The American Kennel Club has registered the German Shepherd dog in its club since 1908. Actually in the 19th century it was bred for herding, because of its strength, intelligence and its excellent temperament. At that time it was already a German Shepherd mix because it was a cross breed between three types of shepherd dogs found in three different regions of Germany. They were the long-haired, short-haired and the wire-haired shepherd dogs. Used extensively by the police and the army, they became excellent guard dogs and guide dogs. They were also used for search and rescue purposes.
The Shepadoodle is a new hybrid dog, which is a cross breed between a German Shepherd and a Standard Poodle. It is one of the recognized crosses of hybrid dogs by the American Canine Hybrid Club. There are other combinations of cross breeding with German Shepherds, but unfortunately not all purebred dogs are 100% purebred, and hence it often becomes a multi generation cross.
Another name for the German Shepherd is the Alsatian. This dog is known for its obedience and loyalty, and because of these characteristics it is often used as a working dog. It learns extremely fast because of its intelligence. It can be trained very well and is always eager and alert to learn. But it is mainly a bold and confident dog, which can be direct and fearless. It is more or less a family dog, sometimes even a one-man dog and dislikes strangers.
The German Shepherd mix could, like any other mixed breed, be freed from some of the genetic diseases which are typical of the German Shepherd breed. Such a disease is hip dysplasia and often in the German Shepherd Mix the genetic disease could be absent because of the mixed breeding. Normally mixed breed dogs live a healthier and longer life than the purebred ones. Of course if both the parents have the same genetic disease, there is a great possibility that the disease will be automatically transmitted to the German Shepherd mix.
One hears often of the cross breed between the German Shepherd and the Great Dane. The German Shepherd mix that results is also a very good guard dog, but is also affectionate. The combination gives them the trait of being hyperactive and yet cute and well loved to be a popular family dog.
Yet some combinations may not prove to be too ideal for families with small children, because the hybrid German Shepherd mix may turn out to be aggressive and dominant. Such problems can occur with cross breeding with purebreds like the Chow Chow, Akita, Rottweiler and the Doberman Pinscher.
Also cross breeding with the Golden Retriever, the Labrador Retriever or the Collie can be unsuccessful, because the neurotic characteristics of the German Shepherd totally overshadow the sweet temperament of the others. The hybrid dogs may turn out to be too shy or too aggressive. The Alaskan Malamute is an independent, stubborn and aggressive dog. When it is crossbred with the German Shepherd Dog, the German Shepherd mix can actually become a dangerous animal, and become difficult to handle.