The German shepherd husky mix, often called the Gerberian shepsky or just shepsky, is half German shepherd and half Siberian husky.
The shepsky is a designer breed that is becoming more and more popular due to its loyal, intelligent, and protective nature.
The shepsky is also a popular breed for a family with children or those who want a trusty guard dog.
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Shepsky Traits and Characteristics
|German Shepherd and Husky Mix Facts|
|Breed Type||Designer/Hybrid breed|
|Suitable For||Families with children|
|Size||22 to 25 inches (male) or 20 to 22 inches (female)|
|Weight||55 to 80 pounds (male) or 45 to 60 pounds (female)|
|Lifespan||10 – 13 years|
|Color Variations||Tan, brown and black, or grey and white|
|Temperament||Loyal, protective, outgoing, intelligent and playful|
|Activity Levels||Upwards of 120 minutes per day|
|Daily Food Consumption||An inactive Gerberian shepsky will require up to 1,600 calories per day while an active dog requires 2,400 calories per day (split between two meals)|
|Known Health Issues||Elbow and hip dysplasia, cataracts|
Shepsky Appearance and Pictures
Because the shepsky is a hybrid breed, the American Kennel Club does not officially recognize this breed, so there is no standard appearance.
A shepsky might have the thinner build of a Siberian husky or the studier build of a German shepherd.
The shepsky is a medium to large sized dog that regardless of its build has a long, thick coat, double-coat. A shepsky’s coat comes in a range of different colors from the darker German shepherd side of brown and tan with black, to the lighter husky side of greys and whites.
The shepsky’s face is large and broad with erect ears.
Their eyes are either brown like the German shepherd’s or blue or green like the Siberian husky’s. Some shepskies will even have one blue eye and one brown eye.
Shepskies also have a wolf-like appearance due to their husky parents.
Shepsky Height and Weight
|Male||22 – 25 inches||55 – 80 pounds|
|Female||20 – 22 inches||45 – 60 pounds|
A full grown German shepherd husky mix will range between 20 to 25 inches in height, and weigh from 45 to 80 pounds, with the female tending to be on the smaller end of the scale.
Shepsky Personality and Temperament
Shepskies are affectionate, loving dogs that are always alert and fiercely loyal to their owners and family.
The shepsky will try to protect its owner and family from anything, making this breed a perfect guard dog.
Shepskies are also highly intelligent and learn quickly and willingly, making them easy to train as puppies.
However, shepskies need a lot of attention and exercise, otherwise they become bored and develop negative habits such as howling or excessive chewing.
Taking Care of a Shepsky
Shepskies are energetic dogs that require a lot of exercise, grooming, and mental stimulation.
Providing shepskies with opportunities to socialize with other pets and children when they are puppies is also important. Shepskies love playing with others and need to learn how to play and interact with others at an earlier age.
The beautiful double coat of a shepsky needs regular care so that it is kept clean and neat.
Brushing a shepsky two or more times per week will shed any unwanted fur and dander, which over time accumulates on your carpet or clothes.
Shepskies also go through a blow-out period. This blow out period will occur closer to the hotter months. Shepskies get rid of unnecessary fur so they can regulate their body temperature better in the summertime.
The shepsky will shed a lot during the blow out period.
A shepsky should only be bathed when necessary, which is usually once a month. Bathing too often disturbs your dog’s natural oils which keep their coat healthy and shiny.
Feeding a Shepsky
Because the shepsky is a large breed, it requires a large amount of calories and protein. However, the amount of calories a shepsky needs changes depending on its age, size, and activity level.
A shepsky puppy requires more calories than an adult shepsky due to the caloric demands required for their rapid growth and skeleton system development. As a shepsky grows to be more similar in size to its German shepherd parent, its caloric intake requirements also becomes similar to its German shepherd parent.
|Calories Required Per Day|
|Less Active/Senior||Between 1,300 to 1,600 calories|
|Active/Working||Between 1,700 to 2,400 calories|
Once mature, the shepsky should have its food spaced out over one or two meals each day.
A shepsky is a carnivore and therefore requires a diet consisting of no less than 22% protein.
To ensure your dog is getting the correct amount of nutrients and proteins, we recommend trying a high quality dry kibble formulated for larger dog breeds.
