It’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!