German Shepherd Husky Mix: All About A Large, But Fun, Breed!
Two very popular breeds of dogs, the German shepherd and the husky, have been mixed to create one of the most fun and interest cross breeds out there… the German shepherd husky mix!
While this might be an unconventional choice of dog for many families, it’s actually a much more common mixed breed than you might think. This dog is fun, intelligent, and sure to make your life more interesting.
Let’s break down all you need to know about this mix breed, from temperament to coat type! Once you get through my guide, you’ll know whether or not this breed is right for you and your family.
1. Common Characteristics
Before we get into the nitty-gritty about the German shepherd husky mix, I wanted to just share some quick, fun descriptions that owners have given of their German shepherd husky mix breed dogs. These descriptions will give you an idea about if this dog is right for you!
While they can be a challenge to own, the German shepherd husky mix is a great, loyal companion that will add a lot of joy and fun to your life. Let’s get deeper into their history and what it takes to own this kind of dog!
Did you know that this mix of dog is sometimes referred to as a Gerberian Shepsky? Yes, seriously! While I haven’t heard anyone use this expression out loud before, it’s a phrase that you can often find online referring to the German shepherd husky mix.
This mixed breed is thought to have first been bred in order to create a great working dog, since both of its parents are working dogs. To understand the full origin story of this breed, you need to look at the parent breeds.
The Siberian husky is a very, very old breed of dog. It is thought to have originated over 2,000 years ago. This dog originated in nomadic Indian tribes to help with dog sledding. The Siberian husky made its way to North America in the 20th century, and the breed was officially recognized by the AKC in 1930.
The German shepherd originated in 1899 in Germany. These working dogs were standardized as a German shepherd to help working dogs developed originally for herding and guarding sheep become more consistent in appearance and characteristics. Generally speaking, German shepherds are intelligent, fast, strong, and have a keen sense of smell.
3. Size & Appearance
When it comes to a mixed breed dog like the German shepherd husky mix, you will usually get a dog that is a mix between the two parents in terms of both size and appearance. Depending on which traits are dominant and the exact mix percentages in your dog, they may look more like one of the parents than the other.
Let’s take a look at what size and appearances are possibly in a Gerberian Shepsky!
Both the German shepherd and Siberian husky have similar height and weight expectations. This means that you can expect your mix breed to be between 20 and 25 inches tall, and their weight will probably fall between 45 and 88 pounds.
There is a larger variation in weight than height because of the different body types that can happen depending on your dog’s exact genetic history as well as whether they are male or female.
Just as the height and weight of your mix breed will be between that of its parents, its appearance will also be a blend of its parents!
There are many different color combinations that you might see on a Gerberian Shepsky, including:
- Brown and black (the most common)
- White and black (common)
- Golden brown
- Light brown
The color that your dog get’s is simply a matter of genetics!
As for appearance, a German shepherd husky mixed breed dog usually has a head and muzzle shape that resembles both a husky and a German shepherd. Their ears and muzzle are usually relatively pointy. In many cases, this mixed breed dog may have two different colored eyes.
Both parents of the German shepherd husky mix have dual layer coats, which means that your pup will also have a double coat. This is great for dogs that originally needed to work in cool weather, and this coat even helps them to stay cool when groomed properly!
The undercoat will be very soft and dense, while the outer coat can range from medium to long in length. The outer coat is coarser than the inner coat.
Because of this double coat, you will find that this type of dog goes through a moderate amount of shedding. Brushing often will be necessary to keep the coat shiny, healthy, and tangle-free!
This dog breed is not hypoallergenic.
5. Grooming Requirements
You could say that the German shepherd husky mix is a dog that requires “more than average” grooming. If you don’t want to be responsible for regular grooming, then you should consider another type of dog.
In terms of grooming, here are some of the things that you need to make sure you take care of on a regular basis!
Because their double coat is prone to tangling and matting, you need to brush it at least twice per week. This will keep the coat looking healthy. Start doing this from a young age so that your dog gets used to the sensation!
This dog may have wax build up in their ears fairly often. This should be cleaned out carefully with cotton balls, as seen in this video:
Never use someone like a cotton tip to do this process, as it could cause damage. If you do not feel comfortable with this cleaning process, consider visiting a professional groomer instead.
