german shepherd chihuahua mix full grown

How to Raise a German Shepherd Chihuahua Mix

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlighted pet ownership benefits. They found that pet ownership can lead to regular exercise and social interaction. Pets can also lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Around 69 million American households own a dog, according to the 2021-2022 APPA National Pet Owners Survey.

And two popular dog breeds that people bring to a National Puppy Day event are the Chihuahua and the German shepherd. These two dog breeds have many fans, but some people may want a dog breed that combines aspects of these two popular dogs.

The German Shepherd Chihuahua mix results from breeding a German shepherd and a Chihuahua. This breed is not very common, but it is gaining popularity as dog owners look for new physical traits and personalities to add to their canine family. They make ideal companion dogs who provide all of these benefits while also providing unconditional love.

What is a German Shepherd Chihuahua Mix?

german shepherd chihuahua mix full grown a
German Shepherd Chihuahua Mix by Jess Louise

A German Shepherd Chihuahua Mix is a hybrid breed that’s a cross between the two dogs of its namesakes. Mixed-breed dogs are often considered healthier than purebred dogs, which is also true in the case of this dog.

This mix can vary widely in appearance depending on its parents’ genes. Larger than a Chihuahua but smaller than a German Shepherd, this mix usually has a brown or black coat resembling its German Shepherd parent.

But, of course, there are other possible fur patterns and colors that can occur in this mix. As with any mixed-breed dog, nothing is certain when it comes to appearance or personality traits.

However, as this hybrid tends to inherit more positive qualities from each parent breed, these dog breeds are generally intelligent, loyal, and affectionate.

Origins

The origins of the two breeds, the German Shepherd and the Chihuahua, contain some intriguing clues about what traits they may share due to being bred together.

The modern German Shepherd breed is believed to have originated from a single dog named Horand von Grafrath. In 1899, the dog was added to the breed registry of the Society for the German Shepherd Dog. This dog is considered the patriarch of all modern German Shepherds and was known for his strong working abilities and striking physical appearance.

Similarly, it is believed that the Chihuahua breed originated from a single dog named Techichi, who was also added to the breed registry of the American Kennel Club. 

Although it is unknown exactly when or where this dog originated, genetic testing has revealed that much of its pre-colonial Mexican genes are no longer present due to European colonization.

Crossbreeding

The German Shepherd Chihuahua Mix is a relatively new mixed breed. As with many mixed breeds, there’s some uncertainty about the expected temperament of this mix.

There is often some speculation that crossbreeding can lead to better health outcomes for mixed breeds. This is because purebred dogs have limited genetic diversity due to inbreeding, and specific traits may be more common among purebreds. However, other issues like genetic disorders and vulnerabilities may also become more common.

It’s important to remember that no two dogs are the same, even if they’re part of the same breed or crossbreed. As with any dog, it’s essential to do your research before choosing a German Shepherd Chihuahua and ensure that you can give this dog the attention and care it needs. This includes regular vet visits, training, exercise, and socialization. 

A German Shepherd Chihuahua Mix can make excellent family dogs with proper care and planning.

Life Expectancy

A mixed-breed dog is normally healthier than a purebred dog, and the Chihuahua Shepherd mix is no exception. 

This mix typically has lower tendencies to develop hereditary diseases thanks to its parents –  a reputable German Shepherd parent and a healthy Chihuahua parent. It can live for an average of 10 to 14 years if you take good care of it and show it plenty of love. 

Whether you’re a first-time dog owner or an experienced one, the Chihuahua Shepherd mix is an excellent choice for any home.

What Makes a German Shepherd Chihuahua Mixes Special?

A German Shepherd Chihuahua Mix is a fiercely loyal, protective, dependable dog. Their hyper nature makes them easy to train and pick up commands, while their vocal bark makes them excellent guard dogs. All in all, they are wonderful pets that bring joy and love into the lives of their families.

Size, Weight, and Colors

The German Shepherd Chihuahua is a small to medium dog. It stands seven to 45 inches tall and weighs anywhere from eight to 60 pounds. The size of the German Shepherd Mixes makes it a wonderful family pet, especially for families living in small homes or apartments.

The German Shepherd Chihuahua Mix comes in various colors and patterns. Some common color combinations include black and tan, white and brown, cream and red, and several others. 

In addition to the different color combinations, these dogs may have darker markings on their fur or be bi-color or tri-color.

These dogs are active and energetic, making them perfect for families that enjoy outdoor activities for puppies. Whether it’s a long hike or just a trip to the dog park, these dogs will be ready for anything.

