Here is an interesting mix of two magnificent and dominant dog breeds. Both Great Dane and German Shepherd enthusiasts will enjoy having this tall canine in their home, as it is a great companion, and yet a perfect watchdog.
The Great Dane German Shepherd mix is a playful and extremely active dog that requires plenty of space. This dog breed is definitely not for everyone, as it requires a well-established daily routine.
If you’re into sports or long hikes – this great mix will be more than happy to join you! This canine loves being engaged in all sorts of activities. In fact, all kinds of sports are more than welcome.
On the other hand, this dog mix will perfectly fit into your house once it is properly socialized. Great Dane German Shepherds are good family dogs that will do anything to please their owners.
Let’s meet this canine closely!
What Is A Great Dane German Shepherd Mix?
The Great Dane German Shepherd mix is a crossbreed between two AKC-recognized breeds – a Great Dane and a German Shepherd.
This is a large dog breed, coming from one of the tallest dog breeds in the world – Great Danes.
The combination of these two dominant breeds makes a perfect watchdog, but also a great family dog. The GS Great Dane mix has a high adaptability level and it is great with children.
This means that the dog can be an excellent indoor pet, but at the same time it enjoys being outside.
Even though this breed is naturally protective, considering its guard dog instinct, the Great Dane German Shepherd mix is also a life companion that loves spending time with its owners.
However, this dog breed is quite high-maintenance. This is because the dog has a high energy level and requires at least two hours of exercise a day. The best way to keep your Great Dane GSD mix happy is if you take it out on a regular basis.
This means at least two times a day, with extra playtime in the house. Yep. This dog is not for everyone. So, if you have an overwhelming schedule and you’re not quite sure if you can spend as much time with this dog as needed – you should probably go for a less demanding dog breed.
However, having a Great Dane German Shepherd mix as a pet means you will get a lifetime companion that will always stick by your side. These dogs are affectionate and loyal, and their friendship with an owner means everything to them.
Meet Great Dane German Shepherd Mix Parents
We can’t talk about a Great Dane German Shepherd mix without talking about its parent breeds first. In order to get to know this magnificent crossbreed better, we need to make sure we know everything related to Great Danes and German Shepherds.
Both of these pure breeds belong to the large-size dog club. The first one is often referred to as a gentle giant, which kind of makes sense, considering its enormous size.
On the other hand, the German Shepherd breed is known to be one of the healthiest dog breeds in the world. Other than that – these canines are quite intelligent, and they make excellent watchdogs.
Both of these dogs are dominant, task-oriented, and highly trainable. There is a good possibility that their offspring will have these exact traits.
Now, let’s meet each of these parent breeds individually!
The Great Dane dog breed comes from – you won’t believe it – Germany! That’s right! I’m not quite sure where its name comes from, but the truth is – nobody knows! The Great Dane, or, as it is called in Germany – the German Dog, was initially bred in the 1800s.
The breed was used in the cavalry as a military dog and a service dog. The initial goal of breeders was to design a reliable dog that is task-oriented, but that also has good stamina and a good physique.
The late 1800s is the period of time this magnificent puppy came to the AKC stage! In 1887, to be exact!
This dog reaches up to 34 inches in height and its weight revolves around 100 to 180 pounds. This is a big dog. One of the things that makes a Great Dane such a magnificent dog breed is the fact that they are extremely strong and athletic, but at the same time, they are so affectionate and tolerant.
Great Danes are excellent with kids. In fact, they can serve as fantastic nannies, as they are intelligent and intuitive.
This purebred parent has a lifespan of 8 to 10 years, which is not as long as in other large breeds. The reason for this is the fact that Great Danes commonly suffer from cancers, heart diseases and stomach torsions. That’s why keeping this dog healthy is key.
Regular vet check-ups, as well as taking care of the Great Dane’s feeding chart are essential when you own this dog breed.
The other dog parent of this mixed breed is the well-known German Shepherd. This is probably one of the most popular dogs in the world, alongside Labrador Retrievers. There are numerous German Shepherd breeders all over the United States, but also all over the world.
