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German Shepherd Husky Mix: The Complete Guide To Loyal and Energetic Shepsky - PawSafe

German Shepherd Husky Mix: The Complete Guide To Loyal and Energetic Shepsky

Photo of Tamsin De La Harpe

Written by Tamsin De La Harpe

German Shepherd Husky mix

Imagine a dog that combines the striking intelligence of a German Shepherd with the playful spirit of a Siberian Husky. That’s exactly what you get with the German Shepherd Husky mix, often called a Shepsky. This designer dog brings together the traits of its parent breeds, creating a hybrid that is both a loyal companion and a capable working dog. Your interest might be in getting a puppy that’s energetic, affectionate, and alert, and the Shepsky fits that bill.

When you’re considering bringing a German Shepherd Husky mix into your home, it’s important to learn about what life with a Shepsky involves. They’re known for their thick, fluffy coats, which means you’ll be dedicating a good amount of time to grooming. As a potential puppy breeder or adopter, it’s also essential to consider the space and exercise these dogs need. They are born from two active breeds and inherit an abundance of energy, so prepare for plenty of playtime and long walks.

The charm of a Shep Husky doesn’t stop at their striking appearance and vivacious personality. These dogs often have a strong pack mentality and develop deep bonds with their families. However, they require consistent training and socialization, especially if you want your pup to be well-mannered around others. Understanding the commitment to training and companionship that a Gerberian Shepsky needs is crucial before deciding if this hybrid is the right fit for you.

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Characteristics of a Gerberian Shepsky

SizeTypically medium to large, weighing between 45 to 88 pounds.
CoatThick and dense, often resembling the Husky’s double coat.
TemperamentEnergetic, intelligent, and affectionate with family members.

You might be wondering, “Are they good family pets?” Well, Shepsky owners rave about their companionship. “My Shepsky, Max, follows me everywhere,” one owner shares. “He’s like my shadow, always there and super protective.”

Shepskies inherit the Husky’s love for exercise, so they’re always up for a good run. “If you’re not active, forget about it,” laughs another Shepsky owner. “My girl, Luna, needs her daily sprints or she turns my garden into a racetrack.”

It’s important to understand that, being highly intelligent, the Gerberian Shepsky craves mental stimulation. Puzzle toys and advanced training can keep their mind sharp and prevent boredom. As one Shepsky owner puts it, “You have to stay one step ahead with these dogs. They’re smart, sometimes too smart for their own good.”

All in all, if you can provide love, exercise, and mental challenges, a Gerberian Shepsky might just be the perfect pal for your family. They’ll reward you with unwavering loyalty and a whole lot of fun!

Origin and History of The Shepsky

German Shepherd Husky mix with blue eyes lying on sidewalk

You might be familiar with the distinct looks and temperaments of the German Shepherd and the Siberian Husky, but when they mix, you get the Shepsky — a unique and relatively new crossbreed that showcases the best of both worlds.

Genetic Background of German Shepherds

German Shepherds originated in Germany in the late 1800s. They were bred to be superior herding dogs, possessing intelligence, agility, and obedience. Over the years, these purebred dogs have become popular for various roles, including police and military work, due to their impressive capabilities and loyalty.

Siberian Husky Ancestry

On the flip side, your Siberian Huskies descend from working dogs in northeastern Asia. These purebreds were developed by the Chukchi people and primarily used for pulling sleds over long distances in arctic conditions. They are known for their endurance, friendly nature, and distinctive wolf-like appearance.

Development of the German Shepherd Husky Mix

The Shepsky emerged more recently, as breeders began to cross these two pedigrees to create a dog that carries the traits of both German Shepherds and Siberian Huskies. This crossbreeding aimed to produce a dog with the German Shepherd’s meticulousness and the Siberian Husky’s friendly demeanor. The result is a highly active, intelligent, and social dog, making the Shepsky a desirable companion for the right owner.

Physical Characteristics: What Does The Husky German Shepherd Cross Look Like?

Gerberian Shepsky dog standing on grass outside with one blue eye

The Husky German Shepherd mix, also known as the Gerberian Shepsky, is a striking blend of its parents’ traits. Here’s what you can expect from this handsome hybrid.

