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Country of Origin, History of Shepskys
There is no known date or person who started the Shepsky breed, but it is believed it may have existed naturally over the years. However, it was only in the 1990s that designer dog breeders in North America mixed the German Shepherd and Siberian Husky to develop Shepsky to have an intelligent dog for use in search and rescue and police work. As demand for mixed breed dogs kept increasing, Shepskys became more and more popular.
Breed Selector Tool - is the Shepsky the right breed for you?
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Check Your Shepsky's Learning Style
Are you aware dogs also have a learning style that can greatly affect their ability to housetrain as well as be trained correctly. Evaluate your Shepsky's learning style and personality using our free Learning Style tool so that you are better able to provide him with the proper Shepsky training methods.
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Shepsky Calorie Calculator
Do you know how many calories your Shepsky needs every day and how many cups of food you should be giving it every day? Click here to use our Shepsky Calorie Calculator.
A General Appearance of the Dog
The Gerberian Shepsky is a cross between a Siberian Husky and a German Shepherd, so its physical characteristics and temperament will be a combination of traits from the two breeds. To better understand this dog, research both breeds.
The Gerberian Shepsky is a striking large dog with its blue or light brown eyes inherited from the Siberian Husky. Some have one blue and one brown eye. Their dense, thick fur allows them to be comfortable in cold weather, but to prefer air conditioning in hot or humid conditions. Since both parent dogs were working dogs, the Shepsky is muscular.
This dog has an abundance of energy and stamina. A very firm pack leader is important in doing any training (or control) of the Shepsky. Never be harsh with this dog, but do be consistent and positive in training. If they respect you, they will be loving and loyal and obedient. They are very intelligent and easily sense danger. However, they are likely to look for something mischievous to do if there is no job or routine for them. These dogs are often used in police work, search and rescue, guarding, and herding.
Shepskies are good with older children, but not with cats and sometimes not with other dogs, so early and thorough socialization is important. They are extremely protective of their people and can be aggressive if their owner(s) appears to be threatened. If children are roughhousing, the dog could attack one of the children.
The Shepsky has a dense, thick coat with an undercoat which it loses twice a year. The main colors of the Shepsky are brown, black, cream, white, reddish-brown, and blue. Their coats are usually a mixture of two or more colors with distinct face markings which vary from dog to dog.
45 – 90 pounds
20 – 25 inches
Temperament of the Dog
The beautiful Gerberian Shepsky is an ideal dog for police work, search and rescue, guarding, or herding. They love to have jobs to do and can work independently using their intelligence, problem solving skills, energy and stamina. They take an experienced owner/trainer to use a firm hand and be a good pack leader, rewarding for positive behavior but never being harsh.
A puppy can be a great family dog, gently and affectionately guarding the children as well as the adults, if it is well socialized and trained as it grows up. He will see rabbits, cats, and other small pets as prey and be very protective of his food, water, and toys.
The Gerberian Shepsky loves to be doing meaningful and active things, so a bored dog is a destructive dog. Boredom can mean barking or chewing or any type of annoyance or destruction. They need lots of activity each day.
The Shepsky may not be friendly to new people and often senses if the person is good or bad and never makes up to a “bad” person. Many are hunters like their Husky parents, bringing mouse, moles, and other small animals. They may also howl like the Husky.
Long periods of being alone (such as your long working day away from home) will not work for the Shepsky. He will howl or bark incessantly and/or escape and/or chew up or destroy things in your home.
Better suited to an indoor or outdoor lifestyle?
The Shepsky is an indoor or outdoor dog. It may want to go outdoors frequently in the winter or even stay outdoors for periods of time if it is an indoor dog. They like cold weather and are not suited for homes in year-round warm or hot climates.
Are they suited to homes with kids?
The Shepsky will be okay in a family with children if raised with them from a puppy and if everyone is well supervised until they are used to one another. Do not trust a rescued adult Shepsky with children.
The Shepsky may be difficult to housetrain since Huskies are hard to housetrain. Training must be started early along with socialization. He needs a loving but firm pack leader who will spend short periods of time each day training. If the work is not mentally stimulating, the Shepsky will become bored and quit complying or wander off. Use positive reinforcement and never any harsh methods and incorporate fun, interesting or challenging activities. This is a great dog to train for search and rescue or nose work.
How active is the breed?
The Shepsky needs a lot of exercise each day and much of it should be done as part of a routine or in a way the dog sees as meaningful. He will love running with you on a daily run or loping along next to you as you ride a bike. He will enjoy training exercises for search and rescue or nose work. Obedience and agility are okay, but he quickly gets bored. Long games of fetch with a variety of items or in different terrain will help him not to get bored. He may be an escape artist or a fence jumper capable of jumping a 6-foot fence.
It rarely needs a bath, but a weekly brushing keeps the coat in good condition. During spring and fall, it will need brushing daily for about two weeks when it loses one undercoat to get in another. When you brush your dog, check his eyes and ears. Trim toenails once or twice a month and brush his teeth a couple of times a week. Keep grooming sessions short and follow them with a fun activity. If the dog swims, always rinse with clear water afterwards.
Both breeds involved in the Shepsky are fairly healthy, but do have a few concerns including patellar luxation (knee issues), hip dysplasia, epilepsy, progressive retinal atrophy, bloat, cataracts (in older age), and endocrine pancreatic insufficiency. Be sure to have a full physical exam and x-rays of the hips and knees before beginning strenuous training with the dog.
Life Span: 10 – 13 years
National Breed Clubs: none at this time
ACHC = American Canine Hybrid Club
DRA = Dog Registry of America, Inc.
Group: Mixed Breed Dog.
AKC Popularity Ranking: Not recognized by AKC.
Also Known As: Husky Shepherd, Siberian Shepherd, German Husky
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How to lead and think like a pack dog - the new psychology.
3 dangerous mistakes that most owners make when they are trying to potty train their dogs.
The 2 main reasons why your dog barks excessively and how to control its excessive barking.
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A surprisingly easy way to teach your dog cool new tricks.
How to improve your dog's lifespan and keep it from getting overly heavy with a healthy and nutritious diet.
Getting Pro help fast - how to get access to our expert trainers when you need them most.
One hidden psychological trigger that all Shepskys have... that practically allows you to "analyze" and "control" your dog's every action.
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