Skip to Content

The German Shepherd Mastiff Mix: The Secret Behind The Amazing Giant

The German Shepherd Mastiff Mix: The Secret Behind The Amazing Giant

Sharing is caring!

The canine kingdom doesn’t have too many big dogs like the German Shepherd Mastiff mix. With their unique looks and even more special body size, these pups make heads turn anywhere they appear.

Being a relatively young dog breed means there is not much to discover yet. We’re absolutely sure the surface was only scratched with this article. Many dog lovers have chosen the Mastiff Mix lately as their furever friend.

There’s more we’ll find out about these pups in the future.

Whether you want this mixed breed to be your loyal guard dog or your sidekick, you’ll have to know some more details.

We’re about to learn all there is to know about the German Shepherd Mastiff mix. So, buckle up and let’s give these pups the pupularity they deserve.

The German Shepherd Mastiff Mix: How the Story Began

The German Shepherd Mastiff mix is a relatively young crossbreed without much newly-discovered information. Thus, we will discuss the origin of the two parent breeds, the German Shepherd and the Mastiff.

The German Shepherd

German Shepherd

One of the most beloved pets today is the German Shepherd. It was created in the nineteenth century by Captain Max von Stephanitz. This dog lover wanted to create a dog breed that could be used as a working dog in the police and military.

The end result was a dog with strikingly good looks, intelligence, and versatility.

Even though World War I brought only bad publicity to German Shepherds because of their use in the German strategy, luckily, the after-war period brought an era of popularity for German Shepherds, especially in the USA.

The German Shepherd was, and to this day is, one of the most popular dog breeds not only in the States, but around the world.

Whether used as guard dogs, beloved companions, or herding dogs, the fact is the German Shepherd dog is an excellent specimen.

The Mastiff

English Mastiff in garden

Here’s a dog with a legacy that stretches back in the past for thousands of years. It is believed the ancestors of the Mastiff were once bred in central Asia, several thousand years ago.

The Mastiff dogs made excellent companions to traders and nomads from Northern India and Tibet to the Middle East, Mediterranean, China, and Russia.

The Mastiff breeds appear through many mythologies, e.g., Egyptian, where pictures of Mastiff-like dogs were found on the walls of the pyramids, and also in Greek mythology, where the similar, three-headed dog guards the entrance to the Underworld.

Furthermore, the Mastiffs have spent their dark ages in history being patrol dogs during the 16th century, where they made sure no intruders passed behind the city walls.

The Mastiff we all know and love today, a.k.a., the English Mastiff, was first bred in 1835, precisely the year dog fighting was banned.

It was a turning point in the canine world and the reason why today’s Mastiff is known as a big, gentle giant!

Appearance: How To Recognize a Mastiff Shepherd

mastiff gsd mix

It’s widely known and accepted that mixed-breed dogs, like the GSD Mastiff mix, look like both parents. This means there is no identical Mastiff Shepherd in the world… all of the Mastiff-mix puppies look different.

You can own two puppies from the same litter, and one of them could resemble the Mastiff parent while the other one might look a lot like the GSD.

However, their looks won’t match the parent 100%. These dogs will still look like a mix of two purebred dogs.

Still, there are some general rules that can be applied to all puppies.

The size and weight can vary, but all the puppies will be in between the size of the parents.

The size of the German Shepherd Mastiff mix could vary from the size of the smallest GSD female to the size of the largest Mastiff male.

This could mean nothing to you unless we talk numbers. There is a difference between male and female German Shepherd. The average female GSD is around 22 to 24 inches and 50 to 70 lbs. The average male GSD is slightly bigger; 24 to 26 inches and 75 to 90 pounds.

The difference between female and male Mastiffs is almost non-existent. Both genders can grow up to 28 to 36 inches tall and weigh anywhere from 119 to 220 pounds.

Since both parent breeds are large dogs, the best way to find out how big your puppy will get is to ask the breeder to see the parents.

Generally, the weight of both parents gets added, then divided by two to get the possible puppy size.

A future Mastiff Shepherd dog owner must be aware that these puppies can get as large as the Mastiff parent, meaning very big. Such big dogs require a lot of space around the house and, possibly, a spacious backyard.

Besides the size, the coat is the second feature that affects the mixed breed’s appearance as the puppy will inherit coat traits from both parents.