Size and Weight

Your Gerberian Shepsky will be a large dog, generally weighing between 50 to 88 pounds (23 to 40 kilograms). In terms of height, they can stand 20 to 25 inches (51 to 64 centimeters) tall at the shoulder.

Coat and Color

They inherit a thick double coat that can come in a variety of colors including black, white, brown, red, and sable. Some rare Gerberian Shepskys can have a coat resembling the wild, wolf-like agouti pattern, reflecting their Husky heritage.

Distinctive Features

With a strong, athletic build, the German Shepherd Husky mix has an impressive and commanding presence. You’ll notice your Shepsky has tall ears, similar to a German Shepherd, and may have the distinctive strong muzzle of the Husky.

Do German Shepherd Husky Mixes Have Blue Eyes?

It’s possible! While the typical eye color for a German Shepherd is brown, Huskies are known for their striking blue eyes. Your mix may inherit blue, brown, or even one of each — known as being bi-eyed.

Shepsky Temperament, Intelligence, and Behavior

Running black and tan German Shepherd Husky Shepsky mix puppy

When you bring a Shepsky into your life, you’re getting a fusion of sharp intelligence and vibrant energy. They’re quick learners and make taking on commands or tricks a breeze. Let’s have a look at this mixed breed’s behavior.

Personality Traits and Intelligence

Your Shepsky will likely inherit the high intelligence of the German Shepherd (the third smartest dog in working and obedience intelligence)), making them capable of learning new commands swiftly. Though they may inherit a bit of the Siberian Husky’s independent streak, this mix tends to be eager to please and is often able to follow commands with impressive accuracy after just a handful of repetitions.

Family Integration and Socialization

Integrating a Shepsky into your family means you’ll add a member that’s loyal and often friendly. Socialization should start early to encourage their natural affection and prevent any stubborn tendencies from the Husky side. Consistent and positive interactions with different people will help maintain their calm demeanor.

Remember, the Shepsky will generally do better in colder climates and they are not suitable for apartments and small spaces.

Protective Instincts

If you’re looking for a dog with a protective edge, the Shepsky can be a good fit. Their German Shepherd heritage brings an alert and loyal nature to the mix ― traits that make them reliable watchdogs. They are generally alert and will often let you know when something’s amiss.

Do Gerberian Shepskies Get Along with Kids?

Yes, Shepskies can be a joy around children. This mix’s friendly and protective personality often means they are gentle with kids. However, like any dog, they should always be supervised around younger family members, especially until they’ve fully settled into their role within your family.

Are Shepskies Okay With Cats and Other Pets?

Due to their socialization needs and intelligent nature, Shepskies can coexist well with cats and other pets if introduced properly. It is important that such relationships are fostered early on, emphasizing positive associations to minimize any natural prey drive from the Husky side.

Health and Lifespan

When considering a German Shepherd Husky mix, you’ll want to be aware of their common health issues and average lifespan.

Common Health Issues

Your Gerberian Shepsky could face several health challenges that can come from either their German Shepherd parent or their Husky parent. Hip Dysplasia is a condition that’s quite familiar for large breeds; it’s when the hip joint does not fit snugly, potentially leading to arthritis or pain as your dog grows. 

It’s crucial to check if your dog’s breeder has conducted health tests for such genetic issues. Degenerative Myelopathy — a progressive disease of the spinal cord — often leads to paralysis. While it can’t be cured, early detection and supportive care are essential.

Stay attentive to symptoms of Bloat, or Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus, a serious condition where the stomach twists, trapping gas inside. Immediate veterinarian assistance is key if you notice signs. Additionally, these dogs might face skin conditions from allergies, marked by irritation and itchiness. Regular vet visits and careful diet choices can help manage these allergies.

Keep an eye out for other conditions like eye problems, including cataracts, which may affect your furry friend. Hormonal disorders such as Hypothyroidism, which slows down metabolism, and a range of Autoimmune Disorders, may also present themselves. If your buddy shows signs of hair loss, seeming lethargy, or any skin issues such as redness or hair loss, they might have Zinc deficiency.

