German Shepherd Great Dane Mix Complete Guide

The Great Shepherd is a large to giant mixed breed the result of breeding a German Shepherd with a Great Dane. He should live for 8 to 13 years and has talents in watchdog and mate. He is a patient and friendly dog who can also be playful and alert.

Although organized by the American Kennel Club and FIC as a working dog, the Great Dane now mainly serves as a companion. She recently also has seen use as a physical assistance dog and in search and rescue ventures.

In this guide to the Great Dane mixed with German Shepherd, we’ll take a look at the significant considerations before getting one of these cute puppies. We’ll start with some helpful information about the origin of the German Shepherd Great Dane Mix as well as their appearance – including their size, height, and weight. 

Then, we’ll take a look at their temperament, training, and exercise needs, so you know what to expect from this mixed breed. After that, you’ll learn about the likely health problems of the German Shepherd Great Dane mix. By the end of this article, you should be in a position to determine if this mixed dog is the best puppy for you and your family.

Table of Contents

What does a Great Shepherd look like

Great Shepherd is large to giant sized weighing 65 to 130 pounds and measuring 28 to 30 inches tall. It can look like either the Great Dane or the German Shepherd. He is one of the largest mixed breeds though. He has a long body and legs which are also muscular with long ears too. His coat usually leans towards the Great Danes and common colors are black, hazel, black, merle, white and brown.

What does a Great Shepherd look like

The Great Dane Shepherd Mix is a cross between the Great Dane and the German Shepherd purebred dogs. He is a massive dog with exceptional watchdog abilities. He is an excellent companion and gentle with children and other pets. Being a moderate shedder, this dog requires minimal grooming. 

A Great Dane and German Shepherd Mix dog tend to have the short hair of his Great Dane parent, but he might also inherit the double coat of his German Shepherd parent. This mixed breed is prone to separation anxiety, so you should never leave your dog alone for an extended period of time.

A Quick Look at German Shepherd Great Dane Mix  Characteristics

Average of Height 28 to 30 inches
Average of Weight 65 to 130 pounds
Coat Type Tends to have a short coat like the Great Dane
Hypoallergenic? No
Grooming Needs Moderate
Shedding Seasonal
Brushing Once a day
Touchiness Very sensitive
Tolerant to Solitude? Moderate
Barking Occasional
Tolerance to Heat Good
Good Family Pet Yes
Good with Children? Yes
Socialization Excellent
Good with other pets? Yes
A roamer or Wanderer? Low
A Good Apartment Dweller? Low
Good Pet for new Owner? Moderate
Trainability Easy
Exercise Needs High
The Tendency to get Fat Moderate
Major Health Concerns Development Issues, bloat, cancer, heart problems, cancer, surgical issues, DM, EPI
Other Health Concerns Joint dysplasia, allergies
Life Span 8 and 13 years
Puppy Price $300 to $800
Medical Expense Per Year $485 to $600
Non-Medical Expense $500 to $600
Life Span 8 – 13 years
Exercise Needs High
Good for the first time owner Moderate
Good for Apartment Living No
Shedding Ammount Moderate
Tolerance to Cold Moderate to good

German Shepherds and Great Danes are Fellow Natives

German Shepherds emerged from a small pool of herding dogs in Germany in the late 1890s. Hektor eventually became the founding sire and first named German Shepherd Dog in 1899 thanks to the keen eye and arduous goals of Max von Stephanitz.

German Shepherds split from a group of dogs similar in appearance and purpose that included the Dutch Shepherd and the Belgian Shepherd. The Belgian Shepherds would eventually divide even further. 

They would include the well-known Belgian Malinois and three other types. A scientific article that addresses evolution in certain dog breeds states that the five Italian herding dogs, like the Bergamasco Shepherd, had ancestors in united with the German Shepherd. The German Shepherd line burst from the Italian dogs and a French herding dog around 1859.

Great Dane Vs German Shepherd

The Old Great Danes had a few things in common with German Shepherds. First, fanciers developed the breed in Germany in the late 1800s.

Great Dane Vs German Shepherd

Second, the Great Dane’s purpose changed over time as she came closer to her current status as a pet and family companion. Ultimately, Great Danes evolved in appearance over the passing age.

Great Danes have much more ancient roots than German Shepherds. They resemble in the art of Egypt from 4,000 B.C., Babylon from 2,000 B.C., and China from about 1100 B.C. Assyrians owned dogs that resembled Mastiffs believed to have ancestors who were Tibetan Mastiff as well as the English Mastiff, according to Illini Great Dane Club. As you have probably supposed by now, Great Danes are not Danish, although they had an individual slender type in Denmark.

Danes became proficient at hunting wild boars, which at the time, hunters considered among the most challenging game to overpower. Boars were incredibly strong, clever, quick, and fearless. The dogs who hunted them had to be strict in mind and body and very swift of foot. Breeders through the 14th century mingled their huge Mastiffs with the fast-coursing Greyhound and perhaps the scrappy Irish Wolfhound to produce the ideal boar dog that would come in at the end of the race and grab and hold the hog.

