Choosing the perfect dog for your family can be difficult, especially with the number of options to choose from.
But a breed that’s becoming increasingly common is the German Shepherd Rottweiler mix, affectionately referred to as a Shepweiler.
These dogs have a long lineage stretching back hundreds of years, and a rich tapestry of behavioral quirks.
But are they right for you and your family?
Here’s a breakdown of 16 things you should know about Shepweilers.
1. What is a German Shepherd Rottweiler Mix Called?
The name for this mixed breed is “Shepweiler”, a combination of the German Shepherd and Rottweiler names.
2. What Does A German Shepherd Rottweiler Mix Look Like?
Their appearance can vary wildly depending on the mix you have.
Some Shepweilers look like German Shepherds, with their long muzzles, tall and pointed ears, and bushy tails.
Others look more like Rottweilers, with their stout head, thick muscular bodies, and short tail.
Depending on the mix, the markings could range from a strong sable, to the historical black and tan associated with Rottweilers.
They’ll usually have a dense coat, too.
3. Where Does The Shepweiler Come From?
German Shepherds, also known as Alsatians, originated in Germany in the 1800s. They were used as livestock guardians to protect shepherds’ flocks from predators.
With their versatile skill-set, they soon performed a number of jobs for private property owners, the local police, and the army.
To this day they’re still used as guard dogs, as well as police, army, and service dogs.
Rottweilers also originated in Germany, with the express purpose to drive cattle to markets. They were strong enough to pull carts to markets and were heavily favored by butchers for this very reason.
Over time, they followed a similar path to German Shepherds and became some of the earliest police dogs in the world.
After looking at the similarities between these two proud breeds, in the early 2000s, they began to be crossed together, creating the German Shepherd Rottweiler, also known as the Shepweiler designer breed.
4. Does The Shepweiler Make A Good Family Pet?
Shepweilers are loyal and fiercely intelligent.
They form strong bonds with their caregivers relatively quickly.
However, due to their genetic makeup, they have a strong desire to guard their property against people and dogs.
As such they need experienced handlers who are aware of the time and dedication it takes to make them the perfect pet.
So, they’re not recommended for families with young children due to this reason.
5. Is The Shepweiler Easy To Train?
Shepweilers are one of the easiest dog breeds to train, and they’re intelligent breeds, too.
With their brilliant minds, fantastic biddability, and incredible focus on tasks, they can adapt to any and every challenge and respond well to positive reinforcement training.
After, there’s a reason why they’re used widely across most sport and work disciplines.
You’ll find that with proper training, your Shepweiler will follow instructions perfectly, and will love engaging with you and your family.
It’s best to start training these mix puppies young… and keep in mind that obedience training is critical for making sure you’re in control of such a powerful dog, too.
It’s useful to consider some obedience classes if you need some help in this area.
6. What’s The Shepweiler’s Temperament Like?
Shepweilers are tremendously loyal to ‘their people’, and they’ll often come with a strong personality, along with a strong devotion to their owner from the Shepherd parent in particular.
In fact, they’re almost like your shadow… following you wherever you go and wanting to be in on the action.
While they’re capable of working and training for long periods of time, they’re also more than happy to spend a lazy day indoors from time to time.
Their ideal day would involve a long walk in the morning, training in the afternoon, and cuddles in the evening.
But the temperament will also depend on the parent breeds as well.
As such, it’s wise to find a reputable breeder who has knowledge of the parent breeds and can let you meet them.
7. How Big Does a Shepweiler Get?
The size of a Shepherd Rottweiler mix depends on the size of the parent breeds.
German Shepherds average between 55-65cm (or 21-25 inches tall), and a healthy weight between 23-24kg.
Rottweilers average between 56-69cm (or 22-27 inches tall), and an average weight between 42-54kg.
In any case, you need to expect a large dog that will take up plenty of room on your sofa.
You’ll find that your Shepweiler will enjoy laying on top of you as well, so keep that in mind if you have young children!
8. How Long Does a Shepweiler Live?
The average lifespan of a German Shepherd is around 7-13 years old.
The average lifespan of a Rottweiler is 8-10 years old.
As such, you can expect your Shepweiler to live on average to 10 years old.
But remember that this is just the average – plenty of dogs lead long-lasting lives that outreach their projected lifespan.
Provided they enjoy a balanced diet that meets their nutritional requirements, have regular checkups at the vet, and you give them plenty of exercise and mental enrichment, they’ll live a fulfilled life.
9. Does a Shepweiler Need a Lot of Exercise?
The German Shepherd Rottweiler mix is a combination of two working breeds, so they need a high activity level to meet their exercise requirements, and daily exercise is a must.
One of the best ways to do this will be to explore the various walks you have around you.
Diversity is key when it comes to physical activity.
If you can, allow your Rottweiler Shepherd mix to explore beaches, forests, town centers, fields, and more.
Shepweilers especially like places they can ‘patrol’, so make sure you take them to the edge of wherever you’re walking so they can fulfill that need!
You’ll need to spend at least 1-2 hours everyday training and exercising your Shepweiler.
