Designer dog breeds have become popular due to their versatility and better health. However, even in the glamorous world of designer dog breeds, a German Shepherd Chihuahua mix is a rare creature. The most popular working dog breed crossed with the smallest dog in the world yields an interesting breed that has caused quite a stir among Chihuahua and German Shepherd enthusiasts. In this article, we dig deeper into the history, characteristics and financial aspects of owning this unique breed. So, if your heart is set on this German Shepherd Chihuahua mutt, stay tuned! We’re uncovering all that there is to know about the breed!
|Suitable for||Active families, apartment dwellers, seasoned dog owners|
|Temperament||Loyal, loving, intelligent, easy to train, distrusting of strangers, higher potential for aggression towards other dogs or people|
|Activity level||High; requires up to 60-90 minutes of exercise daily|
|Dietary needs||High-protein diet|
|Potential health issues||Hip dysplasia, bloating, Patella Luxation, Heart Diseases, Cancer|
|Average price||$800 to $3000|
|Annual maintenace cost||$500 to $2000|
Parent Breeds Overview
In 1899, Captain Max von Stephanitz brought the world’s most popular breed into existence through his passion for a working dog breed in existence. Captian’s experiments to create a superior herding breed from Germany were fruitful, as the dog has become the epitome of a working dog breed. German Shepherds are dignified, courageous, loyal dogs who are mostly aloof with strangers. These traits combined make them suitable for many roles in the world today. Besides being a wonderful companion dog once you get through their reserved nature, German Shepherds play consequential roles in the military, police, watchdog, guard dog and many other industries. They’re the first choice for many roles due to their high energy and always ready-to-work attitude.
Chihuahuas are the smallest dog breeds in the world, but to balance the scales, their larger-than-life personality compliments that amount of cuteness. Their saucy nature, bold confidence, and readiness to take on anything are striking, especially considering their size. Imagine a cranky toddler bent on getting things done their own way, except toddlers grow up but Chihuahuas- well, the breed retains the temperament well into old age. Speaking of which, Chihuahuas are also considered one of the world’s longest-living dog breeds. A Chihuahua named Gino Wolf holds the current world record. Owners of the Gino Wolf state that despite being 22 years and 52 days old, the Chihuahua hasn’t lost an inch of his personality.
German Shepherd Chihuahua Mix
A breed like a German Shepherd Chihuahua mix looks worlds apart in theory. However, breeders all over have tried to collide these two worlds, and what came, as a result, is nothing short of- well, you can choose your own adjective since all enthusiasts have different reactions upon learning about this breed. Shock and surprise are often the common denominators in the range of reactions this breed gets. Before we unravel more about this breed, let’s learn how and when this breed breathed its first.
Being a designer dog breed tracing back the history of a German Shepherd Chihuahua mix is a long shot. Hybrids are rarely registered; therefore, documentation is incomplete at best. However, given the size differences between the two breeds, natural breeding can only be accidental. Therefore, most dogs are produced through a technique called artificial insemination.
The appearance of the mixed breed dog can vary significantly; therefore, there’s no saying for sure how a mix would grow up to be. However, some estimations based on the litter produced can be made.
The size of a German Shepherd and Chihuahua mix would be the average of the two. The resulting dog will likely be smaller than the German Shepherd breed but larger than the Chihuahua.
How Big Will My German Shepherd Chihuahua Mix Get?
One of the pressing questions about mixed-breed dogs is their unpredictable size and weight. At the same time, there is no sure-shot way to predict a specific mutts size. Based on previous data and genetic knowledge, the breeds concede to the adage, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”
Therefore, when talking about the Shepherd Chihuahua mix, we can see that the usual size and weight of the breed will fall within the range of the parent breed’s profile and features. A Shepherd Chihuahua mix weighs 8-60 pounds and stands at 7- 45 inches at the shoulder. Like most dogs, the males will likely be larger than their female counterparts.
|Size group||Small to Medium||Small to Medium|
|Height||8-26 inches||8-24 inches|
|Weight||8-60 pounds||8-50 pounds|
German Shepherds are protective, loyal, territorial, fierce, and highly energetic. Chihuahuas tend to be aggressive, alert, and lively. The mix between the two can result in anything given the range of temperaments. Ideally, the mix of both breeds should be loyal, attentive, intelligent, and a wonderful family dog. However, the dog can be aggressive and territorial with a stubborn streak if things go south. Due to this, training and socialization of the dog are vital to raising a well-balanced pup regardless of the breed they belong to.
