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Shepsky: German Shepherd and Siberian Husky Crossed

shepsky german shepherd and husky

Like many other mixed breed dogs , this dog’s name is a mouthful. So, we can go by the nickname Shepsky which is a mix of German Shepherd and Siberian Husky .

With both parents coming from working-class dog breeds, the Shepsky is bound to inherit a sturdy body built for copious amounts of exercise and play.

With their bold appearance, German Shepherd and Husky mixes are intended to capture the attention of individuals seeking a canine companion with characteristics that more closely resemble their lupine ancestors than a fluff lapdog ball.

Unlike other mixed breeds, the Shepsky is a bit more consistent in size and appearance, but there is still a lot to know about this breed.

Whether you’re simply fascinated by this breed and want to know more, or are looking to own one yourself and want to be prepared, we’ve put together everything there is to know about Shepskies.

Shepsky’s basic profile

  • Height: 51 – 64 cm
  • Weight: 23 – 34 kg
  • Life expectancy: 10 – 13 years
  • Dog Breed Group: Mixed Breed

Friendship

The German Shepherd / Husky mix is a good balance between kindness and caution. For the most part, they are quite playful and affectionate. However, expect them to be cautious when strangers are around. This is why they are such good watchdogs.

Training

Depending on which parent gets the most out of the dog, they can be a bit stubborn when it comes to training. Fortunately, Shepskys are very smart and have the best cognitive abilities to go through obedience training smoothly (if they want to).

Cleanliness

These dogs are not low-molt dogs. They will shed many things and even more during the shedding season (spring or fall). Aside from brushing their hair frequently, they need all the basic grooming items. Brushing your teeth, bathing, and trimming your nails is a must.

Adaptability

A Shepsky will not be able to adapt well to hot weather. They will cope, but they are happiest when it’s cold. As for the living situation, don’t expect to keep these dogs if you live in an apartment. It will drive them crazy.

Exercise

Crossbreeds of a working and herding dog, you can expect them to have a lot of energy. That said, physical activity is a must – and a lot! Expect to keep them busy for up to two hours a day. Without enough physical stimulation, expect to see some destructive behavior.

Meet the parents

The Siberian Husky

The Siberian Husky goes hand in hand (or rather, leg to leg) with mischief and mystery. They are a breed known for their curiosity and willingness to explore. Originally bred to work as sled dogs, they have now become a favorite breed thanks to their unique looks and playful demeanor.

But behind his piercing eyes is a dog that can become a companion for life. Although they may be stubborn at first, Huskies can grow into loyal dogs that fill their owners’ lives with lots of fun.

They have been known to get into trouble from time to time, but only if they get bored. These dogs love to explore and are curious about the world around them.

German shepherd

One look at a German Shepherd and you can immediately feel the dignity. Also from the working class, these dogs are part of the herding group, which means that they were (as the name implies) bred to help their owners herd sheep.

As such, they are incredibly intelligent and highly trainable dogs. Because of this they fill a wide range of roles in modern society, such as working with the police, assisting the disabled, and even acting!

Like the Siberian Husky, this dog is also made to work. If left idle, they can easily get bored. Exercise and enough playtime will make sure to keep them happy!

German shepherd husky appearance

The Shepsky has the physical appearance of a German Shepherd and the eyes of a husky.

Unlike other mixed breeds, the Shepsky’s parents are similar in size and shape, meaning that they themselves will generally be consistent with the size they grow. Their height and weight will be within a more predictable range, and their coloring will likely mirror that of their parents.

However, as with any mixed breed, there will still be a measure of variation due to the different genes at play.

Shepsky size

In terms of height, a German Shepherd / Husky mix will be in the 20-25 ″ range. This largely depends on which parent takes after more. German Shepherds tend to be taller, so if taken after this parent, you can expect a slightly taller dog.

While it’s not short, if husky genes dominate, a Shepsky can be expected to be closer to 20 ″. In general, the average is 23 ″.

In terms of weight, between 50 and 60 pounds will be the average, with some growing to as much as 75 pounds. As with any dog, its weight will depend on its diet and the amount of exercise. But keep in mind that a heavier dog does not necessarily mean that he is overweight, nor that a leaner dog is a sign of better health.

Physical characteristics

Both German Shepherds and Siberian Huskies are known for their striking looks. They both have angular, upright ears with deep pockets and long, narrow muzzles.

