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Gerberian Shepsky (German Shepherd & Siberian Husky Mix): Info, Pictures, Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Gerberian Shepsky

Height: 20-25 inches
Weight: 45-88 pounds
Lifespan: 12-13 years
Colors: White, cream, red, brown, blue, black (usually a combination)
Suitable for: Police or guard duty, experienced dog owner families with plenty of room to run, highly active owners
Temperament: Affectionate, intelligent, loyal, active, playful

The Gerberian Shepsky may just be the ultimate working dog. This half-German Shepherd, half-Siberian Husky breed was born to work. And they’ve more than earned their chops. Shepskies have served on guard, police, and military forces — not to mention search-and-rescue operations.

But the Gerberian Shepsky is not just working hard, they love hard too. These dogs are super affectionate and loyal to their families, and there’s nothing more they love after a hard day’s work than playing with their owners.

Gerberian Shepskies are non-stop action and extremely smart. And while this seems like a perfect combination, there can be some real challenges when raising a Shepsky because of this. But if you’ve got the energy to keep up, this breed can make for an excellent addition to your family.

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German Shepherd & Husky Mix Puppies

Gerberian Shepsky puppy
Image credit: Ovidiu Constantin Moraru, Shutterstock

If you’re looking for a great stay-at-home couch potato, the Gerberian Shepsky is not for you. Don’t get us wrong, our Shepsky will love to snuggle with you. But you can almost guarantee they’ll be flopping and rolling around even in their moments of peace.

The Gerberian Shepsky gets this lightning energy from both sides of their family tree, particularly the Siberian Husky branch, and it’s this energy and enthusiasm that can make raising a Shepsky difficult.

These pups need serious stimulation. There’s no happier Shepsky than a working, active Shepsky. They can run for miles on end and still crave for more. Essentially, these are among the worst dogs to keep in an apartment. Shepskies can also have severe separation anxiety and, if left alone to their own devices for too long, can cause extreme destruction to their environment.

So, if you don’t have that kind of energy or living arrangement suited for their physical and mental needs, it’s best to find another breed.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Gerberian Shepsky

1. The Gerberian Shepsky is an officially recognized dog breed.

While many designer dogs aren’t officially recognized, both the Dog Registry of America Inc. and the American Canine Hybrid Club recognize the Gerberian Shepsky as an official breed.

2. This breed is the Captain America of dogs.

Whereas Captain America was designed to be a super-soldier, the Shepsky was originally designed to become a hybrid super-working dog. By combining a German Shepherd and a Siberian Husky, breeders developed an unstoppable breed ready for action at any given notice. Unfortunately, this extreme hyperactivity has led many owners to abandon them to shelters for lack of ability to keep up.

3. Gerberian Shepskies can have heterochromatic eyes.

Like their Siberian husky parents, Shepskies can have two different color eyes. While the most common eyes are brown, it’s not strange to see them sporting blue eyes. And it’s not even surprising to see them with one blue and one brown.

The parent breeds of Gerberian Shepsky
The parent breeds of Gerberian Shepsky: Left – Siberian Husky (SonjaLindberg, Pixabay) | Right – German Shepherd (Jana Ohajdova, Unsplash)

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Temperament & Intelligence of the German Shepherd and Husky Mix 🧠

The Gerberian Shepsky is the definition of keeping it 100%. They work hard, play hard, and love hard. There’s very little in-between, and that’s not just due to their seemingly endless energy either.

These dogs are super smart as well. They respond exceptionally well to vocal commands and absolutely love to be needed. However, without proper stimulation, Shepskies will find a way to stimulate themselves. This can lead to very mischievous acts and destruction of property and furniture.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

This all really depends on your own family dynamic. At their base, the Gerberian Shepsky is loving, loyal, and very affectionate with anyone in their pack. That makes them excellent family dogs. They’re even very patient and compassionate with children.

However, if you can’t provide the proper stimulation, they may begin to play a little too rough. Not necessarily through biting though — more like they’ll bowl over smaller children by bouncing around. But they’re as loyal as they come and have no qualms defending their pack if challenged.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets? 🐶 😽

If raised together with another dog, your Gerberian Shepsky can actually do quite well. Another dog could provide a playmate and help keep up with their intense needs, but you wouldn’t necessarily want to have them around cats or other smaller animals.

Shepskies have a huge prey drive. They love to chase — and subsequently capture — smaller animals, such as cats, squirrels, rabbits, etc.

Gerberian Shepsky
Image Credit: Ovidiu Constantin Moraru, Shutterstock

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Things to Know When Owning a Gerberian Shepsky

Aside from their intense need for physical and mental stimulation, there are some other key things you need to know about Shepskies in order to best raise one.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Shepskies are large, active dogs and require a large amount of food each day. You should be feeding your pup on average 3 cups of food a day. Each Shepsky is different, so you’ll need to consult your vet on the best type of food for them. Normally though, you should opt for a high-protein diet with plenty of healthy fats and complex carbs. This will help to keep your Shepsky happy, healthy, and active.

Exercise 🐕

If you haven’t realized by now, we’ll say it again. The Gerberian Shepsky needs all the exercise it can get. You should be able to devote at least two hours every day to your pup’s exercise regimen, and these are some of the absolute best dogs to take with you on a run or bike ride. It’ll seem like they can go on forever. If given the choice, they just might.

Smiling Gerberian Shepsky
Image Credit: Ovidiu Constantin Moraru, Shutterstock

Training 🦮

Normally when training a designer dog breed, the ease of training of the parentage is a major factor. And training a Siberian Husky isn’t necessarily the easiest thing to do. After all, Huskies are often very stubborn and headstrong.

However, this is often where the German Shepherd side of the Shepsky shines through. German Shepherds are much easier to train than many dogs, and they normally pass that trait down to their Shepsky offspring.

Grooming ✂️

If you plan on owning a Gerberian Shepsky, you might just want to go ahead and accept that dog hair is going to be a part of your life. And they’re not allergy friendly either, so if you or your family have dog allergies, you may want to reconsider adopting a Shepsky.

But if you’re quite alright with dog hair, you’ll want to brush them at least twice a week with a nice comb. A rubbered bristle brush may seem like a good option, but it’ll just pull out more hair than needed. The Gerberian Shepsky also doesn’t need excessive bathing either; that’ll just strip their coats of their natural protective oils. Once a month ought to do the trick.

Health Conditions ❤️

When it comes to health, Gerberian Shepskies are generally robust dogs, which is great because of their working nature.

Minor Conditions
  • Cataracts
Serious Conditions
  • Bloat
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Epilepsy
  • Patellar luxation
  • Progressive retinal atrophy

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Male vs. Female

The breed doesn’t exhibit too many differences between the male and female Gerberian Shepsky. However, a large male can be significantly larger than a smaller female. A bigger-sized male can weigh 88 pounds and a smaller female weigharound 45 pounds. That’s almost twice the weight!

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Final Thoughts

Gerberian Shepskies are a very special and loving breed. They were specially bred to be the absolute best working dogs out there, and you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who’d disagree with their ability to perform.

However, it’s because of this particular trait that you see many people abandon or discard this breed. They can be overbearing and too much to handle. But if you’ve got what it takes to give one of these pooches a forever home, you might want to consider adoption.

The Gerberian Shepsky is not as uncommon as you’d think in rescues and shelters, and we’re sure they’d be absolutely delighted to go home with someone willing to give them the love and respect they deserve.

See also: 

Featured Image Credit: Ovidiu Constantin Moraru, Shutterstock

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