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Whippet German Shepherd Mix: Info, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts

Elizabeth Gray

By Elizabeth Gray

Parent breeds of the Whippet German Shepherd

You probably know that Whippets are fast and German Shepherds are the ultimate working dog, but how much do you know about the Whippet German Shepherd mixed breed? If you’re curious about what happens when you combine a calm, skinny speedster with an intense, protective brainiac of a dog, you’ll definitely want to keep reading!

Height: 18–26 inches
Weight: 25–90 pounds
Lifespan: 7–15 years
Colors: Black with tan, red, silver, or sable, gray, white, liver, blue, brindle, fawn, seal
Suitable for: Active families or individuals with previous experience owning a dog
Temperament: Loyal, protective, calm, reserved with strangers, affectionate with family

The Whippet German Shepherd mixes two breeds with wildly different physical appearances and purposes. Whippets were developed in England by farmers who wanted to spend their free time racing dogs but didn’t have the space or money to afford the larger Greyhound.

German Shepherds were the brainchild of a German army officer who dreamed of the perfect working dog. As you might imagine, mixing these two breeds produces a dog who can be a bit of a mystery. What you can count on is that the Whippet German Shepherd will be athletic, making them appealing to anyone looking for a canine sports star.

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Whippet German Shepherd Characteristics


Whippet German Shepherd Puppies

Because Whippets and German Shepherds are different in their body shape and physical appearance, it’s tough to predict exactly how big a puppy will be. Most likely, their size will fall somewhere in-between the two parent breeds. Their coat appearance could be almost anything, too, because both parents display impressive variety in available colors.

Both Whippets and German Shepherds are active, athletic dogs, so you can expect the mix of the two to be an energetic puppy. You must be prepared to devote time each day to exercising the puppy. Because the parents are prone to bone and joint issues, you need to be cautious not to allow the Whippet German Shepherd mix to overexert themselves as they grow.

With two parents prone to being suspicious of strangers, Whippet German Shepherd puppies should begin regular socialization as early as possible. It’s especially key for puppies who inherit more of the German Shepherd’s protective instincts. Exposing the puppy to as many people and new situations as possible helps them learn to respond and react calmly.

The Whippet German Shepherd is not a common crossbreed, and you may have trouble finding a breeder. Your best option may be to look for a breeder specializing in purpose-bred sport or working dog mixes. If you prefer to adopt, you may be able to find a Whippet German Shepherd at an animal shelter or rescue if you’re patient.

Parent breeds of the Whippet German Shepherd
Image Credit: Left – Eric Isselee, Shutterstock | Right – Jana Ohajdova, Unsplash

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Whippet German Shepherd 🧠

Whippets and German Shepherds have some distinct personality differences that can make the temperament of the mixed breed tough to predict accurately. In addition, German Shepherds are known as one of the smartest dog breeds, while Whippets are not famous for their brain power, shall we say. In a perfect world, the Whippet German Shepherd would combine the German Shepherd’s intelligence with the Whippet’s more mellow attitude.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

No matter which breed the Whippet German Shepherd takes after, you can expect them to be excellent family dogs. Both parents are typically loving and affectionate towards their families and good with children. German Shepherds are one of the most loyal breeds and are especially protective and watchful towards kids.

All dogs, even those generally good with kids, should be supervised when interacting with them. Whippet German Shepherd mixes are energetic, medium-large dogs who can easily knock over small children. Ideally, they should be socialized with kids of all ages during puppyhood.

The Whippet German Shepherd mix will be an active dog who may not enjoy being left alone, so busy families should evaluate how much time they have to dedicate to their pet. If the dog inherits the mind and work drive of the German Shepherd, they will need to be kept busy and mentally stimulated to avoid behavior issues.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Predicting how a Whippet German Shepherd will get along with other pets can be complicated. The Whippet generally gets along with other dogs, while the German Shepherd may be less compatible with other canines. Both parents have a strong prey drive and may not do well in a home with cats, smaller dogs, or exotic pets. Exercise caution when introducing a Whippet German Shepherd to new dogs and supervise their interactions.

Cats who are used to dogs and don’t act like prey may be able to live safely with a Whippet German Shepherd. Exotic pets should be kept separate from the Whippet German Shepherd to avoid stress or worse. Again, early socialization will help the Whippet German Shepherd get along better with other pets.

