German Shepherd and Dalmatian: Breed Comparison & Mix

german shepherd vs dalmatian

German Shepherds are very handsome and active. Being smart and easy to train make them very suitable for mixing with other dog breeds. GSDs are usually interbred with other medium to large sized dog breeds. Many breeders have successfully mixed GSDs with Pitbulls, Chinese Wolves, Golden Retrievers, Akita, Siberian Husky, Rottweilers, etc. Each of these different dog breeds have complemented very well when mixed with a GSD. 

What if a GSD will be interbred with an equally energetic and highly intelligent dog breed like Dalmatians? Will it be a success? This article aims to find out the answers. 

German Shepherd vs Dalmatian

To better understand and envision GSD and Dalmatian mix, let’s compare their character and physical traits. 

Coat and color

GSDs are known for having various colors, commonly tan, sable , black and other color combinations. White and panda are its rare colors. Whereas, Dalmatians are very popular for their white base coat with dense round black spots equally distributed over its coat. 

GSDs coat range from  thick, short to long coat, while Dalmatians have short, smooth, light coat. Both dog breeds are “heavy shedders” but their coats are dirt repellant so they don’t really need to take a bath often since they tend to have dry skin.


Both GSD and Dalmatian are large dogs. The average weight of a Dalmatian is 55lbs., while GSDs are heavier weighing 60-77 lbs. Both dog breeds have nearly the same height, with Dalmatians averaging from 20-24 inches, while GSDs are 22-25 inches.


Being intelligent, loyal and alert are traits that these two dog breeds share. German Shepherds are originally working or herding dogs so they are more focused with their tasks. However, Dalmatians are originally carriage dogs or coach companion dogs, which means they can endure long walks and runs and can be playful at times. 

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Dalmatian and German Shepherd are large dogs which means they can play as the leader of the pack if owners will not establish his/her leadership. They must be trained early on to establish rules for their behavior and discipline. Socialization should also be included in the training to make sure they get used to being around people and other pets. 


As a large dog breed, GSDs will benefit more from a high-protein diet, whereas Dalmatians can’t tolerate an extremely high-protein diet due to their unique urinary system. They should be given plenty of water at all times. Dalmatians can gain weight easily, so serving 1 cup of a well-balanced dog food twice a day is enough. GSDs are muscular dogs with hearty appetite, so they should have 1.5 to 2 cups of high-quality dog food twice a day.  


Both Dalmatians and GSDs are highly energetic dogs. They may have different purposes originally, but they both need a lot of exercise. Dalmatians can run for miles and they are known to win in flyball canine competitions. On the other hand, GSDs are working dogs so they really need to be kept busy and should be given different activities. If both dog breeds won’t get the exercise they need, they will resort to chewing, destroying furniture and other stuff, digging and worst they will become aggressive. 

Life Expectancy

With proper diet, exercise and care, Dalmatians can live from 12 to 15 years, while German Shepherds are expected to live for 9 to 13 years.


GSDs are known to be predisposed to quite a number of diseases like Elbow Dysplasia, Diabetes, etc. Dalmatians have their own health issues as well. 

  • Congenital deafness hounds this dog breed that sometimes lead them to biting if they get startled.
  •  They are also predisposed to Bladder Stones, so they should be given with plenty of water. 
  • Serious diseases such as heart enlargement is also prevalent in this dog breed. Unfortunately, This disease in irreversible and causes are yet unknown, so medications are required to manage the symptoms of the disease.
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There a number of diseases that these two dog breeds share:

  •  Skin allergy issues. Triggers range from dust, food, pollen, dog soap, etc. Symptoms are severe itching, hair loss, skin infections and more. This is also the reason why they should not be given frequent baths. 
  • Hip Dysplasia is a hereditary disease that affects both of these dog breeds, although GSDs are more prone to it than Dalmatians.


  • Being large dog breeds, Dalmatians and German Shepherds should not be around small children without adult supervision. They are energetic and play can get out of hand that they may knock young kids down, thus special precautions should be taken. 
  • Sadly, both dog breeds are great shedders, so they are not considered hypoallergenic dogs. People with allergies must take caution if they really want either of the two dog breeds as pets.
  • As active dog breeds, they are not great companions for people with sedentary lifestyle. Keeping them indoors will only give them depression and might end up chasing their tails or worst, they will starve themselves.
  • German Shepherds and Dalmatians might look majestic but they are not for first time dog owners due to their headstrong personality.

German Shepherd vs Dalmatian Fight

German Shepherd vs Dalmatian fight will be quite interesting. GSDs, being muscular guard dogs will highly likely win the fight but let us note that Dalmatians have high endurance and can tolerate vigorous exercise. So, there is a chance that GSDs might sustain damage physically. And if Dalmatians can put up with the fight, they might win by endurance. 

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What happens when German Shepherds and Dalmatians are interbred?

Seeing a German Shepherd Dalmatian Mix is less common. They are usually called German Shepmatian. It might sound weird at first, but German Shepmatians are big dogs. They might not have a guarantee of getting the white base of Dalmatians but they will definitely be heavily spotted with short fluffy coat. With parents of different breeds, having different traits, their exact personality can’t be predicted. But they will surely be highly intelligent and protective with very high energy levels. Health issues from their parents will most likely be passed on to them.

Currently, there is low to zero demand for Dalmatian cross German Shepherd. So you might not find one, unless one will ask a breeder to produce for them. Rare as it is, some can still be found in rescue centers. When we say rescue centers, they might be abused, sick or injured dogs, so would-be owners should be prepared mentally, emotionally, physically and financially. 


Mixing pure dog breeds can be a success or a failure. Cross breeding can be very expensive, too. Intentional cross breeding should not be encouraged, especially if the intention is for money generation. Some irresponsible breeders don’t have high regards to the outcome of crossbreeding. This is evident in rescue centers as a number of failed mixed breeds end up in these institutions. Whatever the result of mixing Dalmatians and German Shepherds, they still deserve the love and care that every dog breed gets from their owners. 

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