It’s easy to mistake the German Shepherd Husky Mix for an American Alsatian. After all, they do look alike, except that the latter is the product of intense and purposeful breeding undertaken by the Dire Wolf Project in the 1980s. The Gerberian Shepsky is a hybrid that has the awe-inspiring look of a wolf and the magnificent and noble stance of a venerable German working dog. Fearless and intelligent, the Gerberian Shepsky is meant to do work, although, with the proper training and socialization, it can be an excellent family companion. The question now is whether you’re prepared to take this mumbo-jumbo into your home or not. It’s time to find out.
History of the Gerberian Shepsky
Given that the German Shepherd Husky Mix has some peculiar similarities with the American Alsatian, except that it is smaller, we cannot help but wonder if this is an offshoot of the Dire Wolf Project that was initiated in 1988.
Unlike the American Alsatian, however, there are no written records or any documentation of any sort about the origins of the Gerberian Shepsky. We do know that the hybrid dog is a mix of a German Shepherd Dog (GSD) and a Siberian Husky, both highly prized purebreds for their intellect, grace, even temperament, and very strong work ethic. As for when the German Shepherd Husky Mix was first created, we can only offer assumptions.
It was in the latter part of the 20th century and well into the first few years of the 21st that people began seeing many of the designer dog breeds become commonplace. However, this doesn’t mean they were created in the 1990s. Some designer dogs have been around since the 1960s. If designer dog breeds became popular in the 1990s well into the 2000s, then it means they were probably created sometime in the 1980s. This is our assumption, of course, and we’re more than happy to hear your take on the matter.
As for the Gerberian Shepsky, we can only guess that it’s American-made and it probably was created in the 1980s as well.
Who are the Parents?
While it is true that we cannot be certain about the history of the Gerberian Shepsky, this we know with absolute certainty – it’s a mix between a German Shepherd purebred and a Siberian Husky purebred. It does pay to freshen up our memory on just what kind of purebreds we are talking about.
The highly adaptable German Shepherd is at the pinnacle of working dog classification. There is no job on earth that it cannot perform, save perhaps for those that require smaller breeds of dogs to run through small holes in the ground. It’s a natural protector and a very intelligent dog breed. Otherwise, it will not be consistently ranked as the dog world’s number 3 Einstein.
Loyal fans of the GSD don’t consider it as a breed; it’s a lifestyle. True enough, having a German Shepherd in your home means you’re the Alpha. This fearless, athletic, and truly versatile dog can be taught almost anything. It may have started its journey in the dog world as a shepherd’s venerable herder, but it is now a multi-role canine that has seen service in different sectors of society. It is a detector dog, a guide and assistance dog, a military and police canine, a search and rescue hound, and even a therapy dog.
Put it in any canine sport and it will bring home the bacon in herding, obedience, agility, tracking, and rally events. It’s a champion breed that deserves only the pet parent who can truly bring out the best in it.
The Golden Retriever is best known for its love for life. But, there is another breed that loves life even more passionately than the Golden Retriever. The Siberian Husky grew up very close with its Chukchi family that even their babies nursed from these dogs and cuddled up to them when the bitter cold of the Arctic was simply unbearable.
The Siberian Husky has a certain sense of humor that its family will definitely find amusing. It is very eager, not to please its master but to work. Despite its wolfish appearance, it is a gentle and friendly dog that is never aggressive towards other canines or overtly suspicious of unknown persons. This makes it a very unlikely candidate for protector and guardian of your family.
However, when it comes to an outgoing personality, very few dog breeds can beat the enthusiasm and passion of the Husky for enjoying life. This is the kind of dog that wants to live its life worry-free. It wants to play in the snow and snuggle up to you at night. If Pumba and Timon were to meet Balto, they’d be singing Hakuna Matata for the rest of their lives.
It is quite difficult to provide a very standardized description of what the German Shepherd Husky Mix is. As we’ve said before, this is one thing you have to accept when it comes to hybrids or crossbreeds. Nevertheless, what we are going to share with you are the general observations about the most common defining characteristics of the Gerberian Shepsky.
