Cross a German shepherd with a Husky and what do you get? One of the most beautiful and intelligent working dogs of all time…the Gerberian Shepsky.
It is hard not to fall in love with this dog’s piercing blue eyes and thick, fluffy coat, but dog owners beware, the Gerberian Shepsky takes on the Husky’s mischievous behavior.
Fun loving and sweet, the Gerberian Shepsky makes a great pet for almost any household.
The Gerberian Shepsky is a rather large breed of dog, weighing between 45-89 pounds and standing between 20-30 inches tall.
The Shepsky has a common trade mark: pale, piercing blue eyes that are highlighted by the dog’s dark hair coat.
Dark brown with black or solid black are the most typical hair coat colors you will see this dog in, but the Gerberian Shepsky can also sport lighter-colored fur such as: gold, light brown, grey, salt and pepper, white, brown and white, cream, red or blue.
The Gerberian Shepsky has a unique, double hair coat that protects them from extreme cold or hot temperatures. Like any subarctic dog breed, the Gerberian Shepsky’s coat has a thick, fluffy appearance that is generally straight.
Depending on which parent’s genes are more dominant, the Gerberian Shepsky can have the head of a Husky or German Shepherd.
However, tall, pointed ears and a long muzzle are standard characteristics for this cross bred dog.
Both the German Shepherd and the Husky are high shedding dog breed.
However, the Gerberian Shepsky only sheds moderately and will require a good brushing 2-3 times a week to remove debris. The double coat of this unique breed can get pretty wild and owners may choose to trim and wash the hair regularly.
The Shepsky’s hair isn’t the only thing pet owners will need to keep clean, this dog’s ears tend to build up a large amount of wax that will require professional cleanings as well. Unhygienic ear cleaning habits could lead to health problems such as yeast or bacterial infections of the ear.
The Gerberian Shepsky lives an average lifespan of about 10 to 13 years of age. Unlike most cross breed dogs, where the act of putting two purebred dog breeds together eliminates almost all hereditary complications.
The Gerberian Shepsky tends to suffer from the same amount of health problems as a purebred dog. Common health issues that are prone to affect the Gerberian Shepsky include:
- Elbow & Hip Dysplasia
- Dwarfism: a condition in which the dog is born with an unusual stature.
- Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (Bloat): a condition in which the stomach fills with so much air that the organ flips over on itself. The twist in the dog’s stomach prevents food from reaching the organ, causing the dog to vomit, retch, become restless and salivate profusely. Gastric dilatation volvulus is a life-threatening condition, as circulation is cut off to the stomach.
- Juvenile Cataracts
- Flea Allergies: an overreaction to the flea’s saliva during its blood meal, causing the dog’s immune system to react. Flea allergies cause a skin condition known as flea allergy dermatitis. This condition causes the skin to redden, form hives, become highly pruritic (itchy) and also causes the dog to loose hair around the flea bite site.
The Husky and the German Shepherd are both bred to work, therefore these workaholic genes are passed down to the Gerberian Shepsky.
Although this cross breed dog can be a companion, he is happiest when given a job to do. These dogs are commonly used to herd livestock and compete in agility competitions.
Due to the Gerberian Shepsky’s thick, double coat, this dog is not suited to live in extremely hot global locations. The Shepsky is happiest where he was born to be… outdoors.
A large, fenced yard with a roomy dog house is the ideal living space for this dog breed. The Gerberian Shepsky is best suited for country and town life, but can live in the city if pet owners can entertain the breed’s activity needs.
This dog breed is a bit of a lone wolf and does not usually enjoy the company of other dogs, or pets. However, if properly socialized or raised with other four-legged family members, the dog can adapt.
A family dog till the end, the Gerberian Shepsky has natural protective instincts and will stand in the way of any threat to his people.
The Gerberian Shepsky takes on the independent thinking of the Husky and does not always want to do what you tell him. Training this dog requires a strong-willed and strong-minded individual.
Although the Gerberian Shepsky can be trained, if rules are lenient or not everyone enforces the rules of the household, the Shepsky will assume position as the dominant pack leader.
The Gerberian Shepsky is an energetic dog who is fun loving and protective of his family. Regardless, this dog breed is not for everyone as this dog requires a lot of attention to both training and exercise needs.
The Gerberian Shepsky’s double coat is a thing of beauty, but prevents this pooch from tolerating hot global temperatures.
The Gerberian Shepsky is considered a moderately healthy dog, but could develop a number of hereditary health problems from the parents.
If you are a person who can dedicate a few hours a day to exercise the dog, has a firm training hand and lives in a cool climate, the Gerberian Shepsky could be the dog you’ve been looking for!
If interested, always remember to search rescues and shelters before seeking out a breeder (due to the Gerberian being a hybrid, there will be very, very few reputable breeders, so do your research.)