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German Shepherd Chow Mix

Nicole Cosgrove

June 18, 2021
Clever and Craves Attention

The German Shepherd Chow Mix is a hybrid dog from breeding the German Shepherd with a Chow Chow. She is a medium to large sized dog with a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years. She is a clever dog with lots of energy, very loyal and always demanding attention from you!

Here is the German Shepherd Chow Mix at a Glance
Average height 18 – 26 inches
Average weight 40 – 95 pounds
Coat type Dense, harsh, long, thick
Hypoallergenic? No
Grooming Needs Moderate
Shedding Constant and heavier during shedding seasons
Brushing Daily to remove mats and loose hair
Touchiness Moderate
Tolerant to Solitude? Moderate to good
Barking Rare to occasional
Tolerance to Heat Moderate to good
Tolerance to Cold Very good to excellent
Good Family Pet? Good with early socialization and training
Good with Children? Moderate, needs early socialization and better with older children
Good with other Dogs? Moderate, needs training
Good with other Pets? Moderate, better when raised with them and socialized
A roamer or Wanderer? Low
A Good Apartment Dweller? Not really
Good Pet for new Owner? No needs someone experienced in handling and training dogs
Trainability Moderate – needs firm handling
Exercise Needs High – one of the most energetic dogs there are
Tendency to get Fat Fairly high
Major Health Concerns CHD, eye problems, bloat, DM, EPI
Other Health Concerns Joint dysplasia, allergies
Life Span 10 to 12 years
Average new Puppy Price $250 to $750
Average Annual Medical Expense $485 to $600
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $920 to $1000

Where does the German Shepherd Chow Mix come from?

Some hybrid dogs are also referred to as designer dogs. This is sometimes used in a negative context by those who feel this increase min mixed breeding is not a good thing. What some supporters of purebreds forget is that when their dog was bred it was via mixing different breeds until the breeder reached what he was looking for. The issue in the last two decades or so is that puppy mills and disreputable breeders have jumped on this trend and will breed any crosses with no real care or thought just to make money. This aspect is a problem. The only way we can stop it is to not buy from such people. With little history known about where and when the German Shepherd Chow mix was bred we can look to what we know about its parents.

The German Shepherd

The German Shepherd’s name says it all about where he comes from and what his purpose was! Bred in Germany in the late 19th and early 20th century to be a superior herding dog by a Captain von Stephanitz, who was retiring from the German cavalry. He wanted to create a dog from local breeds who would excel at herding, be intelligent, fit and a great working dog. He succeeded but then there was not the need for herding dogs with industrialization so using his contacts he got the dog into working for the police and military. He excelled at it and was used in various roles from search and rescue, sentry, red cross, drug detection, messenger and so on. When he came to America breeders there became more focused on breeding for shows and looks. Those looking for working German Shepherds looked to import from Germany where the working breed was still the main goal.

Today more breeders in America are turned back to the dog’s abilities rather than just looks. Well bred Shepherds are intelligent, wary of strangers and protective. When he forms attachments he is loyal and friendly and affectionate. He has a lot of energy and can get bored easily so needs plenty of mental and physical stimulation. He also is not good at being left alone for long periods.

The Chow Chow

Genetic testing has proven that the Chow Chow is one of the oldest breeds still around. It is believed he comes from North China and Mongolia and then moved south with the Mongolian nomads. The dogs were used in hunting and to guard possessions. He was called other names then and became Chow Chow when British sailors took some as cargo home with them. Back then miscellaneous cargo items were called chow chow and that became the name used for them.

Now the Chow Chow is often compared to a cat in temperament, reserved, clever, independent and often quite stubborn! While it may appear he has a permanent scowl he is not aggressive. He will play with you but he is equally happy doing his own thing. He needs socialization to be happy with different pets, children, strangers and situations.


The German Shepherd Chow Mix can be aloof like the Chow Chow but is a lot happier to have human attention and will make themselves known if they feel neglected! She is also very loyal and full of energy. She is smart but needs to be challenged mentally and physically to not become bored and act out. She does have a stubborn and independent side that can make training tricky unless you have experience. She is protective of her owner and family and is cautious around strangers.

What does a German Shepherd Chow Mix look like

She is medium to large in size weighing 40 to 95 pounds and measuring 18 to 26 inches tall. She can vary in how she looks depending which parent she leans more towards. Her facial features tend to look more like the Shepherd’s with a muzzle that is long. Her ears are a cute mix of half standing up and then the tops flopping down. She has a tail that curves up and a coat that can be dense, thick, harsh and long. Common colors are blue, chocolate, black, red, tan, brown and white.

Training and Exercise Needs

How active does the German Shepherd Chow Mix need to be?

She has a lot of energy and needs access to open spaces and live with owners who are happy to be active every day, and have a large yard she can play in. She needs some running as well as walking, play that involves physical and mental challenges. She will chase after things if off the leash so wait until you are in a safe area. It will take a while before she gets tired, take her to the dog park, let her in the yard, play ball, fetch, tug of war and so on. Let her jog with you, walk with you at least twice a day.

Does she train quickly?

She is moderately easy to train – she is intelligent and if you have experienced in handling dogs like her it will go well. She does have a stubborn side though and needs a firm but positive approach to her training. Use praise, rewards, treats. Early socialization and training are important for this breed.

Living with a German Shepherd Chow Mix

How much grooming is needed?

She does shed constantly and that can increase during shedding season especially if she takes more after the German Shepherd. Brush her at least three times a week if not daily. You will need to vacuum regularly to clear up hair from your furniture and will need something for your clothes too! Bathe her when she needs it using a dog shampoo and brush her teeth at least three times a week using a dog toothpaste. If she does not naturally wear down her nails when out and about they will need clipping. Dog nails are not like ours, there are nerves and blood vessels in the lower section which need to be avoided when cutting or you will cause pain and there will be bleeding. Many choose to let a groomer take care of this. Her ears should also be checked and wiped clean once a week.

What is she like with children and other animals?

She is not naturally inclined to be great with pets or children and this is partly why socialization and training are important. She is better if raised with them but some do snap at children so supervising them may be needed. Teach the children too not to tease her or touch her food.

General information

She is a good watchdog and will bark to let you know of an intruder. She does not bark much other than that, ranging from rare to occasional. She will need to be fed 3 to 4 cups of high quality dry dog food each day, preferably split into at least two meals. She is okay in most climate though does a little better in colder ones and should avoid really hot ones.

Health Concerns

She is not s super unhealthy dog when she has been bred by a reputable breeder. To avoid health issues coming up buy only from those breeders and ask to see health clearances. Parent issues can be passed to the offspring so there is the possibility she could be more prone to CHD, eye problems, bloat, DM, EPI, Joint dysplasia and allergies.

Costs involved in owning a German Shepherd Chow Mix

Puppy prices for this mixed breed are around $250 to $750. She is not a super trendy designer dog to own so prices are lower than some other mixed breeds right now. She will need a crate, collar and leash, chipping, spaying and medical tests to check on her health. This will be between $450 to $500. Annual costs for medical concerns like pet insurance, vaccinations, flea prevention and general check ups are $485 to $600. Annual costs for non-medical concerns like long hair grooming, food, treats, toys, training and a license are $920 to $1000.


Looking for a German Shepherd Chow Mix Puppy Name? Let select one from our list!

She is a great dog, best suited to homes with no children or older children unless she is being raised with them. As one of the most energetic breeds there are she needs an active owner who does not resent the time she needs being exercised. Early socialization and training are also something that should not be skipped. She will give you companionship and will always want attention from you.

Featured Image: ID 139842261 © William Wise |

Top German Shepherd Mixes

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.

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