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German Shephard Mix
Introduction

Researchers have made attempt to cross various breeds of dogs with the German shepherd, forming a designer or mix breed. Two most popular combinations with a German shepherd that have recently come up are:-

• Labrashepherd (a cross between German shepherd as the mother and Labrador retriever as the father).
• Shollie (a cross between German shepherd as the mother and Border collie as the father).

Both these mix breeds are registred by the Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA), American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC) and International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR).

General characteristics

Following are the general and physical characteristic of German shepherd mix breeds:-

i) Labrashepherd or Sheprador

• This mix breed is recognized and registered by the Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA) and International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR).
• These dogs weigh about 45 to 100 pounds.
• They will look like a Labrador, with muzzles or legs like that of a German shepherd.
• Ears are soft and may or may not be erect.
• Their eyes are dark brown in color.
• These dogs can have a long or fluffy tail (depending on the % mix) with a small black spot on the top of the tail.
• They are availaible in various colors such as brown, black, white, tan or tricolor coats.
• They are doubly coated and have a soft, shiny coat with medium length fur.
• The average life expectancy of Sheprador is 9 to 12 years.

ii) Shollie

• These are registered breed of dogs (registered and recognized by the DDKC, ACHC and IDCR) and consist of 50% traits from their mother – German shepherd and 50% traits from their father – Border Collie.
• The average lifespan of a collie mix breed is 9 to 13 years.
• They come in various coat colors, most common being a mixture of tan and black. Other colors comprises of white, brown, beige and complete black.
• The average litter size is 9 to 12.
• They have double coats. Outer coat is tough and rugged, inner coat is much softer.

Personality traits

All German shepherd mix dogs are highly active and energetic dogs. They are highly trainable and are willful and obedient like their parent breeds.
They are excellent when kept as guard dogs and can even protect young children and toddlers from any harm. You may rely on them completely as they are always honest and loyal to their masters. In fact, these dogs can become over protective if they are not trained and allowed to socialize correctly. However, they will never make strangers as their friends, unless you introduce these strangers to your dog.

The German shepherd mix is an even tempered dog with both caution and shyness in his eyes. He is tolerant enough and do not mid if he is teased or irritate. They can get rambunctious when they become super excited. They have a child like attitude and are always in the submissive mood. However, they can be a doom for bad people.

Labrashepherd and Shollie bark much like a German shepherd and bark at strangers who approach their territory or as a sign that they need their food or want to go for an outing.

Feeding habits

Never over feed your German shepherd mix breed dogs as they will gain weight very easily. Make sure they exercise on a daily basis. Include both walks and other exercises in their daily routine.

Both the above mix breed may or may not be allergic to certain food stuffs like salmon, chicken and beef. They may itch themselves if they are fed with veal. Include lamb, tuna or bison as meat sources in their regular diet. Your dog will love to chew almost anything. So, do include chunks of meat in their diet (sometimes) and give them few kibbles and sticks as snacks.

Health and Immunization

Labrashepherd and Shollie love winters, snows and water. However, they hate summers. So be sure you have an AC installed near their kennel, otherwise they can get frustrated.
They are highly energetic dogs and hence will require to do lot of exercise in order to stay fit and to keep their fats off. If you have an active family with children playing all the time, these dogs will survive well. They are not recommended for small sized apartments as they require lot of space for doing exercise.
German shepherd mix breeds can suffer from various health problems such as hip and elbow dysplasia, arthritis, degenerative myelopathy and some dogs may encounter a rare disease known as Von Willebrand Syndrome which is an inherited bleeding disorder in these dogs.
Rarely, a German shepherd mix breed will encounter an eye disorder like Retinal dysplasia. This disease is hereditary in nature. So, make sure you ask for a puppy in which this trait has been corrected or silenced.
German shepherd mix breeds should be immunized at regular intervals so that they are protected from various diseases caused by dangerous viruses. Some mandatory vaccines for these pets include: – Parvovirus, Rabies, Distemper, Coronavirus, Hepatitis A and B, Influenza and Parainfluenza vaccines. Inject annual booster shots from an experienced vet.

Care

These mix breed tend to shed heavily, especially during the autumn and the winter season. Make sure you do a lot of brushing. Brush these dogs at least twice a day and give them bath every week. However, cold weather can cause dandruff. Use a mild anti- dandruff shampoo to get rid of dandruff.
Their nails grow up relatively very fast. So cut their nails at least once a month and clean their ears with a ball of cotton soaked in a pH neutral ear cleanser.
Both the above German shepherd mix breed (Shollie and Labrashepherd) are registered by various organizations such as the Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA), American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC) and International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR). You can adopt or rescue a pet consulting these organizations or buy these pets from professional breeders or those who are willing to sell their puppies. Make sure you buy a second generation puppy.

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