Skip to Content

Owning A German Shepherd Greyhound Mix: What’s It Like?

Owning A German Shepherd Greyhound Mix: What’s It Like?

Sharing is caring!

Are you thinking about getting a new puppy? If you are up for a large dog and you do not care if it’s a mixed dog or a purebred, then you can take a look at the  German Shepherd Greyhound mix.

It is a very interesting combo of wits and speed. A Greyhound Shepherd, a German Greyhound, or a Shep-a-Grey are all nicknames of this crossbreed dog.

This could be your new best furry friend if you don’t mind their size! But just like most big dogs, they will act like big babies with you. A Greyhound Shep is a big dog with an even bigger heart and a need for cuddles.

If you are curious to find out more about this peculiar mixed dog, let’s go through some facts. We’ll learn all about their traits — physical and temperamental.

And at the bottom line — we’ll see what it’s like owning a Greyhound German Shepherd mix. Are these dogs high-maintenance or low, do they need a lot of daily exercise, or do they like to lounge on the sofa?

Let’s find out.

What Is A German Shepherd Greyhound Mix?

gsd greyhound mix
Photo from: @miaissac

Let us start with the obvious and absolute truth. This is a very cute dog! The cuteness comes from the two different breeds of dog that were used to make it.

When breeders mix two dogs, the mixed puppy is called a hybrid dog or a designer dog. New mixed-breed dogs will have traits of both parent dogs. So, any kind of traits the parent breeds have, their puppies will too.

But when it comes to this mixed dog, the outcome is not as predictable as in some other mixed dogs. This is because there is a big difference in the physical appearance of the dogs that were used as parents.

Both dogs that were used to make this mix are large dog breeds, and that is the only common physical trait they have. They were even bred for different purposes.

But that’s what is so amazing about their offspring. The uniqueness of the mix is what makes this dog so charming. You can only guess what kind of color or shape of ears they will have.

You’ll fall in love with a German Greyhound, even though there are some “downsides” to owning it. The word downside might be too harsh; a better choice would be to say the cons. Not a lot of cons, but still, it can make you think twice before deciding to bring this kind of dog to your home.

But, first… Who are the lovely parents of the Shepherd Hound?

Who Are The Parents?

Our mixed doggo has some amazing genes! They come from two beautiful and well-known dog breeds. Have you ever heard of the sleek and lightning-fast Greyhound? I’m sure you have.

And I am certain you have also heard of the strong and powerful-looking German Shepherd. These two breeds make the Greyhound Shepherd.

What made people cross these two purebred dogs? Were they looking to make a fast guard dog that can catch anyone and anything that dares enter the premises? Maybe.

But, in essence, they wanted to make a good family pet that could  also thrive in various jobs. In other words, they wanted a versatile dog that could  be used as both a family dog and a working dog. What kind of work?

The best way to answer this question is to find out more information about both parent dogs. By looking at the traits of the parents, we can see what kind of traits their offspring can inherit.

German Shepherd

german shepherd dog

Whether you are a dog lover or not, you must have heard of the German Shepherd dog. They are everywhere! And we are so happy that they are! The German Shepherd (or GSD for short) is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world.

They have been faithful companions to Police officers and soldiers, protecting their lives with their own. But they can do much more than that. German Shepherds are amazing at almost anything they do. And on top of all that — they are great pets, as well.

Whom should we thank for making such an amazing dog breed? It is Max von Stephanitz — an officer from Germany, that bred the original German Shepherd dog and set rules for this breed’s standards. These standards have been accepted by the AKC (American Kennel Club) as well.

They have been  one of the most (if not the most) popular German dog breeds for decades now. People love and respect this dog breed for its brilliance at any job it does . And it all comes from the fact this is an intelligent dog.

They are obedient, loyal, and calm. This is a perfect set of traits if you are looking for a dog that’s more than just a family pet. They will protect you and obey your commands. And then ask for some cuddles.

As you can see, the German Shepherd was originally bred as a herding dog breed. And, yes — they did an excellent job! They still do, although people don’t use the GSD for herding sheep as much as they used to.

But a lot of people all around the world choose this dog to be their guard dog. And it is the best dog for the job! Everyone will think twice about entering a yard when there is a German Shepherd dog guarding it.

Read More: 11 Best German Shepherd Breeders In Tennessee

Greyhound

white greyhound

This is another famous dog. And they are a very old dog breed as well. In fact, there were dog figures that resembled Greyhounds found all around the ancient Egyptian pyramids. That means that the Pharaohs used these dogs for hunting and as pets.

After the Pharaohs, aristocrats from various European countries used Greyhounds for hunting  all kinds of game. They knew this dog was the Flash of the dog world.

It was perfect for catching  fast animals like deer, antelopes in Africa, or small game like rabbits. Because they are large dogs, they can  hunt both small and big game — a dream combination for any hunter.

