Both the German Shepherd and the Siberian Husky are considered two of America’s most coveted dog breeds, according to the American Kennel Club. In fact, the German Shepherd specifically is considered the second most popular dog, sitting behind the one and only Labrador Retriever.
So why wouldn’t you be interested in a crossbreed that combines both the German Shepherd’s wits and the Husky’s incredible energy?
That’s right – today’s article is all about the German Shepherd Husky mix. But just because this hybrid canine sounds like he’d make a great companion on paper doesn’t mean he’s the right dog for everyone.
Join us today as we learn more about the German Shepherd Husky Mix so you can decide if this really would be the best dog for you.
The German Shepherd Husky Mix – A Breed Overview
The German Shepherd Husky Mix is a cross between the purebred German Shepherd and the purebred Siberian Husky.
Parent Breeds: The German Shepherd and the Siberian Husky
Average Height: 20 to 25 Inches
Average Weight: 45 to 88 Pounds
Activity Level: High
Temperament: Intelligent, Work-Oriented, Devoted, Energetic
Best Suited For: Active and Experienced Dog Owners
Lifespan: 10 to 13 Years
Health Issues: Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Digestive Issues Including Bloat, Corneal Dystrophy, Juvenile Cataracts, Keratitis, Epilepsy, Hypothyroidism, Cushing’s Disease, Anal Furunculosis, and Atopic Dermatitis
Clubs That Recognize The German Shepherd Husky mix: None
Also known as the Shepsky or Giberian Shepsky, the German Shepherd Husky Mix is a cross between the purebred Husky and purebred German Shepherd.
Newer to the canine kingdom, this hybrid dog is beloved for his intelligence, athleticism, and family-friendly nature.
However, German Shepherd Husky mix dogs are not ideal for every owner. First time dog owners may find this energetic hybrid overwhelming, as will owners who do not have time to dedicate to training, socialization, exercise and mental stimulation.
Because the German Shepherd Husky mix is a crossbreed, it’s also important to understand that many of his traits could be left up to chance. This includes his temperament, physical appearance and health.
With that noted, let’s talk a bit more about the crossbreed controversy.
What Exactly Is A “Designer Dog”? Understanding the Crossbreed Controversy
There is some speculation that crossbreeds may be healthier than purebred dogs.
In today’s world, there are three classifications of canines you can acquire. These include purebred dogs, crossbreed dogs and mutts.
A Purebred Dog
A purebred dog is a dog that has been bred and perfected for generations in order to maintain a certain breed standard. The breed standard should include predictable traits like physical appearance, temperament and health.
A Crossbreed Dog
A crossbreed dog, also known as a hybrid dog, designer dog or mixed breed dog, is a dog that is the offspring of two specifically chosen purebred parent breeds, like the German Shepherd Husky Mix.
Crossbreed dogs are sometimes called “designer” dogs because they are purposefully bred and designed to hold certain traits based on what most dog owners of today are attracted to.
Though crossbreeding has been ongoing for centuries, most modern day crossbreeds like the German Shepherd Husky mix are newer generation crossbreeds, meaning their temperamental, physical and health traits are not yet as predictable as those of their purebred counterparts.
A mutt is a dog with a number of different breeds in his DNA. Most mutts are “accidently” born, often to dogs that have not been fixed or to people who didn’t mean to allow their dogs to become pregnant.
What Is The Crossbreed Controversy?
While crossbreeding has been an ongoing practice since the beginning of the human/canine relationship, it has become much more of a trend amongst breeders over the past two decades. What was once a process meant to perfect traits in dogs for working purposes has now become a way for some breeders to make money by turning out “designer” dogs that are trending at any particular moment.
A good example of this would be doodle breeds or poodle mixes, who are some of the most popular designer dogs in the world beloved for their intelligence and hypoallergenic coats.
However, there are some controversial elements associated with modern day crossbreeding, especially when breeders are selling early generation crossbreed dogs whose traits are less predictable.
Still, there are also some benefits to crossbreeding. For example, many purebred dogs are notoriously unhealthy due to being overbred for centuries. Crossbreeding helps to reduce potential genetic health issues by widening the gene pool.
On the flip side of this argument, crossbreeding also adds a number of health issues to the list for certain hybrid dogs, so the argument of hybrid vigor could be counterproductive.
Regardless, crossbreeding and the buying and selling of modern-day hybrids isn’t going anywhere soon.
