Dalmatian German Shepherd Mix: The Ultimate Guide

Published: 12/20/22 •  11 min read

The Dalmatian German Shepherd mix is a large mixed-breed dog bred by combining the German Shepherd and Dalmatian. “German Shepmatian,” as they’re otherwise known, are physically active dogs that require daily exercise. For active families, the German Shepmatian makes a wonderful family pet.

Dalmatian German Shepherd Mix
Photo: Instagram

The Dalmatian German Shepherd mix will likely borrow a healthy amount of its physical appearance and temperament from both parent breeds. The Dalmatian parent may mean it’s more reserved, whereas it gets its activity levels from the German Shepherd.

Dalmatians and German Shepherds are both European breeds and make an even-tempered, physically active mixed breed. This article will explore where the Shepherd Dalmatian mix comes from and what you can expect from a Shepherd Dalmatian pup.

Dalmatian German Shepherd Mix – At a Glance

Weight:22 – 26 inches
Height:60 – 80 pounds
Lifespan:10 – 12 years
Coat Colors:Panda, tan, sable, black, white, spotted, mottled
Temperament:Highly intelligent, active, loyal & loving
Most Suitable For:Active families with or without children, active single individuals. Not suitable for the elderly

What Does a Dalmatian German Shepherd Mix Look Like?

Dalmatian German Shepherd Mix
Photo: Instagram

The Dalmatian German Shepherd mix borrows a decent amount of its physical appearance from both parent breeds. If your Shepherd Dalmatian inherits more of its Dalmatian parent, it will likely have a smooth coat and black spots. Its coat may also be thicker and denser, like the German Shepherd’s.

The Shepherd Dalmatian Mix’s body will either be sleek and slender, like its Dalmatian parent, or stockier, like a German Shepherd. The German Shepmatian will adopt the face shape of either parent breed (they have a similar face shape, to begin with), though it will likely have the floppy ears of the Dalmatian. 

The History of the Dalmatian German Shepherd Mix

As a designer dog, the German Shepmatian’s history is a little spotty. We can glean a lot from what we know about the Dalmatian and German Shepherd breeds. Both are European dog breeds, with the Dalmatian being an older breed by a few centuries.

We are still determining when the German Shepherd Dalmatian mix came to be, although it’s suspected that it was crossbred along with multiple other German Shepherd mixes and Dalmatian mixes in the 1990s and early 2000s. It may even have been a result of an accidental mating.

The History of the Dalmatian

The History of the Dalmatian

The history of the Dalmatian is thought to stretch back to the 14th century, with the first written account of the Dalmatian coming in 1375, when a Slovenian Bishop mentioned a spotted hunting dog from the Croatian region of Dalmatia in his writings.

Later paintings and documented descriptions of the Dalmatian stretch back to the 17th and 18th centuries. It was referred to as Dalmatian in 1771 by Thomas Pennant, a Welsh naturalist and travel writer. 

Dalmatians gained massive popularity in Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries and were frequently owned by English and German nobility and used as ‘coach dogs’ – they would walk alongside the coaches that held the noblemen and be used as guard dogs.

As time wore on and society became more egalitarian, Dalmatians found themselves used in different roles, primarily as working dogs – either war dogs during the First and Second World Wars or as firefighting dogs – escorting firefighting apparatus. They are also competent hunting dogs due to their energy levels.

Much of their early American history is as fire station mascots, although they are now firmly beloved family pets.

How Popular Are Dalmatians in the United States?

Dalmatians in the United States began their time in North America as firehouse dogs and hunting companions due to their high capacity for intense physical exercise. They were also used extensively during the United States’ efforts in the Second World War.

However, the Dalmatian has since transitioned from a working dog to a firm family companion. They are not the most popular dog in the United States, just breaking the top fifty, according to the American Kennel Club’s 2021 popularity rankings.

Who Are Dalmatians a Good Dog For?

The Dalmatian is a fantastic dog for the active family unit or active couple/single individual. Their high activity levels mean they’re better suited for folks with a house and a yard rather than an apartment. They sometimes suffer from separation anxiety, which can lead to destructive behaviors.

