Miniature German Shepherd โ€“ Your Complete Breed Guide

German Shepherds are popular for their large and intimidating nature. This comes in handy when they are raised for use as working dogs, whether it is livestock guarding, personal protection, or even law enforcement. However, in this day and age of designer doggies, it is not impossible to find tiny and compact forms of this breed, with the Miniature German Shepherd being the most common.

The Miniature German Shepherd is a mixed breed dog that is developed by breeding a standard German Shepherd with a smaller breed of dog. The most commonly used breeds in the pairing include Border Collies and Poodles. They usually take after the stronger and more dominant physical and personality traits of the German Shepherd breed with a few differences.

If you want a dog with the intelligence of a German Shepherd and the convenience of smaller breeds, then the Miniature German Shepherd is the dog for you. Here is everything you need to know about the dog before getting onto this bandwagon.

Is There A Miniature German Shepherd Breed?

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Strictly speaking, standard German Shepherd Dogs do not come in different sizes.

Most healthy ones fall within a weight range of 50 to 90 lbs and 22 to 26 inches in height. However, it is possible to have smaller versions of GSDs.

Here are some of the causes of these size variations including more on where the Miniature German Shepherd breed falls into.

Mixed Breeding

This is the most common source of most Miniature German Shepherds dogs seen today. The medium-to-large standard breed of the German Shepherd is mixed with small dogs like the Border Collie and the Poodle.

They are also sometimes bred with other very small dogs, including pugs, corgis, and Yorkies. With this in mind, the best way to describe a Miniature German Shepherd is a mix between the GSD and a small breed.

These mini GSDs take more after the German Shepherd in basic features like facial and skull traits, coat type and colors, and the general build. With these, they end up looking more like shrunk German Shepherds than actual mixes.

On average, these Miniature German Shepherds vary in size weighing about 25 to 50 lbs and measuring 15 to 20 inches.


Dwarf German Shepherds on the other hand are purebred variations of the GSD that bear the dwarfism gene.

This could also be a result of Pituitary Dwarfism, where the short stature is a result of pituitary gland insufficiency.

Whatever the cause is, Dwarfism in German Shepherds is associated with major health issues and often results in the shortening of lifespan by 3 to 4 years.

How Long Do Mini German Shepherds Live?

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Miniature German Shepherds that are mixed breeds usually live for 9 to 13 years or even more. On the other hand, Dwarf German Shepherds live for 3 to 4 years or less.

With the mixed variety, the reason for the longer lifespan is the fact that they are generally healthier. The few common health problems that affect them are rarely life-threatening. Here is more about these conditions.


This is a result of gastric volvulus, which is where the stomach of the dog gets twisted, especially when it is dilated. It can sometimes be life-threatening so look out for symptoms like vomiting, a distended abdomen, and other general signs of distress like whining, especially after meals.


Miniature German Shepherds also sometimes suffer from megaesophagus, which is a condition that causes swallowing difficulties due to loss of elasticity of the esophageal muscles. There are many potential causes of this condition, including hormonal imbalance and nerve issues.

The condition causes difficulties swallowing and is often associated with choking as food fails to make its way down to the stomach properly.

Clotting Disorders

This is, unfortunately, a quiet disease that rarely gets symptomatic. It could be caused by a variety of conditions, including Hemophilia A and Von Willebrandโ€™s disease. In both, the Mini GSD lacks some clotting factors and is more likely to bleed heavily from cuts or even spontaneously into organs.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Progressive Retinal Atrophy causes irreversible loss of sight in both eyes, with inevitable blindness being the only outcome.

Early detection allows you to prepare your Miniature German Shepherd by modifying its training so it can live a happier and normal life even with the loss of sight.

How Much Does A Miniature German Shepherd Cost?

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Miniature German Shepherds cost $1,000 and more depending on a variety of factors.

This is quite pricey especially considering the fact that they are mixed breed pooches. In order to understand why this is the case, let us take a look at some of the main factors that influence how much you will end up paying for your mini GSD pooch.

The Contributing Breeds

The breed used in the mix with the German Shepherd definitely determines the cost you will have to pay for your Miniature German Shepherd. Popular and equally expensive breeds like the Border Collie and Poodle result in more expensive mixed doggies.

Those bred from pooches like Corgis and Pugs on the other hand may even end up costing less than $1,000.

Health Screening

Miniature German Shepherds are not healthy just by chance or due to their mixed breed nature. There is also a lot of effort behind the scenes by reputable breeders to screen for, identify, and breed out any unwanted traits, including hereditary illnesses.

