German Shepherds and Siberian Huskies are popular dog breeds among pet owners. For that reason, it’s only natural that their combined breeds would gather considerable attention as well.
A German Shepherd Husky mix is called German Husky or Gerberian Shepsky. Having the qualities and characteristics of both parents, German Huskies are loyal, intelligent, and powerful dogs.
That said, are you thinking of getting yourself a German Husky as a pet? Then keep reading as we’ll be walking you through everything you need to know about these amazing doggies.
An Overview of the German Husky Parent Breeds
To understand what qualities and quirks are in a German Husky, let’s have a look at the origin of its parents’ breeds.
German Shepherds today are the descendants of a breed of herding dogs. They’re the result of crossbreeding different varieties of shepherd dogs from northern and central Germany.
This breed of canine is a worker dog. They’re large and muscular and can stand as high as 26 inches. Owed to their strength and smarts, they’re a popular choice as military and police dogs.
As personal pets, they’re loyal and protective of their owners. This innate desire to defend and protect may be a trait that’s inherited from their shepherding lineage.
Overall, German shepherd dogs are intelligent, courageous, loyal, and confident. Plus, they can learn a variety of tricks and commands which add to their appeal as pets.
Siberian huskies originated in northeastern Asia, Siberia. They’re working dogs that were domesticated by the Chukchi people as companions and sled dogs.
Because of their endurance in cold temperatures, they’re invaluable to people who live in icy areas. In fact, they once helped combat an epidemic in Nome, Alaska in 1925, braving long and freezing conditions to deliver medicine.
The most noticeable physical traits of a Siberian Husky are its compact build, erect ears, fluffy coat, and curved tail. They have almond-shaped eyes that are usually blue or brown.
Siberian Huskies are affectionate and playful as pets. They’re used to living in packs and groups and are known for their friendliness and ability to get along with others.
German Huskies: All You Need to Know
German Huskies are designer dog breeds. This means that they come from intentionally cross-breeding two different purebred dogs.
Although we know little about when and where German Huskies were first bred, they’re thought to emerge in the 1980s when mix-breeding canines became a trend.
They share many aspects of both the German Shepherd and Siberian Husky. With their high rarity, many consider them one of the best breeds despite being mixed.
Having said that, below are all the things you need to know if you’re planning on getting yourself one of this canine breed.
What Do German Huskies Look Like?
Are you wondering which parent German Huskies take the most in terms of physical appearance?
Their body structure is most similar to that of their German Shepherd parent. Though, some striking features, such as eye shape, pointy snouts, and triangular ears, are unmistakably Siberian Husky.
The eye color of a German Husky is commonly brown or white-blue, the common eye color of its parents’ breed. So, in this aspect, you can say that both parents are equally relevant.
It won’t be a surprise to get a German Husky pup with a different set of eye colors, as this case is common to their Siberian Husky descent, called heterochromia.
Depending on the qualities it inherits, you can get lucky and your German Husky can look like a blue-eyed German shepherd—an occurrence that’s both incredibly rare and attractive.
Fur Color and Characteristics
Because it’s a mixed breed, there’s no breed standard for a German Husky and the physical qualities it inherits are random. For that reason, its coat can come in a variety of colors.
There are six color possibilities for this canine breed: black, white, brown, red, blue, and caramel. Still, it can heavily depend on the fur color of its parents, though it’s not guaranteed.
Aside from the color, its coat is likely to be double coated, thick, long, and straight. So, if you want a huggable and fluffy dog for a companion, a German Husky has it all!
Height and Weight
Standing tall with a height of 20 to 25 inches, a German Husky is on the larger side of canines. Its weight can also reach up to 88 to 90 lbs depending on its diet and the care you provide.
Although it’s a large-sized doggy, a German Husky is incredibly agile and smart. For those reasons, like its German Shepherd parent, it’s typically chosen to work for the police and military for search and rescue jobs.
We can estimate the longevity of a German Husky based on its parents. A German Shepherd has an average lifespan of 9 years, while Siberian Huskies have a lifespan of 10 to 13 years.
Unfortunately, as amazing as a German Husky is, its lifespan is only 7 to 14 years. So, if you’re considering a short-term emotional commitment to a pet companion, then this breed is for you.
Temperament of German Huskies
The parents are the primary influencing factor for the temperament of German Huskies. This is also the deciding element for their personalities and overall disposition.
With their parents’ quirks, you just won’t know what you’re going to get with this canine breed. That said, below are some of the general outlining temperament traits of German Huskies.
Are German Huskies Smart?
As both of their parents came from a smart line of dogs, most German Huskies are highly intelligent and cunning. You can train them to learn a bunch of tricks and commands.
They adore their owners and will do anything to please them. So, train them well, reward them enough, and they’ll follow your lead without doubts!
Are They Sociable to People and Other Pets?
