Shiba Inu German Shepherd Mix-Physical Look, Lifespan and Temperament

Shiba Inu German Shepherd Mix

Shiba Inu German Shepherds are a great mix of intelligence and courage. They have an eye-catching appearance. They mix the proud nature inherent to the Shiba Inu with the fearlessness that comes with the German shepherd breed. They are relatively reserved and alert. This mix is a new designer breed. This dog hybrid doesn’t have an official name, but they are commonly referred to as Shepherd Inus.

The Shepherd Inu is a bold cross with unique physical traits. They are not very easy to train, but they make excellent family companions when properly trained and socialized. Shepherd Inus retain a robust prey drive that is inherent to Shiba Inus. They also borrow the ruggedness that the German Shepherd is famed for. This cross needs a lot of exercise being an energetic breed. The Shiba Inu German Shepherd mix needs significant grooming as they shed a lot.

This is an exciting dog breed to have. Being a relatively new dog mix, there is understandably so much you will be eager to learn about the Shiba Inu German shepherd mix. What is their life expectancy? What unique physical traits do they have? How about the temperament of your Shepherd Inus? Also, how should you feed them? These questions and many more we will carefully address in this guide.

Physical Characteristics (Size and Physical Look)

The Shepherd Inu borrows a bit of the fox looks that the Shiba Inu is renowned for. Typically, your German Shepherd is a large dog with a height situated between 22 to 26 inches in height. Also, the Shiba Inu has a standing height of about 14-17 inches.

When these two breeds are brought together, we have a Shepherd Inu that can grow up more than 22 inches in height. This is almost certain if that particular Shepherd Inu cross has more predominant German Shepherd features. Otherwise, your Shepherd Inu can have a height in the region of 19 inches.

Nonetheless, this mix takes a lot from the Shiba Inu’s appearance. The face blends that of the Shiba Inu with a German Shepherd. It wouldn’t be as broad and strong as the characteristic German Shepherd. Also, the dog cross will not have that particularly striking fox-like look, as you will see from a Shiba Inu.

They also take the long slender appearance which German Shepherds are known for. This dog mix has a sturdy built. Yes, they borrow the muscular built you typically see in your German Shepherd.

The Shepherd Inu has dark brown eyes. How about the shape? The eyes are most times shaped in the form of medium almonds. They have high ears, which are mostly erect.

For a Shepherd Inu mix, the coat ranges from long to medium, depending on which features (between the Shiba Inu and the German Shepherd) are predominant in the dog. Nevertheless, this dog mix has thick furs. They have two layers of coat, which give them enviable resilience to cold living conditions.

This coat can combine two or more colors. Commonly, you will see your Shepherd Inu having a black color, which is a mixture of cream, silver, tan, and red. You can also see Shepherd Inu having liver-colored coats, sable coats, or blue mixes.

Behind the back of the Shepherd Inu is a reasonably long curling tail. The regular Shepherd Inu mix could weigh anywhere from 40 to 60 pounds.


Normally, Shiba Inus live up to 15 years or 12 years (at the lower end). On the other hand, you can expect your German Shepherd to live up to 10-14 years.

Combining these two dogs, you have a Shepherd Inu that can live up 15 years if adequately catered for – or 7 years, at least, in natural death conditions. After living upward of 10 years, you can start expecting health issues from your Shepherd Inu, after which it will die.

Grooming Needs

Sorry, Shepherd Inus shed a lot. This means once, in a while, you will exert significant effort in grooming your Shepherd Inu. This high volume shedding is mostly because of its German fur.


The Shepherd Inu is a highly enthusiastic dog, which makes it very active. As characteristic of Shiba Inus, the Shepherd Inu is a bold dog with a reasonable level of self-dependence.

This is a high energy breed that is not suited to being left aloof or disengaged – they need a high level of exercise.

Shepherd Inus are protective and can be quite territorial. At intervals, they can pose problems related to aggression. However, once you have established your superiority over your Shepherd Inu, it will readily accept your authority and follow your directives. Take note that this doesn’t mean an excessive application of force or reprimand in training your Shepherd Inu.

When a Shepherd Inu bonds with you, it becomes very loyal to you and your immediate family. Nonetheless, just like Shiba Inus, they will not seek a lot of attention as they fare off better on their own. A shepherd Inu will not easily bond with a stranger as this cross is relatively reserved.

Shepherd Inus have a fierce prey drive – being similarly instinctive hunters like the Shiba Inu. You could need a leash when training them to accept commands. Admittedly, a proneness to self-authority or independence on the part of your Shepherd Inu makes them harder to train.

This explains why this dog cross is not best suited to new pet owners as these dogs need more experience to train. Such training is more effective when consistently applied from a very young age.

Exercise Needs

Shepherd Inus have high energy levels. They will need significant amounts of exercise across the day. These hybrids are enthusiastic and will require at least one hour 15 minutes of exercise every day. This will keep them from destructive habits like depression, unhealthy weight gain, or aggression.

Health Risks

Generally, Shepherd Inus are healthy and don’t have many health concerns. The most severe health conditions for German shepherds include arthritis, degenerative myelopathy, elbow/hip dysplasia, and degenerative spinal stenosis.

For Shiba Inus, the severe conditions include glaucoma allergies, cataracts, glaucoma allergies, and hip dysplasia. Take note that hip dysplasia is not prevalent.

Of late, there has been increasing conspicuousness of sloping backs in German Shepherds. Such sloping back inhibits their efficiency as working dogs. However, this is not common with the original German Shepherd.

