If this is the first time you are hearing about the Greyhound German Shepherd Mix, then you are in for a fun treat! The Greyhound German Shepherd Mix is wonderful crossbreed of a Greyhound (a regal zoomer) and a German Shepherd (a stately cutie). If you don’t feel like calling them by their full name, there are a few nicknames commonly used for this breed:
- German Greyhound
- Greyhound Shep
- Best Friend
These dogs were crossbred to either be hunters or herders. It seems that the original cross breeders were a little ambiguous about what they wanted from this breed, and as a result, when you get a Shephound, you don’t really know what you are going to get. So, let’s talk about the specifics of the Greypard (we made that one up).
With Greyhound German Shepherds, you never know how they are going to look. It’s not like the two parent breeds bear much resemblance. There are two things that are predictable when it comes to the physical make-up of this breed, however: They’re gonna be big and they’re gonna be cute.
This breed comes in a variety of colors, and while these dogs always look like a mixture of a Greyhound and a German Shepherd, you never know which look will be dominant. As is the case with their parents, this is a medium to large sized dog, with a greater chance of being large. As such, they will require more calories than most dogs (we’ll get to this in a bit), and their size when fully grown can be anywhere from 50 pounds to 110 pounds. That’s so much cuteness!
While Greyhounds normally have a shorter coat of hair, you will notice that the coat on this breed will more resemble the medium length coarseness of the Shepherd. Because of this, your Greyhound German requires more hygienic maintenance than a Greyhound. Regular brushing and bathing is recommended with this breed.
Like both parent breeds, this is an active dog that is athletically built. When you decide to take this pet into your life, you are also deciding to play that much more!
As with the physical aspects of the Sheep Hound breed, there are two possible outcomes when it comes to personality. German Shepherds are known for being well mannered and easy to train, while Greyhounds have often received the reputation of being bored. This just means that training with them can be a bit more difficult. Both breeds are intelligent and full of personality. The German Grey is much the same! New owners know that they are getting a smart dog, just not if they will be difficult or easy to train. Because of how smart these dogs are, they make wonderful service animals.
One thing is consistent: Greyhounds and German Shepherds are both known for their loyalty, and the Shep-a-Grey is much the same. They make wonderful family pets, especially when introduced to children early in life. While this breed can athletically wow you, don’t underestimate their napping potential. The Shepherd Hound loves to cuddle and can be every bit as lazy as the laziest fluff balls on the planet.
When playing, this breed loves to get rowdy! They may seem disinterested in people at first, but once you have their trust, you have a play partner for life.
Health Care and Common Health Issues
Generally speaking, the Greyhound Shepherd is a healthy dog. That does not mean that there aren’t things to look out for, of course. These dogs generally have a life expectancy of 10-13 years. While this breed has a healthy reputation, regular trips to the vet are good for keeping these Pro Fetch-playing pups in tip-top shape. There are common health concerns with this breed, and catching any early through consistent checkups can ensure the best life possible for this cuddler-in-chief. Health conditions to watch for are: hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy, bloating, osteosarcoma, gastric torsion, esophageal achalasia, heart conditions, and allergies. To make sure your Shephound does not have any of these issues, get regular checkups on their hips, legs, and heart.
Part of a dog’s health is, of course, their fur! To keep a Greyhound Shepherd’s coat healthy, you don’t have to do much. Regular bathing is always a good idea — even if the dog disagrees. Brushing their hair once a week to detangle is also ideal. This lets the hair grow more naturally and healthy and spreads natural oils around the dog’s body, which is good for the skin and fur.
Just like any other pup, you’ll want to give this breed a good tooth brushing every now and again. You might even consider snacks that do the brushing for you!
Regular trimming of the nails is also recommended. Just don’t trim to close!
While the diet for a Greyhound Shepherd is loosely defined, when health risks are taken into account, you can get an idea of what is ideal. Since this breed is susceptible to dysplasia, you don’t want to overfeed or feed this hungry hound anything too fatty. The jury is still out on grain-free diets, unless certain dogs specifically need it, but foods with less grain and wheat are recommended for this breed, as they easily bloat. Since these pups are so playful, they need a high dose of protein.
