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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I rescued my 11mo old puppy 3 days ago.
I am pretty sure she is GSD but can she be a mix of something else too? Someone at the shelter mentioned she could be a Belgian Mal mix.
Any input would be appreciated. Thanks.
Dog Dog breed Carnivore Fawn Companion dog
 

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It's possible that she's a mix. but she looks like a purebred GSD to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's possible that she's a mix. but she looks like a purebred GSD to me.
Thanks for your input.
A few people already asked if she is belgian mal when I took her for walks which surprised me because I thought she just looked like a normal GSD, given that I have little knowledge of Mals. She does look very lean to be a pure GSD. When she walks towards me she looks like a wolf. She does not have the signature descending back of GSD and looks pretty tall with long legs.
 

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I wouldn't guess she has any mal in her - I'd assume that, at her age, she just hasn't grown a full coat or filled out yet, so she looks a little smoother and leaner than people are used to GSDs looking.

And GSDs shouldn't actually have an exaggerated, sloping back when they're standing square! The slope is created by the way they're stacked for show, all four pictures here are the same dog to illustrate:



There are definitely people out there breeding for extreme toplines and producing dogs with roached backs, even when standing square, but that's definitely not how GSDs should look.
 

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That being said, it's extremely hard (impossible, really) to guess a dog's breed by looks alone! Even the best DNA tests out there (Embark, Wisdom Panel) aren't 100% accurate, though in many cases they can give a pretty good estimate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thank you for such detailed answer!
I dont care if she is pure or mix but it is fun to guess her heritage. 😂
I've owned a pure GSD before and even from young age she was thick boned but my rescue dog is very lean. I dont think you can see it from my pic. At first i thought she was just mal nutritioned but she looks pretty fit the more I examine her.
I found a pic of GSD and Mal cross breed and thought she looked very similar to this pic plus random people commenting if she is a Mal got me to searching more online. Found out that they actually call such cross breed Malinois X!
Dog German shepherd dog Carnivore Plant Wood
 

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GSD come in a pretty wide variety of types. Your girl looks to be a patterned sable American pet line dog. My girl is a black and red blanket back who looks to have West German show line dogs behind her. I picked her up as a stray puppy, and have not done a "guess the breeds" DNA test, but I've never called her anything but a purebred, if poorly bred, GSD.

2021-4-29 Boardwalk and Ship Channel DSC_0038 by Rosemary Elwell, on Flickr

In Leo's case, it's the longer coat that confuses people. We were training downtown, and some young woman comes running out of a building all excited about seeing "Lassie!", obviously thinking she was a Rough Collie.
 

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Your dog looks like a sable American Lines German shepherd. Pure bred. The lighter bone and the longer, leaner look of that breeding is what you are seeing. I hope you can keep her intact until aftr her first heat as that will help her to be less long boned and less lean as her hormones will tell the bones to stop growing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That being said, it's extremely hard (impossible, really) to guess a dog's breed by looks alone! Even the best DNA tests out there (Embark, Wisdom Panel) aren't 100% accurate, though in many cases they can give a pretty good estimate.
GSD come in a pretty wide variety of types. Your girl looks to be a patterned sable American pet line dog. My girl is a black and red blanket back who looks to have West German show line dogs behind her. I picked her up as a stray puppy, and have not done a "guess the breeds" DNA test, but I've never called her anything but a purebred, if poorly bred, GSD.

2021-4-29 Boardwalk and Ship Channel DSC_0038 by Rosemary Elwell, on Flickr

In Leo's case, it's the longer coat that confuses people. We were training downtown, and some young woman comes running out of a building all excited about seeing "Lassie!", obviously thinking she was a Rough Collie.
Your dog does look like Lassie! Cool looking GSD!! Thanks for sharing! My dog does look like a puppy compared to yours. Heard Mal X is a popular cross breed right now so just wondered esp after a few comments from people and one of them was a Mal owner too.
Dog Dog breed Carnivore German shepherd dog Companion dog

Your dog looks like a sable American Lines German shepherd. Pure bred. The lighter bone and the longer, leaner look of that breeding is what you are seeing. I hope you can keep her intact until aftr her first heat as that will help her to be less long boned and less lean as her hormones will tell the bones to stop growing.
You may be right. She does have features like american working line gsd. Unfortunately, I am getting her spayed this month. I hope she doesnt get too big. I think she is perfect size right now. Thank you for your input.
 

