If you want the qualities of both the intelligent German Shepherd and the gentle St Bernard, then you can get the St Bernard German Shepherd mix breed. It is a big and intimidating dog that will also be an ideal companion for you.
However, it is a heavy shedder so be ready to groom it every day. They are also called St Shepherd.
In this detailed article, we will take a comprehensive look at St Bernard German Shepherd mix dog. How to take care of it, how to groom it, and how to train it. What size are St Bernard German Shepherd mix dogs and what types of diseases are common in them? What is their history and where to get a Saint Bernard German Shepherd mix puppy?
Written By Sergey Uhanov – Certified Veterinarian.
Sergey Uhanov is a certified veterinarian for dogs over 10 years, breeding 3 dogs. He loves dogs and has his own pet clinic in Israel. He likes to help other people with their dogs by sharing his experience and knowledge.
Why Cross a St Bernard with a German Shepherd?
Although both breeds are recognizable, St Bernard is not widely adopted as the German Shepherd. Part of the reason could be that St Bernard slobbers and sheds a lot. This can cause difficulties for new dog owners.
However, St Bernard is a very gentle and loving dog. This big dog is credited with saving numerous lives in the St Bernard pass.
The German Shepherd is one of the most popular dogs in the world. They are known for their strength and agility.
The first GSD was owned by Captain Max Von Stephanitz who bred this dog for the first time. Now, GSDs are used in numerous fields such as police and military.
They are also great pets and many people love to own them. However, they require a lot of exercises as they are very strong and active dogs.
Breeders like to cross German Shepherd with St Bernard due to their calming nature. Saint Shepherd is a very intelligent, calm, and active dog. It is a perfect family dog who would love to play with your children and also guard you.
Some Saint Shepherds are also the result of an accidental mating between the two breeds.
Short Facts about St Bernard German Shepherd Mix
|Purpose||Family pet, guard dog, companion|
|Height||Males stand 28 to 30 inches, females stand 22 to 25 inches|
|Weight||85 to 150 pounds|
|Average lifespan||10 to 12 years|
|Temperament||Friendly, sociable, active, loyal, obedient, get along with children|
|Shedding||Moderate to high; requires moderate grooming|
|Common coat colors||Black, brown, sable, pied, black and tan, red and black|
|Activity level||Moderate; requires 45-75 minutes of exercise daily|
|Suitable for families||Yes but needs regular exercise and grooming|
|Dietary needs||High-protein diet; adult dogs require approximately 1200 to 1700 calories per day|
|Potential health issues||Hip dysplasia, Bloating, Dilated Cardiomyopathy, Entropion, Pannus|
Saint Shepherd Breed History
German Shepherds were used for herding purposes in the beginning. They used to protect cattle and safeguard them. However, that changed when Max Von Stephanitz bred the dog for other purposes.
They were called German Sheepdogs at first but the name was changed to German Shepherds when they were introduced to the USA. In the USA, GSDs are the second most popular dog breed.
St Bernard’s history traces back to 980 A.D. in Switzerland. They are generally thought to be bred from different dogs such as Tibetan Mastiff, Great Pyrenees, and Great Dane. St Bernard has been rescuing people for a long time.
They are named after Saint Bernard de Menthon who is credited as their founder. According to the legend, Swiss hospitals used St Bernards to rescue people from avalanches and other disasters.
These giant dogs have an amazing ability to smell someone buried under the snow. They used to work in pairs.
One dog will stay with the victim and warm it while the other dog calls for help. St Bernard has helped a lot of people in the Alpine areas between Italy and Switzerland.
Notably, Barry, a Saint Bernard dog is credited with saving 40 human lives between 1800 and 1810. In 1885, they were accepted in the United States and slowly gained popularity.
St Bernard German Shepherd Mix Characteristics
To better understand the German Shepherd St Bernard mix dog, we will take a look at many characteristics of this gentle giant dog breed.
Saint Shepherd Appearance
Saint Shepherds are usually large dogs. These giant dogs are bigger than German Shepherds but smaller than St Bernards. Some people are taken aback by Saint Bernard size.
An average St Bernard GSD mix can be 22 to 30 inches tall and weighs anywhere from 65 to 180 lbs.
