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Meet the German Shepherd Husky Mix: Shepsky

“Powerful”, “loyal” and “athletic” are a few adjectives that accurately describe the German Shepherd Husky wolf mix. A German Shepherd Husky mix is the perfect choice if you’re looking to adopt a trainable, reliable dog with some personality quirks. Read on to identify what these quirks are and how to take care of a German Shepherd cross Husky.

What is a Shepsky?

A “Shepsky” or “Gerberian Shepsky” is a German Shepherd Husky wolf mix. While the GSD comprises one half, it is a Siberian Husky that comprises the other. From this definition, this means that an Alaskan Husky German Shepherd mix is not a true Shepsky. In addition, a Husky Malamute German Shepherd mix is also not a true Shepsky.

Physical characteristics

A Siberian Husky German Shepherd mix breed typically looks like a GSD albeit with more fur and with signature lighter-colored Husky eyes.

The average German Shepherd Husky mix size is large, can stand up to 2.1 ft (0.6 m) tall and weigh between 45 – 90 lbs (20 – 41 kg) when fully grown. The heaviest female Husky German Shepherd mix weight is about 70 lbs (31 kg), while males can weigh up to 90 lbs (41 kg).

With regards to its coat, a Siberian Husky German Shepherd mix can have black, tan, brown, cream, gray or white (particularly if it is a White German Shepherd Husky mix) as possible colors. 

A Shepsky’s eye color can vary significantly from brown, amber, blue, gray or even a combination of any two eye colors (heterochromia).

What are some basic facts about Shepskys?

Take into account the following practical pieces of information about half German Shepherd half Husky mixes before adopting.

Life Span

A German Shepherd Husky mix life expectancy is between 10 – 13 years.

Price

A German Shepherd Husky mix price usually lies somewhere between US$400 – 1200, depending on the breeder and if it is a standard black German Shepherd Husky mix. Rare GSDs such as a white German Shepherd Husky mix are usually more expensive ($700 or more).

Commonly-occurring known health issues

The following is a list of diseases and ailments that may affect your German Shepherd Husky mix life expectancy or quality.

Hip or Elbow Dysplasia

This genetic disorder is usually found in large dog breeds, which is usually the standard German Shepherd Husky size. When this happens, your Shepsky may experience partial or total dislocation of its hips or front legs from their sockets, which can be very painful. 

Hip dysplasia symptoms include limping, “hopping” in the rear legs when moving and a reluctance to exercise. Elbow dysplasia symptoms usually include lameness or stiffness in the front legs.

Bloat

A common health problem found in both breeds, a Shepsky has a tendency to suffer from bloat. Depending on your Husky German Shepherd mix weight and size, its stomach may experience torsion or a complete rotation which can block food coming in or from being digested. 

Symptoms include dry heaving, excessive coughing, a noticeable bulge in your Shepsky’s abdomen and foaming around the mouth.

Eye Problems

German Shepherd Husky mixes are prone to suffer from a variety of eye problems. The widely accepted reason this happens is because of genetics.

Known eye diseases and health issues include cataracts, pannus, glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy and corneal dystrophy.

Cataracts are the most common eye problem and can affect even a young (3-4 months old) German Shepherd Husky mix puppy.

How can I take care of my Shepsky?

Shepskys have certain care, health and grooming routines that need to be followed regularly. 

Coat

This hybrid dog breed is notorious for its shedding. It has a double coat which needs to be maintained 2 – 3 times a week by stroking it with a metal comb and slicker brush. The brush strokes need to be long and even to safeguard your Shepsky’s coat from matting and tangled fur. 

It is also recommended to keep a vacuum cleaner ready during grooming sessions to keep your floors fur-free.

Exercise

It is highly recommended to take your Shepsky to a dog park at least 2 – 3 times a week to meet its exercise requirements. A well-maintained Shepsky is a smart dog that can get bored easily with long, leisurely walks on the sidewalk.

Ideally, 1 hour of intense exercise at a dog park provides sufficient activity for your Shepsky for one day.

Eyes

A Shepsky is known to contract eye diseases and is prone to developing them over time. Take care of your dog’s eyes by purchasing specially-formulated dog eye drops or Eyebright extract (Euphrasia officinalis) and dropping between 4 – 5 drops into your Shepsky’s eyes once every week.

Teeth

Taking care of your Shepsky’s oral health should be easy if your dog regularly plays with chew toys. Supplement their oral health by using a soft toothbrush to gently clean your Shepsky’s gums and teeth twice a week to prevent periodontitis, gingivitis and tooth loss.

What is a Shepsky’s personality like?

A German Shepherd Husky mix temperament can be characterized by the following sections.

Intelligent

Both GSDs and Siberian Huskies are known for their high natural intelligence. More importantly, this means that Shepskys can learn and follow commands very well and have high situational awareness.

However, this also means that Shepskys get bored very easily without much exercise or play and require both activities to maintain a healthy and happy lifestyle. Shepskys are also known to exhibit bouts of independence, which may require gentle discipline and obedience training techniques to correct.

Loyal

Loyalty is a trait commonly found in both dog breeds. A Shepsky will stick with their owner without hesitation and follow their commands willingly if trained properly. This also makes them a decent choice for protection or guard duty.

Early socialization is recommended for Shepskys as they may appear emotionally cold, distressed or even hostile towards strangers.

Playful

Simply playing with your dog may not be enough to maintain a good-natured German Shepherd Husky mix temperament. It is known that this dog hybrid greatly benefits from being around other people and dogs, which means that socialization and regular meet-ups with friends are highly recommended.

Because of this personality trait, it is advisable to socialize your German Shepherd Husky mix puppy at an early age (1-2 months).

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