Have you been considering adding a dog to your family? If you’re an active household looking for a loyal canine companion, the Whippet German Shepherd mix could be the perfect pet for you. This cross between a Whippet and a German Shepherd brings together some of the best traits from both parent breeds, resulting in an energetic, intelligent, and loving dog.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide an overview of this mixed breed dog, including common characteristics, ideal home environments, potential health issues, and more. Read on to learn if the Whippet German Shepherd is the right dog for you!
Overview of the Whippet German Shepherd Mix
The Whippet German Shepherd dog, sometimes called a German Whippet, is a cross between two popular purebreds – the graceful Whippet and the hardworking German Shepherd.
While first-generation crosses like this are relatively new in terms of designer dog breeds, they have become increasingly popular over the last couple of decades. Crossbreed enthusiasts enjoy the unique combination of traits that can be achieved.
Since the Whippet and German Shepherd have such distinct appearances and personalities, their offspring can vary quite a bit. Generally though, you can expect this mix to be:
- Medium to large in size
- Muscular and athletic in build
- Affectionate and loyal in temperament
- Energetic and playful
- Intelligent and trainable
The ideal home for a Whippet German Shepherd cross would be an active household with owners who have time to properly train and exercise their pet. These dogs need daily activity and don’t do well left alone for long periods. Proper socialization is also key from a young age.
Below we’ll explore more of the Whippet Shepherd’s typical traits and needs as a mixed breed.
Appearance of the Whippet German Shepherd Mix
When it comes to appearance, Whippet German Shepherd mixes can vary quite a bit since they are not bred to a specific standard. They may end up looking more like one parent breed than the other. However, there are some general physical traits you can expect:
- Height: 20 – 24 inches
- Weight: 35 – 80 pounds
This makes the German Whippet a medium to large-sized dog. Whippets lend a leaner, leggier look while Shepherds contribute bulk and muscle.
Coat & Color
- Thicker double coat from the Shepherd parent
- Varied colors like black, brown, tan, gray, or white
The Whippet Shepherd cross will have a thicker double coat than a Whippet. Regular grooming is needed.
- Almond shaped eyes
- Longer muzzle
- Erect ears or floppy ears
The head may resemble either parent breed. Ears can be erect like the Shepherd or floppy like the Whippet.
Temperament of Whippet German Shepherd Crosses
Since temperament is not strictly linked to physical traits, the personality of a Whippet German Shepherd is a bit unpredictable. However, some general behavioral qualities are likely:
- Energetic and playful
- Intelligent and trainable
- Loyal and protective of family
-Potentially high prey drive
- Cautious around strangers
Early socialization and obedience training will be very important for these dogs. Their energy and smarts make them quick learners, but they need guidance.
Whippet German Shepherds will bond closely with their families. They aim to please their owners and may be protective. Proper handling can prevent issues with aggression or anxiety.
##Ideal Home Environments for German Whippets
The ideal home for a Whippet German Shepherd cross is an active household with owners who have plenty of time for training, exercising, and interacting with their pet.
These dogs have high energy levels and intelligence, meaning they need adequate mental and physical stimulation. A securely fenced yard is ideal so they can run freely.
Households with children or other pets should properly introduce a new Whippet Shepherd mix under supervision. Watchful guidance will allow the dog to comfortably become part of the family.
If you work long hours, a Whippet Shepherd may not be the right choice, as they are prone to destructive behavior or separation anxiety when left alone for extended periods. Their ideal owner will be around most of the time.
First-time dog owners may find this mix challenging. An experienced owner familiar with both parent breeds is best able to handle their needs.
Exercise & Activity Needs of Whippet Shepherds
As a cross between two athletic breeds bred for speed and endurance, the Whippet German Shepherd mix requires vigorous daily activity. Plan to provide:
- At least 60 minutes of exercise per day – These high energy dogs need plenty of playtime and activity. Take them on long walks, jogs or hikes, allowing occasional off-leash running in safe areas.
- Backyard access – A securely fenced yard is great for play and exercise. The Whippet Shepherd’s high prey drive means they should not be left unsupervised.
- Interactive toys & games– In addition to physical activity, provide interactive play and puzzles to engage their intelligent minds.
- Canine sports – These dogs often excel at canine activities like agility, flyball, or obedience competitions.
