German Shepherds are among the most popular dogs in America and for good reason. With their great personalities and incredible intelligence, they can be fantastic pets who are also very easy dogs to train. Given that they do have a reputation for being natural guards, it makes sense that many who might otherwise love these dogs might want to temper their instincts by crossbreeding them with other breeds. That’s why German Shepherd hybrids have become so popular and why it’s important to look at some of the breeds below when you’re deciding on the best dog breed as you adopt your next dog.
Most Popular German Shepherd Mixes
A combination of the German Shepherd and the Siberian Husky, these medium-sized dogs have thick coats, quick wits, and very distinctive bark. Capable of being good companions, these dogs have strong working instincts and love spending time outside. These Siberian Husky mixes are remarkable-looking animals who definitely need some socialization to get along with strangers and other animals.
German Shepherd Golden Retriever
An incredibly intelligent dog that does a fantastic job with the right owners, it’s really a bit of a gamble trying to figure out if you’re going to get a gregarious Retriever or a more standoffish Shepherd from this mix. Easy to train and great with families when there’s enough socialization, these dogs are a hit among fans of both parent breeds.
Also known as a Labrashepherd, this mix of the German Shepherd and Labrador Retriever tend to be high energy and quite friendly. They’re also notorious shedders, so make sure that you’re ready to groom and pick up after these dogs.
German Shepherd Pitbull
Strong, loyal, and intelligent, these dogs are generally a mix of the German Shepherd dog and the American Pitbull Terrier. They are natural guard dogs who don’t always get along well with families, so they’re usually recommended for those who plan on putting them to work.
German Shepherd Corgi
Natural herders that have big personalities, this is a German Shepherd mix needs a lot of interaction and stimulation to be its best. Unfortunately, many of these hybrids tend to pick up Corgi’s tendency to have back problems, which can lead to major health issues as the dogs get older.
This mix of the German Shepherd and Rottweiler is a big dog that can weigh over fifty pounds, yet the hybrid is usually known for its sweet disposition. A solid guard dog, you’ll definitely want to spend a lot of time on socialization and obedience training if you’re going to have this German Shepherd mix around kids or other animals.
Part Border Collie and part German Shepherd, are intelligent dogs who tend to be easy to train but a little bit harder to socialize. Another high-energy hybrid, you’ll definitely want to take a look at this breed if you’re in the market for a running companion.
German Shepherd Australian Shepherd
Intelligent and friendly, these hybrids have gorgeous coats and fairly strong herding instincts. Generally good family pets for those who have plenty of room for them to run around in a wireless dog fence, this German Shepherd mix has become very popular in recent years.
If you know anything about hybrid dogs, you already know that Poodles are very popular both due to their appearance and their intelligence. A great fit for those who have allergies, these dogs might not be truly hypoallergenic but they do tend to go easier on the allergies than most.
German Shepherd Doberman
A muscular dog that tends to have the coloration of the Doberman parent, this German Shepherd mix is easy to train and very cute. You’ll need to socialize them due to the fact that they have natural guarding instincts, but most of these hybrids are actually good fits for dog-friendly families.
German Shepherd Chihuahua
This isn’t a very common mix, but it does exist. A small dog that takes after both parents, it’s hard to find a healthy hybrid due to the obvious difficulty of breeding them.
German Shepherd Beagle Mix
These hound hybrids aren’t the easiest to train but they can end up being fantastic family pets for those who have enough patience for them. They’ve got all the stubborn nature of a Beagle, but the natural intelligence of both parents can make them incredible companions.
Great Dane German Shepherd Mix
Big dogs tend to be somewhere between the two parent breeds when it comes to size, these dogs weigh more than sixty pounds and usually need a fair bit of space to get all the exercise that they need.
Belgian Malinois German Shepherd Mix
A lively and intelligent dog, this German Shepherd mix tends to be a loyal animal that needs to be socialized so that its loyalty doesn’t turn into aggression. Easy to train, these are great working dogs as well as great pets.
German Shepherd Blue Heeler
Hardworking dogs who are quite alert, these dogs need an awful lot of space and exercise. If you can find a way to put these dogs to work, though, you’ll find an incredibly happy companion who always gets his or her job done.
German Shepherd Chow
Typically big and furry, this German Shepherd mix is only for those who have plenty of time to groom it. Usually a little territorial and in need of socialization, it’s hard to deny the fact that it’s a beautiful animal.
Great Pyrenees German Shepherd
Amazing giants who can weigh in excess of one hundred pounds, these dogs are big, fluffy, and in need of serious training due to their size. With the right trainer and attitude, though, these hybrids can become ideal dogs for almost any household that has the room to raise them.
Akita German Shepherd
Another strong breed that tends to be big on guard work, these dogs need to be socialized both due to their size and to head off any potential aggression later in life. Though most German Sheperds/Akita mixes aren’t aggressive by nature, their size can make them a danger of which they are not aware.