But they are sprinters, not marathon runners. That means they can run fast but for a short period. It’s similar to how Cheetahs can run. Greyhounds are fast but for short distances only. But don’t make a mistake and think they are hyperactive just because they can run fast!

Today, Greyhounds are wonderful family dogs. They are used as racing dogs, too. Dog races are still very popular, especially in Australia and the UK.

Greyhounds are actually low-energy dogs most of the day. They enjoy lounging on the sofa and sitting on your lap as if they were small dogs. That’s when the fat Greyhound problem shows up.

Both German Shepherds and Greyhounds are dogs registered by AKC. Their puppies — the mix we’re talking about, cannot be registered. Only purebred dogs can have such a status.

What Is The Appearance?

greyhound german shepherd mix
Photo from: @denahirliman

So, we have one muscular and large dog with pointy ears and a bushy tail and another one with a smooth coat and lean body. What do you get when you mix these two dogs?

There are a lot of possibilities. That is the case of mixed dogs — we cannot be sure what they will look like. Will they be more like one parent or another? Or will they be a perfect blend of both?

The best option to guess your Shephound’s appearance is to take a look at the parents. If you take an Isabella German Shepherd and a brindle-colored Greyhound and breed them to make a new Shephound puppy — the result is a doggo that looks stunning.

But the problem is we can’t know exactly what that doggo is going to look like. That is the case with the rest of the GSD-Greyhound mixes. The looks depend on the Greyhound coat color, German Shepherd coat length, and other traits of the dog’s parents.

We will talk about what are the most common physical traits the German Shepherd Greyhound mix puppy can inherit.

Head

The Greyhound and the German Shepherd dog breeds have very different head shapes. Their puppy can either have a long and narrow head coming from the greyhound side, or it can be broader and more massive, like a German Shepherd’s head shape.

Usually, the German Shepherd Greyhound mix puppies have a head that resembles the GSD. That means it’s a head shape that is more massive than a Greyhound’s. Their overall expression is intelligent and calm.

Eyes

Both parent dog breeds have dark eyes. As a matter of fact, the American Kennel Club prefers eyes as dark as possible when it comes to the German Shepherd dog breed. Some variations of dark brown color are normal.

The eyes can have a round shape or an almond shape, and they are medium size. The eyes make this mixed dog look bright, intelligent, and keen. Because of the look in their eyes, these dogs seem as if they know how and what to do for whatever task you give them. They have a smart doggo look.

Ears

Greyhounds are a dog breed that has rose ears. On the other hand, a German Shepherd dog has pointy ears. But German Shepherd puppies are not born with pointy ears. They look folded, and they go up on their own when the pup is about four to five weeks old.

What does this mean for our lovely mixed doggo? Well, it means that they can inherit two ear shapes. One is a rose ear shape, and the other one is erect ears.

There are no rules here. A puppy can inherit both types, and just like with the coat type, puppies born in the same litter can have different ear shapes. One puppy can have floppy ears that will go up later, or they can have a rose ear shape from birth.

Body

The body of the German Shepherd Greyhound mix dog usually looks like a fine blend of the purebred German Shepherd and the purebred Greyhound.

These puppies have muscular bodies with deep chests. They might not have as deep chests as a purebred Greyhound has, but they will have deeper chests than the German Shepherd. The German Greyhound puppies look strong and firm.

They usually don’t have sloped back like the German Shepherds. But they can inherit this trait as well. In general, a German Greyhound will be tall with long muscular legs and a muscular body. You can see in the way its body looks that it has both Greyhound and German Shepherd genes. There is no mistaking  that.

And because of their Greyhound genes, they can also be placed in a group of dogs that are among the tallest dog breeds in the world.

Coat Type

german greyhound
Photo from: @marinpetcarepros

Depending on the coat type of its parents, a Greyhound Shepherd can have either short fur or medium-length fur. Every Greyhound dog has a short coat type. But a German Shepherd can have a medium-length or long coat type.

Long-haired GSDs and medium or short-haired GSDs are the same dog breed. And they can both be used for crossbreeding and making Greyhound Shepherd puppies.

Just like with the eye color or coat color, the coat type is also unpredictable. Puppies can inherit both coat types, and there are no rules to predict which puppy will have what kind of coat.

Coat Color

If we think about the possible colors this mix puppy can have, we can assume at least one thing, and that is: it can inherit the famous German Shepherd “saddle”.

The color of their coats is what makes German Shepherds so recognizable. Of course, there are other things too, but the most common coat color we imagine when we think about GSDs are black and tan or black and red coat colors.

There is a 50% chance a new mixed Greyhound Shepherd will have this type of coat color and coat pattern. But that doesn’t mean all puppies in the same litter will have the same colored coat. Not at all. They can all have different colors.

