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Gerberian Shepsky Nutrition

When bringing home your new Gerberian Shepsky, one of the most important decisions to make is what to feed your dog. Several factors must be considered including your budget, the dog’s health and activity level, possible allergies, and the availability of high-quality dog food in your area. Diet plays an extremely important role in the health and happiness of your dog, so feeding the highest quality food is important. With so many dog food options available, what should you choose? The four main types include dry kibble, wet food, homemade food, and the raw diet. Each category has its own set of distinct advantages and disadvantages, which will be discussed.

Kibble

A typical dry dog food includes ingredients such as a protein (typically chicken or beef), a carbohydrate (such as wheat or grains), and added vitamins, minerals, and preservatives. Ingredients are listed on dog food labels in order of most abundant to least abundant, with the first five ingredients typically comprising the majority of the food.
When choosing a quality kibble, look for one that has a protein source listed as the first ingredient. Be aware that not all protein is created equally. For instance, “deboned chicken,” “chicken meal” and “chicken by-product” are vastly different, in the same ways a pork chop is not the same as a hot dog. Pay attention to the filler sources in your dog’s food, as well. Avoid foods with corn or other ingredients that are not easily digested by dogs. Also, be aware that wheat and grains are common allergens that can cause skin rashes and irritation. A number of “grain-free” foods exist to bypass this issue and use rice or potatoes instead.

There are many advantages to a high-quality kibble. Often, dry food is suggested to be good for a dog’s teeth, because the hard bits can act as an abrasive cleaner and is less likely to stick to (and stain) dog’s teeth. If planning to travel often with your dog, dry food is much more convenient to pack and store than other food types, and can also double as training treats. High-quality brands remove the guesswork from determining how to give your dog a balanced diet, as everything he needs, including fiber, vitamins, and minerals, is neatly packaged in a small morsel. Indeed, a dog can live his entire life only eating one variety of dry food.

The disadvantages of kibble are just as diverse. Dry dog food is not as natural or instinctual for a canine, and may not fulfill his desire to eat as his ancestors once did. German Shepherds and Siberian Huskies both can be picky eaters, and less likely to want to eat “boring” kibble as opposed to raw or wet food. One of the biggest disadvantages is that a number of serious pet food recalls have occurred recently as a result of food-related pet deaths and have involved even the most reputable of brands.


Canned Food

Wet dog food can be more enticing for a dog as it is “smellier” and more similar in consistency to what a dog would eat in the wild. The ingredients are generally the same as in kibble but in different quantities. Canned food usually contains more meat, fewer carbohydrates, and also fewer preservatives because of the air-tight packaging. Like kibble, dry food is balanced for overall nutrition. Unlike kibble, however, wet food is nowhere near as convenient, and is also much more costly. Pet owners should also be aware that similar pet food recalls have occurred.

To avoid the risk of food recalls, some pet owners have turned to making their own dog food. This is also a popular choice for dogs who suffer multiple food allergies. To note, homemade food excludes table scraps, which can be harmful to a dog’s digestive tract and pancreas. Common dog food recipes include meat, such as chicken or beef, a carbohydrate source like sweet potatoes or brown rice, and the occasional fruits or vegetables. Dogs tend to prefer homemade food over canned or wet options, likely because of the superior quality. This type of food is far less convenient, especially when traveling. Pet parents must also be vigilant to ensure the meals are balanced, or else nutrient deficiencies can occur. Oftentimes, an expensive vitamin or nutritional supplement is recommended. Although time-consuming and expensive, for some pet owners these disadvantages do not outweigh the benefits of having complete control over a dog’s diet.

An increasingly common dog food type is the raw food diet, or BARF (bones and raw food). Exactly as it sounds, this diet primarily includes cuts of raw meat and raw bones, and occasionally fruits or vegetables for fiber. Also common for dogs with food allergies, this diet is highly touted among those who believe dogs should eat what is most similar to their ancestor’s diets. Additionally, a raw diet may retain more nutrients because vitamins and minerals are not lost in the cooking process. For the high prey-drive Gerberian Shepsky, raw foods may fulfill an innate desire. The disadvantages of raw food are many. For instance, a raw diet may be harmful to humans as bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella can be present before feeding, and then in subsequent feces.

While these bacteria will not affect your dog, they do have the potential to infect you or your family. Raw diets are the most expensive of the four types of food considered here and are also not as readily available. Feeding raw bones is safer than feeding cooked bones, however, they still may splinter and severely injure your dog’s digestive tract. Finally, bones and raw food are extremely messy, and any residue left after feeding must be promptly cleaned to avoid the risk of infection.


Choosing the proper dog food can be a difficult decision. There is no right or wrong choice, but a good rule of thumb is to buy the highest quality available that also fits in your budget. Always be sure to consult a veterinarian before starting a homemade or raw food diet, and do not hesitate to seek help in choosing the best food for your individual dog.

Common Gerberian Shepsky Health Problems

Gerberian skepsky puppyAn important consideration when purchasing a Gerberian Shepsky is the health of the dog’s parents, and what types of illnesses to watch for.  As a hybrid breed, fewer health complaints can be expected than with a truly purebred dog, however, congenital diseases from either parent are still possible.

Listed below are common Siberian Husky and German Shepherd maladies, and what care can be taken to ensure your dog lives the healthiest life possible.

  • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

Although Siberian Huskies have one of the lowest risks of hip and elbow dysplasia among all dog breeds, German Shepherds unfortunately have one of the highest, with approximately 20% of the breed affected.  If purchasing your Gerberian Shepsky from a breeder, be sure to inquire about Orthopedic Foundation of America certification to ensure the parent Shepherd is free of joint complaints.  While the only preventative measure for hip and elbow dysplasia is good selective breeding, factors such as exercise, soft bedding, good nutrition, anti-inflammatory medications, and nutrition supplements can mitigate the effects of this painful disorder.

causes and symptoms of dysplasia

  • Ocular Diseases

Both the German Shepherd and Siberian Husky are prone to a few serious eye diseases, particularly juvenile cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), and canine glaucoma.  Unlike cataracts in senior-aged dogs, juvenile cataracts can appear as early as five months old.  In severe cases, this condition can result in complete blindness before the dog’s first birthday.  Progressive retinal atrophy is most common in male Siberian Huskies and is a disorder affecting the rods and cones of the eyes.  Symptoms vary, but decreased vision, eye discomfort, and blindness can occur.

