According to the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), there are currently about 340 breeds of dogs. Some of these dog breeds are extremely unique and intriguing, including the likes of bulldogs, beagles and pugs. German Shepherds and Siberian Huskies are widely known to be the most fascinating kind of dogs, but even more interesting is another breed of dog: the offspring of a German Shepherd and a Siberian Husky!
This guide includes virtually everything you need to know about this German Shepherd Husky mix, ranging from their physical attributes, temper, inherited looks, to all aspects of their health requirements. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you would know exactly whether or not this particular dog mix is appropriate for you and your family.
A Husky German Shepherd mix is basically the product of adults German Shepherd and Siberian Husky mating together. Whilst the German Shepherd and Siberian Husky are increasingly famous on their own, their offspring has only managed to garner minimal attention. Alternative names for this mix breed include German Husky, Siberian Shepherd, Husky Shepherd and most commonly, Gerberian Shepsky. While not too catchy, they accurately describe the nature of the breed. Having said that, before we delve too deep, it is important that we first look at the parent breeds of the Husky German Shepherd mix and their origins.
Extensive reports exist pertaining to the history of German Shepherds, but these are bleak compared to the rich historical documents that are present on the Siberian Husky. Although the Husky German Shepherd mix has gained popularity only in recent years, this breed actually existed long before it was given such catchy names.
Siberian Huskies are thought to be one of the oldest types of dogs and are believed to have been descended from the dogs bred by the nomadic Chukchi people in North-East Siberia. The Siberian Huskies have the perfect body and fur to live comfortably in harsh, cold temperature. As the Chukchi people lived alienated from the rest of the world, they were able to keep the Huskies pure bred and thus modern day Huskies are energetic sled dogs, just like their ancestors. Siberian Huskies came to the limelight when they were used to win sled races, but their popularity soared when Leonard Seppala travelled 659 miles in just five and a half days using a Husky. Following this, Seppala led a lifesaving “medicine run” to Nome, where an epidemic had broken out. Seppala’s lead dog, Balto, is still said to be one of the most respected dogs in history and it is hardly a surprise that Siberian Huskies rank twelvth in the most popular dog breed category.
The German Shepherd has a very minimal history as compared to that of Huskies. German army captain, Max von Stephanitz, is the one responsible for the origin of this breed, as it was he who first bred them. The first dog Max fell in love with was Horand von Grafath, and this marks the historic origination of German Shepherds. German Shepherds were used as rescue and messenger dogs in World War I and they gained popularity soon after. In 1908, the American Kennel Club formally recognized the breed and their popularity soared to greater heights in the following years. Currently, the breed is the second most popular breed in the world. The breed as we know it comes as a result of 35 years of hard breeding. These dogs are extremely smart and this quality is forged as a result of breeding sheep with other livestock. The German Shepherd also owes its fame to Hollywood characters like Rin Tin Tin and Strongheart. Currently, these dogs are used extensively in military and police work.
When two purebreds are mated together, the resulting puppy has characteristics of both the parents. Although there are a lot of variations, it isn’t uncommon when the offspring predominantly takes its physical features from one parent.
Before breeding, both the purebreds are developed into athletic and well-built animals. The Huskies are medium sized dogs and normally grow 20-23 inches, while the German Shepherds are considered large dogs and are normally 22-26 inches. The Huskies traditionally weigh 35-60 pounds, but the German Shepherds are much heavier, ranging from 49 to 88 pounds. The weight and height of the puppies range anywhere from the biggest German Shepherd to the smallest Siberian Husky.
Traditionally, the German Shepherd Husky mix has pointed ears, wolf like faces, and inherits blue eyes from its Husky lineage. The puppies are normally black and brown in color, but can also be seen in blue, red, white, cream, brown with white, and golden variants. The offspring has fur similar to its parents – thick, deep, and cuddly. These types of fur help the offspring to withstand cold weather, though difficulties are faced in tropic weather.
A Siberian Husky can be described as extremely loyal, somewhat naughty, very outgoing and friendly in nature, gentle, and very dignified. Additionally, German Shepherds are brave, intelligent, confident and fast. In essence, a Husky German Shepherd is extremely smart. Apart from its extremely good looks, this breed of dogs is great at learning things quickly. Although these dogs are super smart, they aren’t suitable to be used as guard dogs. This is because they are extra friendly and meet strangers with wagging tails, a sign of utter joy. Also, they are perpetually trying to find ways to be naughty and causing mischief. On the other hand, German Shepherds are reserved with strangers. They’re relatively calm and also require a lot of special training to open up to strangers.
While the physical attributes of a German Shepherd Husky are easier to predict, their temperament cannot be predicted easily. Although the temperament is difficult to predict, they mostly get the personality traits of their parents and thus it is recommended that their buyers spend some time with the puppy’s parents before they make a decision to buy the puppy.
In most cases, the puppies are healthier than their purebred parents. This has a very important biological reason: the new genes are added to an already existing gene pool and this widens the pool and reduces the chances of the puppies getting diseases. But a crossbreed can inherit problems from its parents. Some German Shepherd and Siberian Husky problems are detailed below.
