Skip to Content

German Shepherd Chow Chow Mix: Is This Crossbreed For You?

German Shepherd Chow Chow Mix: Is This Crossbreed For You?

Sharing is caring!

The combination of the Chow Chow and the German Shepherd makes the Chow Shepherd mix. Both the German Shepherd and the Chow Chow are widely loved dog breeds for their loyalty, intelligence, independence, and protective nature. The Chow Shepherd is intelligent, thanks to its parents.

Since both parent breeds are similar in personality and temperament, this pairing is a match made in heaven for the right owners. Usually, when it comes to mixed breeds, it can be quite challenging to predict what the personality is going to be for their offspring. However, with the German Shepherd Chow mix, the chances are you are going to hit the jackpot every time.

The German Shepherd Chow Chow mix isn’t the right dog for you if you are a first-time dog owner. This crossbreed can be too smart for their own good, and they require a steady, firm, and patient trainer. Also, keep in mind that these pups require a lot of exercise, and they are best suited for homes with large spaces or a back yard.

With that said, if you still want to own one of these mixed breed pooches, but you don’t exactly have the space for them, don’t be discouraged just yet. Our detailed look at this crossbreed will help you determine whether the Chow Shepherd is the right dog for you, and whether or not you should try to make it work!

The Chow Chow Shepherd: breed highlights

german shepherd chow chow mix

Photo from: @germanchowdog

German Chows are mixed breed or hybrid dogs. They are not purebred like their German Shepherd or Chow Chow parents.

The main colors of these designer dogs are cream, grey, red, fawn, brown, and black. In most cases, they come with a beautiful blend of two or more colors.

German Chows usually come with a long, dense coat, making them an unwise choice for people suffering from dog-related allergies. Regular daily brushing up to three times a day, and extra brushing during shedding seasons, may be needed.

These pups come with high energy levels. An hour of rigorous exercise every day is a good starting point to ensure that their energy levels are spent. Hiking, running, swimming, and other adventurous activities are strongly recommended.

The Chow Shepherd will be a great addition to a big family with older children who understand how to play nicely with canines. This dog probably won’t tolerate rough play from small kids unless it is exposed to it from an early age.

If your German Chow has had plenty of exposure to cats, small animals, and other dogs, and has been taught how to interact with them, it will be friendly toward other pets, too.

These designer dogs are highly trainable, and enjoy positive reinforcements. However, make sure to not leave them alone for long periods of time, as they tend to develop separation anxiety easily.

German Shepherd/Chow mix: parent breed history

German Shepherd and Chow Chow

A “designer dog” or “hybrid dog” is any mix between two purebred dogs. For any crossbreed to be classified as a hybrid, its parents would have to be bred pure for generations before being bred with another breed. A true purebred dog breed will have offspring that have the same temperament and characteristics as their parents.

One of the benefits of owning a purebred pooch with proper papers is that you will have a good estimate of how your puppy will turn out. When it comes to designer dogs, you don’t really have that luxury as hybrid dog puppies could take characteristics from either parent. But, we could argue that this is the only truly negative aspect of owning a designer dog, unless, of course, you care about coat color.

Hybrid dogs are much less likely to inherit health issues than their purebred parents, and this has proven to be a lifesaver for specific breeds, specifically, the German Shepherd breed because these dogs are prone to many diseases and health problems. Keep in mind that not all designer dogs have to be a fifty/fifty split between the parent breeds, as some crosses require a less even split.

Although the term “designer breed” may throw some people off, these dogs are not just purse pups! Hybrid dogs can also be medium, large, and even giant breeds!

German Shepherd overview

German Shepherd in forest

German Shepherds are one of, if not the most popular breed in the world due to their intelligence. These awesome canines have been used in many different TV shows, movies, and in many other ways, including as service dogs, therapy dogs, guide dogs, and military personnel.

These dogs require a lot of exercise to ensure that they are well behaved. Because they are a working breed, they are always looking for their next task. So, if you don’t keep their energy in check through daily activities, such as walks and playtime, the chances are that they will take out their high energy levels in other ways.

