Learn About the German Shepherd Pitbull Mix aka Shepherd Pitt

German Shepherd Pitbull Mix

This 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.

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

This article will explore in-depth information about the German Shepherd Pitbull mix, also known as the Shepherd Pitt. I will talk about the history, feeding requirements, exercise needs, and so much more.

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.

German Shepherd

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

The man that was responsible for mixing dog breeds together to create the German Shepherd was named Max von Stephanitz. This took some time but eventually got the breed that we know today.

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.

Today the German Shepherd is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. Many people have this dog breed as a family companion, but the breed is also used for therapy and even K9 units.


The first Pitbull that was created was made by combining the first 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. 

Unfortunately, some people still make this dog breed fight or be aggressive. There is a big misconception of people who think this is a bad dog breed, but in reality, there are bad dog owners that give dogs breeds a bad rep. Pitbulls can naturally be sweet and very friendly dogs if they are trained properly by loving owners.

German Shepherd Pitbull Mix Appearance

Based on both of the parent dog breeds, you can infer that this mixed dog breed is going to be quite large. Right away, you should notice that the Shepherd Pit is a large mixed breed.

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.

Keep in mind that each and every dog is different when it comes to mixed dog breeds. Your German Shepherd Pitbull mix can take on traits from either parent.

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

The German Shepherd Pitbull mix will be a mixed breed that sheds. Whether the coat is short or long, your dog will shed hair. Some of the easiest ways to combat some of that hair from falling all over the house is by brushing and grooming your dog on a regular basis.

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 Isabella pink color. 

German Shepherd Pitbull Temperament

The German shepherd pitbull mix is generally a calm dog when it comes to people. However, 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.

You can, of course, curb this aggression through proper training. Most of the time, you will get a very friendly, loyal, and loving dog breed. Just make sure you begin your training when your dog is a puppy. Get your dog socialized to a variety of different things, people, animals, and sounds.

The German Shepherd parent will also pass down intelligence to its offspring. You will notice right away just how smart your dog is. Your dog will be able to listen and pick up commands easily. You better watch out because your dog won’t listen to you if you are not the alpha.

Despite the Pitbull parent’s reputation, you can train your dog to be a very loving and friendly dog. Just remember to give your dog all the love and patience back!

German Shepherd Pitbull Mix

German 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).

This means you are looking at a medium to large size dog breed. Make sure you can accommodate this size of dog breed in your home. It’s not just making sure the dog has enough room in your home but also accommodating larger meals and more time needed for exercise for larger dog breeds.

Pitbull German Shepherd Health Problems

When you get a mixed dog breed, the parents help to breed out any breed-specific health conditions. Thankfully the Pitbull German Shepherd mix is a healthy breed but can have some general health issues.

Skin Issues – 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.

Hip Dysplasia – 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.

Bloat – When your dog eats too fast, it can cause a condition called bloat. Bloat is very serious because it can make your dog’s stomach twist around. This can cause an obstruction, and your dog will not be able to get things in and possibly out of your body. Your vet will need to examine your dog to help fix this issue. If not fixed, it can be deadly.

Hypothyroidism – This is another condition to watch out for as this means your dog won’t be able to produce enough thyroid hormone. To know if your dog is having an issue with its thyroid, you will want to look out for a few of these side effects. Side effects include lethargy, tiredness, excessive weight gain in your dog, and even hair loss.

Like I said, your dog may not get any of these side effects, but there is still a possibility, so that is why I wanted to make you aware of these conditions.

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. With that information, we can estimate your Shepherd Pit to live between 10 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. However, if you are ever worried about your dog’s health, 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 backyard; 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.

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, it is the perfect companion for children if it is well socialized.

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.

German Shepherd Pitbull Mix

German 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.

There are so many fun things that you can do with your dog. You can really make your exercise sessions fun by incorporating activities that you and your dog can do together. Keep in mind that if you do not like to do a lot of exercise, this may not be the dog breed for you.

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.

If you are looking for a specific amount of food to feed your dog, then I suggest consulting your vet and asking how much food to feed your dog based on its weight. Food consumption for dogs is based on your dog’s weight.

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. Also, 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.

Remember when giving your human treats not to overdo it. Human food can pack on the calories, so it is important to give your dog treats in moderation. You can also make your own homemade dog treats that will benefit your dog and be fun for you.

Pitbull German Shepherd Grooming

To keep your dog healthy, it needs to be well-groomed. Unfortunately, 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.

Keep in mind that this dog breed will shed, so it is important to brush your dog to help get rid of some of that shedding hair. In addition, you can use a de-shedding brush to help you if your dog has more shedding hair than usual.

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. This will let your dog associate training with a positive experience of getting a treat. Take your time, as it will take a while to get into a routine. Stop if you feel like you are getting frustrated.

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. Overall, this isn’t a very expensive mixed dog breed. Work your budget and see if you can afford to get your own Shepherd Pitt.

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.

German Shepherd Pitbull Face

Key Takeaways

Here are some of the main points that you should take from this article.

  • Expect to get a medium to large dog breed. Make sure you can safely accommodate a dog breed of this size.
  • The German Shepherd Pitbull mix is sometimes called the Shepherd Pitt.
  • This mixed breed will have traits from both parents. You will likely get a dog that is intelligent, loyal, and very friendly if appropriately trained not to be aggressive.
  • You can certainly own this dog breed if you have children and are looking for a good family companion.
  • There will be a few health concerns to watch out for just in case your dog ever develops or gets one of those.
  • The Shepherd Pitt will need plenty of exercise throughout the day, so keep that in mind if you do not like to exercise.
  • Feed your dog a high-quality dog food that is packed full of protein.
  • If you are looking to purchase this dog breed, you can get it for quite an affordable price compared to other mixed dog breeds.


Here are some of the common questions that are asked about the Shepherd Pitt breed.

Are German Shepherd Pitbull Mix Good Dogs?

Yes, the German Shepherd Pitbull is a good dog and family companion. People believe that these dogs can be very aggressive, and this is usually not the case. Yes, there are owners out there that create aggressive dogs, but if you show your dog love and affection, you will have a good dog and family companion.

Are German Shepherd Pitbull Mix Aggressive?

No, not if you spend the time training and socializing your dog to be a friendly one. Dogs can be trained not to be aggressive through patience, love, and a strong alpha.

How Much is a German Shepherd Mixed with a Pitbull Worth?

This mixed breed is actually a relatively affordable dog breed. You should expect to spend between $500 to $1,000 for a German Shepherd Pitbull mix.

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:

30 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:)

    • I have also been dragged . I now use a Head Halti and an EasyWalk harness at the same time time. My dog id 85 lbs and this combo seems to work well.

  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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