Miniature German Shepherd: 11 Pocket Sized Facts You Need To Know

The Miniature German Shepherd is a lot like its larger cousin, only in a smaller package!

Usually the smaller size is bred in using either Border Collies or Poodles, but their temperament is still similar to that of a normal German Shepherd.

Agile, alert, and proud, this is an intelligent dog that is easily trained.

These dogs need a lot of physical and mental stimulation to keep them from becoming bored and destructive.

If you think you could keep up with this breed, then keep reading to learn all about caring for a Miniature German Shepherd…

Miniature German Shepherd Lying Down

What is a Miniature German Shepherd? (Overview)

Normal German Shepherds were originally bred for herding and guarding sheep, but were quickly recognized for their versatility.

The Miniature German Shepherd is not much different from the full-sized version and are used for a multitude of reasons.

It is still a versatile, agile and hard-working companion that needs a job to do.

These dogs were bred to be a companion or a good working dog for someone who needed something smaller but with the same drive as the larger German Shepherd.

  • Overview: Mixes.
  • Purpose: Companion/Working.
  • Weight: 50 pounds.
  • Size: 15-20 inches.
  • Temperament: Bold, loyal and protective.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Great working dogs.
  • Small convenient size.
  • Easy to train.
  • Amazing guard dogs.
  • Very intelligent.

Cons:

  • High energy unsuitable for some people.
  • Need a lot of socialization.
  • Prone to separation anxiety.
  • Shed alot during shedding seasons.

Appearance

Mini German Shepherd

At first glance these are intriguing dogs because of their miniature size.

Mini German Shepherds will have the well-muscled body of a German Shepherd with a well-balanced smooth body.

Their hindquarters and forequarters should seamlessly blend, giving them an air of nobility and strength. The head is strong and broad, and in good proportion to the rest of the body. The expression in their eyes should be intelligent and keen.

Miniature German Shepherd Size

Once fully grown, Miniature German Shepherds are around 15-20 inches tall and should not weigh more than fifty pounds.

However as there is no official breed standard, some dogs may weigh more or less than this.

Colors

While the original German Shepherd does not have a lot of color variation, the mini variety has a few different options.

They can either be the standard tan with a black saddle, white, black, sable or even black with red or silver.

Coat

These pooches have a thick, double coat that is about medium length.

They shed quite a bit throughout the year, and have full blow outs twice a year – usually once in the spring and once in the fall. Regularly brushing every couple days followed by bathing about every six weeks will help to keep the shedding to a minimum.

5 Fun Facts About Mini German Shepherds

  1. They have a longer lifespan than full-sized German Shepherds.
  2. German Shepherds are the third smartest breed of dog.
  3. These dogs are exceptionally loyal, and will lay down their lives for you.
  4. One parent is often a Collie or other small herding breed.
  5. They are a versatile breed and are starting to be used as service dogs.

Miniature German Shepherd Personality and Temperament

Miniature GSD

This is a hard-working, highly drive breed that needs a ton of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy.

These dogs need at least an hour of physical and mental stimulation per day.

A walk around the block is not nearly enough to meet their exercise needs.

The Miniature German Shepherd is not the kind of dog that will lie on the sofa, or even just play games all the time. They need a job, whether that is agility or Rally, herding, or guarding the house, they need something.

Working on Rally with them, or letting them sniff things out are good ways to work their brain, while taking them somewhere to run is great for physical stimulation. Agility is another great way to exercise them both physically and mentally.

Although they enjoy playing a quick game of tug or fetch, they are not a super playful breed.

Socialization is key with any dog, and is very important in the development of a young Mini German Shepherd. They are known to have a prey drive, so introducing them to small animals and cats when they are younger is a good way to reduce their prey drive.

Miniature German Shepherds were bred to be good guard dogs, so do not expect them to warmly greet everyone that shows up.

These dogs do not typically bark and usually only bark to alert to someone at the door. They were bred to be guard dogs and that is not a job that they take lightly.

Is The Miniature German Shepherd A Good Family Dog?

