German Shepherd Dachshund Mix: Feisty and Smart With a Big Heart


German Shepherd Dachshund Mix — The Good, the Bad, and the Awesome

Credit: Kabirthekabob

German Shepherd Dachshund comes from two pure German breeds noticeably different in both appearance and personality, so it is a rather unexpected combination. It seems to work well, as it marries the characteristics of the parents perfectly, and it’s hard to tell which of the puppies is cuter than the other! Like any other mixed-breed, this one also can vary in the way they look and behave and should be taken care of differently. If you are thinking about getting one of these pooches, you should know roughly what to expect from a pup that is a German Shepherd mixed with Dachshund. Without further ado, let’s get right into it.

A Brief History of the German Shepherd and Dachshund Mix

The Shepherd Dachshund is a relatively new cross-breed, and one that comes from two purebred dogs that couldn’t be more unlike each other.

While the Dachshund is the ideal lap doggy, the German Shepherd is a huge outdoorsy fellow. The former usually has a short, smooth coat, while the latter prides itself with its long, thick fur. Their temperaments and their body builds are also polar opposites.

Typically, the Dachshund and German Shepherd mix will be the golden middle in terms of the size and trainability of the parents, but like any other mixed breeds, variations are possible with the pup resembling one more than the other. That makes knowing a thing or two about the parents all the more important.

The German Shepherd

The German Shepherd is one of the most loved breeds in the world. It holds the enviable second spot on the American Kennel Club’s Most Popular Dog Breeds list, right after the unbeatable Labrador Retriever. And for a good reason, if we may add. Not only is this fellow one of the cuddliest breeds, but they are also exceptional guard dogs.

Their origin dates back to 19th century Germany when they were used to protect and herd livestock. To do the job properly, they needed to be big, agile, muscular, smart, and incredibly fast. They were also required to have a keen sense of smell and superb vision.

This dog was bred to be strong and active, and the traits persist to this day. German Shepherds may no longer be used as herd watchers, but they are easily trained to be service dogs for people with disabilities. Today, they are even used by the police and the military for various missions, from sniffing for counterfeit goods to tracking down and capturing criminals.

They cannot be kept in apartments unless those are particularly spacious, and you have to take your pooch outside religiously. A German Shepherd is the happiest when there’s lots of space for running around. If there’s also something to play with and to toss and turn about, your pup will be one happy camper! 

Check out more German Shepherd mixes if you’re on the lookout for another mixed buddy!

German Shepherd Boxer MixGerman Shepherd Husky MixGerman Shepherd Corgi Mix
German Shepherd Poodle MixGerman Shepherd Beagle MixGerman Shepherd Lab Mix
German Shepherd Chow Chow MixGerman Shepherd Border Collie MixGerman Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix
German Shepherd Blue Heeler MixGerman Shepherd Golden Retriever MixGerman Shepherd Great Pyrenees Mix
German Shepherd Bernese Mountain Dog MixGerman Shepherd Pitbull MixGerman Shepherd Doberman Mix
German Shepherd Rottweiler MixGerman Shepherd Great Dane MixGerman Shepherd Malamute Mix

The Dachshund

The Dachshund, on the other hand, is one of the world’s most charming lap dogs. AKC places it in the 12th position among the 192 most popular breeds, which means it is another one of the canine favorites. There are some facts you should know about Dachshunds — this pup is small and cute, but make no mistake — it’s one feisty little fellow!

Popularly known as the Wiener, it has the funniest, elongated body and the cutest, short legs; but boy, can he use them! These pups were bred to hunt small game and badgers, in particular, so one of their favorite pastimes is digging through your garden and messing up your flower beds! But they make up for their mischiefs by the undivided loyalty and devotion to their humans.

Equal parts endearing and aggressive, these fussy fellows can vary in appearance — their coats can have different color combinations and can also vary in length. Unlike the German Shepherds, they are practically untrainable thanks to their spunky nature. They are also super lively and friendly, which makes people fall head over heels for this vivacious breed.

The Dachshund Shepherd Mix

As is the case with all cross-breeds, this one also usually takes after the parent breeds in equal measure. That means that their size tends to be somewhere between that of the parents, just as their hair and personality are a mix of the two. 

Exceptions to this rule are not unheard of, so don’t be surprised if your new buddy grows up to be smaller or bigger than expected. They may even inherit the character of one parent and not the other.

Generally, there are some traits that you can expect German Shepherd Dachshund mix puppies to have no matter what, but you should know that with each new cub, you are in for a surprise! Read on for some of their most dominant traits.