If you don’t provide them with the necessary mental stimulation, they might get bored and exhibit destructive behavior such as excessive barking, howling, or even aggression towards strangers.

But, if their physical and mental needs are fulfilled, these dogs are wonderful family pets. They are very protective, and they love children of all ages.

German Shepherds come in many different colors, most of which are accepted by kennel clubs around the world, including the American Kennel Club (AKC). Some of the most popular GSD colors are the following:

• Silver German Shepherd

• Sable German Shepherd

• Isabella German Shepherd

• Liver German Shepherd

• White German Shepherd

• Black German Shepherd

• Panda German Shepherd

These pups can also be albino and look absolutely gorgeous. The one downside of their luxurious double coat is that they are quite heavy shedders. This means you will need to keep removing dog hair every single day if you don’t want your home to be overrun by loose fur.

Chow Chow overview

red dog chow chow

Chow Chows are one of those breeds that make you want to go “Aww” just by looking at them! They are big, square canines with straight legs and a thick double coat. They will be incredibly hot in the summer, and they will enjoy themselves in wintertime. Their thick coats are notorious for shedding, and require regular de-shedding by using the appropriate tools to do so.

Both male and female Chows are well known for their hunting prowess, but they also make great cart pullers and excellent guard dogs. These pups are not what you would call social or outgoing, and they require a minimal amount of exercise despite their large size.

As with the other parent in the German Shepherd Chow Chow mix, you will need to socialize these pups early around strangers, or they might bark at them or even bite. Also, make sure you control their barking from puppyhood, as it is one of their favorite pastimes!

The Chow Chow breed is very intelligent, but these dogs can be stubborn during training. They require a lot of patience in order to be trained properly. This breed has a history of guarding livestock, so they will likely want to guard you and your family as well. Your training sessions should also consist of controlling their guarding behavior.

This breed comes in five standard American Kennel Club accepted colors, and they are:

• Black Chow Chow
• Blue Chow Chow
• Cinnamon Chow Chow
• Cream Chow Chow
• Red Chow Chow

If you aren’t an avid traveler, and you have a lot of space for these pups, the Chow Chow will be great for your family, provided you have no young children. Sadly, with a lifespan of around ten to twelve years, these pups don’t live very long compared to some other dog breeds like the Chihuahua or the Shih Tzu.

Chow Chow mix with German Shepherd: appearance and personality

Before we go deeper into the personality and appearance of the German Shepherd Chow Chow mix, here is a brief introduction to the breed:

Height19 to 26 inches tall
Weight60 to 95 pounds
Body TypeMedium to large; similar build to the Chow Chow
Facial FeaturesSimilar ears and muzzle to the German Shepherd
Coat type Long, thick, and fluffy. It is less likely to inherit the German Shepherd side than the fluffy Chow Chow appearance.
Coat colorRed, dark brown, black, light brown, tan, blue, or white.
Lifespanten to fifteen years
Family-orientedYes
Indoor PetNo. These pups require some outdoor space to keep themselves from becoming bored.
Excessive barkerNo

The appearance of these dogs pretty much depends on which parent gene becomes more dominant. Only a small portion of German Shepherd Chow Chow mix owners have pooches that resemble the look of a German Shepherd more than a Chow Chow.

Not only do these canines typically capture the bodily appearance of a Chow Chow, but they also have a curved tail that is not typical of the German Shepherd breed. However, this crossbreed is usually seen to inherit the pointy ears of its German Shepherd parent, along with a long muzzle and a black accent on its face. This makes the Chow Shepherd resemble the facial appearance of a lion or a bear.

The German Shepherd Chow Chow mix is a very quick learner, making it easily trainable even in puppyhood. The part of its personality that you should try to focus on during training is its stubbornness, which originates from the nature of its Chow Chow parent. Aside from that, obedience training should be your primary training method for this pup.

