Miniature German Shepherds

photo by researchgate

Many families long for a German shepherd living in their house. Perhaps it’s the result of the loving and loyal nature of these dogs. However, the thought of having a large pet wondering around the house isn’t exactly reassuring. So there’s no way you can have one if you’re living in an apartment. That’s when miniature German shepherds come in.

These mini German shepherds resemble the standard GSD. The prime example of this is their straight forelegs and a full chest. However, the size makes all the difference. They are SMALL German shepherds. They don’t need much space, which is the main reason for their appeal to many families.

But this doesn’t change the fact that there are no “pure” miniature German shepherd puppies. These dogs are mixed breeds, while some aren’t exactly as “miniature” as breeders tell you. So if pure miniature German shepherds don’t exist, what are they?

Why is There a Miniature German Shepherd?

To begin with, there are three types of “miniature German shepherds”.

While the two are genuinely purebred, one type is a genetic flaw, while the other is not as small as you think. The closest you can get to “miniature” are mixed breeds, but this type, too, has some flaws that might cause you some problems.

Let’s talk about the mixed breed first, since they’re the most popular type of the small German shepherd breeds.

Mixed Breed

Miniature German shepherds were created through breeding a German shepherd and another breed, mostly with poodles and collies.

While many breeders say they are “pure” miniature GSDs, they are in fact a result of selective breeding to produce a dog that looks like a German shepherd but smaller.

Some red flags that can be obvious include fluffy coats, bushy tails, squashed faces, and basically any characteristic not common to German shepherds.

In addition to their physical appearance, miniature German shepherds can also display different behavioral traits. But we’ll talk about this later in this blog post. You should learn about the other two types first. 


The purebred type is typically the smallest puppy in the litter of German shepherds. They’re identical to the standard GSD, with the exception of their smaller size.

These are the breed that won’t cause you any problem, so they’re the mini German shepherd you dreamt of having. However, they are not as small as you may think, the smallest one is around 45 cm.

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So if you’re in it for the advertised “teacup” dogs, this might come as a disappointment.

Genetic Flaw

Lastly, there are those small German shepherds that are the result of inheriting the dwarfism gene.

Those that are diagnosed with dwarfism are also purebred miniature German shepherds. That means they’ll exhibit the same personality and physical appearance as the standard GSD, besides their size of course.

However, since “dwarfism” is a genetic flaw, it can lead to many problems, health in particular, which leads us to the next topic.

Health Issues Concerning Miniature GSDs

There are many problems that can be caused by miniature German shepherds if you don’t know what exactly are their origins.

Let’s start with the type of mini German shepherds in the worst situation in terms of health.

Dwarfism: This genetic flaw allows for health issues common to German shepherds, in addition to other health issues exclusive to those diagnosed with dwarfism.

  • Most of the health issues with miniature German shepherds in this category involve the respiratory system. These may include allergies, thyroid, and more.
  • These small German shepherd breeds also require to spend more veterinarian care than most dogs. Finally, the dog may go bald as they grow older.

Mixed Breeds: They aren’t as bad as dwarf GSDs such as the white miniature German shepherd.

  • The main issue is that you can’t be 100% sure of what health problems your small German shepherd will be susceptible to.
  • As far as you’re concerned, they may have inherited the genes of a poodle, collie, chihuahua, etc. That means they can be prone to health issues exclusive to such breeds.
  • That’s why it’s important to check for the details of the miniature GSD’s parents so you can be sure about this aspect.

Purebred: The smallest pup in the litter of German shepherds will only suffer from the same health issues as the standard breed

  • Since hip dysplasia is the most common health issue with German shepherds, your mini German shepherd will be prone to this health issue.
  • It’s also worth noting that those in the mixed breeds category may also suffer from health issues common to German shepherds.

In addition to health issues, you may also experience problems in other aspects of taking care of small German shepherd breeds.

Other Issues with Miniature German Shepherds

Miniature GSDs are different from the usual German shepherds.

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Those belonging in the mixed breed category can also inherit some traits of their other parent, such as barking, whining, or digging.

For example, white miniature German shepherds is a mixed breed with Maltese dogs.

Since this breed is known for being short-tempered with kids, this may make them too scary for kids, a possibility no family wants.

This may also make training harder, unlike standard GSDs that can easily be trained.

So as you already know, besides the health issues, you’ll have trouble with the nature of miniature German shepherd puppies. So it’s important to understand their personality better.

The Personality of the Miniature GSD

True, miniature German shepherds can inherit the personality of the other breed. However, the good news is that most of the time, it’s the German shepherd’s traits that win over.

For example, most miniature GSDs carry the intelligence and loyalty of German shepherds. However, that doesn’t change the fact that the naughty behavior of the other breed may be the dominant trait.

This leads to plenty of differences between the personality of a miniature German shepherd and the standard GSD.

Another good news is that those that belong to the purebred or the dwarfism category typically acts like how a standard German shepherd should.

But a mixed breed like the white miniature German shepherd is not only a dog that looks like a German shepherd but smaller. They also have a different purpose, depending on the other breed.

The Possible Breeding Lines of Miniature German Shepherds

As previously said, they can inherit some traits from each parent. That’s why you may notice a slight difference in their capabilities.

They can be suitable in jobs that German shepherds are not while being bad at roles that German shepherds shouldn’t have any problem with.

But first, let’s talk about what the effects of inherited traits of the standard GSD can bring to miniature German shepherd puppies:

  • Even after inheriting some traits from a Miniature breed of some sorts, like the poodle, they are still herding dogs in essence.
  • They are great for those who own their own farm. Despite a less aggressive behavior, they still qualify as guard dogs.
  • German shepherds have great potential as a search and rescue dogs. Even more so with the mini German shepherd since their size allows them to easily navigate through most terrains.
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Take note, however, that miniature German shepherds, like any other dog, need to have a balanced work and play for a comfortable life.

While the German shepherd traits work well with the working line, the traits from the miniature breed may work the opposite way for family dogs.

  • Due to their small size, they can easily be carried from place to place. This makes them great for kids. However, as previously said, when mixed with incompatible breeds, they can exhibit undesirable behaviors.
  • Some examples of such breeds are chow chows and chihuahua, which are the worst dog breeds for small children due to their snappiness.
  • On the other hand, being bred with a collie, poodles, and other friendly breeds may make small German shepherd breeds better family dogs.

Your Healthy Miniature German Shepherd Puppies Buying Guide 

Miniature German shepherds can be mixed with poodles, Maltese, and more. This means the dog might inherit different traits that you might not know of.

Sure, you can easily search up on the internet what breed are the miniature German shepherd puppies’ parents. However, the same doesn’t go with obscure traits like temperament, health, and more can only be identified by checking the pedigree of the pooch.

Information such as the DNA line and health data are crucial things that you should know so you can take care of the miniature GSD properly.

Since some breeders will breed those with the dwarfism gene intentionally, it’s important to know how to handle these uncertainties.

Breeders that cannot answer questions about the parents or provide any documents to back their statements are likely to be the type that only goes after the money.

Miniature German Shepherd in a Nutshell

In this blog post, we answered many questions, including the mystery everyone has been asking, “Is there a miniature German shepherd?”

Some mini German shepherds are purebred, while some became small German shepherd due to a genetic fault. There are also dogs that look like a German shepherd but smaller with a parent from another breed.

Some can have different personalities, appearance, health issues, and so on. At the end of the day, you learned many valuable things in this blog post.

Many questions have been answered about miniature German shepherds. The truth was revealed. The most important thing is that you won’t be falling for the tricks of breeders that are after your money.

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