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Chances are that you’ve considered adopting a Mastiff Shepherd cross for its reputation historically as a stalwart guardian and for its heft. Or, you’re looking for a guard dog that needs very little maintenance and upkeep to remain healthy and happy.
Read on for more information detailing care, basic facts and grooming about the large-sized Mastiff Shepherd.
What is a Mastiff Shepherd?
A “Mastiff Shepherd” is an uncommon designer dog hybrid that is usually the product of a GSD and a Mastiff. Because of the large variety of Mastiffs, their physical appearance may vary greatly from one German Shepherd Mastiff mix full grown dog to another.
Typically, common defining features include a very large abdomen, large paws, a large and robust muzzle with folded ears.
Because German Shepherd Mastiff mix sizes can vary significantly, you can expect your Mastiff Shepherd to stand between 1.9 – 3 ft (0.6 – 0.9 m). In terms of German Shepherd Mastiff mix weight, most adults will weigh between 80 – 200 lbs (36 – 91 kg). The English Mastiff German Shepherd mix tends to measure on the larger and heavier side.
Depending on the Mastiff breed, you can expect your Mastiff Shepherd’s coat colors to vary between shades of red, black, brown and gray. Brindle coat colors are also a possibility; usually this will happen if you have an English or Neapolitan Mastiff German Shepherd mix.
A Mastiff Shepherd’s eye color is usually dark brown.
What are some basic facts about Mastiff Shepherds?
The following section details practical and applicable information about Mastiff Shepherds for dog owners looking to adopt this large breed.
A German Shepherd Mastiff mix full grown dog’s life expectancy is 8 – 12 years.
Commonly-occurring known health issues
Consider the following list of health problems associated with Mastiff Shepherds. Most of the problems are a result of the hybrid’s large size.
Hip and elbow dysplasia are the most common Mastiff Shepherd joint problems you can expect. These joint problems commonly affect large-sized dogs. Insufficient exercise and a poor diet may worsen the joints, which can negatively impact your Mastiff Shepherd’s quality of life.
German Shepherd Mastiff mix weight is a major factor that affects the severity and onset of joint issues; Mastiff Shepherds more vulnerable to contracting these problems the bigger and heavier they are.
Symptoms include weakness in the hind or front leg areas, avoiding exercise, and displays of aggressive behavior from your Mastiff Shepherd when touching the affected joints.
While not always a painful health issue for Mastiff Shepherds, cherry eye can be unsightly and unpleasant aesthetically. Cherry eye happens when a dog’s third eyelid prolapses and leaves a visible red lump near the corner of your dog’s eye.
In severe cases, Mastiff Shepherds may experience inflammation, swelling, irritation and dryness in the affected eye which may lead to infection.
This health issue is asymptomatic and typically won’t show any signs before appearing.
Bloat is a digestive issue known to affect Mastiff Shepherds. Bloat happens when your dog’s stomach twists on both ends and causes discomfort, indigestion and may lead to premature death if left untreated. This can also lead to malnutrition and sudden, unexpected death if left untreated.
Symptoms include frothy saliva, excessive salivation, a noticeable bulge in your Mastiff’s abdomen, coughing, fatigue and a lack of energy during exercise or play.
How can I care for my Mastiff Shepherd?
This next section details grooming, care and exercise habits you will need to develop to keep a healthy and happy Mastiff Shepherd.
A Mastiff Shepherd’s coat will typically be a thick density but is of short-medium length. Tibetan Mastiff mixed with German Shepherd breeds will usually have the longer length coats. However, it should be noted that Mastiff Shepherds are habitual shedders and will need regular coat grooming.
Having a vacuum cleaner to clean up loose fur is helpful. Typically, you will need a slicker brush, undercoat rake and metal comb to properly groom your Mastiff Shepherd. Use long brush strokes to even out its coat and be prepared to groom this dog 2 – 3 times a week.
Despite a German Shepherd Mastiff mix size, it is a relatively docile dog that does not need much exercise. However, because of genetics, this dog can become heavy and overweight if not exercised regularly.
Expect to spend a minimum of 30 – 45 minutes briskly walking your Mastiff Shepherd everyday to keep it limber and healthy. 1 – 2 hours of moderate intensity exercise is the ideal amount of time you should set aside to exercise and play with your Mastiff Shepherd.
What is a Mastiff Shepherd’s personality like?
A German Shepherd Mastiff mix temperament can be likened to that of a stubborn, gentle giant. Read on to get a better idea of what you can expect your Mastiff Shepherd to behave like in this section.
It is recommended to socialize a German Shepherd Mastiff mix puppy early on to quickly train out any aggressive behavior. But usually, Mastiff Shepherds are very docile, relatively quiet dogs and can be safely left with children unsupervised.
The Mastiff parent genes give this dog a more laid back, patient and sweet personality.
Loyalty constitutes a major part of a German Shepherd Mastiff mix temperament. Mastiff Shepherds are loyal and very protective of their owners and may seem indifferent (or hostile in worst cases) towards strangers.
They are the offspring of two historically-known guardian parents, which means they need little training to become effective protection and guard dogs.
However, if trained and socialized properly, Mastiff Shepherds can be great guardian companions for small or large families.