10. What Are Some Common Shepweiler Health Issues?
Unfortunately, a German Shepherd Rottweiler mix can suffer from a wide range of health issues, but these are lessened due to the crossbreeding itself.
German Shepherds commonly suffer from physical issues such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and canine degenerative myelopathy (DM).
These are all focused on the hips, elbows, and back legs, which are notoriously weak and prone to injury.
Rottweilers suffer from hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia, alongside other more serious health conditions.
These include a variety of heart problems and heart disease such as subaortic stenosis (SAS), certain aggressive forms of bone cancer, eye diseases, and autoimmune diseases.
Your Shepherd Rottweiler mix could also develop skin irritations or skin allergies, which is something else to look for.
As such, it’s important that you get your Shepweiler regularly checked for any physical issues.
11. Is the Shepweiler Aggressive?
While the German Shepherd Rottweiler mix is not naturally known for aggressive behavior, they have a genetic tendency to guard their homes, which could come across as an aggressive temperament in some cases.
This makes them wary of strangers on their property, as well as out and about in the real world.
As such, a Rottweiler Shepherd mix needs to be properly managed and socialized at a young age to make sure they’re friendly to those around them.
Always make sure to pay attention to how your Shepweiler is responding to a situation – if you’re concerned they are becoming stressed, remove them from the environment so they can relax.
12. How Often Should You Bathe and Groom a Shepweiler?
Shepweilers have no specific bathing requirements in comparison to other dog breeds.
The German Shepherd Rottweiler mix should be regularly bathed at least once a week to keep their coat healthy, looking shiny and new.
If the pup inherits the shorter coat of the Rottweiler parent, then grooming may be a little easier.
Shepweilers don’t tend to be fussed by being bathed, and will quite happily stand there and let you rinse them off as necessary.
13. Does The German Shepherd Rottweiler Shed?
Shepweilers do shed their hair, especially during summertime when their new coats are coming through.
To manage their shedding, regular brushing every 2-3 days will help you keep on top of the hair epidemic, and remove the dead skin and loose hair.
If you can, make sure you brush them outside in your yard. This will stop a build-up of excess hair in your home! And it’s wise to invest in a good vacuum cleaner as well…
14. What’s It Like To Live With A Shepweiler?
Living with a German Shepherd Rottweiler mix is like having a new shadow!
Shepweilers love being close with their people and will enjoy spending time with you whatever the occasion.
They’re especially fond of physical touch and will love being petted, stroked, or fussed by you and your immediate family.
Despite this closeness, Shepweilers do need space to do their own thing at times.
So make sure they have plenty of time to go and patrol your yard, play with toys, or simply have a nap when they’re tired!
They’re naturally protective guard dogs, and you may notice signs of this behavior when you’re living with them, too.
15. Is A Shepweiler Right For Me?
A German Shepherd Rottweiler mix is loyal and intelligent, making them the perfect companion and a popular designer breed.
They will love every activity you do together and will take great delight in spending time with you, and they’ll thrive if you’re an active family.
Their desire to work and train makes the Shepherd Rottweiler mix perfect for those who want to actually train their dogs, too.
However, the Shepherd Rottweiler can be hard work.
They need a tremendous amount of input to ensure no behavioral issues develop, and require a steady amount of training and exercise.
They’re recommended for families with older or no children.
And Shepweilers also prefer living in big houses with large yards.
They’re not recommended for families with young children or families that live in apartments.
Yet Shepweilers are a fascinating breed that’ll keep you on your toes while providing you with unconditional love and loyalty for years to come.
But you have to be ready to live with a larger breed.
Just make sure you keep them exercised and get them working!
And if you do decide to get a Shepheard Rottweiler mix, make sure you choose a reputable breeder who understands the potential health issues these breeds can have.
A good breeder will have insight into the temperaments of the parent breeds, as well as their health histories (especially in regards to hereditary disease). Getting a health clearance will bring peace of mind.
16. Is the German Shepherd Rottweiler Mix Good For a First Time Owner?
A German Shepherd Rottweiler mix is not recommended for first-time owners, as they can be quite a lot of work due to their physical exercise needs.
They’ll need lots of attention and training, which is best provided by those with some experience with dogs already.
It’s important for these dogs to be kept busy, as they won’t be happy if their life is too inactive.
As such, the Shepherd Rottweiler mix is one of the most popular dog breeds for someone who likes to get outdoors for long, regular walks.
The German Shepherd Rottweiler mix is a magnificent dog breed in many areas.
They have a lot of personality and can adapt to a wide range of activities.
They’re intelligent, sturdy dogs that need someone who understands their needs and is willing to put the time into them.
Be sure that you understand what makes these dogs tick before deciding on getting one as your pet.
They’re not for everyone – but they’re fantastic companions if you’re willing to put in the effort and you’re able to meet their needs.
You’ll struggle to find a more loyal, protective breed, and they’re great dogs in the right homes.
So if owning this mix breed sounds like it’s something you could do well with, then go for it!
They can certainly be a popular breed for many owners. and we hope and you’ll be better informed about whether they’re the right breed for you.