Coat and Colors
The coat color and length are also greatly variable as the Chihuahua breed sports a range of different colors, while German Shepherds are mostly found in a brown coat. The length and shedding frequency is surmised to be more dependent on the Chihuahua heritage than the German Shepherd. Therefore, the mixed breed dog will likely have shorter hair when the Chihuahua parent sports a shorter coat and a longer lengthed coat when the Chihuahua parent has a longer coat. Based on this, the resulting dog can also have double coats.
Common Health Problems
Usually, all the diseases and ailments afflicting the parent breeds also open doors to the mutts. However, due to the large pool of variable genes in the mixed breed dogs, the resultant is usually a healthy breed. Therefore, even though the German Shepherd Chihuahua mix is susceptible to all diseases affecting the parent breeds, they usually have a higher tolerance.
Having said that, a set of common diseases is still commonly observed in the breed. These include patella luxation hip dysplasia, and obesity. The dog can also inherit any diseases the parents have, including heart disease. Therefore, choosing a dog with a healthy parental history is vital.
Little Known Facts About The German Shepherd Chihuahua Mix
1. German Shepherd Chihuahua mix is a rare breed.
Other designer dog breeds are more popular than this one, which means this dog is far more unpredictable than your average designer dog breed. There’s not much information present about the breed to draw a conclusion. However, looking at the nature of the parent dog breeds, the mixes’ temperament has a wide range.
2. German Shepherds are fiercely loyal dogs, and Chihuahuas are possessive one-person dogs.
The crossbreeding between the two parent dog breed combines the loyalty and possessiveness of the two breeds and takes it to a new level. The mixes can either be obedient and loyal, leaning more towards the German Shepherd heritage, or they can follow in the footsteps of Chihuahuas, who are authoritative yet loving.
3. German Shepherds would get any job done, while Chihuahuas can’t be bothered about anything.
One of the many reasons for the cult following of German Shepherds is their versatile, eager-to-work nature. If your German Shepherd is loyal to you, you can trust it to get any job done. In stark contrast, the Chihuahuas are lap dogs, although loyal working has never been on their to-do list. The hybrid dog may have a balance of the two traits, but we can’t be sure owing to genetic wizardry.
How to Take Care of the Breed?
Even a well-trained German Shepherd is not for the faint of heart, and an energetic Chihuahua doesn’t do well in a passive household with mostly absent owners. Therefore, the mix also needs consistent attention, training, and spending time together. Let’s learn about how this breed keeps its owners on their toes.
Besides the inherited traits, a dog’s environment is a major predictor of how the dog will turn out. Therefore, starting from a very young age, your mix needs to be subjected to healthy environments and proper socialization with people and animals.
For this hybrid dog, consistent obedience training and socialization is the key to molding the puppy into the dog of your dreams. Training your pup can go in two possible directions based on the dominant nature of your mutt. If your dog’s temperament leans more towards the German Shepherd breed, then you’re unlikely to sweat over your dog’s training, as German Shepherds were bred to be obedient and working dogs. However, if your mutt takes after its Chihuahua heritage, you may spend some time before your dog finally listens to you, as Chihuahuas tend to have independent personalities.
Due to both the parent breeds being highly energetic, the hybrid also needs an outlet to expend all its energy before the day ends. Exercise is an essential part of a dog’s daily routine. Consistent 30-minute sessions are non-negotiable for a small to medium-sized breed. However, time goes up with the increasing size of the breed. Therefore, if your Shepherd Chihuahua mix is the larger size, the breed may require up to 90 minutes of activity.
Depending on the Chihuahua parent, your mutt may have a shorter or longer coat. In the latter case, the grooming time increases by a significant margin. However, despite the length of the coat, you’re likely to spend a couple of hours every week to keep the coat healthy and shiny.
Brushing once a week is essential to cut down the shedding frequency as the German Shepherds are known to shed heavily all year round.