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Well, your girl is just under a year, so of course she's going to look like a baby compared to Leo, who is a nine year old senior. :)

Leo looked like a baby when she was one, too. This is one of the pictures I sent in for her PAL when she was fourteen months old.

2013-3-16 Dogs 202 by Rosemary Elwell, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That being said, it's extremely hard (impossible, really) to guess a dog's breed by looks alone! Even the best DNA tests out there (Embark, Wisdom Panel) aren't 100% accurate, though in many cases they can give a pretty good estimate.
GSD come in a pretty wide variety of types. Your girl looks to be a patterned sable American pet line dog. My girl is a black and red blanket back who looks to have West German show line dogs behind her. I picked her up as a stray puppy, and have not done a "guess the breeds" DNA test, but I've never called her anything but a purebred, if poorly bred, GSD.

2021-4-29 Boardwalk and Ship Channel DSC_0038 by Rosemary Elwell, on Flickr

In Leo's case, it's the longer coat that confuses people. We were training downtown, and some young woman comes running out of a building all excited about seeing "Lassie!", obviously thinking she was a Rough Collie.
Your dog does look like Lassie! Cool looking GSD!! Thanks for sharing! My dog does look like a puppy compared to yours. Heard Mal X is a popular cross breed right now so just wondered esp after a few comments from people and one of them was a Mal owner too.
View attachment 265391
Here is what mine looks like... Both his parents imported from Germany.
Awesome looking dog! Thanks for sharing.
 

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GSD come in a pretty wide variety of types. Your girl looks to be a patterned sable American pet line dog. My girl is a black and red blanket back who looks to have West German show line dogs behind her. I picked her up as a stray puppy, and have not done a "guess the breeds" DNA test, but I've never called her anything but a purebred, if poorly bred, GSD.

2021-4-29 Boardwalk and Ship Channel DSC_0038 by Rosemary Elwell, on Flickr

In Leo's case, it's the longer coat that confuses people. We were training downtown, and some young woman comes running out of a building all excited about seeing "Lassie!", obviously thinking she was a Rough Collie.
I would guess a shepherd collie mix. The nose and forehead and eyes look more collie than shepherd to me.
 

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Thank you for such detailed answer!
I dont care if she is pure or mix but it is fun to guess her heritage. 😂
I've owned a pure GSD before and even from young age she was thick boned but my rescue dog is very lean. I dont think you can see it from my pic. At first i thought she was just mal nutritioned but she looks pretty fit the more I examine her.
I found a pic of GSD and Mal cross breed and thought she looked very similar to this pic plus random people commenting if she is a Mal got me to searching more online. Found out that they actually call such cross breed Malinois X!
View attachment 265390
I have found most people who see a narrow shorthaired shepherd-style dog automatically say malinois. To me she looks GSD. That's not to say she may not have something else in her, but it's not obvious.

"breed" X is standard wording for a mix breed. I have had several shepherd Xs over the years. The X just stands for "unknown". Usually rescuers, vets, etc, pick the most likely single breed and then add X. So for yours, they would say she is a shepherd X (although again she could easily be considered purebred and just be labeled shepherd). One thing to note with this is that many homeowners and renters insurance companies won't accept the " breed X" label. They will actually require you to identify a second breed. And there is no basis on how those two breeds are determined. So you may have a mix that you think is chow and pit mostly, but you can call it a peke/boxer and avoid breed bans. Also, very few mixed dogs are actually a crossbreed (bred from two different purebred parents, like a cocker mom and poodle dad). Crossbreeds are becoming more popular with the designer dogs, but most dogs will have three or more breeds in them. Depending on the percentages and how the genes play out, you may never see any of a particular breed in the dog even though it's in there.
 
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