- The Gerberian Shepsky can be highly varied, owing to the genetic difference between the parents. It can be as short as 20 inches or as tall as 25 inches when measured at the shoulders.
- The weight can be highly variable, too. The lightest Gerberian Shepsky can weigh around 45 pounds while the heaviest it can get is at 90 pounds. Still, there is a possibility that the German Shepherd Husky Mix can reach up to 95 pounds while some may come in at 35 pounds as the minimum.
- On the average, a GSH Mix can live up to 13 years, plus or minus 2 to 3 years often depending on its health and barring any incident.
- The GSH Mix can have a wolf-like face complete with the pointed ears of its parents.
- The Gerberian Shepsky can have the piercing blue eyes of its Siberian Husky parent, provided that the gene coding for such a trait is more dominant.
- Gerberian Shepskies have a dense, double coat and are known to shed moderately. The German Shepherd is a major ‘blower’ in the canine kingdom while the Siberian Husky sheds moderately.
- The coat of the GSH Mix is usually black, although brownish black is also common. It is also possible that the coat can take on a different color depending on the dominant trait of the parents. It can be blue, white, cream, or red or even a combination of brown and white, light brown and golden, and black and white.
Things You Should Know
Getting a hybrid dog is a hit-or-miss kind of thing. This is an instance where Forest Gump’s chocolate analogy can be put to the test. So, if you’re intent on getting a German Shepherd Husky Mix into your abode, make sure you understand the uncertainty that comes with owning a designer dog breed. Here’s what you should know.
The GSD is the number 3 Einstein in the dog kingdom while the Siberian Husky is not really that far behind at number 45. This should give you an idea of just how smart your GSH Mix can be. If it gets most of its intelligence from the GSD, then you can expect the Gerberian Shepsky to be easily trainable as long as you can act like a pack leader. As for the Siberian Husky, it is intelligent, too. However, it has this stubborn streak that can test the limits of your patience. It will also test your ability to be its team leader.
Regardless of whose genetic trait is more dominant, you can always rely on the Gerberian Shepsky to respond well to training methods that play well to the dog’s natural instincts. It loves to please so the more pleasant things it receives out of performing a particular task, the more it gets motivated to keep on doing the same task. However, for this to be truly successful, you should start training the Gerberian Shepsky the moment it enters your life as a puppy. Don’t wait until it reaches its first birthday. You just cannot imagine how much knowledge and skills a puppy can absorb even at 8 weeks.
The Gerberian Shepsky is a high-energy, working designer dog. As such it needs plenty of calories to supply its needs. However, keep its carbs to a minimum since a dog of this size will benefit more from a high-protein diet. Moreover, it is critical to give only animal-based proteins as these come with complete essential amino acids. You can also give dog food that contains plant-based proteins, but these should never be the first ingredient on the list. Be mindful of the fat content. Ideally, you’d want a higher ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 essential fatty acids. The closer the ratio to 1:1, the better it is in terms of the GSH Mix’s coat, skin, immune system, nervous system, and cardiovascular health.
Unfortunately, there are dog owners who do not exercise their pets or who may think the that GSH Mix is a lot better being a lap dog than it is a working dog. While they don’t have the tendency to become overweight, not watching the amount of food they eat while limiting their physical activities to just lying on their doggie bed and walking to the food bowl is always a recipe for canine obesity.
Both parents of the Gerberian Shepsky are highly respected working dogs. One is a shepherd’s reliable herder while the other is a musher’s best friend. It is for this reason that the GSH Mix will expect its owner to take it for a walk for about 60 minutes, two times a day. If you don’t like walking or even jogging, then you can take it to the dog park so it can run as freely as it wants. Alternatively, you can also spend about an hour or two of playing with the Gerberian Shepsky. Fetching toys, pulling on kiddie carts and wagons, and even running a modified obstacle course are favorites.
