German Shepherd Pitbull mix- The definitive guide

German Shepherd Pitbull mix

German Shepherd Pitbull mix is one amazing hybrid dog that is a cross of the two purebred dogs.

Both of these purebreds are subject to stigma. This is mainly because they are not well understood by people.

These two purebreds are the German Shepherd and the American Pitbull Terrier whose genes are combined to create this beautiful hybrid dog.

This mix is also known as the Shepherd Pitt.

We are going to go in-depth on this designer dog. If you are thinking of buying, adopting or already have one of these hybrids you should have enough information on the dog by the end of this article.

We will also give you a summary of the two-parent breeds and tell you what other designer dogs are bred from them.

This will help you chose other alternatives for you in case you realize that this dog is not for you.

Let us get right to it.

About the German Shepherd Pitbull mix

As we had mentioned above the German shepherd Pitbull mix is a designer dog or in other words a crossbreed.

He is also known as a Shepherd Pitt, German Pit, or German Sheppit.

These are some of the names that you will see us use in this post.

A designer dog or hybrid is a cross between two pure breeds aimed at getting the best traits from both of the dogs.

German Pit offspring is usually is a beautiful hybrid that is loyal, intelligent and has a very great personality.

The 50/50 split is not always guaranteed.

German Shepherd Pitbull Mix is not recognized by the American Kennel Club.

This hybrid is however recognized by the Dog Registry Of America.

German Shepherd and Pitbull mix

Shepherd Pitbull  mix general characteristics

German Shepherd Pitbull Mix summary table
Height Shepherd Pitts reach a height of 18 to 26 inches for males and 17 to 24 inches for females depending on their overall build and nutrition
Weight German Shepherd Pitbull Mix tends to weigh 40 to 90 pounds for males and 30 to 70 pounds for females
Lifespan 10 to 12 years
Breed Type Mixes and more
Purpose Companion or working dog
Suitable For People that have experience with dogs
Grooming requirements moderate
Color Variations Black, white, grey, fawn, brown, tan
Health concerns Skin allergies (Atopic Dermatitis) and Canine Hip Dysplasia
Temperament intelligent, loyal, bold, loving, eager to please, Energetic, may be aggressive
Other Names He is also known as a Shepherd Pitt, German Pit, or German Sheppit.

The Pitbull Shepherd is a medium to large-sized hybrid.

Size depends on which breed genes are dominant in the hybrid. If German shepherd genes are dominant the dog will be larger but if the American Pitbull Terrier genes are dominant then The dog you will get will be smaller.

This crossbreed has a height of 18 to 26 inches for males and 17 to 24 inches for females depending on their overall build and nutrition.

The weight of this Pitbull mix is 40 to 90 pounds for males and 30 to 70 pounds for females.

German Pits have a life expectancy of between 10 to 12 years.

In general, the German shepherd Pitbull mix resembles more of the American Pitbull Terrier with a short muzzle and a broadhead.

Sometimes German Pitbulls may have a longer snout like that of a german shepherd.

They also have well-defined muscles and slightly bent ears.

German Shepherd Pitbull

German Sheppit coat and color

It sometimes hard to know exactly what type of coat a German shepherd pitbull mix will have.

They may appear like one fo the two dogs or maybe a perfect blend of the two. You cannot know exactly.

The coat can be short to medium in length.

If the hybrid leans more towards the German shepherd’s side the coat the dog will have a double coat of medium length. This coat has a soft undercoat and a rough upper coat.

If the Pitbull shepherd inherits the Pitbull’s genes then the cot will be short and stiff.

The dogs may prefer warmer climates if they have a short coat.

None the less the coat may have different color variations like tan, black, white, fawn, and gray.

Some of the hybrids may inherit the German Shepherd’s coat that is usually multi-colored of the Pitbull’s coat that is usually bridle.

You should, however, note that this dog is a moderate shedder.

Learn more about shedding in dogs and some remedies that you can use to control the shedding.

The German shepherd Pitbull mix is also not a hypoallergenic. If you are looking for a hypoallergenic dog then you should visit this link and get some ideas.

