Separately, these two breeds are some of the more popular among dog owners. However, most people haven’t had a chance to see what a cross between these breeds would look like. This is because the German Shepherd Chihuahua mix is a pretty new one.
Due to this, there is still that a lot of people – owners and breeders – don’t know about this hybrid breed. If you are considering buying or adopting a German Shepherd Chihuahua, though, you should know what to expect. So, on this note, here is a breakdown of this crossbreed…
The German Shepherd Chihuahua Mix
There is a reason that the German Shepherd Chihuahua is a relatively new crossbreed. This has largely to do with size. Chihuahuas are known as toy dogs – they are some of the smallest dogs in the world. German Shepherds, on the other hand, fall into the medium or large size category.
Due to this, breeders have to be careful with the mating process. To begin with, it is almost always a male Chihuahua that is mated with a female German Shepherd. It is too risky for a large male dog to mate with a smaller female.
What’s more, it can be difficult to discern the eventual size of the puppies. Thus, the female needs to be able to carry a larger litter size. Needless to say, this isn’t possible with a female Chihuahua.
You should also be aware that with hybrid dogs such as the German Shepherd Chihuahua, there is quite a bit of uncertainty involved. This is because the pups can take after either their German Shepherd or Chihuahua parent. It all depends on the stronger genes.
As a result, you can’t be too sure how a pup will turn out. It can be tricky to even know how big they will get. Due to this, German Shepherd Chihuahuas can display several different physical and emotional traits.
These are the characteristics that you can expect with a German Shepherd Chihuahua.
- Weight: 8 – 60lbs
- Height: 7 – 45 inches
- Coat: Short coat or long coat
- Kid-Friendly: Yes, if well-trained
As you can see, there is quite a bit of variation in terms of size and weight. Once again, this is because a German Shepherd Chihuahua can go in either direction, depending on their genetics. It is only when a puppy is much older that you will get a better grasp of what they look like.
The German Shepherd Chihuahua Parents
To gain an understanding of what your German Shepherd Chihuahua might be like, you should know more about the parent breeds.
German Shepherds were bred to be working dogs – herders to be exact. Captain Max von Stephanitz, a German cavalry officer, spent 35 years refining the work ethic and personality of this breed. Although they were initially bred to help with sheep, they are now traditionally associated with law enforcement.
This is because German Shepherds have some rather desirable traits. They are agile, strong, and fast. At the same time, these dogs are also renowned for their loyalty, courage, and gentle behavior. It is the latter traits that have made them particularly desirable family pets.
These dogs are incredibly family-oriented. Once they have bonded with their humans, they need to be included in as many family activities as possible. German Shepherds are happiest when they are among their loved ones.
You should also bear in mind that they are working dogs through and through. As a result, they only thrive when both their bodies and minds are kept active. These dogs aren’t a good fit for quiet households – they need plenty of activity and exercise to be satisfied.
Chihuahua personalities are so big that they have reached international acclaim! However, there is a fair amount of misconception about these pups, so here are the facts.
Although many people assume that Chihuahuas are annoying, this isn’t the case at all. Instead, they are simply adventurous and rambunctious little pups. They often ignore their own small stature and act as though they are ready to take on the world.
Chihuahuas are also quite intelligent, which means that they have an enormous capacity to be trained and can perform a wide variety of tasks. At the same time, they can be rather willful. So, many owners have found that they need to get creative with their training methods.
Many people are surprised to learn that Chihuahuas are incredibly family-oriented. They love being around their humans, including kids. You should be warned that due to their small size they may not be safe around very young children. Chihuahuas love going wherever their humans are.
What Do They Look Like?
Of course, what people are most interested in when it comes to this crossbreed is what the resulting dogs will look like.
As mentioned, it can be difficult to determine the final size of a puppy. For the most part, though, these dogs tend to be small or medium-sized – somewhere in the middle of a German Shepherd and a Chihuahua. On average, they will be on the smaller end and are unlikely to reach the same size range as their German Shepherd parent.