Unlike the stubborn Chow Chow breed, the Chow Shepherd finds great pleasure in exhausting itself with constant attention from its owner as well as long playtime sessions. Without any source or form of physical and mental stimulation, the Chow Shepherd can easily become bored, and may end up exhibiting destructive behavior or even aggression to release its restrained tensions.

Keep in mind that these dogs are prone to chasing things that run by them, so make sure they are always kept on a leash when you are out on a walk or during any other outdoor activity. The life expectancy of fifteen years is above average in the dogdom, but you can also prolong the time you have with your furry friend by taking it to the vet for vaccinations and providing it with nutritious dog food and a variety of whole foods.

How big can these dogs really get?

You can expect your Chow Chow German Shepherd mix to be a medium to large dog, standing at 22 to 26 inches (56 to 66 cm) tall, and weighing anywhere between 45 and 90 pounds (20 and 41 kg). However, some representatives of this mix can even reach a weight of a whopping 95 pounds (43 kg)!

Because this crossbreed is relatively new, you can’t be angry with us if you come across Chow Shepherds bigger or smaller than this. Determining how big a mixed puppy will get isn’t an exact science, but there are some clues that can help you make an educated guess.

German Shepherd and Chow Chow mix: grooming needs

chow chow shepherd

Photo from: @germanchowdog

A dog of this mix will need constant grooming for its coat. Since the dog is more likely to appear like its Chow Chow parent, its long dense coat can result in excessive shedding. However, even if the pup leans more on the German Shepherd side, when it comes to its coat, you will still have to battle loose fur around your household.

Because of this, you should brush your dog’s coat about two to three times a day. Having a vacuum with a HEPA filter will help you clean up the mess in your surroundings and filter out the allergens that come with dog hair.

Your German Shepherd Chow Chow mix won’t need frequent bathing, so you should shampoo it only when necessary. This means you should bathe your Chow Shepherd with shampoo products made for long coats either when it has flea or skin problems, or in cases when it starts to smell unpleasant.

Make sure to check your dog’s ears and trim your dog’s nails frequently or you will risk their large nails scratching up your furniture. It can also be quite uncomfortable for large dogs to have their nails scrape across hard surfaces. Although brushing its teeth isn’t necessary, it will be appreciated once your pup gets used to it.

German Shepherd Chow Chow mix: Health problems

chow chow shepherd sleeping

Photo from: @germanchowdog

Just like the Chow Chow and the German Shepherd, your Chow Shepherd is prone to the same vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities are the following:

• Hip Dysplasia

This is a genetic disorder that is common to many dog breeds in general, especially large and giant ones. Obesity and improper diet and nutrition can contribute to the development of elbow dysplasia as well as this condition. The hip joints of the Chow Shepherd deteriorate over time, which can lead to skeletal malformation.

• Flea allergy

This irritation can happen once fleas or ticks get into the coat of your pooch. The long, dense coat of the GSD Chow mix can provide the perfect, warm atmosphere for the tricky little pests to breed and take care of their eggs.

• Bloating

Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV), or bloat, as it is more commonly referred to is the result of gas filling up the stomach of your pooch. As the stomach expands, the blood vessels and diaphragm get squished, which can cause heart and breathing difficulties for the dog.

• Eye problems

Chronic superficial keratitis, or Pannus, is a common eye condition with the GSD breed. If left untreated, it can lead to blindness. It usually occurs in middle-aged or senior dogs at the age of seven to nine years and above.

• Heart problems

Vital signs of heart problems that you should be wary of are behavioral changes, weight and diet changes, breathing problems, abdomen swelling, and overall weakness. There are a number of ways for a dog to catch a heart problem, but knowing what symptoms to look for will help you discover the ailment as early as possible.

Your Chow Chow German Shepherd mix will not necessarily have any or all of the health issues or illnesses that were specifically pointed out. Nevertheless, the health problems and illnesses can still be inherited by the offspring from the genes of both parent dog breeds.