Pitbull Shepherd temperament and personality

Just like any other designer dog, it is hard to predict the exact temperament of the German Pitbull.

The German Shepherd Pitbull mix is mostly associated with being too aggressive something very unfortunate.

How your dog behaves depends on how you raise him and the environment that you raise him in.

With the correct training and socialization, this dog turns out to be a loyal, loving and extremely friendly member of the family making him a good choice as a family pet.

German Pitbulls are intelligent dogs. This is because both the Pitbull and the German Shepherd are known to be very intelligent dogs something that is inherited by this hybrid.

This dog is good at entertaining himself but he still loves to be around the family and share his happiness with them.

It is not a good idea leaving this pooch for extended periods of time.

The Shepherd Pitbull can be a very protective dog due to the traits of the German shepherd which are known to be guard dogs in nature.

So, while he may have the intention of protecting his family this may manifest itself with hostility towards strangers.

To prevent him from showing this kind of hostility you should socialize her at an early age as much as possible.

Make sure that your pooch is introduced to little children in the right manner so that they can learn the do’s and don’ts of how a dog should be treated.

A leader

German Pitbull mix dogs tend to exhibit leadership qualities.

This is a trait that is gotten from the German Shepherd line who herding dogs tend to want to lead the pack.

You may need to keep an eye on this behavior as it could get out of hand and turn to aggression.

The high energy and training needs are why this dog is best suited for owners that have experience with dogs.

German Pit History

Designer dogs have been in existence for some time now.

However, an increase in the number of hybrids has been seen in the last 20-30 years.

The German Shepherd Pitbull mix is one of the many designer dogs out there.

German Pits are believed to have first arrived in the United States in the 2000s.

The main intention of breeding this dog was to combine the intelligence of the German Shepherd and the agility if the American Pitbull Terrier.

To better understand the history of this dog let’s look at the history of the parent breeds.

German shepherd brief history

Deutsche Schäferhunds or German Shepherds are guarding dogs.

This is one of the most popular breeds in the US.

The German Shepherd is an intelligent dog that is capable of working and excelling in what you teach him.

German Shepherd can weigh up to 90 pounds with heights of about 5 inches. Males are usually larger than females.

In the late 1800s, a German captain by the name Max von Stephanitz decided to breed the perfect German herding dog.

After 35 years of working hard, the German shepherd that you know today was created.

As a result of herding sheep and other livestock German Shepherds got the famous qualities that you know for today. These qualities include versatility, intelligence, and other qualities.

Did you know the German shepherds were once known as Alsatians?

These dogs have a relatively small history. This is because they are a relatively new breed.

At the start of the 19th-century, German Shepherds became famous in the US mainly due to Hollywood stars like Rin-Tin-Tin and Strongheart.

German Shepherd
An adult German Shepherd

Although their use as herding dogs reduced as technology took over cunning nature and intelligence remained. They are now used as the first choice for police and the military.

Other popular German Shepherd mixes 

  • Shug is an odd mix of the two: German Shepherds and Pugs.
  • Siberian Shepherd. Also known as the Gerberian Shepsky, the German Shepherd, and Siberian Husky mixes both intelligent and obedient.
  • Shollie is a mix between the German Shepherd and a Collie.
  • Corman Shepherd is a mix between Corgies and German Shepherds.
  • Shepadoodle is a mix between Labradoodles and German Shepherds making together a very intelligent breed.
  • Wolf Shepherd is as close as you can get to a wild animal.
  • Shepkita is a mix between Akitas and German shepherds.
  • Shepherdpit is a cross between a Pitbull Terrier and a German Shepherd.
  • Labrashepherds is a combination of Labradors and German shepherds.
  • Golden Shepherds is a hybrid that combines the qualities of German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers. 
  • Chow Shepherd is a mix between the Chow Chow and the German Shepherd.
  • German Shepherd Rottweiler mix

American Pitbull Terrier brief history

The Pitbull Terrier is a medium-sized, intelligent and short-haired dog whose ancestors come from the British Isles.

He was originally bred to bait bulls.

This breed was created in the early 19 century in England for the sports of bulls and bear-baiting.

