Mini German Shepherd- What to know before buying + care tips

The Mini German Shepherd is a bold, intelligent, and active dog that that results from the mixing of a German Shepherd with a Border Collie or a Poodle. In some rare cases, a Yorkshire terrier could be used to breed a Mini German Shepherd.

This combination creates a Miniature German Shepherd that is not only a great working dog but also a perfect companion.

His beauty plus smaller package will easily blow your mind away.

Let’s face it, we all love German Shepherd but some wish that he was slightly smaller, a size that we can all manage. This is where the Mini GSD comes in. However, he is not much of a pocket-sized dog although he is small.

Today we are going to give you an in-depth look at this miniature version of the German Shepherd.

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So, let us get right into it. 


About the Mini German Shepherd

Miniature German Shepherds are quite rare.

However, the Mini GSD is a crossbreed and does not exist in small sizes unless the dwarfism gene is introduced in the canine.

Being a crossbreed you can never be completely sure what you are going to get in terms of behavior, size, or even appearance.

Dwarfism in German Shepherds

This is a rare genetic mutation that can occur in any German Shepherd. The mutation can also be induced by the introduction of the dwarfism gene through breeding 2 GSDs, one being a dwarfism gene carrier and the other being normal.

Some of the signs of a dwarf German Shepherd are;

  • Bowed front legs.
  • Shorter legs than usual.
  • Longer bodies.
  • Stunted coat development or baldness.

A dwarf German Shepherd is what would make a true Miniature German Shepherd in terms of behavioral traits and appearance.

However, pituitary dwarfism may come with very serious health complications. These issues range from a weakened skeleton, impaired kidney functions, and even hypothyroidism to mention but a few.

What is a German Shepherd runt?

This term runt is used to refer to the smallest puppy in a litter.

The weight of these puppies is usually abnormally low when they are born. You could also have an entire litter that is made up of runts.

However, there is a shortcoming with these puppies being extremely underweight as they could face a couple of health issues throughout their lives.

They are also at a disadvantage as far as breastfeeding is concerned as they are not able to compete with the rest of the puppies as well.

The more underweight a puppy is the more he is likely to face health issues.

Breeders can breed two runt GSDs to get a Minature German Shepherd and doing this repeatedly creates a line of these mini dogs.

Although there are few cases where experienced breeders have been able to it without compromising on the dog’s health, doing it is highly discouraged.

Breeding these dogs increases the chances of them passing along potential health issues.

Mini GSD pros and cons


✓ Their compact size is convenient for many dog lovers.

✔ These are great working dogs.

✓ They are intelligent and easy to train.


✘ Their high simulation needs may be too much for some owners.

✗ They suffer from separation anxiety when left alone for extended periods.

✘ These dogs are heavy shedders.

General Appearance of the Miniature German Shepherd

Mini German Shepherd summary table
Height 15 to 20 inches
Weight up to 50 pounds
Lifespan 12 to 15 years
Breed Type mixes and more
Purpose A working and companion dog
Suitable For Any kind of energetic family
Grooming requirements moderate to high
Color Variations Tan with a black saddle, white, black, sable, or even black with red or silver.
Health concerns skin allergies, eye problems, and Joint Dysplasia
Temperament bold, tenacious, intelligent, energetic, affectionate, devoted, loving, and protective
Other Names German Shepherd Border Collie mix, German Shepherd  Poodle mix, Miniature German Shepherd

Height and weight

He has an athletic and bold appearance standing at about 15 to 20 pounds.

The Mini German Shepherd can reach a weight of up to 50 pounds, unlike the German Shepherd parent that can reach a weight of up to 90 pounds.

And if the Mini GSD is a result of the introduction of a dwarfism gene, then the pooch will weigh about 30 pounds.

The physical appearance

Mini German Shepherds look like any other “Standard” German Shepherd but are smaller of course. This is the reason he called the Miniature GSD.