The more colorful the dog parent is, the more colorful the pups will be. Not only that, but there will also be more possible variations of the same patterns and colors. So, think about all the possible colors a Greyhound can have and mix each of them with the usual black and tan color of the GSD.

We can make hundreds of different colors and patterns. That is the truth with every mixed dog breed, especially if it comes from two very different dog parent breeds.

Tail

The German Shepherd Greyhound mix puppy can inherit a thin and long, slightly curved tail from the  Greyhound parent, or it can inherit a bushy tail that falls in a very light upward curve. The rule is that the hairiness and shape of the tail depend on the coat type.

If the mixed puppy inherits a short coat type from the Greyhound, it will also have a “greyhound type” of tail. If they get the double coat or medium-length  coat from the German Shepherd — they’ll have a GSD type of tail.

Size

The average weight of these dogs is between 70 and 90 pounds. Their height is usually around 28 inches, but they can be taller or shorter than this.

The same goes for their weight — they can weigh less or more than their average weight. But they are a big type of dog, and they will need a lot of space. Of course, they can live in an apartment, but they will shine and thrive if they have more room to stretch their legs.

Shedding

Perhaps it is well-known that German Shepherd dogs shed a lot. After all, they do have a double coat that is medium-length. But what about Greyhounds? Do Greyhound dogs shed?

They do shed, but not as much as German Shepherds. If GSDs are heavy shedders, the Greyhounds are moderate shedding types of dogs. But that means that their mixed Greyhound Shepherd puppy will shed too.

There is no way to avoid this trait. They will shed, and they have average grooming requirements. The situation gets a bit more hectic when the shedding season arrives. But, if you brush your dog’s fur regularly and daily during the shedding season — you will be alright.

Outside the shedding season, this mixed dog breed will require brushing every few days to keep the fur healthy and clean. If your puppy inherits the same coat type as their German Shepherd parent, you can use German Shepherd brushes to groom your doggo.

What Is Their Temperament?

german shepherd greyhound mix standing on stairs
Photo from: @jennjen512

Our wonderful mixed doggo got the best from both dog parent breeds. And some of the “bad” traits too. Actually, there are no bad traits, just those that don’t go well with every dog owner.

Here are some temperamental traits to think about before you decide to get yourself a Greyhound Shepherd puppy.

Energy Level

The energy levels of a Greyhound Shepherd are not as high as some people might assume. Yes, this dog has active parent breeds, but they do not have extremely high energy levels. This mixed dog fits best into the medium-energy group of dogs.

They may not have big exercise requirements, but that doesn’t mean they are real couch potatoes. They will need more than just a walk to the park. If you want to keep this dog healthy and happy, they will need at least about thirty minutes of active playtime every day.

Even though they will be happy to sit with you on the sofa, they still need daily activities. Not only daily physical activities. They need to be mentally stimulated as well. Let’s not keep these doggies docile.

Give them something to do, to work on, or to play with. There are numerous ways to make their days more fun, even if you can’t be with them all the time. For example, you can try some interactive toys for dogs.

Training A Greyhound Shepherd

If we look at the German Shepherd Greyhound mix dog as a herder or a shepherd type of dog, then we won’t have a lot of problems training them. But if we look at it as a sighthound, we can have some problems during dog training.

This problem is related to their stubbornness. The Greyhound gene is the one to blame. Both dog parent breeds of our Shep-a-Grey are smart dogs, but Greyhounds tend to be stubborn. Or at least, they can be from time to time.

The stubbornness doesn’t mean they can’t learn a command or what to do or not do; it means they won’t do it. Because of this trait, their trainability can vary, and they might not be the best choice for a first-time dog owner. Or, if you are a first-time dog owner, hiring a dog trainer can be the best solution.

Adaptability

This is a good thing for the  German Shepherd Greyhound mix. They are quite adaptable — as long as you are with them and give them support and love. They can be great pets whether you live on a farm, in an apartment, or in a house.

They are smart dogs that adapt to changes quickly and won’t make a lot of fuss about it. But, of course, every dog needs a certain schedule to keep their doggy lives in order. The best option is to make a puppy schedule as soon as possible after you bring your new dog to your home.

The schedule makes the puppies feel secure, and a happy and safe puppy grows into a confident and well-tempered adult dog. Along with the puppy schedule, you can start with the socialization process too.

It’s never too early to teach your pup that other dogs and animals are not a threat, nor are the neighbors or a delivery man. If we teach our dogs from a young age how to behave, it will be easier to adjust their behavior (if needed) when they get older.

What Are Some Health Problems?

sad german shepherd greyhound mix dog
Photo from: @tcceinc

Just like any other dog in the world, no matter the lineage and origin, this one can also have some health issues. These health problems mostly come from the fact this is a large dog.