These sports then became illegal in 1835 and dogfighting took its place. This is where the trait of aggression got into the dog.

Humans also wanted to get into the rings without getting bitten by the dogs. He was thus bred in a way that he could not bite them hence his unwillingness to bite humans developed.

Immigrants moved with the dogs to America to be used as a farm dog.

Here they were used to hunt wild game, to be companions, and provide security against animal intruders.

The breed evolved into an all-round farm dog and later moved in to become a  nanny dog as he was very good with children.

These settlers wanted to make the dog bigger and better. Pitbulls were thus made bigger than they were in England.

AKC renamed the dog to keep him past his aggressive history. They named him the American Staffordshire Terrier and that is how they recognize him to date.

The American Staffordshire Terrier was bred to be a show dog and for conformation hence he has slight differences with the American Pitbull Terrier. It is Britain’s UKC however that named the dog the American Pitbull Terrier in 1898.


Other popular Pitbull mixes

  • The Pitbull Labrador mix is a cross between an American Pitbull Terrier and a Labrador Retriever.
  • Pitbull and Dachshund mix is a mixed breed dog of medium size.
  • Beagle Bull is a Pitbull Beagle Mix that shows off the natural friendliness of beagles combined with the Pitbull’s protective nature.
  • Bull Pistiff is a cross between pitbull and a Bullmastiff.
  • Pitoxer is a hybrid that combines the qualities of a Pitbull and a Boxer.
  • Pitsky is an amazing mix between a husky and a Pitbull.
  • Pitweiler is a mixed dog that comes from 2 pure dog breeds, which are Rottweiler and Pitbull.
  • Pitmatian mix is a cross between pure Pitbull and Dalmatian.
  • Golden Bull is a mix between a Golden Retriever and Pitbull.
  • A bully pit is a crossbreed, which is the result of American Pit Bull and American Bulldog.
  • Great Danebull is a dog that is a result of mixing a Pitbull and a Great Dane.
  • Pitchow is a Pitbull mix, which is the result of crossing Pitbull and Chow Chow.
  • Chipit is a hybrid that results from mixing a Chihuahua and American Pitbull Terrier parents.
  • Pugbull is a mix between a Pug and a Pitbull.

German shepherd Pitbull mix puppy

Getting a crossbreed puppy is more difficult than getting a purebred.

You must be careful when you are about to get a dog. Make sure that the dog you get is from a reputable and responsible breeder.

It is for this reason that you should do your research before deciding where you are going to get your German Pitbull.

A responsible breeder should have the most important information about the breed.

Apart from getting a reputable breeder, you should also spend time with the parent breeds and get to know their traits. And if you are lucky enough and get a puppy or adult dog to adopt then also spending time with his is also crucial.

Do research prior to buying the puppy so that you can be sure of what type of questions to ask your breeder that would be helpful for what you want. It is also helpful that you meet the dog prior to buying him to know if you are compatible.

A Shepherd Pitbull usually has a litter size of about 8 puppies with the German shepherd being the dam and the Pitbull being the sire.

The average price of getting one of these puppies is anywhere from 200-600 dollars.

One advantage of getting a puppy from a breeder is that you get to ask questions regarding the puppy that you are about to pay for.


Some of the popular breeders and adoption site are in the list below:

If you notice any of the issues below you should avoid buying the puppy:

  • Too many hereditary diseases in the puppy’s family history.
  • Signs of aggression from either of the mixes parents.
  • No certification was issued by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals for both its parents.

All in all, we wish that you get a Shepherd Pit with the qualities that you desire to have in your dog.

German Shepherd and Pitbull mix puppy

Grooming a Pitbull and German Shepherd mix

Maintaining a German shepherd and Pitbull is easier as compared to other dog breeds.

However, the grooming requirements will largely depend on the dominant breed between a German shepherd and a Pitbull.

An example is that if the puppy inherits the German shepherd’s coat the coat will be much thicker and will require regular brushing.

If the pooch inherits the Pitbull’s coat, not much brushing will be needed as the dog will have a short coat.

Bathing a Shepherd Pitbull

You should only wash your Sheperd pitbull when it is necessary.

