Breeding the extraordinarily diverse French Bulldog and German Shepherd results in a sometimes unpredictable, but always adorable, mixed-breed known as either the Frenchie Shepherd or the French Bullger Shepherd.
Although there are prevailing characteristics for most of these mixed canines, it’s important to remember that there’s no way to predict exactly what traits your pup will get.
French Bulldog German Shepherd Mix is medium to medium-large sized dogs with equally large, loving hearts.
Courageous and extremely loyal, their attachment and commitment to their owners are intense and unwavering.
As a combination of both a working dog and a lap dog, they are generally highly intelligent, loving, and protective of their families.
Is it the right breed for you? If you bring a French Bulldog German Shepherd Mix into your home, you will have a devoted and playful companion who will stick it out with you to the end, but there are also a couple of downsides to mixing the two purebreds.
French Bulldog German Shepherd Mix: Temperament
When considering adopting one of these adorable furballs as part of your family, it’s ideal to look at the traits and expectations for both the purebred French Bulldog and German Shepherd separately.
Once you have an understanding of what those possibilities are, it’s easier to identify and accept what your future mixed breed might be like.
Although there tend to be consistencies that stand out for this combination breed, it’s beneficial to have a thorough understanding of what the overall temperament range could be.
The Majestic Purebred German Shepherd
Pure German Shepherds are well-renowned for their courage and focus. They are often used as guide dogs, guard dogs, and search and rescue canines because they have an excellent sense of smell and their ability to concentrate is almost unrivaled.
Highly intelligent, they require consistent mental stimulation, especially if they are a family pup and not being tasked with a purpose. These canines prefer to utilize their intelligence and often enjoy the training process.
Their highly responsive attitudes exist at a very young age, so be ready to train early to establish dominance. You want it to be undeniably clear that you are the alpha to avoid protective instincts gone awry.
Otherwise, this incredible trait of uncompromising loyalty could manifest in aggressive tendencies with strangers and other animals.
Generally, though, they are considered well-balanced in their temperament as well as confident and calm. Unabashedly loyal and courageous, these fluffy-eared pups are ready to leap into action just for you.
The Sneaky Yet Loveable Purebred French Bulldog
According to AnythingFrenchBulldog, French Bulldogs are also highly intelligent, but it manifests in entirely different ways.
Known for their stubborn streaks and senses of humor, they are the quintessential manipulative, little companion dog who knows how to get what it wants. This does not mean they won’t utterly adore you and want to be around you all the time.
Exceedingly fond of people, they often become overly attached, and are sometimes known as “Velcro dogs.” Others refer to them as shadows.
Either way, you’re not doing yourself any favors if you adopt a Frenchie without the intention to be home a significant amount of the time for doting on your pooch.
AnythingFrenchBulldog.com cautions not to scold or yell at your Frenchie. These Bulldogs are highly sensitive, will take it personally, and probably show their distress through moping or otherwise withdrawing.
Very vocally expressive, they will love to talk to you. Barking isn’t common for them, but they communicate their feelings with their own “language” involving yips, yawns, and gargling growls.
Considered some of the best apartment dogs in the world, they are the ultimate couch potato furball. But they were also bred to follow their alpha from place to place. If you constantly leave them home alone, you will be breaking their little, attentive heart.
How Does All This Work Together With a Muddle of Both Temperaments?
Between the two bloodlines, you’ll have the independent, eager to train Shepherd and the stubborn, attention-needing Frenchie.
Absolutely establish alpha dominance early on. Both breeds rely heavily on direction from and loyalty to their alpha figure. Positive reinforcement, though essential for any breed, is especially vital with this particular mix of personalities.
Your mixed pup will need consistency and positivity to excel and ought to start training as soon as possible.
Your pet will most likely turn out to be incredibly intelligent, loyal, and loving. The two breeds’ diverse standard roles in dedication to their alpha and family mean they can be both protective and snuggly.
On the other hand, it means they are often distrustful of strangers and must begin socialization early on to ensure they don’t become aggressive towards others.
Will I Have More of a Dashing Shepherd or a Round Bat-Pig?
Both physiques are wonderful in their own way, but not always everyone’s cup of tea. Before the litter arrives, it’s a bit of a crapshoot to guess exactly what lovely physical traits nature will bestow on each puppy.
The Noble Shepherd of Athletic Beauty and Adorably Fluffy Ears
German Shepherds are medium-to-large in size, athletic, well-muscled, and ready to work. Their longer muzzles end in a flat, large black nose, with an excessively strong jaw.
Traditional purebreds have sweet brown eyes that are almond-shaped, and their characteristic erect ears draw emotions from the hardest of hearts when they perk up on a fuzzy Shepherd puppy.
Fairly long and lean when full grown, with a curved back, their coat tends to be denser than most and is classified by its length.
It is almost always a similar pattern of black and brown and their bushier tail reveals their changing moods, standing high up when on alert or excited and hanging low when calm.
The Potato Body of The Upper-Class Frenchie
Often overweight, French Bulldogs are commonly wide-chested and heavy-boned, with thick musculature and legs that don’t seem to match their body size. Their coats are short and fine, showing up in an array of colors.
Although it fails to make them sound as cute as they really are (trust us on this one), they’re most known for their piglet-like bodies, short snouts, and overly large bat ears.
The Melting Pot of Nobility and the Cute Potato on Legs
It’s difficult to predict what physical characteristics will show up in a Frenchie Shepherd due to their extreme structural differences.