Bear in mind that a German Shepherd Chihuahua mix can produce a wide range of facial features. However, more often than not, you will find that small eyes, floppy ears, and an apple-shaped head are standard. In some cases, though, the facial features are more muted, a balance between the parents.
Again, there is no way to tell for sure what kind of coat your pup is going to have. In most cases, though, the length of the coat is dependent on the Chihuahua parent. This means that the dog could have a short or a long coat.
Now, the coloring tends to come from the German Shepherd parent. As such, the mix can be any combination of:
- Black and tan
- Red and black
- Black and silver
Now, you may have noticed that German Shepherds have very distinct patterns on their coats – sections of brown interspersed with black or other colors. These patterns may be replicated with the German Shepherd Chihuahua dogs as well.
German Shepherd Chihuahua Temperament
When it comes to mixed breeds, temperament can be tricky to determine. This is because the puppies may take up after either parent or exhibit a mixture of traits. There is also the fact that training and socialization can play a significant role in the behavior as well.
While they may differ quite a bit in appearance, GSDs and Chihuahuas have quite a bit in common regarding their temperament. For instance, they are both intelligent, loyal, and love being around humans. Due to this, a mix between these dogs should ensure that their traits continue to shine through.
Both breeds could also have protective tendencies towards their families. And, if you aren’t careful, they may be wary or even aggressive towards strangers. To overcome this issue, it is important to socialize your German Shepherd Chihuahua well.
Who Are They Best Suited To?
These dogs are great for families. However, they may not be if you have very small children. Young children tend to be rather grabby and this breed may not respond well. They are great with older kids, though.
This breed loves attention so you should be prepared to spend plenty of time with them. As they are intelligent and can be rather sassy, an immense amount of patience is required. Even if you are a novice dog owner, you should get on relatively well with a German Shepherd Chihuahua.
Health, Lifespan, and Genetic Concerns
German Shepherds tend to have a life expectancy of around 7 to 10 years. Chihuahuas, on the other hand, have been known to live up to 10 to 20 years at a time. As such, you can expect a German Shepherd Chihuahua lifespan to fall in between this – 8 to 15 years.
Now, the good news about hybrid breeds is that they tend to be healthier than purebred dogs. The crossbreeding means that there is a lesser chance for certain genetic disorders to appear as a dominant trait in German Shepherd Chihuahuas.
At the same time, you need to be aware of the issues that are most likely to afflict both breeds. It is important to know what symptoms or problems you need to watch out for.
The top health concerns for German Shepherds:
- Perianal fistula
- Hip dysplasia
- Degenerative myelopathy
The main causes of concern for Chihuahuas are:
- Dental issues
- Tracheal collapse
- Chronic Valvular Disease
- Luxating patella
Your best option is to buy high-quality dog food for your German Shepherd Chihuahua. This should reduce the risk of any digestive-related issues. Since this is a relatively unusual breed, you should consult your vet about specific dietary needs.
It is important to feed your dog the right amount of food. For the most part, this will depend on the pup’s size. Feed them according to whether they fall into the small or medium-sized category. This typically involves following the manufacturer’s instructions.
This breed needs a moderate amount of exercise. So, be prepared to give them no less than 30 minutes of exercise at least once a day. To make sure that your dog is getting appropriate activity, make sure to mix things up.
For instance, you can take them for a walk in the morning and then engage in active play in the evening. Remember that German Shepherd Chihuahuas love to be with their humans. As such, simply letting them loose in your yard isn’t good enough. You need to play with them.
Best Living Conditions
Due to their size, you shouldn’t have any trouble keeping a German Shepherd Chihuahua in an apartment or smaller home. Due to this, they work quite well in cities or more crowded living spaces. Thus, if you live in a metropolitan area, this breed may be a good choice.
At the same time, keep in mind that these dogs need their exercise. As such, you should live in an area where your dog can head outside and stretch their legs.
