The German Shepherd Mastiff Mix is a mixed Dog Breed between the German Shepherd and the Mastiff. The combination of these two breeds come from very strong and powerful stock. They are relatively rare and are not bred that often.
The mastiff is a very old breed of dog. Both originated in Europe, but the Mastiff is a much older breed with deeper roots. The Shepherd is a more aggressive dog with the mastiff being more relaxed. This mix will probably be more laid back with an easier personality due to the gentle giants temperament. He is going to be a big dog, so you will need to make sure you have the right living situation.
Continue reading below to learn more about this powerful designer dog. While we really recommend that you acquire one through a rescue, we understand that some people might go through a breeder. Always screen your breeders as much as possible to ensure that you are getting as high a quality dog as is possible.
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Here is a brief history of both the Shepherd and the Mastiff. Being that this is a mixed breed dog, there isn’t a lot of history to it. However, we go more in depth to the history of both breeds.
As his name suggests, the German Shepherd originated in Germany, where he was created in the nineteenth century primarily by Captain Max von Stephanitz, who wanted to develop a dog that could be used for military and police work. The result was a dog that encompassed striking good looks, intelligence and versatility. World War I put a dent in the breed’s burgeoning popularity because the dogs were associated with the enemy. German Shepherds braved artillery fire, land mines and tanks to supply German soldiers in the trenches with deliveries of food and other necessities. After the war, movies featuring Rin Tin Tin and fellow German Shepherd Strongheart brought the breed back into favor. American audiences loved them. For a time, the German Shepherd was the most popular breed in the United States.
The ancestors of the Mastiff probably originated in the mountains of Central Asia several thousand years ago. From Tibet or northern India they accompanied traders and nomads throughout the world, making their way to the Middle East, the Mediterranean, China and Russia. Ancient Egyptians depicted massive dogs on the walls of the pyramids, and in Greek mythology the three-headed canine guardian of the underworld is a mastiff-type dog. Greeks, Romans and other peoples all used mastiffs in battle. In medieval times, Mastiffs patrolled estates at night, ever on the alert for poachers or other intruders. Through the 16th century they were still used as war dogs in Europe. Mastiffs as we know them today began to be developed in England in 1835. That was the same year that dogfighting was outlawed, making it a turning point in the breed’s temperament.
Height: 27 - 30 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 150 - 250 lb.
Lifespan: 7+ years
Height: 22 - 26 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 75 - 95 lb.
Lifespan: 10 - 14 years
Mastiffs are gentle with children and other animals, wanting only to take care of them and the same can be said for the Shepherd. The Mastiff is known for having a “soft mouth,” or the ability to carry things like kittens and squirrels without damaging them. The Mastiff is more laid back but can be very territorial just like the Shepherd, so this needs to be kept in check and monitored. He will more than likely be a more laid back, but higher energy dog that will require a bit of exercise to keep him happy.
All dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems as all breeds are susceptible to some things more than others. However, the one positive thing about getting a puppy is that you can avoid this as much as possible. A breeder should absolutely offer a health guarantee on puppies. If they won’t do this, then look no more and don’t consider that breeder at all. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the breed and the incidence with which they occur. Health clearances prove that a dog has been tested for and cleared of a particular condition.
Here are some conditions that have been seen in both breeds; Elbow and Hip Dysplasia.
Do not purchase a puppy from a breeder who cannot provide you with written documentation that the parents were cleared of health problems that affect the breed. A careful breeder and one who truly cares about the breed itself, screens their breeding dogs for genetic disease and breed only the healthiest and best-looking specimens. One of the most common health problems with dogs is obesity. Keeping this under control is your responsibility.
This hybrid will probably shed a lot due to the high shedding nature of the Shepherd. Be ready to brush him a couple of times a week and give him baths as needed.
A lot of times diet is done on a per-dog basis. Each one is unique and has different dietary requirements. Most dogs in the U.S. are overweight. A mix like this one that is prone to hip and elbow dysplasia should really be on fish oil and glucosamine and chondroitin supplements as soon as possible.
Overfeeding any dog is not a good idea as that can really exacerbate health problems such as elbow and hip dysplasia.
A good diet to look into is Raw Food Diet.
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