Born to be the leader of the pack, the German Shepherd Husky mix is a new designer hybrid with a striking appearance. Highly independent, loyal, and smart, this breed is the perfect blend of the German Shepherd and a Husky.
What is a Shepsky? The German Shepherd Husky mix, also known as Shepsky, is a crossbreed between a German Shepherd and a Siberian Husky. Medium to large in size, the Shepsky is a working dog with high exercise needs. Smart and fairly easy to train, this mix needs an experienced owner who will work with him every day.
However, there is more to this mix than it meets the eye! Stay with us till the end of this article and find out if the Shepsky is the right dog for you.
What is a German Shepherd Husky Mix?
The German Shepherd Husky mix, also known as Geberian Shepsky or Shepsky, is a new designer breed. While created by crossing a purebred German Shepherd with a purebred Siberian Husky, the Shepsky is a mix-breed dog.
As a hybrid, this mix isn’t recognized by AKC and can’t compete in dog shows. However, the Dog Registry of America and the American Canine Hybrid Club recognize this breed.
While still not as popular as other designer dogs, this mix combines the best traits of its parent breeds and will make a great pet to an experienced owner.
It’s highly likely that German Shepherds and Huskies mixed naturally for many years. However, it wasn’t until the late 1990s that the breeders intentionally started crossing these two breeds.
The breeders wanted to create highly intelligent working dogs with few health problems. Thus, they combined two highly intelligent working breeds known for their endurance and loyalty.
The German Shepherd is one of the most popular dog breeds and it has been around since the late 1800s. Highly intelligent, easy to train, loyal, and obedient, German Shepherds make excellent guard dogs and are used by military, police, and as search and rescue dogs.
Also classified as a working dog, the Siberian Husky was bred to be a companion and sled pulling dog. While they are still used to pull sleds, Huskies are nowadays cherished family companions due to their silly and friendly nature.
German Shepherd Husky Mix
When you mix the two, you get a Shepsky – an active, playful, and attention-seeking dog with a strong work ethic. Being a child of two strong and confident breeds, the Shepsky is a natural alpha and needs a firm owner who knows to take charge and be a leader.
Otherwise, be prepared to end up being owned and bossed around by your new mixed breed dog!
Characteristics of German Shepherd Husky
While it’s impossible to predict the appearance and temperament of any mixed dog, there are certain traits you can expect to see in German Shepherd and Husky mix puppies.
This mix should have a powerful and athletically built body, erect ears, long strong muzzle, and almond-shaped eyes that can be blue, brown, or odd colored.
Gerberian Shepsky Highlights:
|Size||Medium to large-sized dog|
|Coat Type||Long dense, double coat|
|Shedding||Heavy with seasonal shedding|
|Energy Level||Highly energetic|
|Overall Health||Very good|
Depending on which parent it takes more after, the Shepsky can be a medium to large-sized dog. While female dogs are usually smaller than males, that might not be the case with mixed-breeds, so some female Shepskies can be bigger than males.
When it comes to height, this mix is on average 20 to 25 inches tall. Then again, since this is a crossbreed, some dogs might be slightly shorter or taller depending on the size of their parents.
In terms of weight, you can expect your Husky German Shepherd mix to weigh anywhere from 45 to 88 pounds. The exact weight of your Shepsky dog will depend on the size and weight of both of his parents.
Both Huskies and German Shepherds can come in a variety of different colors which means that Shepskies can sport an array of different coat colors. Being a mixed-breed your pooch can take more after one parent and inherit that coat color or have a mix of colors.
The most commonly seen coat colors are:
- Black and tan
- Black and white
- Black and red
- Black and silver
Like their parents, Shepskies have thick, long double coats that shed a lot. Besides losing a steady amount of hair year-round, the Shepsky is also a seasonal shedder.
This means that your pooch will leave clumps of hair around your home and yard during the spring and fall. So if you can’t deal with dog hair and regular vacuuming, the Shepsky isn’t the right dog for you!
It’s hard to predict the personality and temperament of any crossbreed dog. However, you can get a better idea of how your dog’s personality, by meeting both of his parents.
When it comes to temperament, one thing is for sure, your Shepsky will be the happiest when he has a job to do. Like both of its parents, this mix is a working dog who won’t like to be idle or sit in a kennel all day long.
A bored Shepsky is a recipe for disaster, so you must keep your new pooch occupied and mentally stimulated. Otherwise, your dog will howl, dig, chew, bark, or find other creative ways to stay busy by destroying your home.
Another important thing to note is that Shepskies are pack dogs and natural alphas and will need a strong owner as a leader. It’s not uncommon for these dogs to test their owners limits and try to take control.
When this happens, it’s very important that you not give in to your dog’s pushiness! Otherwise, your pooch will think that he owns you and will take charge of the entire household.
Although they are pushy control freaks, Shepskies are loyal to a fault and will protect their owners no matter what. Due to this trait, they are excellent guard dogs who won’t allow anyone to lurk around your property.