These dogs don’t require regular bathing as it strips the coat of essential oils and minerals.

You can bath your pooch once every two or three months.

Never use human shampoo while bathing your dog.

Use a shampoo that is formulated for dogs. This shampoo should have a neutral pH and should be hypoallergenic.

During winter you must lather the coat using cod liver oil to prevent the skin from getting dry as temperatures drop.

Other grooming requirements

Apart from taking care of the dog’s coat, you should also check the ears for any chances of ear infections.

Dip a cotton bud into an ear cleaning solution after which you will use it to clean the German Shepherd Pitbull’s ears.

Make sure that you are cleaning the outer area as you do not want to damage the dog’s ears. Visit a groomer if you are not comfortable doing it by yourself.

Clipping the nails is also an important part of grooming. If you are not sure of what to do you should visit a professional groomer.

Brush your German Shepherd Pitbull mix teeth a few times every week to reduce the risk of periodontal diseases.

Some dogs may not want their teeth touched so make him get used to the process. Make it a gradual process. The process of brushing a dog’s teeth is just the same as how you would do it on your teeth.

German Shepherd Pitbull

Feeding a Pitbull Shepherd

A Shepherd Pitbull is a large dog. This means that he has a large calorie requirement.

Male German Pits need anywhere from 1200 to 2800 calories in a  day while females will need about 900 to 2100 calories in a day.

The best way to estimate is by feeding the dog 1.5 cups of kibble for 30-40pounds and 2 cups of kibble for 50-60 pounds per meal. Feeding your dog in this twice every day will meet his calorie requirements.

This is just a rough estimate to get the correct advice on how to feed your dog you should visit your vet.

As a puppy, a Shepherd Pitbull has high energy requirements due to their fast growth, you will need to give him about 4 meals in a day to avoid overstretching the stomach.

As the puppy grows reduce this to  2 meals in a day.

He will require that you meet his diet requirements to keep him healthy.


A healthy diet will consist mainly of protein as the main ingredient. The protein should be in high amounts and should be meat protein.

The more protein that is in your dog’s diet the healthier he will become.

So, as a puppy, the diet should be made up of about 25% protein and 8% fat. it should also be rich in minerals such as calcium and phosphorous.

The amount of protein and fat that you give to your dog will reduce as he grows to about 20% protein and 5% fat.

Many dog lovers try to avoid foods that have grains when they want to avoid allergies in their dogs.

Always make sure that you read the food label to make sure that it has the correct amount of fat, proteins and that it does not have too many carbohydrates.

Fatty acids help in keeping the coat healthy and shiny.

Exercise and proper diet are required to keep the dog from getting obese which can bring some health complications.

Some high protein foods;

Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural Grain Free – This dog food has turkey and chicken meal, dried eggs, pea starch, and peas. It is high in proteins and fat and low in carbs as compared to other dry foods.

Taste of the Wild Dog Food – This is a grain-free and affordable food for your dog. It is described as what dogs could eat in the wild and has a better flavor, provides digestible energy and natural antioxidants that assist in the immune system of the dog.

Canidae Grain-Free Pure Foundations Puppy – This food contains chicken, salmon, chicken broth, peas, dry eggs and many more. It is high in proteins and fat and low in carbs as compared to other wet foods.

You should consult your vet if you have any questions concerning your dog’s diet.

German shepherd and Pitbull mix exercise requirements

The German shepherd Pitbull is a high energy dog. They love exercise and they love a lot of exercise.

He will need about 90 minutes of daily exercise.

You can take him for a run or two walks in a day. However, if you are not a huge exercise fun then you can use play around with your dog as you both work out. In this way, you both benefit and create a better bond between you and your dog.

German shepherd Pitbull mixes love swimming which is also another form of exercise.

If you live in an apartment or have a small house that has no backyard living with a German Shepherd Pitbull mix might prove to be hard as you may not be able to meet their daily exercise requirements.

It is not advisable to leave your Pitbull Shepherd mix on their own for long hours. He can suffer from separation anxiety and needs a great deal of physical and mental stimulation to be content.

Training requirements

Although this dog is an intelligent dog you should be warned that he can be a little stubborn during training.