Often, however, the full-grown pup will be smaller than a German Shepherd but still distinctly larger than a French Bulldog, creating a medium to medium-large fur friend.
They tend to keep their broad chests, but this broadness looks regal when mixed with German Shepherd genetics because of the longer legs and neck.
Sporting an elongated snout in comparison to the Frenchie’s flatter features, it’s still uncommon to not have the muzzle slightly widened and shortened from the Frenchie ancestry.
Due to the French Bulldog German Shepherd Mix, they occasionally end up with larger heads and ears in comparison to shorter legs and solid bodies.
Since ear size is large and erect on both, expressive ears still linger on the oversized, pointy side, but might display some of the Shepherd line’s ear fluff.
The mixed pups often take on a significant portion of Shepherd’s coloring; though influenced by the other breed, it might be muddled or create a new pattern.
Frenchie Shepherd: Couch Potato or an American Ninja Warrior?
German Shepherds Are Essentially American Ninja Contestants in Dog Form
As most people are aware, German Shepherds are highly athletic, working dogs. If you’re in any way interested in a pup that angles more on the Shepherd side, know that they need at least an hour of physical activity every day. Honestly, the more intense, the better.
The French Bulldog Would Love to be Your Snuggle Buddy and Nothing More
Frenchies are considered the best apartment dogs for a reason: they don’t need much exercise. This is partially attributed to their breathing problems but is also due to them overheating and tiring easily. It’s suggested to stick to short windows of exercise spread throughout the day.
If you’re looking for a breed to keep up on a hike, a French Bulldog is not the right pick, although they are wonderful for hours-long Netflix kicks.
Any Idea Whether I’ll Get an Athlete or a Couch Aficionado?
It’s hard to know what type of exercise your pup will need until you get the opportunity to see them. The flatter the face, the harder it will be for your dog to breathe and keep up without overexerting itself.
The same goes for swimming—brachycephalic dogs (like French Bulldogs) can’t swim, so be careful on your first trek into the water.
Test it slowly to ensure they’re capable of handling the lack of oxygen and their head isn’t too big to support in the water.
Canines leaning more on the German Shepherd side will be athletic, active, and crave exercise and the release of solid energy.
Be wary not to assume too much too soon. Even with the greater resemblance, it’s best to err on the safe side for your pet’s well-being.
Even if they look more like Shepherd than Bulldog, start play and activity slowly. Physical exertion sessions should have limited timeframes so you can develop a sense of what they can handle.
If they’re pulling off short walks and playtimes with ease, allow the progression to longer walks and activities requiring more exertion.
Simple, quick diversions like retrieving or treat games will keep them occupied and active early on, preventing destructive behaviors while helping you get a sense of their energy levels.
Any Health Problems I Should Be Prepared For?
Jane Pinzhoffer from the TheHappyPuppySite, notes that like any purebreds, German Shepherds and French Bulldogs have their own list of common health issues due to inbreeding.
The long breeding histories on these two dogs should be kept into account when deciding on a pooch.
Main Concerns for a German Shepherd
The most likely will be heart problems, eye issues, degenerative myelopathy, perianal fistulas, and hemangiosarcoma. Elbow and hip dysplasia and abnormal cartilage joint growth are also of concern.
The Inbred Structural Health Concerns for the French Bulldog
Most health issues for French Bulldogs arise from their unique physique. Prone to hip dysplasia—the femur not quite fitting into the hip socket—causes pain and limping that increases with age.
Hemivertebrae, another skeletal issue, means they have one or more malformed vertebrae which put pressure on the spinal cord, leading to pain and potentially to paralysis. Among other common spinal concerns, a screw tail can lead to deformation in the spine as well.
Noisy and difficult breathing is a major problem due to the shape of the head and nostrils. Their physical structure obstructs their airway to different degrees, dependent on the flatness of the muzzle.
This is referred to as brachycephalic syndrome, and there are therapeutic and surgical methods for improving the worst cases.
There are several blog posts and videos available online discussing what to know in advance if you’re seriously considering purchasing a French Bulldog.
How Do I Go About Getting a Puppy That Has a Better Chance to Remain Healthy?
Smart breeders take the history of the parents in mind to avoid these problems as much as possible in new litters.
Technically, the mixed canine can inherit physical health issues from either parent, so it’s hard to guess unless you know both parents’ history and have seen the pup.
Although the elongation of the snout helps with breathing, mixes still have a history of chronic breathing problems. Dysplasia, occurring in both breeds, is a distinct concern, as well as degenerative myelopathy.
Finding the Right French Bulldog German Shepherd Mix
Don’t pick your fur-child blindly. Invest time in finding out the parental lines’ health histories and the standards of the breeder.
The American Kennel Club is a great resource with specific guidelines for breed requirements and an extensive listing for finding AKC registered breeders and puppies so there won’t be any huge surprises.
Have patience and don’t rush the process. Seek out quality breeders, chat with them, learn about the breeding parents, and then you wait.
If the litter doesn’t produce a pup that can clearly exert the energy you’re looking for because of a short snout or clear spinal problems, it’s best to keep looking.
If you’re hunting for a fellow couch potato, make sure your chosen canine doesn’t require the exertion and stimulation of a German Shepherd.
Yes, mixed litters are going to be up in the air, but there’s also a good chance the perfect combination for you will appear at some point.
Don’t get discouraged¬—you’re looking for your fur-mate! In the meantime, you can always foster a puppy as well. Who knows, you may end up with two well-loved furballs running around the house.