Arguably one of the lesser-known designer dogs, the Great Dane German Shepherd is a large, mild-natured dog. Because they are highly intelligent and adaptable, they can become great companions for many types of people.
Also known as a Great Shepherd or Dane Shepherd, these dogs combine the best features of their purebred parents.
Great Shepherds typically inherit their high levels of intelligence from their German Shepherd parent, but also get their friendly personality from Great Danes.
Great Dane German Shepherds are tall and large dogs that possess the qualities of a great companion dog and a working dog, making them smart, loyal, caring, and easy to train.
Great Shepherds get on with almost any type of person, but they require a lot of space and exercise given their size.
While these dogs can be perfect for someone living outside the city in a house, and will fit into a big family with kids, they might end up being a burden for someone living in an apartment who isn’t at home often.
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Great Dane German Shepherd Mix Quick Summary
|Type of dog||Companion dog, working dog|
|Height||22 inches to 32 inches (at the shoulder)|
|Weight||60 to 150 pounds|
|Color variations||Black, white, brown|
|Personality||Smart, loyal, friendly, calm|
|Average life span||7-12 years|
|Suitable for||Families with children|
|Exercise required||At least 60 minutes of exercise per day|
|Cost||Between $400 and $900|
|Annual care costs||Around $1000-$1200|
|Common health concerns||Gastric Dilation Volvulus (Bloat), hip dysplasia, joint issues, diabetes|
|Diet||Feeding 2-3 times per day, 4-5 cups of dry food every day|
German Shepherd Great Dane Mix Appearance
As the German Shepherd Great Dane mix is between two dogs that are among the largest breeds today, it takes after its parents.
With them being a designer breed, the color of these dogs’ coats may vary depending on their genetic makeup.
The Great Shepherd can have a dark-colored coat with black and brown shades, or be a lighter-colored dog with a golden or even white coat.
Size and Weight
Great Shepherds can vary in height and weight quite a bit, which will depend both on their genes and their lifestyle. These dogs can be between 22 inches and 32 inches (55 cm to 80 cm) at the shoulder and weigh between 60 pounds to as much as over 150 pounds (27 kg to 68 kg).
The weight of the Great Shepherd is especially important to control, as these dogs may often eat too much if given the opportunity and don’t get enough exercise.
This breed usually has a short-to-moderate coat length which makes it easier to groom them. Because their two parents have very different coat lengths, a Great Shepherd can have a short smooth coat they could inherit from a Great Dane parent, or a medium-length thick coat similar to that of a German Shepherd.
Additionally, it can be a mix of genes of both parents that defines their coat length.
Great Shepherds can come in a variety of different colors, given the different looks of their parents. Some dogs can be black or brown, similar to German Shepherds, others can look more like Great Danes with lighter coat colors, like light tan or even grey.
Great Shepherds are large muscular dogs that have long legs, which makes them great runners. These dogs have strong and elongated bodies, taking after both of their parents.
They also usually have long ears and slightly domed heads, similar to both Great Danes and German Shepherds.
Great Shepherd Dog Origins
Unfortunately, the exact origins of the German Shepherd Great Dane mix are not currently known. This mix emerged as a result of a crossbreed of two large purebred dogs, a German Shepherd and a Great Dane, which makes the mix a designer breed.
To better understand the key traits of Great Shepherd dogs, it will be useful to take a closer look at German Shepherds and Great Danes separately.
This purebred dog is among the most popular in the world. The breed originated in the late 1800s in Germany, and was allegedly bred by a cavalry officer who wanted to create a perfect sheepdog to manage stock.
Today, German Shepherds are known as strong and intelligent worker dogs that are reliable, and calm. They are tall and graceful and can reach up to 26 inches in height at the shoulder.
Their typical coat colors include black and brown, and these dogs have a medium-length double coat that protects them during colder months.
In general, these dogs are very easy to maintain despite their size, as they rarely struggle with health issues, require minimal grooming, and have a pleasantly mild temper.
A highly popular breed, Great Danes are large dogs that were originally bred for wild boar hunting. However, over time, they have also increasingly become more of a companion dog due to their sweet and loyal nature.
The Great Danes we know today most likely go back to the 19th century when they were used by the German nobility for estate guarding and hunting large animals.
Great Danes are even taller than German Shepherds, with a height of up to 32 inches at the shoulder. When standing on their back legs, they are taller than almost any human.
However, despite their impressive size, these dogs are fun and playful, as they love to be around people.
Great Dane German Shepherd Mix Personality and Temperament
Great Shepherds display the best personality traits of their two parents, making them a popular breed.
Typically, Great Shepherds get on well with a broad range of personalities, as they are capable of empathy and love being around people.
The perfect scenario for Great Shepherds would be living with a big family: these dogs love children and quickly adopt protective behaviors around those they consider a member of their pack.
Even though they are large, it’s highly unlikely for them to hurt a child.
However, when it comes to protecting those that they love, Great Shepherds can become quite aggressive, especially with other dogs they feel might be a threat.
For this reason, it’s good to introduce them to different dogs at an early age so that they are more used to meeting them in the future.
In addition, these dogs will not be a good option for someone who lives in a small space and prefers spending time alone.
In an environment like this, Great Shepherds tend to develop destructive habits, which might negatively affect the life of their owners.
Taking Care of a Great Dane and German Shepherd Mix
It’s not as difficult taking care of Great Shepherds as it may seem at first. Though these dogs require a lot of space and exercise, their diet is easy to follow, and grooming will not be an overwhelming task either.
Most importantly, Great Shepherd dogs are naturally quite healthy, thanks to the genes of their athletic parents.
In general, taking care of a Great Dane German Shepherd mix will be easier than you expect, if you follow some simple rules.