Presently, there is no treatment for PRA.  Canine glaucoma describes a number of diseases which affect the optic nerve and also results in loss of vision and blindness.  Although serious, canine glaucoma can be treated surgically, if caught early.  The hereditary nature of these diseases makes finding a reputable breeder important.  Ask to see Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) certificates for both parent dogs.  Additionally, talk to your veterinarian about incorporating routine eye exams into your dog’s annual vet visits.  The good news is that most of these disorders appear before your dog has reached 5 years of age.  Beyond this point, your dog’s risk of inheriting many serious eye disorders is essentially zero.

  • Skin and Allergies

Siberian Huskies and German Shepherds are known to exhibit a number of skin allergies or disorders.  Commonly, Huskies acquire skin rashes and extreme itchiness caused by their food or environment.  Common culprits are wheat, grain, fleas, and pollen.  Severe allergies and scratching can lead to Pyoderma, a bacterial infection of the skin.  Occasionally, Huskies are diagnosed with Canine Discoid Lupus, which causes damage to the dog’s skin, commonly on the nose.  Initially, Lupus may manifest as what appears to be a sunburn (scaly, dry skin and discoloration), but if left untreated the sinuses, gums, lips, and other sensitive areas may experience irreversible damage.  Lupus should not be confused with “snow nose,” which is a common occurrence in the winter and is merely the loss of pigment of on the dog’s nose during the cold months.

When in doubt, however, always be sure to consult a veterinarian.  Flea sensitivity is also common for Huskies; however some German Shepherds suffer considerable distress when infested with fleas.  Be sure to always use flea and tick preventative, and rid flea infestations ASAP to avoid even worse parasites, such as tapeworm.

  • Bloat

Bloat can affect all dogs, but deep-chested breeds (such as the Gerberian Shepsky) are more likely to be stricken with this condition.  The second leading cause of death in dogs, bloat is extremely serious and describes when a dog’s stomach dilates after becoming filled with fluid or air.  Bloat can lead to gastric torsion if the stomach flips over, thus restricting the entrance and exit to the stomach.  Symptoms include a large, distended stomach that is hard to the touch, as well as obvious pain.  The dog also may be unsuccessfully attempting to throw up.  Treatment involves releasing the buildup of air or fluid in the stomach, or in the case of gastric torsion, emergency surgery.

Without immediate treatment, dogs typically do not survive.  Bloat can be prevented by limiting the volume or air, food, or fluid in the stomach.  Dogs should be fed 2 – 3 smaller meals a day, rather than one large serving.  Feeding within an hour of exercise is discouraged, as is allowing dogs to drink large quantities of water immediately following a meal.  However, be aware that the exact cause and preventative measures for bloat are not completely understood.

  • Epilepsy

An alarmingly typical health issue for Siberian Huskies and German Shepherds is epilepsy, a condition that is characterized by seizures of unknown cause. Canine epilepsy is a frustrating disorder because the frequency, duration, and severity of each episode is never consistent. For Huskies, a possible trigger is zinc deficiency and malabsorption. Huskies commonly suffer from an inability to properly absorb zinc from their diet. Researchers have observed that zinc deficiency in the brain can lead to severe neurological distress, including seizures.  Providing your dog with a zinc supplement can decrease his likelihood of developing epilepsy, but be sure to discuss this option with your veterinarian.

  • Glandular Disorders

Hypothyroidism and Cushing’s Disease are two disorders which your Gerberian Shepsky may have an increased risk to develop.  Both disorders cause glands (the thyroid or adrenal gland, respectively) to under produce necessary hormones.  For hypothyroidism, hormone suppression can lead to weight gain, fatigue, lethargy, and a dull coat.  A full blood panel can detect a thyroid disorder, and is recommended every two years for early detection.

While hypothyroidism cannot be cured, it can be controlled with medication.  Cushing’s Disease is most common in older German Shepherds and is caused by a non-cancerous tumor on the pituitary gland.  Symptoms include increased hunger or thirst, weight gain, insomnia, and lethargy, to name a few.  Diagnosis includes a urinalysis, blood panel, and possibly an MRI.  Like hypothyroidism, Cushing’s cannot be cured, only managed with medication.

Activities For Your Gerberian Shepsky

Gerberian Shepskies are among the best athletes of the canine world, due to their astounding endurance and superior genetics.  Capable of running fast and far, jumping tall structures as well as long distances, and pulling or carrying logic-defying amounts of weight, the Gerberian Shepsky has some serious athletic prowess.

However,  because these dogs are capable of such feats, this also means they require activity and exercise that allows them to fulfill their innate drives.  Listed here are fun activities for you and your dog, guaranteed to keep him happy and healthy!

Running

Running, whether on trails, road, bike path, or park is natural for your Gerberian Shepsky.  He would love nothing more than to accompany you for a long run, and can even carry equipment, such as water, in a specialized doggy backpack.  Shepskies are Gerberian Shepsky dogespecially suited to running in colder climates because of their thick coats, but can do so in warm weather, as well, provided plenty of water breaks are allowed.

Because both Husky and German Shepherd are working dogs, the Shepsky will be the ultimate running partner, not allowing you to stop until the task is complete.  As with all exercise, do not begin until your dog is fully grown (typically around 18 months).  Start slowly, even if he seems like he has all the energy in the world to continue running.  A good idea is to begin with a one mile run, and add on an extra five minutes every few days.

Be mindful of terrain, as a dog’s paws need time to form sufficient calluses, especially if running primarily on cement or asphalt.  If you are not interested in running but think that your dog needs an extra outlet for his energy, Gerberian Shepskies can easily be trained to run on a treadmill in the comfort of your home.

Urban Mushing

Urban mushing is a relatively new phenomenon which describes any activity where a dog pulls a person or object for sport or travel.  Examples of urban mushing are diverse, and can include hooking your dog up to a sled, cart, bicycle, scooter, skateboard, or rollerblades.  The “urban” aspect refers to performing these activities on dry land, as opposed to snow, and can be accomplished anywhere you and your dog are comfortable (and legally allowed to be).  Bike paths, country roads, sidewalks, and trails are all acceptable venues.

For dog/owner duos who wish to be competitive, competitions for carting, bikejoring (where a dog pulls a person on a bicycle), and weight pulling (where a dog is judged by how much weight he can pull in a sled) are available.  Urban mushing is a great activity for Gerberian Shepskies because it combines many of the breed’s natural inclinations for running, working, and pulling.  This activity is a sure-fire way to efficiently exercise your dog’s body and mind while also enjoying the great outdoors.  Local sled dog or Siberian Husky associations are good resources to find more information about urban mushing in your area.

