In the past several decades we’ve seen a host of new cross-breed dogs surfacing, and if you haven’t yet heard of the Gerberian Shepsky, it’s okay. This breed is what you get when you cross a German Shepherd with a Siberian Husky. The Gerberian Shepsky has an awesome sounding name, but the animal itself is even more impressive. We’re so taken with this dog that we’d like to pass on what we’ve learned so here are 10 things you didn’t know about the Gerberian Shepsky.
1. Gerberian Shepskys are very intelligent
This unique hybrid dog is known for being highly intelligent. You can blame this one their genetics. Both German Shepherds and Siberian Huskies are known for being very smart dogs. In some regards, this is great news, especially if you take the time to properly train your Shepsky. If left to his own devices, he may be too smart for his own good, or perhaps for your own good!
2. They’re surprisingly only moderate shedders
One would tend to think that with the massive coats these dogs inherit from their ancestors that shedding would be a big issue, but it’s not. They’re actually only moderate shedders. If you groom them two to three times a week, it will help with shedding. While you’re doing this, make sure that you clean their ears and eyes because these tend to be problem areas for this hybrid.
3. Gerberian Shepsky’s are “designer dogs”
When a hybrid is created from two singular breeds intentionally, it is considered to be a designer dog and the Gerberian Shepsky fits the definition. The combination of the two breeds results in a beautiful dog that has eyes that will melt your heart. They’ree smart, energetic and a lot of fun to have around if they’re properly trained. One of the best things about raising a litter of shepskys is that you never know what the puppies are going to look like until after they’re here. They inherit traits from two different dog breeds and there is no way to predict which will show up in a pup, and to what degree. It’s always a pleasant surprise though.
4. Shepskies are big dogs
The average height of this hybrid for both male and female is between 20 to 25 inches. The average weight is between 45 to 88 pounds. These are averages and some can get even bigger. A lot depends on their lifestyle and their diet.
5. Gerberian Shepskies tend to be healthier but…
Being a hybrid breed, these dogs have shown a tendency to be healthier. Having said this, there is the possibility that any one of the pups will inherit health issues common with either breed. These include eye problems, digestive issues, and blood disorders. In general, they have an average lifespan that ranges between 10 and 13 years.
6. The breed is relatively new
The Gerberian Shepsky isn’t like some of the ancient dog breeds that have been around for centuries. In fact, they were first red intentionally in the 1980s. The mixture was so well liked that breeding continued on. The hybrid is gaining in its popularity and we’re beginning to see many more around in the United States.
7. Training is vital
Gerberian Shepskies are strong dogs and they’re large. They tend to have an independent streak but this is nothing that proper training won’t take care of. Because of their high intelligence, when a Shepsky is well-trained they are suitable for higher-order tasks including acting, providing support to officers in law enforcement, as search and rescue dogs and there are even appropriate places for them in the military. They learn fast and become highly loyal and obedient.
8. They’re not AKC but the Shepsky is still official
Although the American Kennel Club does not recognize the hybrid dog breed, it’s still recognized in this category. The American Canine Hybrid Club has officially recognized them. The Dog Registry of America Inc. has followed suit as well, so they’re a legitimate hybrid.
9. They come in a variety of colors
Gerberian Shepskies all have straight hair with a double coat, but the length and density can vary from one dog to another. They inherit the thick double coat from the Husky parent in varying degrees. Their ears are pointed and they have a narrow muzzle, but they can be born in a variety of different colors and color combinations. The most common are black and brown, but they can also be red, blue, white, black, cream, golden and gray.
10. They make wonderful family dogs
Shepskies are active dogs who love to play with kids. They’re smart and they’ve even been known to sense danger and discourage small children from wandering off. They have a natural instinct to protect their family members. Although they’re not usually mean by nature, they will defend when danger is imminent.