Dalmatians typically do better with experienced dog owners and are not recommended for the elderly due to their size and exercise requirements.

How Did Dalmatians Come About?

Specific breeding history of the Dalmatian is almost non-existent – we don’t know when it was first bred or by whom. However, we do have first-hand accounts from a Slovenian bishop – Peter – that tells of a black and white-haired dog with spots on its body that he observed in the Dalmatia region of Croatia.

We also have illustrations from the 17th century that provide a picture of the Dalmatian, but there is not much by way of cynological history to go on.

When Did We First Cross-Breed The Dalmatian?

The history of crossbreeding of the Dalmatian is more elusive than the history of the Dalmatian itself! However, the Dalmatian is a very popular crossbreed – with the German Shepmatian, Blue Heeler Dalmatian Mix, the Beagle Dalmatian, and the Golden Dalmatian, to name a few mixes.

But the when, where, how, why and by whom remains elusive. Crossbreeding dogs in the United States became very popular in the 1990s and early 2000s, having been introduced into the canine culture of the country in the 1960s. The Dalmatian and its various mixed-breed offspring were likely bred during that time.

The History of the German Shepherd

The History of the German Shepherd

Unlike the Dalmatian, the German Shepherd does have a very definitive history. A German man, ex-cavalry Captain Max von Stephanitz, first purchased it. Stephanitz was a former German cavalry officer, a farmer, and a former veterinary college student. Captain von Stephanitz needed a highly intelligent breed that could do tireless physical activity for his farmland. While at a dog show, on the hunt for the perfect breed, he noticed a dog that he thought would fit the mold.

He changed its name to Horand von Grafath and, in 1899, created the Society for German Shepherd Dogs. Thirty years later, the Society for German Shepherd dogs had more than 50,000 members.

The modern history of the German Shepherd maintains its workhorse nature, as the GSD has been used routinely in military and police functions, owing much of that to its size and strength and its notoriety as a highly intelligent breed.

How Popular Are German Shepherds in the United States?

German Shepherds are among the most popular dog breeds in the United States, ranking in most popular dog breeds in the United States, routinely ranking inside the top ten. 

Who Are German Shepherds a Good Dog For?

Because of their need for moderate daily exercise, the GSD is often viewed as one of the best family dogs if the family is active. Their size and strength also prohibit them from living in most smaller spaces – they’ll be happier with a larger house and a yard.

German Shepherds are also natural guardians – like their Dalmatian mix – another notch in the column for the perfect family pet.

How Did German Shepherds Come About?

The German Shepherd was first called Horand von Grafath and was purchased by Max von Stephanitz from a dog show in 1899. Following this, von Stephanitz created the “Society for German Shepherd Dogs,” and thus, the German Shepherd was born.

When Did We First Cross-Breed The German Shepherd?

German Shepherds are often bred to breed standards, and crossbreeding of GSDs is far less prevalent in Europe than in the United States. However, German Shepherd crossbreeds do happen, like the German Shepmatian.

How Important Is a Dog’s Temperament to Your Family?

One of the most important parts of owning a dog is researching beforehand. Part of this research into your new potential dog will be its temperament. You’ll want to ensure that the dog you’re looking at purchasing or adopting is a temperamental match for you and your family’s lifestyle.

Like the Dalmatian puppy, active puppies and dogs will require an active, outdoorsy family with plenty of room to grow as they mature. While less-active dogs, like the Pug (for example), won’t require as much space to live or physical activity.

If you don’t think you can give your active dog daily exercise, consider adopting/purchasing a different type of dog with a different temperament.

What is the Temperament of the Dalmatian German Shepherd Mix?

The German Shepmatian will likely adopt different parts of the temperament of its parent breeds – including some negative traits, such as separation anxiety and possible aggression (if not adequately socialized) – commonly found in German Shepherds.

You can expect your Dalmatian German Shepherd mix to have a highly energetic temperament, possibly with a high prey drive. Still, they generally make excellent family pets if properly trained and socialized from an early age.

