Ever wondered what it’s like to own a German Shepherd Great Pyrenees mix? These two large protective breeds are mixed to create an equally large watchful pup, who is sweet, loyal, intelligent and fierce when required to be. You may know him by another name, such as the Germanees or the Sheppy, but throughout this guide we will use his most common nickname, the Shepnees.
The Shepnees is a giant breed who is defensive of his family and home, and as such needs firm training and guidance as a pup. He needs approximately 60 minutes of exercise every day, and he needs to be placed with a family who have a large home and access to a large, and reinforced, backyard.
Those are a few of the non-negotiables when it comes to this guy, but there is a lot more that you need to learn about this pooch if you are thinking about welcoming him into your home. So, be sure to read this comprehensive guide that we have created just for you, and your future Shepnees family addition, to see if everyone will be compatible in the home.
The only way to understand the Shepnees and what he is all about is to learn about both of his parents, so here is a snapshot of their history, breed purpose and main characteristics. Because this breed is a larger breed and can have some stubborn tendencies, it’s important to know exactly what you can expect from the temperaments of each parent. Let’s take a look at both.
The German Shepherd is the most recognized police and protection service dog in the world, and is ranked by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as the 2nd most popular dog breed in America. He was once a traditional herding dog bred in Germany, but humans soon came to realize that his utmost loyalty and adoration of his master, intelligence, tenacity, strength and courageousness, meant that he was fantastic at protecting us humans.
So whether you employ a German Shepherd as a protection dog or not you can still expect these characteristics from him. He weighs between 50 and 90 pounds and measures between 22 to 26 inches tall, from paw to shoulder, and he is considered to be a large dog. He is loved by many families across the world, and is a common parent breed to many mixes.
The Great Pyrenees is not as well-known as the German Shepherd, and is ranked as the 66th most popular dog breed in America in 2020. He is, however, just as vigilant in protecting his family home, and being a giant dog who was originally bred in Europe to scare and fight sheep-stealing wolves he would certainly deter intruders. When not in action he has a very calm demeanor in the family home, and he is often described as a sweet and gentle giant.
This guy measures between 25 and 32 inches in height, and weighs 85 pounds and above, often exceeding 150 pounds. His coat is one of the thickest and fluffiest in the canine kingdom, so you should expect a lot of hair around the home, as well as a bit of drool (but what is a bit of doggy dribble between friends, right?) The Great Pyrenees has become common to mix with other breeds to create designer dogs like the Pyrador in recent years, because of his size and calm temperament.
This guide will talk you through what you can expect from a typical Shepnees, but being a mixed breed dog, especially a rare one such as this guy who is likely to be a first generation pup, you need to expect that he could inherit traits from either parent. For this reason, you need to love both the German Shepherd and the Great Pyrenees.
What you can almost be certain of is that the Shepnees will be a courageous dog who will protect his family and estate at all costs, so if you are looking for a four-legged family protector look no further than this guy. As a dog owner, this trait comes with responsibility, so you need to ensure that he is both socialized and trained well, which we will discuss further down. He will bark to let you know that there is someone around and will be suspicious of strangers even when his master invites them into the family home, always keeping an eye on them.
When he is alone with his family and doesn’t have any outsiders to worry about, he will be a very affectionate pooch with his immediate family. He will either join you on the sofa (yes, this guy will think of himself as a lapdog) or rest at your feet in front of the fire. You can also be sure that he will love a belly rub and snoozes too, enjoying the quieter life inside.
If he takes after his German parent then he may suffer from separation anxiety, if he takes after his Pyrenees parent then he may be much more independent and not worry at all when you leave. Either way, it is always a good idea to prepare for either eventuality and invest in an XXL crate that he can call his own safe space, especially if there are young children in the home that he may need some time out from.
Size & Appearance
The Shepnees could look like an equal split of both of his parents, or he could look much like one over the other, or anywhere in between. Even puppies within the same litter can look wildly different from one another. He will be muscular in stature and his tail will be thick and long. He will have a long muzzle with the potential for droopy jowls, and his ears will be large.
He will likely measure anywhere between 24 and 30 inches tall, from paw to shoulder, and weigh upwards of 70 pounds. Considering his Pyrenees parent can weigh in excess of 150 pounds, you need to prepare for a giant dog who will need everything in giant size.
Coat & Colors
His coat will be influenced by his German parent’s coat, as he may be short haired or long haired, but thanks to the Pyrenees coat you can be sure that it won’t be short.
As both of the Shepnees parents come from cold climates you can be certain that his double coat will be thick and dense, and he will shed moderately throughout the year as well as experiencing a full blow out during shedding seasons. His coat may even be water/snow resistant if it takes after his Pyrenees parent’s coat.
He could take the classic black and rust colors of his German parent, or he could take the solid white or cream color of the Pyrenees parent, or a mixture of both.
