The German Shepherd and Siberian Husky are some of the most recognizable dog breeds in the world – famous for their good looks and working history.
They also make a great cross breed.
The German Shepherd Husky mix, also known as the Gerberian Shepsky, is a sweet natured, intelligent and playful cross breed.
Even though they can grow large, it won’t stop them from wanting to be a lap dog! Attention and love is what they thrive on.
This cross breed is a great family dog, companion and best friend.
Keep reading if you are tempted by this mix and want to know more about them. This article will go through the ins and outs of owning a German Shepherd Husky mix…
Contents and Quick Navigation
- What is a German Shepherd Husky Mix?
- German Shepherd Husky Mix Appearance
- German Shepherd Husky Mix Personality and Temperament
- How to Train a German Shepherd Husky Mix
- Caring for a German Shepherd Husky Mix
- Quick Breed Summary Table
What is a German Shepherd Husky Mix?
No one really knows when the German Shepherd Husky mix first appeared, but recently they have started to become more popular.
Pedigree German Shepherds are said to be descended from just one dog, Horand von Grafrath in 1899. Developed originally to herd sheep, but later on breeders saw their full potential and started using them as police and military dogs. They were first recognized by the American Kennel club in 1908 within the herding group.
The Siberian Husky has a longer history than the German Shepherd. They were used as sled-pulling dogs in North East Siberia for thousands of years. In the early 1900s they were brought to Alaska for a sled race and won – this is when their fame began. They were recognized by the American Kennel club in 1930 in the working category.
As this is a cross breed they are not recognized by the AKC but both parent breeds are.
German Shepherd Husky Mix Appearance
As this is a cross breed, there is no way to predict what they will grow up to look like. However, the German Shepherd and Husky both have complementary appearances, so their mix won’t have surprising looks.
Both parent breeds have straight, erect ears with almond shaped eyes. They both have strong long muzzles, with a Husky’s looking more wolf-like.
They can have blue eyes, brown eyes or one of each!
The Siberian Husky has more of a slender athletic look, while the German Shepherd has a broader athletic look. German Shepherds were built for fitness and power, whereas the wolf like build of the Husky was built for speed and balance.
Height and Weight
The Siberian Husky is medium size, while the German Shepherd is large. The average size of a male Husky is 45-60lb and a female Husky is 35-50lb.
Whereas the average size of a male German Shepherd is 65-90lb and female German Shepherd is 50-70lb.
As this is a cross breed, there is no way to tell what size they can grow up to, so a rough estimate is around 45-80lb. They should stand 20-25 inches tall.
Colors and Coat
The colors of this cross breed will vary, however it is easier to predict if you know what colors the parents are.
Both the German Shepherd and the Husky tend to be bi-colored.
The most common color for a Husky is the Agouti and White (the typical wolf look). However they can also be Black and White, Gray and White, Red and White and Sable and White.
A German Shepherds most common color combo is Black and Tan. But they can also be Black and Cream, Black and Red, Black and Silver. They can also be one solid color like black, gray, liver, sable or white.
So expect your pooch to be any one of these colors.
As for their coat, they will have a long double coat. The under coat will have a soft, dense feel to it and the outer coat will be coarse.
German Shepherd Husky Mix Personality and Temperament
As this dog is a cross breed, it means their personality and temperament can be unpredictable as both parent breeds can influence their traits.
We can look at each parent breed’s personality to give us an idea about what the German Shepherd Husky mix’s temperament will be like.
Both the German Shepherd and the Husky are very friendly and loving.
German Shepherds have gained a bad rep and people assume they are aggressive, due to their roles in the police force and military. However, this is not true, they are just cautious around strangers. The Husky is very friendly and sweet natured, so this cross breed is the perfect mix of friendly and protective.
This mix will be a great watch dog for your family.
The German Shepherd is more prone to barking while the Husky is more prone to howl and chatter. The mix may be prone to both or only one. This is definitely something you will find out when they grow older.
Huskies are very playful and mischievous, so don’t be surprised if this mix is a little bit naughty every now and then.
The Husky is known to be a bit stubborn and bossy at times. This mix will likely inherit the Husky’s need to be the alpha and will need a confident and firm owner.
This cross breed is good with other pets if they are brought up around other animals – early socialization is key.
Is a German Shepherd Husky Mix a Good Family Dog?
Both the German Shepherd and Husky are very sweet natured and affectionate to kids, they are likely to become very attached and protective over children.
How to Train a German Shepherd Husky Mix
This cross breed is very intelligent, thanks to the German Shepherd genes. They can also be a bit stubborn, thanks to the Husky. With this in mind, training can sometimes be a challenge, but with the right attitude you can train your pooch in no time.
They are natural born leaders, so it’s best to make sure you let them know you are the pack leader. You can do this by being firm, confident and consistent in training.