Relative to German Shepherds, Siberian Huskies experience lesser health problems. However they are still exposed to possibly having degenerative eyes and skin problems. Common diseases they normally encounter include Corneal Dystrophy, Uveodermatologic Syndrome, Follicular Dysplasia and zinc deficiency. The dogs almost never experience joint problems. The greatest problem they face, by far, is Progressive Retinal Atrophy. Only when this problem is treated in its early stages is when the dog can be saved from turning blind.
The German Shepherds face a lot of problems. They were initially bred very extensively to uplift certain traits, but due to lack of controls the breeders have exploited the breeding process and the current German Shepherds are prone to many types of diseases. Their health problems include Elbow and Hip Dysplasia, (malformation of joints), Gastric Dilatation, Volvulus (bloating), Chronic Degenerative Radiculomyelopathy (loss of nerve control for the back legs), Anal Furunculosis (painful anus infections, Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (problems in digesting meals), Panosteitis (bone inflammatory disease), Hypothyroidism (impaired thyroid function), allergies, epilepsy, eye diseases, posture, and back problems.
Following its parents, the German Shepherd Husky is increasingly energetic and so requires a high protein diet for sustenance. The dog’s food must contain 25 percent of protein with grains and 30 percent of protein without grains. Important vitamins, minerals and other supplements must also be added. Still a lot of experimentation needs to be done before the right mix for the dog can be determined. These dogs also need a lot of amino acids for sustenance. Foods such as apples, blueberries, oranges, milk, yoghurt, cheese, lettuce, coconut, peaches, celery, watermelons, pears, pineapples, peas, spinach, potatoes and cucumbers can be given, but their amount should be regulated carefully so that it doesn’t exceed the designated amount.
Dogs usually have a lot of vitamin C in their livers and hence it is recommended not to give your dog any food that is rich in this particular vitamin. You should also not feed your dog high amounts of cereals and fibers, as their biological features cannot break them down. It is also best not to give your dog the same diet as a newborn baby. Under any circumstances, it should be made sure that a dog does not get onions, ice cream, chocolate or ham bones. All of these foods greatly impair the bodily functions of the dog and can leave them at risk, and in extreme cases can result in death.
Usually the immune system of a body is sufficient for countering against diseases, but sometimes the immune system needs help to efficiently carry out its functions. This is where vaccines come in. A vaccine aids the biological features of the body by introducing dead bacteria and microorganisms into the body. When these are introduced into the body, the blood generates antibodies to counter them. These antibodies are used to counter future diseases as well. This is why its extremely important to regularly vaccine your dog. Dogs can normally suffer from Bordetella Bronchiseptica, rabies, Parvovirus, Canine Distemper, Kennel Cough, Canine Hepatitis and Lyme Disease.
For German Shepherd Husky mix puppies, no vaccine should be given before they are 6 weeks old. When they are 6-8 weeks, distemper and measles vaccines should be administered. When they are 10-12 weeks old, DHPP (distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus) should be given, and when they turn 12-24 weeks old, the vaccine used to counter rabies should be given.
For adult dogs, a vaccine should be given every 1-3 years. It is also very important to note that the amount of vaccine that is given is regulated, since it is extremely detrimental to health.
The dogs are extremely energetic and the owner must be extremely vigilant to maintain the needs of the dogs. Since these dogs are extremely smart, it is highly recommended that the dogs get professional training.
These dogs must be consistently taken out for a walk so that they can spend their energy and can get worn out. If not, they will indulge in other activities to let out their energy. These include chewing up shoes, digging up your lawn, and howling non-stop.
As these dogs are so smart, they can grasp new things very quickly. Also, as they are extremely friendly and social, professional help is required. Given that you have an electric dog fence, you can let your dog free for a while and allow it to roam.
Two important things must be taken into consideration, one of which is that as these dogs find ways to escape very easily, they must be given crate training. Secondly, you should demonstrate leadership qualities with your dog. This means that you need to provide it with love, but also be completely in charge of them.
The German Shepherd Husky mix has thick, furry coats inherited from their parents. This type of fur needs constant attention and should be brushed 3-4 times per week. A heavy-duty brush can be bought to maintain these needs. You would also need a properly functional vacuum cleaner, since their fur sheds extensively during shedding season.
It is very important to get your German Shepherd Husky from a distinguished, reputable place. Be very aware of the reliability and validity of the breeder since most breeders are just waiting like predators, particularly online, to make money. It is also highly advised that you get to know the parents of the dog you are buying, as this helps in judging the temperament of your dog. The dog should also be checked for any diseases at the time of purchase, since it is extremely difficult to get refunds, particularly if the dog was ordered online. Special attention must also be paid to any disabilities that the dog may suffer from, like deafness.
To conclude, German Shepherd Husky are one of the most respected, loving and smart dogs in the world and can turn out to be very faithful companions. A lot of people have successfully adopted them and have lived with them for years. So if you or your family want a dog to bond with and enjoy keeping as part of your family for years, the German Shepherd Husky is as good a dog as any.
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