Mini German Shepherd – Is it the right dog for you?


The Mini German Shepherd, a bold, intelligent and active dog that we all wish we have.

Well, not all of us but let’s face it, who wouldn’t want German shepherd and even to make it better a Miniature German Shepherd.

This dog’s beauty will blow anyone’s mind.

Something that you have to know is that the Mini German Shepherd is not a purebred dog but rather a mix of either a Poodle or a Border Collie.

A combination of these dogs creates a proper working and companion dog.

You also cannot say that he is much of a pocket-sized dog even though he is small.

Are you a German Shepherd fan but sometimes wish he was smaller for your needs. I have good news for you because you have come to the right place.

Many people prefer to have smaller versions of popular dog breeds.

Has the Mini German Shepherd ever crossed your mind? tell us in the comment section below.

You will go through the ins and outs of this dog, giving you the most important information about this dog to better help you make an informed decision about him.

In short, we give you a full in-depth guide like no other on the internet.

So, let us get right into it. 


About the Mini German Shepherd

Miniature German Shepherds are quite rare.

This dog results from the mixing of a GSD with either a Border Collie or a Poodle. Even is some cases, though it is rare a Yorkshire terrier could be used in the breeding of Mini German Shepherd.

These are the most common dog breeds that used.

What this means is that the Mini GSD is a crossbreed and they do not exist in small sizes unless one of the parents has dwarfism.

Being a crossbreed you are never sure what you are going to get in terms of behavior, size or even appearance.

There is a common misconception that the Mini German Shepherd is a smaller purebred German Shepherd. However, you can only have a smaller purebred German Shepherd if he is suffering from dwarfism.

General Appearance of the Miniature German Shepherd

Mini German Shepherd summary table
Height The size of this dog ranges from 15 to 20 inches in height
Weight Mini German Shepherd can weigh up to 50 pounds
Lifespan 12 to 15 years
Breed Type mixes and more
Purpose A working and companion dog
Suitable For Families of any kind and people with energy
Grooming requirements moderate grooming
Color Variations Tan with a black saddle, white, black, sable or even black with red or silver.
Health concerns skin allergies, eye problems, and Joint Dysplasia
Temperament bold, tenacious, intelligent, energetic, affectionate, devoted, loving and protective
Other Names German Shepherd Border Collie mix, German Shepherd  Poodle mix, Miniature German Shepherd

The Mini German Shepherd looks just like any other “normal” German Shepherd but smaller of course. This is the reason he called the Miniature GSD.

He has an athletic and bold appearance standing at about 15 to 20 pounds.

The Mini German Shepherd can reach a weight of up to 50 pounds, unlike the German Shepherd parent that can reach a weight of up to 70 pounds.

There may be variations between puppies as the Mini GSD is not a recognized breed as the breed standards have not yet been set.

More on the appearance of the Miniature German Shepherd

Many factors can come into play when it comes to the size of the Miniature German Shepherd.

For example, Mini German Shepherd bred from a Collie cannot be the same size as that one bred from a Yorkie.

And if the Mini GSD is a result of a dwarfism gene then the pooch will weigh about 30 pounds.

They might be smaller but they still have the power and athletism of the German Shepherd. He might as well have the beauty and appearance of a typical GSD.

They should also be well proportioned which might not be the case for a Mini German Shepherd that is a result of dwarfism.

Their eyes are usually brown and ears raised on top of their heads.

These dogs usually have a double coat which comes in handy when the weather is cooler.

The coat can have distinct colors such as black, white, sable, tan, brown, black saddle, black, and silver, black, and gold or even black and red. It can also be a combination of colors that are inherited from the parent breeds.

Mini German Shepherd

Dwarfism in German Shepherds

This is a rare genetic mutation that results from the breeding of two purebred German Shepherds. It is also known as Pituitary dwarfism.

German Shepherds that have this condition usually have the following characteristics.

  • They have front legs that are bowed
  • Their legs are shorter than normal
  • They have bodies that are longer than normal
  • They may have baldness or stagnant development of the hair coat.

A dwarf German Shepherd is what would make a true Miniature German Shepherd in terms of behavior and appearance.

However, pituitary dwarfism may come with some very serious health issues.

These issues range from a weakened skeleton, impaired kidney functions, and even hypothyroidism to mention just but a few.

What is a Runt Miniature German Shepherd?

This term runt can be used to mean the smallest puppy in a litter.

The weight of these puppies is usually abnormally low when they are born. You could also have an entire litter that is made up of just runts to make it clear.

However, there is a shortcoming with these puppies being extremely underweight as they could face a couple of health issues throughout their lives.

