Is the German Shepherd Chow mix the best guard dog?

Cross a Chow Chow with a German Shepherd, and you will get an adorable, fluffy mixed breed of dog. The German Shepherd Chow mix is also known as the German Chow, Chow Shepherd, Sheprachow, or Shepherd Chow. 

If you are thinking of getting a German Shepherd Chow mix to call your own, keep reading to discover the pros and cons of this breed.

A Chow German Shepherd mix puppy sitting and looking cute
Meet Björn, a German Shepherd Chow mix dog – Image source

History of the Chow Shepherd mix

The German Shepherd Chow mix is the offspring of two very hard working purebreds.

Breeders first crossed a Chow Chow with a German Shepherd to create a superior breed that would be an excellent herding dog and a loveable companion without the various health issues for which the parent breeds are well-known.

The German Chow is recognized by the International Designer Canine Registry and the Dog Registry of America. To better understand this breed, let’s take a closer look at the parent dogs:

The ancient Chow Chow Chinese breed

A full bred Chow Chow sitting regally in a arm-cushioned chair
A red full-bred Chow Chow comfily lounging in a chair

The lineage of the gorgeous Chow Chow can be traced back to Mongolia, China. Said to be one of the oldest dog breeds still alive today, Chow Chows were used in hunting in ancient China.

One Chinese Emperor was alleged to have kept more than 5,000 of these dogs! 

Queen Victoria also loved Chow Chows, even carrying her beloved bet with her wherever she went.

However, this was frowned upon, so a stuffed version of the Queen’s Chow Chow replaced the real thing, leading to the creation of what some believe to be the very first teddy bear.

While Chow Chows serve their role as guard dog well, they are not overly aggressive, and in fact, their personalities are quite similar to that of a cat.

Fiercely independent, the Chow Chow is quite happy to be left to do his own thing. However, this reserved and smart temperament can also make this breed quite stubborn.

These adorably fully dogs are one of the few breeds in the world to have a blue tongue.

The protective German Shepherd dog

A portrait of a full bred German Shepherd tongue sticking out
A portrait of a full bred German Shepherd

Max Von Stephanitz developed the German Shepherd in Germany towards the end of the 19th century.

The military captain used various local breeds to create the ultimate smart, fit dog that would excel at herding and be exceptionally driven

One particularly famous German Shepherd that you may have heard of is Rin Tin Tin. Rescued during World War Two, this survivor went on to star in a number of silent films in the 1920s.

Due to their intelligent and protective nature, German Shepherds still perform working roles today, and you will often find these dogs serving in military and police forces.

Here they are used as guard dogs, searching and rescuing, as sentries, drug detection, or as messengers.

Their watchful, vigilant nature can make this breed a bit wary of strangers.

What does a German Shepherd Chow mix look like?

The beautiful and graceful Chow Shepherd has the face of a German Shepherd with a long muzzle. The ears stand up like a German Shepherd, before flopping down at the top. The tail curves up and round, like that of the Chow Chow. 

Want to know what this breed will look like? Watch this video to see one in HD:

How big do German Shepherd Chow mixes get?

The German Shepherd Chow mix will be a medium- to large dog, standing 22 to 26 inches (56 to 66cm) tall and weighing between 45 and 90 pounds (20 and 41 kg). However, some dogs of this cross can even reach a weight of 95 pounds (43 kg)!

With this mix breed being a relatively new breed of dog, you may find Chow Shepherds bigger or smaller than this.

Due to their average size, the Chow Chow Shepherd will require a big home with a large yard, although they can adapt to smaller homes if they are provided with enough daily exercise. At night, these dogs will want to be indoors with their family.

Sheprachows are as fluffy as crossbreeds get

A cute German Shepherd Chow mix cozily sitting on a blanket
Image source

The Chow Shepherd mix will likely have long hair that’s dense and harsh to the touch. Their coat colors mainly come in black, dark and light brown, gray, red, fawn, and cream.

Some can have white, tan, and blue fur. But generally, they’re a beautiful blend of two or more shades.

Temperament: Is a German Shepherd Chow mix aggressive?

The playful nature of the German Chow makes them the right choice for families with older children, and while not aggressive, they might not be as tolerant of rough play from young kids.

They also will become bored and destructive if left alone by themselves for too long and can suffer from separation anxiety.

This protective breed will also watch over its family and are wary of strangers, without being overly noisy.

While this can lead to them being aloof with new people, the German Shepherd Chow mix will get along famously with other people, children, and dogs alike with the proper socialization.

German Shepherd Chow mix laying in the grass looking so chill
Meet Autzen, a Chow Shepherd – Image source

All that said, the Chow German Shepherd mix is a highly trainable dog that will thrive on positive reinforcement. New dog owners may struggle to tame their independent steak.

Still, experienced dog owners will find a loveable, hard-working pet whose stubborn nature is a quirky part of their personality.

This makes the intelligent Chow Shepherd both an excellent guard dog and a fantastic family pet

Caring for the Chow Shepherd

Chow Shepherds have double coats that help keep them warm in colder temperatures and cool in hotter weather, making this dog a good choice for extreme climates.

It is not all easy going though when it comes to caring for the German Shepherd chow mix. This breed does have some specific requirements when it comes to exercise, grooming, and feeding.

