Nowadays, dogs have become great assets to the lives of humans. Even though the rewards of owning them can’t quite be quantified or defined, the joy they bring is so real and visible across the globe.
Some breeds are the best companions, others great exercise buddies, security agents or just cute little babies who never grow old.
The role of every dog in the life of its owner usually depends on the owner’s reasons for purchasing or adopting in the first place. Thanks to revolutionary cross-breeding techniques, there exists about 340+ different dog breeds as recognized by the international body governing dog breeds (Federation Cynologique).
Though this number varies between countries because of disparities in breed recognition standards, there is no arguing the fact that new experimentations are constantly bringing up additions to the current lists.
One of the most interesting and historic cross breeds is the German Shepherd Husky Mix. Usually referred to as Gerberian Shepsky, this hybrid species is gotten from the cross-breeding of two exceptionally energetic and intelligent dogs, German Shepherd and Siberian Husky Breeds.
A growing number of people around the world are falling in love with these beautiful dogs, attracted by their numerous amazing qualities. Amongst these qualities, those that clearly stands out for all GSH Mixes include their high intelligence levels and very interestingly peculiar temperament.
This beautiful dog also often requires early socialization, consistent training, and distinct boundaries to ensure it grows up into the perfect canine citizen.
In this guide, you will find everything you need to know about this amazing dog breed (German Shepherd Husky Mix).
German Shepherd Husky Mix History:
With current figures and trends indicating significant growth in the popularity of the Gerberian Shepsky around the world, this dog breed can be categorized amongst those popularly known as ‘designer dogs’.
The parentage of German Shepherd Huskies, however, suggests they are very much of ‘working dog’ heritage because both parents fall into this class.
Similar to the other more or less popular mixed dog breeds, these dogs always present some characteristics from the unique features of both parents.
There is very little documented proof of the particular time, place and reason for the cross between these two amazing dogs. But we can get more understanding of the German Shepherd Husky Mix by first looking at the parents:
The German Shepherd:
This is clearly one of the dogs with supreme popularity across the US. German Shepherds are generally very energetic and intelligent and this is evident in the skills they show in herding, searching and even rescues.
The shepherd is a big dog and likes to express discontent or frustration from boredom or neglect by chewing and barking excessively.
You can successfully make this big canine your best buddy with early socializing and proper training.
The Siberian Husky:
This Gerberian Shepsky parent is very uniquely built, medium-sized and has so many unbelievable features. One of its most attractive features is its intricately marked, dense, and beautiful coat.
The Siberian Husky looks fierce and is a very intelligent species with blue eyes. They can so easily become the sweetest pets and guards for your family with proper training.
The prominent popularity of breeding the Gerberian Husky today is thought to have sprouted in the United States around the late 30’s when both parents were very commonly used as household pets.
“Siberian Husky (Left) + German Shepherd (Right)”
How Does this Dog Look Like?
It’s important to note that the physical appearance of your dog very much depends on its diet and health. However, every breed has a size range within which most of its members are likely to fall.
German Shepherd Husky Mixes are generally medium-sized, with height averages of 20-25 inches, and weight averages of 20-40 KGs (45-88 lbs).
Your Shepsky’s lifespan also depends on its overall health condition but is expected to normally live for a maximum of around 13 years. This breed is, therefore, a great choice if what you are searching for is an emotional commitment which would only span a relatively short period
This big dogs can be found with a wide range of different colors; white, blue, cream, light brown, pepper, gray, red and golden shades.
These furry friends of ours are usually covered with a short or long straight hair double coat either medium or very dense, depending on the specific parents or the environment. This coat gives them a stunning fluffy appearance similar to that of their parents. Their thick double coating means that they are well suited even for very cold conditions or areas.
While the skulls of these dogs may look either like that of a German Shepherd or a Siberian Husky (which are not so different), Gerberian Shepskies tend to inherit the dual colored (brown/blue) eyes of their Husky parents. Their thick furry coat makes them shed more than most other breeds, thereby requiring regular grooming to ensure their physical appearance is well maintained.
“Husky German Shepherd Mix”
Gerberian Shepsky Temperament and Personality:
The muscular look of this big dog has made so many people afraid of them though they are a breed that expresses a lot of calmness and gentleness with regards to temperament. Shepskies are also very playful dogs which provide the versatility of being great pets and at the same time the best working companions.
German Shepherd Husky mixes serve homes with kids very passionately as they so easily get attached to a family which in no time is evident with the affection and protective behavior they have towards them. Their strength and agility are high prompting experts to always recommend very early socializing and consistent but gentle training to make sure they are of their best or normal temperament.
I have also come to believe very strongly that their pastoral nature plays a huge role in making strangely able to react to whistles and verbal commands.
As can be highlighted by anyone who owns or has spent some reasonable time with these lovely dogs, their keen intelligence comes from German Shepherds meanwhile their friendly nature comes from Siberian Huskies.
The protective nature and loyalty of Gerberian Huskies towards their masters or friends and family can turn these rather gentle and affectionate dogs into aggressive monsters. This transformation can be provoked by situations where they feel the security of their friend is under threat. They like to make their opinions heard with loud barks and also inherit the high prey drive of parents.