With a calm temperament around children, the Miniature German Shepherd thrives in families.

Their loyalty and protectiveness of their families is a huge part of their personality.

Caring for a Miniature German Shepherd

Puppy Mini German Shepherd

These dogs are not super high maintenance, but they do need plenty of physical and mental stimulation.

As long as you can keep up with them physically and have the time to invest in training them properly (especially as puppies) then they can be amazing companions and guard dogs.

They need a lot of training and work to grow into good companions, and are more work than most dogs.

However these dogs do great in families with children of any ages. They are excellent with young children, and are great companions for older children.

Exercise Requirements

These dogs require a lot of exercise – at least sixty minutes of walking each day. Still this physical stimulation is the bare minimum of what they need on a day to day basis.

They also need time to be able to play and run around off leash if possible. Adding in mental stimulation during this time will also help tire them out faster.

Some games that you can play with your Miniature German Shepherd include nose work, agility, or just playing fetch or tug. Things that will work both their brain and their body are the best for tiring them out as much as possible.

  • Number of Walks Per Day: 2.
  • Total Exercise Needed Per Day: At least 60 minutes.

Grooming and Shedding

Miniature German Shepherd Running

Miniature German Shepherds shed just as much as normal German Shepherds.

In fact they are often nicknamed “German shedders” because of how much they do shed. These dogs need to be brushed every two-three days, and bathing should be done about every six weeks.

Even with all of that grooming, please remember that you will still have dog fur everywhere.

Be prepared to do a lot of vacuuming and house cleaning to keep up with the masses of fur that will build up.

Known Health Problems

Some common health issues with these dogs include:

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Bloat
  • Epilepsy

How Long Does A Miniature German Shepherd Live?

These mini dogs can live for upwards of fifteen years, which is significantly longer than normal German Shepherds.

How Much Does A Miniature German Shepherd Cost?

You can expect to pay at least $950 for one of these puppies. But often they cost more than that.

Generally German Shepherds mixed with Poodle cost more than if they are mixed with smaller Collie types.

How To Train A Miniature German Shepherd

Miniature German Shepherd

Just like other breeds, the Miniature German Shepherd responds well to positive reinforcement.

However they will shut down with too much repetition, so there should be some variation when you are training them – do not focus too much on one trick.

As mentioned before, socialization is extremely important with this breed.

You have to remember that this breed were used for guardian work so they can be aloof around strangers.

Lots of socialization with both people and other dogs should help reduce their aloof nature.

Miniature German Shepherds require a lot of mental stimulation.

Teaching them Rally or basic obedience is a good way to work on this, plus obedience should be taught from when they are puppies.

As adults they are physically strong, so you need to enforce training and rules when they are younger.

Quick Breed Summary Table

Breed Characteristics
Size: 15-20 inches.
Weight: ~50lb.
Lifespan: 15 years.
Coat: Double coat about medium length.
Color: Tan with black saddle, black, white, sable, or black with red or silver.
Do They Shed: Yes.
Temperament: Loyal, protective and obedient.
Intelligence: Very intelligent but need a lot of mental stimulation.
Socialization: Need plenty of socialization as puppies.
Destructive Behavior: Chewing when under-stimulated.
People Skills: Can be standoffish with strangers.
Good with Children: Yes.
Activity Levels: Very high energy and highly strung.

Summary

Mini German Shepherds are well-tempered dogs that are great for almost any kind of situation.

They need a home with room to run around, a job is also a very important thing for them.

These dogs excel in a multitude of various dog sports and are fit for almost any job imaginable.

Keeping them physically and mentally stimulated is the most important thing to ensuring that they do not become destructive.

If you can keep up with their need for exercise and work, then the Miniature German Shepherd could just be the dog for you.

Let us know in the comments section below…

Thomas Woods Face Portrait
Thomas has been a dog lover since he was 6 years old when his parents got him a rescue Labrador. Since then his love for dogs has lead him to study Animal Behavior & Welfare. He now keeps a six year old English Bullmastiff and educates pet parents through his online publication Perfect Dog Breeds.

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