3 Traits That Make the Dachshund German Shepherd Hard to Keep

Sometimes, a pup needs more attention than you can give it, or it requires a more experienced dog owner. You should know whether a specific breed fits in with your lifestyle before you give it a home. Here are some of the less adorable traits of this otherwise fantastic breed that you should know from the get-go:

  1. They need their space. Not only can German Shepherd Dachshunds be quite robust, which makes them unsuitable for the tiniest of apartments, but they are also super active. That’s why they need a yard in which they can run around or an owner who has the time and willingness to take them out for a couple of walks each day. In today’s day and age, not many people can commit to that amount of responsibility. If you are one of those people, it’s better to find a different breed than have an unhappy pup at home.
  2. They are very loud, very often. Neither of the parent breeds shies away from barking and barking loudly. Their cross-breeds are always on alert as well, and yap at anyone and anything that grabs their attention — an intruder, a stray cat, a leaf dancing in the wind… even their own shadow on the wall.
  3. They don’t get along with other pets. Sometimes, they can get a bit possessive and jealous as well as unaccepting of other pets. Sure, you can socialize them up to a point, but they will always have that protective and slightly selfish streak. They may also mistake smaller pets, like hamsters or parrots, for prey and try to do them in.

3 Traits That Make the German Shepherd Dachshund the Perfect Dog

We won’t be shy about it — Dachshund Shepherds are a joy to have! Now that we gave you information on the bad, let’s see the top three (out of the many) good traits of this mixed breed:

  1. They will risk their lives to protect you. Dachshunds are highly protective of their humans but pair them German Shepherds, the darlings of the police and the military, and you get a real-life guardian angel! This pup will always be on alert about who’s around their favorite human. While that may warm your heart a ton, it also means that they could potentially pose a threat to others and should be socialized and trained well.
  2. They are a perfect mixture of the parent breeds. Do you love German Shepherds, but they’re too big for your living conditions? This cross is significantly smaller and more adaptable to apartments as long as they have enough space to move about. Or do you love Dachshunds but are not quite ready for a dog as stubborn as a Dixie? This mix tends to have a slightly mellower character that could agree with you better.
  3. They love to cuddle and show affection. Although they are quite independent and may seem aloof at times, they have a special place in their hearts for their owners. Whenever they see an opportunity to cuddle up to you, they’ll take it! Although that may just be when you’re trying to catch up on some much-needed sleep, that won’t stop them from getting under your blanket!

What Does the Shepherd Dachshund Mix Usually Look Like?

Credit: dooftheshepherdmix

If there is anything certain about this cross, it surely isn’t the way they look. Dachshund Shepherds can significantly vary in size thanks to the enormous difference between their parents. They can have short unicolored hair or come out shaggy and bicolored. The eye and snout shades can vary as well, depending on how the parents look like. Even their ears can turn out floppy as a Dachshund’s or pointy as a German Shepherd’s.

The traits of the Dachshund Shepherd mix
Weight16–90 pounds
Height8–26 inches
SizeSmall or Medium
Coat type
  • Short or medium-length
  • Smooth, or wavy overcoat, usually dense
  • Coarse of soft undercoat, usually thick
  • Rarely, long hair on the chest, the ears, the underbelly, and behind the legs
Coat color
  • Brindle
  • Black
  • Fawn
  • Cream
  • Sable
  • Merle
  • Liver
  • Chocolate
  • Blue
  • Gray
  • Red
  • Piebald
  • Wild Boar
  • Red and black
  • Black and tan
  • Black and silver
SheddingDaily
EyesGreen, amber, blue, brown, or black
NoseBlack or brown
EarsTriangular and pointy or floppy
TemperamentActive, friendly, curious, protective, cuddly
Life expectancy10–14 years
HypoallergenicNo
Kid-friendlyNo
New owner friendlyYes

What Are the Common Personality Traits in the Dachshund and German Shepherd Mix?

The Dachshund Shepherd mix temperament can be yet another great unknown. They tend to be friendly and lively, and they are usually highly protective of their owners. Oh, they are extremely yippy, too! Depending on which parent’s traits are dominant, they will also have different personalities.

For example, if the German Shepherd parent is dominant, the pup will make for an ideal snuggly companion! They love to cuddle and can be quite spoiled when they decide so. If the Dachshund prevails, the cub may be a bit more stubborn and mischievous, which can be adorable in its own right. Unless they decide to go potty in the middle of your carpet, that is, simply because they didn’t feel like going out in the rain.

Another important trait of a German Shepherd mix is that they come from one of the top 10 most intelligent dog breeds in the world. If they take after that parent breed more, it means that they will be relatively easy to train, which is great if you are a first-time dog owner.

Will It Be Easy to Train Dachshund German Shepherd Mix Puppies?

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In line with what we just said, it is important to train this mix well, and then you will absolutely love your time with them.

Luckily, one half of their genetic code comes from the German Shepherd, one of the most easily trained dogs in the world. They are used as service dogs for the disabled and are disciplined and intelligent enough to also be employed by the police force and special military units.

