Finding a loyal yet protective furry friend for your family can prove challenging. If you are looking for a gentle and friendly dog but fierce and protective when needed, the Whippet German Shepherd should be top of your considerations.
The Whippet German Shepherd mix is a crossbreed of the fierce German Shepherd and the gentle Whippet. Breeding these two presents the desirable traits of the Whippet while balancing the undesirable characteristics of the German Shepherd.
This mix is affectionate and an excellent guard dog, but you need to learn about it to get the most out of it. That is in terms of personality, care, maintenance, health issues, all discussed in the article.
Overview of the Whippet German Shepherd Mix
The Whippet is a mellow, gentle dog that is majorly family-oriented. Even though this dog was bred as a working dog, it is friendly and loyal, making it an excellent choice for breeding to create unique family-oriented crossbreeds.
On the other hand, the German Shepherd is known to be courageous, fierce, and protective. Most people keep the German Shepherd as a guard dog, making it an excellent choice for families that need a protective dog.
Breeding these two creates a gentle dog to work as a family pet and fierce enough to protect its family when need be. In simpler terms, the crossbreed highlights the best qualities from both parents, creating a unique, valuable dog.
Whippet German Shepherd History
Like most Whippet crossbreeds, there is not much information about the Whippet German Shepherd mix. However, the two parents have a conclusive background, explaining how the breeds came to be and how their popularity grew.
Below are descriptions of both parents’ histories; these can help you understand the breeds’ existence, an essential element of the mix they create.
The Whippet can be traced back to the 1800s, with its origin believed to be England. This medium-sized dog belongs to the sighthounds family, a descendant of the greyhounds. They are smaller than regular-size greyhounds as not much has changed, even with breeding.
Whippets were kept and trained to chase wild rabbits and other small animals. They would hunt these small animals out of their burrows due to their high speeds. Today, Whippets are mostly kept as home pets, but some still use them as working dogs.
While their popularity grew in England more than in other parts of the world, they were first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1888. This followed recognition by the Kennel Club in Egland in 1890.
German Shepherd History
The German Shepherd dates back to 1899, kept and trained as a herding dog. In its earlier days, farmers in Germany and the rest of Europe relied on dogs to protect and guide their herds. Some dogs were great at the job, but no one had developed a district herding breed.
In 1898, Captain Max von Stephanitz retired from military life and began breeding dogs. He created a superior German Shepherd dog, thanks to his extensive knowledge of the breeding techniques of the British people.
The initial purpose of breeding the dog was to use it as a herding dog, but as Germany and Europe at large developed, the dog’s suitability as a working dog faded. But, he was determined to keep the breed as a working dog, after which he decided to train it for police work.
Captain convinced the German government to use the breed with his military connections. This followed the German Shepherd used as a Red Cross dog, rescue, guard, messenger, and supply carrier.
The breed made its way into the US before World War I, but it wasn’t until the war that it became popular in the US. Breeding of this dog in the United States was not regulated, which led to a deterioration in the quality of German Shepherd.
American breeders have emphasized the breed’s quality rather than appearance in the past few decades, leading them to import the dog from Germany, as the qualities have stood the test of time.
Whippet German Shepherd Appearance
The Whippet German Shepherd mix has a distinct appearance that carries the physical attributes of both parents. The dog can present the skinny body of the Whippet but have the curious face of the German Shepherd.
The mix could also present physical attributes of the Whippet’s face but have a slender version of the German Shepherd. Therefore, Whippet German Shepherd mixes can vary even among siblings, each having its own set of physical traits.
Another unique feature of the Whippet German Shepherd mix is the straight back, despite both parents having a curved back. It’s intriguing to see a trait in the mix that is not present in the parents, something that is common with crossbreeds.
The Whippet German Shepherd mix stands at 20 to 25 inches tall. Most dogs of the same age will appear similar in height, taking this standard.
The Whippet German Shepherd can weigh between 20 to 96 pounds when it comes to weight. There is a considerable difference between smaller and bigger mixes, but this largely depends on the dog’s age, lifestyle, and overall health.
The German Shepherd is considered a medium to large dog and can weigh between 75 to 95 pounds. The Whippet is much smaller and weighs between 15 to 30 pounds. This means the mix can take a size closer to the Whippet or German Shepherd, hence the variation in size.
Coat Type and Color
The coat type and color of the Whippet German Shepherd depend on the dominant gene from the parents. Your dog can have a coat resembling the Whippet or one closer to the German Shepherd.
The same goes for color; your pup will take after either parent’s color or have a mix of both parents’ colors. They come in a medium-length coat prone to shedding, needing regular brushing.
Whippet German Shepherd Personality
The personality of Whippet German Shepherd mixes varies. Your dog could take after the Whippet’s gentle demeanor or stick by the curious, fierce nature of the German Shepherd.