Shepsky Exercise Requirements
Shepskies love to exercise. A husky German shepherd mix needs at least one hour of exercise per day, but two or more hours is ideal.
A spacious and open backyard can help a shepsky get a lot of the exercise it needs.
However, having a yard isn’t enough to fully meet the shepsky’s exercise needs. They need interactive runs and games in order to properly use up all their pent up energy.
Shepsky Mental Stimulation Requirements
A shepsky requires lots of mentally stimulating games to keep them happy.
For example, a simple game of “hide and sniff” is perfect shepskies:
- Let it smell a treat or scented toy, while still holding the object.
- Hide the treat or toy.
- Allow the pup to sniff out the object.
- Watch as the shepsky enjoys its reward.
The shepsky is an observant breed, and enjoys going on walks with interesting surroundings.
Keep alternating routes when taking a shepsky out for runs or walks. Different routes keep a shepsky guessing and stimulates its mind as it takes in new and different surroundings.
Shepsky Socialization Requirements
A shepsky loves to be active and desires to play with other dogs, pets, and people. In order to develop their socialization skills, shepsky puppies need to be given opportunities to interact positively with other dogs, pets, and people from a young age.
When shepsky puppies are well adjusted to being around other animals and people, they will grow up to be very friendly and outgoing. Dog parks, puppy classes, and daily outings will provide your dog with regular socialization and mental stimulation.
The shepsky is an intelligent breed that is easy to train.
One command the shepsky must learn is to come back to the owner. The shepsky is genetically ingrained to run and chase. If allowed to, the shepsky will run quite far away. Make sure to focus on the return command.
Like any dog, shepskies respond very well to positive reinforcement dog training. Shepskies love any treats for following orders and progressing in their training.
Shepskies love to be busy, so training is enjoyable once a positive and mutual relationship is established between them and their owners.
Correct obedience training is highly advised as shepskies are a large and assertive breed. Shepskies challenge their owner’s authority and become destructive if they aren’t trained to be obedient.
Shepsky Health Problems
Unfortunately, the shepsky is not without health problems, and it may inherit certain health issues from its purebred parents.
Elbow and Hip Dysplasia
Elbow or hip dysplasia is a genetic disease common in German shepherds.
Elbow or hip dysplasia causes the joints to form incorrectly. This malformation can lead to pain and may ultimately lead to the loss of elbow or hip function.
Due to its German shepherd genes, the shepsky has a higher than normal chance of inheriting this disease.
Eye problems, such as the development of cataracts, are prevalent in the husky and could be inherited by your German shepherd husky mix puppy.
Cataracts are imperfections in the eye’s lens and will affect a pup’s vision over time. A shepsky will act confused or disoriented if afflicted by cataracts.
How much does a German shepherd husky mix cost?
A German shepherd husky mix will cost $350 USD to $1,000 USD.
A mix bred from two purebred parents with pedigree will be more expensive.
Adopting a dog from a local dog shelter is also always a good choice.
Adoption on average costs $50 to $150, but you will need to check your local adoption agency.
Spaying or neutering costs $50 to $300.
Adopting a shepsky will also cost $50 to $100 for initial vaccinations.
Should You Get a German Shepherd Husky Mix?
The shepsky is a great mix, but it isn’t suitable for everyone. You should consider all the characteristics and needs of the shepsky before getting one.
Shepskies are Suitable for:
Shepskies are suitable for people who are quite active and like to spend a lot of time outdoors.
Shepskies are also suitable for those who want a guard dog. They will protect not only their owners, but other family members as well.
Shepskies will do really well with families and children with proper training and socialization.
Shepskies are NOT Suitable for:
Shepskies are big and have a lot of energy. If you can’t provide a shepsky with at least one hour of exercise a day, then it is not the dog for you.
Without enough exercise or play time, they will become destructive and bark a lot.
You will also need a lot of space inside and outside to keep the shepsky happy.
You should think about another breed if you are lacking the space and time required to keep shepskies healthy and happy.
Shepskies are alpha dogs, so if not trained properly, they will be aggressive. Shepskies need firm and confident owners.
If you’re a first time dog owner or you don’t have a lot of experience training dogs, shepskies might be unsuitable for you.