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.
We’ll look into the following points:
- How big German Shepherd Husky puppies get
- Apartment living
- Cost of German Shepherd Husky pup
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.
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.
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 plays a pretty big role.
2. How To Exercise Your German Shepherd Husky Mix
Original purposes of the German Shepherd vastly differ from that of the Siberian Husky.
The German Shepherd is a true all-purpose workaholic most commonly found in the following sports:
- Police/military force
A lot of people get German Shepherds 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 get 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.
Huskies are used to living and working in a pack and can be very sociable animals while Shepherds develops a deep bond with their owner.
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.
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?
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’s the regular sizes and weight 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. You can expect your male German Shepherd to 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).
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, 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 disease 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.