Combine the world’s most loved dog, the German Shepherd and the world’s most loyal and fierce guard dog, the Rottweiler and what do you get? The best of both worlds. The German Shepherd Rottweiler Mix, most commonly known as the Shepweiler, is a hybrid that represents all that you could want in a dog, from its playful and fun demeanor to its brilliance and loyalty, not to mention its spectacular ability to keep you safe. Sounds like a dream right?
The Shepweiler is a dream dog for many, but after just a couple months and even weeks of owning these dogs, many owners realise that this dream requires more work than they originally had in mind. It’s important to understand the characteristics and needs of a Shepweiler before getting one, and while you may believe this is the best dog for you, many things about the Shepweiler will leave you shocked, so before you head out to adopt this dog, here are 9 things you need to know.
1. The German Shepherd Rottweiler comes from a line of working dogs
Both the German Shepherd and the Rottweiler have a history of being working dogs. German Shepherds were originally bred for herding in their earlier days, but than became an important member of the military and were used to deliver food and other supplies. It wasn’t until they came to the US in the late 19th century that they became more domesticated pets. Rottweilers were also working dogs, and were used for herding cattle and guarding the camps of soldiers from the Roman Empire in the 7th century. Fast forward to the 21st century and Rottweilers are still very popular guard dogs, and can still be found working with authoritarian figures such as the police and the military.
2. They are very big dogs
The Shepweiler comes from two large breed dogs, and there is no exception when it comes to size. Both parents stand tall at the shoulders, with the German Shepherd being 24 – 26 inches in height, and the Rottweiler being 24 – 27 inches in height, making the Shepweiler an average 25 inches tall. They normally weigh between 75 – 115 pounds, but there generally active demeanor keeps them from suffering from obesity and weight related health complications.
3. Their appearance is not standard
Their appearance may vary based on the dominant parental gene, but most Shepweilers have a couple physical attributes in common. They are sturdily built and muscular dogs, with long legs and big feet. They normally have a strong jaw packed with a sharp muzzle and a black nose. Their other characteristics tend to vary, and they may have blue or brown eyes, with straight thick coats in a variety of colours including fawn, white, black and tan. They have perky ars which shoot up when they hear anything suspicious, but otherwise, they tend to lay down.
4. They are great watchdogs and guard dogs
Rottweilers have been and are still one of the best watch dogs worldwide, so it is no surprise that this hybrid would carry this trait. Shepweilers are very loyal and protective to their owners, and while they may become affectionate once they get to know you, they are generally very defensive when it comes to strangers or any type of intruder in the home. These dogs are highly intelligent, and can generally judge how to react in certain situations, and because of their large size, they tend to scare intruders with just one glance.
5. The Shepweiler is a great companion dog
Despite their aggressive and defensive behaviour displayed when it comes on to strangers and intruders, German Shepherd Rottweilers are generally very affectionate to their families and owners. With proper socialisation and training, these dogs can become more accommodating to strangers, but as long as they’re treated the right way, they’ll be a delight to have in any home.
6. They can be hard to groom & maintain
This factor highly depends on your pup’s dominant parental gene, as German Shepherds generally require a lot more maintenance and grooming than Rottweilers. If your dog inherits the coat of the German Shepherd, then they will require daily brushing to remove excess dirt, and when it comes their time to shed, you may have to do a lot more vacuuming than you’d want to. Alternatively, if your dog inherits the coat of a Rottweiler on the other hand, they only need to be brushed once a week to maintain their short thick coat.
7. They are a breeze to train
When it comes to learning new things, your Shepweiler will pick up much quicker than you think. These dogs are one of the most intelligent dog breeds around, as are their parents, and can be easily trained and socialized. It’s imperative however, to train your German Shepherd Rottweiler mix from a very young age, thus increasing his ability to conform his personality to your standards, and adopt more positive characteristics.
8. They require lots of physical activity
One of the most notable cons to adopting a German Shepherd Rottweiler mix is that they require lots of physical activity, a lot more than an average owner with a regular work schedule would be able to give them. They need a minimum of 1 – 2 long walks a day, and generally cannot be contained in an apartment, but would much prefer to have a huge backyard all to themselves. On average, these dogs would be more ideal for bigger families with lots of children, as they could take turns in playing and challenging this dog.
9. They are generally very healthy dogs and live long lives
Shepweilers have an average lifespan of approximately 10 – 13 years, and are normally healthy as long as they get adequate daily exercise. They are prone to a list of health conditions, mostly because of genetics, including:
- Hip & joint dysplasia
- Allergic Reactions
- Heart Disease
While they may never fall victim to any of these issues, it is important to take bi-annual trips to the veterinarian to heck up on their health.
Shepweilers are a great dog to have, but with their required physical activity, it would be wise not to adopt one unless you can give it all the resources and time it needs.