Male St Shepherds are usually 28 to 30 inches tall and weigh over 150 lbs. Female St Shepherds are usually 25 to 28 inches tall and weigh 90-140 lbs.
German Shepherd St Bernard mix is a heavy shedder. Their coat could be brown, black, or pied. The St Shepherd puppy will have medium-long length hair. They also have thick undercoats.
It isn’t necessary that the puppy will have the usual St Bernard colors.
You will need to brush them every other day to prevent matting. Also, bath them every month with a canine shampoo so that their coat won’t dry out.
Grooming is a necessary part to take good care of your GSD St Bernard mix dog. Brush your dog frequently so the fur is kept at a minimum.
We suggest using a bristle brush to comb their coat.
Also, bathe them every month to prevent their coats from drying out.
Take good care of their teeth as well and brush them at least twice a week.
Trim their nails regularly and clean their ears if they have floppy ears like a Saint Bernard dog.
One thing you should note is that St Shepherds bark very loud. They don’t bark as much as other breeds but when they do, they are quite loud. If you have neighbors who are panicky, then it’s not a good idea to have a German Shepherd x St Bernard mix dog.
German Shepherd St Bernard doesn’t like much exercise. They like to sit around at the house idly.
However, they still need exercise so they don’t get overweight. St Shepherds need 30 to 60 minutes of daily exercise.
Give them toys and puzzles to keep their brains healthy. A dog who doesn’t get any exercise is likely to become unhealthy and develop destructive behavior.
German Shepherd is one of the easiest dogs to train as they are very intelligent. However, St Bernards are exact opposites. They are not very smart hence you may have a difficult time training them.
If your St Shepherd takes after the GSD parent, it is more likely to be trained easily. If your GSD St Bernard puppy takes after its St Bernard parent, then you may have to train them a lot.
It is necessary to get them trained from an early age. Controlling the loud barking is one of the most important aspects which you should train.
St Bernard German Shepherd mix are giant dogs. They will need 3 to 4 cups of high-quality dog food daily. However, be wary of the food you provide them as St Shepherds can easily become overweight.
A German Shepherd usually lives for 12-14 years while a St Bernard lives between 8 to 10 years. The German Shepherd St Bernard mix can live for 10-12 years.
The lifespan of a dog depends on the environment, nutrition, and health. Take good care of your dog and surely, it will live for a long time and can exceed the average lifespan of the breed.
A GSD is a very excited and active dog. On the other hand, St Bernard is a calm and gentle dog. It is also a more sociable dog than the GSD.
The St Bernard German Shepherd mix is an intelligent, loyal, and smart dog. It is a great dog for children but do not leave them alone with small children. St Shepherd is a giant dog so you should be present when they are with kids.
St Shepherd is a very sociable dog. They can live easily with other dogs. They are also great as guard dogs as their size alone is enough to discourage trespassing.
If you’re wondering are St Bernards aggressive? then the answer is no, they are not aggressive.
Are St Bernards smart? No, they are not very smart. However, the German Shepherd is one of the most smartest and intelligent dogs in the world.
What are some of the most Common Diseases of St Bernard German Shepherd Mix?
The German Shepherd St Bernard mix can suffer from many serious diseases. You should get them checked by a veterinarian if you notice any health concerns.
As St Shepherds are large dogs, they are vulnerable to bloat. This life-threatening condition occurs when the stomach expands due to excessive food, gas, or fluids.
It can lead to Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV). It makes the stomach twist and causes the dog a great deal of pain.
Big dogs like German Shepherds and St Bernard are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia. The latter is at greater risk than an average dog.
Another disease common in St Bernard is Entropion which causes the eyelids to droop away from the eyes.
Pannus is another disease that troubles the GSD. It infects the cornea of the eye.
Renal Cystadenocarcinoma and Nodular Dermatofibrosis is a hereditary disease among German Shepherds. It can affect kidneys and can cause cancer and tumors.
Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) can cause heart failure among St Bernards as they are more prone to cardiac diseases.
A St Shepherd can live up to 10-12 years. Make sure to take good care of your dog and get it checked regularly. With good nutrition and health, your GSD cross St Bernard dog will live a long and fulfilling life.
Is St Bernard Cross German Shepherd a Good Family Dog?
Absolutely! German Shepherd St Bernard mix is a very lovely and social dog. It loves to play with people and other dogs. You won’t have any trouble introducing your dog to other dog breeds.