And while the trend may be controversial, there are ways you can go about ensuring you raise a happy, healthy German Shepherd Husky mix by doing your best to learn as much as possible about him before you get him.
The Average Temperament of A German Shepherd Husky Mix
German Shepherd Husky mix dogs are intelligent, energetic and people-oriented.
If you know anything about the German Shepherd and the Husky, then you should already be expecting a German Shepherd Husky Mix to be a high energy, highly intelligent dog.
This is a mixed breed that is very people oriented, though he can be wary of strangers if not properly socialized at an early age.
We should also note that both German Shepherds and Huskies are bred working dogs, so the German Shepherd Husky Mix is going to be pretty work-oriented. This means that this is a hybrid who requires lots of time, attention, exercise, and mental stimulation.
When properly raised, trained and socialized, German Shepherd Husky mixes can do great with children and other pets. Of course, even then it’s important to monitor youngsters around the family dog.
We like to recommend that parents work with age-appropriate children on recognizing basic canine body language, and that parents refrain from leaving babies or toddler-aged children alone unsupervised around the family dog, no matter how well-trained he is.
The Importance Of Training and Socializing A German Shepherd Husky mix
Training and socialization should begin as early as possible in order to ensure your German Shepherd Husky Mix grows up happy and well-rounded.
All dogs require routine training and socialization in order to grow up happy and healthy, and the German Shepherd Husky mix is no exception. In fact, training and socialization may be especially important for large breed, work-oriented dogs like the Shepsky for a number of reasons.
First, without the proper training and socialization, German Shepherd Husky mix dogs can grow up to be fearful and develop undesirable behavior issues like aggression and destructive tendencies.
Another reason training and socialization are so important is because it helps you to build a trusting and rewarding bond with your dog, ensuring that both of you are happy and successful in your endeavours together.
Training Your German Shepherd Husky Mix:
Training a German Shepherd Husky mix is a practice that should begin from the moment you obtain your dog and continue on for the rest of his life. Since the German Shepherd Husky mix is a dog of two working parent breeds, training will need to be carefully implemented to help harness any potential behavioral issues or excess energy into something positive.
German Shepherd Husky mix dogs respond best to positive reinforcement training techniques using treats and praise as opposed to aversive training utilizing punishment, fear or force.
For the most part, German Shepherd Husky mix dogs are eager to please and highly trainable, and they will shut down if they feel they have displeased you. Punishing your dog during training can also deteriorate the bond build between the two of you and diminish trust.
When training your German Shepherd Husky Mix, keep sessions short, game-like and fun. Encourage your dog with high quality training treats to hold his attention and allow him time to think for himself so he can learn what you want from him instead of what you don’t want.
It’s also important to try and get everyone in the household on the same page when it comes to training. This will ensure that training is communicated more clearly to your dog and that he learns more quickly and efficiently.
Socializing Your German Shepherd Husky Mix:
Socialization and training go hand-in-hand, and you really can’t have one without the other. A dog that is not properly socialized may have trouble focusing during training, and is likely going to suffer from a number of behavioral issues stemming from anxiety, depression and fear.
While it is best to try and socialize your German Shepherd Husky mix while he is young, you can begin working to socialize a dog at any age using positive reinforcement, gentle encouragement and lots of patience.
If you plan on raising a German Shepherd Husky mix with children, make sure that your dog is introduced to children early on and is used to being handled and played with by youngsters.
It’s also important to introduce your German Shepherd Husky mix to other people, other animals, places, experiences, sights and sounds as often as possible and as early as possible.
Try and ensure these first impressions are positive for your dog and refrain from forcing him to do something that he is clearly frightened of. Doing so could worsen fears and lead to further behavioral issues down the road.
Instead, gently encourage your German Shepherd Husky Mix to explore the world around him using praise, treats and patience.
Exercise and Mental Stimulation Needs Of A German Shepherd Husky mix
Exercise and mental stimulation are just as important as training and socialization are to your dog’s mental and physical health.
German Shepherd Husky Mix dogs are incredibly intelligent and very high-energy. While these are some traits that can make them more difficult for less experienced dog owners, for the right owner these traits are a major bonus.
With that noted, let’s talk about how to harness these incredible characteristics.
Proper Exercise for A German Shepherd Husky Mix
The German Shepherd Husky Mix is a high energy dog that hails from two work-oriented parent breeds. The German Shepherd, infact, is a bred herding dog while the Siberian Husky is a versatile sled dog built for endurance.
