Both the German shepherd and the Siberian husky are long-established and beloved dog breeds, so mixing the two together into a completely new breed makes perfect sense.
The German husky mix has a delightful combination of the characteristics of both its parent breeds. With an energetic and playful nature that also has a protective and loyal side, a shepard husky mix can be a perfect addition to appropriate homes.
History, Origins and Popularity
Where Does the German Shepherd Husky Mix Originate From?
As the name would suggest, the mixed breed has one German shepherd (GSD) parent and one Siberian husky parent.
The German shepherd was first recognized as an independent breed in 1899. Purebred German shepherds are excellent working dogs that are highly intelligent and fiercely loyal. The eastern Siberian Chukchi tribe first developed the Siberian husky breed as many as 3,000 years ago. The early Siberian huskies were working dogs that pulled sleds over miles of snow and ice, but their masters also treasured them as fun-loving members of the family.
Even though both parental lines have long and well-established histories, the origin of the German shepherd and husky cross is uncertain. Some guesses place the first German husky mix in the 1960s, while others place the breed’s beginning in the 1980s.
No matter when they first came on the scene, the German shepherd and husky mix is a perfect blend of two complementary breeds.
How Popular is the German Shepherd Husky Mix in the US?
Especially since both the German shepherd and the husky are beloved breeds, their hybrid children are also rapidly gaining popularity in the United States. Primarily owing to their striking, wolf-like looks and pleasing nature, German huskies are in high demand from individuals and families alike.
|Purpose||Family pet, active companion or guard dog|
|Height||Males stand 22 to 25 inches, females stand 20 to 22 inches|
|Weight||35 to 85 pounds|
|Average lifespan||10 to 13 years|
|Temperament||Intelligent, protective, loyal, energetic and friendly|
|Shedding||Moderate to high; requires moderate grooming|
|Common coat colors||Gray-and-white, brown-and-black, tan, black or white|
|Activity level||High; requires up to 120 minutes of exercise daily|
|Suitable for families||Yes, for active families that can meet the exercise requirements|
|Dietary needs||High-protein diet; adults require approximately 1,600 to 2,400 calories per day depending on activity level|
|Potential health issues||Hip dysplasia, bloating and cataracts|
Other Names for the German Shepherd Husky Mix
The practice of combining the names of both parental lines is a common trend in today’s designer dog-breeding world, and the Siberian husky German shepherd mix often goes by many creative names. Here is a closer look at a few of the most common names you might encounter.
Combining the words “shepherd” and “husky”, this is the shortest nickname for the Siberian husky and German shepherd mix.
Taking the name-splicing concept a step further, the name Gerberian Shepsky is a combination of the words “German shepherd” and “Siberian husky”. Even though it doesn’t exactly roll easily off the tongue, this is the most common and widely-accepted name for the German shepherd Siberian husky mix.
There are a few minor differences between the Siberian husky and the Alaskan husky, with the most notable being a difference in eye color and a slight discrepancy in build. The name Siberian shepherd signifies that the husky parent is specifically of the Siberian husky breed, and the resulting puppy is not an Alaskan husky German shepherd mix.
Personality, Temperament and Socialization
German Shepherd Husky Mix Temperament
German shepherd huskies often exhibit the best of both parental breeds’ key qualities, and they usually tend to be friendly, happy dogs that can also learn new skills and keep a watchful eye on the house.
A German shepherd mixed with husky will inherit certain personality traits from both parents, and the exact blend of the two parental breeds will vary from litter to litter and even from puppy to puppy.
It can be difficult to determine exactly what kind of personality a puppy will eventually end up with, and the temperament of the individual parents will usually offer the most reliable clues as to what you can expect from the offspring.
If you would be happy to have either of the parents as your own pet, you can be pretty confident that their puppy will be a good fit in your home.
Differences: German Shepherd Vs. Husky
German shepherds are prized for their incredible intelligence, loyalty, tenacity and protectiveness.
This breed is a perfect match for challenging tasks that require intensive training, and German shepherds are a popular choice in both the military and law enforcement ranks.
In the domestic realm, German shepherds are top-notch guard dogs and service dogs. The naturally reserved and protective nature of the German shepherd could lead them to be wary of strangers and aloof from people, but they can be excellent family pets with the proper socialization and exercise.
Huskies also rank fairly high in intelligence, but they tend to have a much more happy-go-lucky attitude and just want to be everybody’s best friend.
Huskies love to play, and they often make humorous noises and facial expressions. Originally bred for the dual purpose of being a working dog as well as a family pet, huskies are high-energy and need to have sufficient exercise to ward off destructive behaviors. This breed also relishes affection, and they love being included in family activities.
