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Mastiff Shepherd Hybrid Description
The Mastiff Shepherd is not a purebred dog. It is a cross between the German Shepherd Dog and the Mastiff. The best way to determine the temperment of a mixed breed is to look up all breeds in the cross. It is possible you can get any combination of any of the characteristics found in either breed. Not all of these designer hybrid dogs being bred are 50% purebred to 50% purebred. It is very common for breeders to breed multi-generational crosses. Please review individual breeds for potential health issues.
German Shepherd Dog Breed Description - Cross #1
The German Shepherd Dog is a large and strong dog. The fur is a double-coat and can be either short or long haired. Although the black and tan saddle may be most recognizable, German Shepherds come in a variety of colors and patterns though not all are accepted by the various breed clubs or FCI. Two toned German Shepherds can be black and tan, black and red, black and brown, black and silver, black and cream, blue and tan, or liver and tan. Solid colors may be black and solid white or any of the dilutes (liver, blue, or cream). Dogs with coats that have tricolored hair (black and white with either brown or red) are called sable or agouti. Sables can come in a variety of mixtures as well including black and silver, black and red, black and cream, and black and tan. Some various markings are referred to as 'striping' (black stripe markings on the legs found in some sables), "pencilling" (also often found on the sable as black lines on the top of the dog's toes), "tar heels" (black that runs down the back of the dog's legs), and (grey hairs along the back of a female or a neutered male.)
Different kennel clubs have different standards for the breed according to size, weight, coat color, and structure. German Shepherds that compete in dog shows, must have an appearance that conforms with the guidelines of the individual kennel club. Some common disqualifying faults include ears that are not completely erect, or a muzzle that is not predominantly black. Ear faults can be caused by weak cartilage in the ears which allow them to flop (also called "friendly-tipped"). It is often possible for a veterinarian to correct this problem by taping up the ears.
There is no definite way to determine the force of a dog's bite, however it is widely accepted that the bite force of the German Shepherd Dog is roughly 750-1200 pounds, half that of a gray wolf. German Shepherd Dogs can weigh up to 125lbs for males and 85 lbs for females, although 80-90 lbs for males and 65-75 lbs for females are normal and preferred for working dogs.
German Shepherds are a popular selection for use as working dogs. They are known for being easy to train and good for performing tasks and following instructions. They are especially well known for their police work, being used for tracking criminals, patrolling troubled areas and detection and holding of suspects. Additionally, thousands of German Shepherds have been used by the military. Usually trained for scout duty, they are used to warn soldiers to the presence of enemies or of booby traps or other hazards. German Shepherds have also been trained by military groups to parachute from aircraft or as anti-tank weapons. They were used in World War II as messenger dogs, rescue dogs and personal guard dogs. A number of these dogs were taken home by foreign servicemen, who were impressed by their intelligence.
The German Shepherd is one of the most widely used breeds in a wide variety of scent-work roles. These include search and rescue, cadaver searching, narcotics detection, explosives detection, accelerant detection and mine detection dog, among others. They are suited for these lines of work because of their keen sense of smell and their ability to work regardless of distractions. At one time the German Shepherd was the breed chosen almost exclusively to be used as a guide dog for the visually impaired. When formal guide dog training began in Switzerland in the 1920s under the leadership of Dorothy Eustis, all of the dogs trained were German Shepherd females. An experiment in temperament testing of a group of Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherds showed that the Retrievers scored higher on average in emotional stability, ability to recover promptly from frightening situations, cooperative behaviour and friendliness; while the German Shepherds were superior in aggression and defensive behaviour. These results suggested that Labrador Retrievers were more suited to guide dog work while German Shepherds were more suited to police work. Currently, Labradors and Golden Retrievers are more widely used for this work, although there are still German Shepherds being trained. In 2013, about 15% of the dogs trained by Guide Dogs of America were German Shepherds, while the remainder are Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers. The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association in the United Kingdom trains some German Shepherds, while the comparable organisation in the US only trains Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers and crosses between these breeds.
German Shepherds are still used for herding and tending sheep grazing in meadows next to gardens and crop fields. They are expected to patrol the boundaries to keep sheep from trespassing and damaging the crops. In Germany and other places these skills are tested in utility dog trials also known as Herdengebrauchshund (HGH) herding utility dog trials.
The German Shepherd is obedient, unfailingly loyal, and has an excellent sense of smell. He is lively, eager, and highly trainable because of his desire to obey. The breed has a personality marked by direct, fearless willingness to protect human children. The ideal dog is a working animal with an incorruptible character combined with body and gait suitable for the arduous work that constitutes its primary purpose.
Early training is vital. This is an active dog with a need for space and exercise, but can live in an apartment in the city if walked daily. This breed does not like to be alone and cannot tolerate being closed inside all day. Brushing twice per week is required. In a litter, it is wise not to select the overexcited or fearful puppy because he could become aggressive.