This means that your German Shepherd Husky mix is going to need quite a bit of daily exercise each and every day to keep him happy, healthy and mentally sound.
The proper exercise for a German Shepherd Husky mix is going to include at least two walks a day for about 45 minutes to an hour each. The Shepsky is a hybrid dog that may also enjoy jogging, hiking, and even supervised swimming.
Along with routine exercise, the German Shepherd Husky mix will need free playtime in a securely fenced backyard. Very well socialized German Shepherd Husky mixes who get along well with other dogs may also enjoy playtime at a local dog park.
When you are exercising your German Shepherd Husky mix, you should note that this is a dog that may be prone to pulling on leash. This is simply due to his high level of energy and the fact that he is naturally faster than you are when going on walks.
To prevent pulling and teach good walking manners, it’s best to forgo aversive walking equipment like prong collars and choke chains and instead stick with front clip harnesses, like the one listed below.
PetSafe Easy Walk Dog Harness
The above puzzle toy by Nina Ottosson comes in a few different designs and levels depending on your German Shepherd Husky mix’s intelligence and age. This toy utilizes treats or food to help hold your dog’s interest and will challenge him, keep him busy, help him feel like he has a purpose, and also help him build healthy eating habits.
This is ideal considering the German Shepherd Husky mix can suffer from a number of digestive issues, which we’ll discuss further down.
Along with utilizing puzzle toys to keep your German Shepherd Husky mix happy, we also recommend giving him chores to do around the house. One of the benefits of raising a clever dog that is work oriented is that they will actually enjoy helping you sort the laundry, load the dishwasher or bring in the mail.
So take advantage of it!
Tips On Grooming Care – Why You Shouldn’t Shave A German Shepherd Husky Mix
Your German Shepherd Husky dog’s coat type could vary, but it’s important not to over-bathe or shave this type of dog.
Both German Shepherds and Huskies are known for their dense, double coats. They are also both shedding dogs that shed year-round, and shed heaviest during shedding season in spring and fall.
For this reason, it’s safe to bet your German Shepherd Husky Mix is going to be a heavy shedder and will not be an ideal dog for homes of those who suffer from allergies. That said, his double coat is weather resistant and is self cleaning, making grooming relatively simple.
Still, you should prepare for lots of loose hair around your home and on both you and your furniture. You can help combat this by ensuring you brush your German Shepherd Husky mix on a routine basis using the proper deshedding tools.
Brushing should be done a few times a week, however during shedding season you may find that you need to brush your German Shepherd Husky mix once a day.
The German Shepherd Husky mix does not need to be bathed very often, and does well with a bath once every six weeks unless he gets especially dirty in between those times.
It’s also important to note that, while the German Shepherd Husky does have a dense double coat, it’s best not to try and shave his coat. Shaving a double-coated dog, even in an effort to help them stay cool during warmer months, can actually have an adverse effect on their health.
Doing so can even make them more susceptible to heatstroke, sunburn and skin issues.
Instead, keep your dog healthy and cool by ensuring he always has a shady place to go and access to fresh, cool water at all times.
Along with brushing and bathing, your German Shepherd Husky mix should also have his ears checked and cleaned routinely to keep them from developing ear infections. His teeth should be brushed daily with a dog safe toothbrushing kit and his nails should be trimmed or ground down once every couple of weeks to keep them from cracking or breaking.
Boence Store Dog Nail Grinder
Learning to trim your dog’s nails can be tricky, but you can save money on grooming costs if you invest in a dog nail grinder like the nail grinder above by the Boence Store. This grinder is made with quality material and designed to safely grind your dog’s nails down without trimming them too short or hitting the quick.
It is an electric grinder that is also quiet, so it won’t startle your dog when you use it. To get the most out of your dog nail grinder, we recommend introducing your German Shepherd Husky mix to it early and gently. Use treats and praise while using it to help him associate it with something positive.
German Shepherd Husky Mix Health And Life Expectancy
Because he’s a hybrid, the German Shepherd Husky can be susceptible to any of the same health issues as his purebred parents.
Because the German Shepherd Husky mix is a crossbreed, there is a chance that he will be healthier than his purebred parents. This is due to his widened gene pool. However, and as we mentioned above, it’s still possible for your German Shepherd Husky mix to develop any of the same genetic health issues as his purebred parent breeds, especially if you obtain him through an irresponsible source.