Suitable Home Environments for a German Shepherd Husky Mix
How much exercise does a German Shepherd Husky mix need?
A husky and German shepherd mix requires at least 90 to 120 minutes of exercise a day.
Since both parental breeds are active, working dogs, their mixed offspring also inherit that drive for activity. A German shepherd husky mix is happiest in a home where they have plenty of exercise and stimulating activities or toys. They usually have affectionate natures, and they delight in attention and cuddles. In addition to their fun-loving nature, the husky GSD’s German shepherd genes also give the breed a watchful quality that makes it a reliable house guard.
Are German Shepherd Husky Mixes Good With Children?
With a fun-loving yet gentle nature, a shepherd husky mix loves to play and run. Teenagers and older children who are able to keep up with this energetic pet will find an eager companion for all their adventures as well as a ready recipient of all the hugs and ear scratches they have to offer.
On the other hand, you may want to use caution if you have a younger child in the home.
Since a German shepard husky is a large dog, they could unintentionally hurt a small child by playing too roughly or knocking the child over. Additionally, families with young children already have their hands full, and giving an energetic and athletic dog like a husky shepherd mix the attention and time they need may not be possible.
Are German Shepherd Husky Mixes Good Family Dogs?
The answer is yes, but only for the right family.
If your family loves to get outside and run around the yard, go on frequent long walks or have outdoor adventures, a husky shepard mix will fit right in.
However, if you tend to spend most of your time indoors or have a more sedentary lifestyle, a high-energy dog like a German husky will likely be unhappy, and they may develop destructive habits.
Variations of German Shepherd Husky Mixes
Australian Shepherd Husky Mix
The Australian shepherd husky mix combines the speed, agility and intelligence of an Australian shepherd with the fun-loving nature of a Siberian husky.
The Australian shepherd and husky mix tends to be a bit smaller than the German husky mix, but the two breeds have a similar herding and working background as well as some of the same physical features.
Since both parental lines tend to have bi-colored or two light-colored eyes, the Australian shepherd husky almost always has bright blue or green eyes. This breed is very high-energy, so be prepared to spend plenty of time walking, running or playing challenging games with your husky Australian shepherd mix.
Differences Between the German Shepherd Husky Mix and the Standard GSD
While physical characteristics and temperamental qualities vary between individual dogs, German husky mixes that lean more to the German shepherd side of the gene pool will exhibit more of the traditional GSD traits.
What’s the Same?
- Striking facial features and erect ears
- A watchful, protective instinct
- Athletic build with a medium to large frame
- Needs plenty of exercise
- Fun-loving attitude
- Less reserved around strangers
How Big Does It Get?
A male German shepard husky mix will measure between 22 and 25 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 50 and 80 pounds. Females will be slightly smaller, measuring about 20 to 22 inches at the shoulder and weighing about 45 to 60 pounds.
The most common coat colors for a husky mix German shepherd are gray-and-white or brown-and-black. The gray-and-white combination usually gives the dog more of a typical husky look, while a brown-and-black coat more closely resembles the German shepherd parent.
Gerberian shepskies can also have a solid-colored coat, and perhaps the most striking of these is a vibrant white. Most German huskies with a solid white coat inherit their beautiful coloring from a white German shepherd parent. In addition to white, there are several other solid color possibilities:
Siberian huskies are known for their intense blue or green eyes, while German shepherds have dark brown eyes. A Gerberian shepsky may inherit either color, and bi-colored eyes are quite common in this breed. The eye and coat color won’t necessarily be on the same side of the color spectrum, and they can actually be total opposites.
The typical lifespan for a German shepherd husky is about 10 to 13 years. A proper diet, sufficient exercise, regular vet care and an attentive owner are all important factors that can help extend a German husky’s lifespan to the maximum.
Care and Grooming
Do German Shepherd Husky Mixes Shed?
You can expect some heavy shedding and subsequent vacuuming when you have a husky German shepherd in your life.
German huskies have a double coat, which means they have a dense lower layer of fur in addition to a top layer of longer, thinner hairs.
Unfortunately, more hair results in more shedding…
Plan to brush your husky shepherd a minimum of two to three times per week, and take the time to brush daily if you can. The best brush for German shepherd coats will pull loose hairs from both the undercoat as well as the top layer to help cut down on the amount of hair that makes it to your couch or floors.
A German shepherd mix with husky can also shed more or less at certain times of the year. The undercoat helps provide protection and heat-retention in the harsh cold of winter, and much of this base fur layer sheds in the spring. During this time, you’ll probably have to spend extra time brushing your German husky and vacuuming up piles of fur.
Are German Shepherd Husky Mixes Prone to Ticks?