As is common of many large breeds, German Shepherds are susceptible to elbow and hip dysplasia. Other health problems sometimes occurring in the breed are von Willebrand's disease, skin allergies and canine degenerative myelopathy. It is also prudent to check the eye and ear health as GSD's tend to have problems with these as well. German Shepherds, like all large bodied dogs, are also prone to bloat.
Degenerative myelopathy, a neurological disease, occurs with enough regularity specifically in the breed to suggest that the breed is predisposed to it. A very inexpensive DNA saliva test is now available to screen for degenerative myelopathy. The test screens for the mutated gene that has been seen in dogs with degenerative myelopathy. A small study in the UK showed 16% of young asymptomatic German Shepherds to be homozygous for the mutation, with a further 38% being carriers. Now that a test is available the disease can be bred out of breeds with a high preponderance. The test is only recommended for predisposed breeds, but can be performed on DNA samples from any dog, collected through swabbing the inside of the animal's cheek with a sterile cotton swab. Prospective German Shepherd buyers can now request the test from the breeder or buy from a breeder who is known to test their dogs.
German Shepherds have a higher-than-normal incidence of Von Willebrand disease, a common inherited bleeding disorder, and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI), a degenerative disease of the pancreas. It is estimated that 1% of the UK population of German Shepherds suffers from this disease. Treatment is usually provided in the form of pancreatic supplements taken with food.
Mastiff Breed Description - Cross #2
The German Shepherd Dog give the distinct impression of elegance and unsurpassed beauty combined with great overall size and majesty. They are large dogs with very woolly and long coats. It is also weather resistant and allows them to withstand intense cold temperatures. They have large paws, bred to have a steady foot on dangerous mountain paths. They also have drop ears, a bushy tail and an evenly muscled body. Their fur almost resembles a white mane.
The breed has a long and thick double coat that provides it protection from harsh weather; the long and flat outer coat is particularly long around the neck, tail and backs of the legs, and it has a fine and thick under coat. The breed is predominantly white in color, with patches of black, badger, grey or various shades of tan found mostly on the head; badger is defined as a mixture of brown, black, grey and white hairs and is commonly seen in puppies but usually fades as the dog ages.
In nature, the German Shepherd Dog is confident, gentle (especially with children), and affectionate. While territorial and protective of its flock or family when necessary, its general demeanor is of composure and patience and loyalty. It is a strong willed, independent and reserved breed. It is also attentive, quite fearless and loyal to its duties. The German Shepherd Dog' size makes it an imposing guardian. A dog of this breed will patrol its perimeter and may wander away if left off its leash in an unenclosed space. The German Shepherd Dog protects its flock by barking, and being nocturnal, tends to bark at night unless trained against such behavior.
The German Shepherd Dog can be slow to learn new commands, slow to obey, and somewhat stubborn to train. Despite this relative stubbornness, it is quite unusual for the German Shepherd Dog to become aggressive or turn on its master. It is wary of strangers if the person is not allowed in the house, but will settle down if the owner of the dog seems comfortable with the stranger. This dog was originally bred to be a livestock guard dog, and can still be found doing that job on farms and ranches.
This dog is not suited to city living. He needs exercise and room to run, or he will develop behavioral problems. He does not like to be shut in. Brushing three times per week and bathing several times per year is required.
German Shepherd Dog are usually very healthy, but may suffer from hip dysplasia, hot spot skin conditions, and epilepsy. Other health concerns include entropion (inverted eyelids), luxating patellas, and bloat (gastric torsion; twisted stomach). Bloat is a health issue to most dogs, being the second largest killer of dogs other than cancer, but German Shepherd Dog can be particularly susceptible to it because of their deep chests.
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If you can’t find the pet you’re looking for on Petfinder, don’t give up. Some shelters maintain waiting lists for specific breeds, so don’t be afraid to ask! There are also breed-specific rescues for just about every breed, and most of them post their pets on Petfinder. (Petfinder can even e-mail you when a pet that fits your criteria is posted — just click “Save this Search” at the top of your search results page.)
Jeff Gold, Founder, Rescue Me! Animal Rescue Network
Jeff Gold lives in Watkinsville, Georgia on the same property as Rescue Me's Animal Rehabilitation Center, with 18 rescue animals. Shown with him in the photo to the left are Maggie, Izzie and Cortez. In 2003, after learning there was nobody doing boxer rescue work in Georgia, Gold founded Boxertown, an organization which helped find homes for over 500 boxers during its first two years. Based upon this success, Gold came up with the vision for Rescue Me! ― a network which helps all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals find good homes, anywhere in the world. RescueShelter.com is also a free service of Rescue Me! and provides the world's largest and most up-to-date directory of animal rescue organizations for all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals, including a comprehensive directory of wildlife rehabilitators in over 150 countries.