Lifestyle will also play a role in your German Shepherd Husky’s health, so it’s important to have a good idea of what he can be susceptible to so you can work on preventative care.
The average lifespan of a German Shepherd Husky Mix is around 10 to 13 years. During this time, he can be susceptible to the following health issues:
- Elbow Dysplasia
- Digestive Issues Including Bloat
- Corneal Dystrophy
- Juvenile Cataracts
- Cushing’s Disease
- Anal Furunculosis
- And Atopic Dermatitis
You can work to prevent certain health issues by ensuring your German Shepherd Husky mix is on a quality dog food specified for his age, weight and activity level. It’s also important to keep up with proper grooming and exercise routines.
We further recommend you keep up with routine vet visits. Most veterinarians suggest that you bring your German Shepherd Husky mix in at least once a year until he reaches seven years old, at which point he should be seen twice a year.
Last, try and make sure you get your German Shepherd puppy or rescue dog from a responsible source. This can help greatly to ensure he lives a long, happy and healthy life. But we will talk more about that further down.
For now, let’s take a look at whether or not the German Shepherd Husky Mix really is the best dog for you and your family.
Is The German Shepherd Husky Mix Right For You?
Like all dogs, there are some pros and cons that come with raising a German Shepherd Husky mix.
While the German Shepherd can make a wonderful dog for the right family or owner, it’s important to remember that this isn’t the right dog for everyone.
German Shepherd Husky mix dogs do best in homes with experienced dog owners who understand working breeds and the importance of exercise and mental stimulation.
That said, when properly trained, raised and socialized, German Shepherd Husky mix dogs can do well with children and other pets. They enjoy being around their family and make devoted, protective and playful companions.
German Shepherd Husky Mix dogs will do best in homes with large, securely fenced backyards and owners with flexible schedules. They require daily exercise each and every day as well as consistent training, mental stimulation and attention in order to grow up happy and healthy.
How To Go About Finding The Best German Shepherd Husky Mix Possible
German Shepherd Husky Mix dogs aren’t especially popular right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find one through a reputable source.
If you’re ready to get your hands on a German Shepherd Husky mix, then you’re in luck. Our experts are here to help you by giving you some tips and tricks on how to find the healthiest German Shepherd Husky mix puppy or rescue dog available.
Are You Buying Through A Breeder?
On average, a German Shepherd Husky mix puppy costs between $350 to $850. This is relatively affordable in the dog world, but it’s still important to do your homework and ensure you go through the best breeder possible.
Look for breeders who have a history with this dog or his parent breeds, and avoid breeders who have not been certified, cannot provide paperwork, or are selling German Shepherd Husky puppies for much higher or lower than the average price.
There are a few benefits of going through a breeder to obtain your German Shepherd Husky mix, including the potential for you to meet the parent dogs. This will help give you a better idea of what your Shepsky could grow up to look and behave like.
Reputable breeders will also be able to provide you with paperwork proving their puppies have been screened and cleared of any major health issues.
Are You Planning To Rescue?
The German Shepherd Husky Mix is a very high energy dog, which can be overwhelming to some novice or unprepared dog owners. Sadly, this means that there are quite a few German Shepherd Husky mix dogs currently waiting for their forever home in a shelter.
If you plan on adoption, you can expect to spend between $250 and $500. This fee could include an initial vet exam, as well as the overhead costs of what the shelter spent on your dog before you adopted him.
Adopting a German Shepherd Husky comes with plenty of benefits. Not only are you getting a dog at a lower cost than you would get if you go through a breeder, but you’re also providing a homeless German Shepherd Husky mix with a good and loving family.
So, what do you think about the German shepherd Husky mix? Is this the right dog for you? Keep us posted with what you decide to do in the comment section below.
Thanks for reading!
Jen Jones is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. As the founder of ‘Your Dog Advisor’ and the ‘Canine Connection’ rehabilitation center, she applies a holistic, empathetic approach, aiming to address root causes rather than merely treating symptoms.
Well known for her intuitive and compassionate approach, Jen adopts scientifically-proven, reward-based methods, encouraging positive reinforcement over punishment. Jen specializes in obedience training, behavior modification, and puppy socialization. Her innovative methods, particularly in addressing anxiety and aggression issues, have been widely recognized. Jen has worked with many of the world’s leading dog behaviorists and in her free time volunteers with local animal shelters and rescue groups.