Although Dachshunds are completely the opposite, this cross-breed generally isn’t too stubborn and responds well to commands. It is nevertheless crucial that you start with obedience training and potty training early on. You can use one of the best dog treat brands (and avoid the worst dog treat brands) as rewards during training. We wrote an extensive article on Dachshund training tips, so give it a read if you want to tame your beast without a constant headache!

Is the German Shepherd Dachshund a Good Family Dog?

This bit depends on your family as well as the lineage of the puppy.

They are rather loud, so they wouldn’t work for families with babies as they would constantly wake up and terrify your little ones. If your kids are small and the pup is as feisty as its Dachshund parent, they may not put up with the toddlers always poking and pinching them and may retaliate.

This mix is also not very open to other pets, so if you have any, either opt for a different puppy or keep a watchful eye on all of your furry (and feathery!) friends.

In other cases, these mixed-breeds thrive in families. Their lovable personalities and their general openness to adult humans make them great additions to the family so long as there are no tiny beings around, human or animal. 

Are There Any Major Dachshund Shepherd Health Concerns I Should Know About?

As with behavioral traits, mixed breeds can inherit health problems from their parents. Luckily, most of them can be kept under control with proper food and exercise regimes so that your dog remains healthy for as long as possible.

Some of the most prevalent health issues in German Shepherd and Dachshund mixes are:

  1. Bloat — Bloat, or Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus Syndrome, is often observed in German Shepherds, although it affects Dachshunds, too. It is a dangerous condition of the digestive system whereby the stomach dilates, rotates, and twists. It can cause a lot of pain and discomfort, damage the blood vessels, disrupt the blood flow to major organs, and potentially have more serious consequences, like organ failure.
  2. Degenerative Myelopathy — Degenerative Myelopathy is a chronic condition that usually slowly leads to paralysis. It initially shows up in the hind limbs, but can also spread to the front legs.
  3. Elbow Dysplasia — The condition affects German Shepherds to a high degree and is frequently inherited by their cross-breeds. Just as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia results from the constitution of this particular breed.
  4. Knee Dysplasia — Also known as Patellar Luxation, knee dysplasia is common in both parent breeds. The dislocation of the knee cap can be quite painful and discourage the dog from leaning on the affected leg.
  5. Intervertebral Disc Disease — All Dachshund mixes are prone to spinal degeneration. If they inherit the short legs and the elongated body of their Dixie parent, the chances are that they will suffer from a disc eruption at some point. The long body doesn’t give enough support to the spine, thus causing Intervertebral Disc Disease. If the condition gets severe, it can lead to pain and paralysis.
  6. Hip Dysplasia — Hip dysplasia is possibly the most common ailment in German Shepherds. It can transfer to their mixes if they inherit similar body build. The shorter hind legs and lowered hips in relation to the front portion of the body lead to grinding in the hip joints and cause damage that can result in hip dislocation.
  7. Cancer — German Shepherds are among the breeds with the highest rate of cancer development. That mainly refers to Hemangiosarcoma and Osteosarcoma, the cancers of the circulatory and skeletal systems. That puts their mixed breeds at high risk as well, so frequent checkups with the vet are essential.

You should also be aware of Dachshund seizures that can happen more often than you think, as well as other health issues to look out for. It might not be a bad idea to think about the benefits of pet insurance so you and your pup can be ready for anything that comes your way.

In fact, regular vet visits should always be on your to-do list. Some conditions, like cancer, don’t show symptoms until it is too late, and a trip to the puppy doctor may reveal problems before they seriously endanger the life of your furry friend. You should also be aware of the Dachshund’s lifespan — 12 to 15 years in general.

Major concernsMinor concernsOccasional tests
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease 
  • Hip Dysplasia 
  • Bloat 
  • Degenerative Myelopathy
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Epilepsy 
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Cataracts
  • Tooth decay
  • Physical examination 
  • Radiographs 
  • Blood tests
  • Eye examination
  • Dental examination

How Do I Choose the Best Food for My German Shepherd Dachshund?

Credit: Kabirthekabob

This breed usually does well on standard good-quality dog food, whether it is canned or kibble. Because of the high chances of suffering from joint, spine, and hip problems, their diet should be rich in fish oil and include chondroitin and glucosamine supplements.

These are our picks for the best-canned dog food and best senior dry dog food. In case your cub takes after its miniature Dachshund parent, you can also use one of the best dry dog food for small dogs.

The portions for this mixed-breed will depend on their size and activity level, and it would usually be around 1.5–2.5 cups a day divided into two or three meals. If you have any doubts about the servings, consult the instructions on the box, or ask your pup’s vet.