Many factors can come into play when it comes to the size of the Miniature German Shepherd.

For example, Mini German Shepherd bred from a Collie cannot be the same size as that one bred from a Yorkie.

They might be smaller but they still have the power and athletism of the German Shepherd.

These dogs should also be well proportioned and their eyes are brown and ears raised on top of their heads.

Coat appearance and color

These dogs usually have a double coat which comes in handy when the weather is cooler.

The coat can have distinct colors such as;

Tan Sable White
Black Black sable Silver
Red and Black Black and Gold Blue

It can also be a combination of colors that are inherited from the parent breeds.

Mini German Shepherd

Personality and temperament of a Mini German Shepherd

German Shepherds are some of the most popular dogs and it is easy to see why this is the case. These dogs are bold, tenacious, intelligent, energetic, affectionate, devoted, loving, and protective.

When a crossed with a Border Collie or a Poodle, you can expect that the offspring will be very smart which makes him highly trainable.

You will surely be happy when you receive licks on your feet and your face from your Miniature GSD. He will also be happy to reciprocate the love you give him.

This dog may be small but he loves to play and is full of energy making him a perfect family dog that keeps young kids entertained.

They are known to create deep emotional attachments to their families.

You should, therefore, not leave this dog alone for long periods as he could suffer from anxiety and even become destructive.

Do not underestimate this pooch as he can be very protective making him a good guard dog and for this reason, he should be well socialized to get rid of any aggressive tendencies.

Traits Rating
exercise needs
Ease of care

Mini German Shepherds as pets

Handling this pooch is much easier because of his smaller size.

These adorable dogs occupy less space meaning they could be suitable for those that are living in an apartment setting or a small house that does not have a yard.

They get along well with children but it is never advisable to leave your kids alone with any dog unsupervised.

Miniature German Shepherds as working dogs

All German Shepherds were originally bred to be working dogs.

In modern society, they were used by the police, military, and even in farms as herding dogs.

They can also be used as therapy and guide dogs because of their loyalty and ability to learn new commands fast.

History of the Mini German Shepherd

Not much is known about when the Mini German Shepherd first appeared or who the first person to intentionally breed this dog was.

So, it would be better to look at the parent breeds.

An overview of the German Shepherd

The German Shepherd was created by a former German soldier that was named Max von Stephanitz.

He was looking to create a perfect working dog as he was not satisfied with the working breeds that were there by then.

Max von came across a dog that was named Hektor Linksrhein at a dog show in 1899.

He bought Hektor and decided to create his dog from him.

Hektor was renamed Horand Von Grafrath and created the Society for the German Shepherd dog and that was the foundation for the German Shepherd breed.

During the World wars, the German Shepherds were renamed to Alsatians by the Brits in a bid to prevent their popularity from dwindling. The name was reverted to German Shepherd in 1977.

Now the German Shepherd is the second most popular dog in the US and seventh in the United Kingdom.

German Shepherds are also ranked as the third most intelligent dogs in the world after the Poodle and Border Collie.

German Shepherd

The smart Border Collie

Border Collies are renowned for being intelligent and energetic. He is ranked as the most intelligent dog on the planet.

Border Collies are also talented in herding and excel in dog competitions.

German Shepherds are also mixed with Border Collies to get Mini German Shepherds.

The mix is sure to be intelligent and full of energy.

German Shepherd and Border Collie mix are also known as the Shollie.

This mix is highly trainable.

Other German Shepherd mixes that you may be interested in

Frequently asked questions

Is there a Miniature German Shepherd?

The Mini German Shepherd is not a pure breed but a German Shepherd cross with another smaller breed such as a Miniature Poodle or Border Collie. It is also possible to achieve the miniature size by breeding of runts, or by the introduction of the dwarfism gene in the dog.

How big does the Mini German Shepherd get?

The Mini GSD can stand at between 15 and 20 inches and weigh anywhere between 25 and 50 pounds, unlike the Standard German Shepherd that can weigh as much as 90 pounds.

