Are you on the hunt for a companion or family dog that is devoted and high-spirited? The German Shepherd Chihuahua mix would be an ideal pick. The two parents are known to be intelligent, loyal, and alert. Does it sound like what you are looking for?
This mixed breed between a medium to a large well-known working dog, and a very hot-tempered tiny pooch could be the hardest one to predict. That is because the cross varies greatly in terms of size, characters, and disposition. Mostly, breeders will use a male Chihuahua and a female GSD.
We shall look into the appearance, temperament, nutrition needs, grooming, and caring, among other important things that you should know. By the end of this review, you will know whether this mix is the most appropriate choice for you.
What is a German Shepherd Chihuahua mix called?
The cross between a German Shepherd and a Chihuahua is known as a German Chihuahua, Chihuahua Shepherd, Chihuahua Shepherd mix, or simply German Shepherd Chihuahua.
History of the Breed
Like with most hybrids or designer dogs, no one knows when the German Shepherd Chihuahua was first developed. In our opinion, however, it can be within the period of 30 years that designer dogs or hybrids started becoming popular.
But what do we know about the parents of the Chihuahua Shepherd mix?
The German Shepherd – The German Shepherd dog (aka GSD) has its origins in Germany and its history dates back to the 1800s. The first GSD was known as Horand von Grafrath, developed between 1895 and 1899, and provides the genetic basis for the modern GSDs we know today. GSDs were initially bred to help herd sheep where they evolved gradually into working dogs and pets.
The dog breed is known for its obedient, intelligent, alert, poised, brave, loyal, and superbly affectionate temperament. These characters plus their tenderness with kids, being protective and watchful are what make it a striking family dog and buddy. The AKC recognized the German Shepherd dog as a breed in 1908.
German Shepherds are medium to large-sized dogs. A male GSD has a height of 24 to 26 inches at the shoulders and weighs 66 to 88 lbs. Female GSDs, on the other hand, stand 22 to 24 inches tall and weigh about 49 to 71 lbs. They are prone to common health problems such as hip & elbow dysplasia, bloat, epilepsy, diabetes, cataracts, hemophilia, and degenerative disc disease. They boast a lifespan of between 10 and 13 years.
The Chihuahua – This breed was first recorded in Chihuahua, a Mexican state that it was named after in the 19th century. They are the smallest recognized dog breed and are said to have been developed from an ancient dog called Techichi. Chihuahua’s predecessors were bred for a range of activities including companionship, food, as well as religious rituals and ceremonies.
This dog breed is famous for its huge personality despite its small size. They are loyal, lively, alert, swift, brave, and are very intelligent which makes them quick learners. Chihuahuas are good family pets but can be aggressive if treated impolitely. They were documented by the AKC as a breed in 1904. They come in a range of types, such as apple head among others.
There is no listed height for this breed, but they should be somewhere between 6 and 9 inches tall. Typically, a Chihuahua weighs between 3 and 6 lbs. but some can weigh up to 12 lbs. A healthy Chihuahua has a life expectancy of between 12 and 20 years. However, they are susceptible to hip dysplasia, eye problems, luxating patella, hydrocephalus, and cataracts.
You can also read more on the best dog foods for Chihuahua
|Weight||8 to 60 lbs.|
|Height||8 to 26 inches|
|Child-friendly/ Pet-friendly||Excellent with kids & pets|
|Coat Type||Single-layer coat|
|Coat Color||Black or brown and black|
|Shedding||Double coat, long & dense|
|Temperament||Very friendly, loving, sociable, Intelligent, Energetic, devoted|
|Lifespan||10 to 14 years|
What does a Chihuahua mix with a German Shepherd look like?
As we stated earlier, the mix between a German Shepherd and a Chihuahua is the hardest to predict what the offspring would be like. We, however, expect the crossbreed to be somewhere between a small and medium-size dog measuring 7 to 45 inches tall at the shoulders.