These traits give them an austere to playful appearance. A Shepsky can be expected to inherit these characteristics from the parents.

Also, you can’t mention a husky breed without also noting the possibility of icy blue eyes, or the mysterious combination of two different colored eyes called heterochromia iridum. There is always the possibility that a Shepsky can inherit these traits as well.

Shepsky’s coat

Shepskies come in a range of colors, but there is a guarantee that they will have a thick double coat. So while they’ll love running and playing in colder, snowy weather, they won’t be fond of even taking short walks in hot, sweltering weather.

Desert dwellers would do well to consider other breeds if they are looking for a dog. It’s probably a safe assumption that they won’t want to wander the Mojave Desert in a fur coat, and neither would a Shepsky.

Depending on the parents, you could end up with a dog with hair in shades of black, cream, gold, or red. However, predicting a Shepsky’s color requires a bit of genetic knowledge.

Darker coats tend to be dominant, while lighter colors are a more recessive gene. What this means is that even if one parent has a light coat, but the other has a dark coat, there is a greater chance that the offspring will also have darker coats.

In order to have puppies with light hair, both parents would need to have a light coat themselves, or even white.

The temperament of a Shepsky

A mix of two working dog breeds, a Shepsky is going to have a lot of energy and intelligence. If properly stimulated, they become enthusiastic dogs with a love of learning and a deep loyalty to their owners. In addition, they are very alert and attentive.

However, keeping up with a Shepsky is no small task. Its main characteristic is its high energy level. As a result, it takes an owner who is at the top of his game to successfully match his own temperament with that of his dog.

Training a Shepsky

These dogs are very intelligent. German Shepherds are known for their ability to learn complex commands and perform various tasks.

It is for this reason that they are popular as police dogs or handicap assistants. A Shepsky will likely inherit this cognitive ability from its parents and be ready to put it to good use.

However, this willingness to learn can be tempered by the Husky’s side of the dog. Siberian Huskies are known to have a stubborn streak that can make training a bit more difficult.

But it is far from a hopeless case. Huskies are quite intelligent and respond well to training as long as it is consistent and firm.

Both German Shepherds and Siberian Huskies can display a prey drive, manifested as a tendency to view smaller animals as potential food. One way to curb this urge is to introduce a Shepsky to smaller animals from a very young age.

In this way, the puppy learns to recognize the little furry creatures as friends rather than something to hunt. Otherwise, prepare to see a Shepsky spend his afternoons chasing every squirrel he sees.

Regardless of whether the German Shepherd or Siberian Husky side dominates, once trained a Shepsky will retain what it has learned. And you can always add to it.

They will be happy to test their minds in learning more complex tasks, and they respond well to the use of whistles and clicks as clues. Whether you’re looking for help herding flocks of sheep or just want to have fun in your yard, a Shepsky will be a good choice.

Living with a Shepsky 

Life with a German Shepherd / Husky mix depends a lot on you and the training regimens you implement. You can train one to be a calm dog that enjoys relaxation at home. On the other hand, you can work to make her into a watchdog paragon.

All up to you. Shepskies are highly versatile dogs that can fit into a variety of roles as long as they get the mental and physical exercise they need.

But there is always a need for balance. If you train a Shepsky to be alert and protective, they may go too far and develop a tendency to bark at anything that invades your territory. A squirrel in a tree? Bark. A postman leaving the mail? Double crust. You already realize.

In the same way, if you are looking for a more relaxed dog, it does not mean that you can give up exercise. While they may be happy to snuggle up next to you in front of a fire, a Shepsky will still need to explore, play, and spend a lot of time outdoors.

Although they love spending time indoors with their owners, at heart they are outdoor dogs that enjoy the outdoors and the opportunity to run.

Exercise and diet

The Shepsky is one of the most active mixed dog breeds, requiring a lot of food and physical activity.

A Shepsky comes from a heritage of working dogs, animals that are built for large amounts of physical activity.

Even if you’re not looking for a dog to add to your sled gear for a hike through Alaska, a Shepsky will still need a very active life to stay happy and healthy. And they will need a nutrient-dense diet to match their own.

For a Shepsky, there is a time to snuggle up on a couch, and there is a time to run with the tongue in the air. Both will be vital, but prepare to spend a lot of time with the last one.

