Miniature German Shepherd (A.K.A Mini German Shepherd) – An Overview

The controversy surrounding miniature dogs such as Miniature German Shepherds, the subject of this article, is becoming an increase source of confusion for the novice dog owner that wants nothing but to know the truth and exactly what they’re getting themselves into.

If you were to ask one group of people about Miniature German Shepherds, they’ll tell you that this dog is a distinct breed of its own and is not the same breed as a normal sized German Shepherd that we’re all familiar with.

Meanwhile, another group of people will tell you that Miniature German Shepherds are nothing but smaller sized versions of the normal German Shepherd we’re all familiar with.

So, which of these two groups is right and which is wrong? We’re here to set the record straight about this controversy once and for all, so read along.

Are Miniature German Shepherds The Same As Purebred German Shepherds?

Despite the controversy surrounding this issue and the many different answers you may get for this question, the answer is quite simply NO.

Miniature German Shepherds aren’t quite the same as purebred German Shepherds.

Purebred German Shepherds usually come to life when one German Shepherd parent is bred with another German Shepherd parent, while Miniature German Shepherds come to line when one German Shepherd parent is bred with either a Poodle or a Collie parent.

In other cases, a German Shepherd purebred will be cross bred with a Yorkshire Terrier to create a Miniature German Shepherd, but this isn’t as common as using a Poodle or a Collie parent on the other side is.

When looking for a Miniature German Shepherd dog to bring home, many unethical breeders will falsely market these dogs to have you believe that they are just small sized German Shepherds, something which isn’t true at all.

Unfortunately, this is how many breeders are able to skyrocket their profits, and whether or not they’re falsely marketing their assets is the least of their worries.

Miniature German Shepherd Appearance

When it comes to the appearance of the Miniature German Shepherd, you’re going to notice a whole lot of resemblance to the purebred German Shepherd that we’re all familiar with.

Keep in mind, though, that the appearance of one Miniature German Shepherd can vary quite a bit from that of another Miniature German Shepherd because they are essentially cross breeds.

Imagine a smaller sized purebred German Shepherd that has a similar strong physical build, although obviously not as strong as a purebred German Shepherd because of the tremendous difference in size.

Mini German Shepherd Temperament

When it comes to determining the temperament of a Miniature German Shepherd, there is no exact way for one to go about doing this, mainly because this dog is a cross breed and with cross breeds either parent can be dominant in passing their personality traits to the offspring.

The best way for anyone wanting to add a Miniature German Shepherd to their household and wanting to know what their temperament is like is to have a look at the temperaments of a purebred German Shepherd and the temperaments of either a Poodle or a Collie dog.

This, of-course, depends on which of the latter two the purebred German Shepherd is mixed with in order to create a Miniature German Shepherd.


The good news about training a Miniature German Shepherd is that this dog almost always takes after its German Shepherd parent when it comes to their very high intelligence levels, meaning that training them will often be a pleasure.

Of course, you have to know what you’re doing during training and have to make sure you’re following proper training methods, or else training will be a complete mess with even the most intelligent of dogs out there.

In the right hands and with the right dog trainer, a Miniature German Shepherd can be one of the fastest learning dogs you’ve ever encountered.

It’s not a coincidence that German Shepherds are one of the best working dogs out there, it all ties back to how intelligent they are and how capable they are in following directions to the T.

Excelling in search and rescue tasks, for example, is certainly no easy task for a dog to do if they don’t have the intellectual capabilities to keep up.

Keep in mind that having this dog properly socialized (with other dogs, different pets and young/adult people alike) and trained from a very young age will go a long way in making this entire process easier, as their minds are most receptive to training when they’re still young puppies that haven’t experienced much of the world and haven’t formed any concrete habits yet.

Guard Dogs

Coming from a German Shepherd parent, the Miniature German Shepherd is an incredibly efficient guard dog if that’s what you’re looking for in a dog.

Miniature German Shepherd Health

Determining what exact health problems a Miniature German Shepherd will probably go through in life is anything but an easy process, because of their mixed-breed nature.

Pinpointing health problems purebred dogs are at risk of facing in their lifetimes, on the other hand, is a much easier process.