Hiking and Camping

Gerberian Shepskies also make great hiking partners, especially on difficult terrain or technical trails.  Their agile nature makes climbing even the steepest of cliffs appear easy.  The Shepsky’s natural freighting capability also makes him useful for carrying gear in a specially designed saddle bag.  While some conditioned dogs can carry more, a good rule of thumb is not to pack more than 25% of your dog’s body weight on his back.

A backpacking weekend in the wilderness would be an ideal outdoor activity for you and your dog.  Be aware, though, that not all parks allow dogs, and the ones that do typically require leashes.  A great advantage is that your Gerberian Shepsky can fare inclement weather and poor conditions better than most breeds, but still be sure to pack plenty of food and water for your pup, as well as bedding.  If hiking or camping in warm weaether, consider investing in a cooling collar to help your dog stay comfortable.

Agility Trials

German Shepherds and Huskies excel at the most important traits for Agility competition:  speed, teamwork, obedience, intelligence, and, obviously, agility!  Also a quick learner, a Gerberian Shepsky can easily climb the ranks from Novice to Expert in no time.  As an added bonus, Agility is very mentally stimulating, which fulfills one of your dog’s inherent needs.  Agility is not only reliant on the dog’s ability to perform the maneuvers, but also on his ability to independently think and strategize, as well as work with the handler to efficiently move through the course.

It is here that Shepskies gain an advantage, because unlike most breeds, they excel in both trainability and sheer athletic talent.  Although the American Kennel Club does not allow mixed breeds to compete, a number of other associations, such as Canine Performance Events, Dogs on Course in North America, and United States Dog Agility Association gladly would allow the Gerberian Shepsky through their doors.

Hunting

Although not commonly considered as a hunting dog, the Gerberian Shepsky has all the skills necessary to be trained for retrieving small prey.  Considering the use of German Shepherds as police and military dogs, the Gerberian Shepsky is unlikely to be gun shy when properly trained.  Despite a strong prey drive, the Shepsky can be taught to exercise enough restraint to retrieve animals without destroying them.  Their intelligence and independent thinking also makes them great at strategizing situations not covered during training – such as how to flush out treed squirrels.  Equally eager to learn as eager to please, the Shepsky would thoroughly enjoy a fall afternoon spent in the sun, hunting rabbit, squirrel, or bird with his favorite human.

The combined intelligence, agility, endurance, and trainability of the German Shepherd and Siberian Husky breeds makes the Gerberian Shepsky capable of practically every undertaking.  If there is an activity you would like to try with your dog that is not on this list, give it a go!  At the very least your dog will put his best effort towards trying to learn the new skill, which is one of the most endearing traits of the breed.

How To Stop Common Behavioral Problems Of A Gerberian Shepsky

Gerberian-ShepskyThe Gerberian Shepsky is an incredibly intelligent dog that has a knack for independent thinking.  When combined with his high exercise requirements, the Shepsky can easily get himself into trouble.  Fortunately, the German Shepherd parent often imparts the Shepsky with a high degree of trainability.  Listed below is a guide towards common behavioral problems among Gerberian Shepskies, and what can be done to correct to these issues.

1.   Digging

Digging is an inherent trait for all dogs, believed to be the product of their “den making” instinct.  Dogs dig for a multitude of reasons, including cooling off, boredom, to bury prized possessions, and also as a means to escape an enclosure.  Given the thick double coat of the Shepsky, you should first rule out that your dog is not simply trying to cool itself.  Often, in the summer months, a dog will dig a hole in which to lounge, as the dirt below the ground’s surface is cooler than the air.  If digging primarily occurs during heat-waves, provide your dog with a kiddie pool filled with cool water, or keep him indoors.

Digging for reasons other than air conditioning can be handled in a number of ways.  First, never leave your dog unattended in the yard.  This is a good rule to follow, regardless if your dog is a digger, but also can discourage digging if he is doing so as a means to gain your attention.  Second, recognize that the number one cause of digging is boredom.  Is your dog receiving enough exercise and mental stimulation?

A Gerberian Shepsky requires a minimum of 1 -2 hours of structured exercise per day, as well as a “job” to do.  Oftentimes, owners find that incorporating 15 – 20 minutes of obedience practice daily can fulfill this inherent need for work.  If cooling off and boredom can be ruled out, try to determine the cause.  Is your dog digging near the fence?  He may be trying to escape, which is a common Shepsky trait (see below).  Is he burying a toy or attempting to follow the scent of a field mouse or mole?  Unfortunately, these behaviors are hardwired into your dog and can be difficult, if not impossible, to break.  If hunting prey, try to find the source of the rodent and (humanely) remove the animal(s) from your property.

If your dog is digging in order to bury a bone or toy, the best way to combat this problem is to provide an area in the yard where your dog is allowed to dig, such as a sandbox.  Issue a stern “no” when your dog digs inappropriately, but then redirect him to the appropriate area, and provide praise when he figures out right from wrong.  If digging is absolutely not an option for your yard, redirecting your dog to a favorite toy every time he begins to dig can help, provided that your dog is not a burier.

2.  Chewing

Chewing, like digging, is another inherent trait that dogs are naturally born with.  Chewing helps dogs, especially puppies, understand the world around them and is also an instinctual way to strengthen jaws and clean teeth.  Also like digging, inappropriate chewing is often caused by boredom, as well as anxiety.  German Shepherds and Siberian Huskies can both become extremely anxious if not properly exercised.

If chewing primarily happens when owners are out of the house, separation anxiety is likely to blame.  Providing a time-consuming activity while you are away (such as a frozen, peanut butter-filled Kong) can distract your dog from stress.  If chewing occurs while you are home, teach your dog what is, and is not, appropriate to chew on by instead redirecting him to safe chew toys such as Nylabones, antlers, or bully sticks.  If redirection cannot keep your dog away from table legs, invest in an aversion product such as bitter apple spray.

3.  Barking/Howling

The Gerberian Shepsky can be a vocal dog when left to his own devices.  While barking is a common way for dogs to warn of impending danger (whether perceived or real), greet other dogs or humans, and express happiness, excessive barking can quickly become annoying.  Again, rule out boredom or anxiety, which can often lead dogs to bark or howl, especially when left alone outside.

A great way to curb inappropriate barking, and one that is easy for the highly intelligent Shepsky to learn, is to teach your dog “speak” and “quiet” commands.  Beginning with “quiet,” reward your dog upon finishing a barking fit by saying the command and immediately administering a treat.  Once this skill is mastered, teach “speak” by enthusiastically issuing the command the next time he barks.  The obedient nature of the Shepsky will allow him to quickly pick up on these commands, and listen when you ask him to be quiet.

