This is a complete guide to the Whippet German Shepherd Mix, also known as the German Whippet. So if you want to learn about:
- The personality of the German Whippet
- Training and grooming requirements
- Health and lifespan
Then you’ll appreciate the comprehensive information in today’s guide. Let’s get started.
Quick Whippet German Shepherd Mix Facts
Size: Medium, standing 21 to 22 inches (53 to 56 cm) tall.
Coat: Varies, can be short and smooth or longer and coarse.
Energy: High, requires daily exercise.
Suitability for Children: Good, with proper socialization.
Life Span: 9-15 years.
Temperament: Blend of sensitivity, versatility, and loyalty.
Training: Intelligent and energetic, requires a balanced approach.
Grooming: Moderate, sheds particularly during shedding seasons.
Friendliness: Generally sociable and friendly with proper socialization.
Origin of the German Whippet
The German Whippet is a mixed breed dog, a combination of the Bulldog and Whippet breeds. The Bulldog, originating from 16th century England, was initially used for bull baiting. However, it has since transformed into a gentle, non-aggressive breed.
The Whippet, developed in the 1700s, shares ancestry with the Greyhound and Italian Greyhound. It was used in chasing and hunting small game like rabbits. Known for its speed, the Whippet remains a popular breed today.
But, the German Whippet’s origin is less clear. It’s a recent crossbreed with limited documented information.
Origin of the Whippet
The Whippet’s exact origin, dating back to the late 18th or early 19th centuries, is somewhat unclear. Art from as early as the 1400s shows dogs that look very similar to small Greyhounds, suggesting the existence of early Whippets or Whippet-like dogs.
These nimble dogs were mainly used for hunting hares in open fields. Their speed and agility made them ideal for this job. However, Whippets were not good at tracking scents and were not used for other types of hunting.
Often mistaken for the Italian Greyhound due to regular crossbreeding throughout history, the Whippet shares almost identical physical traits with Greyhounds and Italian Greyhounds. The breed’s name, “Whippet,” comes from the phrase “to whip it,” which means rapid movement.
These fast dogs come from Northern England, where poachers often used them for hunting.
Origin of the German Shepherd
The German Shepherd breed originated in Germany in the 1850s. These dogs were selectively bred by shepherds who wanted specific traits useful for herding sheep. These included intelligence, speed, strength, and a keen sense of smell.
The breed was named Deutscher Schäferhund by von Stephanitz, which translates to “German Shepherd Dog”. This name was picked to set this breed apart from other herding dogs common in Germany at the time.
At first, the main job of the German Shepherd was to help shepherds in herding and protecting sheep.
Whippet German Shepherd Mix Appearance
The Whippet German Shepherd mix has a muscular body, showing its strong heritage. This mixed breed often gets a curved back from both parent breeds, contributing to its unique look.
Another notable feature is a long, slender snout. The type of fur can differ, making each mix special.
The German Shepherd Whippet mix can show a variety of coat colours and textures, influenced by both parent breeds. The German Shepherd’s thick double coat might lead to a slightly longer, denser coat for the mix.
On the other hand, the Whippet’s single coat could result in a shorter, sleeker coat. The mix’s colour palette is diverse, including shades like brown, black, white, silver, sable, and tan. These colours can appear alone or combined, contributing to the unique look of each individual German Whippet mix.
The Whippet German Shepherd Mix averages between 21 to 22 inches (53 to 56 cm) in height, classifying it as a large breed. However, it’s usually smaller than a purebred German Shepherd.
In terms of weight, these dogs range from 60 to 65 pounds (27 to 29 kg), but some can weigh between 35 to 80 pounds (16 to 36 kg).
Their coat can differ in length and colour, with options including solid black, saddled black & tan, and brindle.
Typical Temperament Traits
Mixed breeds usually show a mix of traits from their parent breeds. They can be loving, good with children, and friendly with other pets if properly socialised. Initially, they might be cautious around strangers but can become friendly once they get to know them.
Some might inherit protective instincts, while others could be more independent and careful. They might also have a strong instinct to chase prey. These dogs are often smart, faithful, brave, and self-assured.
Whippets are sensitive to human feelings and do well in calm surroundings. They combine a love for exercise with a liking for a more relaxed lifestyle.
They are good at agility, flyball, lure coursing, and racing, showing their versatility and athleticism. Their loving and gentle character makes them perfect therapy and psychiatric service dogs.
In the Whippet Shepherd mix, they bring intelligence, loyalty, and adaptability. They have high energy levels and need regular exercise and effective training. Positive reinforcement is the best method.
Their slim, athletic build shows their active nature.
German Shepherd Personality
German Shepherds are famous for their versatility, representing the ideal all-purpose worker in the dog world. They have a large, agile, and muscular build, paired with a noble character and high intelligence.
Loyalty, confidence, courage, and steadiness are key traits of this breed. They are often willing to risk their lives for their loved ones. They can be gentle family pets and reliable guardians, but they also have a certain aloofness, not showing immediate or indiscriminate affection.
Their intelligence and ability to be trained have led to their widespread use as police dogs, service dogs, and agility dogs, among other roles. The German Shepherd’s dignified stature and unique “pose” in show presentations reflect their popularity and recognition.