How Long Does The Gerberian Shepsky Live?

The life expectancy of a Gerberian Shepsky generally ranges from 10 to 13 years. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise, a nutritious diet, and proper medical care can significantly contribute to your dog’s longevity and quality of life. Remember, some factors like the dog’s size, inherited conditions, and the care they receive can influence their overall lifespan. So, it’s all the more reason to find a responsible breeder and ensure regular veterinary check-ups for your vibrant companion.

Exercise and Activity Needs

sleeping Shepsky dog with blue eye

When it comes to your German Shepherd Husky mix, also known as a Shepsky, staying on top of their exercise and activity needs is crucial. They’re an energetic and intelligent breed that requires both physical and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy.

How Much Exercise Does A Shepsky Need?

Your Shepsky is a bundle of energy, thanks to the combo of the athletic German Shepherd and the hardy Husky. You’re looking at needing to dedicate at least one to two hours of exercise each day to keep them in top shape. Regular exercise like running, hiking, and even dog sports will help your Shepsky burn off steam and maintain muscle tone. Activities like cani cross and bikejoring are fantastic for this mix as they tap into the breed’s love for running and their impressive endurance.

  • Daily Exercise Routine
    • Morning – 30 minutes of jogging or bikejoring
    • Afternoon – 30 minutes of playtime, such as fetch or tug-of-war
    • Evening – 30-minute walk or obedience training session
    • Weekly – Cani cross or hiking adventures for at least an hour

Mental Stimulation Requirements

Don’t forget, a Shepsky’s brain needs a workout too! Mental stimulation can be just as tiring as physical exercise, so mix in training sessions, puzzle toys, and games that challenge their brain. Teaching them new tricks or getting them involved in a dog sport like agility can provide the mental stimulation they crave. As for pulling a sled? Absolutely, a German Shepherd Husky mix can pull a sled if trained properly. It’s a great way to tap into their natural abilities and provides both physical and mental challenges.

  • Ideas for Mental Exercise
    • Interactive Toys – Puzzle toys and treat-dispensing games
    • Training – Obedience, agility training, or learning new tricks
    • Sports – Participating in dog sports that require focus and strategy

Remember, keeping your Shepsky active and engaged is key to their well-being. Regular exercise and consistent mental challenges will ensure your furry friend is living their best life.

Training the Shepsky and Behavior Modification

Training a Shepsky, a mix between a German Shepherd and a Husky, demands patience and understanding. These intelligent and energetic dogs can be both trainable and independent, making consistency and positive reinforcement key.

Obedience and Commands

You’ll want to start with basic commands like sit, stay, come, and down. Remember, Shepskies grasp commands quickly thanks to their smart German Shepherd lineage. But, their Husky side can be a bit independent, so keep sessions engaging and reward them with treats for cooperation. Here’s a quick guide:

  • Sit – Hold a treat above your dog’s nose and move your hand up, causing their bottom to lower. Once they sit, say “Sit,” give them the treat, and express praise.
  • Stay – Ask your dog to sit, then open your palm in front of you, and say “Stay.” Take a few steps back; reward them if they stay put.
  • Come – Start by having your dog sit. Move away, then say “Come” while holding out a treat.
  • Down – Hold a treat in a closed hand near your dog’s nose, and move your hand down to the floor, leading them into a lying position.

Consistency is crucial for obedience training. Repeat these drills daily and gradually increase the level of difficulty as your dog masters each command.

Behavioral Challenges and Solutions

At times, the indomitable spirit of a Shepsky leads to challenges such as chewing or digging, behaviors often rooted in their Husky heritage’s high energy and tendency for escaping and roaming. Here’s what you can do:

  • Chewing – Your best bet is to provide lots of chew toys, and whenever you catch them chewing something off-limits, offer a toy instead.
  • Digging – Build a designated digging area in your yard, and when your dog digs elsewhere, redirect them to this “legal” spot.
  • Escaping and roaming – Consider extra yard security and never underestimate the value of a good, long walk to help manage their roaming urges.