The GSD and the Mastiff have a dense outer coat with a soft undercoat. The hair is short and straight, which means this dog breed is the perfect choice for dog owners who don’t have much time to dabble with grooming.

If the pup takes after the German Shepherd parent, it will have a thicker, lush coat around the neck.

Even though the vast majority of puppies have short and dense coats throughout their body, some might still resemble the scruffy and fluffy look German Shepherds have.

When the Tibetian Mastiff is bred with the German Shepherd, the resulting puppy will have a longer coat.

This mixed breed is a habitual shedder, so keeping the vacuum cleaner on standby and brushing its hair two to three times a week is implied.

black German Shepherd Mastiff Mix

Photo from:@sonjanowatzke

As for the coat colors, the standard colors are:

• black

• tan

• fawn

• apricot

• brindle

The black areas around the face are common for both parent breeds, so the puppy mix having them as well is natural.

The overall appearance doesn’t depend only on size factors and coat colors. The face features like the elongated snout or a short, wrinkled one can also transfer over to the new generation of pups.

It doesn’t matter how the dog looks or whether it is more like the GSD or the Mastiff. What’s only important is that getting a German Shepherd Mastiff mix means getting a friend for life.

Grooming At Home: Taking Care Of Your German Shepherd Mastiff Mix

Since this mixed breed has two sets of coats, it means hair will be flying around the place. Therefore, the vacuum cleaner will become your extended arm.

Thus, these pups aren’t the right kind for people with allergies since they shed a lot and continuously.

To avoid such troubles, here are some tricks you can do at home if you study grooming for a bit.

Bi-weekly bathing is a great idea, especially if you use some kind of anti-shedding shampoos or balsams.

Personality: How Gentle Are These Gentle Giants, Really?

Calm mastiff dog in the garden

Exactly like the nickname suggests, the German Shepherd Mastiff mix is a gentle giant, although with a tendency to be stubborn.

Like many large breeds, the combination of these two, especially given the fact one of the parents is a Mastiff, makes the marketing around the GSD Mastiff mix a bit negative. Large breeds are often associated with aggressive behavior, which is not so far from the truth.

If not treated in time with early socialization, Mastiff Shepherd puppies can show signs of aggression towards people and other animals. Therefore, it is highly important to start the training the moment you get the puppy home.

Generally, Mastiff dogs are quite calm and quiet, and they can be trusted with small children. Having such a background means the crossbreed will inherit a laid-back approach, patience, and a lovely personality.

Fun fact: Mastiff dogs are known for their “soft mouth” because they can carry kittens and other tiny animals inside their mouth without hurting them at all!

Another bonus to their kind temperament is the fact that Mastiff Shepherds are highly loyal and devoted. They will show protectiveness to their owner even when the slightest danger comes around the corner.

Such a protective stand isn’t a surprise since both GSD and Mastiff dogs are well known to be guard dogs. It will take some training and plenty of socialization to make guardians or family companions from Mastiff Shepherds.

Daily grooming requires the use of a good brush and comb. Remember, a hundred strokes through hair only counts!

Keeping the dog’s nails nice, clean, and short is also of great importance, but you still need to know how to cut dog nails properly without hurting them. Overgrown nails also hurt, so it’s necessary to learn how to deal with this issue.

Since this crossbreed has a short coat, trimming isn’t that big of a deal, but every once in a while, it wouldn’t be bad.

A big dog comes along with a big commitment. Brushing your dog’s teeth twice a day should be a task you mustn’t skip. It’s important to avoid cavities at all costs, especially as the dog grows older.

These grooming tasks might sound frightening to you. Who will remember to do all these things? You, of course, if you want a healthy and happy Shepherd Mastiff!

General Health Problems: Will My GSD Mastiff Mix Be A Healthy Pooch?

mastiff shepherd

Many dog lovers avoid getting a dog of any kind because they might attack, get sick, or they might lose their new friend for good. Everybody’s afraid of commitment at some point! But, avoiding things in life at all costs isn’t healthy.

Not we nor dogs can stay 100% healthy all the time. We’re all prone to certain health issues, treatable or not and preventable or not.

The same goes for our dog of the day. The German Shepherd Mastiff mix is a fairly healthy dog breed given the fact that it’s a hybrid or a crossbreed of two magnificent dogs.

The hybrids usually have a better immune system than their parents. However, if a parent has genetic diseases, chances are the puppy will inherit them, too.

