Learn About the German Shepherd Pitbull Mix aka Shepherd Pitt

german shepherd pitbull mixThis is a common mixed-breed and despite the criticism this dog gets because of the stereotypes of its parents, it can be a loving dog if cared for and trained properly.

There is a common misconception amongst potential buyers that the German Shepherd Pitbull mix is ferocious, which is completely unfounded. If socialized well, this can be a loving companion for dog lovers.

Shepherd Pitt History

To first learn about the history of the Shepherd Pitt mix history, we need to learn about the history of the parents of this breed.

The German Shepherd was first developed to create a Herding dog as well as a service dog. The German Shepherd was first developed in German many decades ago.

This breed had to be very strong and sturdy to handle the climate conditions of Germany. Later the breed made its way to the United States and was recognized in the early 1900s in the American Kennel Club.

The first Pitbull that was created was made by combining the firsts Bulldogs and Terriers together. This breed was found mostly in the English Territories of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

The Pitbull was mainly used for hunting and bull baiting. Bull baiting was, of course, banned later on in the early 1800s. 

Eventually, the breed made its way to the United States where again the breed was used on farms and ranches. 

German Shepherd Pitbull Mix Appearance

In appearance, it looks more like its pitbull side with its distinct short muzzle and half bent ears. However, its appearance does vary, and sometimes it can have a longer face like that of the German Shepherd.

Usually, this short-haired dog has the same coloring as a stock German shepherd dog with tan coloring and black markings; however, it does also have black and fawn varieties.

Shepherd Pit Infographic

Shepherd Pitt Coat

The coat of any mixed breed can be hard to determine because you never really know what traits your dog will get from which parent. 

Typically this German Shepherd Pitbull mix will tend to look more like the German Shepherd parent.

Your puppy will most likely have a medium to a long length of coat. The coat usually has a double layer that will protect your dog from cold elements, etc. 

If your dog develops more of the Pitbull looks then your dog might have a shorter more fine coat.

What Colors do they come in?

Here are a few different coat colors that your Shepherd Pitt could possibly come in:

  • Black
  • Cream
  • Brown
  • Brindle
  • Fawn
  • Gray

There are a few different eye colors that your dog might have as well, they are hazel, brown, and sometimes even an amber color.

The same goes with the nose color, your dog could possibly have a black, brown, or the Isabella pink color. 

German Shepherd Pitbull Temperament

The German shepherd pitbull mix is generally a calm dog when it comes to people. It can often be quite timid, and it is known to have weak nerves.

While it is a friendly dog with humans when socialized properly, the same cannot be said with its interaction with other dogs.

Taking after its Pitbull roots, this dog does not mix well with other dogs, which is when its aggressiveness is more prominent.

german shepherd pitbull mixGerman Shepherd Pitbull Mix Size

The size of the German shepherd Pitbull mix dog really depends on the size of its parents, but it is likely to grow to an estimated size of 65-85lbs (29-38kg) and reach the height of 18-24 inches (46-61cm).

Pitbull German Shepherd Health Problems

This breed of dog is prone to skin irritation that is inherited from its Pitbull ancestry, or it could be caused by a number of problems, including poor diet or allergies to fleas or grains.

To help prevent this, use topical flea conditioning and make sure its diet is low in grain and high in Omega fatty acids. Both the stock German shepherd and Pitbull are prone to hip dysplasia, which becomes evident in the dogs’ earlier years.

Make sure your dog takes regular exercise and keep the weight at a healthy level to prevent severe damage. Also, make sure your breeders are reputable, and the dog’s parents are healthy without any signs of disorder or ailment.

The average life expectancy of this dog has decreased in recent years due to excessive cross-breeding, and it has a life expectancy of 10-12 years.

Life Expectancy of a Shepherd Pitt

The German Shepherd breed can live between 10 and 12 years. The Pitbull can also live quite a long time from around 11 to 13 years.

So you can expect your mixed breed to live quite a long life as long as your dog does not have any health issues.

If you are ever worried about the health of your dog, you should make an appointment with your veterinarian.

Living Conditions

Like any big dog, this dog needs to be exercised on a regular basis. As it’s a large dog and can get restless, keeping it in an apartment is not recommended.

This dog is able to live outdoors, and it is fine to keep it in a kennel in the back yard; however, do not keep it chained up as it will become more aggressive if it has no way of releasing its energy.

