The Great Pyrenees German Shepherd mix is relatively new on the block. Despite this, the designer breed has already captured the hearts of anyone who has encountered them. Already, they have been bestowed with adorable names such as Shepnees and Germanees.
Of course, there is a good chance that you may not know too much about this mix, what it may look like or what temperament it may have. If so, then you have come to the right place. Here, you can discover all that you need to know about this fascinating mix.
To begin with, let’s take a look at some of the basic characteristics associated with this breed. Keep in mind that there can be quite a bit of variation between these breeds. In reality, a Germanees puppy can take on any traits of either of its parents. You will only be able to see the final results once the pup is full grown.
On average, you may notice these traits:
- Weight: 75 – 120lbs
- Height: 23 – 32 inches
- Coat: Thick, medium to long
- Kid-Friendly: Yes, if socialized properly
The Great Pyrenees German Shepherd Parents
As mentioned, it can be rather difficult to predict what a Shepnees can look or behave like. Either the Great Pyrenees or German Shepherd traits can be dominant with any puppy. Thus, to cover all your bases, you have to get a better idea of what the individual parents are like.
The Great Pyrenees were bred centuries ago. Back then, they worked with shepherds as well as other herding dogs. The Great Pyrenees were meant to watch over sheep and to deter predators. As such, this breed developed an immense amount of patience. They also got used to an incredibly cold climate.
These dogs are quite majestic and exude a sense of grace and calmness. However, you shouldn’t let this fool you. The dogs are quite capable of snapping into action at the first signs of danger. They are most definitely a working dog breed.
The Great Pyrenees are very intelligent and, unlike many other breeds, have been bred to be independent. Thus, they are used to working with very little guidance. This can often translate to a lack of interest in training techniques. In some instances, the Great Pyrenees can also display a stubborn streak.
Great Pyrenees make very good family dogs. They are quite mellow companions but are still quite capable of being guardians.
The German Shepherd is probably one of the most well-known breeds in the world. Although they are typically associated with law enforcement, they are popular as pets as well. They are yet another breed that fits the working dog category.
Similar to the Great Pyrenees, German Shepherds were also bred to herd sheep. However, they played a very different role. These dogs got used to covering lots of ground and constantly being on the move. Even today, this breed requires quite a bit of exercise and also needs a great deal of mental stimulation as well.
German Shepherds do make excellent pets, though. They are loyal, courageous, and can be quite gentle. They prefer being around humans. As such, they should be included in as many family activities as possible. They are happiest when they are surrounded by their loved ones.
What Do They Look Like?
Once again, there is no telling what a Great Pyrenees German Shepherd can look like. However, when you consider the physical characteristics of both parents, there are a few different versions that may be possible:
You can virtually guarantee that a Great Pyrenees German Shepherd dog will grow to be quite big. Both these hybrid breeds have large parents. As such, the dog is likely to have a greater height and be on the heftier size as well. So, if you prefer a smaller breed, you will need to look elsewhere.
The coat color can vary a bit. Now, the Great Pyrenees parent may either be all white or mostly white with hints of gray, reddish-brown, tan, or badger. There is a bit more variation in coat color with German Shepherds. They may be:
- Black and tan
- Red and black
- Black and silver
Another thing to note with German Shepherds is the markings. There are portions of their coats that are mixed with other colors. Now, this physical characteristic can be carried over to the Germanees puppy as well.
The Great Pyrenees tends to have a thick and long coat. The German Shepherd, on the other hand, can have a short, medium, or long coat. Thus, a Shepnees can have either one of these coats or some combination.
Regardless, you can almost guarantee that a mix is going to have a thick or fluffy coat. The actual texture may vary a bit. You may find dogs that have either a straight or a wavy coat. Once again, it is only when a puppy has become an adult that you can determine what their coat will look like.
Great Pyrenees German Shepherd Temperament
One of the trickier aspects of owning a hybrid breed is that you can never tell what their temperament is going to be like. After all, the puppy may adopt the dominant temperament of their German Shepherd or Great Pyrenees parent. Or, it could be a mix of the two.
Interestingly enough, these two breeds do have some personality traits in common. For instance, they are intelligent, loyal, and courageous. Due to this, they will get along with most families well.
At the same time, these dogs can be aloof and wary of strangers. You should also be aware that their protective nature can kick in among strangers. Due to this, earlier socialization is needed to rein in these tendencies.
Bear in mind that if the dog has dominant Great Pyrenees traits, they may be more independent. Thus, they may not be as cuddly or require as much attention as a dog with a leaning toward German Shepherd traits.
Who Are They Best Suited To?
As mentioned, they make excellent family dogs. If the dog has more Great Pyrenees tendencies, then their calm nature will make them a good fit for a family with younger children. However, if the dominant traits are German Shepherd, then they are best suited to families with older children.
This can be a rather strong-willed breed. This means that you need to be just as confident around them. Not to mention, you have to have quite a bit of patience as well as training may take some time.
Health, Lifespan, and Genetic Concerns
On average, German Shepherds have a lifespan of about 10 to 14 years, while Great Pyrenees can live for between 10 to 12 years. This means that your Shepnees mix could live up to 10 to 13 years, perhaps a little longer.
Now, the good news about hybrid dogs is that they often tend to be healthier than non-mixed purebreds. With purebred dogs, there is less variation in genetics. As such, there is a greater chance that a puppy will pick up certain issues from both parents.