The more underweight a puppy is the more he is likely to face health issues.

Breeders can breed two undersized German Shepherds to get a Minature German Shepherd.

Some breeders may opt for this breeding method to get the appearance and temperament of a German Shepherd.

However, breeding two of these dogs together increases the chances of them passing along health issues.

Personality and temperament of a Mini German Shepherd

German Shepherds are the second most loved dogs in the US.

This is a bold, tenacious, intelligent, energetic, affectionate, devoted, loving and protective pooch.

When a German Shepherd is crossed with a Border Collie or a Poodle, you can expect that the offspring will be very smart.

He will be able to learn new commands and tricks much easier.

You will surely be happy when you receive licks on your feet and your face from your Miniature German Shepherd.

He will also be happy to show you the love that you show to him.

Being small the Mini German Shepherd loves to play and is full of energy making him a perfect family dog that will keep your kids entertained of you have them.

They are known to create deep emotional attachments to their families.

You should not leave this dog alone for long periods of time as he could suffer from anxiety and even be destructive.

And although they are full of energy they will not need a yard like their German Shepherd parents.

Do not underestimate this pooch as he can be very protective making him a good guard dog. This is one of the reasons that this dog will need to be socialized.

Mini German Shepherds as pets

Handling this pooch is much easier because of his smaller size. They will be able to keep your home lively and entertained.

These adorable dogs occupy less space meaning they could be suitable for those that are living in an apartment setting or a small house that does not have a yard. It is for these reasons that they are called good apartment dogs.

They get along well with children but it is never advisable to leave your kids alone with any dog unsupervised.

Miniature German Shepherds as working dogs

All German Shepherds were originally bred to be working dogs.

In modern society, they were used by the police, military and even in farms as herding dogs.

When bred with a Poodle or a Border Collie this angel should be able to have a work ethic.

They can also be used as therapy and guide dogs because of their loyalty and ability to learn new commands fast.


History of the Mini German Shepherd

Not much is known about when the Mini German Shepherd first appeared or who the first person to intentionally breed this dog was.

So, it would be better to look at the parent breeds.

An overview of the German Shepherd

The German Shepherd was created by a former German soldier that was named Max von Stephanitz.

He was looking to create a perfect working dog as he was not satisfied with the working breeds that were there by then.

Max von came across a dog that was named Hektor Linksrhein at a dog show in 1899.

He bought Hektor and decided to create his dog from him.

Hektor was renamed Horand Von Grafrath and created the Society for the German Shepherd dog and that was the foundation for the German Shepherd breed.

During the World wars, the German Shepherds were renamed to Alsatians by the Brits in a bid to prevent their popularity from dwindling. The name was reverted to German Shepherd in 1977.

Now the German Shepherd is the second most popular dog in the US and seventh in the United Kingdom.

German Shepherds are also ranked as the third most intelligent dogs in the world after the Poodle and Border Collie.

German Shepherd

The charming Poodle

It may come as a surprise to many that although Poodle is referred to as the French Poodle he is actually of German descent.

There is no French Poodle as Poodles originated from Germany about 400 years ago where they were bred to hunt waterfowls.

The poodle comes in three sizes:

  • Toy poodle
  • Miniature Poodle
  • Standard Poodle

Poodles are talented and charismatic dogs that make elegant and friendly family dogs.

This pooch is ranked as the second most intelligent dog in the world.

They excel at being therapy dogs and are used in dog competitions a lot.

What sets the poodle from other breeds is their coat which is said to be hypoallergenic.

With all these qualities it is no wonder that Poodles’ popularity continues to grow by the day.

German shepherds are crossed with a poodle to give you the Shepadoodle.

Shepadoodles have a height of about 15 to 6 inches and weight between 40 to 90 pounds.

To learn more about Shepadoodles visit this article prepared just for you.


The smart Border Collie

Border Collies are renowned for being intelligent and energetic. He is ranked as the most intelligent dog on the planet.

Border Collies are also talented in herding and excel in dog competitions.

German Shepherds are also mixed with Border Collies to get Mini German Shepherds.

The mix is sure to be intelligent and full of energy.

German Shepherd and Border Collie mix are also known as the Shollie.

This mix is highly trainable.

Border Collie

Other German Shepherd mixes that you may be interested in

  • 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

Miniature German Shepherd puppies

Being a designer you may find that puppies in every litter may differ a lot.

For example, a Minik German Shepherd that is got from crossing with a Poodle will be different from that one crossed from a Border Collie.

The German Shepherd is the one that is usually used as the mother and the average litter size is usually about 6 to 8 puppies.

