German Shepherd Husky Mix: The Gerberian Shepsky Guide

German Shepherd Husky Mix in a Park

The German shepherd husky mix often called the Gerberian shepsky or just shepsky is half German shepherd and half Siberian husky.

The shepsky is a designer breed that is becoming more and more popular due to its loyal, intelligent, and protective nature.

The shepsky is also a popular breed for a family with children or those who want a trusty guard dog.

Shepsky Traits and Characteristics

German Shepherd and Husky Mix Facts
Breed Type Designer/Hybrid breed
Suitable For Families with children
Size 22 to 25 inches (male) or 20 to 22 inches (female)
Weight 55 to 80 pounds (male) or 45 to 60 pounds (female)
Lifespan 10 – 13 years
Color Variations Tan, brown and black, or grey and white
Temperament Loyal, protective, outgoing, intelligent, and playful
Activity Levels Upwards of 120 minutes per day
Daily Food Consumption An inactive Gerberian shepsky will require up to 1,600 calories per day while an active dog requires 2,400 calories per day (split between two meals)
Known Health Issues Elbow and hip dysplasia, cataracts

Shepsky Appearance and Pictures

  • A dark coat, blue eyed shepsky @dogs_in_wolfsuits Instagram

Because the shepsky is a hybrid breed, the American Kennel Club does not officially recognize it, so there is no standard appearance.

A shepsky might have the thinner build of a Siberian husky or the sturdier build of a German shepherd.

The shepsky is a medium to large-sized dog that, regardless of its build, has a long, thick, double-coat. A shepsky’s coat comes in a range of different colors from the darker German shepherd side of brown and tan with black, to the lighter husky side of greys and whites.

The shepsky’s face is large and broad with erect ears.

Their eyes are either brown like the German shepherd’s or blue or green like the Siberian husky’s. Some shepskies even have one blue eye and one brown eye.

Shepskies also have a wolf-like appearance due to their husky parents.

Shepsky Height and Weight

Height Weight
Male 22 – 25 inches 55 – 80 pounds
Female 20 – 22 inches 45 – 60 pounds

A full grown German shepherd husky mix will range between 20 to 25 inches in height, and weigh from 45 to 80 pounds, with the female tending to be on the smaller end of the scale.

Shepsky Personality and Temperament

Shepskies are affectionate, loving dogs that are always alert and fiercely loyal to their owners and family.

The shepsky will try to protect its owner and family from anything, making this breed a perfect guard dog.

Shepskies are also highly intelligent and learn quickly and willingly, making them easy to train as puppies.

However, these dogs need a lot of attention and exercise, or they become bored and develop negative habits such as howling or excessive chewing.

Taking Care of a Shepsky

Shepskies are energetic dogs that require a lot of exercises, grooming, and mental stimulation.

Providing them with opportunities to socialize with other pets and children when they are puppies is also important. Shepskies love playing with others and need to learn how to play and interact with others at an earlier age.

Grooming Requirements

The beautiful double coat of a shepsky needs regular care so that it’s kept clean and neat.

Brushing a shepsky two or more times per week will shed any unwanted fur and dander, which over time accumulates on your carpet or clothes.

Shepskies also go through a blow-out period. This blow-out period will occur closer to the hotter months. Shepskies get rid of unnecessary fur so they can regulate their body temperature better in the summertime.

The shepsky will shed a lot during the blowout period.

A shepsky should only be bathed when necessary, which is usually once a month. Bathing too often disturbs your dog’s natural oils which keep their coat healthy and shiny.

Feeding a Shepsky

Because the shepsky is a large breed, it requires a large number of calories and protein. However, the number of calories a shepsky needs changes depending on its age, size, and activity level.

A shepsky puppy requires more calories than an adult shepsky due to the caloric demands required for its rapid growth and skeleton system development. As a shepsky grows to be more similar in size to its German shepherd parent, its caloric intake requirements also become similar to its German shepherd parent.

Calories Required Per Day
Less Active/Senior Between 1,300 to 1,600 calories
Active/Working Between 1,700 to 2,400 calories

Once mature, the shepsky should have its food spaced out over one or two meals each day.

A shepsky is a carnivore and therefore requires a diet consisting of no less than 22% protein.

To ensure your dog is getting the correct amount of nutrients and proteins, we recommend trying a high-quality dry kibble formulated for larger dog breeds.

Shepsky Exercise Requirements

Shepskies love to exercise. A husky German shepherd mix needs at least one hour of exercise per day, but two or more hours is ideal.

