Miniature German Shepherd

By helloBARK!
Updated on 10 August 2021
Fact Checked

Miniature German Shepherds are a cross between two different breeds.

As the name suggests, they’re part German Shepherd, which explains why these small dogs often mimic the appearance of GSD.

They’re a designer dog breed that have become more popular over the past couple of decades amongst people looking for a GSD that is more manageable in size.

While there are no guarantees that they’ll inherit all the traits of their German Shepherd parent, mini GSD are usually hardworking, loyal and sociable.

Miniature German Shepherds are quite rare and it can be difficult to avoid scams if you’re seriously considering one of these small dogs as a family pet.

In this article, we’ll take a close look at the miniature German Shepherd to provide some background about the designer breed.

German Shepherd history

German Shepherd lying down (Photo: Adobe Stock)

German Shepherd lying down (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Before looking at the miniature German Shepherd, we need to learn a little bit more about the history of GSD.

Former German soldier Max von Stephanitz set about looking to create his perfect herding dog following a stint in the army in the late 1890s.

Von Stephanitz encountered a dog called Hektor Linksrhein at a dog show in 1899. He decided to purchase Hektor and make him the founding member of the German Shepherd breed.

After renaming Hektor to Horand von Grafrath, Von Stephanitz created the Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde (Society for the German Shepherd Dog), putting in place the foundations for the GSD breed.

You’ll often hear German Shepherds referred to as Alsations in the United Kingdom. They changed their name during the World Wars due to concerns that their popularity would dwindle.

The Kennel Club reverted back to German Shepherd in 1977.

GSD are the second most popular breed in the United States of America, while they’re ranked seventh in the United Kingdom.

German Shepherds are the third most intelligent dogs in the world behind the Border Collie and the Poodle, according to The Intelligence of Dogs.

Can you get a miniature German shepherd?

Miniature German Shepherds do exist. There are three types of mini German Shepherds.

In this article, we’ll be looking at mini GSDs that are the result of breeding between a German Shepherd and another breed.

Some mini German Shepherds can be confused for GSDs that are suffering from dwarfism, resulting in their small size.

A purebred German Shepherd that is undersized can be bred with a GSD of similar size and stature to create a mini version of the breed.

However, the most common miniature German Shepherd is the result of breeding a GSD with another breed.

What breeds were used to create miniature German Shepherd?

Miniature German Shepherds are usually the result of breeding between a GSD and a Border Collie or Poodle.

A female German Shepherd will be mixed with a male Border Collie or miniature Poodle to create a mini GSD. In some rarer cases, a Yorkshire Terrier could be bred with a German Shepherd.

While the aforementioned Border Collie, Poodle and Yorkie tend to be most common, German Shepherds can be bred with other breeds such as Corgis, Dachshunds and more to create a mini GSD.

Although they’re bred to reflect the traits of a German Shepherd in a smaller sized package, they can also inherit characteristics from the other breed used to create the mini GSD.

So there can be no guarantee that a miniature German Shepherd will turn out a particular way.

How big do miniature German Shepherds get?

German Shepherd at the park (Photo: Adobe Stock)

German Shepherd at the park (Photo: Adobe Stock)

German Shepherds can grow to a size of 60-65cm (24–26 in) tall and weigh between 30-40 kg (66–88 lb). Needless to say, a miniature German Shepherd will be smaller than those dimensions.

The size of a miniature German Shepherd could depend on what breed was crossed with the GSD parent. As a rough guideline, a mini GSD will be between 38-51 cm (15-20 inches) in height and weigh up to 22-23 kg (50 lbs).

The designer breed should be a more manageable size than a GSD.

Miniature German Shepherd physical characteristics

German Shepherds can come in a variety of different colors but are usually associated with black and tan coloring. Other colors include all black, yellow, sable and brown.

They’re a smaller breed but still have the athleticism and power of a GSD. Miniature German Shepherds should display the beauty of their parent, as well as possessing a strong physique despite their small frame.

A miniature German Shepherd should be well proportioned, which isn’t usually the case with GSD that suffer from dwarfism.

Miniature German Shepherd temperament

The idea behind a miniature GSD was for these designer dogs to mimic the traits of a German Shepherd in a smaller package.

As a result, they should be intelligent dogs that are quick to learn new tricks and obedient when it comes to following commands.