German Shepherd Chow mix dog: food requirements

cute chow chow shepherd looking up

Photo from: @sophie_beynon

A proper diet is essential for any dog’s health, especially for your German Shepherd Chow Chow mix. Healthy supplements such as fish oil, omega three fatty acids, fish oil, and glucosamine should help in preventing or reducing hip dysplasia problems.

According to the American Feed Control Officials, German Shepherd Chow mix puppies should eat protein at about twenty-two percent. On the other hand, adult dogs of this mix should consume only eighteen percent of protein. Protein from whole meats including chicken, fish, and beef are recommended in your dog’s diet.

Here is a list of recommended food for your new mixed breed pup:

1. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Natural Adult Dry Dog Food – this product features the following ingredients: chicken meal, menhaden fish meal, pea derivatives, salmon, carrots, sweet potatoes, parsley, and blueberries. It is packed with protein, and it is grain free.

2. Solid Gold High Protein with Duck Dry Dog Food – the following ingredients are found in this dog food: turkey meal, chicken meal, duck, whitefish meal, peas and chickpeas, egg protein, sesame oil, and almond oil. This food is also grain free, with a hundred percent satisfaction guarantee from the manufacturer.

3. Crave Grain Free With Protein From Salmon and Ocean Fish Dry Adult Dog Food – This dog kibble contains several sources of animal protein, and healthy fat sources. As the name suggests, it is grain free, and the ingredients include chicken meal, menhaden fish meal, lamb meal, salmon, split peas, chickpeas, sunflower oil, and dried potatoes.

4. Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Original Turkey & Chicken Dry Dog Food – This dog food is filled with proteins and nutrients without containing wheat sources. The ingredients include turkey meal, chicken meal, chicken fats, turkey, chicken liver, peas, potatoes, and salmon oil.

Your Chow Shepherd should have a balanced diet just like any other big dog. Too much protein means that your dog is getting too many calories, which may result in too much weight. Makes sense, right?

If you want to obtain the best food for your four-legged companion, here is a little guide for you. Don’t give your pooch dog food that can be detrimental to its health, such as the cheapest dog food you come across.

Look for the best dry dog food products like the ones we mentioned above. Middle-aged and senior dogs might have specific nutritional requirements, and you should search for their kibble in the best senior dry dog food category.

Additionally, if you notice your dog lacking the necessary vitamins, minerals, or antioxidants for its daily activities, you can opt to supplement its diet with some human foods. Now, you might be thinking that the stuff we eat isn’t healthy for our canine companions, and can even be hazardous to them. And, you are right in most cases.

However, there are certain foods commonly found on our tables that are not only safe for our furry friends, but beneficial to them as well. Here are some foods that humans eat which can be added to your dog’s dish from time to time:

• Artichokes

• Basil

• Scallops

• Fish sticks

• Tuna

• Cilantro

This should go without saying, but you should never force your pooch to eat anything it doesn’t like. Always start by giving it small amounts of food you want to introduce to its meal and see how your dog reacts.

Also, some of our furry besties might be allergic to certain foods, so make sure you are on top of your dog’s allergies at all times. Lastly, always consult your vet before making any changes to your dog’s diet and introducing any new food to its dish.

Chow Chow German Shepherd dog mix: exercise requirements

gsd chow chow mix

Photo from: @chrissyandbjorn

Both parent breeds are dogs with high levels of intellect and energy. So, you can expect the same from their offspring. Hence, your Chow Chow Shepherd mix will need a healthy dose of daily exercise in both the physical and mental departments to stay on the right track of things.

Due to their high intelligence levels, these dogs can easily become bored when they remain inside the house for long periods of time or aren’t doing anything stimulating. Aside from doing various activities with your new pooch, including hiking, jogging, cycling, and running… training can also be a way of stimulation since German Chows enjoy pleasing their owners.

Here are some activities you should do with your Chow Shepherd to prevent it from becoming bored:

• Swimming – Swimming is not only a fun activity for both you and your pooch, but it also burns a lot of energy from the dog. Unlike other outdoor activities like hiking, walking, jogging, or running around at the dog park, swimming also does not cause strain on the pup’s joints since it is a low-impact activity.

