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9 Things to Know Before Getting a German Shepherd Husky Mix

Does the German Shepherd Husky Mix or Shepsky have the potential to be your next dog?

The thought behind crossing these breeds may spring from good intentions, but I’ll dive deeper into the pros and cons of such a mix.

As the name suggests, the German Shepherd originates from Germany and is a breed that is deeply interwoven with the German culture.

Its popularity has spread worldwide which is not a surprise considering their desirable traits and talents.

The Siberian Husky is a favorite all around the world, whether as a sled dog or as a fluffy companion.

Their thick double coat developed over the course of hundreds of years while facing the sub-zero temperatures in Siberia.

There definitely are a couple of things you have to think about before bringing a German Shepherd Husky mix puppy into your home.

The differences between these breeds range from temperament to how they behave with your family as well as trainability.

Furthermore, there’s absolutely no advantage to getting a crossbreed from a breeder.

Combining two breeds is genetic gambling and you’re better off buying either one of these breeds which also limits possible health issues.

This post is for those wanting to inform themselves about the poor souls that are currently sitting in shelters because somebody thought it’d be awesome to have one of these designer dogs.

We’ll look into the following points:

  1. Trainability
  2. Exercise/Strengths
  3. Temperament
  4. Leadership
  5. Grooming/Coat
  6. How big German Shepherd Husky puppies get
  7. Apartment living
  8. Cost of German Shepherd Husky pup
  9. Diet

After reading this article, you’ll know exactly what the differences and similarities between these two breeds are.

I always like to drop a couple of thoughts before diving in to make sure you know what you’re getting into with mixed breed puppies.

While getting a mixed breed is totally okay if you’re adopting rescues, it’s always hard to predict how any individual dog will turn out since they can definitely lean more into the direction of one or another breed.

Positive and negative.

Imagine a 50/50 split of desirable/undesirable behavioral traits for the German Shepherd and the same split for the Husky. How could your dog turn out?

  • Obedience and loyalty from the German Shepherd, independent thinking from the Husky
  • Tendency to police and bark at other dogs as well as the jumpiness of a Husky in city life
  • All the best traits from one breed and the bad from the other

Your pup’s temperament can be determined genetically which can look like this: 10/90, 20/80, 30/70, and so on and the same for the other way with 90/10, 80/20, etc.

Just keep in mind that mixed breeds can be unpredictable when it comes to their character.

Lifespan10-14 years
Weight40-80 pounds (18-36 kg)
Height20-25 inches (50-63 cm)
Activity LevelHigh

1. How To Train a German Shepherd Husky Mix

The German Shepherd is known to be very eager to please.

Why do you think the police force and military are using the German Shepherd so much?

Sure, a Doberman can do the job just fine and there are definitely dog breeds that have stronger olfactory senses or harder bites to chase down subjects but they may not be willing to undoubtedly obey every command in every situation.

German Shepherd Husky Mix is laying in the yard.

They are too intelligent to outright obey everything which can sometimes be perceived as stubborn.

Does that mean the German Shepherd is not smart?

Absolutely not. In fact, the German Shepherd is often cited as one of the smartest dog breeds, right after their cousin the Belgian Shepherd, also known as Malinois.

It’s just that they’re just so eager to please that they don’t have to question these commands. Their will to please outranks their intelligence.

How trainable is the German Shepherd Husky mix? Well, the Husky is known to be quite independent by design.

It’s their job to make decisions in hazardous conditions of the deepest winter and they’re pretty intelligent too.

So even though pairing these two very smart dog breeds makes sense at the first glance, a Shepherd Husky mix might not be as easy to train as imagined.

That being said, pairing a German Shepherd with a Husky that is more agreeable can certainly help.

Genetics and temperament of the parents always play a pretty big role.

2. How To Exercise Your German Shepherd Husky Mix

The original purposes of the German Shepherd vastly differ from that of the Siberian Husky.

German Shepherds are true all-purpose workaholics most commonly found in the following sports:

  • Tracking
  • Schutzhund
  • Police/military force

A lot of people get German Shepherd Husky mixes to get that protective instinct that the German Shepherd has.

This is not always the case and even a purebred may struggle with protection without proper direction and training.

That doesn’t mean you should start protection training with your mixed breed or even purebred on your own.

Always consult a professional to avoid teaching your dog negative behavior patterns (barking at strangers on walks, lunging at dogs, and so on).

Let’s take a look at the Husky.

Huskies are incredibly enduring. How could they not, they were bred to run hundreds of miles in very cold climates.

