Among the vast array of mixed dogs populating the globe, the German Shepherd Pitbull Mix (a.k.a Shepherd Pit) stands out for his handsome looks and potential for making a wonderful companion. Also known as the German sheppit, as the name implies, the shepherd pit is not a purebred dog; rather he’s a cross between the German shepherd dog and the American pit bull terrier. Despite the fact that these two parent breeds are subject to a lot of negative stereotyping and are often victims of breed specific legislations, in the right hands, the shepherd pit has the potential for being a very loving dog with exceptional qualities.
While the looks of hybrid dogs tend to vary due to extensive genetic variances, there are several physical traits we can expect to see when two dogs of different breeds are mated. For instance, by crossing a German shepherd dog with a pit bull terrier, it’s quite obvious for the offspring to be quite large dogs. Therefore, expect the shepherd pit to weigh anywhere in between 65 and 85 pounds. This dog will also be quite tall, measuring on average 18 to 24 inches at the withers.
The facial features of the shepherd pit seem to combine the physical traits of the parents. You’ll likely notice that the muzzle is a way in between the long muzzle of the German shepherd dog and the wide one of the pit bull. The eyes are expressive and dark. The ears may be floppy, but you’ll also stumble on some specimens with erect ears. Overall, the shepherd pit tends to more closely resemble the shepherd in many ways.
When it comes to coat consistency, consider that the German shepherd dog is blessed with a heavy coat meant to help him cope with the long, frigid winters of Germany, while on the other hand, the American pit bull terrier has a very short coat. The shepherd pit,therefore, will typically have a medium-length coat that comes in a variety of colors. Common coat colors include the black and tan markings typical of the German shepherd dog along with some black and fawn specimens.
Generally, a well-bred shepherd pit is a friendly dog that is highly intelligent and loyal. At times, though you may stumble upon a timid specimen with weak nerves. It’s essential that this dog receives early socialization and training. Despite the negative stereotyping often attributed to the pit bull breed, according to the United Kennel Club aggression is uncharacteristic in this breed and highly undesirable. Indeed, any vicious specimens are immediately disqualified from the ring.
Due to size, the shepherd pit has the potential for making a good watch dog. This breed though needs a good fence as it inherits a good amount of agility from the muscular pit making it quite an impressive climber and jumper. While some shepherd pits may get along well with other dogs, there are chances some may not, and this may be attributed to the pit bull’s influence, as this breed has a tendency to not mix well with other dogs once it reaches social maturity.
With a medium-length coat, expect this dog to have moderate grooming needs. A thorough brushing from head to toe with a wide-toothed comb a few times a week will help keep stray hairs at bay while keeping the skin in top shape. You may need to brush a bit more often when the shepherd pit sheds its winter coat in the spring and early summer months. The ears may need some special care to prevent recurring ear infections, something German shepherds are predisposed to.
Is It The Right Dog for You?
Perspective owners of the German Shepherd Pitbull Mix should consider the fact this dog craves attention and wants to be around his family most of the time. When left alone for too long without being exercised, this dog may engage in unpleasant activities such as chewing, digging and nuisance barking. Because of the shepherd pit’s size and needs for exercise, apartment living is not suitable for this dog. A home with a nicely-sized yard is ideal, but consider that this breed may be prone to barking at strangers and other dogs. Because of this dog’s sheer size and power, it’s very important to get a shepherd pit from a reputable breeder and give the puppy a good head start by starting socialization from an early age and teaching good bite inhibition from the get-go. When bred right and in the right hands, the shepherd pit has the potential to make a wonderful companion.