Besides being loyal and devoted to their owners, Shepskies are also very affectionate dogs who like to spend time with their family and don’t like being left alone. This mix loves being included in all family activities and won’t appreciate being left out.
Thus, consider how much time you can spend interacting and playing with your dog before you bring a Shepsky home. And if you have a busy schedule or travel a lot, you might need to reconsider getting this mix and look for breeds that don’t mind staying home alone.
Good with Children
When properly trained and socialized from a young age, the Shepsky is exceptionally good with children. A gentle but fierce protector the Shepsky is a mix between a nanny and a cop, being both kind and caring towards kids.
Good with Other Pets
As a pack dog and natural alpha, the Shepsky has to be properly socialized from a young age to get along well with other dogs (source). An adult Shepsky may have trouble accepting other pets, especially if he takes more after a German Shepherd parent.
Hence, make sure to introduce your mix to as many dogs as possible while he is still a puppy, and don’t hesitate to work with a professional trainer if the need arises.
German Shepherd Husky Mix Care
As soon as you decide to bring a dog home, you have a commitment to care for him to the best of your abilities. Things you should pay attention to are:
As a mixed-breed, the Shepsky is generally healthy but can inherit certain health issues seen in its parenting breeds.
The most common health problems are:
- Hip dysplasia
- Patellar luxation
- Progressive retinal atrophy
The German Shepherd Husky mix has an average lifespan of 10 to 13 years, but they can live longer if properly cared for.
When it comes to grooming the Shepsky is a high-maintenance dog. You should brush your dog at least three to four times a week, and sometimes daily during the shedding season.
Regular brushing will remove dead skin cells and loose hair and will reduce shedding (source). On the other hand, you should only bathe your pooch when he is dirty, or every couple of months.
Food and Diet
An ideal diet for your Shepsky is the one formulated for medium-sized dogs with high energy. Your dog’s food should contain proteins, carbs, fat, and have all the essential vitamins and minerals that will support good health and overall wellness.
Keep in mind that German Shepherds grow rapidly when they are four to seven months old, which makes them susceptible to an array of bone disorders (source). To prevent this from happening to your mix, feed him with low-calorie puppy food.
Training and Exercise
As a highly energetic and active dog the German Shepherd Husky mix has high exercise requirements. Your mix will need at least 60 minutes of vigorous exercise every day, which you can divide into several shorter sessions.
They love to hike, swim, or run in dog parks, and these activities will help your Shepsky to burn the excess energy and stay in good shape. Furthermore, fetch, agility, or tug-of-war are great games and a fun way to provide a lot of exercise to your dog.
Truth be told, training your Shepsky can go either way, depending on which parent he takes more after. Generally speaking, they are eager to please and intelligent dogs that can learn things quickly if properly motivated.
Note, if your puppy is more like a German Shepherd dog, he will be very easy to train. On the other hand, if your pooch is anything like a Husky, training can be a challenge since these dogs tend to be stubborn.
However, with the right attitude, consistency, and patience every dog can be properly trained using positive reinforcement techniques.
Due to its active nature and sheer size, the Shepsky needs a lot of space and a fenced backyard. These dogs aren’t good apartment dwellers and will do so much better in a house with a big yard.
That’s not to say that you can’t keep a Shepsky in an apartment. But if you do, you’ll have to spend a better part of your day being outside exercising with your dog.
Where to Get German Shepherd Husky Mix Breed?
While designer dogs are very sought after, the German Shepherd Husky mix is still not as popular as other hybrids. But if you are set on welcoming this mix into your home, you can either adopt or shop.
German Shepherd Husky Mix Breeders
Since Shepsky isn’t high in demand, there is a fairly small number of breeders who make puppies available. You might spend some time searching for a reputable breeder, but when you do find one, make sure that he has all the necessary paperwork including health certificates.
German Shepherd Husky Mix Price
Depending on a breeder, a German Shepherd Husky mix puppy can cost from $400 to $1500. Note that puppies who have gone through health screening, have been vaccinated and dewormed are usually those that cost more.
Don’t forget that adoption can be a great way to welcome a new Shepsky home. The great thing about adoption is that you can find an adult and trained dog, so you won’t have to deal with housebreaking or crate training.
While you might have trouble finding a German Shepherd Husky mix breed-specific rescue, you should check out your local rescue organizations and shelters.
And if there are no Shepskies there, look at organizations that deal with Huskies or German Shepherds exclusively. These places usually look after mixed-breed dogs too, and there is a big chance that a Shepsky is already there, waiting just for you.
Related Content: German Shepherd Shedding – Do They Ever Stop!?
The loyal, energetic, and affectionate German Shepherd Husky mix is a great dog for an experienced owner or family with older children. Smart and hard-working, this active dog loves to play and will be your new exercise buddy.
And although healthy and gorgeous, this mix likes to be in charge and can be a handful for novice owners. However, if you have a lot of free time to interact and work with your dog every day, the Shepsky is the perfect dog for you.