Use positive reinforcement throughout. Scolding your dog for these behaviors can sometimes worsen the problem. Instead, focus on redirecting their energy into positive outlets.

German Shepherd Husky Mix Barking And Howling

Shepskies may bark or howl for various reasons, including seeking attention, boredom, or even just because they inherited the Husky’s love for vocalizing. To manage this–

  1. Identify the cause – If they bark for attention, ensure they’ve had enough physical and mental stimulation.
  2. Redirect the behavior – Engage them in a silent activity like a puzzle feeder when they start barking.
  3. Reinforce quiet behavior – Always reward your dog when they stop barking on command.

The key is to be patient and present. These dogs are easy to train when you understand their needs and channel their intelligence properly. Remember, a well-trained Shepsky is a happy and well-behaved companion. Socializing your Shepsky from a young age also helps prevent excessive barking and howling. Introducing them to various people, animals, and situations helps them become more comfortable and quieter in different environments.

German Shepherd Husky Mix Grooming and Maintenance

Taking care of your German Shepherd Husky mix isn’t hard, but you’ve got to keep up with their grooming and feeding to keep them happy and healthy. Here’s what you need to know about their coat, chow time, and keeping their fur just right.

Gerberian Shepsky Shedding and Hypoallergenic Properties

Your Gerberian Shepsky has a double coat that’s not hypoallergenic, which means they shed, especially during fall and spring. Twice a year they go through a major shed, called “blowing out” their coat. You can’t stop the shedding, but regular brushings will help control it a bit.

General Grooming and Brushing

Brushing your German Shepherd Husky mix a few times a week helps keep their coat shiny and reduces loose hair. Use a pin brush and undercoat rake to get through their thick fur. During shedding seasons, up your game to daily brushings to tackle the extra fluff.

Dietary Considerations

What you feed your Gerberian Shepsky affects their coat’s health. High-quality, balanced diets rich in omega fatty acids will make their fur shiny and smooth. Regular meals, matched to their size and activity level, will keep their fur in the best condition — and them super happy, too.

How much would you usually pay for a German Shepherd Husky Mix puppy?

When you’re in the market for a German Shepherd Husky Mix puppy, also known as a Gerberian Shepsky, prices can vary quite a bit. Generally speaking, you might find yourself spending anywhere from $400 to $1,200 for one of these pups. Why such a big range, you ask? Well, it depends on a few things:

Breeder Reputation – If your breeder is well-known for top-notch care, the price can go up.

Location – Sometimes, where you live can affect the price.

Puppy’s lineage – If the puppy’s parents are champion dogs, you’ll probably pay extra.

Remember, a higher price doesn’t always mean better quality. Here are some factors that can influence how much you cough up:

  • Health Checks – Make sure the puppies are healthy with vet checks done.
  • Vaccinations – Your puppy should have its shots before coming home with you.
  • Breed Certifications – Papers proving the puppy’s breed can hike up the price.

Expect to pay a little extra for a pup with all the bells and whistles like health guarantees or microchipping. On the flip side, you might find a lower price from local shelters or rescues, so it’s always worth checking there too.

Pro tip: Whatever your budget, be sure to meet the breeder, check the puppy’s living conditions, and ask tons of questions. After all, this furry friend is going to be part of your family!

Adoption and Buying Advice

When you’re ready to bring a German Shepherd Husky mix into your life, it’s crucial to decide whether adoption or buying from a breeder is right for you. Both options come with their own set of considerations, including costs, preparations, and the dog’s health history.

Choosing a Breeder or Rescue


First off, make sure the breeder is reputable. You want someone who provides a clean, healthy environment and conducts health screenings. Check for transparency; a good breeder will be happy to show you where the dogs live and introduce you to the puppy’s parents. Breeders should provide proof of their German Shepherd Husky mix’s genetic health tests, as these dogs can inherit conditions common in their parent breeds, like hip dysplasia.


On the flip side, adopting from a rescue or shelter can be a great way to give a dog a second chance. Look for organizations that offer post-adoption support, meaning they’ll help you through the transition period. Rescues often cover initial veterinary costs (like spaying/neutering and vaccinations), which can ease your initial financial load.