4.  Escaping

One of the most dangerous traits of the Gerberian Shepsky is his drive for adventure.  Siberian Huskies are known for their proclivity to dig under, jump over, climb over, or chew through enclosures, simply to see what is on the other side.  If your Shepsky has inherited the Houdini-like characteristics of his Husky parent, then care must be taken to ensure the yard is completely escape-proof.

As with the rest of the items on this list, relieving boredom by providing daily physical and mental stimulation exercises can alleviate your Shepsky’s adventure-seeking tendencies.  Supplying appropriate chew toys and digging areas can also help your independent-thinking dog to make better decisions, and choose appropriate outlets for his curiosity.

5.  Chasing

Your Gerberian Shepsky will likely have an incredibly high prey-drive, which is the innate desire to chase anything that is running in the opposite direction, whether human, animal, or object.  You can work with your dog to teach him to listen to you and stop him from chasing after he has begun, but you will not be able to remove the desire to chase.  To begin teaching recall while your dog is distracted, take your dog into the yard with a leash and high level rewards, such as pieces of meat.  With your dog leashed, wait until he sees a rabbit, squirrel, or other critter.  Get his attention, using the leash if necessary, and immediately reward your dog with a treat as soon as he looks to you and not at his “prey.”  Continue practicing this skill until a leash is no longer needed.

Grooming And Care For Your Gerberian Shepsky

german shepherd husky mixThe Gerberian Shepsky is a beautiful mix between two intelligent, elegant breeds:  the German Shepherd and the Siberian Husky.  While not inherently high-maintenance as a mix, both breeds have a number of grooming and care requirements to keep in mind.

The Siberan Husky and German Shepherd both are heavy shedding breeds, with thick double-coats suited to cold climates.  However, as a mix, the Gerberian Shepsky tends to be a moderate shedder (although some high-shedding variations can occur).  As with both parents, the Shepsky will shed his or her undercoat during the summer months, so frequent brushing with a Furminator or other de-shedding tool is recommended.  Never shave your Gerberian Shepsky, no matter how hot the temperature becomes during the summer.

A dog with a double coat can sufficiently cool itself, and you can do more harm than good to a dog’s natural air conditioning by shaving his or her fur.  Instead, fill a kiddie pool with water or keep your dog inside if he or she appears to be miserable from the heat.  During non-shedding months, you should still brush your Shepsky multiple times per week, as your dog’s long fur can easily become coarse or matted without proper attention.  Regardless if your dog is a moderate or heavy shedder, expect to lint roll and vacuum almost daily.  If shedding becomes out of control, regular “de-shedding” treatments at the groomer can help ease the problem, as can regular baths with de-shedding shampoo and conditioner.  However, avoid bathing your dog too frequently, as German Shepherds and Siberian Huskies can both be susceptible to dry skin, leaving your Shepsky prone to this condition as well.

Included in the regular grooming routine for your Gerberian Shepsky should be attention to ears, eyes, nails and teeth.  German Shepherds have a tendency to develop heavy wax build up in their ears, which is a trait that could be inherited by your Shepsky.  Frequently check his or her ears, and have a veterinarian or professional groomer clean them, as well as teach you how to do so at home.  Never try home remedies, such as pouring mineral oil into the dog’s ear, without a veterinarian’s approval.

After checking your pup’s ears, take a good look at his or her eyes.  Like the Husky, the Gerberian Shepsky can have brown, Gerberian skepsky puppyblue, or parti-colored eyes (or one of each).   Look to see that eyes are clear and free of any “gunk” in the corners.  If there is an excessive amount of discharge, especially yellow or green, contact a veterinarian.  The Siberian Husky is prone to a number of eye disorders, including juvenile cataracts, corneal dystrophy, and progressive retinal atrophy.  German Shepherds are also prone to cataracts, as well as Pannus and Chronic Superficial Keratits.  If purchasing your Shepsky from a breeder, do not hesitate to ask to see the CERF certificates of the puppy’s parents.  Having a routine eye exam performed annually is also a good idea.

As is recommended for all dogs, proper attention to nails and teeth are necessary.  For most medium-to-large breeds, adequate exercise outdoors can keep nails filed down to a manageable length.  However, when nails become long, they must be trimmed or else serious paw pain can occur.  Keep a keen eye on your dog’s teeth, and watch for signs of plaque and tartar build-up.  Routine dental cleanings can keep preventable diseases, such as gum disease, at bay.

Proper care of your Gerberian Shepsky includes a lot of regular exercise.  Both the German Shepherd and Siberian Husky have high energy levels, as they have both been selectively bred for a strong work instinct.  The Gerberian Shepsky makes an excellent running partner, willing to traverse miles of road, trails, or bike path, and will gladly carry your supplies in a doggy-backpack.  Shepskies are also great hiking partners, and their agile nature helps them to tackle even the most technical of trails.

If cycling is more your style, the Shepsky can easily be trained to run alongside your bicycle, and a number of contraptions exist to make cycling with your dog both easy and safe.  Another fun activity is urban mushing, which involves harnessing your pup to a cart, scooter, or wheeled sled and allowing him or her to pull you.  In the winter, traditional sled pulling exercises can be both physically and mentally stimulating for a Shepsky.  If you do not find vigorous physical activity enjoyable, the Shepsky can be trained to run on a treadmill to burn off excess energy.  Additionally, the breed excels at obedience and Agility trials, which are another great way to keep your dog occupied.  Regardless, if considering owning a Gerberian Shepsky, you must be aware that this breed has very high activity requirements that must be accommodated.  Without regular exercise, the Shepsky can become listless, anxious, and bored, which will result in damage to your home.

Proper living quarters for your Shepsky include a large dwelling with a fenced-in yard.  Shepskies are not ideal for apartments, as these dogs are rambunctious and can easily become destructive without adequate room to run.  A secure fence is necessary, as Huskies are adept escape artists, and when combined with the athleticism and wit of the German Shepherd, a Shepsky is able to dig under, climb over, jump over, or chew through even the seemingly most steadfast of enclosures.  While the Shepsky is good with children, care must be taken to properly socialize your dog, because the Shepsky’s active nature can easily result in your dog knocking over a little one.  Additionally, both Huskies and Shepherds have strong prey drives, which make them poor candidates for house mates to cats or other small animals.

Your Gerberian Shepsky’s high activity level will give him or her quite the appetite.  The Shepsky’s diet should be high quality, and may need to be free of grain or wheat ingredients, as German Shepherds are more susceptible to food allergies than most breeds.  While there are many options available for feeding your dog, including dry kibble, wet food, and the raw diet, there is not one “right” food.   A general rule of thumb is to feed the highest quality you can comfortably afford, and always consult a veterinarian when making drastic changes in diet.

