German Shepherd Terrier Mix Breed Information

German Shepherd and a Jack Russell Terrier

This mix has a combination of the genes of a German Shepherd and a Jack Russell Terrier. These pups are cute, friendly, and quite intelligent. Here is everything that you need to know about having a German Shepherd Terrier in your home.

What are the Basic Characteristics of the German Shepherd Terrier?

  • Height: 16 – 21 inches
  • Weight: 44 – 56lbs
  • Coat: Double coated
  • Level of Affection: High
  • Kid-Friendly: Yes
  • Dog Friendly: Yes, with proper socialization
  • Cat Friendly: Potentially, with early socialization
  • Preferred Climate: Cool weather
  • Shedding Levels: Moderate to high
  • Trainability: Yes
  • Potential to Bark/Howl: Moderate to high

What Do German Shepherd Terriers Look Like?

As you are aware, there can be quite a bit of variation in how this mixed breed can look. This, of course, is because it is possible for the pup to take after either parent. Or, the pooch could be the result of a mix of the two set of genes.

It can be even trickier to determine what a German Shepherd Terrier can look like as this is a pretty rare breed. However, here is what you should know about their potential size and coat:

How Big Will They Get?

There is a good chance that your German Shepherd Terrier will be a mid-sized dog, although it is possible for them to be bigger or smaller. They will have a lean, muscular body that will look quite compact.

On average, German Shepherd Terriers are a bit bigger than their female counterparts.

What Will Their Coat Be Like?

These dogs will definitely have a double coat. This may result in moderate to significant shedding. Your pup will also likely blow their coat twice a year. At this point, the level of shedding will increase.

Now, Jack Russell Terriers have two types of coats – smooth and broken. The fur on both these coats are fairly coarse, with the broken coat being a bit longer. Some may have a rough coat which is even longer than the broken coat. Thus, your pup may come out with a short, medium, or slightly longer coat.

As for colors, your pooch may be one solid color, a mix of two or tricolor. The possible color combinations include black, white, and tan, black, cream, blue, grey, sable, silver, and red.

What Kind of Temperament Does a German Shepherd Terrier Have?

If you are looking for a loving and loyal dog, a German Shepherd Terrier is the perfect fit for you. In general, this pup is quite friendly and very affectionate towards their family. At the same time, it is a good idea to pursue early socialization to weed out and prevent any aloofness that this pup may have with strangers.

This gsd mixed breed is incredibly intelligent, which makes their capacity for learning and training quite impressive. Unfortunately, this may come with a downside. It is possible that these pups can be quite wilful, with a mind of their own.

To ensure that your pooch is easy to train and handle later on, it is important to convey your leadership at an early age. Your dog should know which boundaries not to cross.

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You should be aware that this isn’t a dog who will do well on their own for long periods of time. They thrive on being around their family and are prone to bouts of loneliness. Leave your pooch alone for too long and they may resort to barking, howling, and destroying your home.

German Shepherd Terriers are also quite energetic and require you to engage with them as well. This is not a good dog for someone who isn’t planning on being quite involved in their dog’s life.

When it comes to children, early socialization and introduction is key. As long as your pup is trained well, they should get along quite well. You should know that their playful nature can feel overwhelming to some, especially for smaller children. Due to this, you should always keep an eye out when your dog is around kids.

As for other dogs, this mixed breed should get along with other pups quite well. Of course, early socialization can make this process far easier. Unfortunately, your pup may not get along with cats and other small animals as well.

If they have strong Terrier genes, they will also have a strong prey drive. Thus, they may be more likely to give into their instincts automatically.

What are the Health Issues Associated with a German Shepherd Terrier?

The good thing about mixed breeds is that, on average, they tend to suffer from fewer genetic conditions. Despite this, it is important to know some of the ailments that may potentially affect your dog at any point of their lives.

What is the Life Expectancy of a German Shepherd Terrier?

These pups do have a longer life span than other breeds. It is possible for your pup to live anywhere from 10 to 15 years.

For an increased life expectancy, it is important to provide your pooch with proper nutrition and to take them to the vet on a regular basis.

What are Common Health Issues Experienced by German Shepherd Terriers?

Some of the issues that may crop up with your German Shepherd Terrier include:

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Deafness
  • Glaucoma
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Bloat
  • Degenerative Myelopathy
  • Allergies
  • Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency

It is important to take your dog to the vet as needed. Always pay close attention to any changes in their appetite, movement, or behavior. Early intervention may improve the outlook of various diseases and boost your dog’s quality of life.

What are the Nutrition Requirements for a German Shepherd Terrier?

It is difficult to figure out the best dog food for mixed breeds, particularly if you aren’t sure how large your pup will be.