Given German Shepherds are mixed with Border Collies or Poodles, you can expect the offspring to be intelligent.

Mini GSD should be friendly and sociable, but remain loyal to their owners and be willing to protect the home.

They should be relatively easy to train given the high IQ of both sets of parents. As a result, mini GSD are usually eager to please their owners.

Do miniature German Shepherds make good pets?

They’re smaller than purebred German Shepherds, which makes them easier to handle and keep entertained in the home.

Mini GSD will take up less space for those living in an apartment or a small home with room to move at a premium.

As a result, miniature German Shepherds are often described as good apartment dogs.

They usually get along well with children as they’re affectionate, loyal, protective and energetic. We never advise leaving a kid alone with a dog unsupervised.

Are miniature German Shepherds working dogs?

German Shepherds were originally bred to be working dogs.

They were used to herd farm animals but serve a role in the military and police in modern society.

Often mixed with working breeds such as Bordie Collies or Poodles, a mini German Shepherd should have a work ethic.

They can be used as guide dogs or service animals due to their deep sense of loyalty and ability to learn new commands quickly.

German Shepherds are often used by families as guard dogs. The same can be said of mini GSD, although their size won’t act quite as much as a deterrent.

Do miniature German Shepherds need a lot of exercise?

Don’t be fooled by their smaller size, mini German Shepherds still require a lot of exercise.

They’ll need regular daily walks of up to one hour to get some mental and physical stimulation.

Their playful nature means they’ll enjoy a game of fetch in the back yard.

A tired dog is a happy dog!

Do miniature German Shepherds shed?

Mini German Shepherds do shed quite a bit. Owners will be required to brush their dogs on a weekly basis to get rid of debris and dead hair.

The designer breed will blow out their coat once or twice a year. During this time, owners will need to brush their dogs on a daily basis.

Of course, the amount of shedding could depend on what breed is mixed with the German Shepherd parent. For instance, Poodles are low shedding dogs that have hypoallergenic qualities.

Are mini German Shepherds hypoallergenic?

There is no such thing as a 100 per cent hypoallergenic dog. The AKC list 19 breeds that are better suited to allergy sufferers on their website.

German Shepherds aren’t hypoallergenic so it’s unlikely mini German Shepherds will be. However, for mini GSD that have a Poodle parent, they may shed less than some other miniature German Shepherds.

Miniature German Shepherd health issues

Usually mixed breeds are healthier than purebred dogs.

German Shepherds do have a tendency to suffer from some health conditions, such as hip dysplasia and epilepsy.

You should ask your breeder about the health of the pup’s parents and potential inherited medical conditions or ailments to watch out for.

Miniature German Shepherd price

The designer breed will usually cost between $1000 and $2000 depending on each individual breeder.

Other potential costs include dog food, pet insurance, grooming, vet trips and much more. You can check out the best pet insurance options in the USA and the UK.

Where to buy miniature German Shepherds?

If you’re considering a mini GSD as a pet, you should be prepared to ask breeders lots of questions. You should avoid using generic websites and contact a breeder directly.

It’s good practice to ask about both parents or even see them (the mother at the very least). You can request to see their lineage and health checks from the vet. You can also ask for their UKC or AKC registration papers.

Mini German Shepherd to follow on Instagram

For those people who are seriously considering a mini German Shepherd, the best source of information could be current owners with an Instagram page.

You can always ask miniature German Shepherd accounts for information about the breed and what breeders they used.

Here is a selection of some mini GSDs on Instagram.

1) Epi The Tiny Sheppy

2) Bailey The Tiny Shepherd

3) The Carolina Corgi

4)Tyson the Mini Shepherd

5) Paco The Mini German Shepherd

Anything else to consider?

Like we mentioned above, be aware that some miniature German Shepherds could in fact be a GSD suffering from dwarfism.

In conclusion

There is such a thing as a miniature German Shepherd but there are some pitfalls to avoid.

Mini GSD are usually crossed with a Border Collie or a Poodle. Sometimes a Yorkshire Terrier is also used. Other breeds can also be crossed with GSD to create a miniature version of the popular working dog.

Although these dogs are a smaller in size, they still require quite a substantial amount of mental and physical stimulation.

For more information, we advise contacting a mini GSD owner on social media.

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