Meeting the exercise requirements of the energetic Whippet Shepherd is essential for a happy, healthy pet.
Training Tips for Whippet German Shepherds
The Whippet Shepherd is an intelligent hybrid that’s eager to please their owner. They are highly trainable dogs when handled with positive reinforcement techniques. Here are some training tips:
- Start training early and be consistent. Puppies can begin basic obedience as early as 8 weeks.
- Use reward-based methods like treats, praise, or toys. Avoid punishment or scolding.
- Practice basic commands like sit, stay, come, down, heel. Build up to advanced obedience.
- Curb potential chasing instincts through exposure to cats or small pets.
- Socialize them extensively to prevent shyness, separation anxiety, or aggression issues.
- Provide mental stimulation with interactive toys and activities.
- Seek professional training help with specific issues like excessive barking, jumping, or leash pulling.
Proper training and socialization goes a long way with this energetic hybrid!
The Whippet German Shepherd will have a thicker double coat than a Whippet. This means they are moderate shedders who require regular grooming to keep their coat healthy. Plan to:
- Brush their coat 1-2 times per week. Bathe only when needed.
- Check and clean their ears weekly for infection risk.
- Brush their teeth 2-3 times a week and provide chew toys.
- Trim their nails every 1-2 weeks or as needed.
- Monitor their skin and coat health. Seek vet advice for abnormalities.
Their grooming routine is very manageable for most owners. Just be prepared for dog hair around the house!
Feeding Your Whippet Shepherd
As an energetic medium/large breed dog, the Whippet German Shepherd will require a high-quality diet formulated for their activity level and size. Follow these feeding tips:
- Feed 2-3 cups of dry food per day, divided into 2 meals
- Choose a formulation for highly active or working dogs
- Monitor their weight and adjust food as needed
- Avoid overfeeding, as obesity strains joints
- Stick to scheduled mealtimes rather than free-feeding
- Provide clean, fresh water at all times
Your vet can provide tailored advice about your individual dog’s nutritional needs. Provide a balanced diet to fuel their energy.
Health Issues to Watch For
All dogs may develop genetic health problems, but mixed breeds like the Whippet German Shepherd may have a lower risk than purebreds, a phenomenon called “hybrid vigor.” Still, there are some conditions to look out for:
Whippet Health Issues
- Heart problems
- Skin infections
- Anesthesia sensitivity
- Eye issues
German Shepherd Health Issues
- Hip or elbow dysplasia
- Degenerative myelopathy
With proper care, regular vet checkups, and a balanced diet and lifestyle, the Whippet Shepherd can enjoy excellent health well into their senior years.
Is the Whippet German Shepherd Right for You?
If you lead an active lifestyle and are looking for a loyal, energetic companion, the Whippet German Shepherd could make the perfect pet. This mix blends some of the best traits of both parent breeds, though their needs for exercise and training mustn’t be underestimated.
These dogs thrive when they can be close to their owners and get plenty of daily activity and playtime. With proper handling, socialization, and training, the intelligent Whippet Shepherd develops into a wonderful family dog.
Just be sure you can meet the time and exercise requirements before bringing one of these energetic hybrids home!
Frequently Asked Questions
How big do Whippet German Shepherds get?
They range from medium to large in size, typically 20-24 inches tall and 35-80 pounds. Whippets lend a leaner look and Shepherds add bulk.
Do they shed a lot?
Yes, expect moderate shedding year-round, and heavier shedding during seasonal coat blowing. Their thick double coat requires weekly brushing.
Are Whippet Shepherds good family dogs?
They can be with proper training and socialization, but may do better in adult only homes. Their high energy may be difficult for families with young children.
How long do Whippet German Shepherds live?
The average lifespan is 10-14 years. Provide excellent care and veterinary checkups to maximize their longevity.
Do Whippet Shepherd mixes get along with other pets?
Socialization from a young age is key for accepting other pets. Their high prey drive means they may instinctively chase small pets. Proper training can minimize this.
The Loyal Whippet German Shepherd
The Whippet German Shepherd dog is a unique crossbreed with the potential to be a loving, energetic, and devoted companion. Their high intellect and trainability make them wonderful pets for an active home able to provide proper care.
We hope this guide has helped you better understand what to expect with these playful and energetic hybrids. Let us know if you have any other questions!