This puppy was recognized by the AKC in 1908. Its height is between 24 and 26 inches, while it weighs around 65 to 90 pounds. It originally comes in a black and brown double-coat. However, there are white, and black German Shepherds, too.
This is a family dog with great watchdog traits. The German Shepherd dog breed is great with kids, even though this breed was initially used as a military and police dog.
Even today we can see numerous K9 German Shepherds that perform law enforcement duties.
German Shepherds can display destructive behavior if not properly socialized from an early age.
They require early obedience training and a lot of positive reinforcement. German Shepherds need some time to adapt to a new environment, but once it gets there – you will have a good, reliable companion dog.
Just like the Great Dane parent, GSD puppies require a lot of exercise during the day. At least 60 to 90 minutes of exercise on a daily basis is needed to keep your puppy happy.
Even though German Shepherds are naturally healthy and athletic, they need to be subjected to regular vet exams. Gastric Dilatation Volvulus and hip dysplasia are not that rare in a German Shepherd dog.
A Little Walk Through The Great Dane German Shepherd Mix History
The German Shepherd Great Dane Mix’s origin is unknown. However, there are two main reasons for crossbreeding German Shepherds with Great Danes.
The first is to design a good watchdog. Both GS Dane parents have a tradition of being outstanding dogs in regard to protection, military service, or prey-hunting! They are almost always on alert, and they have outstanding intuition.
This crossbreed has an elongated body, long legs, and a muscular body physique, which creates an intimidating sight for predators and enemies. This dog is fearless and shows no reluctance when it comes to protecting an owner, or a house.
Both dog parents are known to be among the aggressive dog breeds.
The other reason why Great Dane German Shepherd Mixes have come into existence is breeders’ eagerness to design a good companion dog. This puppy has great trainability potential.
Early trained puppies are so obedient that they don’t need a leash or a collar most of the time. This is a high-quality dog, perfect for families that love spending time outdoors.
Great Dane German Shepherd Mix – Physical Appearance
The GS Great Dane mix generally has a short to medium-length coat. A good part of their look depends on the parent breed. For instance, if a GS Dane comes as a result of crossbreeding a Great Dane with a Short-Haired German Shepherd – the chances are that their offspring will be short-haired, too.
This large dog breed is outstanding and among the tallest dogs in the world. It has a long, black muzzle. Its body is muscular, thick, and elongated. The Great Dane Shepherd has excellent athletic potential, as it has long legs and great stamina.
These dogs are agile, which makes them perfect for sporting activities, such as running, hiking, swimming, or hunting.
The GS Dane Mix has an intimidating look at first, which was originally the breeders’ goal. This is a guard dog that shows no fear, but at the same time, Great Dane Shepherds make excellent family dogs.
If you want to know how big this dog is going to be, take a look at the German Shepherd’s and the Great Dane’s growth charts first.
Generally, these puppies are 28 to 30 inches tall. On the other hand, their weight starts at 65 pounds, but they can reach up to 130 pounds.
Even though this is an athletic, large breed – it still requires regular veterinarian check-ups. This is due to potential diseases this dog may have, including heart problems, cancers, and stomach problems.
The Great Dane parent is not as healthy as other large dog breeds and the chances that this crossbreed will have the same health risks are pretty high.
What you can do for your dog is supervise its growth chart and make sure it gets a well-organized feeding chart. Overfeeding this dog breed doesn’t do any good.
This mixed puppy is a large dog that requires a lot of activity during the day. Make sure you take out your dog on a regular basis. Otherwise, the Great Dane German Shepherd Mix will display destructive behavior and, possibly – aggressiveness.
There are several coat color variants for this puppy. The most popular are merle, black, brown, gray, brindle, and blue. Generally, this plethora of colors belongs to the Great Dane parent breed. There are numerous Great Dane breeders that sell this dog in more than six color variants.
On the other hand, what you can see in the GSD is their black and tan trademark. This is the most popular coloring in GS puppies, but this dog comes in other variants, too.
It is up to a future owner to decide which of these colors suits him/her the most. However, each of these coat types gives an elegant, gentleman-like look to your dog. If you want to keep it that way, make sure your new pet gets a weekly brush.
