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German Shepherd & Mastiff Mix: Info, Pictures & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

german shepherd mastiff mix

Height: 27–30 inches
Weight: 130–190 pounds
Lifespan: 9–11 years
Colors: Black, tan, fawn, apricot, brindle
Suitable for: Moderately active families, roomy homes in city or country, watchdog, farm dog, owners prepared for giant-sized food and vet bills
Temperament: Intelligent, loyal, protective, courageous, loving, protective, energetic, confident

Even though this mix is not as popular as other hybrids, there are many great qualities to a dog that has German Shepherd and Mastiff traits. They are loyal and love their owners dearly, and they are also brave and courageous.

The German Shepherd originated in Germany in the late 1800s as a means for herding sheep and protecting the flock. They became internationally known after World War I when returning soldiers told everyone what good dogs they were.

Mastiffs have been around for centuries, with sculptures from Assyria having mastiff-like drawings from 650 B.C. They arrived in Britain from Asia over 2,000 years ago and were used as watchdogs because they were good at guarding livestock and the home from wildlife intruders.

As you can see, the history of these dogs is fascinating and will help you understand this mixed breed a little more, so you can bring a German Shepherd/Mastiff mix into your home and make it part of your family with ease.

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German Shepherd & Mastiff Mix Puppies


Finding a top-quality breeder can be a chore if you don’t know what to look for. Start by asking your veterinarian if they know of reputable breeders that mix purebred German Shepherds and Mastiffs, or visit professional dog shows or local breed clubs. Once you find a good breeder, don’t be afraid to ask questions so you can get all the details about how the parents and the puppies are cared for.

3 Little-Known Facts About the German Shepherd & Mastiff Mix

1. They can become overweight easily if not exercised regularly.

Though not considered high-energy dogs, if German Shepherd and Mastiff mixes are allowed to live a life of leisure, they can easily become heavy, which can create other health concerns. It’s best to keep an eye on their weight and help them be active and eat appropriate amounts.

2. They can be more difficult to train since they are stubborn, and the Mastiff breed isn’t known for their intelligence.

It’s not to say that this mixed breed will be impossible to train by any means, but you do want to start early with training so you can prevent behavior problems in the future.

3. As puppies, they would rather sleep and laze the day away than do anything else.

Puppyhood is the time to start working with your dog and encouraging play and interaction. It’s okay to allow them to rest and relax, but they should also learn how to socialize and be a part of the family.

The parent breeds of German Shepherd & Mastiff Mix
The parent breeds of German Shepherd & Mastiff Mix: Left – German Shepherd (Anna Dudkova, Unsplash) | Right – Mastiff (Olga Aniven, Shutterstock)

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Temperament and Personality Traits of the German Shepherd and Mastiff Mix 🧠

Both breeds are not afraid of working and are okay with being active. In fact, your dog may become bored and listless unless they are doing something productive. Even though the Mastiff does like to take it easy, they still like to be needed and have a job to do. German Shepherds always like jobs that require using their brains, such as herding or hunting.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

This mix likes to be social and involved with whatever the rest of the family is doing; they don’t want to be left home by themselves (unless of course, you have sheep that need guarding). These dogs love children and will be patient and treat them gently when playing with them. Mastiffs are known for their gentle mouths and being able to carry delicate objects.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

In much the same way that they deal with children, German Shepherd Mastiffs are genial and tolerant of other animals as well. But it is good to socialize your puppy with small animals carefully, or an accidental tussle with the cat may be inevitable.

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Things to Know When Owning a German Shepherd & Mastiff Mix

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Since they are large dogs, they will require more calories, but there is a balance that has to be maintained; otherwise, your dog could become overweight easily. If they are overweight, it could cause joint and hip problems.

If you have trouble with knowing what food has the best nutrients for your German Shepherd Mastiff Mix, consult your veterinarian. All dogs need a well-rounded diet full of vitamins, minerals, and protein to stay healthy and vibrant. Keeping a constant supply of fresh water is just as important as the dry food you provide.

We reviewed the best spill-proof dog water bowls: Check out our top picks here!

Exercise 🐕

To prevent your large dog from becoming overweight, exercise is a must. It’s not hard to get into the habit of a daily walk with added fetch time. Exercising every day will help keep their joints supple and their bones strong so they can support their heavy bodyweight. Don’t forget about ways to mentally stimulate your dog to keep them from becoming bored, such as using dog puzzles, teaching them new tricks, or making an obstacle course for them to run through.

Training 🦮

Training your German Shepherd Mastiff Mix at a young age will help them grow into a calm and well-behaved dog. Socialization is important because your dog will be protective of you and other members of the family whom they bond with.

Since they can be aggressive when their protection instinct kicks in, you’ll need to train them to not be aggressive unless there are certain situations that warrant the behavior.

Grooming ✂️

The two breeds have similar coats that are short and straight with a soft undercoat. German Shepherds get a thicker coat of fur around their neck and tend to be high shedders, especially during certain seasons, while the Mastiff typically doesn’t shed much. So, it will be dependent on the genes your mix inherits whether you will be vacuuming frequently. Either way, your dog will benefit from regular brushing to keep its coat nice and supple.

Unfortunately, these aren’t the best dogs to have if you suffer from allergies. They tend to shed frequently and continuously, meaning that they don’t have seasons of decreased shedding. Since they have short coats, they won’t need trimming, but getting a bath twice per month will help keep the hair at bay, and brushing them at least three times per week will also help.

Health and Conditions ❤️

The most common problem seen with this mix is elbow and hip dysplasia, which is a typical affliction with large breed dogs. Cherry eye and bloat are also other problems reported by owners of this mixed breed. Other health conditions that could arise:

Common Problems

In German Shepherds
  • Epilepsy
  • Diabetes
  • Cataracts
  • Hemophilia
In Mastiffs
  • Canine bone cancer
  • Heart issues
  • Eye diseases
  • Urinary tract infections

Make sure your dog receives regular check-ups so that any health conditions can be treated in a timely manner. Sometimes, reading about possible health conditions can be scary, but knowledge is power and will help you become more aware of how to take care of your mixed-breed dog.

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Male vs. Female

The male German Shepherd Mastiff Mix is a huge, heavy-set dog. He is more likely than the female German Shepherd Mastiff Mix to develop behaviors such as mounting, humping, and marking territory as he reaches sexual maturity.

The female German Shepherd Mastiff Mix is also a large dog, but some weigh in at nearly half that of their brothers. She is likely to be a bit more nurturing and docile.

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Final Thoughts on the German Shepherd and Mastiff Mix

With their history of protecting livestock and people, you can’t help but feel a sense of pride in owning a German Shepherd Mastiff Mix. You know that they will be a courageous and loyal friend for life while remaining gentle with even the youngest of the family. Though they can be indifferent toward strangers and emit protectiveness, they can still make new friends with patience and guidance from you.

Both breeds are recognized by the American Kennel Club, though the hybrid mix is not. But don’t let that stop you from exploring the positive aspects of this mixed breed. How long Mastiffs have been around says something about how well-loved they are, and everyone knows the German Shepherd is a lovely, intelligent, and obedient dog.

We hope that this guide about the German Shepherd and Mastiff mix will provide you with enough information about the advantages and disadvantages of bringing one of these dogs into your family. Remember that each dog is unique, and the positive aspects typically outweigh the negative.

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Featured Image Credit by: TamaraLSanchez, Shutterstock

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