It’s fascinating to think about a German Shepherd and Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie) mix.
The first thing that comes to mind is the size difference of the parent breeds.
Beyond that, what would a German Shepherd Yorkie Mix’s personality be like? The outcome of this cross may not be entirely predictable.
Read more to learn about the pros and cons of a German Shepherd Yorkie Mix.
Where Does the German Shepherd Yorkie Mix Come From?
The German Shepherd originates in the early 1890s. It is from Germany, as the name suggests.
It was originally bred for herding and guarding livestock.
However, over time, the German Shepherd was bred as a working dog, namely in the police and military.
The Yorkie came from England, specifically the county of Yorkshire.
However, not much else is known about this pint-sized breed’s history.
The German Shepherd Yorkie Mix is the result of crossing these two.
It is a very new breed, and so not much is known about it yet.
Crossbreeding two purebred dogs is sometimes controversial.
Some people believe that purebred dogs should not be mixed. This is because there is stability and predictability in keeping the purebred line.
These breeds have been selected for certain traits, so some believe that mixing them will lead to unpredictable health or temperament consequences.
However, others support crossbreeding.
Purebred dogs can face health problems due to inbreeding and a limited gene pool. Genetic disorders and structural issues become more pronounced.
Creating a hybrid, or mix, may help address these problems by introducing genetic diversity.
German Shepherd Yorkie Mix Appearance
The German Shepherd is between 22 and 24 inches tall as a female, and 24 to 26 inches as a male.
The German Shepherd weighs between 50 and 90 pounds.
Its coat is smooth and medium-length.
It has a double coat that can vary in color, but is usually shades of black and brown. Some German Shepherds are all black or all white.
The German Shepherd is muscular and has smooth curves instead of angles.
The Yorkie is far smaller. It stands proudly at 7 to 8 inches, and weighs about 7 pounds.
The Yorkie’s coat is smooth and long, usually in a tan and steel blue shade.
The German Shepherd Yorkie Mix can take after either of its parents.
Its height and weight will likely be somewhere between the two: between 8 and 26 inches, weighing between 7 and 50 pounds.
German Shepherd Yorkie Mix Temperament
Above all, German Shepherds are known for loyalty.
These are hard-working, highly intelligent and courageous dogs. That is why they are the favored dogs of police departments.
The German Shepherd may be more aloof around strangers. However, a properly bred German Shepherd is not aggressive.
German Shepherds are active and eager to learn. They are easy to train and can learn many commands.
Yorkies are feisty but loyal. Terriers were bred to kill vermin, and Yorkies have not lost this fearless hunting instinct.
They are brave and stubborn, but may be suspicious of strangers.
A German Shepherd Yorkie Mix can take after either or both of its parents.
You can expect this first-generation cross to be brave, loyal and stubborn.
However, a German Shepherd Yorkie Mix’s personality may otherwise be hard to predict.
A good breeder will give information about parent temperaments and let you meet your puppy before you adopt.
Socializing your German Shepherd Yorkie is very important so that it learns to be comfortable around strangers.
Training Your German Shepherd Yorkie Mix
Socializing puppies of any breed is vitally important to having a happy, healthy adult dog.
German Shepherds and Yorkies are both sometimes aloof or distrusting of strangers.
Therefore, it’s important to socialize a German Shepherd Yorkie early and often so that he can learn to be comfortable in a crowd.
A German Shepherd Yorkie Mix can be on the smaller side, which makes potty training harder.
This is because small dogs have smaller bladders and pee more often.
Also be sure to check out our complete guide to puppy and dog training here for links full of tips, tricks and advice to achieving a happy and obedient dog.
Both German Shepherds and Yorkies are fairly active dogs. Make sure you give your German Shepherd Yorkie at least a daily walk.
Playtime will engage this intelligent and curious hybrid and keep her happy.
As we will see below, German Shepherds are prone to joint problems.
If your German Shepherd Yorkie Mix has inherited this, you may want to keep an eye on him during playtime and exercise to make sure he doesn’t overexert himself.
German Shepherd Yorkie Mix Health
German Shepherds have a life span of about seven to 10 years.
Yorkies have a life expectancy of 11 to 15 years.
The German Shepherd Yorkie Mix’s life span can therefore fall anywhere between seven and 15 years.
German Shepherds are particularly prone to a number of health issues, including:
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
- Pancreatic acinar atrophy
- Osteochondritis dissecans
- Degenerative myelopathy
- Bloat (abdominal swelling)
Most of all, purebred German Shepherds have been the topic of discussion because of their sloping backs.
Over time, this dog has been bred to have more of a downward-slanting conformation in their top line.
Some see this as a conformational defect that causes disability.
Cross-breeding the German Shepherd may lower the risk of these conformational problems being passed on to the next generation.
Meanwhile, Yorkies can face health problems such as:
- Eye problems (Progressive renal atrophy)
- Luxating patella
- Hip problems (Legg-Calve-Perthes)
- Tracheal collapse
- Congenital Portosystemic Shunt
Of course, crossing two purebreds may lower the odds of the mix having these health problems because crossing leads to genetic diversity.
However, the German Shepherd Yorkie Mix is still susceptible to its parent breeds’ issues.
You can use health testing or genetic testing to help predict some of these issues.
Read more about testing here.
Grooming and Feeding Your German Shepherd Yorkie Mix
Depending on your German Shepherd Yorkie Mix’s coat, he may have different grooming needs.
German Shepherds have basic but necessary routine needs for grooming. Brushing every few days will help keep them in tip-top shape.
Yorkies with long hair need daily brushings.
Either way, the grooming needs of your German Shepherd Yorkie Mix should not be overly demanding.
Brush them and give them regular baths. Keep their nails trimmed and ears cleaned.
