Smallest GSD Dog & Puppy Breed Guide
If you love dogs, you have perhaps adopted various breeds or are looking to start your journey with one you will love. German shepherds are known for their incredible power and better looks; most people keep their miniature breeds for companions or working dogs.
Along your journey of living with dogs, you will discover plenty of conditions that matter to their upbringing and healthy development. Information about their ancestry is just as essential as that about their personality. You may also want to know about their breeding and any health concerns common to them.
Standard German Shepherd
As the name suggests, these dogs were first bred in Germany. Their “GSD” abbreviation also identifies them, and their history traces to the late 1890s when their medium to large sizes were common as working dogs. Today, they are known for their aptness and intelligence.
They are also used for a variety of services, which the dog executes excellently. Besides guiding the blind, they are amazing house pets, can detect narcotics, and are excellent guard dogs. German shepherds are common among lifesavers, the police, the military, and even in movies.
Due to their nature of helping out, they do well with children and older people. They quickly relate well and identify with their caregivers. You may find them comfortable in a variety of environments, thanks to their high adaptability. You may, however, have some trouble with their heavy shedding, which will require regular brushing.
Their high adaptability affords these dogs comfort in varied environments; therefore, they do well in cold and warm climates. Due to their high activity, energy, and interactions, they also require frequent checks to ensure their good health. Therefore, be on schedule with vaccinations, bathing, and trimming. Whatever you cannot manage, let your vet know and help out.
Miniature German Shepherd
It is difficult and perhaps impossible to come across pure-bred miniature German Shepherds. As we will discuss, designer breeds are available, resulting from pure-bred German Shepherds. These dogs are loyal and give you no reason to doubt them; you may find them trustworthy and faithful, thus perfect for companionship. While this dog is easy to love, its lifespan ranges between 9 and 12 years.
Before buying a miniature German Shepherd
A breeder can get you a miniature German Shepherd. However, you must request all relevant information, which may include but is not limited to parentage and health history. Watch out for history or evidence of Hip Dysplasia, a joint complication, which can cause your pet discomfort and difficulty moving.
These dogs are most prone to Hip Dysplasia, and not many show signs up to 8 months of age. Purchasing a miniature German Shepherd with this complication can add more costs and maintenance needs to your list of things to worry about.
Depending on how advanced the disease could be, you may spend more time treating your dog than enjoying time with them. One of the ways that you can be guaranteed a healthy dog is by looking into its bloodline. Have this talk, and remember to discuss the parent’s health history
So, how much should you expect to spend? For Border Collie mixes, you may need at least $950; they can cost more. Poodle mixes, on the other hand, cost at least $900, which can be more. Ensure to purchase from only a trusted breeder with sufficient information.
Appearance and traits
These dogs are mostly standard-sized but can be born dwarfs. Their mixes with smaller dogs result in a GSD with more characteristics of the smaller parent.
You may be attracted by how adorable these dogs look; they are also powerful throughout their bodies and legs. You may find them easy to train since they love learning new stuff and enjoy mental stimulation. Their intelligence and aptness are other reasons for their smooth training.
These German Shepherds tend to take more after their other parent breeds; therefore, Yorkie mixes will often result in small dogs, and Collie mixes will result in large dogs. You can also tell a dwarf gene by their short legs and low weight (of roughly 30 lbs.) at maturity.
You will come across many dogs, but German Shepherds will always impress you with their personality; they are easy to get along with and have a gentle temperament. The dog’s intelligence makes it suitable for playing with children; they will also fit a large, active family excellently.
Their natural devotion wins these dogs the hearts of many; they are also loyal and serve well as protectors. The miniature German Shepherds’ ease of discipline makes them suitable for most homes that can manage their maintenance.
They learn fast and take well to training; they also possess plenty of energy and will require ample space for their plays and exercises. These dogs have their ways of establishing connections and deep attachments with their caregivers.