However, make sure you don’t over-bathe your puppy, as it can strip its hair of natural oil.
A Shedder, Or Not – That Is The Question!
Even though this puppy has a short to medium length coat, it’s still a moderate shedder. There are great brushes for Great Danes on the market that you can apply to your Great Dane German Shepherd mix.
Its short coat leaves trails all over the house, so make sure your puppy gets a dog bed from the start. This way you will get your pet used to one sleeping spot and reduce the possibility of finding its hairs all over the place.
Weekly grooming is recommended for this hybrid dog.
A monthly bath is often enough. However, cleaning a puppy’s paws on a regular basis is mandatory, as this dog spends a lot of time outside of the house.
Make sure your puppy undergoes vet exams in order to determine whether or not it is allergic to some substances. The allergy is a common phenomenon for many canines, among which this hybrid dog comes at the top of the list.
Also, avoid dusty areas, such as beaches, sandy places, or deserts. If your dog has an allergy, dust can trigger severe symptoms that require an immediate vet reaction.
The Great Dane German Shepherd Temperament
Generally, these dogs have a great temperament. They are naturally protective, affectionate, and loyal to their owners. On the other hand, the Dane GSD makes a perfect companion in all kinds of situations.
This dog has a high level of adaptation, and it can be adapted to indoor family life. Its nature is generally calm, even though a puppy requires tons of exercise. The important thing is to implement early obedience and socialization training.
Trained puppies are excellent service dogs, nannies, and working dogs, too.
You won’t probably ever ask yourself: ‘‘Why is my dog acting weird all of a sudden?’’ as a Great Dane Shepherd owner. The dog is always composed and self-collected.
In some cases, this breed can show self-destructive behavior and aggression. These are, however, rare moments in which the dog wants to defend itself, or its owner. The aggression is directed at predators and enemies in ninety percent of the cases.
Its size and intimidating look negatively correlate with the fact that Great Dane Shepherds have a high level of tolerance and a great way with small children.
Dog training is an important part of a Great Dane Shepherd’s life. The reason why these dogs are so calm indoors is the fact that they burn out their energy during the day. They need exercise in order to preserve their muscular and athletic body.
Furthermore, the fact that these dogs are intelligent is a bonus in their training process. Their dog parents, German Shepherds, are known to be one of the easiest dog breeds to potty train. The same goes for this hybrid dog.
Reputable breeders and experienced dog behaviorists will tell you that the key to an obedient and well-behaved dog is early obedience training.
Start training your dog as soon as it enters your house.
Generally, puppies are sold to a new owner at six to eight weeks of age. Mental stimulation is quite important in this regard. These canines need to be constantly stimulated in order to develop their mental skills.
On the other hand – obedience training is needed. If you don’t want your dog to become badly mannered, implement this type of training!
Healthy snacks and dog food might come in handy!
Both of its dog parents are known for their outstanding trainability and excellent performance in the military and police services.
Even though both parents come from the club of aggressive dog breeds – the implementation of early socialization training makes them desirable among dog owners. This hybrid dog’s excellent trainability is the reason why the breed shows outstanding family traits.
Most certainly – this dog needs to be socialized from the early puppyhood stage! Otherwise, you might face occasional aggression and self-destruction.
Lacking socialization, when combined with an inadequate daily routine, can result in major disobedience. Socializing an aggressive dog breed is not always easy. It generally requires a lot of patience, time, and commitment.
However, it is doable, and pretty joyful once you get started!
This crossbreed is probably not the best option for first-time dog owners. If you are, however, a Great Dane Shepherd enthusiast – use help from experienced dog breeders and dog behaviorists. This is a large dog that has a strong, pack-leader character.
Dog parks, hikes, or simple walks in the city will be just fine for this hybrid dog. They love wandering around and searching for new ways of entertainment.
Moderate walks will also help them digest the dog food easily.
All these are situations in which you can train your puppy in socialization. The Great Dane Shepherd Mix is a pretty interactive dog, and it loves being engaged in mental-stimulation activities.