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Things to Know When Owning a Whippet German Shepherd

Before bringing home a new pet, responsible owners should research what to expect when living with and caring for them. Here’s what you need to know about owning a Whippet German Shepherd dog.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

While it’s important to keep any dog at a healthy weight, Whippet German Shepherds especially don’t do well if they become overweight. The Whippet has a delicate frame, while the German Shepherd is prone to joint issues. A Whippet German Shepherd may inherit either of these physical traits.

Whippet German Shepherds can eat any nutritionally balanced dog food, but it’s best to pick a formula that’s ideal for your dog’s age, weight, and health. Ask your vet to help you calculate how many calories your dog should consume daily so you can offer the correct amount of food. Be careful about feeding your dog too many treats since they count towards the daily calorie allowance.

Exercise 🐕

A Whippet German Shepherd requires daily exercise, but the intensity will vary based on which parent breed they take after. Whippets are fast and athletic during playtime but happy to relax for the rest of the day. German Shepherds are energetic and seemingly tireless, with a strong work drive and intense mental capacity. They need something to do, or they may get bored and destructive.

You should expect to devote at least an hour a day to exercising your Whippet German Shepherd mix, providing physical and mental stimulation. They enjoy running off-leash but should only do so in a fenced-in location. Other suitable activities include hiking, jogging, and participating in canine sports.

Training 🎾

Again, this is an area where Whippets and German Shepherds are pretty different, making the trainability of their mixed breed hard to anticipate. German Shepherds are intelligent, eager to please, and one of the most famous working breeds in the world. Whippets are less interested in learning and better at causing mischief, especially when they’re young.

We’ve discussed the importance of early socialization, but puppy training is also vital for the Whippet German Shepherd. Focus on positive, reward-based training techniques, and be prepared to be patient with your dog. With time, you’ll discover how your Whippet German Shepherd learns best. They do best with owners who have previous training experience.

Grooming ✂️

Whippets have short, thin coats, while German Shepherds have thick double coats. Depending on which coat your Whippet German Shepherd inherits, they may only need a weekly brushing. Double coats will require more frequent attention, especially during seasonal shedding.

The Whippet German Shepherd is not a low-shedding mixed breed, and people with pet allergies may need to find another pet. In addition to brushing, your dog will need regular nail trims, preventative dental care, and ear cleaning.

Health and Conditions ❤️

Mixed-breed dogs like the Whippet German Shepherd are often considered healthier than purebreds. While this is sometimes true, the crossbreed can also inherit genetic health problems common to the parent breeds. The best way to avoid this is to find a breeder who performs all recommended health testing and prioritizes producing quality dogs.

Here are some medical conditions you may find in a Whippet German Shepherd.

Minor Conditions
  • Eye conditions
  • Hearing problems
Serious Conditions
  • Bloat
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy

Male vs Female

Male Whippet German Shepherds are typically bigger and heavier than females. Unneutered males may be more likely to display aggressive and dominant behavior. Unspayed females will go into heat about twice a year and must be kept away from male dogs during this time. If you spay or neuter your Whippet German Shepherd, talk to your vet about the best time to perform this surgery.


3 Little-Known Facts About the Whippet German Shepherd

1. They Are Sometimes Known by a Different Name.

If you’re searching for a Whippet German Shepherd breeder, you may also find this crossbreed listed as the “German Whippet.”

2. They Are Really Fast.

Whippets can run as fast as 35 miles per hour, which is slightly slower than their larger cousins, the Greyhound. German Shepherds aren’t as speedy, but you can expect the Whippet German Shepherd mix to be quite the sprinter. One very important reason to never leave the leash at home!

3. The AKC May Not recognize them, But They Can Still Participate in Dog Sporting Competitions.

As a mixed-breed dog, the Whippet German Shepherd can’t be registered by the American Kennel Club or participate in dog shows. However, they can join other purebred and mixed dogs in AKC-sponsored sports competitions. Tracking, flyball, agility, and obedience competitions are all potential activities for your dog.

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Final Thoughts

The Whippet German Shepherd may not be the most common crossbreed dog, but they provide an interesting mix of traits that matches well with active, experienced dog owners. It may be a while before you find a reputable breeder if you like what you’ve learned about the Whippet German Shepherd in this article. They’re not as popular as other hybrid canines like the Labradoodle. Make sure you’re prepared for the commitment of owning one of these dogs; they can live as long as 15 years.

Featured Image Credit: Left – S J, Unsplash | Right – Anna Dudkova, Unsplash

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