Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Ever heard of a German Shepherd-Husky mix before?
Just so you know, the Gerberian Shepsky dog wasn’t even bred by accident.
In fact, former American Animal Hospital Association president Dr. Pam Nichols claims that Shepsky dogs are:
“…bred to be an independent problem solver.”
And for first-time pup parents, Shepskies can be extra stubborn.
…but nothing a dedicated dog lover like you can’t handle!
While self-will is an awesome trait in dogs, it’s vital to train and socialize your Shepsky puppies at an early age.
Of course, Gerberian Shepskies have a LOT of great qualities that can swoon in your heart forever. (We’ll get there in a bit!)
Okay, just one spoiler: Shepsky dogs have something interesting in their eyes.
So, stay here for a while, and let’s unravel what Gerberian Shepskies have to offer!
Gerberian Shepsky Dog Breed Profile
This German Shepherd-Husky mix is surely a head-turner breed. Not only are they popular police dogs, but they also have oozing personalities, too.
Let’s get to know them, shall we?
Physical Traits of the Gerberian Shepsky
The Gerberian Shepsky is a large dog breed with a muscular build. Its body is long and lean, making it look elegant but sturdy.
You may also notice their long pointed heads and broad faces with a full or partial black mask.
Along with their strong energy lies a powerful jaw and teeth, too.
Not just that, one distinctive feature you can see in the Gerberian Shepsky breed is their eyes.
With their Siberian Husky roots, Shepskies either have blue or brown eyes.
But sometimes, you’ll notice their one eye being blue and brown on the other.
Matching its sturdy and strong build, the Shepsky dog has erect ears, which is also attributed to its parent genes.
Height and Weight
The Gerberian Shepsky dog stands about 20-25 inches tall for both males and females.
While Shepskies have the same stance, they slightly differ in weight: 50-100 pounds for males and 45-90 pounds for females.
Coat and Color
Because of its German Shepherd-Husky mix, Shepsky dogs have a dense and soft coat.
Depending on the parent traits, Gerberian Shepskies usually have one dominant color — red.
And sometimes, you’ll see varying coat color combos, such as:
- Brown and blue
- White and black
- Cream and brown
Meanwhile, Shepkies can grow their coat into medium to long but usually straight in texture.
Living Conditions and Lifestyle
So, if you have adequate apartment space for large dog breeds, then a Shepsky is a great addition to your list.
But pay attention, Gerberian Shepsky dogs can be a little noisy when they’re bored or if they lack exercise.
To add, this dog breed needs a dominant pack leader at home.
Dog owners should assert authority when handling Shepsky dogs, especially when training them.
Shepskies are gentle dogs, though.
But because they’re great police and working dogs, they have a lot of energy to burn — about 2 hours of physical activity — daily.
As Shepsky guardians, you need to keep up with their active lifestyle, too.
Tip: To prevent your Gerberian Shepskies from getting bored, give them interactive dog toys at home.
Can Gerberian Shepsky Dogs Be Left Alone?
Gerberian Shepsky dogs shouldn’t be left alone, especially for a long period of time.
That’s because they tend to have a strong attachment to their owners.
When left for long hours or days, Shepskies can become aggressive and destructive at home.
So, be sure to have somebody—preferably a familiar face—dog-sit your Shepskies when you’re out of town or working on longer shifts.
The Gerberian Shepsky Dog Personality
Affectionate yet reserved.
The Gerberian Shepsky dog is the type that tails you around but doesn’t go anywhere near you.
Another dominant trait in Shepsky dogs is that they’re not as friendly as other canine breeds.
Although not necessarily aggressive, another noticeable trait in Shepsky dogs is that they like to stand out in the pack.
Are Gerberian Shepskies great family dogs?
Gerberian Shepskies are great family dogs because of their gentle yet protective nature.
They are loyal, affectionate, and… a little mischievous sometimes.
You can expect your Gerberian Shepsky dog to guard you, your family, and your property for eternity.
Note: Shepskies may be calm dogs, but they aren’t sociable with people they don’t know.