Using reward based training has been shown to lead to the best results, whereas punishment has shown to lead to unwanted and problematic behaviors.
Give your pooch a treat or praise when they follow your command correctly.
This cross breed has an instinct to herd and chase small animals. To stop this from becoming a problem, train your pooch to direct their attention on you when they see small animals. Do this by using a treat or a toy.
Both parent breeds are working dogs and need a lot of mental stimulation to keep them from getting restless. You can give them a puzzle feeder or play games with them. You can play hide and seek or hide a treat somewhere in the room for your pooch to find.
Remember play time has been shown to improve a dog’s memory and relieve stress.
Caring for a German Shepherd Husky Mix
This dog is not suited for first time owners – they need lots of training and extra attention to grow into a well-behaved adult dog.
As this cross breed is bred from two working dogs, they are very energetic and need of a lot of activity.
They will thrive in the family dynamic, where they will get lots of attention. A house with a large back yard will be best for them.
Don’t be surprised to find clumps of fur around the house with this dog as well. You will need to invest in a good vacuum cleaner and dog brush!
As said above, this cross breed needs lots of activity otherwise they will get restless.
Around 2 hours of activity every day is needed to burn up their energy. Break this up into multiple sessions throughout the day.
You can do a lot of activity with this pooch – you can go jogging with them, take them on a hike or just go to the dog park.
Grooming and Shedding
This mix will need regular grooming, thanks to their thick double coat.
Brush your pooch once or twice a week, depending on how much they are shedding.
They will have a major shed sometime in the summer months to help regulate their body temperature, so during this time you will need to brush them daily.
As for other care, trim their nails regularly, brush their teeth and clean their ears.
Feeding and Diet
These highly energetic dogs need a lot of nutrition and protein.
A balanced diet is key to their health.
Meals high in protein give them energy and essential amino acids their body can produce naturally. They also need dietary fats like omega-3, as this keeps their coat shiny and healthy.
What you feed them is a personal choice, as long as it has high quality ingredients. Commercial dog food labels tell you what type of dog should eat it. For the German Shepherd Husky mix, you should be buying large working dog food; either dry or wet food is fine.
Avoid filler ingredients such as corn syrup, as this can be harmful for dogs.
How much you feed your pooch depends on their size. A rough estimate for a 50lb mix is 2.5 cups of kibble and for a 70lb mix 3.5 cups of kibble is needed.
Obesity can have a devastating effect on your pooch, so its best to make sure you keep their eating habits healthy, don’t give them too many treats and take them for walks every day.
Known Health Problems
It is said that cross breeds are healthier than pedigrees. This is because there is less chance of inbreeding and a larger gene variation.
However, that does not mean that cross breeds don’t suffer from health issues inherited from their parent breeds. These include:
- Hip and elbow dysplasia. This is common in large active breeds, and leads to problems with joints and arthritis in older dogs.
- They can also suffer from bloating. To avoid this don’t exercise your pooch right after they have eaten.
- Epilepsy is also common in this cross breed.
- Eye disorders such as cataracts have been known to occur in this cross breed.
Of course, to keep them healthy, give them the correct amount of exercise, food and love. And remember to take them to the vet regularly.
How Long Does a German Shepherd Husky Mix Live?
The life expectancy of a German Shepherd Husky mix is 10-13 years.
How Much Does a German Shepherd Husky Mix Cost?
A German Shepherd Husky mix will cost $400 to $1500 depending on the breeder.
As the German Shepherd and Husky are both recognized by the American Kennel Club the breeder should provide you certificates for the parents if they are registered with the AKC.
Quick Breed Summary Table
|Size:||20 to 25 inches|
|Coat:||Long, double coat|
|Color:||Huge variation including: Agouti & White, Black & Tan, White & Red|
|Do They Shed:||Heavy shedders, with seasonal blowouts|
|Temperament:||Friendly, mischievous, sweet and vocal|
|Socialization:||Dog and pet friendly if socialized correctly|
|Destructive Behavior:||Will chew when bored and restless|
|People Skills:||Great with people they know, but cautious around strangers|
|Good with Children:||Great with children, very protective|
|Activity Levels:||Very energetic – will need around 2 hours of activity a day|
This cross breed is fun, loving and sweet.
German Shepherds and Huskies are both friendly and loyal – this mix is the same, they will quickly become a loving member of your family.
They are not suited for first time owners or apartment living. As this dog has lots of energy they are not recommended if you have a laidback lifestyle.
Regular grooming is needed with their long double coat. They will have a major blowout once a year, so get those brushes out.
Training can be a little difficult with this breed as the Husky can be stubborn at times, but as long as you are firm and consistent they will pick up commands pretty quickly.
Do you have any questions about the loving Gerberian Shepsky? Let us know in the comments section below…