Is The Dalmatian German Shepherd Mix Friendly?

German Shepmatians are known to be wonderfully friendly animals, with both parent breeds being friendly dogs, producing an even-tempered mixed breed.

Is The Boxer Golden Retriever Mix Easy to Train?

As individual breeds, the Dalmatian and the German Shepherd are very used to intensive training and command-following, so you can expect your German Shepmatian to be equally easy to train.

Be aware that (until adequately trained), your German Shepherd Dalmatian mix may exhibit some destructive behaviors associated with separation anxiety. However, German Shepherds and Dalmatians are incredibly intelligent breeds, so they should pick up on training quickly.

How Much Can A Dalmatian German Shepherd Mix Weigh?

The average weight of a German Shepmatian is 60 to 80 pounds.

How Tall Can A Dalmatian German Shepherd Mix Get?

The average height of a Dalmatian German Shepherd mix is between 22 and 26 inches tall.

Similar Sized Breeds

The German Shepherd Dalmatian mix is a large breed similar in size to a few different, including both their parent breeds.

These dogs include the Golden Retriever, the Doberman Pinscher, the Collie, and the Standard Poodle.

Does the Dalmatian German Shepherd Mix Shed?

Yes! You can expect your Dalmatian German Shepherd mix to be a heavy-shedding dog. Dalmatians are single-coated dogs and shed moderately, while German Shepherds have two coats and shed heavily.

You may get away with a moderately shedding dog, but they will still require weekly brushing to mitigate the fur-nado that’s landed on your house.

How Much Exercise Does A Dalmatian German Shepherd Mix Require?

Regarding exercise, the Dalmatian German Shepherd mix is among the most energetic dogs. The Dalmatian German Shepherd mix requires at least 45 minutes of exercise each day, including at least one day of off-leash running, fetching, or hiking on the weekends.

If you’re going to adopt or purchase a German Shepherd Dalmatian mix, please ensure that you can maintain the necessary levels of physical activity. It helps maintain a healthy weight, along with various other health benefits.

How Long Can a Dalmatian German Shepherd Mix Live?

The life expectancy of a Shepherd Dalmatian is between 10 and 12 years.

What Health Conditions Could the Dalmatian German Shepherd Mix Have?

It should be noted that most mixed-breed Dalmatian German Shepherds are very healthy dogs, free of many common medical conditions that plague their parent breeds.

So, as long as you can find one from a reputable breeder, you shouldn’t have too many health issues to worry about. Keeping your pet at a healthy weight, with good exercise and a balanced food diet, can significantly increase their life expectancy.

How Can You Find a Dalmatian German Shepherd Mix Puppy For Sale?

It can be challenging to try and find a Dalmatian German Shepherd mix puppy for sale. Instead, we recommend you start by searching for a Dalmatian German Shepherd mix puppy to adopt!

Adoptees can usually be found at your local vet or animal shelter. Alternatively, you can search for your Dalmatian German Shepherd mix puppy online at AdoptAPet.com.

How Much Does a Dalmatian German Shepherd Mix Puppy Cost?

The average cost of a Dalmatian German Shepherd mix puppy is between $300 and $1000. Yet another reason to consider adoption!

If you’d like to learn more about the differences between breeders and puppy mills, check out our article!

Is the Dalmatian German Shepherd Mix the Right Breed For You?

If you’re in love with Dalmatians or German Shepherds and have been looking for a possible crossbreed between the two – then the Dalmatian German Shepherd mix might be the perfect breed for you.

If you can keep up with their demanding exercise routines, big stomachs, and need for plenty of couch (and bed) space and are physically capable of controlling them, then you may have just found your perfect family dog!

Nick Meagher

I'm Nick Meagher, a lifelong dog enthusiast and the voice behind this blog. Having grown up with dogs, I've developed a deep understanding and an unbreakable bond with these amazing companions. Through MyK9Life, I aim to share insights, tips, and heartwarming stories, celebrating the joy and journey of life with our four-legged friends.

Keep Reading