5 Tips for Raising a German Shepherd Pitbull Mix
There is no denying that the moment you say that your dog is a German Shepherd Pitbull mix, most people will take a step back without even realizing it. This is no thanks to the barrage of news blasted all over television and the internet saying just how dangerous these two breeds can be, what more a combination of the two. At the end of the day, these misconceptions are unfounded and it is not the dog’s fault that it is ferocious. You can blame its owner for that flaw and not the dog itself. As ferocious as these dogs are portrayed to be, there is no denying that all it takes is tender loving care and good training for them to be the best companions ever known to man.
Things you should know before owning a German Pit:
As its name suggests, it is a cross between a German Shepherd and a Pitbull. Known to canine aficionados as a German Pit, this hybrid dog is certainly an incredible mix of both worlds and if trained right, will make the best guard dogs and playmates.
What do they look like?
Being a dog of mixed breed, it is impossible to tell exactly what the dog is going to look like. Even so, they more commonly have a Pitbull-like face as opposed to a German Shepherd’s. With its short muzzle and half-bent ears, this mixed breed is certainly a looker. When it comes to its coloring, it all depends on the Pitbull side of the family as all German Shepherds pretty much look alike when it comes to their color palate. In general, you can expect plenty of browns and blacks with some dogs even boasting splashes of grey and white.
What characteristics can I expect?
As with all hybrid dogs, it is hard to pinpoint exact characteristics and personality traits. This is because the dog could get a combination of any of its parents’ traits. Although pegged as a well mannered and calm dog, do not be surprised if its leadership qualities come out strong when it interacts with other dogs. Some say that this form of aggressive behavior comes from the Pitbull but you should know that German Shepherds are leaders and tend to show dominance over others as well. Do not worry as this can be combated with the proper training and sufficient socialization with other dogs. Bringing your puppy to the dog park at a young age and consistently doing so will undoubtedly allow it to grow into a mild mannered creature, even with other dogs.
Shepherd Pits know the difference between play time and rest time and will not bother you with an incessant yearning for attention. Even so, you have to keep in mind that most dogs sized between the medium and large range need plenty of exercise. Take them out for a run, jog or brisk walk twice a day if you can handle it. You can also opt to give them plenty of yard space if you are unable to cater to their active lifestyle. Most owners of this breed say that a lengthy outdoor session once a day will suffice so long as the dog has space to release excess energy throughout the rest of the day. Wearing them out through much needed exercise will keep them from digging holes in the yard, destroying pillows, chewing on shoes and partaking in other troublesome activities in a bid to release all that energy.
How should I groom them?
Like owning any other dog, you have to pay special attention to grooming if you want your dog to look and feel its best. It is not just an appearance issue but a health one as well. Be sure to get your dog used to a grooming routine from a very young age in order to avoid aggression or fear during uncomfortable grooming moments such as nail trimming and ear cleaning. You have to brush your dog’s fur very often to avoid excess shedding, particularly if it takes after the slightly longer-haired German Shepherd.
What are some common health problems?
Just like trying to figure out this breed’s traits, it is also tough to pinpoint just what sort of illnesses they are susceptible to. However, you should keep in mind that it is not uncommon for them to be prone to skin diseases. This could be due to its Pitbull bloodline, allergies or a poor diet. They are also prone to hip dysplasia if they are not given enough exercise and end up being overweight. One way to figure out if your dog will be prone to any particular illnesses is to check out the health history of its mother and father. With that being said, German Pits generally live up to 12 years if they are healthy so you are certainly in for the long haul if you choose to welcome one into your home.
Is this the right dog for me?
Before buying or adopting a Shepherd Pit, you have to realize that raising one is going to take plenty of energy and time. These dogs require plenty of exercise and if you do not have the time or strength to take them out for brisk walks or runs, you have to ensure that you give them sufficient garden space to run around in. Keep in mind that your yard has to be fenced to keep your dog from showing off its protective nature towards strangers and other animals in the neighborhood. You can expect plenty of barking from these guys so apartment-living is certainly not ideal.
This breed craves attention so they are ideal for families with kids or those who have plenty of time on their hands to shower them with attention. Travel junkies are not ideal as these dogs tend to face separation anxiety issues when their masters leave them for long periods at a time. It is also best if you do not have any other pets as this dog enjoys being the dominant and territorial one. Although this isn’t too much of a concern if you are taking in a puppy, you need to keep this in mind if you are adopting a matured dog.