This dog tends to bark a lot; therefore, it would be a good idea to have a large fenced in backyard where it is impossible to see strangers and other dogs.

german shepherd pitbull mixGerman Shepherd Pitbull Mix Exercise

As German shepherd Pitbull mix dogs have shorter legs, their walks should be kept short and gentle when they are puppies.

After the age of one, it is then recommended to take them for longer, faster-paced walks twice daily.

This dog also needs a lot of mental stimulation, so exercise toys and puzzles are ideal.

This dog breed needs a lot of exercise, around 180 minutes a day. This is quite more than the average dog breed.

Make sure you break up this time into smaller amounts of time spent throughout the day outside. 

Shepherd Pitt Feeding

Since this is a relatively medium to large size dog breed, it will need quite a lot of food to sustain all the calories that your dog will need in a day.

This breed needs three cups of dry high-quality dog food that has a prominent source of protein. Here are a few examples of high protein food that we recommend for the Pitbull breed.

Remember to break up the food into smaller meals throughout the day. That way, your dog does not develop conditions that could cause bloat or obesity.

Remember that the cost of your dog food will be a lot more than other dog breeds because of the amount of food you will have to give this breed.

Pitbull German Shepherd Grooming

To keep your dog healthy, it needs to be well-groomed. As this dog scares easily, it is difficult to get it into a grooming routine, and will often try to wrestle its owner to get out of it.

However, after a few grooming sessions, the dog will settle down, and grooming your German shepherd Pitbull will not be such a difficult task.

To make the grooming process easier for both you and your dog, use a wide-toothed comb and gently brush it, starting from its head and finally moving down to its tail.

These dogs tend to get a lot of wax buildup in their ears, and it is recommended to occasionally have their ears checked and treated at the vet or a reputable groomer to avoid infection.

You can also bathe your dog when they get very dirty or every couple of weeks. Make sure you use a mild shampoo as the Pitbull parent brings the trait of certain allergies from shampoo products.

German Shepherd Pitbull Mix Training

This mixed breed is made up of two very strong personality breeds. The German Shepherd has a natural intelligence that can get this breed in trouble if not properly trained.

The Pitbull can also develop very stubborn and sometimes aggressive behavior, so you want to start training from an early age.

Both of these breeds are very intelligent, so you should have an easy time teaching your dog new commands and tricks.

Start early training and socialization when your dog is a puppy. This will help curb aggression and bad behavior towards other people, children, and other animals.

Always reward your dog with treats and positive reinforcement.

German Shepherd And Pitbull

German Shepherd Pitbull Mix Puppies

Since this is a mixed breed the price of a puppy will be cheaper than purchasing a purebred puppy. This mixed breed costs anywhere from $400 up to $1,000. 

Some breeders may even charge more based on the pure breeds that they have and are breeding.

Remember, you will have to budget for additional costs for medical care, shots each year, food, toys, etc. 

Sometimes you can be lucky to find older mixed breeds in shelters or rescues. If you do not want a puppy or just want to help out a dog in need, this is a great way to go. 

Check your local area as well as other states to see if they have the German Shepherd Pitbull Mix available. 

German Shepherd Pitbull Mix Litter Size

The German Shepherd Pitbull mix can have around five to ten puppies in a single litter. You have to remember that this is a medium to large size dog breed. 

Some females may have more or even fewer puppies, it really all depends. Before making your purchase for a breeder, you can ask if you can go see the previous litter of puppies just to get an idea of how the next litter may look.


This dog craves attention and needs to be around people all the time, which is why it is ideal for families who do not leave the house empty for too long.

Despite the negative stigma this dog has, if it is well socialized, it is the perfect companion for children.

As it is not too fond of other dogs, it is preferable to either have another dog of the same breed or keep your German shepherd Pitbull mix isolated from other dogs.

Close relatives of the Shepherd Pitt

There are a few breeds that help makeup traits from this breed as well as they will closely resemble, they are:

29 thoughts on “Learn About the German Shepherd Pitbull Mix aka Shepherd Pitt”

  1. I love my shepherd/pit mix, Flash. His eyes show so much expression. You are spot on with your description. I came to this site while researching their hip problems. He is 5 and just started having problems overnight. He is on meds right now and hopefully that will help. If you take the time with this dog you will not be disappointed. He is great with our little guy, too, who is a bischon frise and terrier mix!

    • I love my pit/sheperd named Max. He gives alot of trouble but i still love him my friend Asani always plays with him and exersises him and also my friend Ramani.

