly hair. 

If you want your hybrid to have long, curly hairs, you should go for one bred by the Shepadoddle. Possible coat color combinations include white, brown, tan, black, blue, and red. Also, your hybrid may or may not have a double coat. 

Size German Shepherd Terrier Mix

If you are looking for a specific sized dog, it’s not advisable to go for this breed as their size and weight vary greatly depending on the type of Terrier used. If a large Terrier was used, your hybrid could be almost as large as the German Shepherd. 

On the other hand, if a small Terrier were used, you would end up with a comparatively smaller dog. They could weigh as low as 20 pounds or as high as 60 pounds. You can also expect heights of anywhere between 24-32 inches. 

what is The Average Lifespan Of The Breed?

The average life expectancy of shepherd mixes is between 12 to 14 years. However, they can even live longer with proper care and high-quality diets.

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Temperament German Shepherd Terrier Mix

A German Shepherd terrier is generally protective of its owners and aggressive towards others. At any rate, it all comes down to how well they were trained and made to socialize at a young age. Pups exposed to strangers and children would grow up to be friendlier than those who weren’t. 

However, it would be best if you didn’t consider this dog breed a friendly one, as it is not. This way, there’s a need to tame its aggressive side, so it’s less wary of strangers.

Furthermore, this hybrid is intelligent, making it easy to grasp things quickly and follow commands. Terriers aren’t as intelligent as German Shepherds, so you shouldn’t expect your pup to match up to a purebred German Shepherd. 

Thus, they would often pick up destructive behaviors and break even the most straightforward house rules if left alone for a long time. 

Health Problems German Shepherd Terrier Mix 

The German Shepherd Terrier mix is susceptible to certain dog diseases like other dog breeds. Some diseases are peculiar to a specific dog breed, and if both parent breeds of a mixed dog are predisposed to that disease, that would only increase the risk factors involved. 

Common health problems this dog breed could suffer include joint dysplasia (hip/elbow), pancreatitis, heart diseases (dilute cardiomyopathy), cancer, and obesity. You can take preventive actions against these diseases by ensuring that your dog eats healthy and gets a decent amount of exercise every day. 

You should also add some supplements to your diet to enhance its life span and take it for regular check-ups by a veteran. On average, this hybrid has a life expectancy of 10-14 years. 

Grooming Requirements German Shepherd Terrier Mix

German Shepherd Terrier mixes are usually low-maintenance dogs and do not require an extensive grooming routine. We would recommend simply brushing them at least biweekly. Brushing is necessary as it helps remove any dirt or debris stuck in its fur from its weekly activities. 

German Shepherd Terrier mix, shepherd mix

It also reduces the number of times your dog would need a bath and helps regulate its natural skin oils that would help keep its fur silky, shiny, and smooth. Furthermore, we strongly advise against trimming your dog. This is unnecessary as this hybrid doesn’t shed a lot, and trimming could affect its temperature balance.

It would help to brush its teeth thrice weekly to avoid dental problems that could be rather expensive to take care of. Clean off excess moisture from its ears to prevent infections, and trim its nails regularly as long nails would cause discomfort. 

Dietary Requirements of This Breed

Considering its high energy levels, we recommend you feed your dog with diet rich in protein and fat. These macronutrients would help keep your dog in its optimal state and supply all its energy needs. In their pup stage, rather than feeding them food, you should opt for puppy food instead. 

They should be on this diet for at least a year plus until you are sure your dog has stopped growing. Premature stoppage of puppy food could eventually lead to some health problems, such as hip dysplasia. 

Exercise Requirements of This Breed

Both parent breeds of the German Shepherd Terrier Mix are highly energetic dogs. As such, a decent amount of exercise would be needed daily to help your dog contain its energy. For an adult German Shepherd Terrier Mix, about 30-45 minutes of exercise daily would do. However, for a puppy, you should train them for longer periods but with breaks in between. 

Some exercise activities suitable for this crossbreed include taking them on long walks, jogging, hiking, and even swimming! While on walks, you could also take a few minutes to introduce them to other pets in your environment, giving them a sense of belonging. 

Training Requirements German Shepherd And Terrier Mix

German Shepherds and Terriers are dogs known to have strong personalities. However, they grasp things quickly, and training this crossbreed shouldn’t be much hassle. This dog breed is also extremely alert; if you play your cards right, you are on your way to nurturing an excellent guard dog. 

Often, the stubborn nature of the Terrier might come to the fore, but you need to show them who’s boss. In a bid to achieve this, do not oppress this dog breed. Very few dogs respond positively to mishandling, and the German Shepherd Terrier Mix is undoubtedly not one of them. 

Routine training, persistence, and positive reinforcement would do just fine. Also, give your pet a few doggy treats when it does something right, and shower it with lots of praise and encouragement. 

Determining If The German Shepherd Mix Is For You 

If you are looking for a furry companion to keep up with your high activity level, this dog breed is for you. The Shepherd Terrier Mix is perfect for families constantly on the go due to their high energy levels and activity requirements. If you hardly have the time to take your dog out on long walks, you could consider employing a dog walker. 

We would also suggest having a fenced-in backyard or lawn so your dog could go out of the house to have some fun outside. Although, you must note that your dog playing in your backyard doesn’t take the place of its much-needed exercises. 

Failure to keep your dog properly exercised and mentally stimulated would result in you having a dog who’s easily bored with destructive tendencies. No pet owner would want that for their canine friend. 

How Much Does German Shepherd And Terrier Mix Puppy Cost?

The puppies of this breed can cost between $800 to $2000 depending on the puppy’s quality, availability, breeder and location.

Final Takeout

With the right mix of loyalty, devotion, enthusiasm, and alertness, the German Shepherd Terrier Mix is great for families and makes an excellent guard dog. Whether you live with kids or elderly ones, this dog breed is sure to adjust to its new environment quickly. Soon enough, it would become the best companion to everyone around it. 

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