Given the relative newness of the Shepherd Inu hybrid, much hasn’t been scientifically proven of their health risks or conditions. Being that German Shepherds and Shiba Inus are healthy breeds, significant health complications are not expected of this cross.


Feeding is a critical aspect of raising a Shepherd Inu. This hybrid is athletic and energetic. They have a substantial appetite for exercise as for a huge chunk of your day, you will notice high activity levels from your Shepherd Inu.

With this in mind, it is unsurprising that your Shepherd Inu needs a diet packed with power. Giving it such meals contributes significantly to its health – keeping them strong as well.

Of course, protein constitutes a huge chunk of this diet. This is a major contributor to their immune and energy needs

Your Shepherd Inu diet must contain at least 20% protein. Indeed, we don’t recommend filling up your Shepherd Inu with corn syrups. This can be damaging to the health of your Shepherd Inu. Our preference is that you buy high-quality proteins (pure protein).

Aside from protein, it also helps if you include fat in your Shepherd Inu diet. Fats enhance the tastiness of the meals you feed this hybrid.

As always, moderation is key to all. It is highly unadvised to feed your Shepherd Inu with fatty foods excessively. In some cases, they can even trigger skin problems for your dog.

It is essential to point out that a typical Shepherd Inu meal varies with age. The ideal meal for a matured Shepherd Inu may not be appropriate for a puppy. All things being equal, you can feed your Shepherd Inu 3-4 times per day. These meals should be smaller rations.

You can alternatively feed them two large meals. When fed excessively, your puppy can start vomiting. By the time your Shepherd Inu gets to about 6 months, you can slash their meal regime to two meals per day – or just one large meal.

Are Shiba Inu German Shepherd Mixes Protective?

Yes, Shepherd Inu crosses are relatively protective. They can be a bit territorial as well. They are not best at sharing and can be very particular about their toys or properties they designate as theirs.

A Shepherd Inu is not very adventurous. It will keep within its limits most times and will not readily explore new environments or build new relationships.

However, this can change from impulsive drives. Being that they have high prey drive, Shepherds Inus are pretty unpredictable outdoors and can go far in a chase after prey.

How Much Does a Shiba Inu German Shepherd Mix Cost?

Shepherd Inus are new dog hybrids and are not very common. They have a wide range of applications – making them expensive, given their relative rareness.

The cost is also affected by the priciness of the parent breed. Certainly, you will agree that pure German Shepherds and Shiba Inus cost quite a premium.

Depending on the breeder and the Shepherd Inu in particular, you can expect to spend anywhere from $1200-$2400 when buying Shepherd Inus.

Is a Shiba Inu German Shepherd Mix Right for Me?

No doubt, a Shepherd Inu is a beautiful hybrid to own. It is exciting and energetic. However, it is vital to emphasize that Shepherd Inus are not suitable for everyone.

To be specific, if you are a novice dog owner, it is not recommended to go for Shepherd Inus as your first pet dog. Why you may ask?

Shepherd Inus are not the easiest dog breeds to cater for. You may see them as stubborn. This is because of the pertinent sense of independence or self-care (which you can say this hybrid inherits from the parent Shiba Inu).

You have to also factor in the inevitable need for exercise from your Shepherd Inu. Being working dogs, this hybrid needs to be perpetually engaged.

If you are looking for a very “emotional” dog companion, you may not want to go with the Shepherd Inu. This is because this dog is not very disposed to displaying affection – unless they have tightly bonded with you.   

The American Kennel Club (AKC) advises that while the Shepherd Inu is an excellent cross, it better suits experienced dog handlers who have the intelligence, tolerance, and empathy to train them appropriately. This is because Shepherd Inus don’t excel with negative reinforcement or harsher punishments.

Also, you have to take into consideration that since Shepherd Inu is a new breed, you may not have sufficient resources or information to handle its possible health complications.

We pointed all this out for you to know what it takes to nurture and train a Shepherd Inu. In the face of all this, if you meet these requirements, you can think sure of an exciting, fun-filled life with your Shepherd Inu.

Best Climate for a Shiba Inu German Shepherd Mix

Shepherd Inus are some of the most tolerant hybrids that you can get. Their parents (the German Shepherd and the Shiba Inu) are famed for their toughness and resilience in ruggedness.

Shepherd Inus will have no problem living in cold, temperate or tropical climates. While most dog breeds struggle with cold weather, the Shepherd Inu excels. This dog hybrid is equipped with two coats. Their fur is considerably dense and gives them good buffering or resistance to the cold.

The Attention a Shiba Inu German Shepherd Mix Needs

A Shepherd Inu inherits a sense of independence from its parent Shiba Inu. It tends to take care of itself. They are very clean and will not pester you for affection like the other dog breeds that crave large displays of attention or love from you.

When you raise a Shepherd Inu, you wouldn’t need to do much more than feeding it and exercising it. At its heavy shedding periods, you would be there to groom it. Other than that, it doesn’t need much attention from you.

Compatibility with Kids

Shepherd Inus may not be very compatible with kids. This is because they need a reasonable handling experience. Your kid may not be able to establish your dominance over this relatively stubborn dog breed. Remember, we said that Shepherd Inus are not the most affectionate dogs.

Nonetheless, your Shepherd can bond with your family, which includes your kid. In that case, the Shepherd Inu can get seriously emotionally attached and loyal to that kid.

Compatibility with Other Animals

Shepherd Inus are not very social animals. Bear in mind that they are very territorial with a high prey drive. A typical Shepherd Inu will not easily mix with another animal. This doesn’t mean that they will display intense aggression to other animals.

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