Are Gerberian Shepskies great dogs for kids?
Gerberian Shepskies are great around kids, too.
With a Shepsky dog’s drive for action, your kids will love playing around this pooch at home.
Remember: Always give parental supervision to your kids, especially around dogs.
Gerberian Shepsky dogs tend to hate when you’re within their radius during meal time.
So, be sure to instruct your kids not to disturb these dogs when they start to distance themselves from people.
Are Gerberian Shepsky dogs great around other pets?
The Gerberian Shepsky dog isn’t recommended around other pets unless they’ve been trained at an early age.
Due to their protective instincts, Shepskies have a strong prey drive.
But, early socialization can pitch down their dominance over other animals.
Do Shepskies bark a lot?
Gerberian Shepsky dogs tend to bark a lot when they’re bored or stressed.
They become aggressive and destructive when you leave them for long periods or if they miss their morning run at the park.
Shepskies may also bark to alert you and other family members during life-threatening scenarios.
Are Gerberian Shepsky dogs hard to train?
The Gerberian Shepsky dog is not difficult to train — thanks to their intelligence and thirst for engaging activities.
And with their high energy, training Giberian Shepskies is a breeze.
However, take note that Shepsky dogs are quite a stubborn breed, and their self-will might be intimidating at first.
So, be sure to exert authority when training them.
And, of course, treats!
Use lots of treats, yes.
The Gerberian Shepsky: Grooming, Diet, and Health
“How do I groom a Gerberian Shepsky?”
With a Gerberian Shepsky’s medium coat length, brushing them twice a week is enough.
But their dense coat will need gentle brushes on the inner layer, too.
Meanwhile, bathe your Shepskies only when required. Frequent baths will dry out their coat’s natural oils and sheen texture.
Of course, don’t forget to check and clean their ears and teeth regularly.
Reminder: Grooming can bore your Gerberian Shepskies. So, be sure to infuse a little fun each time, such as rewarding them with their favorite treats.
“What do Shepskies eat?”
As a large breed, Gerberian Shepsky dogs need proportional feeding, too.
Note: Low-calorie diets help prevent bone disorders in your Shepskies.
With this in mind, avoid exposing your Gerberian Shepsky puppies to strenuous physical activities or playing on hard surfaces until they’re 2 years old.
The goal is to wait until their joints are fully formed.
And most importantly, seek your vet for a proper diet assessment.
Gerberian Shepsky dogs can live healthily throughout their lifetime, but here are some common health problems to be aware of:
Canine Hip Dysplasia
Canine hip dysplasia (CHD) is a skeletal disorder that’s characterized by changes or movement around the ball and socket joint in the hip.
Often occurring during growth in dogs, CHD is caused by the following factors:
- Lack of exercise
- Improper nutrition
- Bone formation process
Some common symptoms of CHD to take note of are the following:
- Hind leg pain
- Difficulty moving
Veterinary experts make constant efforts for preventive care and treatments against CHD.
And according to a study, the following are known to relieve joint pain in dogs:
- Fish oil
- Green-lipped mussels
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is the most common cause of blindness in dogs, according to a study.
Often occurring in small dog breeds, experts classify PRA as a genetically transmitted disease that targets the retina of the eyes.
For your reference, some early signs of Progressive Retinal Atrophy in dogs include:
- Total blindness
- Night blindness
- Bright eye-shine
- Cataract formation
Sadly, the cure for PRA isn’t widely available yet as of this writing.
Experts today are looking into gene therapy as a remedy for both animals and humans, however.
Gerberian Shepsky Dog Life Span
The Gerberian Shepsky dog’s life expectancy ranges between 12-13 years, given that proper care is provided, such as:
- Socialization and training
- Appropriate living condition
Are Gerberian Shepsky dogs rare?
Despite their popularity as police and rescue dogs, the American Kennel Club is yet to recognize Shepskies as an official breed.
Currently, they’re still under endorsement by the American Canine Hybrid Club.
