German Shepherd Pug Mix: The Ultimate Guide

Published: 11/21/22 •  9 min read

The affectionately named “Shug” is the perfect size for any elderly family member looking for a companion, or indeed any family pet. This curious mix of two medium-sized dogs produces an adorable companion pet. Let’s take a closer a look at where the German Shepherd Pug mix comes from by looking at its parent breeds, what you can expect from your Shug and where you can find yourself a German Shepherd Pug mix for your family or elderly family member.

German Shepherd Pug Mix
Photo: @crazydaisyshug

German Shepherd Pug Mix: At a Glance

Weight:12 – 15 pounds
Height:8 – 12 inches
Lifespan:12 – 15 years
Coat Colors:Tan, brown, black, cream
Temperament:Playful, intelligent, energetic, happy-go-lucky
Most Suitable For:The elderly, less-active family units, and single individuals

What Does a German Shepherd Pug Look Like?

German Shepherd Pug
Photo: @spiketheshug

The German Shepherd Pug mix will borrow a decent amount of its looks from both of its parent breeds, usually maintaining (roughly) the size of the Pug and the short, curly tail, as well as the short, bristly fur of the Pug. It will likely have the nose, mouth and head shape of the German Shepherd, with the ears of the Shepherd. 

The History of the German Shepherd Pug Mix

As the German Shepherd Pug mix is a relatively new mixed breed of dog, little is known about it’s history. Though it’s believed that the Shug was crossbred as recently as the 1990s or 2000s, when crossbreeding of dogs became popular.

To help us understand more about the crossbreeding of the German Shepherd and Pug, it’s best to take a look at their parent breeds.

The History of the German Shepherd

The History of the German Shepherd

The history of the German Shepherd stretches back to (you guessed it), Germany! They were originally bred in the 19th century by Max von Stephanitz for use as a herding dog, from a variety of previous German herding dogs. Though due to their large size, intelligence and ability to follow commands, the German Shepherd has found itself taking on many different roles throughout the years, including in police and military work, and as a disability-assistance dog.

How Popular Are They in the United States?

The German Shepherd is one of the most popular dogs in the United States, likely for their multi-use capacity, obedience and generally friendly nature. They ranked 4th in the American Kennel Club’s list of most-popular dogs in 2021.

Who Are German Shepherds a Good Dog For?

Due to their size, German Shepherds aren’t suitable for the elderly, but they do make wonderful family pets and great pets for single individuals, with enough space and time to give them the exercise they desperately need to live long and healthy lives.

How Did The German Shepherd Come About?

The German Shepherd was the creation of Max von Stephanitz in the nineteenth century in Germany, it was originally created as a herding dog to help German farmers herd cattle. However, today, it occupies many different roles, including as a police military working dog, and as a disability assistance and beloved family pet.

When Did We First Cross-Breed The German Shepherd?

Given the age of the German Shepherd as a breed, it’s hard to tell exactly when the dog was cross-bred, though given its age we can surmise that it has been crossbred with other breeds long before crossbreeding of dogs became popular in North America in the 1960s, and peaked in the 1990s and early 2000s.

The History of the Pug

The History of the Pug

By contrast to the German Shepherd, the Pug was bred to be a lapdog and companion pet of Chinese royalty and nobility, dating back as far as 400 B.C. You may see depictions of Chinese nobility with their Pugs on their lap. The Pug began life in China but migrated to Europe in the 17th century as trade began to open up between Asia and Europe. From there, the Pug will have become a staple of American life through the migration of Europeans to the United States in the 19th century.

How Popular Are Pugs in the United States?

The Pug’s popularity in the US is almost exclusively as a companion pet. Though it is far from the most popular dog in the country, it holds a respectable level of popularity, ranking below forty routinely. Last year, the Pug was the 33rd most popular dog in America.

Who Are The Pugs a Good Dog For?

Pugs are great companion pets for just about anyone. Their laissez-faire attitude to life and low-maintenance requirements when it comes to exercise and grooming make them the perfect pet for the elderly. Though they’ll fit right in to almost any family unit.