• Socialization – The German Shepherd Chow Chow mix is a friendly dog to people and strangers, but it is equally important for it to recognize other canines and behave the same way towards them, too. Generally speaking, dogs are curious animals by nature, but you can keep this curiosity in check by teaching your pooch how to be around and respect other dogs. Your German Chow will eventually develop new social skills.

• Scenting or tracking games – This specific type of activity is important for the dog’s mental enrichment. German Shepherds are considered tracking dogs that love to hunt things, so you can expect your Chow Shepherd to exhibit similar behavior. Try to include games such as finding the treat, hide and seek, and find the toy in your dog’s everyday activities.

• Obedience training – There are several ways to train your pooch, but it all comes down to giving it commands and having it follow your orders. Keep in mind, though, that any form of training should keep your pup physically and mentally challenged, and also exhausted.

GSD Chow Chow mix: training

german shepherd chow mix

Photo from: @chrissyandbjorn

Training your Chow Chow GSD mix should begin the minute you bring it home. The Chow parent side of the mix is known to be independent due to its stubborn nature, so you can expect one of these pups to choose not to obey you when you tell them to do something.

However, training a Chow Shepherd shouldn’t be too difficult since it inherits the genes of its GSD parent, which is known for its loyalty, obedience, and intelligence. Here are some training methods that could help you during the training sessions:

• Puppy training – The essential part of training your Chow Shepherd as a puppy is giving it your time and company. This will teach your pooch the value of your bond with it, and it will also make it understand that you are the alpha in the relationship. Let your German Chow play with toys that you provide so that it learns that being around you is a rewarding experience.

• Positive reinforcement – Rewarding your GSD Chow Chow mix while teaching it commands can go a long way to forming a healthy relationship with you. Make sure you give your pup a reward, such as a toy or a treat whenever it successfully performs a task that you give it. On the other hand, make sure to not reward it when it doesn’t react correctly to your command.

• Socialization – A dog of this crossbreed needs to be taught how to behave properly around both animals and humans. If you plan on having this dog while your kids are still young, then the best thing to do is to introduce them to each other as early as possible. This way, your dog will learn how to tolerate your children and feel more comfortable around them.

Chow Chow German Shepherd mix and families

german chow staring

Photo from: @chrissyandbjorn

Your German Shepherd Chow Chow mix can be an excellent family dog. They are playful and affectionate towards all members of the family, and are also easy for anyone to get along with.

Although, the latter one might depend on whether the person is introduced to the dog properly and not spontaneously. But, in general, a Chow Shepherd is a peaceful dog that barks less than its

German Shepherd parent unless provoked or neglected of attention.

Some of the traits that make these dogs great family pets are protectiveness, loyalty, and affection. They also make perfect watchdogs! When faced with a stranger or someone outside of their pack, these pups become wary, and can show intimidation as a warning sign to people they deem a threat.

When it comes to the pups’ living space, an ideal family household for this mixed breed dog should have a back yard. Keep in mind that this is not just an energetic pooch, but also a large breed in size. Small spaces, such as apartments or small houses without a back yard may not be the ideal place for the Chow Shepherd’s health and overall wellbeing.

Your family does not necessarily need to have an energetic stance towards the dog since it can be quite stubborn, but you should still set aside daily activities that include your pooch in their routine.

German Shepherd Chow mix puppies: breeders and price

german chow

Photo from: @matzoballpup

Be sure to do a background check on all breeders that you are interested in, and ask them for their papers. Try to get health clearances, especially for hip and elbow dysplasia, because if it runs in the family, you can be better prepared if it occurs. Try to find a breeder who specializes in mixed breeds because there is a different science behind it than breeding two purebred dogs together.

Be prepared to pay a lot more due to the size of the crossbreed. Even though they aren’t that rare to find, they do require a lot of upkeep, and therefore, come with a high price tag. The average price for a German Shepherd Chow Chow mix puppy is $800 to $1000.