A spacious and open backyard can help a shepsky get a lot of the exercise it needs.

However, having a yard isn’t enough to fully meet the shepsky’s exercise needs. They need interactive runs and games in order to properly use up all their pent-up energy.

Shepsky Mental Stimulation Requirements

Dog Games and Toys

A shepsky requires lots of mentally stimulating games to keep them happy.

For example, a simple game of “hide and sniff” is perfect for shepskies:

  • Let it smell a treat or scented toy, while still holding the object.
  • Hide the treat or toy.
  • Allow the pup to sniff out the object.
  • Watch as the shepsky enjoys its reward.

The shepsky is an observant breed and enjoys going on walks​​ with interesting surroundings.

Keep alternating routes when taking a shepsky out for runs or walks. Different routes keep a shepsky guessing and stimulate its mind as it takes in new and different surroundings.

Shepsky Socialization Requirements

A shepsky loves to be active and desires to play with other dogs, pets, and people. In order to develop their socialization skills, shepsky puppies need to be given opportunities to interact positively with other dogs, pets, and people from a young age.

When shepsky puppies are well adjusted to being around other animals and people, they will grow up to be very friendly and outgoing. Dog parks, puppy classes, and daily outings will provide your dog with regular socialization and mental stimulation.

Shepsky Training

The shepsky is an intelligent breed that is easy to train.

One command the shepsky must learn is to come back to the owner. The shepsky is genetically ingrained to run and chase. If allowed to, the shepsky will run quite far away. Make sure to focus on the return command.

Like any dog, shepskies respond very well to positive reinforcement dog training. Shepskies love any treats for following orders and progressing in their training.

Shepskies love to be busy, so training is enjoyable once a positive and mutual relationship is established between them and their owners.

Correct obedience training is highly advised, as shepskies are a large and assertive breed. Shepskies challenge their owners’ authority and can become destructive if they aren’t trained to be obedient.

Shepsky Health Problems

Unfortunately, the shepsky is not without health problems, and it may inherit certain health issues from its purebred parents.

Elbow and Hip Dysplasia

Elbow or hip dysplasia is a genetic disease common in German shepherds. This disease causes the joints to form incorrectly, which can lead to pain and may ultimately lead to the loss of elbow or hip function.

Due to its German shepherd genes, the shepsky has a higher than normal chance of inheriting this disease.

Cataracts

Eye problems, such as the development of cataracts, are prevalent in the husky and could be inherited by your German shepherd husky mix puppy.

Cataracts are imperfections in the eye’s lens and will affect a pup’s vision over time. A shepsky will act confused or disoriented if afflicted by cataracts.

How much does a German shepherd husky mix cost?

A German shepherd husky mix will cost $350 USD to $1,000 USD.

A mix bred from two purebred parents with pedigree will be more expensive.

Adopting a dog from a local dog shelter is also always a good choice.

Adoption on average costs $50 to $150, but you will need to check your local adoption agency.

Spaying or neutering costs $50 to $300.

Adopting a shepsky will also cost $50 to $100 for initial vaccinations.

Should You Get a German Shepherd Husky Mix?

The shepsky is a great mix, but it isn’t suitable for everyone. You should consider all the characteristics and needs of the shepsky before getting one.

Shepskies are Suitable for:

Shepskies are suitable for people who are quite active and like to spend a lot of time outdoors.

Shepskies are also suitable for those who want a guard dog. They will protect not only their owners, but other family members as well.

Shepskies will do really well with families and children with proper training and socialization.

Shepskies are NOT Suitable for:

Shepskies are big and have a lot of energy. If you can’t provide a shepsky with at least one hour of exercise a day, then it is not the dog for you.

Without enough exercise or playtime, they become destructive and bark a lot.

You will also need a lot of space inside and outside to keep the shepsky happy.

You should think about another breed if you are lacking the space and time required to keep shepskies healthy and happy.

Shepskies are alpha dogs, so if not trained properly, they will be aggressive. Shepskies need firm and confident owners.

If you’re a first-time dog owner or you don’t have a lot of experience training dogs, shepskies might be unsuitable for you.

Other German Shepherd and Husky Mixes

If you’re interested in learning about other German shepherd mixes or husky mixes, check out the hybrid dog breeds below.

German Shepherd Mixes

Siberian Husky Mixes

About John Woods 291 Articles
John Woods is the founder of All Things Dogs, member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, graduate in Animal Behavior & Welfare and recognized author by the Dog Writers Association of America.