But their original working purpose was quite specific and they may need to have an outlet for this desire to run.

A Husky German Shepherd mix may not be into snuffle mats or toys as much as you’d like him to but needs mental stimulation nonetheless.

Training your dog early on will prevent behavioral issues in the future and gets your dog used to brain training.

Since both breeds are relatively high energy, you need to walk your Shepsky at least twice a day for a minimum of 30-60 minutes each walk.

3. German Shepherd Husky Mix Temperament

Is the German Shepherd Husky good for families?

The German Shepherd is known to be a formidable family dog while the Husky can be quite reserved.

German Shepherd Husky mix infographic.

Huskies are used to living and working in a pack and can be very sociable animals while Shepherds develop a deep bond with their owners.

Although pairing these two breeds can produce great family dogs, there are other large dog breeds that are even suitable for apartment living out there that are very patient with children and also perfect for guarding them or your property.

4. What Can I Expect From a German Shepherd Husky Mix?

Expect to have a very smart dog that will challenge you throughout the day.

He will probably grow to a medium to large-sized dog with a weight of about 45 to 80 pounds.

Both dogs are working breeds so you can expect a Shepsky to have high exercise needs.

A task or daily job would keep them the happiest.

5. Grooming

Both dog breeds can have relatively similar coat types.

Huskies have a thick double coat, meaning an undercoat plus guard hair.

While the undercoat is soft and dense, the guard hairs are straight and somewhat smooth.

Due to this double coat, they’re better off in cold climates while the German Shepherd comes in a long-haired and short-haired version.

Depending on which exact dogs you pair, the coat can turn out quite differently.

Be ready for shedding seasons with both these dogs.

6. How Big Does a German Shepherd Husky Mix Get?

You can expect your male German Shepherd Husky mix to be 22-25 in (56-63 cm) with a weight of 50-80 lbs (23-36 kg).

Female German Shepherd Husky mixes range from 20-24 in (50-60 cm), weighing in at 40-70 lbs (18-31 kg).

German Shepherd plays in the Husky with an equally sized Husky.

The breed standard for the German Shepherd mentions the following:

Male – Height: 24-26 inches (60-65 cm) | Weight: 66-88 lbs (30-40 kg)

Female – Height: 22-24 in (55-60 cm) | Weight: 49-71 lbs (22-32kg)

And here are the regular sizes and weights for Huskies:

Male – Height: 21–23 1/2 in (53-60 cm) | Weight: 45-60 lbs (20-27 kg)

Female – Height: 20–22 in (50-56 cm) | Weight: 35-50 lbs (16-23 kg)

The difference between these two dog breeds is not huge.

7. Apartment Living

Can you live in an apartment with a high-energy dog like the German Shepherd Husky mix? It depends.

Although many people argue that large dog breeds need a big yard and house, that’s just not true.

If you provide your dog with an outlet for his exercise needs (which means lots of walks, play, and training) then there should be absolutely no problem.

However, their tendency for high pitched barks or howling may cause problems with your neighbors.

Proper training will help in teaching your dog the quiet command.

An apartment is not meant to be a playground for your dog and rather a place to unwind from outside activities.

If your environment doesn’t allow for sufficient exercise, a yard is definitely needed.

8. How Much Do German Shepherd Husky Puppies Cost?

Mixed breed dogs tend to be sold for less than purebred dogs.

However, the minimum price for a German Shepherd Husky mix is $500 – $1,000.

Would I advise you to buy a mixed breed from a breeder? Definitely not.

There are far too many mixed breeds sitting in shelters and waiting to be chosen.

If you do decide to go with a breeder nonetheless, make sure you’re in for a behavioral surprise and only buy from breeders that test their dogs for health.

As long as there are no other breeds (often happens with mixes) or diseases in their ancestry, you should be fine.

Beware of breeders that charge a premium for the popular two-colored eyes that come from the Husky.

Make sure to check out my breeder questions before you fall victim to scammers or backyard breeders.

9. Perfect Diet For Your Husky German Shepherd Mix

Both dog breeds are relatively healthy if you buy from the right lines.

Avoid the German Shepherds with the curved back and only go for straight-back German Shepherds.

Sloped back German Shepherd Husky mixes might come with hip issues and it’s an unnecessary risk to take.

As far as diet goes, I’m a fan of the raw diet but any high-quality kibble or wet food with all the nutrients can work just fine. Make sure to talk to a veterinarian or nutritionist first.