Great Shepherds, being large and energetic dogs, naturally burn a lot of calories if they get the appropriate amount of exercise.
They require between four and five cups of food every day – and this amount can be divided between two or three meals each day.
This may depend on your schedule or the preference of your dog.
German Shepherd Great Dane mix dogs typically don’t require any specific diet.
As a rule of thumb, try to feed your dog high-quality dog food and make sure they get at least 22% protein in their meals.
However, you need to pay attention not to overfeed your Great Shepherd.
These dogs have a hard time controlling how much they need, so it’s best to be strict about the amount of food you give them – otherwise it can lead to rapid weight gain.
Great Shepherds require minimal grooming with their short or medium coats.
Brushing them once or twice a week should be enough to get rid of anything they might have picked up in their fur during their daily walks.
They also don’t need regular baths, so you can bathe them whenever it feels necessary or come up with a comfortable routine.
The only grooming concern typically associated with Great Shepherds is shedding, which takes place twice a year during the changing seasons in autumn and spring.
During these periods, the solution is to make brushing more frequent, once a day or once every two days.
Exercise is something that these dogs need more than most things.
A lack of exercise in their lives can easily result in a bad mood, joint problems, and even obesity, which is why it’s vital to let these dogs be as active as possible to keep them healthy and happy.
Great Shepherds require at least one hour of active exercise per day and two long daily walks. When considering getting a German Shepherd Great Dane mix, make sure this dog will have enough space for everyday physical activity.
Ideally, these dogs will live their best lives in a house with a garden or a yard.
Given the naturally high level of intelligence in Great Shepherds, they require a lot of mental stimulation in various forms, including training and mental exercises, different toys, and contact with other breeds and people.
In addition to activities aimed at developing their intelligence, these dogs require a lot of communication, given their socially-oriented nature.
When Great Shepherds don’t get enough attention from their owners, they might experience frustration leading to destructive behaviors and even depression.
Common Health Concerns
The German Shepherd Great Dane mix is generally a healthy, energetic dog. Like most mixed breeds, these dogs don’t have a lot of inherent diseases but sometimes they can struggle with common health issues.
For an owner of a Great Shepherd, it’s important to be cautious of these issues and be prepared to help their pet if necessary.
One of the common problems when it comes to the health of Great Shepherds is cancer, which they can inherit from either of their purebred parents. While Great Danes can often suffer from bone or lymph cancer, German Shepherds might develop spleen cancer with age, which means that the German Shepherd Great Dane mix could inherit either of these forms of this dangerous disease.
In addition, Great Shepherds may be susceptible to heart disease, diabetes, and joint issues, with the latter being a common problem among German Shepherds.
To avoid some of these struggles, make sure your dog’s diet is always low on sugar, and that it gets enough exercise throughout its life.
Training a German Shepherd and Great Dane Mix
Because they’re highly intelligent dogs, Great Shepherds are relatively easy to train. When training, make sure that the learning process is encouraged with positive reinforcement, for example, dog treats.
For these dogs, punishment-based training may not prove to be as effective. German Shepherds are loving and sensitive creatures, so their response to punishment can be unpredictable.
The German Shepherd Great Dane mix should start training early on, between 7 and 9 weeks of age. Early training is likely to make them not only great family dogs but also good watchdogs, as they naturally have the protective instinct they inherited from their German Shepherd parents.
It’s also a good idea to help your dog socialize with different people and other pets from early on. This way, a Great Shepherd will grow up being less aggressive in an unfamiliar environment, as well as feel more comfortable when meeting someone new.
German Shepherd Great Dane Cost
The cost of German Shepherd Great Dane could vary a lot, depending on their lineage. These dogs can also be quite costly when it comes to everyday spending, as they require a lot of quality food. However, in the long run, these costs will be balanced by the minimal grooming requirements and few health issues.
How Much is a Shepherd Great Dane Mix?
A German Shepherd Great Dane mix can cost anywhere between $400 and $1000. The price for these dogs, if you decide on taking a puppy, will vary depending on the lineage, the qualities of their parents, and the reputation of the breeder.
However, it’s always best to consider a breeder with a good reputation on the market, as this will guarantee that your puppy will grow up to be healthy and have no hidden health issues from the start.
How Much Does it Cost to Raise a Great Dane and German Shepherd Mix?
To meet the dietary requirements of a German Shepherd Great Dane mix will cost around $100 per month once the dog reaches adulthood, as they require large calories intake due to their size, as well as high energy levels.
At the same time, you will not need to spend much on their grooming, as they don’t require specialized styling. Moreover, you are likely to save money on healthcare, as these dogs don’t struggle with many health issues until they are old.
Should You Get a German Shepherd Great Dane Mix?
A German Shepherd Great Dane mix is an intelligent, loveable, and beautiful dog that will bring joy to any large household. These highly adaptable dogs will quickly become a part of any family.
They will be perfect pets for big families living in the countryside, and they will fit particularly well into families with younger kids.
At the same time, this dog may not be the best choice for someone living a busy life in a city apartment, as they require a lot of space and communication from their owner.
Great Shepherd Dogs are Suitable for:
Great Shepherd Dogs are Suitable for families living in a house outside the city. These dogs will be perfect game partners for kids, as well as will do everything to protect their owners and their loved ones.
These high-energy, athletic dogs will also be great companions with those who love sports and adventure, and will gladly embark on a journey in the wild with their owners.
Great Shepherd Dogs are NOT Suitable for:
Great Shepherd Dogs are NOT Suitable for someone who prefers living in a big city. These dogs will not feel well in a closed space, such as an apartment, and are likely to make the lives of their owners hard with destructive behaviors, including loud barking and breaking things.
Great Shepherds will also be a difficult pet to have for seniors, who can struggle with these dogs’ exercise requirements.