Since there is a lot more diversity among hybrid dogs, they may be healthier. Of course, there is still a chance that puppies may pick up certain genetic issues from either parent. Due to this, you should be aware of some of the more common issues plaguing a Great Pyrenees Shepherd mix.
The most concerning issues with the Great Pyrenees is:
- Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD)
- Skin Problems
- Canine Hip Dysplasia (Chd)
- Patellar Luxation
- Spinal Muscular Atrophy
- Gastric Torsion
- Otitis Externa
What you need to watch out for with German Shepherds is, Perianal fistula, Megaesophagus, Hip dysplasia, Osteoarthritis and Degenerative myelopathy.
The key to reducing the risk of most of these issues is to find a good breeder. Qualified breeders carefully consider the lineage of both parents. In doing so, they can determine if a particular parent appears to be a carrier of certain genetic disorders. Then, the breeder will not use this dog.
Even with these precautionary measures, there is no guarantee that a dog will not be born with any of these disorders. Thus, you should take your Great Pyrenees German Shepherd to the vet regularly. He or she will be able to notice early symptoms and prescribe the necessary treatments.
For the most part, there shouldn’t be any special nutrition requirements for this hybrid breed. Simply selecting a high-quality, high-protein dog food should be enough. If you are planning on feeding your dog a home-cooked diet, make sure to consult your vet first to ensure that all their nutritional needs are being met.
Bear in mind that some Great Pyrenees dogs do suffer from bloat. This issue may be passed down to the Shepnees breed as well. In this case, you may need to feed your dog smaller meals, but several of them throughout the day. Your vet will be able to advise you of the exact arrangements to follow.
Remember that most commercial foods will not specifically target a Great Pyrenees mix. As such, if you have any doubts about what to give your dog, make sure to consult your vet first.
A Great Pyrenees German Shepherd mix is going to need moderate to significant amounts of exercise. This means that you will need to take them on at least one long walk a day. However, this hybrid breed needs just as much mental stimulation as it does physical exercise.
Due to this, you can’t simply let the dog outdoors and hope that they get enough exercise. Instead, you need to engage them in various exercises and drills. Plus, if your dog has strong German Shepherd tendencies, they are going to want to play with you rather than simply being let outdoors.
Best Living Environments
This breed is going to have a rather thick coat. Due to this, they will not do so well in warm climates. If you want to ensure that this dog breed will be as comfortable as possible, keep them away from regions that get quite hot at any time of the year.
Now, a Germanees can live in an apartment. However, these are big dogs and you will find that this may not be ideal living conditions for them. They will be happier if they have a little more room to play around with. If your pup has strong Great Pyrenees tendencies, they may be content to just nap in one place for most of the day.
Although these dogs may not be a great fit for apartments, they can still be city dwellers. All you need to do is to make sure that there is a dog park or some area that your dog can go to and exercise. Needless to say, there should also be appropriate spots for them to go relieve themselves as well.
You should be warned that this mixed breed is going to require a bit of grooming effort on your part. Both parent dogs are known to have a shedding season. The Great Pyrenees has a single one while the German Shepherd will shed twice a year.
You will have to take particular care to brush the dogs during their shedding season. This will help to remove the layer of fallen fur that can become tangled with the other layer of these dogs. If your Germanees has a signature mane of fluff around the neck, make sure to pay special attention to that area.
Apart from the shedding season, you should try to brush your dog at least once a week. This will ensure that they don’t leave too much fur around daily. You can bathe them as needed.
Training a Great Pyrenees German Shepherd
It is important to socialize this hybrid breed from a very early age. Doing so can reduce their aggression towards strangers. At the same time, it can also prevent shyness, which can be a trait associated with some German Shepherds.
Fortunately, this is a rather intelligent breed. As such, teaching them new tricks or training yields good results. At the same time, your dog may have the same independent or strong-willed streak of Great Pyrenees.
In this case, you need to get a bit more creative with your training methods. You will also need a strong hand to ensure that the dog behaves and follows orders. At the same time, you should only ever use positive reinforcement when training your dog. This prevents negative behaviors in the future.
Finding a Great Pyrenees German Shepherd
There is now greater awareness surrounding Germanees. As such, you can expect to find a greater number of breeders, dabbling with this hybrid breed. Nevertheless, at this point, you may have your work cut out for you, finding a puppy.
There is a good chance that you may need to extend your search outside of your local areas. You may find it difficult to find too many breeders that have pups when you want them. Therefore, be prepared for a long search.
Even then, make it a point to always select a good breeder. Remember, a good breeder is your first line of defense against genetic diseases. Thus, you need to find one who has taken great care to choose the healthiest dogs to breed together. In turn, this will result in healthier and better-adjusted puppies.
Adopting a Great Pyrenees German Shepherd
Of course, you may want to adopt a Shepnees instead – after all, this is a far more humane option. The other benefit of adopting a hybrid breed is that there is less guesswork involved. Since most of these shelter dogs will be fully grown, you will be able to determine the exact physical and emotional characteristics that they will have inherited.
However, once again, be aware that this is a rather rare breed. Therefore, you may not be able to find too many of these dogs in shelters. You can use online means to expand your search and look for dogs in shelters or foster homes outside of your local region.
This is the lowdown on the Great Pyrenees German Shepherd mix. As you can see, there is quite a bit to like about this hybrid breed. They are wonderful family dogs and are loyal companions. Now that you are aware of the specific traits and requirements, you will also be a far better owner to these pups. Thus, you can enjoy a great relationship with your Germanees for many years to come.