  2. My daughter has a shepherd pitbull mix who is a rescue dog from Texas =- she is a very loving dog with people – but is not good with other dogs – she cannot go to a dog park because of this issue. She is very smart- signals her need to go the the bathroom and learns routines well. My one complaint is that she is VERY strong and if she sees something while out walking she will pull on the leash – or start to pull ME down the street. She doesnt bark too much – all in all a good family pet for one who has the time to exercise the dog.

    • @Mcccmar, the pitt half of her is probably where that strength came from. I had a full rednose pitt around 6 years ago and at his max weight and height even my husband at 5’10 and 200 lbs couldnt hold him back while taking him for walks.But he was very loyal,calm,loving,loved our kids as his own. Good luck with those walks:)

  3. my German shepherd pitbull has the coolest face, I honestly didn’t believe he was part pitbull til reading this and seeing the few pictures they have on here. he is really friendly, barks a ton.. and loves sleeping on his back. I love my German shepherd pitbull. I swear I’d be lost without him. definitely a good dog, just has a nervous habit of peeing when he gets excited..but he is only 4mo, so hopefull it will change.

    • We have a 4 month old too!! Has tons of energy, and loves to play fight and snuggle. Any activity he does he has to potty. He needs to go out maybe 5 times a day, but when don’t give him free run of the water bowl all day. He goes on the pads, and gets up from a nap and goes wherever he is, he’s still in training mode

  4. My German Shepard /Pitt bull (Bailey ) is 8years old and she is the best dog I’ve ever known of,everything I read was spot on when describing her,she is awesome with the kids. She stays in my fenced in yard and barks at ANYTHING that gets with in 20ft of her fence. We got a Pitt bull pup for her to play with three years ago, she snaps at him occasionally when she feels like he is stilling her attention . But all said,I wouldn’t trade her for anything.

  5. I adopted a german shepherd mix. Said to be mixed with boxer but caries the characteristics of the pit mix. I guess never seeing her parents she could be mixed with anything. She is only 6 wks old but already seems intelligent. Love this dog

  6. My husband found our Shepherd/Pitt mix at a park one afternoon,while playing basketball with our 3 sons. We’ve had her for two months,and she is an absolute thrill around here. I’ve had three Pitts all together,and theyre absolutely awesome family pets. So this mix her name is Juno,is perfect.She is loving,playful,gets exercise with our kids everyday all day in our backyard. She loves to be held while taking her naps,and also sleeps with the kids at bedtime. She is quick to learn new skills. She knows sit,stay,go lay down,
    Time to.eat,snack,no,come, outside,all commands really. Shes one of the smartest breeds ive come across yet.

  7. I just got a german shepherd pitbull mix named Buck! He definitely looks more like his german shepherd side with long legs, pointy ears, and a rusty fur color with a black muzzle. He is the SWEETEST dog! Still a puppy so i guess only time ans training will tell if he becomes aggressive but so far he has only shown any aggression towards his housemate, a beagle mix, when he becomes too rough with him when they’re playing. Other than that, he melts into a wiggling ball of fur when meeting other dogs. I love this breed! He is perfect for my personality and is growing from a super adorable puppy into a handsome dog!

  8. Thank you for this article! I thought that those mix was rare, but this prove me wrong. My dog is also a german shepherd mix pitbull. She is one of a kind. She’s so smart and calm. When it come to socialize with other dogs , she become agressive. This is my fault because at a time, I was not feeling well mentally and it project a lot on her. She still have that playful mind like all the dogs though. Okay YES, I am feeling REALLY bad… I know that she needed me… But I’m alright now. She is getting old but I can feel she have the same energy as her kids. Yes she had many puppies, in total 13 plus six more now. They are mix with american pitbull, my brother’s dog. The babies are beautiful! Some are brown and white, some black with white, and some like their mother: brindle. Even if you are all the time judged because of your breed, I love you Sally.

    – Your dear friend

  9. My pit/shepard mix is rex. Great dog for the family, and loves to be played with and peted and shown affection. However, I cannot walk him in public due to his aggressive nature with other dogs. He is unbelievably strong. He is very good with my 20 month old son, and very very protective of our house.