The Gerberian Shepsky is a relatively low maintenance hybrid that combines two of the world’s most revered dogs.  Known as an intelligent, loyal, and athletic breed, the Shepsky is a true show-stopper, and for good reason.  With proper diet, exercise, and preventative care, a Shepsky can live a long, happy, and healthy life!

Gerberian Shepsky Adoption

german shepherd husky mixIt’s hard to resist the appeal of these majestic dogs – their muscular athleticism, their striking looks, and their powerful personalities make them extremely popular dogs, and many dog lovers are becoming interested in owning German Shepherd/Husky hybrids these days.

Although many people prefer to raise their pets from puppies, some of us may want to offer a forever home to a Gerberian Shepsky from a shelter or rescue instead. Before you start looking for a new canine companion to adopt, though, there are some things that you need to consider first.

Not all shelters and rescues are the same.

The adoption policies can be tremendously different between individual shelters and dog rescues! While some shelters will allow you to bring your new furry friend home the same day as long as they’ve received your adoption fee, others (particularly more dog-savvy and reputable ones) will ask you for further information, references, and might sometimes even do a home check before adopting out a German Shepherd/Husky (or any dog) to potential pup parents.

Be prepared for paperwork.

Since the goal of most dog rescues is to find the right forever home for the dogs in their care, they’re often going to be fairly diligent about the details of your adoption application. Be prepared to share information about vet care for previous pets, your living situation, your plans for training, shelter, food and housing, and often about any other pets you have living at home. Since a Gerberian Shepsky isn’t a breed for everyone, this screening can be especially important to find the right owners for them!

Adjust your expectations.

Although many of us believe that dogs in rescue only come from situations of abuse or severe neglect, that’s not really the case. Many Gerberian Shepskies in rescues or shelters are there simply because their owners weren’t able to give them the time, attention and care that they needed (as many active, intelligent breeds do). While this means that many Gerberian Shepskies in rescue can make wonderful and affectionate pets, it can be common to experience behavior issues with these pups at first that are often related to a lack of early training or proper socialization. With time, patience and reward-based training, though, many of these dogs become fantastic, loyal companions.

Take advantage of staff experience.

A reputable rescue or shelter usually has staff available to help you through the adoption process, and in addition, they’ll truly try to make sure that a particular pooch is going to the perfect home! Although paperwork, multiple meet and greets, and home visits may seem like a pain for the average adopter, most rescues are only trying to do the best they can for dogs that have sometimes been through tough situations or multiple homes already. Don’t be afraid to ask questions yourself either, though! It’s essential for you to know about your new dog’s health history, temperament, any behavioral quirks and how they get along with children and other animals. It’s quite common for rescued Gerberian Shepskies to experience some level of food or toy guarding and separation anxiety after adoption, especially in the first few months after coming home.

You might actually end up saving on initial vet fees….

Once you’ve found your best furry friend, you might be surprised at how economical adoption is compared to purchasing a new puppy from a breeder! While a new puppy owner bears the burden for costs of vaccination, parasite treatment, identification, and spay or neuter, your rescued Gerberian Shepsky’s adoption fee likely includes all of these services for an adoption fee that’s often far less than you would pay for them at your regular veterinarian.

….but be aware of potential health issues, however.

The nature of dog rescue and adoption often means that we don’t know the exact background of our favorite furry friends; potential owners don’t know if their dog’s parents had any medical conditions, for example, or whether they’re going to be more likely to develop joint disease as they age. Dogs in animal shelters and rescue organizations are also stressed more than other dogs, and tend to be more vulnerable to some kinds of contagious viruses too; definitely ensure your Gerberian Shepsky is up to date on vaccinations as soon as possible (preferably before leaving the shelter), and consider enrolling in pet insurance for your new addition.

Don’t expect perfection from the first day.

Even the most easygoing dogs are stressed by changes to their home and routine, and Gerberian Shepskies tend to be more sensitive, perceptive and anxiety prone than other breeds. Don’t be surprised if your newly adopted dog from a rescue or shelter is nervous and restless in the first few days or weeks; some dogs who normally have great manners might have accidents, be more excitable, barking, dig or whine as they adjust to a new routine, new people, sights, sounds and smells.

It’s especially important to follow their lead and never push them into new situations if they’re afraid, and gradually introduce them to younger family members and other pets. Try to stay patient, calm and positive, provide your new furry friend with a safe and consistent daily routine, and soon they’ll settle in. If you’ve adopted a Gerberian Shepsky with known behavioral issues like food guarding, aggression, extreme fearfulness or separation anxiety, it’s best to contact a reward-based trainer or behaviorist that can help both you and your new four-legged family member develop a close and trusting bond.

Although it may take more work, time and patience to adopt a Gerberian Shepsky, there are many of these wonderful dogs in rescue that need homes. Owners who are willing to give them the loving attention that they desperately need will quickly find that they have a loving, affectionate and loyal canine partner and friend, waiting to please them and love them right back. It’s definitely worth it!

Gerberian Shepsky Breeders

Although the choice to adopt a Gerberian Shepsky puppy is an exciting one, it’s especially important to be careful in choosing a reputable breeder to purchase your puppy from. As a so-called ‘designer dog’, some German Shepherd/Husky mixes may be bred by people simply seeking to cash in on the fact that these types of dogs are popular right now.

These unethical breeders may produce litters of pups that are unhealthy, poorly socialized or with extremely fearful temperaments. These majestic dogs definitely need the right breeders and owners! It’s best to search for an experienced breeder who is very knowledgeable about both the German Shepherd and Husky breeds, who can work with you to find the right fit for your family, and who will provide you with help and support as your puppy grows and changes – in other words, who will care just as much about your dog’s future as you do!

So how do you find such a breeder, particularly one who breeds Gerberian Shepskies? The best place to begin your search is probably though mixed breed associations or breeder listings in magazines or on the internet. Take the time to visit with them to check out their dogs, facilities and their breeding practices. To help you out, here are some questions that you should be asking any Gerberian Shepsky breeder before you purchase a pup from them.