This makes breeding these doggies a bit expensive, which is why the resulting puppies are also pricey.

Niche Demand

Another reason why Miniature German Shepherds can be so expensive is the fact that they have niche demand and are themselves relatively rare unless intentionally bred. People love the combination of the small dog aesthetics with the iconic features of the standard German Shepherd.

Resulting Personality Traits

Border Collies and Poodles are the most commonly used breeds in the development of Miniature GSDs. They complement the German Shepherdโ€™s intelligence, loyalty, and other great features for a tiny pooch that is very easy to train and live with. We will dive deeper into these personality traits next.

Are Miniature German Shepherds Aggressive? Temperaments Of Miniature German Shepherds

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Miniature German Shepherds take the best features from all the contributing breeds for one of the best dogs out there in terms of personality. It is this combination of features that makes Miniature German Shepherds ideal for use both as companions and working dogs.

Here are some of these awesome traits that you will get to see for yourself.

Very Smart And Responsive

Miniature German Shepherds are very brainy little doggies. They are great at responding to commands which makes training them a breeze.

The best part is that they are very fast learners. Therefore, with time and the right training skills, there is nothing you cannot teach them.

Obedient And Eager To Please

Another awesome personality trait you have to look forward to is obedience. These dogs have very strong pack instincts and will naturally obey and seek to please whoever establishes themselves as the alpha personality in your home.


Miniature German Shepherds have lap dog tendencies and are just the right size for the position. They love to spend time with their human friends and are very comfortable with being handled. So donโ€™t hesitate to go in for a hug or a good snuggle as you just hang out.


Unlike the standard German Shepherd breed that is generally very aloof and mistrusting of strangers, Miniature German Shepherds tend to be very friendly and outgoing. This is the case especially if they have been bred from a mix with a super friendly breed. 

In addition, early socialization among people and obedience training makes them awesome for keeping as family pets.

Do Miniature German Shepherds Shed? Grooming Tips For Miniature German Shepherds

Miniature German Shepherds, more often than not, take after the German Shepherd parent when it comes to coat characteristics. As a result, their grooming needs are pretty much the same as that of the standard GSD.

Here are some essential tips that will come in handy for a first-time Miniature German Shepherd dog owner.

Brush Their Fur 3 To 4 Times A Week

Miniature German Shepherds shed between moderate to heavy levels. Regular brushing helps get rid of loose strands of fur and prevents them from being shed all over your house.

Invest in a good grooming brush, in which case we recommend the Furminator Undercoat Tool. Its strong bristles are ideal for working through the thick coat on a Mini GSD. The ergonomic handle design and the self-cleaning feature are things that you can look forward to, making this tool very convenient to use.

For those few strands that make an escape and land on your floor, the iRobot Roomba i3+ is just what you need to clean them up. The automated vacuum does all the heavy lifting and is specially designed to collect fur and dander.

Wash Them Every 6 To 8 Weeks

Miniature German Shepherds need regular washing to prevent odors and to deal with skin conditions. Washing them once every two months is a great routine to settle into to keep their coats healthy and fresh.

It is also important that you invest in the right grooming products. If you want value for your money and fantastic results on your pooch, we recommend theย Paws & Pals 6-In-1 Oatmeal Dog Shampooย that offers multiple functions all in one bottle.

Take Care Of Their Dental Hygiene

A combination of dental water additives to deal with bad breath and hard dental chew toys to mechanically clean the dogโ€™s teeth might be all you need.

This pair is not only convenient and effective but also comfortable for the dog, especially if you didnโ€™t manage to train them to be comfortable with having their teeth brushed for them.

What Is The Largest Breed Of German Shepherd? King Shepherd is the largest of the German Shepherd breeds and hybrids. The large dog measures 27 to 31 inches in height and can weigh 75 to 150 lbs. They are often mixed-breed dogs developed from German Shepherds and other large breeds like the Alaskan Malamute or Great Pyrenees.

What Is A Corgi German Shepherd Mix Called? Corgi German Shepherd mixed dogs are sometimes referred to as Corman Shepherds. They usually have facial and coat traits similar to the German Shepherd parent and the dwarf build and proportions of the Corgi breed. The little doggies are quite popular and pricey, with puppies each costing between $250 to $750.

How Long Do German Shepherds Stay Small? German Shepherds stay small for about a year or less. Once they enter adulthood past the 12-month mark, they start to grow into their full-size potential. By the time they are three years old, they average 50 to 90 lbs in weight and 22 to 26 inches in height.

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Pete Decker