German Shepherd Pitbull Mix – (A.K.A The Shepherd Pit)

The German Shepherd Pitbull mix, also known as the Shepherd Pit, German Pit and German Sheppit and recognized by the Dog Registry of America (DRA), is a large cross breed between the German Shepherd and the American Pit Bull Terrier.

Due to the stereotypes and misconceptions associated with the temperaments and characters of these two dogs that states how “dangerous” they can be, much of which is untrue and blown way out of proportion, a mix between these two dogs doesn’t sound like the most exciting of ideas to many.

But in reality, this is not always the case.

90% of how a dog grows up to act as an adult dog is determined by the environment they were raised in when they were puppies, whether they were abused or treated well, how well they were trained, how well they were socialized and a host of other factors as well.

Given the proper circumstances and environment, these two dogs can be the most loving creatures you have ever come across in your whole life. You would be surprised!

German Shepherd Pitbull Mix Appearance

Height & Weight: The German Shepherd Pit Bull mix when grown up is, on average, between 18-24 inches (46-61 cm) tall and weighs between 65-85 lbs (29-38 kgs).

Face: The German Shepherd Pitbull Mix is more likely to have a face that looks like a Pitbull than it is to have a face that looks like a German Shepherd.

Color: Most German Pits will come in light brown, black, white, grey, fawn and tan.

Coat: The German Shepherd Pitbull Mix’s coat is usually either short or medium in length (rarely tall), and is usually a thick one.

American Pit Bull Terriers usually have very short hair, while German Shepherds usually have thick hair that’s medium in length.

German Shepherd Pitbull Mix Temperament & Character

Since you’ll rarely come across a designer hybrid dog that’s 50% purebred on both its parents sides, the best way you can go about finding out what temperament your German Shepherd Pitbull mix dog is likely to have is by running a quick search and learning about the temperaments of both its parents.

After you do that, know that you’re almost guaranteed to get a mix of both temperaments and characters.

Training: The German Shepherd Pitbull Mix is a strong dog (thanks to its very well built physique), meaning that it should have its power under control at all times.

This can easily be done by proper training and socialization at an early age.

This way, you won’t see it exhibit any unacceptable aggression that usually is expressed towards other dogs.

Energy: The German Shepherd Pitbull mix is very energetic, given that its parents are both working dog breeds.

This dog loves to just run around and play all day, although it does know when it’s time to settle down a little bit and take a break or call it a day.

Just be prepared to go out on a lot of walks and runs with this pup (2 exercise sessions a day isn’t out of the question), because a dog its size needs a whole lot of exercise to release all the built up energy inside!

If you’re not able to give them the exercise they need yourself, make sure your house has adequate yard space for them to remain active in as much as they want (with a fenced backyard being the most ideal situation).

If you’re thinking about getting this dog for an apartment, forget about it.

Remember, a well exercised dog is a dog that’ll stay away from unnecessary digging, destructive chewing and excessive barking, all of which neither you nor I want!

Aggressiveness: This may surprise a lot of people reading this, but German Shepherd Pitbull mix dogs aren’t aggressive at all.

On the contrary, when properly socialized and trained at a young age, German Shepherd Pitbull mix dogs can grow to be one of the most friendliest dog breeds you’ve ever come across.

And we’re not just talking friendly to human beings here, we’re also talking friendly to other animals as well!

It’s dog owners that fail to properly raise, socialize and train their Shepherds and Pitbulls at a young age that give these two dog breeds a bad name among the dog owner community.

Intelligence: German Shepherd Pitbull mix dogs are highly intelligent, which is a great plus for anyone who wants to train their dog to do anything (such as potty training).

This dog can immediately catch on to what you mean and exactly what you want them to do.

However, this dog is somewhat stubborn and will prove to be a little bit difficult to get to obey commands at times if they don’t exactly like it.

Also, when interacting with other dogs, try to observe the situation carefully and notice how this dog often acts as the leader.

This dog can sometimes get dominant and a bit violent while interacting with other dogs, depending on the situation at hand, but again this can all be easily solved by proper socialization and training at a young age.

Protectiveness: German Shepherd Pitbull mix dogs are very protective of their owners and household members, which is something that’s part of their character.

This can be changed though with proper training and socialization at a young age.

Just know that there’s a very good possibility that this dog will attack anything or anyone they feel is threatening them, yourself or any other family member.

However, and as mentioned above, they are highly intelligent dogs and can differentiate very well between a dangerous situation and a normal one.

Besides being overly protective of its owner and family members that it loves, this dog likes to spend a whole lot of quality time with them as well.

While this dog can most certainly entertain itself more than other dog breeds, it’s definitely not a good choice for a pet if you plan to leave it alone for extended bouts of time.

German Shepherd Pitbull Mix Health

While you should always request to have a look at the medical history of this dog’s parents from your breeder to make sure you’re not getting scammed, you should know that the German Shepherd Pitbull mix dog is prone to certain health issues and sicknesses, such as:

  • Skin Disease
  • Allergies
  • Hip Dysplasia. This is one of the most important reasons why you must make sure that this dog gets enough exercise during the day.
  • Bloating
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Heart disease

The average life span of German Pits is between 10-12 years, provided that they lead a healthy life.