All in all, the average price for a Mini German Shepherd puppy is $1000. But this will depend on the individual breeder.

It can be difficult to get a breeder that specializes in the breeding of Miniature German Shepherds.

Take your time and do careful research on a reputable breeder because you will want to be careful when you are getting a crossbreed.

However, you have the option to adopt which is in all way the best option. It is also a lesser expensive way to get a Mini GSD.

Some of the German Shepherd rescues;

Mini German Shepherd puppy

Grooming a Miniature German Shepherd

The Mini German Shepherd is just as demanding as a purebred German Shepherd. Being smaller does not make him any easier to groom.

Brushing the Mini GSD is just as necessary because he has a double-coat. If you fail to brush the coat then you might just end up collecting the piles of hair that will be on your floor.

You should brush the coat at least two times every week. This may increase when the weather is warmer when the pup is getting rid of that extra coat.

The Mini German Shepherd also blows out the coat twice every year as the seasons change. Do not get alarmed when you see your dog losing more hair during this period.

The brushing requirements may differ depending on your pooch.

More on grooming requirements

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

Dip a cotton bud into an ear cleaning solution after which you will use it to clean the dog’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.

Start gradually when your pooch is a small pup. Make an effort to calm your dog when you are clipping his nails and reward him for every time he stays calm and relaxed.

By doing this you help him get used to his nails being clipped when they get long.

If you are not sure of what to do you should visit a professional groomer.


Brush your Mini German Shepherd’s teeth a few times every week to reduce the risk of periodontal diseases.

Do this at least once every week from when the dog is a puppy onwards.

Some dogs may not want you to touch their teeth, 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.


Feeding requirements

Several factors can affect how much you feed your Mini German Shepherd and these are:

  • Size
  • Activity level
  • Season
  • Age
  • Metabolism

You will need to meet the calorie requirements for this dog which is 30 calories for every pound that your dog weighs.

What this means is that the average calorie requirement for the Miniature German Shepherd is 1600 calories in a single day.

In terms of kibble, this is about 3 cups of kibble per day. You should divide the meals into two, one meal in the morning and the other in the evening.

Exercise requirements

These dogs may be small but they are energetic and love a lot of activity and play. This helps to provide them with physical and mental stimulation.

One hour of physical and mental stimulation would be enough to keep them active, fit and in shape.

You should make sure that your dog gets the exercise he needs for him to stay healthy.

A walk once every day with some play would not hurt.

Any style of exercise would be good for this dog.


Training a Mini German Shepherd

The Miniature German shepherd is a very intelligent dog and if you have this pup then you are in luck because you will not have a hard time teaching him new tricks and commands.

And what would you expect from a pooch that comes from the most intelligent dogs in the world?

They excel at learning things and getting easy commands such as sitting and stay in not time.

You will have no difficulty in house training and toilet training this dog.

The thing that you have to keep in mind is that you need to use positive reinforcement when you are training this dog.

This is where you use reward-based training on your dog, rewarding him for the commands that he gets right. In this way, he will learn to associate the behaviors that you like with rewards.

You will need to cover all the basics of training and this includes even socialization.

Begin socializing your pooch when he is still young by introducing him to new people, animals, and environments.

You can also try dog classes where he can get to spend time with other canines.

Make sure that your dog gets enough mental stimulation to prevent him from developing some unwanted behaviors such as chewing and excessive barking.

Some ways that you can use to provide him with mental stimulation are through bonding and playing games such as fetch with him. In these ways, he gets challenged mentally.


Some health concerns

Although the Mini German Shepherd may be healthier than the parent breeds he may also be prone to some health issues.

Below are some of the health issues that he may be susceptible to.

Hip dysplasia

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

Gastric dilation or Bloat

Bloat occurs when a dog’s stomach dilates due to a large meal.

Instead of expelling the gases normally, they become trapped and build up pressure which causes pain to the dog.

Mini German shepherd dogs are deep-chested and are susceptible to bloat. This is why your pup mustn’t eat his food too fast.

In case you notice that your pooch is not comfortable by any chance you should not hesitate to go see the vet.


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.

You should monitor your dog for any signs of cancer in the dog.

Is the miniature German Shepherd right for you?

Is there a miniature German Shepherd in your plans?

We would recommend that you get the Mini German Shepherd as he is a mixed dog and is much healthier.

Research other dog breeds for you to make a good decision on what is fit for you.

If you want a devoted miniature German Shepherd, you will have a loyal loving dog if you have space and time to devote to it.

These dogs make wonderful family pets, are good with children, and live for many years.

There you go WOOF!!

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