  • Can I visit your facility? A reputable breeder will not only say yes, but should actually encourage you to come and meet their dogs and talk with them. You should at least be able to see the available pups in the litter, meet the dam (mother), and see where the puppies spend most of their day. Although it’s normal for some breeders to keep their dogs in a kennel, pups should be indoors, in a clean, warm and well-lit area, and kept with their mother until at least 8 or 9 weeks of age.
  • How long have you been breeding dogs/Gerberian Shepskies? It’s always best to purchase from an experienced breeder that’s been involved with one or both parent breeds and who can fully support new puppy parents who purchase their dogs. Those who have been involved in responsible breeding for years will have planned carefully for each litter and can help you pick the most suitable furry friend.
  • What is the family history of the parents? Ask how long their breeding dogs have lived, or whether they’ve had any history of serious health problems, for example.
  • Have the mother and pups visited the vet recently, and is the dam (mother) up to date on vaccinations? A puppy’s immune system isn’t complete when they’re born, so they receive protection against contagious diseases from their mother. If the mother’s vaccinations aren’t up to date, she may not pass those important antibodies on to her pups, making them more likely to pick up dangerous viruses at a young age before they get their first vaccines themselves! Don’t take their word for it, either – ask to see actual proof.
  • How have the pups been raised? Gerberian Shepskies in particular need lots of early loving care and socialization with people, so the best environment for them is to be raised in a home with daily handling and human interaction. No amount of training or socialization later on in life can fully make up for a lack of early human contact, so these first weeks are the most important for your potential pup. Early cuddles are a good thing!
  • What health clearances have the parents undergone? Although Gerberian Shepsky puppies are a mix of two different breeds, long term health is still important! A responsible breeder shouldn’t breed either parent dog unless they have certification to prove that they’ve passed health clearances for hip dysplasia, inheritable eye diseases and von Willebrand’s disease, since these are all issues that can be common in both Shepherds and Huskies.
  • Can I speak with other owners of your dogs, or do you have references? Since a dog’s looks and personality can change so much from puppyhood to adulthood, ask if the breeder can give you references or recommendations from other owners who have purchased puppies from them in the past.
  • What activities do you do with your dogs? A truly involved and experienced breeder should participate in some sort of regular activity with their dogs, and know how their dogs behave and what they excel in! Although Gerberian Shepskies can’t participate in conformation shows, there are many kennel clubs that offer activities for hybrids as well, like obedience, tracking, earth dog trials, mushing and other pulling sports, herding, and Schutzhund. If the breeder simply keeps their dogs at home, with puppy-producing as their only job, that’s a red flag to walk away from!
  • Will you provide a health certificate or guarantee? At minimum, a Gerberian Shepsky breeder should be able to provide you a certificate of health for your chosen pup from their veterinarian that ensures your furry friend has no congenital health problems (like a heart murmur, for example) at the time you adopt them.
  • Are there other Gerberian Shepsky breeders you would recommend? Although this question seems counterintuitive, an ethical breeder is willing to work with and recommend others who also breed Gerberian Shepskies in order to improve the breed in general, and to find the best type and personality of puppy for each owner. Some lines may be far more driven to work, for instance, while other Gerbian Shepsky breeders may breed for a calmer temperament that’s more appropriate for a family pet.

Although researching the perfect puppy breeder may seem like a lot of work (after all, you just want to bring that fluffy ball of fur home!), having all your questions answered gives you peace of mind that you’re truly picking the right dog for you. Responsible, ethical breeding practices, early positive socialization and long-term support from a good breeder will make all the different in the long-term health of your canine companion, as well as determining just what kind of dog your Gerberian Shepsky is going to turn out to be. Good luck in your puppy search!

Gerberian Shepsky Training

A striking combination of two extremely popular breeds, Gerberian Shepskies have some of the best traits from both parents, but also some that can be extremely frustrating for inexperienced owners. Their intelligence, independence and willingness to learn and please their owners can be extraordinary, but without appropriate training and socialization, these very traits can also be problematic. These clever pups are easily bored, and can become distracted easily by more interesting things around them. They’re also very discriminating when it comes to obedience (a personality quirk that derives from their Husky heritage), and need the right type of motivation to perform a task that they’ve been asked to do. Despite being independent thinkers, Gerberian Shepskies are often extremely perceptive dogs, sensitive to even slight changes in mood and body language, and since rough handling or punishment can easily cause these dogs to become aggressive or fearful, it’s best to train them using confident, yet reward-based handling.

Before you start training your Gerberian Shepsky, here are a few guidelines to help you learn how to positively motivate your pup to learn and work together with you.

  • Focus on rewarding the behavior you want, instead of punishing your pooch for undesirable actions. For example, instead of yelling at your dog to stop jumping up, reward them when they’re sitting calmly to greet people.
  • Be confident and consistent! The cue for a particular behavior should be the same no matter where you are; don’t use ‘Come here!’ at home and ‘Bailey, come!’ at the park, for instance.
  • Find your dog’s currency. Each dog is an individual; for some, their greatest motivator is food, while for others, it may be a specific toy, praise, or even the freedom to play with other dogs.
  • Keep training simple and fun! Break up training sessions into brief periods of no more than 5-10 minutes at a time, several times daily to keep your dog’s attention on you. Learning is hard work, so let your dog blow off steam with a game of tug or fetch afterwards.
  • Always end training sessions on a positive note, even if it means getting your dog to do something super easy that they already know how to do.
  • If you get frustrated, stop, end the session, and break down what you’re trying to teach into smaller steps next time.
  • Don’t use tools or methods that scare your Gerberian Shepsky or cause them pain or discomfort – it disrupts the bond of trust your furry friend has in you, and while some of those techniques might be effective in getting the behavior that you want, they could also make your dog fearful, defensive, and apt to avoid situations where they’ve experienced punishment before.

Training your dog doesn’t require much in the way of tools – a simple flat collar, leash, and a great supply of rewards (which may be treats, toys, praise, petting, or a combination of all of these) is all you need to start with.

Socialization

This is probably the most important thing that you can do for your Gerberian Shepsky – yes, even more important than teaching ‘sit, stay, come!’ Dogs have a specific window of time, usually between the ages of 8 and 16 weeks, in which it’s absolutely essential for them to be introduced and exposed to a wide variety of different people, places, sounds, smells, and situations to prevent them from being fearful or reactive as adults. Once your Gerberian Shepsky has had their first vaccines, get them out and about to puppy-safe places for some social time! Enroll them in a beginner obedience class, take them to visit friends and neighbors, arrange meet and greets with other friendly dogs and puppies. It’s also a good idea to take them for frequent friendly drop-in visits at your veterinarian, groomer, pet store and doggie daycare, and let the staff shower them with pats, treats, and praise. Since these pups can be sensitive to some sounds as adults, make an audio track with different noises (like bells, sirens, whistles, thunder, fireworks and engine sounds) and play it at a low to moderate volume in your home while your pup is eating or playing.

