What do you get when you cross a German guard dog with a Canadian water dog? You get the NewShep, a canine that represents the best and brightest in hybrid dog breeding today.
Hybrid dog breeding sometimes gets a bad rap for diluting the purity of two breed lines. But this type of breeding program can be very good for breed health! Plus, hybrid breeding is how all modern purebred dogs were first developed.
The NewShep is the nickname given to a puppy who has one German Shepherd parent and one Newfoundland parent dog. These pups can be an amazing choice for the right individual or family.
In this article, we tell you everything you need to know about the German Shepherd Newfoundland mix so you can decide if this might be your next companion canine.
A Word About Hybrid Dog Breeders and What to Expect
The most important fact to remember about hybrid dog breeding is that each puppy will inherit some traits from each parent dog. But it is very hard to predict which genetic traits a given puppy may receive.
In the earliest litters (F1), this can mean a single litter from two purebred parent dogs can produce puppies of all shapes, sizes, colors, and temperaments.
In later litters (F1b, F2, F3, etc), you will see a lot more uniformity between puppies in each litter. So if you have your heart set on a dog with certain traits (size, temperament, coat, et al), working with a later generation breeder is the way to go.
The History of the German Shepherd and the Newfoundland
Perhaps the hands-down best way to learn about any potential companion canine is to learn about the history of the breed.
When you are considering adding a hybrid dog breed to your family, you get to learn about two purebred dog breed lines and imagine how they might combine to create the utterly unique dog you will welcome into your life and home.
In this section, we share a brief breed history overview for each parent dog, the iconic and brave German Shepherd, and the enormous, warm-hearted Newfoundland dog.
German Shepherd history
The German Shepherd is the second most popular (out of 195 American Kennel Club registered dog breeds) purebred dog breed in America today.
The canine movie stars Rin Tin Tin and Strongheart, among many others, forever endeared the German Shepherd to families around the world.
But before GSDs became movie stars, they were serving bravely as herding and protection dogs, security and police dogs, military K-9s, canine athletes, service and guide dogs, and, of course, faithful family pet dogs.
German Shepherds are notable for their keen intelligence, tremendous natural athletic ability, intense focus and work ethic, tireless energy levels, and deep bonds with “their” people.
The Newfoundland is the 40th most popular – (out of 195 breeds) – purebred dog breed in America today.
While less well known than the German Shepherd, these beautiful bear-like dogs and famous for a talent you wouldn’t expect just from looking at them – swimming!
Newfoundland dogs were first developed and bred to serve alongside their human fishermen companions on ships. The Newfoundland accompanied no less than Lewis and Clark, the internationally known explorers, on their 8,000 treks across North America.
That dog, named Seaman, is as celebrated today as Lewis and Clark themselves. Fans call the Newfoundland the “Newfi” or, alternately, the “Newf.”
German Shepherd Newfoundland Mix: Personality and Temperament
According to AnythingGermanShepherd, The best way to consider the diverse set of traits a NewShep puppy may inherit from each parent dog is to learn more about the personality and temperament of both the German Shepherd and the Newfoundland dog.
German Shepherd personality and temperament
The German Shepherd personality and temperament are two-sided: the aloof, reserved dog that strangers see and the silly and devoted pet their family sees.
These dogs are so intensely people-centric they need to be included in their family’s daily lives in order to remain healthy and balanced companion canines. GSDs are excellent with kids as well as adults but may not be trustworthy around other pets.
Newfoundland personality and temperament
The Newfoundland may be enormous in size but they are truly gentle giants, as famous for their “nanny-level” patience with kids as they are for their amazing (often dramatic) water rescues.
Newfis, like GSDs, must be an integral part of the life of “their” people to remain healthy and happy as companion canines.
German Shepherd Newfoundland personality and temperament
Clearly, the GSD and the Newfi have very similar personality and temperament traits. Both are great protectors and guard dogs to family members of all ages.
Both are capable of deep bonds with their people. Both need to live with their people to stay healthy and happy. And both have deep protective instincts.
German Shepherd Newfoundland Mix: Size, Height and Weight
One of the best ways to get a good visual idea of the size difference between the German Shepherd dog and the Newfoundland dog breed is to watch this short and sweet YouTube clip of a GSD and a Newfi playing.
German Shepherd size, height, and weight
The German Shepherd adult dog typically weighs between 50 and 90 pounds and stands 22 to 26 inches tall (paw pads to shoulders). Males will generally weigh about 15 pounds more and stand about two inches taller than adult females.
Newfoundland size, height, and weight
The Newfoundland adult dog typically weighs between 100 and 150 pounds and stands 26 to 28 inches tall (paw pads to shoulders). Males will generally weigh about 30 pounds more and stand about two inches taller than adult females.
German Shepherd Newfoundland size, height, and weight
This tells you that your NewShep will likely weigh between 70 and 120 pounds and will most probably stand between 24 and 27 inches tall. But keep in mind that in earlier litters (F1 generation) you might end up with a truly enormous pup!
German Shepherd Newfoundland Mix: Training and Exercise Needs
This is one of the areas where you will see a distinct difference between the GSD and the Newfoundland.
German Shepherd training and exercise needs
The German Shepherd dog is slow to mature – GSDs may not outgrow their puppyhood until the age of 3! Even adult German Shepherds will retain very high energy levels and activity needs.
Puppies need early and ongoing socialization and training to learn how to handle themselves around strange people and animals versus with their families.
Newfoundland training and exercise needs
Newfoundland dogs are bred to work and have tremendous athletic abilities. But unlike German Shepherds, their energy levels are more moderate.
The Newfi’s great size means these dogs have extraordinary strength and can really enjoy canine athletic events like drafting and cart pulling.
Because Newfoundland dogs are expert swimmers, water sports are another popular choice. It is important to start training and socialization early with these dogs.
German Shepherd Newfoundland training and exercise needs
Depending on which traits your NewShep puppy inherits, you may either be living with high energy, non-stop pup, or an active pup with more moderate energy levels.
Either way, your dog is going to be an extraordinary canine athlete and protector.
German Shepherd Newfoundland Mix: Shedding, Grooming and Coat Care
If there is one trait that German Shepherds and Newfoundland dogs completely share in common, it is their coats!
Both GSDs and Newf dogs are double-coated. As working dogs, their coats consist of an outer water-repellent layer and an inner insulating layer.
Both dogs’ coats are somewhat “wash and wear” and will do well with weekly brushings…at least until the seasons’ change and the undercoat starts to shed out.
This event, called the “coat blow,” has earned GSDs the nickname “German Shedders” and certainly has a similar impact on Newfoundland owners’ lives during the shedding season.
German Shepherd Newfoundland Mix: Longevity and Health
Today much more is known about the types of health issues purebred dogs can be prone to developing.
German Shepherd longevity and health
German Shepherds typically live seven to 10 years.
According to the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) database, the German Shepherd dog breed has certain heritable health issues.
- Hip and elbow dysplasia.
- Cardiac and eye issues.
- Autoimmune thyroiditis.
- Degenerative myelopathy.
- Temperament issues.
Newfoundland longevity and health
Newfoundland dogs typically live nine to 10 years.
According to the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) database, the Newfoundland dog breed is known to be prone to these genetic health concerns:
- Hip and elbow dysplasia.
- Cardiac issues.
German Shepherd Newfoundland Mix: Is This the Right Dog for You?
Is the German Shepherd Newfoundland mix dog your next companion canine? Let us know in the comments here!