Your dog could also portray a balance of both parents’ personalities showing a little curiosity while maintaining a calm and gentle temperament. If your dog takes after the German Shepherd, it will have an intelligent mind, and you will notice its inquisitive side comes to play.
If it takes after the Whippet, it will show the gentle, friendly vibe of a family-oriented dog. It will have a more mellow than curious personality, but you may still notice a few personality traits of the German Shepherd.
Both parents are great family dogs and enjoy human interaction and attention. Therefore, the mix does not do well if left alone for a long time. It can generally be an independent dog, but having created relationships in the family, it would be best to give it as much attention as needed.
The courageous and curious personality of the German Shepherd may lead to your mix having a stubborn attitude. Training can be challenging, but your dog can pick up on cues and commands with positive reinforcement.
Whippet German Shepherd Care
Whippet German Shepherd mixes bring so much value; they deserve regular care and maintenance. You ought to meet your dog’s needs to reap the benefits of having it by ensuring timely grooming, proper feeding, and regular exercise.
The type of food to give your Whippet German Shepherd mix is not cast on stone. Usually, diet is best established on a per-dog basis rather than per breed or size basis. On that note, the right food for your Whippet German Shepherd mix will depend on its health, activity levels, etc.
It is important to note that both parents, the Whippet and German Shepherd, were bred as working dogs. Therefore, they have adapted to being high-energy working dogs since time immemorial. That means their diets need to match their energy requirements all through.
The best food for your Whippet German Shepherd should provide essential nutrients for optimal growth and development. Additionally, the food should be balanced and packed with adequate energy-giving components to keep your dog active and healthy.
You may be inclined to feed large portions many times, but that can increase the risk of your dog developing obesity. If you are unsure of the right foods or potions, the best approach would be to seek help from a certified vet for guidelines on an appropriate diet.
The Whippet German Shepherd mix is a moderate shedder, so you need to brush the coat regularly. If you have your dog indoors, then you would need to invest in a high-quality vacuum to get rid of loose hairs on the floors, furniture, and other surfaces.
Your dog may need regular baths depending on how dirty it gets, especially if it plays outside most of the time. However, you ought to be careful not to give too many baths as the shampoos may dry out your dog’s skin and hair.
A bath once a month is adequate to keep your dog clean. Additionally, an occasional visit to a professional groomer may be necessary to tame the coat and maintain your dog’s overall look.
The Whippet German Shepherd mix is a pretty intelligent dog. While this is a desirable trait, it can be challenging to train and nurture the dog’s behavior. On this note, your dog might have difficulty cooperating with you during training, as they like having the upper hand.
The best approach would be to make the sessions short and quick to keep their attention span higher. The dog may be inclined to chase small animals, but the behavior can be tamed if appropriately handled.
Like other dogs, your Whippet German Shepherd mix will respond well to positive reinforcement. During training, praise your dog and offer treats whenever it improves or picks up on a cue.
Lastly, ensure you socialize your dog to help with behavior. Plan doggy dates with your friends or take your dog to the park to play with other dogs. You could also leave your dog in a doggy daycare to interact with other dogs and people too.
Regular exercise is crucial to a dog’s wellbeing, regardless of age or breed. Your Whippet German Shepherd dog will need active playtime and walks to stay healthy and happy. This mix is considered a high-energy dog; therefore, long walks, hikes, and park playtimes are advisable.
Creating an exercise routine for your dog will help keep destructive behavior at bay, often resulting from built-up energy and lack of socialization. When your dog is tired from exercise, it is likely to behave better and rest better.
Whippet German Shepherd Health Issues
All dogs are prone to health issues, and your Whippet German Shepherd mix is no exception. On that note, keeping track of your dog’s health status is crucial to ensuring you catch conditions on time and get them treated immediately.
Some of the health issues your Whippet German Shepherd may suffer from include:
- Hip dysplasia
- Eye problems
Is The Whippet German Shepherd a Great Family Dog?
This mix is a great family dog, thanks to the balance of personality it brings. It is a courageous and fierce dog but also gentle and friendly. It relates well to people and other pets; therefore a suitable choice for families.
How Much Does The Whippet German Shepherd Cost?
The price of the Whippet German Shepherd varies depending on the breeder’s reputation, the location, and the generation of the puppies. There is no specific price range among breeders as these factors vary from one to the other.
How Long do Whippet German Shepherd Mixes Live?
The Whippet has a lifespan of between 12 to 15 years, while the German Shepherd can live anywhere between 9 and 13 years. The mix, therefore, can live between 10 to 15 years. This entirely depends on the health of the dog and its overall lifestyle.
The Whippet German Shepherd is an ideal dog if you are looking for a mix of gentle, friendly, fierce, and protective dogs. It is loyal to its owners and enjoys the company of its family. With regular exercise, a proper diet, and training, the dog can live up to its hype of being a great family dog.
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