Do not forget mental stimulation. Exercise can only do so much to keep your GSH Mix stimulated. Giving it puzzle toys or even interactive doggie playthings can help sharpen the cognition of this designer hybrid. Do this and you’ll be saving yourself from the otherwise destructive tendencies of a bored German Shepherd Husky Mix.
One of the most striking things about the Gerberian Shepsky is its wolf-like appearance. People seeing it for the first time will instantly be shell-shocked. And if it happens to take on the height of its GSD parent, the more that it will look fearsome. But underneath this wolf-like appearance is a Teddy Bear just waiting to be let out into the open. It loves kids, but you’d have to be careful with very small children as they may get squished by this large dog. Also, they may not yet fully understand why they cannot pull off Fido’s ears or tail whenever they feel like it.
There’s one issue about the Gerberian Shepsky that you really have to think about. If you have small pets like cats, gerbils, and hamsters, you may want to reconsider getting a GSH Mix. The prey drive of a Siberian Husky may be triggered by these small animals and you don’t want that to happen to your hapless little pets. However, if you can promise that you’ll socialize the Gerberian Shepsky puppy as soon as it arrives in your home or if you can make sure that it grows together with the other pets in your household, then all will be well.
The dense coat of the Gerberian Shepsky means it needs twice to thrice weekly combing and brushing. But if you can do it every day then it will be a lot better for the dog since this will help prevent tangles and mats as the designer breed is especially prone to have. If the GSH Mix has more GSD in its blood, expect it to shed heavily. This means you’ve got to be ready with the pet hair vacuum as well as the deshedding comb or brush. If it’s the Siberian Husky that has a more dominant effect on its coat, then you’ll only need to help in the deshedding process during the summer.
Regardless of the grooming requirements of the GSH Mix, it is imperative that it receive dental care every day or at least every other day. Don’t wait for tartar and plaque to start building up before you even begin thinking about brushing the teeth. Its nails need to be clipped every 3 to 4 weeks while its ears have to be cleaned after thorough inspection every 2 weeks.
The Siberian Husky is a relatively robust breed. The German Shepherd, on the other hand, can have a variety of serious health problems that may be transmitted to the GSH Mix. As such, you can almost always expect the German Shepherd Husky Mix to be afflicted with hip dysplasia, eye problems, bloat, allergies, back problems, epilepsy, heart problems, and many more. You’d definitely want the designer dog breeder to disclose to you the health problems of the GSH Mix’s parents or its ancestors to get you up-to-speed with its health.
You’ll know the German Shepherd Husky Mix is right for you if you…
- Have a large backyard with the high fence to let the GSH Mix roam free and have its exercise
- Promise to train it using only positive reinforcement techniques and as early as a puppy
- Commit to socializing it with other pets
- Teach your small children how to properly pet a Gerberian Shepsky
- Love the great outdoors and have lots of energy to play and exercise
- Are not a first-time owner of a dog
Forget owning a Gerberian Shepsky if you…
- Are allergic or hypersensitive to dander
- Hate getting off your couch to exercise
- Intend to turn the GSH Mix into a lapdog
Alert and intelligent, the German Shepherd Husky Mix is a mild-mannered large dog that can have the even temperament of a German Shepherd mixed with the friendliness and gentle nature of a Siberian Husky. It loves its family as well as the other pets that live with them. However, this temperament can only be ascertained if the GSH Mix has been properly socialized and trained right from the beginning.
It is a confident designer dog breed and this can be readily seen in its elegant and noble pose. It is fiercely loyal to its family and thrives in the affection and attention that is shown its way. It is never aggressive to other people, even strangers, although it still has the reserved, watchful, and cautious nature of the GSD.
The German Shepherd Husky Mix is the closest thing one can ever get to bringing home a Teddy Bear in a Wolf costume. Give it the correct training, early socialization, plenty of stimulating activities, and the right nutrition and it will reward you with its undying loyalty.
- 14 Things You Didn’t Know About German Shepherd Husky Mixes, Husky Shepherd