There isn’t too much history to the German Shepherd Chihuahua mix but we can take a close look at their parents, the German Shepherd, and the Chihuahua.
The German Shepherd
Even from the name, the German Shepherd originated from Germany and it was created in the 19th century by Captain Max Von Stephanitz who wanted to create a dog he could use for military and police work.
Though they were from Germany, all attempts to standardize the breed failed in the country. World War I affected the popularity of these dogs as they were mostly associated with the enemy. German Shepherds withstood land mines and tanks to supply German soldiers with food and other necessary resources in their camps and trenches.
After the war, some movies contributed to bringing the breed back to the eyes of people and for them to be seen positively and at a time they were the most popular breed in the United States. They are very active dogs and they learn things very fast. They are working dogs that are loyal and devoted to their owners and one of the top 10 dog breeds in the United States also being one of the most popular breeds globally.
The Chihuahua is a designer dog that originated from Mexico and they are very popular for lots of reasons which include the rich putting these small dogs with very big attitudes in expensive oversized purses.
Their ancestors were believed to be guides who guarded souls as they travel through the underworld and they are always found buried with ancient Aztecs. No one knows exactly when they arrived but one thing that’s for certain is the fact that they have been around for a very long time. Some dog experts say they were introduced after the Spanish conquest of Mexico while some say they were among the first native dogs in the United States.
They take their name from the state of Chihuahua where tourists first encountered this breed in the late 19th century. Although they are small, they have personalities of bigger dogs, they are naturally unfriendly to other dogs and strangers unless they are socialized well from an early age. Even with their small size, they do not back out from a fight with a bigger dog and they are very good companion dogs.
Appearance And Size
Although they do not have genetic connections, they are very similar to the Fennec fox in terms of characteristics and size. The German Shepherd Chihuahua mix is a dog that’s bigger than the Chihuahua but smaller than the German Shepherd and they are usually between a small to medium size. They have short hair, they do not shed much, they shed mainly when the season is changing and they have long fur.
They have straight and large ears with a firm and little body which is proportional to its height. Although is it a compact animal they are much stronger than they seem. The German Shepherd and the Chihuahua have the same color which is brown and black. Compared to the body, their head is not too big for it and it also slightly takes the shape of an apple. Their ears end in a point and they are always firm and erect on the head.
They also have small, bulging, and dark eyes with a medium-sized tail that forms a semicircle towards the back. They have very long and muscular legs and they can support the dog well no matter the condition. This dog mix is not high maintenance and they do not look as severe as the German Shepherd.
A Chihuahua can grow as high as 5 to 9 inches and weigh as small as 6 pounds while the German Shepherd can grow as tall as 23 to 25 inches and weigh as high as between 70 to 90 pounds so a mix would be between this range for their height and what they would weigh but they mostly weigh between 8 to 60 pounds and they can grow as tall as 8 to 40 inches at the shoulder.
They are most likely to take after the German Shepherd and depending on the Chihuahua, these dogs might have one or two coatings to their fur. They also have soft spots on their heads that might fade away with age but in some cases, they don’t.
Their size should not be a factor to consider when thinking about taking care of this mix because although they can appear small, they need as much care and grooming as a larger dog would need as well.
Their short coat requires low maintenance and they hardly lose hair and they are mostly in good condition. Regardless, these dogs need to be brushed frequently, at least once a day to keep their coat neat and shinning.
Once every 4 to 5 months they should be taken to a professional groomer to have their hair trimmed. The hair around their ears needs to be taken care of properly as they can cause infections, once you notice any inflammation in the ears the dog should be taken to a vet for treatments.
This mix has lots of personalities but the major ones everyone would seem to notice are intelligence, bravery, tenacity, and cunning. They are very observant dogs and their behavior would heavily depend on their training and relationship with the family they are with.
They can be very loving and also playful when necessary. When they are spoiled they can develop aggressive behaviors and most owners seem to always spoil this dog with the mentality of it being a fragile dog. They also socialize pretty well if they were trained properly and allowed to mix with people at an early age. Poor socialization develops a dependency on its owner and it can cause very unnecessary behavior towards other people.