German Shepherd Boxer
A truly playful pup, these dogs need regular grooming and a lot of attention to stay happy. Usually good with families, it’s also a good idea to give these dogs enough space to run and play when they get the zoomies.
German Shepherd Collie
The Shepherd Collie mix is one of the ultimate herding dogs, which makes them easy to train and almost too smart for some dog owners. They’re very pretty and they do great on the agility course, but they really shine if you can put them to work. Doing so prevents them from getting bored, which in turn often leads to destructive behaviors.
Another popular cross between two herding breeds the German Shepherd Collie mix is also a smart and trainable dog.
German Shepherd Pomeranian Mix
Another rare hybrid due to practical breeding problems, these dogs are incredibly expensive and highly sought-after. With that said, these dogs have beautiful coats and have really come into their own as Pomeranian mixes become more popular.
German Shepherd Dachshund Mix
Another dog that’s very hard to breed due to their size differences, this German Shepherd mix is usually bigger than you might think while still having stubby legs. Because of Dachshund’s surprisingly aggressive personality, these Dachshund mixes need to be socialized early on.
Unfortunately, this mix of the Pug and German Shepherd tends to have some serious breathing problems. This mix is small, cute, and easy to care for, but it’s hard to recommend supporting this breed given the short and painful lives they often live.
German Shepherd Terrier Mix
More of a hybrid class than a true hybrid, the temperaments, size, and looks of these dogs vary by the type of Terrier that is the parent. For the most part, though, these dogs do tend to be friendly family pets that are quite loyal and who tend to do well when they are around people and other animals.
German Shepherd Shiba Inu
These dogs are prone to aggression and need serious socialization to make them safe around others, but they’re also beautiful dogs who can be very loyal pets. They need a great deal of outdoor space to be happy and they tend not to be recommended for apartment dwellers because they get fairly loud.
German Shepherd Wolf
A combination popularly known as the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog, these are beautiful and dangerous hybrids. Illegal in many areas, these are not dogs for those without an incredible amount of experience dealing with wolf hybrids.
Shar-Pei German Shepherd
Another dog with severe health issues, these dogs are prone to skin issues among other problems. They’re also dogs with natural guarding instincts, which means that they need some significant socialization if you plan to have them around other people.
German Shepherd Bichon Frise
One of the more unpredictable hybrids out there, it’s hard to say what these dogs will be like when they grow up. Most of them are quite fluffy, though, and almost all of them need a lot of grooming to look their best. With that said, most of these hybrids make ideal family pets for those who train them properly.
German Shepherd Maltese Mix
This is another hybrid that’s a bit of a roll of the dice. They can take after either parent, and it’s hard to find these breeds because of the size difference of both parents. If you can find one, though, proper discipline and training can turn this hybrid into one of the best family pets on the market today.
German Shepherd Saluki
An incredibly rare mix because of the Saluki parent, these dogs require a fair bit of exercise time as well as a lot of interaction to keep from becoming destructive. With that said, though, the right owner can get an awful lot of love out of this kind of dog.
German Shepherd Coyote
The least common hybrid for good reason, it’s more likely that you’ll see one of these dogs as an accident rather than a designer breed. They tend to be aggressive, strong, and stubborn – a perfect mix for disaster for those who are not experienced owners.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the best breed to mix with a German shepherd?
There are many breeds that make good mixes with German Shepherds. Some of the most popular are definitely Retrievers, as you can blunt the suspicious nature of a German Shepherd with the more gregarious nature of a Retriever. Both Golden Retriever-Shepherd mixes and Labrador-Shepherd mixes are very popular for that reason. If you have allergies, another popular mix is that of a German Shepherd and a Poodle.
2. Are shepherd mixes good dogs?
Shepherd mixes tend to be great dogs. They are not only friendly and intelligent, but they are also very easy to train. The biggest problem with these dogs is that they tend to get a little too loyal and they can be standoffish with both strangers and with other animals. With the right training, though, these dogs can be a great part of just about any household.
3. What are the 5 types of German Shepherds?
While most people might not be aware of this, there are actually five different breeds under the umbrella of the German Shepherd. These are the Czech Working Line German Shepherd, the East Working Line German Shepherd, the West Working Line German Shepherd, the West Show Line German Shepherd, and the American Show Line German Shepherd. Each of these dogs does look a little different, but they all have the same general features and the same general temperaments. The show breeds tend to be a little less suspicious and a little better inside, but only by a bit.
4. How can I tell what my German Shepherd is mixed with?
The easiest way is to look at your Shepherd’s papers if you happen to have them. If not, you’ll want to look at the dog’s size and features. Hybrids generally have distinctive colors, heads, and legs, so take a look at those areas first. If you still need a specific answer and you haven’t had any luck searching on your own, there are now dog DNA testing kits that can help you to get a more specific idea of exactly with which breeds your dog might be mixed.