When you call it by the name Shepherd Pit, it sounds like a place you don’t want to visit. However, that’s not what it is. It’s a German Shepherd Pit Bull mix; or what breeders fondly refer to as a hybrid (designer) dog. These dogs used to be called “mutts” simply because they are not purebred. They’re the result of breeding two different dog breeds, and that used to be considered a doggie faux pas. Now it’s considered a completely acceptable and even desirable trait (and I think we have Jessica Simpson and her maltipoo, Daisy, to thank for that about a decade ago).
The increasing popularity of hybrid dogs has made breeders very, very happy. They can now breed dogs that were once undesirable and unwanted and label them expensive and in-demand. The Shepherd Pit is one of these in-demand dogs, but it’s also one that is commonly found in shelters and animal rescues. There are some very common misconceptions associated with this particular breed, and most of those stem from the misconceptions regarding both German Shepherds and Pit Bulls. Read on to find out what’s true and what’s false about these dogs.
False. This is not an aggressive dog by nature. When you hear of a German Shepherd Pit Bull mix behaving aggressively, it’s because that dog was not correctly trained and raised. Bad owners make for bad reputations. When someone who raises dogs to be mean and aggressive lets loose one of these animals, it gives all the rest of them a bad name. For the most part, a Shepherd Pit is going to be very calm, loyal and restrained. Of course, they’re very protective, so they will attack if given orders or if they, or anyone in your family, is in danger. But as a whole, it’s not an aggressive dog.
They’re Difficult to Socialize
False. This is not a dog that cannot be properly socialized to interact with others. This is a lovely dog that can be taught to interact and socialize with the people in the world around him, it just depends on how you raise him. Additionally, it’s often helpful if you have the ability to socialize this type of dog early on. The longer you wait, the less of a chance you have of being able to successfully socialize this animal. What does this mean? This means you need to get your dog as a puppy and immediately begin training him to behave around others, children and other pets. This mix does very well when raised in a home with kids and other animals, but might have issues adjusting to them later in life.
They’re Low Maintenance
True! The great news about this dog is that it’s not only lovely, it’s a very easy dog to groom and maintain. This dog does not shed frequently, and it does not make a mess in your house. If you take the time to brush your Shepherd Pit once a week with a hard-bristle brush, you will find that they are very minimal shedders. Skip the brushing, however, and you will notice that the shedding seems a bit more moderate. Additionally, this is a dog that doesn’t need frequent baths and shouldn’t be bathed overly much because it can cause some skin irritation on the dog.
They’re Loyal and Affectionate
True! It might seem strange that a large dog with this intimidating appearance would be an affectionate dog, but it is. This is a dog that loves to spend time with the people in his life, and he’s going to make it a point to get close and stay close. These are dogs that love their owners and want to spend quality time with them. They’re not particularly set on one person as some dogs are; they’re very loyal to the entire family. This dog isn’t as likely as others to pick favorites in the household. He’s more likely to love you all equally, perhaps choosing to love certain people more in the moment depending on who is doing the petting, walking, playing or feeding.
True and False. The Shepherd Pit is a dog that can go either way. Some have a lot of energy and some are very calm. Some are in between. The good news is that it’s always fairly easy to spot which dog in any litter is high-energy, so you can make the most educated decision when it comes to adopting or purchasing one. The more high-energy dogs are great for those who have a lot of time to focus on training and discipline. The lower-energy dogs are the ones that work better in families with children. Not only are they easier to train, they’re a bit less excitable and prone to jumping up on a small child and terrifying them.
True. The German Shepherd and the Pit Bull are both highly intelligent dogs, and when you create a mixture of the two, that does not change. This is a dog that learns quickly and has a penchant for understanding what you say, what you mean and what you want. The earlier you begin training this dog, the better your chances are of dealing easily with it. Being such an intelligent dog is going to benefit your family in a number of ways. For one, this is an intelligent dog that’s going to back your family in terms of protection and loyalty. This is a dog that’s intelligent enough to recognize friends and family as well as those who simply do not mean well.
One of the most beneficial aspects of this type of dog is that they aren’t going to attack for fun, but they’re going to recognize danger. They have an innate sixth sense that allows them to detect immediately those who mean harm or are up to no good. If a dog does not like a person, there’s probably a very good reason why and you should take it upon yourself to look into the situation to see what’s going on. Nine times out of 10, that person is not a good one.
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