They are perfect for people who live alone and also people who do not have time and resources to take care of a larger dog as this mix is very easy to care for and manage. They can be very affectionate and also cuddly which makes them a very good dog for companionship. When left alone they can develop separation anxiety and can be destructive so anyone getting this mix would want to develop lots of time for them.
The German Shepherd Chihuahua mix can be very territorial and it can sometimes want to protect its territory and this would not work too well in a house with kids as they can harm them and this is a trait gotten mainly from their Chihuahua parent. In most cases, this breed can either be very corporative or independent.
Training And Exercise
On average, this dog should be trained for as little as 30 minutes daily, although if you have more time for your dog, you can extend the training time though half an hour daily is enough time to have them trained.
When training this dog in an environment you should also be cautious and very watchful. The German Shepherd Chihuahua mix enjoy long walks and playing with their owners. Training this breed might seem a bit of a challenge because they can be stubborn and owners shouldn’t lose patience because of this trait.
Instead, they should always reward their dogs with treats as well as attention when they respond well to training and also these dogs need to start training from an early age so they get used to it and the stubborn traits would be reduced drastically.
They also need to be allowed to socialize with people from a young age. The German Shepherd Chihuahua mix is a very intelligent dog so training can come easy as well because they can easily pick up commands but for a dog of this breed potty training can be a challenge and they have tiny bladders so they would always want to go.
This mix can develop a serious attachment to its owner so it is very important to let them stay alone too from time to time but not for a long period so they do not develop separation anxiety and be unnecessarily aggressive.
A dog’s health is one of the major things to consider when you want to get one. The German Shepherd Chihuahua mix has one disease in common which is the hip and elbow dysplasia but owners should not be worried because it isn’t a serious disease and it can be managed well.
They can also adopt the problem of obesity which is a condition inherited from their Chihuahua parent so owners need to be cautious with how they feed this dog as keeping this dog from obesity is solely the owner’s responsibility and they should also be fed proper dog foods.
This mix would need lots of care, they would need their hair constantly brushed and need regular baths but mind you, daily baths are not good for the dog as it can easily dry its skin and they should have their nails clipped regularly.
The German Shepherd Chihuahua mix has a lifespan of 9 to 20 years. They require special care especially at birth and also special dental care. They may also have some neurological problems like epilepsy or stroke as it is genetic.
They are small animals and can be very fragile so owners should be careful not to step on them, sit on them, and even allow them to drop from their hands or a high place. To be on the safe side, when purchasing or getting the German Shepherd Chihuahua mix, the breeder should provide the health certificates of the parents to be sure they were free of most health problems affecting this breed.
Just like other dogs, they are prone to a disease called patellar luxation. It is a disorder where the kneecap gets dislocated and they mostly affect older smaller dogs and they are also vulnerable to heart problems like congenital heart defect and it is a disease a puppy can be born with.
Why Get A German Shepherd Chihuahua Mix?
This dog is good for people who live in small and medium-sized apartments as most of their training and exercises need to be done outdoors. They are very active and territorial so they can pass for a guard dog, they can also be aggressive too so they should be monitored when they are with kids.
This breed is very intelligent and they learn very fast. They are loyal dogs and would always want to be around their owner. They can also be cuddly and want to spend time on the laps of their owner.
They do not always crave lots of attention as they can just sit and watch their owners watch movies without them interrupting or causing any unnecessary trouble. When socialized well they can be very friendly to everyone and even other animals.
Getting A German Shepherd Chihuahua Mix
It can be very hard to get a breeder who specializes in the German Shepherd Chihuahua mix. This mix is done artificially by insemination so you most likely should not be looking to get this breed in a pet store. This is because they might have been sourced from a puppy mill. Rather you should be looking to find a skilled and decent breeder and even at that, they are very hard to find.
Alternatively, you can look at some rescue centers for this breed, although they are not very common, you might need some luck to get them. Asides getting the pet there are also other side costs like food, pet insurance, pet toys, professional pet groomer and if you want, some accessories.