Each dog’s dietary requirements differ based on age, size, and activity levels, and the Shepherd Chihuahua mix is no exception. If your mix is small to medium, they can fare well with 1-1 ½ cups of highly quality kibble. However, if your dog is larger, it may need 2-3 cups of high-protein kibble to remain healthy.
Since Chihuahuas are prone to obesity, you must watch your hybrid’s food and treat consumption. Avoid feeding your dog high-fat, high-sugar food, as these foods quickly lead to weight gain. Moreover, we recommend consulting your vet for a proper diet plan based on your dog’s health and nutrient requirements.
How Much Does It Cost to Own This Breed?
Typically, a purebred dog is more expensive than a mixed breed. Therefore, the hybrid Shepherd Chihuahua will cost significantly less than its parent breeds. You can expect to pay $800-$3000 for this breed depending on the breeder’s reputation, location, and dog age. Let’s explore some places you can source this highly unusual breed.
Where Can You Get One?
Due to the controversial nature of the breed, finding the perfect dog with a good parental history may take a while. However, below are some places you can try.
Adopting vs. Buying
Since the breed is highly unusual, locating a dog in a rescue or shelter may take time and effort. While buying on the other hand, buying is usually quicker, and you can pick up the litter.
Adopting a dog from a reputed shelter will land you a well-behaved dog; however, they come with their own challenges. Despite being the cheaper option, a rescue dog is not for everyone. The owners must be prepared to handle the challenges a shelter dog may present. Additionally, finding one in a shelter gets twice as difficult if you are looking for a puppy.
Buying your Shepherd Chihuahua mix will be expensive. However, even when buying your mixed breed dog, proper research is needed to locate a well-balanced hand healthy dog. Let’s look at places where you can buy your hybrid Shepherd Chihuahua.
Puppy Mills and Pet Stores
Owning a dog from the puppy mill is a ticket to having a bad ownership experience regardless of the breed. Since these facilities prioritize profit over a dog’s well-being, any dog born in a puppy mill is severely afflicted by many congenital diseases. Besides this, the already unpredictable nature of the German Shepherd Chihuahua mix gets more tricky when the dog is sourced from the puppy mill, as these dogs live in compromised situations that negatively affect their psyche.
You may get the same deal when buying a dog from a pet store, except it’s gift-wrapped. Unfortunately, most pet stores source their dogs from puppy mills which is why they always have the litter available. The best way to avoid falling for a dog with health and behavioral issues is to do thorough research about the breed.
A catch with this rather rare breed is there are no breed standards set for the Shepherd Chihuahua mix. Therefore, to buy a safe and healthy pet, you can only rely on a breeder’s reputation.
The Shepherd Chihuahua breed is relatively new and unpopular; therefore, only a few breeders produce the breed. You may have to wait long before finding a breeder producing this unique breed. However, we urge you to be thorough in your background checks. Ask the breeder for a parental history health test of the puppy, and look around the kennel for any sign of maltreatment before finalizing the breed. Typically, buying from a reputable breeder is expensive, but it comes with a guarantee of a healthy and well-behaved dog.
Yearly Maintenance Cost of Owning a German Shepherd Chihuahua Mix
Once you’ve brought your German Shepherd Chihuahua home, the next set of costs will be recurring maintenance expenses. Typically, the first-year costs of owning a dog are more than the consecutive years, including purchase price, spaying or neutering costs, and one-time expenses of crates and other dog essentials. Based on a general estimate, your yearly maintenance cost of owning a Shepherd Chihuahua mix can be around $1500 to $2000. For your reference, we have curated a table below comprising all initial costs of owning this unusual breed.
|Type of Expense||Cost|
|Food and Treats||$50 – $100|
|Food and Water Bowls||$10 – $30|
|Bed||$30 – $180|
|Crate||$30 – $370|
|Leashes and Collars||$15 – $50|
|Toys||$20 – $40|
|Grooming Essentials||$30 – $160|
|Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications||$50 – $200|
|Initial Vet Visits||$100 – $300|
|Initial Vaccine Shots||$75 – $200|
|Neutering or Spaying||$50 – $500|
|Dog License||$10 – $20|
|Microchip||$40 – $60|
|Miscellaneous Supplies||$15 – $30|
|Total Initial Cost||$525 – $2,240|
Are German Shepherd Chihuahuas Mix Kid and Pet-friendly?