The Dog Personality:
The same with physical traits, there are often variations in the proportion of personality traits inherited by Shepskies from their different parents.
However, they are generally very intelligent, loyal and protective pets required to be kept always busy to prevent any boredom. They are trainable, though not the easiest and respond to reward-based training with amazing results. It’s always very important to begin their training and socializing early enough.
The active nature and Strength of these beautiful dogs make them perfect exercise or walk companions since they could walk without really tiring for long miles.
German Shepherd Husky Mix Grooming:
Many of our different canine friends require some grooming and care for their fur. GSH Mixes are not actually the heaviest shedding dogs but fall around the middle category. They are moderate shedders, meaning someone with allergies in your home wouldn’t be very fine with you getting a Shepsky. Their shedding is particularly more noticeable around season shift periods.
The thick double coat of these dogs makes them need a weekly brushing of at least 2 or 3 times to ensure that they say free and shiny. Wax also accumulates in their ears, requiring regular checking and cleaning with a cotton ball. You will need to be an ear cleaning expert to do this regularly or get help from a vet or a professional groomer.
I recommend that you use a fulminator slicker brush to manage the problem of shedding and totally eliminate any thought of shaving your Gerberian Shepsky because it’s their fur that gives them protection in extremely hot or cold conditions.
Common Problems and Health Complications:
The fact that mixed breed dogs are drawn from a wider gene pool makes them normally healthier and more resistant to health issues than purebred dogs.
Though generally healthy, German Shepherd Husky Mix commonly identify with a few health complications depending on the specific issues inherited from their parents. Below are some of these health issues;
This is a very common experience with dogs. The three basic types of allergies faced by dogs include contact, food, and inhalants.
Contact allergies refer to your dog’s unpleasant reactions to chemicals like flea powder or even bedding substances. Make sure you eliminate any such chemical as soon as you notice the allergy.
Food allergies vary and result from your pet consuming certain foods which immediately after notice would definitely need to be taken off its diet.
Inhalant allergies are caused by allergens which are airborne such as dust. The particular cause of any inhalant allergy determines the way it should be handled. But the treatment could so easily involve taking medication and environmental changes.
The large ears of this hybrid species make them susceptible to ear infections. Regular inspection and cleaning are the best ways to prevent any such complication. Your vet may also provide you with tips on ideal cleaning techniques or products for your canine friend plus suitable medication if already infected.
Uncontrolled and recurring seizures characterize this neurological disorder in dogs. Epileptic dogs may or may not lose consciousness during these seizures which are sometimes caused by the presence toxins in your pet’s blood, genetic abnormalities, brain tumors, etc.
The abnormal expansion of your dog’s stomach when filled with gas, liquid or food. This is a life-threatening complication and should be treated as an emergency as the dog would need immediate treatment from the closest vet.
As concerning as cancer is for humans, it’s also a very serious issue with dogs. And the Husky and German Shepherd Mix isn’t safe from this. They can develop a variety of cancer types which could either be removed through surgery or chemotherapy.
Other complications you should look out for with your Gerberian Shepsky include, cataracts, hip or elbow dysplasia, and digestive issues. Paying attention to the health and care of your Husky German Shepherd Mix will ensure they are always strong and full of life.
Exercise and Training Needs:
As mentioned earlier, if you are going out for a Husky Shepherd Mix, take note of the fact that you will need to ensure that proper training and socialization is practiced as early as possible in their puppy days.
They are smart right from that age and will pick up lessons impressively quickly with a firm trainer. Here are the 4 important points to always apply if the training is going to be done by yourself;
These principles will help simplify and improve productivity with your training program.
“Husky Shepherd Mix Training”
Feeding Your Gerberian Shepsky:
Staying aware of the fact that Shepskies are medium-sized breeds, their growth needs to be monitored right from their puppy days. The reason for this is because their adulthood health and growth can be very much affected by improper nutrition (gaining excess weight) as puppies.
Make sure you choose a premium balanced diet made with the best quality.
This will go a long way to sustain healthy digestive and immune systems, potentially saving you money from future medical bills. And it also optimizes the happiness and general experience with your furry friend. How regular and how much food you give to your Shepsky should be affected by its overall activity.
German Shepherd Husky Mix Puppies:
Like with humans, Gerberian Shepsky puppies generally require a lot more care than adults. Normally weighing around 10 pounds at the age of 1, they need to be fed with highly nutritious diets that contain enough calories, minerals, and nutrients to compensate their rapid growth.
Additional care tips for the puppies of German Shepherd Husky Mixes include;
- Make sure you have a reputable Vet even before going out for your Shepsky adoption.
- Make inquiries to eliminate any birth defects or health complications.
- Design a regular appointment schedule with your Vet.
- Invest your time and money in quality food for your puppy (not adult food).
- Make sure your puppy has 23/7 access to clean water.
- Establish a conducive routine for bathroom activities.
- Introduce bathing into training.
- Begin with sociable and obedience training with your puppy immediately after adoption. Socialization classes could be very valuable.
I think we all can quite confidently agree that the German Shepherd Husky Mix is an amazing dog with its attractiveness, intelligence, loyalty, playfulness and response level to training worthy of admiration. They best suit families with so much time, love, and care to offer them.