17 Comments

    • Yes.. we do.. We rescued Lady Bird from the Humane Society 5 Years ago when she was 7 months old.. She is Beautiful, knows her training. Though she is very independent and can not be off leash or she will run and visit every Dog in the Neighborhood..🤔

  1. I have a shepherd husky mix and he is seven months now and found this article dead on accuracy, and yes they are energetic and amazing companions.🐾🐾❤

  2. My wife and I adopted our 2 year old German shepherd husky mix at one of our local dog shelters and she’s a gem! We love her so much and now our 1 year old cat does too. They’re 2 peas in a pod and she’s sooo sweet with our niece (4 years old) and our nephew (2years old) and everyone else! So friendly and loving and loves to cuddle at night 💜 we love our sweet Ava grace!

  3. We got two from our friends, this way they have each other while we are working and it’s good they learn dog skills from each other. Both are laid back, although siblings they look completely different. One is traditional Husky the other more Shepard. Both sweet, smart, gorgeous.

  4. Just simply the best dogs ever! We lost our 14 year old male in April and found a one year old female at our local shelter last week. We are working with her intensively; she is wicked smart and has picked up on whatever we’ve shown her the first or second time. She is genuinely sweet and good natured. Thanks for a great article; it is spot on.

    • My pride and joy shepsky (dna tested 50/50) is almost 10 years old and has been the best mix of intelligence, aloofness, curiosity, and friendliness that anyone could ask for.

      Early socialization with animals of all types and people of all shapes and sizes 🙂 is critical.

      My 100lbs of awesome just wants people to smile and pay attention to him. Usually taking the form of standing up thru my sunroof and grabbing literally everyone’s attention as we drive by.

      If you don’t have one and are active, go find one at a shelter now!

    • We just took in a 4 month old from a divorcing couple. He is an absolute joy, Very loving and extremely bright.

  5. We picked our Sheba out of the animal rescue line up. We’ve had her for 13 years! This article is spot on. Sheba’s 14 now and not getting around so easy. Still great around our 18 month old grandson.

  6. We rescued a Shepherd Husky mix from our local dog pound. She is one of the sweetest dogs ever, although she does not like being touch back by her tail. One thing about her she loves small spaces – she sleeps under our bed, or in a corner and when she is ready for bed she left you know it. Gidgit is small weighs about 40 pounds and is 20 inches tall. I am so blessed we were able to rescue her.

  7. We have an almost five month old shepksy named Sasha! My uncle bred his German Shepard and husky and gave the puppies to family members that wanted one. She is so cute, and loves to chew. She learned to sit, shake, and lie down quickly when I started to train her. She is fairly quiet too, and doesn’t bark much unless something is bothering her. Everybody who meets her instantly loves her and she really is a beautiful dog!

  8. The most amazing dogs ever!! Coming from a lifelong dog owner..

    My ex and I took one off my neighbor’s hands, cause she was too busy launching her new business to give her any attention. We drove her from the west coast to the east coast on an 11 day road trip to where my ex lives. She was so well tempered and behaved that nobody questioned us when we took her in bars and restaurants. They just assumed she was a service dog. She is the sweetest, most beautiful, affectionate, fun, loving, loyal dog I’ve ever met.

  9. We adopted a three year old husky German Shepherd mix a year ago and she is a reddish, fluffy, fox-like dog! She’s curious and clever and definitely melts the hearts of everyone she meets, including our six year old chow German Shepherd mix. They’re the absolute cutest together.

  10. I have a 9 year old male German Shepherd Husky, perhaps the BEST dog ever! I did notice he is now starting to have some problems with the stairs, not going up and down but with spacial aspects. Best mixed breed ever.

  11. We got our girl from a very good GSD rescue. Noticed her curved tail and wondered if she had some husky in her. Behaves like the described mix. Very loving and does bark at intruders until introduced, then she is a love bunny. A true “velco” dog follow us everywhere and very good with cats. Had her less than 2 weeks and she is amazing at learning although like both breeds has a stubborn streak. She is a special girl.

  12. My family has just adopted a Shepard huskie mix puppy and this article was helpful. Hoping he makes a good running partner for me. He will also hopefully love hiking and backpacking in the high Sierra with me next summer!

  13. I have a shepsky she’s a little over a year old had her since she was about 6 weeks old. She was one of the easiest dogs to train and she is the best listener (unless she’s mad at u). She gets along great with my other dogs and she is amazing with my 3 month old. I highly recommend this breed but please do your research before getting one!!

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