German Shepherds Chihuahua mixes aren’t your best bet if you have small children. These dogs tend to be aggressive and generally don’t behave well around kids. However, the Shepherd Chihuahua mix can make a well-rounded family dog if properly trained and socialized from a young age. Additionally, these dogs won’t be a problem in houses with young children who respect boundaries well. However, adult supervision is always advised regardless of the dog’s breed.
Since both German Shepherds and Chihuahuas are fiercely loyal to their masters and love to bask in their attention, other pets may cause unwanted complications. This is especially true if your dog inherits the Chihuahua attitude. The Chihuahuas are one-person dogs and are extremely possessive of their owners.
Are You the One for This Breed?
Bringing home any dog is a big decision that takes a lot of reflecting on the financial, temperamental, and lifestyle aspects. The first is to analyze your limitations to make the best decision. Since the experience of owning a parent breed like the German Shepherd is worlds apart from owning a compact Chihuahua. In line with this, the hybrid also presents some unique challenges. The best strategy, then, is to analyze your lifestyle, availability for your dog, and financial aspects before purchasing this breed. To help you with this, we’ve listed some of the possible advantages and drawbacks of the breed.
Advantages of Owning the German Shepherd Chihuahua Mix
- Since Chihuahuas are some of the longest-living dog breeds, their hybrid also seems promising in this aspect. Besides the long-living genes, the hybrid vigor and variability of the genetic pool make them healthier than purebred dogs.
- One of the challenges of owning a German Shepherd is its large size and energy requirements, making it difficult for apartment dwellers to own. However, getting a Shepherd Chihuahua hybrid may solve this problem due to their small to medium size.
- Being a designer dog breed, breeding a German Shepherd Chihuahua is complicated. Therefore, the breed is rare, and not many people own them. This rarity only adds to their distinguishing appeal.
- Although chihuahuas tend to be independent when combined with the high trainability of a German Shepherd, the mixed breed also becomes a joy to train and live with.
Drawbacks of Owning the German Shepherd Chihuahua Mix
- One of the biggest concerns regarding mixed-breed dogs is their unpredictable nature. Determining the right size for the dog when it grows up is challenging as the sizes of its parent breeds lie on two extreme sides of the spectrum.
- Being a designer dog breed, prospective owners may find it difficult to find the breed as only a few breeders have a readily available litter.
- Despite being trainable dogs, German Shepherds and Chihuahuas are vocal dogs who remain reserved in the company of strangers. Therefore, to ensure good behavior in your dog, you may have to put in extra effort during training and socialization.
Can a German Shepherd and a Chihuahua mate?
Due to the size difference, mating between the Chihuahua and German Shepherd is only accidental. The mixed breed is typically produced through human assistance or artificial insemination.
Is the German Shepherd Chihuahua mix hypoallergenic?
No, the hybrid German Shepherd Chihuahua is not a hypoallergenic breed, as neither of the parents possesses the gene. Therefore, these dogs are not well suited for people allergic to dander and allergens found in dog fur.
Does a German Shepherd Chihuahua shed a lot?
German Shepherd Chihuahua mix shed only moderately. Therefore, they are pretty low-maintenance and can do well with weekly brushing.
What is the mix between a German Shepherd and Chihuahua called?
They are usually referred to as German Shepherd Chihuahua mix or Shepherdchihuahua.
Is the German Shepherd Chihuahua mix suitable for first-time owners?
This hybrid dog is not recommended for first-time owners as they require a lot of training and may get stubborn.
There couldn’t be two breeds further apart than the German Shepherd and the Chihuahua. Yet, when crossbred, the two dogs yield one of the most versatile dogs in the canine kingdom. So, if you’ve ever wished to own a German Shepherd but didn’t have the space and energy to keep up with a large breed, this crossbred variant could be the one for you! On the flip side, owning a Chihuahua is ideal for apartment dwellers, but these dogs tend to be stubborn and independent. However, the mixed variant deflects that problem by being a highly trainable breed.
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