Congratulations! 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!