  10. My pup is Finny, and along with German Shepherd/Pit, he’s also got a touch of German Short Hair Retriever. The result is the most adorable, loving, brilliant smoosh who has ever walked the earth on four legs. He’s an angel in a dog suit. I just wanted to note that unlike the comments above, my boy LOVES other dogs. He did not start off that way but with continuous socialization – huge walking groups, occasional doggie daycare, and lots of friendly neighborhood beasts – he has become an ambassador of good will. In fact, he is happiest romping with his friends and visiting his bros at dog park. Everyone comments about his great nature and his flexibility.

    They may not be born to love other dogs, but they can certainly learn to love everyone, as my Finny proves daily and adorably.

    • My Buck loves other dogs too! More than people actually! He’s still really shy if he doesn’t know someone… but yeah, he has only growled at some guy’s untrained, not fixed, overly aggressive pitbull that got in his face and pawed at him and growled at him which i think was an appropriate response! Could i possibly see a picture of your dog? Buck looks nothing like these dogs! Also, how much would you say he weighed around 10 weeks?

  11. My dog is 6 weeks and we spent forever finding what type of puppy she is and we finally found the dog with the perfect markings and personality.

  12. My full blooded female just had nine pit/Shepard mix puppies they just hit three weeks old we rescued the pit from an older lady who was not taken care of her when I met qayla (the pit) she was in heat an her roommate the Shepard was with her closed in and got her pregnant we took her in and just delivered. We are thinking about keeping one glad to hear all these great things

  13. My Shepard/Pitt does not bark and LOVES other dogs.. is it possible she’s not a pitt?? she looks just like the pictures but doesn’t have all the fore mentioned characteristics..

  14. I have a 3.5 year old girl Sheppit mix. I absolutely love her with everything I’ve got. I got her when I was in a down part of my life and I turned everything around. She helped me through everything. Feel free to email me pictures of your shepherd pitbull and I will send some in return.. Great reading!


  15. I adopted a german shep/lab mix from a shelter. After a year and a half my dog and I responded to her dogs name that someone called out. Asked me where I adopted her and what her name is. They told me her Mom was a German Shep and her Dad was a Pit Bull. Very surprised since the shelter gave different information about her. I still love her and would not give her up. Very loving to people but likes some dogs does not like dogs barking at her or pawing her face. Is this a German shep/pit bull mix? Of course I will keep her. I have had her for 1-1/2 years…..she is family!!

  16. I have a Pitt bull/Rottweiler /German Shepard mix named Neeko. He has Shepard ears and markings. His head looks more Pitt and Rott, his coat is Rottweiler, his build is Pitt and his size is Rottweiler. Great dog but value lot of responsibility. He likes people but is suspicious of some strangers. I take him out at night due to his aggressive behavior towards other dogs. he is a hunter for anything living which I try to prevent at all cost. He killed a skunk after being blasted directly in his face. He chases coyotes but I stopped letting him run off leash. He can handle a few coyotes but if there is more than 2 I worry. Not sure where his drive to hunt comes from. Very smart and has natural guard instincts from Rott/Gsd but aggressive towards anything breathing from the Pitt. I would not recommend cross breeding this mix although it would be excellent for the Police force or military. I love the nut case and I wouldn’t trade him for anything.

  17. We got rescued our 10 month old German Shepherd/ pitt mix. They said she was a boxer. As soon as we got her home we knew she wasn’t. We’ve just recently figured out exactly what she is. She shows no aggression toward other dogs. In fact she loves our boxer more than she loves us. That is saying a lot because she adores us. Great with kids. She is one of the best, sweetest dogs I have ever known. I would choose her again. No doubt about it. She is a good protector of her yard though. I don’t have to worry about anyone coming through my gate. 🙂

  18. I think they may need to revise some of your statements ..Pit bulls are NOT aggressive by nature…Bad or uninformed owners make them that way. They are very NICE we temperament dogs .

    • (Pitbull owner here) Many pitbulls do have a tendency to have trouble getting along with other dogs. My dog only got over that with the help of a very skilled behaviorist. However, they are the friendliest dogs in the world towards humans.

  19. There is nothing wrong with keeping a pitbull/shepherd mix in an apartment IF you take the dog on plenty of long walks. Keeping the dog in an outside kennel is not a good idea.

  20. I just got my Shepherd Pit last weekend. He is already 8lbs at 7 weeks. He is doing really well with house breaking with an occasional accident but our vet says he’s ahead of schedule. Most people say he doesn’t look like a mix.

  21. My Bailey was stupid friendly! I did have him since he was 7 weeks old. Trained him right. 115 lbs of clingy / have to be touching you love! The smartest dog I have ever had as well.


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