How Did The Pug Come About?

Pugs were originally bred in China, and first appeared around 400 B.C as lapdogs and companions of Chinese royalty and nobility.

When Did We First Cross-Breed The Pug?

The history of crossbreeding the Pug is largely a mystery – given their smaller size, it’s hard to imagine that much crossbreeding would have occurred during the early years of the Pug’s existence. Crossbreeding in the United States began to gain popularity in the 1960s and peaked in the 90s and 2000s, therefore we can assume that the Pug would have likely been crossbred during this time period.

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

A dog’s temperament is brought on by a multitude of factors and can change over time – from its upbringing and living environment, to its genes and activity levels – knowing what your new dog’s temperament is likely to be will only be an asset for you as you embark on the dog ownership adventure!

If you’re an active family, you’re goin to want an active pet, whereas if you’re more laid back, you’ll want to have a pet that matches that lifestyle. Failure to thoroughly research your dog’s temperamental tendencies could have disastrous, traumatic consequences for you and your new dog. Even leading to rehoming, or having to put a bunch of money into training, above and beyond that which is normally expected of a new owner.

What is the Temperament of the German Shepherd Pug Mix?

Luckily for most German Shepherd Pug owners, the Pug and German Shepherd’s temperamental tendencies blend well together, creating a relatively even-tempered dog that adopts the best of both parent breeds. Expect a highly intelligent, energetic, friendly dog with a happy disposition and lots of love to give!

Is the German Shepherd Pug Mix Friendly?

In general, German Shepherd Pugs are quite friendly animals, you can expect them to be somewhat aloof with strangers, but very friendly to those they know and love!

Is the German Shepherd Pug Mix Easy to Train?

Despite the Pug’s stubborn disposition, the German Shepherd is an incredibly attentive, intelligent and obedient dog – you can expect this to shine through in the mixed-breed, though you might have to work slightly harder to compensate for the Pug’s stubbornness.

How Much Can The German Shepherd Pug Mix Weigh?

The German Shepherd Pug will typically weigh between 12 and 15 pounds.

How Tall Can The German Shepherd Pug Mix Get?

You can expect the German Shepherd Pug mix to stand between 8 and 12 inches tall.

Similar Sized Breeds

Though the Shug is classified as ‘medium’ sized dog. Other similar breeds include the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Australian Shepherd, Beagle, Cocker Spaniel and others!

Does the German Shepherd Pug Mix Shed?

The German Shepherd Pug mix is a minimally shedding dog. This will mean you won’t have to brush them twice a week, and should only really need to brush them once every couple of weeks, or if you notice excessive shedding taking place.

How Much Exercise Does A German Shepherd Pug Mix Require?

Luckily for most owners, the Shug won’t require a huge amount of exercise – but still will require a brisk daily walk, though given the Pug’s propensity for health issues relating to its breathing, you don’t want to over-exercise your Shug! We recommend half an hour to forty-five minutes of exercise per day.

How Long Can a German Shepherd Pug Mix Live?

The life expectancy of your typical German Shepherd Pug mix is between 12 and 15 years.

What Health Conditions Could the German Shepherd Pug Mix Have?

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

Initially, we recommend that you try adopting a Shug, before you search for a puppy to buy. You can begin by checking your local veterinary clinic or animal shelter. If those fail, then you can try looking online at, the website where you can search for adoptees in your locality!

How Much Does a German Shepherd Pug Mix Puppy Cost?

If your attempts at adoption have failed and you’d like to try buying a German Shepherd Pug puppy instead, then we recommend that you start off by reading and following the AKC’s advice on finding a reputable breeder.

Before you start searching for a breeder for your Shug, you should know that you can expect to fork out anywhere from $500 – $2000. (Yet another reason to try your best to adopt).

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

The Shug is the perfect medium-sized dog for almost any household. Their size makes them ideal for apartment owners and the elderly. So, if you’ve been looking for a companion pet who’s low maintenance, somewhat energetic, and absolutely adorable – then the Shug might just be the pet for you!

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.

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