Do you have a German Shepherd Husky mix? Share with us your experiences in the comments below!

Disclaimer: I’m opposed to deliberate cross-breeding of any glorified designer dog breed. The resulting dog is a genetic gamble in terms of health and temperament and offers no advantage to a health-tested, properly selected purebred puppy.

Check out my article discussing the most relevant scientific study on this topic.

Disclaimer: This blog post does not substitute veterinary attention and does not intend to do so. I am not a veterinarian or pet nutritionist. If your dog shows any sign of illness, call your vet.

About Danielle

I am the founder of PawLeaks where I share weekly tips on dog training and behavior. Sharing a passion for dogs and helping owners to solve problems through understanding canine behavior and modification is my number one goal.

Mare_NY

Friday 20th of January 2023

Before anyone adopts they must make sure they have a safe place for them to run around outside... fenced in or wireless system... dogs need free space... toy and smaller breeds not as much.... You must dedicate time to be home, go for walks, socialize and train... all important including knowing the expenses...

I Love My Husky/Shepherd Mutt and the rest of my recued fur babies!! He was a rescued from NSAL, we adopted him when he was 3 months old on 12/29/2006 - He's 16 yrs 4 moths old healthy -He may be an odl man - but he's my happy baby boy to this date 1/19/2023 - He's a lovable loyal dog!!

He was a great watch dog and protector not so long ago.. - he was Socilaized - as soon as he could be around other dogs and surfaces! My baby was good with kids and when anyone came over - he was alert and he would stand inbetween if someone got to close to the leader of his pack (Me) and other family members as well he felt was threat and waited for command - "it's okay".... (Yelling/raided angry voices was not allowed) he enjoyed playing with squeaky toys mostly and he was an excellenct frizbe catcher as well......He had an acre fo wireless fence system to run around.... My dogs were not allowed outside unless someone was home. He was great when I took in a rescue cat and other puppies as well.... at 16 he's not quite as playful - he can still get around on his own pretty good for an old man!... needing a little guidance/assistance getting up two steps from our livingroom.....

There is nothing greater than the love of your loyal companions... Treat them well!

Linda

Tuesday 17th of January 2023

I got a 6wk old Shepherd-Husky mix as an early Christmas present after I told my grandson "NO, I'm too old to train that kind of dog." I had one that I adopted as an adult from a shelter. He was an amazing, loving dog but needed lots of training to learn my property boarders. Once it was safe to let him run (about 30 min a day) the "in the house crazy" stopped. I lost him 5 years ago to cancer. I've also raised an amazing shepherd from a pup when I was younger. I didn't go into this blind from the training/exercise perspective. But... less than 24 hrs after the pup arrived he started acting insane running in circles and headlong into things, barking, howling, biting, drooling, and tearing things up. It was the zoomies on steroids. I thought he had rabies until he calmed down and fell asleep. Then he had a short seizure that we saw. Vet said contain him after a seizure and don't touch him because he is disoriented. And, that he is blind and his prognosis is poor. She sent us home with NO medication. The "accidental" breeder said there was one other blind pup in the litter, offered another pup and our $$ back-we said no thankyou. Five mores seizures 2 days later. Took him to a different vet. She kept him for the day for testing. He wasn't totally blind but was mildly anemic, nothing else was abnormal. She prescribed meds and a diet change. Breeder now said 3 other pups were having seizures. Duke hasn't had a seizure since his second dose of medication. He is far sighted, super trainable, eager to learn, affectionate, and "puppy calm" as long as he can drag something heavy around the floor and get lots of play time with me and my other other 2 dogs. It's my job to warn people about his vision before they approach him. Moral of the story... AKC registered parents are no guarantee of a healthy pup but don't give up on a pup if they aren't perfectly healthy! Duke is absolutely perfect to me!

Danielle

Tuesday 17th of January 2023

Hi Linda, yes you should not give up on any dog after getting them, one can only imagine what unethical breeders do with dogs that are taken back. However, it's also best to do research beforehand, not only to ensure you get a healthy pup, but also to stop these unethical breeders from profiting.

AKC registration is definitely not a guarantee, it's just one part and there are other kennel clubs out there too. It's the health testing, hip/elbow x-rays, vision tests, ultrasounds, other conditions, temperament, etc. not just the papers.