Costs and Initial Preparations

Price Range:

  • Breeder – $500 – $1,500
  • Adoption – $50 – $300

Initial Costs to Consider:

  • Food and water bowls;
  • High-quality dog food;
  • Collar, leash, and ID tags;
  • Crate and bedding;
  • Toys for stimulation; and
  • Initial vet visit (if not already covered by the breeder/rescue).

Don’t forget to budget for monthly expenses like food, preventive medications, and pet insurance. Preparing your home and heart for a German Shepherd Husky mix requires careful financial planning, but the joy they bring is well worth the investment. Remember, you’re not just buying or adopting a pet; you’re adding a new member to your family.

Senior German Shepherd Husky Mix Care

When your German Shepherd Husky mix gets older, they’ll need some extra TLC. Just like us, as dogs get up there in age, they might slow down and have some health stuff to watch out for. Here’s a quick guide to make sure your senior pooch stays comfy and happy.


Keep your buddy moving but don’t overdo it. Short, gentle walks are awesome because they keep those joints working but don’t strain ’em. Maybe throw in a light game of fetch now and then.

Diet Changes

  • Less Active – They’re likely less active, so they need fewer calories. Think about a diet made for seniors.
  • Glucosamine – Add supplements like glucosamine to support joint health.

Vet Visits

  • Check-Ups – More check-ups are a good idea. Catching things early means less hassle later.
  • Dental Care – Don’t forget their teeth! Dental issues can really bug them at this age.

Home Comforts

  • Soft Bed – Get a soft bed to soothe achy joints.
  • Easy Access – Make sure food and water are easy to get to, and that your house is senior-dog friendly. Maybe add some ramps if needed.

Remember to watch for behavior changes, as it could be a sign they need a vet. Your senior German Shepherd Husky mix still has lots of love to give and with your care, they can enjoy their golden years to the fullest!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

In this section, you’ll find answers to common questions about the German Shepherd Husky mix, also known as the Gerberian Shepsky. You’ll learn about their traits, family-friendliness, grooming needs, and adult size.

What are some typical traits of German Shepherd Husky Mix dogs?

German Shepherd Husky mixes usually inherit traits from both of their parent breeds. You can expect them to be intelligent, energetic, and loyal. These dogs often have a strong working drive and are usually very trainable.

Is a German Shepherd Husky mix usually a good dog for families?

Yes, a German Shepherd Husky mix can be a good fit for families, especially if they are socialized early on. They tend to be protective and have a loving nature. Because of their energy, they’re a great match for active families with older children.

How much grooming do German Shepherd Husky mixes generally need?

German Shepherd Husky mixes typically require regular grooming due to their thick double coat. You’ll likely need to brush them a few times a week to keep shedding under control and give them the occasional bath to keep their coat clean.

How big do German Shepherd Husky mixes get when they’re fully grown?

When fully grown, a German Shepherd Husky mix can be quite large, generally weighing between 35 to 88 pounds and standing about 20 to 25 inches tall at the shoulder. Their size can vary depending on the dominant genes they inherit from their parents.

Final Thoughts

When you’re considering a German Shepherd Husky mix, you’re looking at a dog with a blend of qualities that make them stand out. They’re known for their intelligence and loyalty, which means they can be fantastic companions and family pets. However, it’s important to remember these dogs are energetic and require regular exercise to stay healthy and happy.

Here are a few key takeaways about the German Shepherd Husky mix:

  • Size – Expect a large dog, as both parent breeds are of considerable size.
  • Exercise Needs – They’ll need plenty of exercise — long walks, runs, or active playtimes are a must.
  • Training – Early and consistent training is crucial. They’re smart and pick up commands quickly.
  • Socializing – Get your pup used to new people and pets early on.

Caring for a German Shepherd Husky mix can be a lot of work, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. You’ll forge a bond that’s deep and full of trust. Just remember, it’s a significant commitment, and your furry friend will rely on you for love and guidance throughout their life. If you’re ready for the challenge, you’ll have a devoted and adventurous partner by your side.

Meet Your Experts

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Tamsin De La Harpe


Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.

Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.