In the beginning, a high-quality puppy food will do the trick. Look for protein, fat, and carbohydrate sources with no fillers or artificial ingredients. There should also be an appropriate balance of the food groups as well.

Once your dog reaches adult food, you can match their dog food to their size. Once again, only invest in good dog food brands with high-quality ingredients. This is especially important if your dog suffers from allergies or sensitivities of any kind.

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In this particular situation, it is a good idea to get the recommendation of your vet. They will be able recommend a dog food that is specific to your pup’s size, energy level, health conditions, and more.

How Much Exercise Does a German Shepherd Terrier Need?

Now, German Shepherd Terriers will often have a lot of energy. They also have the genes of working dogs. Due to this, you do have to make sure that they are getting plenty of physical activity every day.

Try to make sure that your pup gets around an hour of exercise each day. Of course, you will have to adjust this to your pup’s needs. For instance, if your dog still has tons of energy after a workout, you may need to give them more exercise. If they appear too tired, then they may require less.

While your dog will appreciate a long, vigorous walk, it is important to break this up with other activities as well. Play fetch, Frisbee, and other games that will stimulate and entertain your pup.

How Do You Groom a German Shepherd Terrier?

You will have to adjust your grooming methods to the type of coat that your dog has. For instance, a pup with long hair may require a bit more upkeep than one with a shorter coat.

Nevertheless, brushing is key here as your pup may be a moderate or significant shedder. As your dog will have a double coat, make sure to use an undercoat rake to pick up loose fur in the bottommost layer.

As your dog is likely to blow their coat a couple of times a year, you will need to increase the number of times that you brush them. Switch it up to at least once a day.

The good news is that you don’t have to bathe your German Shepherd Terrier that often. Instead, stick to about every three to four months or when your dog is very dirty.

What is the Best Living Environment for German Shepherd Terriers?

Due to their double coats, German Shepherd Terriers prefer cooler climates, although they will be able to handle moderate ones. However, you should never leave them alone outside in cold weather. And, in the summer, make sure that they stay indoors.

During the warmer months, avoid taking your dog outside to exercise during the middle of the day. They may be prone to overheating. Instead, only exercise them in the early morning or early evening.

Although these pups are only of mid-size, they aren’t always a great option for apartments. If they have prominent Terrier genes, their energy and tendency to run around may make such a space feel too constrained for these dogs.

In general, it is best to house these dogs in a mid-sized home with a backyard. If you do have a garden or backyard, be aware that these pups can be prone to digging and this behavior is quite difficult to curb.

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You may be better off training your dog to dig in just one area. Furthermore, you may end up with quite an escape artist on your hands. If this is the case, you will need heavy-duty fencing to prevent your pup from running away.

How Can You Train a German Shepherd Terrier?

German Shepherd Terriers are working dogs on both sides so they take to training quite well. That being said, it is important to tailor your training methods to this breed.

First, make sure to start early. Always take a firm stance with your pooch and show them who is in charge. If you are struggling with this or experiencing any kind of behavioral issues, you may want to consider enrolling your dog in puppy classes or engaging the services of a trainer.

While this dog does love to learn new tricks and commands, they may have a shorter attention span. Due to this, keep the training sessions on the shorter side. Make sure to use positive reinforcement as a reward. This is an affectionate breed so giving them pets and cuddles will help to reinforce good behavior.

Where Can You Find German Shepherd Terriers?

This breed is pretty uncommon so you may not find them as readily as other mixed breeds. It may take some time to find a breeder that specializes in this mix.

It is important to be careful about the breeder that you choose. Always make an effort to find a reputable individual. These experts take the time to research both parents, going several generations back. In doing so, they are able to reduce the risk of your puppy being born with certain disorders.

Can You Adopt a German Shepherd Terrier?

As mentioned, this is a pretty rare breed. Therefore, finding one in a shelter is unlikely, but it can’t hurt to take a look. Check out shelter websites, with a focus outside of your current area. You may have a bit more luck with shelters that specifically deal with German Shepherds or Jack Russell Terriers.


Here are some of the more frequently asked questions about German Shepherd Terriers:

Can a Jack Russell Mate with a German Shepherd?

Yes, this is possible. In this case, the mother will always be a German Shepherd so that she can safely carry the puppies to term.

How Big Will a German Shepherd Terrier Mix Get?

This dog will most likely be classified as a mid-sized dog. They may grow up to 21 inches and weigh up to 56lbs.

Will a German Shepherd Jack Russell Terrier Mix Be Aggressive?

It is unlikely that this breed will be aggressive. However, proper socialization will reduce the risk of this even further.

This is all you need to know about German Shepherd Terrier mixes. Now that you are aware of these aspects, you can decide if this pooch is a good fit for you.

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