Early Great Danes were heavy-boned dogs, resembling Mastiffs more than Greyhounds or Wolfhounds. Their slow transformation began in the 1600s when German noblemen discovered the fearless and magnificent Great Dane. 

These people of elevated status did not often hunt boars, but they appreciated how large and imposing the Danes were. They began seeking out the dogs for their families and to guard their properties. Nobility selected dogs for good looks and height because beauty and intimidation were of paramount importance for aristocratic households. 

After endless selection for taller dogs, the breed standard for the Great Dane was born about 1880. Like some other breeds, the Great Dane’s name modifies depending on where you are. In Germany, Great Danes still go by the name German Doggie or Deutsche Doggie, Doggie, being the word for a mastiff.

The History of the Great Dane

Great Danes were initially known as Boar Hounds simply because they were commonly used for hunting boars. In the 16th century, their name was changed to “Dogges.” Succeeding on, though, German nobles would start keeping the best of these dogs at home, renaming them ” Kammerhunde” or chamber dogs in the process. 

Most German dog breeders continued to develop the dog further. They worked to produce calmer dogs and happily for dog lovers today, they succeeded. The Great Dane is now a wonderful dog breed large and unique, affectionately appreciated as the Apollo of dogs or a trained giant. Although he looks intimidating, he is one of the best-natured dogs you’ll ever come across. He is very happy and gets along well with children.

How Large Will Your German Shepherd Great Dane be?

German Shepherds are usually 22 to 26 inches tall at the top of the withers and weigh from 60 to 90 pounds. Males are slightly taller and substantially more muscular than females.

Female Great Danes are 28 to 30 inches at the shoulder while males are 30 to 34 inches tall. The weight difference is also significant between the genders. With females about 100 to 130 pounds and males as much as 200 pounds. 

Even current standards prefer dogs to be as tall as feasible. The tallest dog ever was a Great Dane, Zeus, who stood 44 inches at the shoulders. GSD Great Dane mixes are quite tall at 28 to 30 inches at the shoulders. However, this mix can be potent at 65 pounds or massive, like a Great Dane at up to 130 pounds. Expect a male to be a little taller and substantially more complex than a female.

The German Shepherd Great Dane Mix Temperament

One of the main concerns about adopting or buying a large dog like the Great Dane Shepherd Mix is their temperament. Since the Great Shepherd is not a pure breed, its performance and personality can only be guessed based on the typical traits of the parent breeds. 

Thankfully, the Great Shepherd can be an excellent pet for you and your family, especially if you have enough room for this large dog. He is smart but charming, making him quite easy to train, especially if you know how to establish yourself as the pack leader.

The Great Shepherd dog is alert and protective, making him an excellent watchdog. As such, he will do everything in his power to protect those close to him if they are in danger. He is trained and can be a great companion. He is loving and enjoys getting a lot of attention. Therefore, don’t leave your pup alone for long to prevent destructive behaviours from emerging.

What Traits Will your Shepherd Dane Mix Have?

German Shepherds immediately strike you with their confidence and self-assurance. Most of them are black and mahogany or black and tan. Even Shepherds, who are solid colors like red, blue, or black, are easily recognizable with their noble.

Slightly domed heads, large erect ears, majestic and powerful necks, rather long torsos, and strong hindquarters built for driving. A Shepherd’s tail should reach below her hocks, and her gait will be efficient, fluid, and ground-covering. German Shepherds are smaller than Great Danes, but they have as much attendance and poise.

The Great Dane is very tall, but your first impression should be one of elegance, strength, and balance. Like the Shepherd, they have a noble head carriage on a slender but powerful neck. They are galloping dogs in contrast to Shepherds, who are trotting workers.

A Great Dane has a long and deep muzzle with a slightly furrowed brow and medium drop ears. In North America, owners often crop their dog’s ears. Cropped ears are quite long as they stand upright, especially for show dogs. 

Originally, ear cropping had the functional purpose of preventing a dog’s adversaries from shredding his ears on the hunt. Great Danes notably have long and powerful limbs, almost square proportions, and a long slender tail that tends to curve up at the tip. Colors in Great Danes, according to the AKC, can range from fawn to black or black and white. 

A Great Dane can also be brindle, harlequin, mantle, solid white, blue, or merle. Unique colors that may not find favour in the show ring are any shades of chocolate, including chocolate and white, blue brindle, blue and white, and Arlequin.

German Shepherd Great Dane Mix Good Guard Dog or Watchdog?

German Shepherds have earned a sometimes justifiable reputation for aggression. They are naturally protective, a quality that people enhanced over the generations to produce good guarding instincts for home security and outstanding bite force for police and military work.

Poor breeding and insufficient or harsh training have led to an unpropitious distortion of some of the Shepherd’s best qualities. The result of irresponsible breeding has produced a highly popular dog that shows up way higher on biting dogs lists than he should. German Shepherds are meant to be excellent guard dogs who discriminate accurately between harmless strangers and malicious intruders.

