Miniature German Shepherd? Or Playing Tricks With Your Eyes?

Miniature German Shepherd? Or Playing Tricks With Your Eyes?

There is a lot of confusion when it comes to the Miniature German Shepherd. Many think that it is just a smaller version of a standard GSD.

This simply is not true. If there are any small full bred German Shepherds, it means that they suffer from dwarfism, and this is actually quite rare.

While Miniature German Shepherds do exist they are not full breed German Shepherds.

The German Shepherd is usually bred with another dog breed, commonly the collie or poodle, to create a Miniature German Shepherd.


Appearance of a Miniature German Shepherd

german shepherds

The Miniature German Shepherd generally is an athletic breed that is smaller than the standard German Shepherd.

It has a full chest, strong and straight forelegs and a balanced rear and front.

It has a proportionate head and tapering muzzle. Since they are a mixed breed their physical appearance can vary widely, but usually show clear signs that they are part German Shepherd.

Temperament of a Miniature GSD

Typically a Miniature German Shepherd is a herding dog that is intelligent, devoted to its owner and has a willingness to please.

They usually make a great family pet and have a well-adjusted demeanor. They are excellent at obedience training and are quick learners.

They are great companion dogs as they are capable of expressing deep emotion and compassion to their owner and family.

Since the Miniature German Shepherd is a result of cross breeding, there is a possibility that a dog can inherit their temperament from either parent.

Even dogs that come from the same parent may have individual temperaments and personalities.

Get to know your future pup by visiting the breeder or a shelter often to assure you will be bringing home a dog that is best suited for you and your family.

Working Dogs

They are great working dogs so if you own a farm, and you are looking for assistance herding; the Miniature German Shepherd is a perfect choice.

In addition to herding, they are also very good at working as guard dogs, search and rescue dogs and therapy work.

They do best living a balanced life of work and play. They perform their work with enthusiasm and are eager to please their owner.

Family Dog

german shepherd outdoors

If you are looking for a family dog that will be loyal, devoted, good natured, good with kids, an exceptional companion and excellent guard dog the Miniature Shepherd is definitely a good choice.

You will want to dedicate time to socializing and training your Miniature German Shepherd from the time they are a puppy.

You will be delighted with how quickly he will learn your commands and fit in with your family.

Are there Health Issues?

Since the Miniature German Shepherd is mixed with another breed, it is a bit difficult to determine if there will be health issues.

Hip Dysplasia is a common heredity condition that is frequent in German Shepherds, so this is a possibility.

You should speak to the breeder to inquire what other breeds were used during the breeding process so that you can determine if there are hereditary diseases in those breeds as well.

You can also take your dog to the veterinarian and have your dog examined.

The veterinarian will usually conduct blood tests during the exam that may help determine if there are any physical ailments or diseases present.

This is highly recommended to understand and prepare for health issues that your dog might endure during his or her lifetime.


If you do happen to welcome a dwarf German Shepherd into your home, there are a few things you should know. Dwarfism is a genetic defect and these dogs usually need lifelong veterinarian care.

They can have a variety of health issues including thyroid, pannus, allergies and more.

Dwarf German Shepherds usually only grow to be about 30 pounds or less, and they bald as they age.

Don’t let the appearance fool you; they are truly a German Shepherd in every other way. Their temperament, disposition, character and loyalty all remains the same as a standard GSD.

As long as you take pay attention and take care of a dwarf GSD, he or she will live a long life.

Where to Find, a Miniature German Shepherd

Miniature German Shepherd

This task should be done with care and patience. There are plenty of breeders out there that are just trying to make a few dollars and will tell you anything you want to hear.

Make sure you ask questions related to the dog that you might choose to welcome into your family.

Inquire about who the parents are, how many breeds are involved in the dog’s heredity, are there any known health ailments or temperament issues, is there a health guarantee, do they supply veterinarian approval of health papers and how many litters has the mother had in her lifetime.

If the breeder is not able to answer these questions or provide documents from the veterinarian, it is best to walk away.

However, if the breeder is welcoming and provides details about the DNA line and health information you probably have a good breeder.

While Miniature German Shepherds are adorable, remember that they can have a variety of traits that is a result of their DNA.

While most GSD are easily trainable due to their high intelligence, the same result is not guaranteed in a Miniature German Shepherd.


If you have welcomed a Miniature GSD into your family and seem to be having issues with his or her temperament, it is wise to consult with a veterinarian to see if any health issues are causing the reaction or if it is just a matter of training issues.

You can either choose to train your dog yourself or ask a professional dog trainer for help.

Training your dog on your own is a great bonding experience that should yield excellent results. But if there is ever an issue a professional session or two couldn’t hurt.


Last Updated on February 3, 2021 by Shepped Team

11 thoughts on “Miniature German Shepherd? Or Playing Tricks With Your Eyes?”

  1. It’s important to note that GSDs with dwarfism do not have an undercoat. Because of this they are unable to regulate their body temp. It is of absolute importance that their caregivers be very very very aware of the environment and exercise. They can very easily become hypothermic or overheated. They also don’t have the protection from elements so they need to wear rain and warm coats.

    1. Heather Saunders

      GSDs with pituitary dwarfism do not have guard hairs; undercoat is all they have. As long as the thyroid is properly regulated with medication they can get quite furry. But that’s all they ever have is puppy fur. I have four. And both of the smaller GSDs in the pictures above are pituitary dwarfs.

  2. I have a GSD x Border Collie and he is amazing. Super smart and loves being with us. However he has an extremely high energy drive and needs to be run every day. He definitely has majority collie personality traits but he does occasionally exhibit GSD protective traits (namely when someone drives into the driveway or tries to enter the backyard). If your up for the high energy the mixes make great fur children.

  3. Okay, so I do not believe my youngest GSD is a dwarf, and both of her parents are definitely purebred GSDs. She is tiny. She weighs maybe 50 lbs. Her dad was rescued from a puppy mill in which never allowed him to grow properly. Her mom is a decent sized Shep, about 75 or more lbs. Her brothers were like 2 times the size of my girl. I am thinking she was the runt of the litter, but I would like to know what are the holders titles of the smallest GSD (purebred) ? She still has all the traits of a typical GSD, she is just little.

  4. Would a miniature German shepherd be good for a guard dog. What kind of training would it take besides the basic training

  5. In 2015 the “Pure Breed” and AKC Registered “Miniature German Shepherd Dog was admitted to the Westminster Dog Show as a “new Breed.” That is what I am interested in. Can you suggest a number, but at least three of thos Breeders? Thank you ! Steve Cramer

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