He is best fitted for experienced dog owners and may not be for first-time dog owners.

You will need to have a well set out plan to train your dog as he always wants to be the leader of the pack and may want to have his way.

The best way to train your German shepherd and Pitbull mix puppy is through positive reinforcement that is mainly reward-based training.

  • Never use negative methods such as punishment when training you Shepherd Pitbull as it could turn out to be problematic.
  • Encourage the behavior that you want to see in your dog by praising and rewarding him with treats, toys or attention and ignore the dog when he behaves in a manner that you don’t want.

How you train your dog will always depend on what is your main intention for getting him.

Whether you want him as a guard dog or as a companion there are different ways that you can train your pooch.

But first, you have to begin with the basics that are house training. House training will include toilet training your dog or puppy and others.

Socialize your dog to get rid of those aggressive tendencies by introducing him to the outside world.

This will include other people and even other animals. The more the dog experiences what the world has to offer the more he will learn that it is nothing to be aggressive or wary about.

Shepherd Pit

German shepherd and Pitbull mix health concerns

There are always a few health concerns that you have to look out for even if the dog was crossed to outbreed any health issues.

The German shepherd Pitbull mix is no exception to that as this dog is prone to inheriting some of the health problems from the parent breeds.

Luckily some of these problems can be treated as long as you keep a close eye on your dog.

You can schedule a test with your veterinarian to determine the possibility of any inherited health issues.

There are recommendations and diet requirements that you will require to follow to keep your pooch in a stable healthy state.

Some of the health concerns are;

Hip dysplasia

This is an inherited condition where the bone at the thigh fails to fit hip joint snugly.

Some dogs will show signs of pain on one or both of the rear legs but others may not show any sign that they are not comfortable.

To diagnose the best thing you can do is to get an x-ray screening. As the dog gets older he may develop arthritis.

Elbow Dysplasia

This condition is very similar to hip dysplasia but it affects the forelimbs of the dog.

Elbow dysplasia is an elbow joint malfunction that occurs at the connection between the ulna and the radius.

Just like hip dysplasia, this condition causes uneven wear and a loose connection at the cartilage that pads this two-move and rotate.

This results in severe arthritis and lameness as the dog ages and can be a really painful condition to your dog.

During the young stages of the dog, examinations should be carried out to determine if your dog has elbow dysplasia.


Dogs commonly suffer from allergies and the Shepherd Pitbull is one of them.

The most common forms of allergies are food allergies. You can treat food allergies by stopping your dog from eating certain foods.

Inhalant allergies are also common. They are caused by airborne allergens such as mildew, dust and even pollen.

There are also contact allergies which are reactions to topical substances such as chemicals, dog shampoos, beddings, and powder to get rid of fleas.

Atopic Dermatitis

One of the allergy-induced conditions can be atopic dermatitis which is common in American Pitbull Terriers.

Atopic Dermatitis is a skin condition that can be induced by environmental factors such as grass or even old scores.


This is a condition that not only affects humans but dogs too.

It is the lead cause of death to dogs that are over the age of 10.

Rottie Shepherd’s parents make this dog even more prone to the disease. You should monitor your dog for any signs of cancer in the dog.

The Pros and cons of owning a German shepherd Pitbull

German Shepherd pitbull pros

He is an intelligent crossbreed as both of his parents are known for their high intelligence.

They make loving and loyal companions contrary to the misconception that they are aggressive e dogs.

German Pitbulls are great guard dogs but can sometimes be over-protective.

German shepherd Pitbull cons

They are not suited for apartment living due to their high energy requirements.

German shepherd and Pitbull mix dogs may not be ideal for homes that have very small children.

He is not a dog for first-time dog owners that have no prior experience with handling dogs.

Breed summary

This is the perfect dog for an experienced dog owner with his loving, intelligent, bold and protective nature.

As long as you are aware of their energy requirements and can accommodate the dog then you should have no problem dealing with this beautiful pooch.

You should be able to provide the proper training for him to be able to adapt to any living conditions making a great addition to the family.

You may also like: 

German Shepherd Poodle mix – The ultimate Shepadoodle guide

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