Acting Around Children
All Great Dane mixes, such as Great Bernards, Doberdanes, or Great Mastiffs are excellent family dogs. The benefit of having this particular dog breed is that it gets along with small children as well.
Dane Shepherds have a pretty high level of tolerance, which is needed in a dog if you have small kids in the house.
They won’t have a problem with being pulled by their tail or being mounted by a kid. They simply love spending time with all family members, as they develop a strong bond with their owners.
Naturally, the Great Dane German Shepherd Mix sees itself as a superhero around small, vulnerable kids. This is a great service dog and a nanny, too. If you seek a dog that will do anything to protect you or your family members – this is probably one of the best!
However, make sure your dog is socialized and properly trained in obedience from puppyhood. This is the key to good, well-mannered behavior. Every dog needs proper guidance, as they act as pack members.
Otherwise, they lack obedience and become stubborn. A dog’s intelligence positively correlates with its level of stubbornness. The more intelligent the dog, the more stubborn it is.
However, this particular dog is naturally devoted to its owners, which is a benefit and a good starting position for obedience training.
Is This Dog Breed Aggressive?
Both Great Danes and German Shepherds are aggressive dog breeds by default. The same goes for the Great Dane GSD mix, too. These canines need a lot of dog training in order to become socialized, obedient, and well-mannered.
Their natural prey drive and aggression were exploited by military officers and policemen, as they were used for law enforcement and search-and-rescue purposes. On the other hand, the dog has been used as a watchdog for the protection of properties.
Despite the fact that this breed is naturally aggressive, this is still a great family dog. It is loyal, affectionate, and devoted to an owner.
The important thing is to learn how to train your dog. The implementation of obedience and socialization techniques are crucial for a puppy’s good manners in the future.
Also, make sure your dog adapts to new things slowly. The process of adaptation can be painful at times, as dogs have a natural affinity to routine. Great Dane Shepherds can go through anxiety, which can result in undesirable behavior.
Showing aggression towards unknown people can be a sign your dog lacks social skills. If you can’t manage to fix this problem – contact a reliable dog behaviorist.
The Watchdog Vs Family Dog dilemma?
This is a never-ending dilemma for many inexperienced dog owners. However, you need to know that this dog breed is both a good watchdog and a good family dog.
If you’re not ready to have a dog with a strong character – don’t buy the Great Dane Shepherd. These dogs are naturally protective towards their owners. They express their concern by barking. The usage of anti-dog barking devices sometimes can be a good option.
Being a watchdog is one of the main reasons why breeders decided to cross the German Shepherd breed with the Great Dane. Its muscular physique and excellent agility contribute to a dog’s readiness to attack potential enemies and predators.
This dog breed is fearless and not at all shy! Great Shepherds don’t hesitate to alarm owners if they feel endangered. They will do anything to protect their family and their home.
On the other hand, Great Dane German Shepherd Mixes have a special place in their hearts for all family members. They adapt pretty easily and once the bond is created – it lasts a lifetime.
If you’re afraid that your puppy might hurt you, or someone in your family – be at ease. Properly trained and socialized Dane Shepherds will never hurt anyone.
Even though they may look intimidating, these gentle giants are excellent family dogs that show gratitude for being part of your family. Cuddling and snuggling is their hidden weapon!
Great Dane German Shepherd Mix Health Issues
Now we come to a not-so-good part of the story. Health concerns are, unfortunately, not an avoidable topic in a GS Great Dane Mixes’ life.
Even though German Shepherds are one of the healthiest dog breeds in the world – Great Danes are not. They face many health problems, such as hip dysplasia, bloat, allergies, heart problems, cancer, and stomach torsion.
There is a good possibility that a Great Dane German Shepherd Mix will also be susceptible to some of these diseases, especially those puppies that share a better part of their bloodline with Great Danes.
If you have just purchased your Great Dane Shepherd and you notice that your dog doesn’t have a normal puppy belly – go straight to a vet. Also, any other unusual behavior in a dog, such as lethargy, losing or gaining weight, disinterest in any sort of activity, or excessive sleeping, is cause for a vet examination.