German Shepherd Pitbull Mix Care

When it comes to taking care of your dog, grooming it is one of the most crucial aspects involved.

And, German Shepherd Pitbull mix dogs have to get used to a consistent grooming schedule from a very young age so that they grow up with this schedule being the norm instead of something new they have to get used to.

Why is this so important? If this is not done from a very young age, the German Shepherd Pitbull mix dog might exhibit aggression towards anyone trying to brush its fur, cut its hair, trim its nails, clean its ears, brush its teeth, etc ..

Speaking about brushing fur, German Shepherd Pitbull mix dogs have coats that are short to medium in length.

If you get a short coated German Shepherd Pitbull mix dog, then you can get by with a moderate brushing schedule.

However, if you get one with a medium length coat, then you have to brush its fur very frequently so it doesn’t shed excessive hair when the season comes.

Brushing your Shepherd Pit about once every week should do the trick, but remember to get it used to brushing and grooming from a very young age.

Who Should Get The German Shepherd Pitbull Mix?

First off, if you’re not able to have a fenced yard at home, chances are that this dog is not the one for you.

A fenced yard is especially important so your Shepherd Pit doesn’t get you into too much trouble with your neighbors and passers by.

And, an apartment for these dogs to live in is most certainly out of the question, or else be prepared to live with a miserable dog that’s going to be barking all day long.

If you’re able to be there for them day in day out, spend valuable time with them to play with them and give them the exercise they need on a daily basis and take them with you on the road if you travel, then this dog is perfect for you.

However, if you plan to get this dog only to leave it unattended for long bouts of time, then this is a very bad decision that will only lead to your dog developing separation anxiety and exhibiting behavioral problems to make itself heard.


  1. Wow – I have to disagree with some of these generalizations and think this description paints the picture of a hyper and destructive dog that is difficult to own. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I rescued my sheperd pitbull mix from the pound when she was 3 years old. I lived in an apartment at the time and she was absolutely perfect for apartment living. Quiet, calm and mostly very low energy. They are prone to quick bursts of intense energy followed by long lazy periods- think sprinter not marathon runner. That being said, I did take her out for a 30 to 60 minute walk/run twice a day – every day. I understood that commitment when I adopted her. They can also be somewhat independent or aloof which works well in a smaller space as they aren’t right on top of you every second. So, I would say they are excellent apartment dogs for people with an active lifestyle. I do agree that they need a confidant owner that is familiar with large powerful dogs as they tend to be stubborn. Think training a mule not a horse.
    Also, I did work full time and she was fine alone for up to 8 hour stretches several days a week. She did go to dog day care two days a week to break the monotony and I kept her mentally and physically challenged when I was off – hiking, dog park, rides in the car. We now live in a house with a big back yard but she prefers to spend most of her day inside snoozing on the couch. I have also adopted a German shorthair pointer and he is MUCH more high energy than she is.

    • I love your comment, as i as well work full time and adopted a 2 year old shepherd pit mix, and she is amazing. I as well do a walk with her, 60 mins at night, but i also have 4 children to keep her going, and she is by far the best and most calm dog we’veever had. Shes up for energy, but also mosr willing to lay around if your sick or tired. And shes only 2 mind you…. shes the most amazing dog i could ever ask for.

    • Thanks so much for your comment! I just adopted what seems to be this mixed breed, they say she’s a lab shepherd mix but she looks like a pit shepherd mix to me. I live in an apartment and work full time and I was freaking out! She’s only 8 weeks old right now so I leave her with my mom who stays home all day during the day. I do plan on taking her on long walks or runs when she grows up! I also plan to train and socialize her since she’s young but I have to wait until she has had her last round of shots. Thank you!

  2. I have had pits all my life. they make the best dog for families with children. Press love to play and cuddle. They have such great personalities and are so funny. They do however love a lot of attention and exercise you have to be an active person to have one of these dogs unless you have a more calm laid-back dog. My last pit was a chill dog but at times he would run and play like he was hiked up on caffeine. He stayed by my side all the time and love to ride in the car. He was also such a ham and would love to do tricks to show off in front of people. He was my best friend.

  3. I have a 3 year old Sheppard Pit. I got her as a pup. I have 3 kids. We live in a single wide trailer. We live in a rural area though so she runs around on a farm a lot and we go hiking and fishing and camping etc. Most of the time she sleeps on the couch or on her bed or wherever. She has bursts of energy but she isn’t hyper. She was really easy to potty train and teach “paw”, “sit”, “lay”, “stay,” etc. I also kennel trained her as a pup. She can be unsupervised for up to 8 hours and has never tore anything up or used the bathroom in the house. She does bark a lot though, she knows what not to bark at, she has commands but she chooses to ignore them and will continue to bark and then when I give her a look she will walk to her kennel and put herself in time out. She’s very intelligent, but she is stubborn. She’s very good with the kids. She does not like the youngest getting in her face though so I’ve had to repeatedly set boundaries and teach the kids to respect the dogs boundaries. Some animals just don’t like it. She’s very affectionate towards me and she will get very close to my face, even putting her face on my face, but she will not let anyone else get in her face. Each animal is different, just like people so just watch them and learn their personalities.


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