With purebred dogs, the health problems they risk facing are the same whether they took most of their genetics from their mother’s side or from their father’s side, because both parents are from the same breed and face the same health risks.

However, with cross-breed dogs, the health problems they risk facing in their lives may greatly differ depending on which of their two parents they took most of their genetics from, as health risks of one dog breed differ from those of another.

So, run a quick check on some of the most common health risks that German Shepherds and either Poodles or Collies commonly face in life in order to know what health problems your Miniature German Shepherd may face during their life time.

The #1 problem you could expect your Miniature German Shepherd to face is Hip & Elbow Dysplasia, which is one of the most common physical problems German Shepherds tend to suffer from in their lives, and is very often passed on to Miniature German Shepherds during the cross-breeding process.

Again, this is one of those cases where a high quality dog breeder that has been in the business for a while and isn’t only in it to gain a quick buck here and there and disappear can provide you with medical clearances for the Miniature German Shepherd they are selling you in order to reassure you.

Such are the guarantees and reassurances you get when you work with ethical dog breeders, which is why we always advise all potential dog owners to do just that.

Besides regular trips to the veterinarian where frequent checkups can happen, and providing your Miniature German Shepherd with all the means they need to lead a healthy life, there isn’t any special reason you need to worry about any health risks they may face in life.

Miniature German Shepherd Living Conditions

Family Dog – Yay Or Nay?

Some dogs tend to fit in very well in households where a single individual/couple without children live, while other dogs tend to fit in very well in households where a family with children resides.

So, under which category does the Miniature German Shepherd fall, you may be wondering?

Truth be told, the Miniature German Shepherd can adjust and fit in either way.

This dog will fit right in a household with a family under its roof in no time, and so is the case if you want to add one to your household where only you live or you and another individual reside.

Adapt or die, they say, and the Miniature German Shepherd sure can do a whole lot of the former!

It would be smartest to take advantage of having a dog like the Miniature German Shepherd at home if you have a family with kids under your roof.

This is due to the fact that not only is this dog one of the most affectionate creatures that loves nothing but to show its household members all the love there is in the world, it’s also one of the most loyal and protective dogs that will stop at nothing when it comes to protecting any family member from harm’s way.

Miniature German Shepherds love to interact and play with little kids that are just as energetic and full of life as they are, and the two sides will make excellent playmates in the right circumstances.

Where Can I Buy A Miniature German Shepherd?

If you’ve already made up your mind and have decided to add a Miniature German Shepherd to the family and household, then you have to be very careful where you get this dog from.

The last thing you want to do is do business with an unethical breeder that just sees you as an ATM machine that’s there for them to make a quick buck out off, which is something many breeders are unfortunately doing nowadays where they have their customers believe that they are getting the actual dog they’re looking for, but in reality they aren’t.

High quality and ethical dog breeders will be able to easily prove to you that what they have is actually a real Miniature German Shepherd if you were to ask them to.

A Quick Note About Dwarf German Shepherds

There are some cases where a relatively small sized German Shepherd exists that hasn’t been cross-bred, and this case is almost always due to a condition called Dwarfism.

Dwarf German Shepherds are born with certain genetic defects that ultimately result in them staying much smaller in size than a usual German Shepherd’s potential of growth is, instead of them being born because a breeder was thinking ahead and specifically bred for small size.

You should do your due diligence before buying any small sized German Shepherd so that you are completely sure of whether they are Dwarf German Shepherds or whether they are Miniature German Shepherds, as taking care of the latter and providing them with all the care they need to live a normal life is a tremendously easier job than doing such for the former.

And we’re not just talking time, affection and mental energy here, we’re talking much more costs and veterinary bills that will sooner or later take their toll on your life because of the many health problems that Dwarf German Shepherds ultimately face in life.

If you have the necessary financial means to properly care for a Dwarf German Shepherd and this is something you really want to do, then please do so, as you will have saved a life that may have been destined for something much worse.

But, for those who aren’t as financially capable of doing this, you have to know that taking proper care of a Dwarf German Shepherd can get extremely costly.


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