Great Danes were hunting dogs before they were guard dogs. Today, they are companion animals before they are formidable guards. Although inheriting some guarding instincts from their Mastiff bloodlines, Great Danes often have a bark worse than their bite. However, Danes always historically could be guarding when warranted.

Some family bloodlines are fearful like the Shepherd, producing dogs that cower and bite with little provocation. Your Dane Shepherd should be a calm and steadfast companion, bold and friendly to strangers, and territorial and boldly verbalizing the alarm when sensing trouble.

German Shepherd Great Dane Mix Health Issues

Just like any other mixed breed, a Great Dane German Shepherd Mix may have inherited conditions, or they might experience health problems later in life. Common health problems that can affect this breed include hip dysplasia, allergies, eye issues, and skin infections. In addition to these health issues, a Great Shepherd Mix can also inherit heart disease, certain types of cancer, hypothyroidism and autoimmune problems from their purebred parents

Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency

A disease where the pancreas does not produce enough enzymes to digest food properly, EPI is more common in the GSD. Signs add a healthy appetite with failure to have a healthy weight. Affected dogs appear malnourished.


Diabetes is a problem common to German Shepherds. Diabetes is a far different disease in dogs than humans or cats, rarely tied to insulin resistance.


Although not as afflicted as Dobermans, Great Danes see their fair share of dilated cardiomyopathy, or heart disease, and can pass it to their puppies. Cardiomyopathy is responsible for shortening many dogs’ lives.


Great Danes are vulnerable to bone cancer and malignancies of the lymph nodes and system. German Shepherds commonly develop spleen cancer as they age.

Hip Dysplasia

Great Danes and German Shepherds both commonly struggle with joint dysplasia which they may pass on to their offspring.

How Much Exercise Will Great Dane GSD Mix Require?

German Shepherds historically bred to sustain long periods of work through the day, need large amounts of activity. If you own a Shepherd or ever did in the past, you know how intense and driven the breed is and how high its energy levels. German Shepherds regularly need up to two hours of exercise a day. 

According to research Great Danes to require an hour of exercise every day, not having quite the stamina that a German Shepherd does. Plan on providing 60 to 90 minutes of exercise for your Shepherd Dane mix every day. Depending on her body structure, age, and energy levels.

Your puppy may potentially keep growing to 18 months old, so restrain your dog from jumping and extreme running until he has finished. Consult with your veterinarian if you are unsure. A medical professional can tell you if your pup’s growth plates have closed. You may also need to moderate exercise if your puppy or adult dog exhibits any signs of hip dysplasia.

German Shepherd Great Dane Mix Best for Apartment Living?

German Shepherds do not do well in small spaces. They are medium to large dogs with a limited ability to relax and stay still for extended periods. Moreover, Shepherds can quickly become destructive when left alone. Finally, the GSD presents a new and expanding liability with leased properties and insurance agencies.

 Most guard dogs feature on dangerous, banned, or uninsurable dog lists, and German Shepherds are not exempt. Therefore, even if your German Shepherd liked living in a condominium, it is not likely that many field owners would allow it. 

Great Danes may fit in with flat living better than German Shepherds because they can lounge, but their size usually prohibits it. They find it difficult to get enough if the space is too small, and their tails are deadly to anything not nailed down. 

Moreover, insurance firms are not hugely fond of giant breed dogs any more than they are of guard dogs. According to Showbiz Cheatsheets, Great Danes head the list in front of Rottweilers for undesirable canines for insurance companies.

Your Shepherd Dane mix will most apparently look like a Great Dane hybrid to most concerned parties. Insurance companies and rental properties will likely give your dog a second glance because of her size. 

Some policies have strict guidelines that treat mixes the same as dangerous and banned purebred parent breeds. While neither the Great Dane nor the German Shepherd is dangerous with proper socialization and training, always check all relevant bans before you decide to move into a residence with your Great Shepherd.

How to Feed German Shepherd Great Dane Mix?

Two significant events affect how you feed your Great Shepherd. These crucial milestones are bloat and rapid growth. The risk of gastric dilatation and volvulus (stomach distends and then flips) dictates that you should feed your Great Dane Shepherd mix a few small meals altogether the day rather than one or two large meals. 

Feeding recommendations are about 5 to 10 cups daily for adult dogs, so spread that out over three feedings spaced apart by several hours. Your Great Shepherd will be a large dog. Defining nutritional intake helps slow your dog’s growth in an attempt to counter conditions like joint dysplasia.

Final Words

So that’s all you need to know before adopting or purchasing a Great Dane and German Shepherd Mix puppy. Both purebred parents are large and active, so your mixed breed puppy will need plenty of room to play and exercise. Despite their large size, these dogs are truly adorable and loving towards their family. If you have the time and space to train and take care of your dog, then a Great Dane Shepherd Mix can be an excellent pet for you and your family.

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