Exercising the Chow Chow Shepherd mix

The active German Shepherd Chow mix has high energy levels and likes to be active. They will want space where they can play and enjoy doing daily activities with energetic owners.

This dog will require at least one hour of exercise daily with hiking and strenuous walks highly recommended.

It will take quite a bit of exercise to tire out the Chow Shepherd, so alongside your daily walks, jogs, and hikes, you will also want to plan some visits to the dog park, a game of fetch, or tug of war.

A German Shepherd Chow mix looking attentively on the side
Image source

Just be careful as the Chow Shepherd will want to chase things when it is off the leash or if you live in a cold area, they will love nothing more than playing in the snow.

When your German Shepherd Chow mix is still a puppy, try not to let them run on the pavement or other hard surfaces as this could damage their joints, which don’t fully form until the age of about two.

Do Chow German Shepherd mix dogs shed?

The German Shepherd Chow mix is not a great choice of pet for anyone prone to allergies as these dogs are heavy shedders.

They are the cross of two-parent breeds known to shed, and as a result, the grooming needs of the Shepherd Chow are relatively high.

Your German Shepherd Chow mix will require daily brushing using a de-shedding tool, then do it more often when the season’s changing because it means he’ll shed more. Also, be prepared to vacuum your house regularly.

When brushing your dog daily, also check their ears for pests and debris and wipe them clean. You can trim the nails of your dog twice a month. These dogs do have healthy nails that can grow very long if left unattended.

Bathing, on the other hand, is only necessary when needed and should be done using a dog shampoo that is specifically formulated for long coats. 

Chow German Shepherd mix grooming
Image source

However, do be sure to brush their teeth three times a week and provide them with dental snacks and chew toys. These are great for your pet’s oral health but should only be given to dogs over the age of 5 months once their teeth are fully developed.

Feeding the German Shepherd Chow mix

You should feed your Chow Shepherd a diet of high-quality dry dog food specially designed for medium to large-sized dogs with lots of energy.

Three to four cups of kibble can be split over two meals; however, you may find that just one feeding a day is sufficient for your dog.

Be sure to stick to a regular feeding schedule and limit the number of treats you give to your German Shepherd Chow mix.

You may also want to consider providing your dog with supplements that help alleviate joint diseases common in this breed. This includes fish oil, glucosamine, and chondroitin.

How long do German Shepherd Chow mixes live?

The average lifespan of a German Chow is between 9 and 15 years. With that life expectancy, we can say that this crossbreed is generally healthy.

Still, they’re susceptible to some of the health problems that Chows and GSDs also face.

These ailments include Canine Hip and Elbow Dysplasia, which affects the joints, Entropion, which causes a variety of eye problems, and Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus or Bloat, which causes stomach pain and issues with digestion. Also, the German Shepherd Chow mix may be prone to allergies.

German Shepherd Chow mix puppies for sale

A Chow German Shepherd mix enjoying the sun in a flower field
This is Koa, a German Shepherd Chow – Image source

You can expect to pay between $250 and $750 for the Chow Shepherd. As this breed isn’t a super trendy designer dog, they are relatively cheaper than other crossbreeds, with Black German Shepherd Chow mixes being the more affordable variant at around $400 per puppy.

More popular and rare White Chow Shepherds can cost more than $650 per puppy.

While color can affect the price, so can the parent breeds’ lineage and the breeder’s popularity and location.

You will also want to consider additional medical expenses like insurance, vaccinations, and spaying or neutering alongside your German Shepherd Chow mix puppy’s purchase price.

These can cost between $485 and $600. Other costs, such as treats, toys, training, collar, leash, and bed, etc., can amount to around $920 to $1,000. 

German Shepherd Chow mix breeders and rescues

While you may struggle to find a particular breeder for a Chow German Shepherd mix puppy, you can try checking your local shelter or rescue center to look for any Shepherd Chows in need of a loving home. 

You may also be lucky enough to find this crossbreed at a breed-specific German Shepherd or Chow Chow rescue. Here are a few to get you started in your search:

  1. Chow Chow Rescue of Central New York, Inc. (Brewerton, NY)
  2. Houston Chow Chow Connection (Houston, TX)
  3. Virginia German Shepherd Rescue, Inc. (Centreville, VA)
  4. Westside German Shepherd Rescue (Los Angeles, CA)

Frequently Asked Questions about the German Chow

How easy is it to train a German Shepherd Chow mix?

These dogs are eager to learn and easy to train. They thrive off mental stimulation and can be prone to anxiety if they don’t get this mental and physical exercise. 

Does the German Shepherd Chow mix make a good family dog?

Always ready to play, these dogs are great for active families. However, they need proper training to prevent aggression and may not be as tolerant around small kids. 

Is the German Shepherd Chow mix right for me? 

If you are active, have lots of time to dedicate to your dog, and a house with space for them to roam, this dog may be the perfect fit!

Should you get a German Shepherd Chow mix? 

A smiling German Shepherd Chow mix sitting on the grass
Meet Fendi, a Sheprachow – Image source

While the German Shepherd Chow mix is not a good choice for first-time bet owners, this crossbreed makes for a beautiful pet for those who know how to look after them properly.

The Chow Shepherd will need to be trained and socialized correctly to ensure they interact nicely with other pets and children. 

Do you have a Chow Chow Shepherd mix? Let us know in the comments below.

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