Physical

In the absence of real work, a Shepsky is going to need a lot, a lot, a lot of physical exercise anyway. While a human can be content to laze around the house all day, this energetic breed of dog will find much more pleasure on long walks and chasing squirrels around a park.

In general, to keep a Shepsky fit and healthy, he will need a minimum of 45-60 minutes of physical exercise each day, with up to 2 hours recommended to keep him in his best health.

I know it can be tempting to hunch over in the comfort of your couch after a long day at work, and in fact a Shepsky will probably join you. However, these dogs would also appreciate if you would go for a walk or play in the yard.

A good way to deal with the daunting amount of exercise these dogs need is to portion it out rather than trying to do it all at once. This works especially well if you divide responsibilities among family members.

One of you can take the dog for a leisurely walk in the afternoon, another can take the dog for a run in the morning, and another can spend time playing in the yard.

Which brings us to another point: Shepskies will happily hang out indoors, but apartment living isn’t right for them. A patio will be in order. It is not necessary to spread out, but enough space for a dog to run will be the ticket.

Being in the small enclosed space of a room for too long can drag their fitness down and leave them bored, which can result in them chewing on anything from shoes to cables.

Mental

Like other intelligent dog breeds, Shepskies will enjoy the opportunity to use their cognitive abilities. This can take the form of training or games.

With a Shepsky, the opportunities are wider than with other dogs thanks to his above-average intelligence. Besides the tricks, they can learn to do basic tasks like fetching the mail or, obviously, herding sheep.

However, if they are not stimulated properly, they can become bored and restless. So, to keep your minds sharp and happy, a minimum of 15-20 minutes of daily mental exercise is suggested. The good news is that this can often be combined with physical exercise.

One way to meet the Shepskies’ exercise needs is to take a long walk or run. Then they will want to incorporate mental exercise into the rest of their physical exercise through doggy games.

Of course, however you look at it, at least one hour of exercise a day is a commitment, but one that can be highly rewarding. More than a chore, it can be used as a time to bond with your dog, or to keep fit too!

Diet requirements

When it comes to diet, rule number one is to stay in line with the amount of exercise the dog is getting. Shepskies that are less active will need between 1200-1500 calories a day.

On the other hand, those with a more active lifestyle will need a higher caloric intake in the range of 1700-2100.

The weight of the dog must also be taken into account. Smaller dogs, as long as they are fit, will need fewer calories per day and larger ones. To maintain proper caloric levels, it is important to monitor any weight gain or loss your dog experiences.

In addition to keeping an eye on caloric levels, protein and fat are going to be crucial parts of your diet. These dogs expend a lot of energy throughout the day and will need large amounts of these nutrients to replenish and maintain their energy levels.

The exact intake will depend on the size and activity levels of the dog, but a good rule of thumb would be to make sure that protein accounts for around 20% of its nutritional intake, and fats around 5-8%.

These levels will also vary depending on the age of the dog. Younger dogs tend to eat more than older dogs due to the constant growth they are experiencing. In any case, these dogs like to eat, so if you are thinking of owning one, be prepared to carry big bags of food!

Health and medical needs

Despite being robust and generally healthy dogs, there are still some health concerns worth mentioning. And, as always, if you are considering owning a Shepsky, learning the medical history of its parents is vital.

Knowing the diseases or disorders that the puppy could develop later can be very important to recognize the first symptoms and, later, to obtain the appropriate treatment.

Ear infections

This dog has furry ears. And while this coat offers protection, it can also result in dirt and grit build-up that can lead to infection.

To keep those furry ears healthy, be sure to clean them regularly, and watch out for any early signs of infection like redness or scratching.

Cancer

It’s hard to admit, but both German Shepherds and Siberian Huskies are susceptible to developing cancer. Although it is far from common, there is always the possibility.

And like most diseases, early detection can make a big difference in treatment options and success.

Eye conditions

The Shepsky can be potentially vulnerable to various eye conditions including canine glaucoma, corneal dystrophy, juvenile cataracts, and progressive retinal atrophy.

Therefore, it is important to keep an eye on those eyes and have them checked regularly for any abnormalities. Although the treatments are far from perfect, an early diagnosis can help protect your dog’s eyesight.