The price will depend on the puppy’s pedigree and the buyer’s location as well as any possible hereditary problems, such as elbow or hip dysplasia. Adopting an older dog is usually a more affordable option, but it can be quite difficult to find one of these designer dogs in a shelter.

Buying older puppies is another cheaper alternative, but once again, older Chow Shepherds are difficult to find.

How much does it cost to raise a German Chow?

For daily supplies such as toys, grooming, food, a bed, a crate, and more, you can expect to pay between $920 and $1000 a year. For medical expenses, you will probably have to pay around $485 to $600 yearly for your German Shepherd Chow Chow mix.

​Your veterinary, medical, and non-medical expenses for a dog of this breed will add up to around $1400 to $1600 a year. These figures do not include the initial cost of buying the puppy.

How much do Chow Chows cost?

A chow chow lying on a stone in the woods

The average price for one of these lion dogs from reputable breeders falls between $800 and $1200. The price can even reach $4000 if the puppy that caught your eye comes from a champion bloodline and has won dog shows due to its superior quality.

For the first year, the expenses of raising a Chow Chow fall in the $2,300 to $8,700 range. Each year after your Chow’s puppy year should cost you around $750 to $3,115.

How much do German Shepherds cost?

Beautiful german shepherd dog in park

One of these herding dogs will probably cost you between $450 and $1,900, with the average price being $800. This, of course, depends on the puppy’s pedigree, the buyer’s and the breeder’s location, the current supply and demand, and even the coat color.

For the first-year expenses, you should plan to set aside around $3,820, and each subsequent year should be around $1,770.

Should you get a dog of this breed?

german chow chow

Photo from: @matzoballpup

We hope that our German Shepherd Chow Chow mix guide has helped you decide whether or not this mixed breed pooch is the right choice for you and your family. However, if you are still undecided, here are the main pros and cons of the breed.

Three reasons why you shouldn’t get a Chow Shepherd

• These pups are easily prone to boredom – Similar to their GSD parents, the German Chow requires constant stimulation due to its energetic and intelligent nature. It is not just boredom that you have to worry about, but your pooch might also experience health problems if it is not engaged in physical or mental activities.

• They can display destructive behavior if left unchecked – These are active dogs that need an owner with a somewhat active lifestyle in order for them to channel their pent-up energy. Without a proper routine, your German Shepherd Chow Chow mix may develop destructive behavior that can cause severe injuries to its surroundings.

• Chow Shepherds can act stubborn at times – This behavior is mostly attributed to the Chow Chow side of the mix as it is witnessed by Chow Chow owners. They might even develop aggressive behavior if not given proper socialization with other dogs and humans.

Three reasons why you should get a Chow Shepherd

• These pups can be quite independent – Your German Chow is able to entertain itself for hours when left alone. However, this doesn’t mean that the pup should be neglected of attention. After all, your Chow Shepherd will enjoy nothing more than doing simple bonding activities with you, such as walking or cuddling.

• They are protective and loyal – Both parent breeds of this crossbreed are family-oriented dogs. Your pup will be able to get along with all family members equally, and it will obey their commands as if they were given by you. Also, the German Shepherd breed is known to be trustworthy with children.

• They are extremely intelligent – Since both Chow Chows and GSDs are smart animals, their offspring will likely inherit far more superior combined intelligence. Remember to take advantage of your pup’s intelligence during training in order to make the stubborn nature of its personality easier to handle.

Final thoughts

The German Shepherd Chow Chow mix is an incredibly loyal, protective, and affectionate companion for the right family. We can’t stress enough that you will need to commit to training them out of their stubborn streak, but once you succeed, your German Chow will be a great listener and friend to all of your family members, even small children.

Remember that these pups need plenty of both physical and mental stimulation, and they will get bored if they don’t get enough of it. If you are a busy professional, or you travel a lot, we would advise against getting this breed as they will most likely develop behavioral issues.

However, if you can afford to take time out of your day to love this pooch, then it will be your friend for life.