Acting timely is always key when it comes to your puppy’s health.
Hip Dysplasia in dogs is a common phenomenon for these puppies. It is usually related to large dog breeds, which means both German Shepherds and Great Danes are prone to it.
Hip dysplasia is manifested in a hip irregularity, which causes a bunny walk, and an inability to run, jump, or even walk properly.
This is a hereditary issue that happens as a result of genetics.
Try to choose the most reputable breeder for your Great Dane Shepherd. Reputable breeders will never sell you a puppy with hip dysplasia. If, by chance, they do – you can refer to a warranty they will provide in 99 percent of cases.
This is not a fatal issue, but it creates more problems than it solves. Puppies that suffer from hip dysplasia are disabled from doing regular activities. This is a huge deal for Great Dane Shepherds, as they are an extremely playful dog breed.
Being unable to perform their regular activities can result in frustration, self-destructive behavior and, possibly – aggression.
This issue is curable, mostly by surgery.
Gastric Dilatation Volvulus in dogs is another name for bloat. Bloating is a phenomenon that relates to large dogs more than to small ones.
Dogs that have a deep chest are probably more prone to this issue.
This issue can be fatal if not treated timely.
Bloat (GDV) represents the stomach being filled with gas, water, or food. This happens due to inappropriate feeding habits, such as big meals, junk food, or voracious eating.
One of the most important jobs of Great Dane Shepherd owners is to provide a good, well-organized feeding chart for their puppies. Always choose the appropriate food that contains proportional amounts of protein, healthy fats, and unprocessed carbs.
Avoid the shady dog food brands on the market, as well as junk food. Use healthy snacks only during socialization, or obedience training.
Bloat can be a deadly condition if you don’t act on time. In order to prevent this health issue from happening – consult a vet about the appropriate dog food, avoid large meals, make sure your dog has regular exercise, and position the feeding bowl in a way that suits your puppy the most.
Another common health issue for Great Dane GSDs are heart problems. Heart problems are common for Great Danes, too. This is one of the reasons why Great Danes’ lifespan is not as long as in other large dog breeds.
Dogs that have a tendency of developing heart disease need to have a well-planned daily routine. Their owners need to establish a perfect feeding chart that contains only the best dog food ingredients.
Overfeeding a dog with heart problems can be fatal. High levels of blood sugar positively correlate with the possibility of developing heart failure.
If you notice any unusual behavior in your dog, such as lethargy, sticking their tongue out, excessive breathing, or sudden changes in body temperature – make sure you visit a vet as soon as possible.
Heart problems are one of the major diseases in Great Danes, and its offspring, the Great Dane Shepherd, has a good possibility of catching this unfortunate problem, too.
Unfortunately, this hybrid dog is sometimes prone to various types of cancer, such as melanoma, lymphoma, mast cell tumors, osteosarcoma, or lung cancer.
If you notice any sort of irregularity on your dog, such as crusty scabs on a dog’s back, legs, or tail, or other symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, lack of energy, or weight loss – go see your vet!
Most of these cancers have a deadly outcome, but there are some cancers that develop faster and cause enormous pain to a dog.
The best possible thing that you can do if your dog suffers from dog cancer is to consult a vet about possible treatments. In some cases, surgery is a good option for preventing the further spread of cancer.
However, in some progressive cancers, any chance is, sadly, lost. Dogs usually feel severe pain in a progressive stage of cancer. In these cases, euthanasia is an option that you need to discuss with your veterinarian.
Allergies are pretty common for this crossbreed. If you notice that your dog’s breathing fast, or that it has unusual spots on its coat, the answer may be – an allergy!
Some Great Dane GSDs are allergic to dirt, or dust. In these cases, try to avoid places that will cause irritation to your dog.
Dander is a pretty common cause of allergies in dogs.
Skin itchiness, heavy breathing, sneezing, and wheezing are just some of the problems your pet can experience.
Benadryl for dogs can be one of the solutions. However, the first thing that you need to do is consult a vet!