They are known for their serious loyalty and fidelity to their owner or main caretaker, often considered a “one-man” breed.
Whippet German Shepherd Mix Combined Temperament
The Whippet German Shepherd mix usually shows a mixed temperament that is both loving and protective. They often form close bonds with their family, showing patience with young children. With early socialisation, they can live peacefully with other pets.
At first, they may be wary around strangers, but once a guest is accepted by the family, they can become very sociable and playful. They inherit the German Shepherd’s protective instincts, making them alert guardians.
Although they are generally healthy with a lower risk of hip and elbow dysplasia than purebred German Shepherds, they may still be prone to serious conditions such as bloat.
Raising a German Whippet Puppy
Raising a German Whippet puppy needs a balanced mix of care, training, and socialisation. Early training is vital to mould their behaviour, focusing on positive reinforcement techniques.
Socialisation should also start early, exposing the puppy to different environments, people, and other animals to encourage well-rounded development. Regular vet check-ups are key to keep an eye on their health and growth.
Providing a nutritious diet, plenty of exercise, and a loving environment will make sure your German Whippet puppy grows into a healthy, well-adjusted adult.
Whippet German Shepherd Mix Socialization
Raising a Whippet German Shepherd mix involves a crucial part called socialisation. This involves introducing the puppy to different environments, people, and other animals. This helps to develop a well-rounded and adaptable adult dog.
You should start early and be consistent to ensure a positive outcome.
Socializing With Other Dogs
The Whippet German Shepherd mix is quite adaptable when socialising with other dogs. This breed’s sociability comes from the Whippet’s friendliness and the German Shepherd’s confidence, which helps it interact well with other dogs.
But, early and consistent socialisation is key for them to develop positive interactions. Introduce your dog to a variety of other dogs in controlled environments, like dog parks or play dates. This can help build good relationships with other dogs.
Remember, each dog is unique, so patience and understanding are vital during this process.
Socializing With Children
The Whippet German Shepherd mix can be a fantastic friend for children due to its natural patience and gentleness. But, early socialisation is vital to nurture a positive relationship.
The size and energy of this breed can be too much for younger children, so it’s recommended to supervise them during interactions.
It’s also necessary to teach children the correct way to approach and handle the dog.
Training And Exercise
The Whippet German Shepherd mix needs daily exercise, needing at least an hour of physical and mental activity. This can be done through activities like off-leash running in a secure area, hiking, jogging, or taking part in dog sports.
Training this breed needs a positive, reward-based approach, and a lot of patience. Owners with previous training experience often have more success in teaching this energetic and intelligent mix.
But, a well-exercised and properly trained German Shepherd mix is a happy and well-behaved companion.
The German Whippet is energetic and needs plenty of space to roam and play. A small flat or condo may not offer enough room for this active breed.
Ideally, a detached house with a garden, or close to open fields, is best for their needs. This breed needs 30 to 60 minutes of exercise daily, so daily walks or runs are essential.
Small living spaces are not suitable. Enough living space and exercise greatly improve the health of this breed.
Whippet German Shepherd Mix Health And Care
The health of a Whippet German Shepherd mix can be affected by its parent breeds. This mixed breed may inherit health risks from both the Whippet and the German Shepherd.
Regular vet check-ups and a balanced diet can help maintain overall health.
Grooming Requirements: Do Whippet German Shepherd Mixes Shed?
Whippet German Shepherd mixes do shed, especially during shedding seasons. Regular brushing can help control this, lessening the amount of loose hair.
Baths should only be given when the dog looks visibly dirty or oily.
You should also regularly check and clean the dog’s ears, and monitor their nails, trimming them when necessary. This routine care maintains the health and appearance of your Whippet.
Whippets are usually healthy but can be susceptible to specific health problems. These include a type of cancer called canine hemangiosarcoma, orthopaedic injuries, a bleeding disorder known as canine von Willebrand’s disease, sensitivity to anaesthesia, a heart condition named mitral valve disease, and deafness.
But, not all Whippets will develop these diseases. They are, however, more likely to be at risk than other breeds. Regular check-ups and early detection can effectively manage these potential health issues.
Sources: Animal Health Clinic
German Shepherd Health
Like any breed, German Shepherds can suffer from certain health problems. Hip dysplasia is a common condition, marked by symptoms like limping, stiffness, and reduced activity.
Another issue is bloat, a potentially deadly abdominal swelling that can happen suddenly.
Degenerative myelopathy, along with elbow and hip dysplasia, are other conditions that breeders should check for in their breeding stock. These health checks help maintain the long life and well-being of this much-loved breed.
Whippet German Shepherd Mix Health
The health of a Whippet German Shepherd mix can be influenced by different factors. They might inherit bone problems from the Whippet lineage. However, these can often be lessened through thoughtful breeding and keeping a healthy weight.
Eye disorders and deafness are also possible health worries. Hip dysplasia, common in larger breeds, can be a risk. Despite these potential problems, the mix usually lives for 12 to 15 years.
Their weight can vary from 25 to 65 pounds (11 to 29 kg), depending on the traits inherited from each parent.