Miniature German Shepherd puppies

Puppies from this dog can differ because of a large gene pool when he is crossbred with other dogs.

For example, a Mini German Shepherd got from crossing with a Poodle will be different from that one crossed from a Border Collie.

Litter size;

The average litter will have anywhere between 6 and 8 puppies with the GSD being used as the mother. This is done because the German Shepherd is larger and it helps reduce the risk of birth complications.

How much does a Miniature German Shepherd cost?

The average price for a Mini German Shepherd puppy is about $1000.

It can be difficult to get a breeder that specializes in the breeding of these dogs.

Take your time and do careful research on a reputable breeder because you will want to be careful when you are getting a crossbreed.

However, you have the option to adopt which is in all way the best option. It is also a cheaper way to get a Mini GSD.

Some of the German Shepherd rescues;

Grooming a Miniature German Shepherd

Being smaller does not make him any easier to groom.

Brushing the Mini GSD is just as necessary because he has a double-coat.  You should brush the coat at least two times every week and increase brushing frequency during warmer weather.

The Mini German Shepherd also blows out the coat twice every year as the seasons change. Do not get alarmed when you see your dog losing more hair during this period.

Apart from taking care of the dog’s coat, you should also check the ears for any chances of ear infections. Cleaning the ears also gets rid of bad odor.

Clipping the nails is also an important part of grooming.

Brush your Mini German Shepherd’s teeth a few times every week to reduce the risk of periodontal diseases. Do this at least once every week from when the dog is a puppy onwards.


Feeding requirements

Several factors can affect how much you feed your Mini German Shepherd and these are:

  • Activity level
  • Season
  • Age
  • Metabolism

You will need to meet this dog’s calorie requirements which is 30 calories for every pound that the dog weighs.

What this means is that the average calorie requirement for the Miniature German Shepherd is 1200 calories in a single day.

In terms of kibble, this is about 3 cups of kibble per day. You should divide the meals into two portions, one meal in the morning and the other in the evening.

Mini Shepherd Daily Food Consumption
Calories 1,200
Cups of Kibble 🍗🍗🍗

Exercise requirements

These dogs may be small but they are energetic and love a lot of activity and play. This helps to provide them with physical and mental stimulation.

One hour of physical and mental stimulation would be enough to keep them active, fit, and in shape.

You should make sure that your dog gets the exercise he needs for him to stay healthy.

A walk once every day with some play would not hurt.

Any style of exercise would be good for this dog.


Training a Mini German Shepherd

The Miniature German shepherd is a very intelligent dog and if you have this pup then you are in luck because you will not have a hard time teaching him new tricks and commands.

And what would you expect from a pooch that comes from the most intelligent dogs in the world?

They excel at learning things and getting easy commands such as sitting and stay in not time. You will have no difficulty in house training and toilet training this dog.

Use positive reinforcement when you are training this dog.

You will need to cover all the basics of training and this includes even socialization.

Begin socializing your pooch when he is still young by introducing him to new people, animals, and environments.

You can also try dog classes where he can get to spend time with other canines.

Make sure that your dog gets enough mental stimulation to prevent him from developing some unwanted behaviors such as chewing and excessive barking.

Some ways that you can use to provide him with mental stimulation are through bonding and playing games such as fetch with him. _miniature_german_shepherd

Some health concerns

Although the Mini German Shepherd may be healthier than the parent breeds he may also be prone to some health issues.

Below are some of the health issues that he may be susceptible to.

  • Skin allergies
  • Eye problems
  • Joint Dysplasia

Is the miniature German Shepherd right for you?

Is the miniature German Shepherd in your plans?

We would recommend that you get a Mini German Shepherd crossbreed as he is much healthier.

If you want a devoted miniature German Shepherd, you will have a loyal loving dog if you have space and time to devote to it.

These dogs make wonderful family pets, are good with children, and live for many years.

There you go WOOF!!

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