However, these dog mixes do not always give the best of what you could be looking for. Some parents could have displeasing traits, which a miniature German Shepherd could pick up. Therefore, take your time to weigh your options and find out which breeds have the qualities that would best suit your family.
For better guarantees, you can ask that you introduce the dog to your family for a short period of at most a week; let your guest meet your family members, then note how the interaction goes. It is also essential that you note their interaction with younger members like children or babies.
A good miniature German Shepherd, as we have discussed, should smooth into the family and will socialize well with all family members, other small pets included.
These dogs are easy to care for and maintain. They will be their best with the proper diet, water, exercise, and training.
You may find the miniature German Shepherd relatively easy to maintain. They are not exactly easy to care for due to the consistency that they require; these dogs, however, make things comfortable for you by responding well to treatment and training. They are also good with their diet and take water without trouble.
You will need to be on a routine with grooming, more so if your German Shepherd spends plenty of time outdoors; ensure to brush their coats every day. It would be best if you also bathed them regularly and paid a visit to a vet when possible.
Due to their high activity, these dogs will do well with regular exercise and physical stimulation. Their muscles require some work and training to be at their healthiest; therefore, go out whenever you can—run, hike, and play.
As we have noted, their intelligence makes training relatively easy; they quickly take in one-word instructions and commands; anything more than a word can get confusing. Within a short time, they should have learned basics, such as stay or sit. For encouragement and commendation, it is a good idea to reward your German Shepherd with a treat.
Most dogs are complicated to potty-train, and for a while, you will often have to clean up their messes on floors or carpets. With the miniature German Shepherd, you may not require as much time. With proper training and consistency, six days should be enough to get them to do things right.
What happens when these dogs get bored? Like most breeds, they tend to be irritated when under-stimulated or idle. They can turn to destructive and displeasing behavior, besides chewing and barking. Therefore, it is a good idea to keep them active every day.
It is also good to familiarize your German Shepherd with their environments. As they interact with people, children, and other animals, ensure that they have a chance to connect and learn. You can also introduce them to doggy or puppy classes as they grow; it helps with their future interactions.
While they use up plenty of energy in a day, these dogs are not likely to strain your budget when it comes to food. You should ensure that they get at least 1,500 calories daily. High-protein, corn-free meals would be most preferred. They will also need plenty of clean water; so, refill their water bowl.
You can also measure their feeding portions against their weight so that you serve 30 calories for every pound. It is a good idea to distribute their meals across the day; it will prevent overfeeding and ensure they get sufficient nutrients in every feed.
Peanut butter is okay for dogs, but you should watch that they don’t take too much; however, they cannot have sunflower seeds or chocolate. Also, avoid table scraps since they are not suitable for your German Shepherd’s weight.
Vitamin supplements are necessary additions to your GSD’s meal; they help with the prevention of illnesses. The complications common with these dogs include underactive thyroid gland or Canine Hypothyroidism; most standard-size and miniature German Shepherds suffer them.
Therefore, check that your dog’s meal contains all the nutrients, minerals, and vitamins necessary for healthy growth. Also, proteins should be in adequate amounts.
Miniature German Shepherd Mixes
Miniature German Shepherds have plenty of mixes. In this article, we will discuss the common four that you may already know or should. They are as follows:
- Gerberian Shepsky
You may be drawn to this mix of miniature German Shepherd and Husky by their adorable, blue eyes. They have double-furred coats and some brown eyes. They grow to between 20 and 26 inches, weighing an average of 35 to 90 pounds. These dogs have a regular exercise requirement, and due to the nature of their coats, brushing will also be essential.
Gerberian Shekskies are mostly loyal and robust; you may also find them friendly and sociable. You will get them in various colors, which are not limited to red, black, gray, brown; you can even come across one with a blend of the colors. They have an average lifespan of seven to 14 years.
Maintenance is a concern to some parents; if $1,500 a year sounds too much, you may have to consider a different mix. The money will cover the dog’s grooming, food, and bills to the vet. Depending on how you will raise and train your dog, the cost can go up or drop.