Exercise & Living Conditions
The Shepnees will need between 45 and 60 minutes of exercise every day, and whilst this does not have to be intense exercise it is important that he gets it so to keep his intelligent mind occupied, large body healthy, and to avoid behavioral issues.
It goes without saying that the Shepnees will need room, and lots of it! So, ideally, he needs to be placed with a family that has a larger home, and one that has access to a lot of outdoor space. Both of his parents love the outdoors and fresh air, so you can be certain their pup will not appreciate being cooped up all day.
His outdoor space should be reinforced to ensure that he doesn’t escape, because not only is he protective of his estate and defend it if he feels the need to, but his Pyrenees parentage roams the mountainous wilderness of Europe, so if he gets a taste for freedom he may never come back!
The Shepnees are suited to families with young children, just be sure never to leave him alone with them simply because of his sheer size and the potential for smothering them. If socialized well as a pup he may be suited to homes with other family pets, but equally he may not, so this is a big consideration if you are a multi-pet household.
The Shepnees must be socialized from the earliest age possible, otherwise you risk that he might become too overprotective of his family and estate which often leads to behavioral issues. Exposure to a variety of animals of all shapes and sizes is important, as are introductions to unfamiliar humans, both inside and outside of the family home.
Thankfully though, the Shepnees is an intelligent dog who should take to consistent training quickly. Be sure to utilize the positive reinforcement training method, and you can be sure that he will crave praise from his master.
Be mindful that his Pyrenees parent is an independent dog (read stubborn), and this may make training a little difficult for a novice dog owner. If you find that he is a little stubborn, consider enrolling him into an obedience training class, as it is super important to instill discipline and a sense of pack hierarchy into guarding dogs from an early age.
The Shepnees is a relatively healthy pooch who will enjoy a lifespan of anywhere between 7 and 12 years. He could inherit the health concerns of either parent, here are the main ones to look out for:
Hip & Elbow Dysplasia: This affects many dog breeds, both of his parents included, and it is caused by the abnormal formation of the hip and elbow joints. Over time this can lead to arthritis and paralysis.
Patella Luxation: This is where the kneecap is dislocated from its original position from the thigh bone, and can cause a lot of discomfort.
Bloat: This is a life-threatening condition whereby the stomach suddenly twists. You can decrease the chances of this happening by not feeding your pooch immediately before or after exercise, and by spreading meal times throughout the day.
The Shepnees will consume between 3 to 3 ½ cups of high-quality kibble every day. Because he is a giant breed, he must be fed a kibbe that is specifically designed for larger dogs, as this will cater to his unique nutritional needs. This is particularly important during his developmental puppy stage, as it will control his rapid bone growth.
The Pyrenees genes might make him partial to unhealthy snacks, but it is important to ensure that he does not become overweight because this will cause unnecessary strain on his joints and lead to other weight-related health concerns. Head over to our nutritional guide for the Great Pyrenees or the German Shepherd, where you can find recommendations on the best kibbles for this mix.
The Shepnees’s coat will be extremely thick and fluffy, and if you don’t like dog hair in your home then this gorgeous boy is not the breed for you. He will need brushing every day to ensure that his coat is healthy and tangle free, and you’ll need to invest in a pin brush and an undercoat deshedding tool to manage it effectively.
He is a relatively clean breed who will only need a bath once every 2 to 3 months or so, and be sure to check out the very best shampoos for heavy shedders, of which the Shepnees is for sure. His large ears will need checking and cleaning several times a week to avoid bacterial infections too.
The starting price of a Shepnees puppy from a reputable breeder is around $1,000. Designer dog breeders that specialize in only breeding the Shepnees can charge even more than that. It’s not uncommon seeing designer dog breeders charging in excess of $3,500 for one of these pups depending on the parent breed.
As Family Pets
- The Shepnees mix is a protective mixed breed.
- It will protect it’s family and estate if threatened.
- They are cautious with strangers and protective of family.
- Obedience and socialization early are key for this breed.
- He will do well with younger children when supervised.
- They are great with other household pets if socialized early in life.
- The double coat will require deshedding regularly.
- The Great Pyreness German Shepherd mix needs 1 hour of exercise daily.
- He needs to be placed into a large home with access to plenty of outdoor space.
Finding a Shepnees Breeder
The Shepnees is a new and relatively rare designer dog, and as such you can expect to travel to find a reputable breeder who will only breed healthy pups. Be sure to conduct your own research into breeders, and do not work with those who cannot show you the pups, the parents or their health certificates.
Rescue & Shelters
For your best chance of finding a Shepnees in a rescue center you should focus your efforts on dedicated breed rescue centers. The American German Shepherd Rescue Association list approved centers state by state along with contact details, as does the Great Pyrenees Rescue Club of America.
The Shepnees is a giant dog who will need firm love, a lot of space, and guaranteed exercise every day, and without it he may develop behavioural issues and become overprotective.
If you think that you can offer him all that he needs then you might have just found yourself an amazing designer pooch who can offer you the security you and your family need, along with the canine love and adoration that we all love.