Glad it worked out for you in the end, Danielle

Brittany

Tuesday 10th of January 2023

I just recently adopted GSH/husky mix couple months ago from his former owner. she told us that he was fully trained but I had an feeling he wasn't fully trained because he just ran out of the door without his leash when my fiancé have to go to the doctor appointment. I had to grab the leash and we had to go to get him. he think this was fun game but I am afraid that he can get hurt. how can we stop that from happening again. We live in apartment complex

Danielle

Tuesday 10th of January 2023

Hi Brittany, so in my opinion, two of the most important commands are a reliable recall & release command (which also helps with issues like dogs bolting through doors or any threshold really). I've linked you both articles.

By teaching that, your dog is able to respect thresholds and you avoid chasing after him. It's also helpful for daily life.

Let me know if you have any other questions, Danielle

Deb

Friday 16th of December 2022

Hello. I hope I can get a response, as I see this is an old article. I recently acquired a shepsky in the intent of only being a foster parent. He is 1-2 yrs old. His first home was with small children whom he loved but was too big and too much for them and therefore spent much time in his crate. I felt bad for him and took him in. This was a huge step for me, because I am and have always been a cat person. I've never owned a dog! Ok, long story short, I understood the undesirable behaviors I dealt with and why they were there. Even as a cat person, I tried to give him at least 2 walks a day, but I work long hours and my 2 sons did not help with him. They had no patience with him and were mad at me for taking him in. He is a handful to say the least. But, I love him and wanted him to be as happy and comfortable as possible. I tried different avenues to find him his forever home but people kept flaking out. I became desperate and gave him up to a supposed dog person on house arrest! He assured me he loved dogs, was a dog whisperer..I know what you are thinking. Yes, I am an idiot and this dog has every right to be mad at me. I won't go into detail, but, he ended up running away from that man and ended up in a shelter 2 hours from me. I went to get him back yesterday and now he is outside on a run chain in my yard in a quiet neighborhood. I am home, but he is very rambunctious in the house. I want the inside to be as a calm sanctuary, as you mentioned in the apartment living section. My son's will appreciate him more and hate me less. Please advise me on the best way I can help him at this point. I am low income but I live in a nice quiet and crime free neighborhood. There is a very small dog park in which I have to pay to be able to take him, but it is my next step. Behavior I want to squash is as follows: Jumping up on people

Running back and forth with the zoomies and on the furniture(including the table)in the small space of my living and dining room

Chewing up random even scary items. He often does this when he knows I'm getting ready to go to work. Seems to be an effort to get me to chase after him to retrieve said object

Darting full speed ahead out the door pulling me so hard, I've fallen down my steps (because of my outdoor ca)

Pulling me instead of walking with me on our walks. He is only getting stronger, the handsome boy

Thank you!

Christine

Tuesday 3rd of January 2023

@Danielle, I have one and my son has one. Best dogs ever!!!

Danielle

Friday 16th of December 2022

Hi Deb, so it sounds as if there's a real lack of structure in this dog's life. You need to make up your mind about keeping the dog and if you do, commit to him. Everybody needs to be on board, especially if you can't be around all day. You might try explaining that to your sons but I'm not sure how receptive they are to that idea. Keeping the dog outside is not a solution.

Regarding your issues: Jumping, zoomies inside the house, chewing up random items, pulling all seem to have one core reason: Lack of exercise.

Stimulate your dog mentally (puzzles, scent work, obedience training) and physically (walks, lots of smelling, playtime) and you'll notice these behaviors will go down considerably. As long as your dog's exercise needs are not met, he will pace around the house, what other way is there to get rid of the energy?

Here are a couple of articles that might help for jumping, chewing stuff up (similar principle to puppy biting), and leash training. I have lots of articles regarding specific issues, let me know if you need more help but these should be good as starting points.

Cheers, Danielle

dorene

Thursday 8th of December 2022

I have a Husky Shepherd mix that I adopted from a shelter when he was a puppy. Best dog ever! He’s calm, absolutely loves kids- more than any other dog I’ve had, and barks if he hears a stranger or delivery driver, etc. and he’s gentle when taking food from our hand. He is a bit clumsy though since he’ll step on your feet and not care, he’ll just stay there, and he’s heavy/muscular so when he steps on you, it’s with a heavy paw. We’re so happy with him that I’m planning on getting another one in the Spring.

Danielle

Thursday 8th of December 2022

Hi Dorene, sounds great. Many larger breeds can be a bit clumsy, I know my Rottweiler certainly is too. Bringing home another pup is always a great feeling, but make sure your dog knows the doggy 101 first (socialized, no separation anxiety, etc. etc.).

Cheers, Danielle