Basic Manners

It’s natural for Gerberian Shepskies to be exuberant and energetic dogs, but their large size means that their enthusiastic antics can be overwhelming for many people if they aren’t taught to respect our space and act appropriately in our home. Teaching your Gerberian Shepsky to be a good canine citizen will not only make them a friendlier, more well-rounded pooch, but also helps to further positive perceptions of these pups as fantastic companion dogs. One of the main ways to help curb bad behavior is to make sure that your dog is getting enough exercise, in fact! A tired dog is far less motivated to behave ‘badly’ because of boredom, frustration or excess energy. Start with teaching and rewarding your dog for the behaviors you want them to do, while ignoring or firmly redirecting the unwanted actions; reward them with a fun chew toy when they’re relaxing on their bed, for example, or give them a treat each time they pause in their barking out the window to teach them that silence is the behavior that you desire.

Mouthing and Biting

Puppies tend to explore the world with their mouth and teeth, and some Gerberian Shepskies tend to take more after their more orally-oriented Husky parents – ouch! Many dog owners have been on the wrong end of a sharp set of puppy teeth used in play or exploration. Luckily, these perceptive pups can easily be taught what types of toothy tricks are unacceptable. As soon as your dog begins to use their teeth, give a sharp ‘ouch!’, stop the activity immediately and walk away from your dog; you can also redirect them to bite on a long rope or tug toy. They’ll soon learn to be gentle with their mouth if they want your continued attention!

Recall

Although Gerberian Shepskies learn very quickly, one of the most essential commands for them to master is a solid recall; they have a highly ingrained motivation to run and chase than many other breeds, and if distracted enough, can run dangerously far! A long line of 25-30 feet attached to your dog’s collar is a fantastic tool for keeping them safe until they reliably return to your side. Begin at home with your dog’s favorite rewards; using an excited tone of voice, call their name, give your recall cue (most owners use ‘come’ or ‘here’) then quickly run away from them. When they catch up to you, give them lots of treats and praise! Over time, stop rewarding your dog’s slowest return trips, and increase the distance between you two. Don’t forget to practice this new skill in different locations with different distractions as your dog’s recall skills improve!

Training your Gerberian Shepsky to be a well-mannered, obedient dog isn’t going to happen quickly; just like humans, dogs take time to learn new skills. Training with respect, understanding and positivity, however, not only builds a fantastic bond between you and your furry best friend, but is the best way to end up with a happy healthy companion for years to come.

Gerberian Shepsky For Sale – Pick the Perfect Puppy

Gerberian Shepsky PuppyCongratulations! You’ve just decided to make a wonderful addition to your family – a new Gerberian Shepsky puppy. Although you can’t wait for those puppy snuggles, games of fetch and long hikes in the woods, you should first research the breed itself before you make a final decision, and know what to look for when you’re starting your search for a puppy.

Many new dog owners are so excited by the idea of a new puppy that they simply make their decision impulsively, and then become frustrated by a dog with characteristics that aren’t really a good match for their situation or their own personality! By being prepared, however, you not only increase your chances that you’ll find the pet that’s perfect for your family, but you’ll also reduce the chances that your puppy will have numerous health issues in the future too. Now that’s something to bark about! Let’s start at the beginning; here’s what to do and what to look for when you’re about to buy a Gerberian Shepsky puppy.

Planning is Key

  • Before you even begin looking for the right pup, it’s a good idea to begin with the basics. Is your family truly ready for a dog? Here are some other good questions to decide whether or not a Gerbian Shepsky is the right fit for you:
  • How much time are you willing to spend with your puppy? Dogs need a large time commitment, especially as puppies, amounting to several hours a day for play, training, feeding and exercise.
  • Are you physically capable of owning this breed? Gerbian Shepskies aren’t couch potato dogs – they prefer to be active and thrive on having a job to do.
  • Can you afford it? Gerberian Shepskies are larger dogs, so on top of costs for regular care like exams, vaccinations and parasite control, expect them to eat larger amounts of food, take up more space, need a larger pen or bed, and have health issues more often associated with large breed dogs.
  • Can you handle the hair? These lovely hybrids can be super-shedders at times, and need a moderate amount of grooming a few times weekly.
  • Do you live in an extremely hot climate? Though many breeds can adjust to different weather conditions, the Gerberian Shepsky’s Husky heritage and thick double coat don’t tend to mix well with extreme heat.

Once you’ve done your research and have started your puppy search, it’s important to look at several different factors to help you pick out the right furry friend for your family. Although all puppies are cute and fuzzy, you should have an idea of what type of personality and appearance you would prefer in a dog when you first visit a litter, instead of just picking the prettiest pup there.

Begin with a Breeder

Although you might be able to find Gerberian Shepskies in rescue, if you’re looking to purchase this specific hybrid, then a breeder is often your best bet. You may be able to find Gerberian Shepsky breeders through the American Canine Hybrid Club or through local advertising in your area. Ask potential breeders if you can visit their litters at least twice – since puppies can look and act differently depending on age, and being able to interact with them at separate times will give you a clearer picture of each pup’s personality.

Time to Visit

When you first meet the pups, pay close attention to their appearance, their behavior towards you and the breeder, and how they interact with their littermates and their mother. Pups should be a good weight with some padding over their ribs and look clean, healthy, and active when they’re awake, with well-furred coats that are parasite free. (Health issues like coughing, nose or eye discharge and dirty or matted coats are signs that purchasing from that breeder is not a good idea) At a young age, it can be fairly common for their ears to still be drooping instead of standing upright. Pups who have been well-handled and well socialized will be curious and willing to approach you; although there are often one or two more ‘shy’ pups in a litter (especially since this breed can be a bit more reserved at first), extremely shy or fearful puppies may indicate that the litter hasn’t received enough human interaction.

Meet the Parents

Since you’re purchasing a mixed breed puppy, it’s never a bad idea to ask to see one or both parents; this gives you an idea of what your pup will look and act like when it’s an adult, but is also an opportunity for you to be sure that your pup is a an actual mix of these particular breeds. An ethical breeder should be using healthy adult German Shepherds and Siberian Huskies to produce Gerberian Shepsky puppies, and ideally will also have health clearances done on both parent dogs to check for hip and elbow dysplasia, eye problems and heritable diseases like von Willebrand’s before breeding happens.