Any animal that spends time outdoors is at risk for ticks, and Gerberian shepskies have thick, fluffy coats that may make it harder for you to spot a hidden tick. Thoroughly check your German husky for ticks after coming in from outside. Ticks seem to favor the ear area, so be sure to spend some extra time there. Consult your veterinarian for their recommendation for a good tick-prevention treatment.
How Much Does a German Shepherd Husky Mix Eat on Average?
Senior or more sedentary adult German huskies typically need about 1,600 calories daily, while active dogs will need upwards of 2,400 calories a day. Caloric needs vary depending on the daily lifestyle of the individual dog.
The best dog food for German shepherds will have a high protein level. If you choose a grain-based food, look for 25% protein content. If you prefer a grain-free option, make sure the protein content is at least 30%.
Since German huskies can be prone to digestive difficulties, ask your veterinarian for their feeding advice.
Exercise and Training
How Often Do You Have to Exercise a German Shepherd Husky Mix?
Thanks to the active, working-dog history and high intelligence of both parents, a husky mix with German shepherd requires high amounts of exercise and mental stimulation. Aim for 120 minutes of activity every day, ideally spread out between two sessions.
Plan to take your husky German shepard mix on two separate hour-long walks or play active fetching games in the yard. Additionally, give your husky shepherd challenging, puzzle-type toys that give them the chance to explore, figure out the solution and obtain a prize.
Is a German Shepherd Husky Mix Easy to Train?
Here is one area where the parental lines have a decided difference.
German shepherds are consistently rated as both highly intelligent and readily trainable. In fact, there is almost no task that a German shepherd can’t learn given the time and proper training.
Siberian huskies, on the other hand, are also highly intelligent, but they can have a hard time focusing on and mastering a task. The trainability of a husky German shepherd mix varies from individual to individual depending on which parent’s genes are dominant. The best strategy for training a German shepard husky is to begin immediately, even if your dog is still in the early puppy days.
Known Health Issues
In the early 1900s, German shepherd breeders purposely kept the gene pool small to develop desirable traits, but this inbreeding also had the negative effect of introducing some genetic health issues.
Siberian huskies come from a much larger gene pool, so they tend to have less genetic health problems.
German shepherds are prone to malformations in the hip bones and joints. Known as hip dysplasia, this condition can lead to a painful, arthritic chronic condition. While this condition isn’t as prevalent in a husky shepherd mix as it is in purebred German shepherds, it can still be a fairly common issue.
Are German Shepherd Husky Mixes Prone to Bandworms?
All dogs are susceptible to parasitic infections, and a husky mixed with German shepherd is no different.
While this breed doesn’t have an increased risk for worms, follow your veterinarian’s de-worming recommendations to help your husky GSD stay healthy and free of parasites. Almost all puppies contract roundworms from their mother early in life, so be sure to ask your breeder for your puppy’s de-worming records.
Are There Other Diseases German Shepherd Husky Mixes are Prone To?
While mixed breeds typically tend to have fewer health issues, a dog with both husky and German shepherd genes can also be prone to conditions that plague its purebred parents.
- Cataracts or other eye problems
- Digestive difficulties including gastric dilation volvulus and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency
German Shepherd Husky Mix for Sale
How Much is the Average Cost?
Breeders charge a wide range of prices for German shepherd husky mix puppies. You can expect to see prices that start at a few hundred dollars and some that go over a thousand dollars. The puppy’s coloring, prominent features and their parents’ gene lines all factor into the price.
In addition to the initial purchase, be sure to figure in regular vet visits, high-quality food and grooming as part of the total cost of a German shepherd husky mix puppy.
Where to Find German Shepherd Husky Mix Puppies for Sale
When looking for a gerberian shepsky for sale, the overall price, breeding environment and parental health are all factors to take into consideration. Here are a couple of trustworthy breeders that typically have a good selection of German shepherd husky puppies for sale:
German Shepherd Husky Mix Price
Prices for German shepherd husky puppies typically start out at $400 to $500 dollars, and some breeders charge up to $1200 if both purebred parents have a pedigreed background. Husky German shepherd mix puppies with certain coat colors or facial features could also have a higher price.
Where to Find a German Shepherd Husky Mix Puppy
Given the breed’s popularity, you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding gerberian shepsky puppies for sale in your area.
Some unregistered breeders could use dangerous breeding methods in an attempt to capitalize on the demand for shepsky puppies, and irresponsible breeding could lead to an increased risk for potential health problems.
Stick to reputable breeders that use responsible practices. A good breeder should be able to provide the records of each parent’s health history as well as health screening results for all of the gerberian shepsky puppies.
You may also want to look into the option of adopting a husky German Shepherd mix puppy. Check the websites of rescue organizations and local shelters that may have German husky puppies available in your area.