Pups From the Past
Now that we’ve learned quite a bit about the Greyhound Shepherd as a cross breed, let’s learn about where the crossbreed came from. On the surface, it’s an interesting mixture. Both the Greyhound and the Shepherd are regal dogs, but for different reasons. This crossbreed is a tale of two times, one new and one old.
While many people associate greyhounds with the racetrack, those who study history know them from the distant past. The earliest signs of Greyhounds come from ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics; the earliest ones are purported to be as old as 8,000 years. Greyhounds are visible with famous Egyptian figures such as Cleopatra and King Tutankhamen. In fact, the Greyhound was so highly revered (they were seen as gods) that the only death more important in a family was that of a son, and to kill a Greyhound meant being sentenced to death.
Esteemed Grecians who visited Egypt were able to bring a few dogs back to Greece. The Greyhound became a worldly dog during the Roman Empire, when the Romans, who brought their Greyhounds everywhere, took them to Britain and Ireland. Eventually, from Europe, they made their way to America.
No one is sure about the origin of the name. Some think that it is a reference to the word grehundr, which means “hunter,” while other speculate that it has a Grecian origin.
Interestingly, the Greyhound is rarely the color grey, and when it is, it isn’t considered a grey Greyhound, but instead, blue.
From what is quite possibly the oldest known dog in the world, we have the other half of our cuddly breed, the much newer German Shepherd.
The German Shepherd
After 7,000 years of the Greyhound, the German Shepherd was born. One look at the name, and you can take a pretty good guess at where most people think it originated. They first appeared in 1899 after decades of Europeans attempting to standardize breeds. Their name is quite literal: Bred by shepherds in Germany, these dogs were meant to make life easier for the German farmer.
These dogs were bred to be all the things that we think of German Shepherds now: smart, strong, and loyal, with a great sense of smell. While early breeders had success, results still varied from one location to the next, most notably in appearance. In 1891, the Phylax Society was formed to help the standardization process, but in-fighting over whether the dog should be cute or hard working led to the demise of this group after only three years of operation. Fortunately, this inspired many to attempt to breed their own version of the Shepherd.
This leads us to 1899, when an ex-member of the Phylax Society, Max Von Stephanitz, attended a dog show and had a similar reaction that we all do when we see a dog, which was the need to go give it a hug. In his case, it ended up being a historic moment, as the dog he laid his eyes on was a Shepherd named Hektor, whom he immediately purchased.
Von Stephanitz would rename Hektor to Horand and go on to start the Society for the German Shepherd Dog, where Horand was the first recognized German Shepherd by the SGSD. The rest, as they bark, is history.
Well, not quite — there was a bump in the road for the name of the dog in the 1930s and 40s. Germans didn’t exactly have the best reputation at the time, and many people in the U.K. Kennel Club, the world’s preeminent dog society, thought that having the word “German” in the name would hurt the dog’s popularity. They changed the name of the breed to the Alsatian Wolf Dog, which was then adopted by other Kennel Clubs around the world. “Wolf Dog” didn’t exactly help the popularity of the breed, so that part of the name was dropped. In the 70s, the breed was once again officially recognized as the German Shepherd.
While the German Shepherd is a wonderful family dog, it is still primarily used as a working dog by police forces, military, and other groups.
Which Brings Us to Today
There is little published about the Greyhound Shepherd, which is odd considering its parent dogs. Only recently recognized by the Dog Registry of America, the origin of this breed seems to be widely unknown. If you want one from a breeder, it is going to cost you a pretty penny. With that being said, if you fall in love with this breed (and how can you not?), go to your local shelter first. While not as widely available as other breeds, there are a surprising number of Shephounds that wind up at adoption agencies, and they just want someone to play and cuddle with!
My Final Thoughts on the Greyhound German Shepherd Mix
This dog is so cute and so smart, and we just absolutely love it.