The mixed-breed has big, straight ears with a well-built physique that is proportionate to its size. Its weight could be somewhere between 8 and 60 lbs. and has long and sturdy legs with a medium-sized tail that curves upwards a little towards the end. They are a good size for apartment living.
Your German Chihuahua will mostly take after the German Shepherd’s coat with short black or brown hair. You expect a range of coat colors including tan, sable, and a rarer red hue. The coat length, however, will depend on the mix’s Chihuahua parent and will possibly have a soft spot on the head.
Temperament and Characteristics
Despite their difference in size, both parents of the German Chihuahua are incredible and loyal dog breeds. So, your mixed breed will be extremely loyal, and extremely intelligent, but with a stubborn streak. This obstinacy can, however, be eliminated with early and proper training.
The German Chihuahua mix is outgoing yet can be very possessive which is the case with both parents. If you are unlucky, that mixed with insistence and barking will give you nightmares unless your pup is given proper training. It is possible that your mixed breed will not like other pets due to the Chihuahua parent’s traits and might not like strangers like the GSD parent.
If you are a first-time dog owner, am sorry to disappoint you but this hybrid is not for you. It is also not advisable for families with small kids. As we always say and it is endorsed, have your pooch trained from a young age for the best characteristics.
The German Chihuahua thrives best on high-quality dog food that is age-appropriate to be well-nourished. Nutritional needs will vary greatly based on the size and weight because the mixed breed is prone to obesity. You can read more about hip dysplasia from this study.
That being said, a small German Chihuahua should eat at least 1 to 1 ½ cups of premium dog food while larger ones consume 2 to 3 cups. Make sure you divide the meal into small portions throughout the day. If you are unsure about the quantity, you can consult your dog’s vet.
Training & Exercise
With this Chihuahua Shepherd, training should be started very early if you want to have a well-behaved pooch. Allow them to begin socializing while young as you train obedience and using a crate so they can learn how to behave around other pets at home and outdoors as well as people. This is especially crucial if your pup inherits the characters of the Chihuahua parent more.
Like feeding requirements, the amount of exercise your German Shepherd Chihuahua needs depends on its size and character. While smaller ones are fine with a 30-minutes workout daily, larger ones that inherit from the GSD parent will need up to 90 minutes a day.
Unlike their purebred parents, designer or hybrid dogs are healthier but it does not mean they are in perfect health. German Chihuahuas are predisposed to common health problems such as hip dysplasia, luxating patella, congenital heart defect, and bloat.
A healthy Chihuahua German mix has a lifespan of 10 to 18 years.
Again, the amount of grooming will depend on which Chihuahua parent the German Shepherd was crossed with. How so, you may ask. Most Chihuahuas are short-haired, but if the breeder uses the long-haired variety and mixes it with the GSD, your mix will have a longer coat. But either way, these pups are high-maintenance when it comes to grooming.
The Chihuahua German Shepherd needs to be groomed at least once every week. They are likely to shed lightly or moderately. Remember to clip their nails and brush their teeth every day to prevent build-up which is common with the GSD parent. Make sure you also clean their ears regularly.
Cost and Maintenance
The German Shepherd Chihuahua mix price for puppies ranges between $1,000 and $1,500 when you are buying from a reliable dog breeder. The reason for the high price tag is due to the rarity of breeders designing this breed.
These hybrids are low-maintenance so can rest assured your doggie is manageable.
Where to Adopt
If you prefer to adopt rather than buy from a breeder, you can try your luck through rescues and shelters. They are rare so might sweat a lot before laying your hands on one. How much it will cost you is not easy to say.
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Hi there! My name is Alex Landy, one of the co-founders here at Our Pets HQ and a parent to a small-breed Yorkie. I am a published author of two books on dog breeding and currently write on various pet-related blogs about caring for dogs. I am a parent of two daughters and live outside Boston where I spend a lot of time with family and serve in different breeding clubs. You can reach me at email@example.com