For the most part, the grooming process for your German Shepherd Chihuahua is pretty straightforward. Since many of the dogs will have relatively short coats, there may not be all that much shedding. There may be a bit more with long-haired pups, however.
Nevertheless, make it a point to brush your dog at least once a day. This will keep their coat in excellent condition and will keep your home tidier as well. You can bathe them as you see fit – don’t overdo this or you can dry out their skin. Trim their nails regularly.
Training a German Shepherd Chihuahua
Socialization is especially important with a German Shepherd Chihuahua. They tend to only latch onto one family member or get territorial with other dogs. Due to this, you need to socialize them at a very young age. Make sure that they get used to all kinds of people and animals.
The good news is that this breed is very intelligent. As such, they will take to their training very quickly. If the Chihuahua traits are dominant, you should be aware that your pup may need some incentive. You may have to make the training sessions a little more fun to hold their attention.
Always use positive reinforcement when training your German Shepherd Chihuahua. They are far more likely to respond to a gentle hand than punishment. Furthermore, using positive reinforcement will reduce the chances of your dog becoming shy or aggressive later on.
Finding a German Shepherd Chihuahua
As mentioned, this is a fairly new and unusual crossbreed. In many cases, breeders have to rely on artificial insemination to produce puppies. As such, you will probably need to do quite a bit of research to locate one.
Of course, finding a breeder that produces such puppies is only half the battle. It is just as important for you to select a good, well-reputed breeder. Such breeders take care to ensure that both parents come from good stock. This greatly reduces the risk of your pup being born with genetic problems.
Rescuing a German Shepherd Chihuahua
So, what if you want to adopt a German Shepherd Chihuahua? Well, adopting is a wonderful practice. It ensures that dogs that need a home are provided with one.
In the case of a German Shepherd Chihuahua, adoption can have another advantage as well. As previously stated, it can be difficult to know how a puppy of this breed is going to turn out. Since most shelter dogs are fully grown, you can take the uncertainty out of the equation.
At the same time, the uniqueness of this breed can make it a tricky find. You may have to check several shelters or even look out-of-state to find the breed. Even then, it can be somewhat of a longshot.
Frequently Asked Questions About German Shepherd Chihuahua Mix
This is a pretty unusual pairing. So, you may have plenty of questions regarding the match-up. Here are the most frequently asked questions answered:
1. Can a German Shepherd Breed with a Chihuahua?
Due to the size differences between the breeds, most breeders do have to rely on artificial insemination. In virtually all cases, a male Chihuahua is bred with a female German Shepherd.
2. What Will a German Shepherd Chihuahua Look Like?
The appearance of German Shepherd Chihuahuas can vary quite a bit. Mostly, they are medium-sized dogs with small eyes and ears. They may also have the apple-shaped heads of Chihuahuas. They can have short or long coats and tend to have similar coloring to German Shepherds.
3. Are German Shepherd Chihuahuas Good Family Dogs?
Yes, German Shepherd Chihuahuas are good family dogs – loving and loyal. They may not be well-suited to very small children, however. Still, with the proper socialization and training, they will work well with most families.
4. What Kind of Temperament Does the German Shepherd Chihuahua Have?
These dogs tend to be loyal, intelligent, and courageous. They are active and eager to learn. They are also quite alert and can make good watchdogs.
5. How Healthy Are German Shepherd Chihuahuas?
As they are a crossbreed, German Shepherd Chihuahuas can be healthier than German Shepherds and Chihuahuas. At the same time, they may suffer from certain genetic conditions. You can reduce this risk by getting the puppies from a reputable breeder.
This is what you need to know about the German Shepherd Chihuahua mix. As of now, it is still a fairly new mix and you won’t see too many of these pups running around. However, there is a good chance that they will grow in popularity, particularly since they are adorable. Regardless, you are now well-versed on what to expect from this crossbreed.