For food, give your dog a high-quality diet appropriate to her size and activity level. Read more in our feeding guides.
Do German Shepherd Yorkie Mixes Make Good Family Dogs?
With enough socialization, the German Shepherd Yorkie Mix can be a loving and loyal family pet.
However, try to get to know your dog as much as possible beforehand.
If she’s from a shelter, have everyone in the family meet her.
Adopting an adult is best, so you can already know the dog’s personality and health history.
If you’re buying from a breeder, get to know the parents and ask plenty of questions.
Rescuing a German Shepherd Yorkie Mix
You might find a German Shepherd Yorkie Mix in a shelter or rescue.
Adopting a dog from a rescue has several advantages.
It can feel good to provide a home to a dog that needs one.
Likewise, adopting a dog is usually cheaper than finding one at a breeder.
However, there are some downsides as well.
You will not know your adopted dog’s history the same as you would from a breeder. So you would not be able to predict as much about its health or temperament.
Unless you do a genetic test, you also cannot know for sure if your dog is a true first-generation German Shepherd Yorkie cross.
Finding a German Shepherd Yorkie Mix Puppy
You may be able to find a breeder that crosses German Shepherds and Yorkies.
Be sure to go to a reputable breeder. He or she should health test the stock and provide backgrounds of the parents.
He or she should also answer any questions you may have.
A good breeder will let you meet the puppy before you take it home.
Be sure to avoid puppy mills and pet stores, which might source from puppy mills. These are places concerned with profit over animal welfare.
For a complete guide on finding the right puppy for you, see our puppy search guide.
Mixes are becoming increasingly popular because of the “best of both worlds” idea that people have about crossed breeds.
So it may become easier to find breeders that have crosses like the German Shepherd Yorkie Mix.
Raising a German Shepherd Yorkie Mix Puppy
If you just brought home your new puppy, be sure to start training right away.
Raising a dog properly is key. It will help ensure your dog has a long and happy life.
You can find our guides to raising and training puppies here.
German Shepherd Yorkie Mix Products and Accessories
For such an active and intelligent breed, be sure to get some stimulating toys.
Pros and Cons of Getting a German Shepherd Yorkie Mix
Is the German Shepherd Yorkie Mix right for you and your family?
The pros of the German Shepherd Yorkie Mix is that it is likely to be a highly intelligent and faithful companion. Crossing two purebred dogs may also lower the health risks associated with both.
The cons are that you may not know a lot about this breed’s potential health or behavioral problems ahead of time.
The personality of a first-generation cross can be a little harder to predict than for a purebred.
Similar Breed Mixes and Breeds
If you can’t find a German Shepherd Yorkie Mix, you can consider some alternative hybrids.
For instance, a Jack Russell Yorkie Mix can look and act similarly to the German Shepherd Yorkie.
If you love the German Shepherd’s energy and personality but want a smaller dog, consider another German Shepherd mix, such as the Beagle German Shepherd Mix or German Shepherd Corgi Mix.
German Shepherd Yorkie Mix Rescues
There are no rescues devoted specifically to German Shepherd Yorkie Mixes. However, you may be able to find one at a German Shepherd rescue:
- Shep Rescue (Los Angeles)
- Bright Star GSD (New York)
- South East German Shepherd Rescue (South Carolina, Virginia and Maryland)
- UK German Shepherd Rescue (Lancashire)
- German Shepherd Rescue Elite (U.K.)
- German Shepherd Rescue Scotland (Scotland)
- Sweet Shepherd Rescue (Australia)
- German Shepherd Rescue Victoria (Victoria)
Or at a Yorkie rescue:
- Save a Yorkie Rescue (Eastern U.S.)
- United Yorkie Rescue (Tennessee)
- Yorkie 911 Rescue (Long Island)
- Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue (U.S.)
Even if you can’t find a German Shepherd Yorkie Mix, you still may find the love of your life here.
Know about a rescue that would have a German Shepherd Yorkie Mix? Post it in the comment section below.
Is a German Shepherd Yorkie Mix Right for Me?
The German Shepherd Yorkie Mix is sure to be a fiercely loyal companion.
Combining the courageousness and intelligence of its parent breeds, this dog will definitely bring a strong personality to the table.
But this first-generation cross may not have an easily predictable bill of health.
Therefore, you should consider carefully if you want to take a risk on a fairly recent dog hybrid.
References and Further Reading:
Bell, J.S., et al., 2012, “Veterinary Medical Guide to Cat and Dog Breeds,” CRC Press
Bulback, J.L., et al, 1996, “Surgical Treatment of Tracheal Collapse in Dogs: 90 Cases (1983-1993),” Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Di Dona, F., 2016, “Lateral Patellar Luxation in Nine Small Breed Dogs,” Open Veterinary Journal
Gough, A., et al., 2018, “Breed Predispositions to Disease In Dogs and Cats,” Wiley Blackwell
Leppanen, M., et al., 2000, “Factors Affecting Hip Dysplasia in German Shepherd Dogs in Finland: Efficacy of the Current Improvement Programme,” Journal of Small Animal Practice
Nicholas, F.W., et al, 2016, “Hybrid Vigour in Dogs?” The Veterinary Journal
Parker, H.G., et al., 2017, “Genomic Analyses Reveal the Influence of Geographic Origin, Migration, and Hybridization on Modern Dog Breed Development,” Cell Reports
Robinson R., 1992, “Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease in Dogs: Genetic Aetiology,” Journal of Small Animal Practice
Saetre, P., et al., 2006, “The Genetic Contribution to Canine Personality,” Genes, Brain and Behavior
Tobias, K.M. and Rohrbach, B.W., et al, 2003, “Association of Breed with the Diagnosis of Congenital Portosystemic
Shunts in Dogs: 2,400 cases (1980–2002),” Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association