Turns out, German Shepherd and Husky mixes aren’t just smart, they’re sensitive as well. Although they’re mostly built astoundingly large, their hearts are as soft as any other doggies.
They’re mostly not aggressive and are safe to be around kids. Although, they can be overly protective of the kids, as it’s in their instincts to protect the vulnerable members of their pack.
One thing to note, though, is they can be cautious of strangers, be they humans or pets. So, you would want to train them socially if your home is a stop-by for family and friends.
Are They Active?
Most German Huskies are extremely energetic. For this reason, they’d need a lot of physical and mental exercises to keep them healthy and happy.
If we can rate their activeness, it would easily be 10 over 10! They’ll surely enjoy running, jogging, or walking with you anytime and anywhere.
Pros and Cons of Owning A German Husky
As much as with any other breed of dog, there are pros and cons to having a German Husky in your home. So, you need to consider these factors to know if you’re a suitable owner of these wonderful canines.
Here are three advantages of a German Husky as a house pet:
- They’re Very Loyal and Attentive
The loyalty that you’ll get from a German Husky will surely amaze you. They’re attentive and would always listen to your commands—making them one of the best companions indeed.
- They Love Your Company
As family dogs, they’d always want to be with you and your family. They love physical touch, so it’s not unusual for them to stay as close to you as possible.
- They’re Hard Workers
As descendants of two famous worker dogs, German Huskies won’t shy away from hard work. They always want to help and they’ll try their best to assist you in any way they can.
Although they’re amazing as pet companions, here are a few challenges to owning them:
- Great Shedders
Because of their thick double coat, this breed comes with a lot of hair. And although most would find that appealing, taking care of their shedding fur is a challenge of its own.
- Attachment Issues
German Huskies are prone to separation anxiety because of their great devotion to their owners. They’re easily stressed when alone, so never leave them on their own in your home.
- They Need a Lot of Space
As we mentioned earlier, these canines are overly energetic and they spend this energy by moving a lot. So, it’ll be an issue if you don’t have a yard or a large space inside your house.
How Much is A German Husky Puppy?
Because they’re a designer breed, German Huskies tend to be quite pricey. The average price for purebred pups from reputable breeders is usually around $1000 to $1500.
Their price, however, can go lower or higher depending on the bloodline of the parents. For these reasons, many recommend adopting from rescue centers rather than buying from pet stores.
Cost of Owning German Huskies
Food, grooming, training, and exercise are the four key considerations for this type of dog.
With that in mind, here are some important points to remember if you’re planning to adopt or purchase a German Husky.
According to WAG, owning a German Husky would cost you about $1.50 to $1.90 a day for food. That’s $39 to $50 per month and $400 to $600 per year.
These dogs grow fast. So, if you own a puppy German Husky, expect a lot more food intake and expense than adult and older dogs.
Their grooming requires more attention than money. To keep their thick coat healthy and clean, you need to brush them once every week.
If you can’t find the time to brush their hair weekly, you can hire professional groomers. The average cost per grooming session is around $30 to $50.
Training German Huskies is a fun activity. It’d supply their need for “anything interesting” and a wonderful bonding experience for both the owner and the dog.
However, training these dogs can be an arduous task for inexperienced owners. If you’re one of those, you can try hiring professional dog trainers.
The price of dog training is around $30 to $80 if you opt for group classes. If you want them to learn faster, private training will cost you $45 to $100 per session.
Toys and Entertainment
Because they have too much energy to spare, investing in toys is a good move to keep these dogs entertained. This will help them exercise and move around even inside your home.
Dog toys typically cost around $5 to $15. It’d also be a good idea to buy a lot so that you can swap them around and keep your furry friend’s interest.
Health Issues Common to German Huskies
Overall, German Huskies are healthy dogs. However, because of their mixed genes, they suffer the same health problems as German Shepherds and Siberian Huskies.
Retinal atrophy is an eye condition that leads to slow blindness. It’s a gene defect that induces cell degeneration on the retina and there’s still no known cure for this disease.
Joint dysplasia is common in large dogs like German Huskies caused by excessive exercise and movements. It’s a bone condition characterized by mild to severe lameness.
Idiopathic epilepsy, like retinal atrophy, is an inherited health problem typical of German Shepherds. It usually starts around dogs that are between one to five years of age.
To keep these dogs healthy and fit, visit your veterinarians regularly. To reduce your health care cost, you can apply for pet insurance for $20 to $45 per month.
A German Shepherd Husky mix can be costly, owing to its highly sought qualities and traits. For this reason, adopting one is significantly cheaper than buying from stores and breeders.
That said, a German Husky is a good choice, be it as a home companion or as a working dog. It makes a cuddly, energetic, smart, loyal, strong, and adorable pet thanks to its parents’ genes.
Finally, although they inherit good physical traits, their mixed genes pose health issues common to their parents. With that in mind, continuously monitoring their health and fitness is important.