The Gerberian Shepsky Dog: A Glimpse of History
While there’s not much information recorded about the Gerberian Shepsky dog, it’s believed that breeders started crossbreeding this canine in the 90s.
Due to the rising demand for designer dogs at the time, breeders continued crossing German Shepherds and Siberian Huskies.
Originally bred as working dogs, the Gerberian Shepsky’s intelligence and attentiveness attracted law enforcement.
Hence, their popularity as police and rescue dogs today.
4 Interesting Facts About The Gerberian Shepsky Dog
1. Shepsky Dogs Have 2 Different Iris Colors
It’s not uncommon for Gerberian Shepsky dogs to have 2 different eye colors or known as heterochromia.
Commonly occurring in canines, heterochromia is the varying amounts of melanin deposited in the iris of the eyes.
Melanin is the pigment that determines hair, eye, and skin color in humans and animals.
In context, the iris (colored portion of the eye) helps regulate the light that’s penetrating the eyes.
So, your Shepsky’s pale blue eyes either lack or contain less melanin.
The more melanin the iris has, the darker it looks — the less light it filters.
Is this a bad thing, though?
Most dogs with heterochromia have great eyesight, and this condition won’t significantly impact their health.
However, this phenomenon in Gerberian Shepskies can also be a result of bad breeding practices.
Besides that, heterochromia in dogs is due to the following factors:
- Illnesses like glaucoma or cancer
Do Shepsky puppies develop heterochromia?
Gerberian Shepsky puppies typically change their eye color at 9-12 weeks — even as late as 16 weeks.
This condition usually happens in most puppies of any breed, too.
2. Law Enforcement Sees Great Potential in Shepsky Dogs
Not all police dogs you see are German Shepherds — sometimes, they’re Shepskies.
The Gerberian Shepsky dogs are now taking the police force by storm.
Well, thanks to their German Shepherd roots.
There’s no wonder why Shepsky dogs’ intelligence and drive for action attract the police’s attention.
The Shepsky’s temperament and personality alone are a sure winner.
They are loyal and affectionate — unless you’re their hooman.
3. Shepskies Have Mixed Personalities
As a German Shepherd and Husky mix, there’s no question why Shepsky dogs have colorful personalities.
You can just imagine 2 polar opposites bred together.
If you’re curious about what makes Gerberian Shepsky dogs weirdly unique, here’s a breakdown:
- German Shepherds are more easily trainable than Huskies.
- Huskies tend to run away from danger, but German Shepherds face ‘em!
- German Shepherds like to keep a distance from strangers — Siberian Huskies are overly friendly.
- Dog owners notice how German Shepherds are quite sensitive while Huskies are generally cheerful.
Gerberian Shepskies might be a handful of a breed to adopt.
But who knows, they might be your spirit animal!
4. They Need Super Durable Chew Toys
Well, all canine breeds should have them.
But a Gerberian Shepsky dog’s powerful jaw and scissor-closure teeth can pound toys to bits.
And given that Shepskies have destructive tendencies out of boredom, you can imagine what their toys will look like when you get home.
What’s more, this German Shepherd-Husky mix needs chew toys to aid their painful teething phase.
Important: Low-quality chew toys pose potential choking hazards to your dogs, too.
Before You Go…
Learning about the Gerberian Shepsky dog is like opening a box of surprises.
And owning one — at first — can be a bit overwhelming.
As a German Shepherd and Husky mix, the Shepsky dog’s personality can also be unpredictable sometimes.
Regardless, dog lovers like you need to socialize and train your Shepsky puppies at the earliest time possible.
Especially around other family members and pets, Gerberian Shepsky dogs can sometimes show their unsociability.
Another thing to consider before adopting a Shepsky is its size.
As a large dog breed, they can thrive in apartment living, given an adequate space is available for them to roam and play.
Overall, you’ll be mesmerized by Gerberian Shepsky’s unique eyes and affectionate nature.
But, always remember to supervise your children around Shepsky dogs to prevent any accidents at home.