Since the GSD is one of the parents, here are some of the most common diseases they suffer from, which can transfer to the crossbreed pup:

• allergies

• bloat

• cataracts

• cherry eye

• aortic stenosis

hip dysplasia

• elbow dysplasia

• degenerative myelopathy

• Cushing’s disease

All these health issues require someone who’s able to handle them if and when they strike.

Mastiff breeds are also prone to several health conditions:

• elbow and hip dysplasia

• cherry eye

pulmonic stenosis

• mitral dysplasia

• seizures

• progressive retinal atrophy

Many diseases can be diagnosed in puppyhood. Knowing the parents and their general health status is a major advantage. However, not knowing them or adopting from a shelter is a risky game not worth playing.

Due to their susceptibility to so many different diseases, the Shepherd Mastiffs have a short lifespan… this mix should live from nine to thirteen years.

There are many factors that can affect the life expectancy for this crossbreed, and llfestyle and health conditions are the biggest reasons behind a short lifespan.

Working Out: Getting The Best From Your German Shepherd Mastiff Mix

Mastiff Shepherd

When you take a look at the Shepherd Mastiff mix, the first thing you’ll notice is how big they are. Just imagine how big they can get!

Coming from big dog breeds, these pups can top the parents with their weight and size. The problem here is that the pups tend to eat way too much, which can lead to obesity in their adult age.

This is exactly why exercising plays a major role in every pup’s life. Daily exercises should keep the bones and muscles strong and healthy.

The point is to have enough exercise-to-calorie intake. If not controlled, obesity might knock on their door.

Whether you go for a long walk, play fetch, throw a frisbee, go swimming, or play with moving toys, the point is to keep the dog as much on its feet as you can.

Snack Time: Feeding Your Shepherd Mastiff Mix

Every dog has different diet requirements. They might not tell us what they are, but we’ll figure them out sooner or later. The point is: listen to your dog and watch over what he likes to eat.

However, don’t forget to monitor the dog’s food intake. A large number of dogs in America are affected by obesity.

Since our mutt of the hour is prone to joint dysplasia… fish oil, glucosamine, and chondroitin supplements must be used all the time. These large dogs need more calorie intake, but they also need more exercise to balance things out.

If you’re having trouble finding out which dog food works best for your dog, consult your vet. Every pup needs food that is rich in nutrients in order to function normally and grow up healthy.

How Much Does A Shepherd Mastiff Cost?

Unlike many other designer dogs, the Shepherd Mastiff isn’t that expensive.

The American Kennel Club has no stand on these mixed breeds like it has on crosses of the Pitbull, Golden Retriever, Husky, Bulldog, Rottweiler, or Labrador. They’re simply not recognized by the AKC and the whole story ends there.

To own this pup as your forever friend, you’ll need to pay somewhere between $400 and $1,000.

We know this can be too much for some people, that’s why we suggest adopting from rescue centers. Even though it’s not a 100% safe option because you don’t know the dog’s background, if you only want a dog to give him your forever home, it should be enough.

At the end of the day, even the first-generation Mastiff mix puppies can get sick.

The German Shepherd Mastiff Mix: Male vs. Female

German Shepherd mix

Like in all dog breeds, there’s a significant difference between the male and female Mastiff mix dogs. It would be strange if there wasn’t one!

The male GSD Mastiff mix is a huge and heavy dog. Unlike females, male dogs are more likely to develop behaviors like mounting, humping, and marking territory as he reaches sexual maturity.

The female mix of these breeds is a large giant, calm and nurturing, and ready to steal your heart for good.

Final Thoughts

It doesn’t matter if the breed isn’t recognized by the American Kennel Club. Chances are it will never be recognized because it’s a mixed breed.

But, the fact is, this dog crossbreed is a terrific addition to anyone’s life.

No wonder why the Mastiff side of the family was around for many years. They’re smart, loyal, obedient, and lovely dogs that have a purpose: to please you in every way you ask.

This mixed breed will do backflips if that’s what it takes for you to be happy.

They might look big and dangerous at first, but with a second look, they’re more like giant teddy bears you want to hold and squeeze.

Go ahead, try it. We’re absolutely certain the German Shepherd Mastiff mix will hug you back!

The German Shepherd Mastiff Mix: The Secret Behind The Amazing Giant

Different German Shepherd Colors? Aren't They All Black And Tan?!

Monday 4th of October 2021

[…] 17. Shepherd Mastiff (German Shepherd / Mastiff) […]