Health

While a dog with German Shepherd and Chihuahua parents is healthier than a purebred Chihuahua or German Shepherd, owners should still be aware of some potential health issues. These German Shepherd Chihuahuas are susceptible to some health issues.

Hip Dysplasia

One of the most common health issues that German Shepherd Chihuahuas may inherit is hip dysplasia, which can lead to other complications. This condition occurs when improper development of the hip joint, resulting in pain and decreased mobility for your pup.

Degenerative Myelopathy

Another health issue that may affect the German Shepherd Chihuahua mixes is degenerative myelopathy, a progressive spinal cord disease; bloat, a potentially fatal condition characterized by excess gas in the stomach that can put pressure on nearby organs.

Luxating Patella

The health issue that is most common among small breeds, including German Shepherd Chihuahuas, is the luxating patella. This condition occurs when the kneecap pops out of its groove on the femur. The condition causes pain and decreased mobility in your pup.

Hydrocephalus

Although not very common, German Shepherd Chihuahua mixes may be born with hydrocephalus, characterized by an abnormal fluid buildup in the brain. Left untreated can lead to seizures, blindness, and other impairments.

Diet

Diet is one of the most important factors when caring for a small dog. Owners should understand the unique dietary needs of their small dogs. But there are some general guidelines to follow to ensure your pet is a healthy dog. 

You should look for high-quality dog food for your pet, which should be designed for the breed. It is also crucial that the food you choose is balanced, meaning it has all the nutrients your dog needs while avoiding unnecessary ingredients like fillers and artificial colors.

Table scraps can upset the stomach of your pet and cause health issues. So, you should not give it to them. Consult your veterinary doctor if you have concerns about what food to give your pet.

When choosing a diet for this particular dog, you should consider its size and activity level. Smaller dogs generally require smaller portions of food, whereas bigger dogs need more calories to fuel their larger bodies. It is also a good idea to talk to your veterinarian about the best food and portion sizes for your dog’s specific needs.

Overall, it is crucial to be mindful of what you are feeding your dog to ensure they remain happy and healthy.

Exercise

The German Shepherd Chihuahua mix is energetic and requires a lot of physical activity and exercise. You need to take them on medium-length walks every day. You should also allow them to play outdoors. Fencing your yard can ensure your pets get the exercise they need.

Due to their active nature and high energy level, these dogs are prone to injuries to their knees and hips. They may dislocate them more easily than other breeds.

Temperament

A German Shepherd is territorial and loyal. They are among the first choices of law enforcement and military working dogs due to their intelligence, strength, and aggressive nature. 

However, when mixed with the Chihuahua breed, the resulting dog can have various behaviors and temperaments. This is among the red flags every dog owner should know.

A German Shepherd Chihuahua Mix is an intelligent dog. They can make wonderful family pets and are often attentive to their owners.

At worst, this mixed-breed dog can be aggressive and territorial. 

These dogs are not recommended for families with young children, as they may behave unpredictably and lash out at anyone nearby. Additionally, they can distrust strangers, making them unsuitable pets for most households.

It is essential to do thorough research before visiting animal shelters to bring a German Shepherd Chihuahua Mix home, considering the unpredictability of this breed. Ideally, you should work with a professional trainer or behaviorist who can help you develop a training plan tailored specifically to your dog’s needs and temperament. This will help ensure that you and your canine companion enjoy a happy and healthy relationship.

Training the German Shepherd Chihuahua Mix

Obedience training for these dogs can be challenging, but it can be done with the proper techniques and patience. This is particularly true if you train them at a young age. You should focus on potty training at this age since they have tiny bladders and will likely have accidents.

One of the most important things to remember when training a German Shepherd Chihuahua Mix is that these hybrid dogs are intelligent. This means they can be stubborn and must be motivated to learn and obey commands.

Among the best ways to train your Chihuahua German Shepherd Mix is to be patient, consistent, and firm. This breed responds well to positive reinforcement, such as treats and praise. So remember to stay calm, use a gentle voice, and offer encouragement during training sessions.

It is also important to socialize with your dog so that it can interact with both humans and other dogs. You can take regular walks, visit the park, or enroll in puppy classes. Additionally, proper training can help them become confident around people and other animals.

The German Shepherd Chihuahua Mix is an active and energetic dog that requires regular exercise to stay healthy and happy.

Wrapping Up

Whether you are looking for a loyal and intelligent family pet or an aggressive guard dog, this dog breed has the potential to be both. 

However, it is essential to do your research before bringing one of these dogs home. Make sure you know their temperament and exercise needs to provide them with the best care. This hybrid dog can make a wonderful addition to any household with proper training and socialization.

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