Make sure to pay close attention to their weight, and don’t overlook the serving recommendations that are printed on the packaging. Obesity in cross dogs can be a real issue, especially if they are half Dachshunds. Not only will it be bad for their heart health and increase their cholesterol levels, but it will also put unnecessary strain on their back, and cause various digestion problems. If your pup inherited the long Dachshund body, then it could be prone to spinal degeneration and disc herniation. For all those reasons, keeping their weight in check is vital. Here are the worst dry dog food options to avoid.

Here are some of our dog food suggestions:

  1. Wellness Core Original Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  2. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Dog Food, Chicken Meal, Barley & Rice Recipe
  3. Royal Canin Canine Health Nutrition Adult Beauty Canned Dog Food

How Do I Groom the Dachshund German Shepherd Cross-Breed?

Apart from the regular nail clipping and ear cleaning to curb the breakout of a bacterial infection, most of the grooming depends on what traits the pup inherited. If it is on the smaller side like a Dachshund, it could develop teeth issues, so brushing them regularly and giving the little fellow one of the top 10 best dog dental chews to play with should be enough to prevent tooth decay. 

The brushing depends on the kind of fur the puppy gets. If it is short, you won’t have to brush them more than once a week. German Shepherds are one of the worst shedding dog breeds, so if their mixed offspring gets their long hair, they will require more care, such as:

  • Daily brushing
  • Frequent baths
  • Occasional professional grooming
Brushing frequencyBrushes for the Dachshund Shepherd Mix
Daily or weekly
  • Bristle brush
  • Slicker brush
  • Nail clippers

Is the Dachshund Shepherd an Active Dog Who Needs a Lot of Exercise?

Credit: dooftheshepherdmix

Most of the time, two walks a day of moderate length will be enough for this cross, but it will still depend on which parent they resemble more.

If they turn out similar to Dachshunds, with short legs and a long spine, less strenuous activity is a better option. Don’t overexert your mixed pup, and expose them to as few stairs as you can to keep their back safe. Preferably, take them out for casual strolls to the park or around the block. If you have a yard, let them roam freely and put their curious snouts to work.

If your buddy is more like an active German Shepherd, you’ll have more freedom with the choice of activities. For instance, your dog will love to play fetch and catch and will also enjoy playing with toys. They will never be bored if you let them run around the yard, so if you have one, it will do half of the work for you in terms of exercise. If you like to jog, take your pooch with you, as they descended from one of the best dog breeds for runners!

Activity levelRecommended miles/dayActivity minutes/day
Medium or high10–20 60–90

Are You Interested in More Adorable Dachshund or German Shepherd Mixes? 

Not sure that this mixed breed is the right one for you? First, check out our funniest German Shepherd memes and then the Dachshund memes, too. Now think again. If you still aren’t sold on this cross, do look at some of our top picks of other Dachshund cross-breeds and German Shepherd mixes. You can also check out some of the best dog breeds to adopt, and if you have money to spare, see which are the top 10 world’s most expensive dog breeds to own

More German Shepherd mixes:

  1. Rottweiler German Shepherd mix
  2. Poodle German Shepherd mix 
  3. Border Collie German Shepherd mix
More Dachshund mixes
Dachshund Pug mixDachshund Lab mixDachshund Beagle mix
Dachshund Golden Retriever mixDachshund Pitbull mixDachshund Corgi mix
Chihuahua Dachshund mixJack Russell Dachshund mixDachshund Poodle mix
Dachshund Yorkie mixWeimaraner Dachshund mixDachshund Terrier mix
Pomeranian Dachshund mixCocker Spaniel Dachshund mixShih Tzu Dachshund mix
Min Pin Dachshund mixBasset Hound Dachshund mixDachshund Husky mix
Maltese Dachshund mixDachshund Dalmatian mixAustralian Shepherd Dachshund mix
Border Collie Dachshund mixRottweiler Dachshund mixDoberman Dachshund mix
Papillon Dachshund mixRat Terrier Dachshund mixItalian Greyhound Dachshund mix
Bulldog Dachshund mixBlue Heeler Dachshund mixBoxer Dachshund mix
Great Dane Dachshund mixFrench Bulldog Dachshund mixPekingese Dachshund mix
Dachshund Boston Terrier mixCavalier King Charles Spaniel Dachshund mixCairn Terrier Dachshund mix
Shiba Inu Dachshund mixDachshund Bichon mixWeimaraner Dachshund mix

References

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dachshund
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Shepherd
  3. Fels, L. and Distl, O. Identification and validation of quantitative trait loci (QTL) for canine hip dysplasia (CHD) in German shepherd dogs. PLoS ONE, 2014.

O’Neill, Dan G., Noel R. Coulson, David B. Church, and Dave C. Brodbelt. “Demography and Disorders of German Shepherd Dogs under Primary Veterinary Care in the UK.” Canine Genetics and Epidemiology 4, no. 1 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40575-017-0046-4.

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