The Great Dane GSD’s Lifespan
Generally, Great Dane GSDs live between eight and thirteen years. This is a pretty good lifespan if we take into consideration that Great Danes are prone to many diseases, such as heart diseases, or stomach torsions.
However, even the healthiest dogs need proper maintenance. This includes the establishment of a good feeding chart, monitoring their growth chart, regular vet check-ups, as well as regular exercise.
Always choose the best food for your Great Dane GSD puppy. Feeding dogs with the worst dog food brands on the market can have long-term repercussions. Obesity, bloat, and diabetes are just some of many.
Any irregularity in the Great Dane Shepherd’s growth chart should be reported to a vet. This includes weight loss, weight gain, irregular body part positioning, and so on.
When I say regular vet check-ups, I hereby mean first vaccination, deworming, spaying or neutering, and a yearly vet check up. Spaying/neutering is something every dog owner should consider.
Lastly, exercise is crucial in a GS Great Dane’s daily routine. They simply cannot live properly without at least sixty minutes of exercise a day. This is an active dog that requires plenty of space. You should keep that in mind.
1. How Big Will A German Shepherd Great Dane Mix Get?
Generally, these dogs will reach up to 30 inches in height and up to 130 pounds in weight.
However, there are cases when these puppies weigh around 60 to 70 pounds. Their weight mostly depends on their bloodline. Dogs that have over seventy percent of GSD genes are more likely to be smaller than dogs with a higher representation of Great Dane’s genes.
Still, this is a pretty huge dog that qualifies among the largest dog breeds in the world. However, Great Dane GSD owners still need to ask themselves a question: ‘‘How heavy should my dog be?’’ This is because they can unknowingly overfeed their canines and make them obese.
That’s why the establishment of a proper Dane Shepherd’s growth chart is highly recommended. You can always keep track of your puppy’s growth and make sure it always stays within standard proportions.
2. Are Great Dane Mixes Good Dogs?
Most of the time – Great Dane Mixes are, indeed, excellent dogs. This gentle giant is a good purebred dog that has a calm and friendly nature.
Even though it requires plenty of exercise during the day, the Great Dane breed is a desirable dog for families with small children. Its level of adaptability is high and it generally adapts to new environments pretty fast.
However, Great Danes are watchdogs by default, which means they need early obedience training, as well as a lot of positive reinforcement during their socialization.
This intelligent dog’s trainability is fantastic, as they perfect new skills in record time. Great Danes are known for their agile and athletic nature. They have long legs and elongated bodies.
If by any chance, a Great Dane displays aggression – it will be during self-defense.
However, unsocialized puppies can display undesirable behavior around unknown people and other pets. Also, disobedience and weird behavior can be a sign that your dog needs to be neutered.
3. How Much Do German Shepherd Great Dane Mixes Cost?
The average price for these puppies revolves between $500 and $1000. If we take a look at the price of German Shepherd and Great Dane puppies, which can reach up to $4000, this is a pretty acceptable price.
One of the reasons why this puppy will cost you significantly less is because this is not a pure breed.
Still, you need to pay attention to certain things when choosing a breeder. Always choose a breeder that discloses all the needed information on a dog. That includes DNA and vet documentation.
Furthermore, reputable breeders will provide you with a dog that has received its first shot, as well as deworming.
Additionally, the overall price at reputable breeders usually includes microchips, a health guarantee, dog training collars, a leash, a blanket, and the first pack of food for adaptation.
The advice is – to stay away from shady puppy mills and badly rated dog breeders. Even if you pay more at the start – it will pay off in the future. Getting a healthy puppy with a good character has no price!
This dog may qualify among large dog breeds, and it looks pretty intimidating at first.
However, this magnificent dog is a gentle giant and a great family dog. It needs early obedience and socialization training, but once you surpass this process – you will get a lifetime companion!
These canines are loyal and affectionate, and they have a great way with kids, too! However, they require a lot of exercise during the day and plenty of space.
If you don’t have the resources for owning this dog breed, or you simply don’t have enough time during the day to give this puppy what it needs – consider some other, low-maintenance dog breeds.
This is definitely not a dog for everyone, as it requires a lot of attention and commitment.