When considering your next breed of dog, temperament, size, and a personality that will be well-suited for your home should all be taken into consideration before making this important decision. Perhaps you are a fan of more than one breed of dog.
For those who are looking for intelligence, obedience, and a family protector but would also love a dog with a whimsical, gentle, and playful demeanor, you might want to consider a cross-breed.
Picking Your Breed
Before considering your next pet, you need to evaluate how much room you will have for this dog. If you are considering a larger breed, you will need a large yard or plenty of places to takes walks.
If you are confined to a smaller living space, you will need a small breed of dog. If you love being outdoors and plan on taking your dog with you on your adventures, you have many options when it comes to breed and temperament.
If you are that adventurous, outdoorsy person, you might want to consider a German Shepherd Whippet Mix. This innovative mix is also referred to as a German Whippet.
The German Whippet combines the traits of two very popular and proven breeds to create a dog that is protective and intelligent, but is slightly more refined and has the gentle and fun-loving nature that is highly desired when choosing a canine companion.
What to Know About Shepherds
When considering a mixed breed, it is important to know that not all the traits of one parent may be present in the mix, but there will certainly be that potential.
According to the dog experts Hill’s, the personality of a German shepherd lends itself to being a great dog for families as they are protective of children and can get along with other pets if they are raised with them.
These dogs are easy to train but need to be socialized properly to negate aggressive behavior.
Shepherds are active dogs that do best when they have a job. The history of this breed originates from Germany where they were bred back in the 1800s as herding dogs.
They were used for protection in World War I and were introduced to the United States after the war by soldiers returning home.
This breed is best known for its courage and guarding instincts. They have been widely used by the military and are used as guide dogs, bomb and drug-sniffing dogs, and as rescue dogs. They have also been raised by many families as treasured pets.
- Weight range: 75-95 lbs.
- Height 23-25 in.
- Naturally upright ears
- Average energy levels
- Needs 40 min. of exercise daily
- 10-12-year life span
- Low barking and digging tendency
- Medium length double coat with moderate grooming needs
What to Know About Whippets
When it comes to Whippets, Hill’s describes Whippets as gentle dogs that are non-aggressive and love to be with people.
They are a bit on the tender side as they prefer cushions and couches over cold, hard, floors. They are similar to small greyhounds but are a little curvier.
These dogs are built for speed, have a narrow body, and are extremely muscular. Their tail is whip-like and they are known for their large, gorgeous, eyes.
Whippets are small enough to sit in your lap but big enough to be your running partner. Their build makes them light-weight. Because of their small mass, they love warm places and like to cuddle.
They are known for being odor-free and they come in all dog colors. Their two favorite activities are running at full speed and curling up with their owners. They are quite and bark infrequently. They are great with children and other pets.
This breed can live in an apartment but need to be taken out for some printing every day. They do spend most of the day relaxing if they get their daily exercise. They are well mannered when outside but have an innate need to be able to run fast.
If you don’t like dogs on your furniture, this is not the breed for you as they will be on the couch and in your bed. As their name implies, the tails can leave welts if you get whacked with them on your legs.
The history of the whippet comes from Great Britain. Bred in the 18th century, these dogs were bred to hunt rabbits and were used in competitions to see which dog could snap up the most rabbits in the shortest amount of time.
This progressed to snap dog races where the dogs chased rabbits down a straight course which earned them the name “poor man’s racehorse”.
- Weight range 20-35 lbs.
- Height 20-21 in.
- Naturally upright ears
- Average energy levels
- Needs 40 min. of exercise daily
- 12-15-year life span
- Low snoring and drooling tendency
- Moderate barking
- Short length coat with low grooming needs
What to Expect with a Shepherd-Whippet Mix
Doggypedia explains that mixing two pure breeds is a very popular trend for dog lovers. Whippets have such great personality traits that they are becoming a favorite for mixing with other breeds.
The German Whippet has displayed the wonderful qualities of both breeds and is a great choice for those who love Whippets but are looking for some of the hardier qualities found in Shepherds.
Here are some of the features you can expect with this mix:
1. This mix loves to run far and dig holes. They will do best in a large, fenced-in area. The fence needs to be rather high as the German Whippet will be capable of leaping high fences in a single bound. They will also probably retain the urge to chase things.
2. German Whippets might be a little stubborn but they will be quick learners. You can teach this dog to play soccer, Frisbee, or chase a tennis ball down. It can display the energy levels of both breeds.
