For those seeking a loyal, protective family companion, the German Shepherd Pitbull mix has grown in popularity as a hybrid breed. Combining the intelligence and work-drive of the German Shepherd with the muscular build and terrier tenacity of the Pitbull, these dogs make for devoted household guardians. However, their formidable size and strength demands an experienced, committed owner. Let’s explore the traits and needs of this hybrid, often referred to as a German Pit or Sheppit.


This powerfully-built mix inherits a muscular, stocky body from the Pitbull side and a larger, more substantial head from the German Shepherd parent. Their size can vary considerably depending on the lineages, but generally they are large dogs, with males averaging 24-26 inches tall and 60-90 lbs, and females 22-24 inches and 50-70 lbs.

Their short, smooth coats show a variety of colors like black, tan, fawn, brindle or a mix. They often bear the upright, pointed ears and longer muzzle characteristic of German Shepherds. With their broad, muscular build and watchful expressions, German Shepherd Pitbull mixes cut an imposing, intimidating figure befitting their lineage as guardians and workers.


Both the German Shepherd and Pitbull were originally bred for strength, agility, guarding ability and unflappable courage in hazardous situations. As a result, German Pits are fearless, confident and protective of their families, making them excellent watchdogs and deterrents to would-be intruders. However, their guarding instincts must be properly channeled through training and socialization from an early age.

Generally affectionate and loyal with their families, the German Pit’s territorial nature can make them initially reserved or even aggressive toward strangers without proper socialization and experienced handling. Their high energy, determination and strength means this hybrid requires an owner capable of being a calm-assertive pack leader. Inconsistent training and discipline can inadvertently reinforce anxiety, reactivity or even aggression issues.

When it comes to children, responsible breeders breed for sound temperament, but close supervision is still advised. With positive reinforcement training and socialization around kids from puppyhood, German Shepherd Pitbull mixes can make affectionate family companions.

pitbull german shepherd

Grooming & Care

The German Shepherd Pitbull mix is relatively low maintenance in terms of grooming compared with longer-coated breeds. Their sleek, short coats only require weekly brushing to remove loose hair. They are moderate shedders and generally need baths only every 8-12 weeks.

However, their substantial activity needs mean these energetic hybrids require a substantial amount of daily exercise in the form of vigorous walks, runs and play sessions. Both parent breeds were working dogs, and without a job to do, German Pits are prone to boredom, destructive behavior and weight issues if not exercised sufficiently.

Mental stimulation and training are also critical for channeling their intelligence, determination and working drives. Positive reinforcement obedience training and activities like agility, weight pull or protection sports are ideal for these athletic dogs. With proper exercise, socialization and an owner capable of being a firm but caring leader, the German Pit can thrive as a treasured household companion.


Like any mix of two breeds, the German Shepherd Pitbull can potentially inherit health issues common to either parent line, including hip and elbow dysplasia, bloat, allergies and heart conditions. Reputable breeders screen for these issues to produce the healthiest litters possible.

With their powerful jaws, these mixes can also be prone to dental issues without proper chew toys and attention to oral hygiene and care. Conscientious breeders provide guidance on grooming, feeding and preventive care to optimize health and longevity in these hybrid dogs.

german shepherd pitbull mix puppy

Around Children

While the German Shepherd Pitbull mix can make a loyal, protective family companion, their size, strength and guarding instincts mean it’s crucial they are properly socialized around children from an early age. With reputable breeders carefully selecting for sound temperaments and proper introductions and training, German Pits can generally do well with kids in the household they are raised with.

However, tight supervision is still advisable, especially around unfamiliar children. Their powerful builds and territoriality around strangers means they are not ideal around young children outside their familiar family. But with the right precautions and socialization, this hybrid can develop into an affectionate, gentle household member around the kids they know and trust. Their high energy levels can also make them engaging playmates for active older children under watchful parental guidance.

Foods German Shepherd Pitbull Mixes Like

With their high energy levels and robust appetites, German Shepherd Pitbull mix puppies thrive on a diet of high-quality, protein-rich kibble formulated for large breed puppies. These growing pups tend to particularly enjoy kibbles that contain real meat like chicken, beef or lamb as the first ingredient. For an extra dose of flavor they love, puppy owners can occasionally mix in a bit of cooked meat, egg, or low-sodium broth as a food topper. Crunchy treats like baked sweet potato chips or dehydrated meat can satisfy their powerful jaws during training sessions.

However, care should be taken to choose low-calorie treats and monitor portion sizes, as their hearty appetites can lead to unhealthy weight gain during their rapid growth phase. With proper portioning of a nutritious puppy diet, German Shepherd Pitbull mixes get the fuel they need to meet their high energy demands.

pitbull german shepherd mix puppy

Finding a Sheppit Puppy

If this muscular, energetic and protective breed sounds like the right fit for your experienced household, be cautious about finding a German Shepherd Pitbull puppy from reliable sources. Responsible breeders focus on producing stable, well-adjusted litters with sound temperaments, rather than indiscriminate mixes.

They should be able to provide documentation on the health, lineage and screening tests for the parent breeds, and allow you to meet them. Responsible breeders also start