Summarily, this breed is easily lovable for its adorable, blue eyes. Their double-furred coats are another feature that most parents like about these dogs; they measure 20-26 inches and weigh 35-90 lbs. They also live for 7-14 years and are available in a wide variety of colors.
This mix, featuring a miniature German Shepherd and a Poodle, results in dogs that take after both parents. Besides their intelligence, they can be gentle, loyal, athletic, and energetic. Their shedding can be unpredictable, but generally, you will need to do plenty of brushing.
The Poodle traces its roots to 400 years ago in Germany; it was first used to hunt ducks. You may also know this dog by a name that contradicts its history, the French Poodle. Their mix, thus, results in a breed with a calm temper and friendly nature.
The mix’s other parent, the miniature German Shepherd, contributes to their courage and intelligence. These dogs grow to between 15 and 26 inches, weighing an average of 40 to 90 pounds. They do not have the highest exercise requirements but will need at least one to two hours of your daily time for walks.
This mix will cost you between $500 and $1,000 on food, grooming, and vet visits on maintenance matters. While this may not be as much as the former case, you will have to consider whether or not it strains your budget. Work with what you can manage at the end of the day.
- Corman Shepherd
This mix features a miniature German Shepherd and Corgi. Their varied personalities result in loyal dogs that have plenty of energy to put to work. They can be both easy and complicated to train, and when they are alone, they can bark uncontrollably or get destructive. These dogs require early and consistent training.
The Corgis have their roots in 1107 AD; they were first herders of livestock, cattle, geese, sheep, and ponies. The German Shepherds, on the other hand, have an explorative and working history. This mix, therefore, will enjoy walks in new environments and changes in scenery.
They live for an average of 11 to 14 years; they also grow to between 15 and 20 inches, weighing 40 to 70 pounds. On maintenance concerns, these are some of the most affordable miniature German Shepherd mixes to sustain. They will cost between $200 and $500.
Summarily, you may find this mix to be a complicated personality that you can learn to handle over time; they are not difficult to train, but their once-in-a-while stubbornness can cause complications. They are full of energy and loyal; they also love a change of scenery and walks.
One of the most active of the mixes in this article is the Shollies, a combination of a miniature German Shepherd and a Border Collie. These dogs make great herders, thanks to their athletism. They are full of energy and are apt learners; therefore, they will enjoy physical and mental stimulation.
Due to their energy and athleticism, these dogs will do well with sufficient exercise. Therefore, a parent should be around most of the time or train and play with them. Whenever possible, you can also explore the outdoors.
They live for an average of 13 to 15 years; they also measure between 22 and 29 inches and weigh 75 to 80 pounds. You may love how this dog’s silky coat looks; however, their long furs require regular brushing and maintenance. You can also bathe them or visit a vet every month.
These are excellent watchdogs and bark whenever they sense or see anything that is off. When not offering protection, they are socializing; they are friendly and relate well to family members and children. However, you may want to supervise their interactions.
Their size and exercise requirements suit these dogs for ample space; therefore, an apartment may not be the best place for them. On maintenance, they are relatively affordable, costing between $475 and $900; nonetheless, ensure that you get them from only a trusted breeder.
Miniature German Shepherds are some of the most intelligent dogs you will come across. Most have plenty of energy and can serve work and guard purposes excellently. They are generally easy to train due to their smart and apt nature; they also enjoy learning and trying out new tricks and games.
These dogs are suitable for families; they are friendly and quick to get along with family members and children. They are hardly ever stubborn and require sufficient space for comfortable movement and playing. Most live for long enough and grow to manageable sizes.
However, before purchasing these dogs, you should seek enough information on their parentage and breeding. Find out their health and family histories; whenever possible, also request information about their upbringing. Visit the trusted breeder and have a look at the dog’s environment.
Generally, do enough research about a mix you would like to purchase before proceeding. Also, consider the cost of maintaining miniature German Shepherds, which can be high. All factors in check, you will come to love these dogs; they are beautiful and lovely!