Elbow and hip dysplasia

This vulnerability comes from both parental lines. What happens is that abnormal development occurs in the elbows and / or hips, which can lead to anything from constant pain to severe loss of mobility.

Your joints can loosen and become unstable, resulting in movement difficulties.

Although there is no guaranteed way to prevent this development, keeping your dog’s weight under control is a good step in the right direction.

Obesity is known to exacerbate and even cause this problem, so being smart about your dog’s diet and exercise can go a long way toward keeping your dog healthy.

Shepskies lifespan 

With a clean general health, the Shepskies’ life expectancy will be between 10 and 13 years. Unfortunately, this is somewhat shorter than other breeds of similar size (for example, purebred Siberian Huskies average 10-15 years old).

However, the advantage that Shepskies have is that, as hybrid dogs tend to be, they are less susceptible to any genetic health problems that can affect purebreds.

Prepare a Shepsky 

Both German Shepherds and Siberian Huskies have thick double coats… which means they will need to be ready to pull out their heavy lint roller on a daily basis.

Brushed

The frequency of brushing will change throughout the year, as the thickness of the coat can vary with the seasons and changes in the weather.

This means that during spring and fall, as the weather changes, a large number of shedding and more frequent brushing sessions can be expected.

Be prepared to give his coat a good brushing at least twice a week, with an extra brushing during the spring and fall. Brushing not only keeps the coat healthy and clean, it helps keep shedding under control.

It is best to have all the hair collected in one place with a brush that will come off at will, covering your home with a real coat of dog hair.

And, despite any seemingly adorable videos you’ve seen on Instagram of shaved huskies, please don’t shave a German Shepherd husky mix. Shaving any dog ​​that has a double coat could cause health problems.

For sensitive dog owners, you may want to see our list of 55 hypoallergenic dog breeds. Shepsky is not recommended for those who suffer from allergies.

Basic hygiene

In addition to brushing, regular baths will keep shedding under control and your dog’s coat and skin healthy. In general, a bath every month or so should be sufficient. But you will know your dog’s needs (and scent) better than anyone.

If they’ve built up a fair amount of dirt from their time outside, then go ahead and wash them off as needed. They most likely don’t complain and are even known to enjoy bath time.

One thing to keep in mind is that during shedding seasons (when shedding gets heavier), you can actually take fewer baths.

The dog is losing hair at such a rapid rate that it would be best to wait until it returns to its regular levels. Otherwise, you will end up with more strands of wet hair in the dog bath.

And, as mentioned in the health section, ear hygiene is very important to a Shepsky! Clean ears mean less chance of infection, which means a happier dog, which means a happier owner.

Is a German Shepherd / Husky Mix Right For You?

You have allergy? Then you will have to look elsewhere (try one of these dogs instead). Unless you’re ready to sneeze all day every day for your Shepsky’s entire life.

Their thick double coat also means they do much better in milder or colder climates. Snow is a bonus. A hot, scorching sun, not so much. They are excellent for people who live in colder mountain regions, for example.

Prepare for engagement. German Shepherd and Husky mixes require the most amount of exercise of all dog breeds. If you are ready to exercise up to two hours a day, then you have found your match. These dogs are great companions for outdoor activities and adventures!

Highly intelligent, the Shepsky can fit into a variety of roles. Whether you have a specific job in mind, or you just want a smart canine companion, you will be pleased at how quickly they can learn and adapt.

Both loyal and social, these dogs are great for families and can even be very good with children. Having one is a huge responsibility, so dividing duties among family members can make it much more manageable. And you can be sure that the dog will love all the extra attention.

conclusion

The Shepskies are innately protective and can help you feel safer at home serving as a guard dog.

But also keep in mind that this may mean that there is a tendency to bark, so if you want to maintain peace and quiet, encouraging a more relaxed nature in the dog from his early years will be a must.

In general, these dogs are friendly and loyal energy packs that do good to individuals who can go toe-to-toe with them, so to speak.

If they are active and outdoors, they will find a friend who is willing to accompany them on their getaways. And then after a long day of activity, they’ll be as happy as you are to sit back and spend some quality time relaxing indoors.

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I love the animals. Reading and writing about them, their customs, their peculiarities or the attention they require is exciting, and I also believe that it makes us better people. I share articles that solve the questions that dog caregivers face on a daily basis.

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