St Shepherd is a perfect dog for your family. They love to cuddle. They are very affectionate. You can show your love by stroking them. Some people are intimidated by their large size but they are very loving dogs. They don’t hurt or attack people and only use biting as the last resort.
Does German Shepherd St German Mix get along with other pets?
German Shepherds are aggressive dogs. They don’t get along well with other dogs. However, St Bernards are very gentle dogs. They have a calm manner and personality.
Usually, the St Bernard GSD mix puppy takes after its St Bernard parent which means that the dog will be happy to socialize with other animals. St Shepherds are more likely to get along with dogs and even cats.
How to Train your St Bernard German Shepherd Mix?
According to various sources, the German Shepherd is one of the top three smartest dog breeds. Saint Bernard ranks in the mid-60s out of all the dog breeds which are 137.
This shows that St Bernards are not the smartest of the bunch. However, they are obedient and like to please their owners.
You may have some difficulty training them. With some patience and persistence, you can train St Shepherds well.
You should start their training from their puppyhood because as they will grow in size, they will be difficult to control. St Shepherds have a great work ethic and they are eager to please.
If you can’t train them yourself, then you can look for a dog trainer. You can also enroll in dog training classes.
How Much Exercise is needed for St Shepherd?
GSDs are very agile and athletic dogs. They like to play and run a lot. On the other hand, St Bernards are calm dogs. They don’t like to move much.
However, exercise is necessary for every dog. Without it, they can get overweight which will ultimately lead to health problems.
Please note that St Bernards are more heat-sensitive than German Shepherds. Take the weather into account when you train your St Bernard GSD mix puppy.
A St Shepherd dog needs around 45 to 75 minutes of exercise daily.
If the German Shepherd St Bernard mix puppy takes after the GSD, then you can train it more. However, if the puppy takes after the St Bernard parent, then you shouldn’t over-exercise it as they can be prone to bone development disorders.
Some of the recommended activities for Saint Shepherds are swimming, playing fetch, hiking, and agility training.
How Popular is the Saint Bernard German Shepherd Mix?
The St Bernard Shepherd mix is not very popular. Their parent’s breeds are more valuable as purebreds. That’s why breeders don’t mix them together for this reason. They are also difficult to find.
However, due to some accidental mating between GSD and St Bernard, you can come across many of these dogs. You can still buy them from some breeders but the price can be high.
How Much Does a German Shepherd St Bernard mix puppy cost?
As Saint Bernard Shepherd mix is a rare breed, you can expect to pay a high amount of money. Usually, it can cost anywhere from $800 to $2000 (€700 – €1800) to buy a St Bernard German Shepherd mix puppy from a reputed breeder.
If you adopt this dog from a rescue center, then you can get one for $100-$200 (€90 – €180).
Where to find Saint Bernard German Shepherd mix puppies for sale?
You can buy a Saint Bernard German Shepherd mix puppy from a legit breeder. You can also check your local shelters to adopt a full grown Saint Shepherd. However, spend some time with the dog to check its temperament before you adopt one.
Is St Bernard German Shepherd Mix Right for you?
If you want an intelligent and loving dog, then GSD cross St Bernard is good to have. They are large dogs that can work great as guard dogs. Also, they are very sociable so you won’t have trouble with other dogs and children.
However, there are some problems associated with this breed. St Bernard cross GSD is not a very intelligent dog and training it could be a difficult task.
Also, they bark very loud. They are prone to obesity so watch out for their diet. St Shepherds can also inherit many genetic diseases.
German Shepherd St Bernard mix is a very caring and active dog. If you want the perfect blend of charm, personality, and strength, then St Shepherd is perfect for you.
German Shepherd St Bernard mix dog is a very loving and charming dog. Although it is not a very common dog, due to accidental mating, you may have seen many of these types of dogs.
St Bernard Shepherd is a big dog that can result in people being afraid of this dog but it is not an aggressive dog. On the contrary, it is a gentle and warm dog.
They are also excellent guard dogs. Due to their big size and loud bark, they can scare away intruders easily.
If you are looking for a good-looking and active dog, then the St Bernard German Shepherd mix is a great choice. However, you need to take care of them regularly.
A well-maintained and loving St Shepherd will be a great companion to you.