3. The weight range for this cross-breed will typically be 45 pounds with lots of lean muscle. It may look like a German Shepherd and have their markings with a bit more refinement. As with all mixes, there is no guarantee which traits will be displayed as even repeat breedings with the same parents can produce different results.
4. The Whippet side of the family will bring the laid-back tendencies to the mix, and the Shepherd side will give them the desire to keep busy and they love to learn. This mix should produce a dog that loves most everyone but still has a bit of the guarding instinct as they may be suspicious of strangers.
If you would like a visual image of the German Whippet, check out this YouTube video to get an idea of the size and gentle nature of this mixed breed.
Right Pet advocates the adoption of the German Whippet as unintentional breeding of these two dogs does occur.
Right Pet concurs that the appearance and size of these dogs may vary as well as the dominant traits from the two breeds.
They do feel this mix will benefit from leash training as this mix will probably not be able to resist the urge to run and chase.
Why the German Whippet Mix is Loved
Dogsnet.com labels the Whippet mix as designer hybrids that are rapidly gaining popularity worldwide.
Dogsnet describes the popular features of the Whippet which include their agility, incredible disposition, resiliency, and infinite and incredible speed.
It seems that even when they are mixed with the more stoic and aggressive Shepherd, they retain their fun-loving and speedy features.
Dogsnet points out that German Shepherds are known for their loyalty and courage. When mixed with the Whippet, the result could produce a dog with either a longer and thicker coat, or the dense and sleek coat of the Whippet. The color combinations of the mix are varied and numerous.
Combining the Shepherd, who is courageous, bold, and loved for his work ethic, will most likely produce a dog that is more docile than the pure Shepherd but result in a gentler breed who still has lots of energy.
Frequently Asked Questions
How big do whippet mixes get?
Whippet mixes will typically have a skinny body like a whippet and that adorable inquisitive face of a Shepherd or vice versa.
In terms of height, a whippet mix will grow to around 20 or 25 inches tall and weigh anywhere between 20 and 95 pounds!
Interestingly, both German Shepherds and Whippets have curved backs, but a whippet mix has a relatively straight back. This might make them appear slightly shorter than they would be if their backs were curved.
Do whippets smell?
Like all dogs, whippets will become smelly from time to time and require baths every other week or so, especially if they go running through the dirt.
But, unlike some breeds that have a natural ‘scent’ meaning they always have a bit of a musky smell no matter how much you bathe them, whippets are actually known as non-smelly dogs.
They don’t have a natural scent and if washed regularly enough, they should always be smelling good so no one has to miss out on cuddles.
If your whippet does smell, it’s likely due to external factors, i.e. nothing to do with its DNA. Some reasons (other than, they just need a good scrub in the bathtub) your dog may smell bad are:
- Skin issues – dry skin can cause your dog to scratch a lot which could create cuts that can become infected that would have a musty smell
- Ear infection – dogs ears are quite prone to ear infections if not cleaned regularly, this can cause a yeasty, musty smell, too
Are whippets good house dogs?
Whippets make great house dogs, they’re docile and super laid back, so they get on well with pretty much all households.
They’re not naturally aggressive dogs, so are safe to have in the house with children, too.
Whippets are also better than most at being home alone during the day or sleeping alone at night without experiencing any separation anxiety or restlessness – whippets weren’t bred for companionship.
So, they’re pretty chill and happy to snooze if no one is available to play. This also means they don’t tend to bark as much as other breeds.
The only issue with whippets in the home is that they do naturally want to chase prey, so any other small, furry pets might be at risk if you bring a whippet into the equation.
To ensure your whippet is well-behaved around other dogs and humans, you should start socializing them as soon as possible. This will give your dog more confidence and prevent them from being afraid and defensive when meeting new dogs and humans.
This is especially important with breeds like whippets because they are inherently shy.
If you are a fan of the German Shepherd breed because of its intelligence, loyalty, and its eagerness and ability to learn, but are looking for a more physically refined dog who loves to curl up in your lap, you might want to consider the German Whippet.
Whippets are well-known for their loving and docile personalities. They are speedy and energetic, but are a great breed for bonding with their owners and being personable and loveable to all family members, even other pets.
Crossbreeding the German Shepherd and Whippet is becoming increasingly popular all over the world.
The reviews have been outstanding and the common theme is that your German Whippet mix will be a loveable and amazing dog who will fit in with your family and bring you unconditional love and lasting memories.