The Whippet German Shepherd mix usually has a lifespan of 9 to 15 years. This aligns with the German Shepherd’s 9 to 13 years and the Whippet’s 12 to 15 years.
Longevity can be affected by factors like keeping a healthy weight and good nutrition. Regular checks can help lessen potential bone problems inherited from the Whippet lineage.
They may also be prone to eye disorders and deafness. Despite these possible health issues, Whippet German Shepherd mixes generally lead long, satisfying lives. This is especially true when they take part in activities like AKC canine sports.
Rescuing A Whippet German Shepherd Mix
Rescuing a Whippet German Shepherd mix can be a rewarding journey, full of challenges and benefits. These dogs might initially show fear or unease, but with patience, love, and regular care, they can adapt to a relaxed and settled lifestyle. Often seen as more human-like than dog-like, these mixes are known for their loving nature and fondness for cuddles.
Adopting a rescued dog is a praiseworthy choice when looking for a new pet. It gives these animals a much-needed second chance. Although it might need time, patience, and training, the bond formed with a rescued dog can be incredibly satisfying.
In rescue centres, these mixes often get basic training, including simple tricks. Despite their lively heritage, Whippet German Shepherd mixes can be quite lazy, enjoying slow walks and games of fetch.
Their unique look, possibly featuring a mix of colours and influences from other breeds like the Collie, adds to their appeal. Rescuing a Whippet German Shepherd mix is not just about providing a home, but also about welcoming a new, loving member into your family.
Where to Find A Whippet German Shepherd Mix Puppy
Finding a Whippet German Shepherd mix puppy might need some patience. This is because it can take time to find a reputable breeder who specialises in this mix.
Avoid pet shops or puppy mills. Instead, focus on breeders who put the health and well-being of their dogs first. The price of these puppies can vary between breeders. This reflects factors like pedigree and breeder reputation.
Once you’ve found your puppy, remember that early training and socialisation are vital for raising a well-adjusted, happy dog. This mix, a medium to large breed with a muscular body, can look different from one dog to another.
Some may inherit a curved back and long, slender muzzle. The coat can also be unpredictable, varying from one dog to another.
Whippet German Shepherd Mix Breeders
Finding good breeders for a Whippet German Shepherd mix can be tricky due to the rarity of this mixed breed. But, it’s not impossible.
Start by contacting local dog clubs or breed-specific organisations. They often have links with reliable breeders. Online platforms can also be useful, but be careful to avoid puppy farms and dishonest breeders.
Make sure the breeder puts the health and well-being of their dogs first, provides medical history, and welcomes visits to their facility. A responsible breeder will also ask you questions to make sure their puppies are going to a suitable home.
If you’re open to adoption, think about checking with local animal shelters or rescue groups. They often have mixed breed dogs looking for a caring home.
Adopting a Mix Breed Dog. Cost and Challenges
Adopting a mixed breed dog like the Whippet German Shepherd mix involves both financial aspects and unique challenges. Adoption costs can differ greatly, influenced by things like the dog’s age, health, and the location and reputation of the adoption centre. Puppies often have higher prices due to their popularity and the cost of initial vet care, including vaccinations and neutering.
Challenges can come from the unpredictability of mixed breeds. The Whippet German Shepherd mix may inherit any mix of traits from its parent breeds. This makes its temperament and health needs somewhat unpredictable. Potential owners should be ready for a range of possible behaviours and health problems. They should also be willing to invest time in training and socialisation.
Despite these challenges, adopting a mixed breed dog can be a rewarding experience. These dogs often have a unique mix of traits that make them charming companions. Plus, by adopting, you’re giving a loving home to a dog in need.
We answer the most common questions about the Whippet German Shepherd Mix below.
What are the different names for a Whippet cross German Shepherd?
The Whippet cross German Shepherd is often called the German Whippet. This name represents the mix of the two parent breeds.
Does the German Whippet Breed Bark a Lot?
Whippets, the parent breed of the German Whippet, aren’t usually very vocal. They might sometimes bark to let their owners know about outside activity or when the doorbell rings.
Some Whippets may also bark during play or to express a need. But, excessive barking, especially when left alone for long periods, can indicate displeasure.
While they aren’t generally destructive, boredom can lead to destructive behaviour, particularly in puppies.
Is the Whippet German Shepherd Mix Breed Intelligent?
The Whippet German Shepherd mix is likely to be smart, taking after the German Shepherd’s well-known intellect. But, this intelligence may need training to be fully used.
This breed needs daily exercise, mental stimulation, and play for their overall happiness. While the German Shepherd is known for its intelligence, the Whippet isn’t particularly famous for being brainy, making the mix’s temperament unpredictable.
Ideally, the mix would combine the German Shepherd’s intelligence with the Whippet’s relaxed attitude.
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Hello. I’m Luke- the founder of WhippetCentral. I’m somewhat of a whippet nut and have been for most of my life. In that time, I’ve owned and raised numerous whippets. Bonnie is my latest girl; she is currently eight years old and keeps me very busy! Understanding the need for whippet-specific content, I decided to create this blog to share what I have learned and to share my expertise regarding owning and raising whippets – the right way!