A lot of large dog breeds have certain health issues and conditions that are related to joints. They often develop these problems during the growing phase. The Greyhound Shepherd is a large type of dog, so let’s take a look at some common health issues or health concerns it can have.

Joint Problems

Two of the most common problems a Greyhound Shepherd can develop are elbow dysplasia and hip dysplasia. Both are joint health conditions that can heavily influence their everyday lives.

The first symptoms of both elbow and hip dysplasia start with a limp or pain in the affected joint. A dog will avoid using the leg that has a joint problem. If you notice your dog has started to avoid using one leg or it has difficulties going up and down the stairs — take him to the vet.

The vet can do x-rays and other diagnostic methods to confirm whether it’s elbow or hip dysplasia, and it can start with the proper treatment. The sooner we discover the disease, the better the treatment outcome is.

Degenerative Myelopathy

This is a serious health condition a dog can develop. It is still unknown what causes DM. But, the symptoms include:

  • Weakness of the back legs
  • Wobbliness of the back legs

Later, if the disease is not treated, the symptoms can worsen and include:

  • Incontinence
  • Weakness of the front legs
  • Barking problems
  • Swallowing problems

Some dogs have a rapid form of this disease where  the symptoms develop fast, while some dogs have a slow version of this genetic disease. If it’s the latter, the symptoms can take years to develop. In either case, there is no treatment for Degenerative Myelopathy.

Dental Problems

The German Shepherd Greyhound mix dog can have some teeth problems. The best way to prevent any dental problems is regular teeth brushing. You can use a dog toothbrush, or you can try a finger brush.

Whatever you use, the important thing is to clean the teeth and keep them shiny and healthy. Besides using a toothbrush, you can help your doggo by giving him kibble or dry dog food.

There is also an option to give your dog a bone treat to chew. That way, a dog can help himself, and you don’t have to spend a lot of time brushing his teeth.

If you notice your dog is drooling excessively or he is avoiding food — check the oral cavity. You can take your dog to the vet right away, of course. In fact, whether you find a tooth that is causing the problem or not, you will need to take your doggo to the vet for treatment.

You will get veterinary advice on what food to give your dog or even advice on some home remedies for drooling if there are no more serious underlying causes for the drool.

Bloat

This is a life-threatening health condition. It is common in large dogs, and it can happen without any warning. The bloat or GDV (Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus) is a condition in which the stomach fills with gas, liquid, or food causing it to stretch abnormally and twist around itself.

If your dog develops bloat, you will have to take it to the vet. That is the only option if you want to save your dog’s life.

But you can do your best and try to prevent it. To help prevent this serious health condition, you should divide your dog’s meals into two. This way, we avoid them overeating — one of the possible causes of bloat.

How Long Do They Live?

portrait of a german shepherd greyhound mix
Photo from: @tcceinc

When it comes to deciding the  average lifespan of a mixed dog breed, we should always look at the average lifespan of the dog breeds that were used in a crossbreeding program.

And, when we do take a look at the Greyhound and German Shepherd life expectancies, we can see that they are similar. Both dogs live to around the same age — thirteen years.

That can be expected from their mixed offspring — they usually live around thirteen years. The average lifespan depends on the genes, foremost. But there are other internal and external factors that can affect our doggo’s years of life.

The food we give our dogs is also very important. We should give high-quality food to our doggies. That doesn’t mean the most expensive dog food. It means the type of food that has a high percentage of proteins and a low percentage of carbohydrates.

The high-quality food also has an appropriate and daily recommended dose of vitamins and minerals important for a dog’s health. You can boost your dog’s immune system further by giving him some fresh veggies or fruits.

Just pay attention to giving  your dog veggies and fruits that are NOT toxic to dogs. For example, apples, bananas, brussels sprouts, pumpkins, etc.

Another important factor is the activity level of the dog. It depends on the dog’s breed, age, and health, but it should never be forgotten. All doggies love to play, and we have to be prepared to spare some time every day to play with them.

The Conclusion

To sum it all up — owning a German Shepherd Greyhound mix dog has its pros and cons. But that’s the same conclusion as owning any other dog breed or crossbreed. Every dog is unique and comes with its own set of traits.

Owning a Greyhound Shepherd means you will have to spend some time every day playing with your doggo or taking it out on a good run. If you want to keep your dog healthy and happy, it will require both mental and physical daily stimulation.

Play catch with your dog, go on a run, play some kind of physically more intense game, whatever you can do. It will all help.

Also, owning a Greyhound Shepherd means you will need to brush them every other day and every day during the shedding season.But, in return, you will get a brave, loyal, and affectionate dog that will stay by your side no matter where you go or what you do. They will be your best friends, and they sure will show how much they love you.