You do not need to bathe your dog very often. Only do this when needed, and use a dog-friendly shampoo that will not strip all of the natural oils away from their fur. Bathing too frequently can strip these oils away as well.
In addition to these grooming requirements, you should also brush your dog’s teeth 2-3 times a week, and make sure that their nails are trimmed regularly.
6. Space Requirements
While there are probably some German shepherd husky mix breeds that would do well in an apartment or a small space, they are generally not a great apartment dog.
This is a large dog that likes to run and play, and they need the space to exercise! If you keep a dog like this cooped up with no space to run or play, the chances are high that they might get bored and start doing things like chewing on furniture out of boredom.
While some dogs might be docile enough to be trained out of this behavior, this breed of dog is best suited to a home with outdoor space.
They are also a dog that is likely to bark a lot! This might not be good for those living in the tight quarters with neighbors nearby that is found in an apartment. Overall, this dog isn’t a great choice for apartment living.
7. Exercise Needs
This hybrid dog needs plenty of exercise. Being a dog that was bred to be a working dog, they have a lot of energy, and they also need exercise to keep their bodies working properly. At the very least, your dog will need some time spent outside or at the dog park every single day!
Even when you’re feeling tired, you need to make sure to exercise this dog. They need the activity and the mental stimulation in order to feel healthy and keep boredom at bay.
It is also important to give your dog off-leash time, if they are trained to follow commands enough to do so. Fenced yards or dog parks are a great place to do this. Giving your dog this freedom lets them play and gives them mental stimulation that will help them stay happy!
8. Nutritional Needs
In terms of dietary needs, try to make sure the food meets the following characteristics:
There’s a lot of different dog foods on the market, and I know how confusing it can be to try to choose on. Here are a few foods I recommend for this breed:
SEE ALSO : The Best Food For Huskies
This is a very intelligent breed of dog, but they can also be fiercely independent if you do not socialize them from a young age. Socializing your dog to be used to you, your family, children, other pets, people, and other common stimulation from a young age will help keep them well trained.
While this breed is very intelligent and loyal, they are not always easy to train. Starting obedience training from a young age is important because this dog can develop a number of annoying habits that can lead owners to pull their hair out over the stress.
From barking too much to chewing on furniture, there are many things you need to keep your pet from doing. The first step to training them is to make sure they have enough mental stimulation (such as chew toys) at home. The second thing to do is to make sure they are exercised every day!
On top of that, you will want to learn to have a commanding yet gentle hand with your dog so that they learn to loyally obey you. Consider enrolling in obedience training classes with your dog from a young age so that you both can live a long, happy life together!
Children & Other Animals
If your dog is well trained and well socialized from a young age, they can be good with both children and other animals. However, this dog does have a predatory nature, so they might not get along with rodent-type pets or cats. Every dog is different, so make sure to socialize them properly to avoid any upsetting accidents.
As you can see, this dog is even digging for mice in the yard:
Gerberian Shepskies can be very overprotective of children and their family if they are not properly socialized with strangers. If they feel that the people they are loyal to are being threatened, they may lash out, so you should be careful about watching them for this type of behavior.
In addition to training your dog, make sure that you teach children not to pull on tails or ears while playing with a dog. Children can bother dogs even if dogs usually put up with them, and this can lead to problems if you are not careful.
10. Common Health Issues
Hybrid dogs are prone to health issues from both of their parents, and even more susceptible to issues that are common in both parents. The average lifespan of this breed is from 10 to 13 years, and during that time, they can develop many different issues.
Some issues that are common to both German shepherds and huskies include:
- Blood disorder
- Eye problems
- Ear infections
- Elbow and hip dysplasia
- Digestive issues
Epilepsy and epileptic seizures are some of the scarier health problems that your dog may develop. Many husky owners deal with this condition, and your mix breed dog might also be diagnosed with epilepsy.
If your dog starts having seizures, it is important to get a proper diagnosis and learn what you need to do for your dog. As always, make sure that you take your dog to the vet for regular check-ups so that you are always aware of and prepared for their health issues that they may be developing.
Have you been able to decide if a German shepherd husky mix is the right dog to bring into your life? While this dog requires moderate exercise, grooming, and feeding requirements, they are a very intelligent and loyal pet that will add a lot of joy to your life.