Ask for Advice

Once you’ve found the perfect place to get your pup from, it’s time to actually pick your new friend! Any experienced breeder should know the temperament of their dogs and puppies well, and will usually recommend a certain puppy or two within the litter who they feel would fit with your family best, temperament-wise. Because puppies need lots of early interaction with their mom and littermates to develop proper behavior later on in life, it’s best not to take your pup home until they’re at least 8-9 weeks old. Don’t forget to talk to your veterinarian and dog trainer either – they can give you some great tips on the best ways to keep your new Gerberian Shepsky pup happy and healthy!

Once you bring your new furry family member home, give them a few days to adjust and settle in to your daily routine before you start introducing them to the rest of the world. Your journey with your new best friend has just begun – with a Gerberian Shepsky at your side, the world is yours for exploring!

German Shepherd Husky Mix

german shepherd husky mixThe German Shepherd Husky mix is a hybrid of two highly intelligent and popular working breeds – the German Shepherd and the Siberian Husky. While each breed has their own unique set of traits and temperament, a German Shepherd Husky mix will typically present with some characteristics that come from both breeds, though it’s not unusual for the offspring of a cross between these two purebreds to take after one parent more predominantly than the other.

As a hybrid that appears to be growing significantly in popularity, German Shepherd Husky mixes are one of the so-called ‘designer dog’ breeds. In addition to being hard-working, loyal and usually personable, these mixes also tend to be wonderfully striking in appearance, often maintaining the typical Shepherd patterning, but gaining the blue eyes that are characteristic of the Husky breed. Inexperienced owners who choose this breed based only on looks, however, may find themselves in over their head, as both parent breeds can be strong-willed and vocal, and German Shepherd Huskies need consistent training, early socialization and clear boundaries to develop into good canine citizens.

Physical Appearance

In appearance, the German Shepherd Husky is typically considered to be a larger hybrid, generally standing around 2-25 inches at the shoulder, with a weight that ranges between 45 and 88lbs. They have a typically solid (though not overly heavy) structure, and their athletic build and moderate to high energy level allows them to excel in dog sport and endurance activities.
Since the coat coloration can be somewhat unpredictable in hybrids, a German Shepherd Husky can come in a variety of different colors; blue, red, white, cream, brown, grey, and golden have all been noted, though the most common coloration and patterning tends to be either black and tan or brown and black.

Like both Shepherd and Husky parents, their hybrid offspring are also double coated, possessing a soft, dense undercoat that traps warm air to insulate, and a harsher, longer overcoat that keeps them dry and protects them from severe weather conditions. The skull shape can vary in appearance between the Shepherd’s narrower headset and the Husky’s broader shape, but the ears are generally always upright, while the muzzle of a German Shepherd Husky is usually pointed, similar to both parent breeds. Their eyes may be brown, blue, or an even combination of both!

Personality and Temperament

Although this mix has the potential to be gentle and calm if they’re given lots of early socialization and training, they are still muscular, strong dog. They can be protective and loyal pets, and their intuitive intelligence means that they need a job to do in order to keep them from becoming bored. German Shepherd Huskies are usually very trainable, since they respond well to reward-based training practices, and learn verbal commands and whistles quickly and easily. Their innate herding instinct can sometimes be an problem, especially when these dogs are younger, as they are often tempted to mouth and ‘gather’ their humans into one spot – a behavior that they can be redirected out of with time and patience, however.

The fact that they’re at the top of the game when it comes to learning and logical thinking means that a German Shepherd Husky mix could have enormous potential for search and rescue, military operations and even stunt dog training! They bond closely with their family or trainer but stay reserved towards strangers (even to the point of becoming protective of their own ‘people’ and territory) making them an excellent choice for guard dog duty as well. Because both Huskies and German Shepherds tend to have high prey drive, it’s not recommended that these mixes live in homes where there are cats or much smaller dogs, as they may be more likely to chase or even seriously injure these other pets.

Grooming and Shedding

Most canine companions need some amount of grooming, and the German Shepherd Husky is no exception. Their double coat sheds moderately all year, with one or two sessions of heavier shedding, particularly in the spring (often called ‘blowing coat). A thorough brushing several times each week can help to keep the furry tumbleweeds from taking over your house, however, besides being essential for removing excess dead undercoat, allowing these mixed breeds to properly regulate their body temperature. Eye, ear, and toenail care is also important, and some owners may choose to trim their dog’s paw hair to prevent snow accumulation in the winter.

Common Health Issues

While mixed breeds in general tend to be healthier overall, since they’re not vulnerable to many of the health issues caused by inbreeding, a German Shepherd Husky mix may still potentially experience some of the health conditions commonly found in either of its purebred parents. Some of these conditions can include:

  • Gastrointestinal issues like inflammatory bowel disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Eye issues like juvenile cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, and kerato-conjunctivitis (dry eye)
  • Bloat
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Splenic cancer
  • Allergic dermatitis
  • Perianal fistula
  • von Willebrand’s disease
  • Degenerative Myelitis
  • Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency

In spite of these potential health issues, many German Shepherd Husky mixes can live up to 12 or 13 years of age.

Activity Needs

Although owning a German Shepherd Husky mix can be extremely rewarding, it’s essential to remember that these dogs originate from two very driven working breeds, so they absolutely need lots of physical and mental interaction. These dogs are moderate to high energy canines, with a drive to work and play for long periods of time – lovers of these hybrids should be prepared to provide them with at least an hour or two of activity every day. Owners who aren’t able to provide daily intense exercise for their dogs in the form of hiking, swimming, running, or dog sports like skijoring, herding, mushing or agility might find that their dogs become bored easily, quickly becoming frustrated or destructive.

Training

Although their high intellect allows a German Shepherd Husky to learn quickly, they’re also extremely independent and perceptive, and require confident, consistent training methods and firm boundaries. Like most dogs, they respond best to positive, reward-based training that takes their independent nature and problem solving skills into consideration. They can be highly motivated by treats, toys, and play to learn and perform many different types of skills.

Recommended Diet

Because these dogs are moderately large breeds, close attention should be paid to their growth and body condition from puppyhood, since improper nutrition (or excess weight gain) could cause them to develop bone and joint issues earlier as an adult. Choose a premium diet that’s complete and balanced in terms of nutrients and made with high quality, digestible ingredients –this will not only help your dog maintain a healthier digestive and immune system, but will be less expensive in the long run, potentially saving you money on vet bills in the future.

Excellent nutrition is the first step to excellent health! Keep in mind that many German Shepherd Husky mixes may seem picky, but in actuality, they simply know how much their body needs and will often regulate their own food intake depending on their activity. German Shepherd Husky Mixes (Gerberian Shepsky) are recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club and the Dog Registry of America Inc.