Last Updated: 4 weeks ago
Have you heard of the word “hybrid’? This so-called cross-breeding started its popularity more or less 20 years ago.
One great outcome of cross-breeding is the German Shepherd Husky mix, or, as we may commonly hear it, the “Gerberian Shepsky.”
If you are planning to be a parent of one, keep reading on and know the essential things that you need to know before you get one.
Medium in size, very energetic, and hardworking with high prey drives, this new breed of dog is surely the best of both their parents. Another great factor about these dogs is their loyalty, affection, and intelligence.
They will surely protect you and keep you safe when circumstances demand it. No wonder they play a big part in some police work, military operations, search and rescue missions, and guarding duties.
Just like any other dog, our dearest Gerberian Shepskies do need adequate love and affection. Check out the following tips and ideas on how to take good care of your loyal furry pal.
How Do You Properly Groom Them?
This type of breed may not be as high-maintenance as a mix, but they do have grooming and care requirements to be kept in mind.
The Gerberian Shepsky, unlike their parents, is a moderate shedder. There may be special cases in which high-shedding may occur in some dogs.
This kind of mixed breed sheds its undercoat during the summer months. Keep in mind that frequent brushing with shedding tools is what is recommended.
Never shave your shepsky pet, no matter how humid or hot the temperature may be.
Never bathe your dog too frequently. This type of breed is prone to dry skin that may lead to irritation and other skin problems.
Once every three months is what is recommended, but you can bathe him when needed.
A Shepsky, just like his or her parents, is prone to massive wax buildup in the ears.
Regularly check your dog’s ears and bring them to a vet or pet groomer when you notice excessive wax buildup occurring in the ears.
Have an annual routine eye exam for your Gerberian Shepsky dog.
This breed is very prone to cataracts, corneal dystrophy, progressive retinal atrophy, pannus, and chronic superficial keratitis.
If you notice gunk or an excessive amount of yellow or green discharge, a trip to the vet is strongly advised.
Letting your dog run around the field is good nail maintenance, as it files down the nail to a manageable length.
But when it is necessary, a trim can be a good solution to prevent paw pain.
Always check your dog’s teeth. Keep an eye out for a possible sign of plaque and tartar buildup. Dental cleaning is also suggested for gum disease prevention.
What Are Their Health Needs?
Gerberian Shepsky will surely require a fair portion of your time to be able to meet the health needs of your loyal and energetic pal.
A rule of thumb is to always make sure to feed your dog an appetite that matches its needs.
Our shepsky friend requires a diet packed with adequate nutrients, protein, and calories. The amount of such also depends on their age, size, and weight.
This certain type of breed should never be kept in a cage. They love exercise—a good run and a sweet roll in the yard.
This breed requires a spacious and open area where your dog can play. Take note that when they are left bored, tendencies can be very unpleasant, such as being destructive and unruly.
Due to their parents health concerns, certain diseases and health issues may be inherited. A regular check-up with your vet is strongly suggested to keep track of your dog’s health status.
Breed-Associated Health Issues
- Hip and elbow dysplasia: This is due to loosening and unstable joints surrounding the two areas of the body. Obesity and being overweight are the common reasons for this.
- Eye conditions: These eye conditions are diagnosed differently and could come into your dog’s life at a different pace.
- Epilepsy: This is a sporadic or reoccurring seizure caused by a brain disease. Visit your vet for control methods.
- Cancer: This breed is very susceptible to different kinds of cancer. Regular check-ups are very much suggested for early detection and prevention of spread.
How do You Train Them?
This breed is incredibly intelligent and very trainable, but can also be quite stubborn and mischievous when authority is not established.
Here are some training programmes that you might want to consider giving your dog:
With husky genes in their bodies, this breed requires authority, establishment, and acknowledgement.
Your dog must know and recognise that you are the authority between you two, so you can get the obedience that you want from him.
They are busy dogs, and training them can be a very enjoyable time for them when relationships are built. Train them while they are still young to ensure their obedience when they grow up.
This breed requires socialisation training. The husky parent is known to be a friendly and gentle dog, and they welcome strangers in a very warm and pleasant manner.
On the other hand, the other parent, which is the German shepherd, is more reserved. They need training to be more confident around new people.
Of course, you would never want to have your pet bark and be uncomfortable with visitors in your home.
Letting them meet new people while they are young is what is recommended by professional trainers. Take them to places where they could meet new people, new dogs, and even other animals.
Your furry pal will surely require lots of games and challenges. They are very observant and keen.
Giving them new things to observe and think about will surely make them happy. Let their minds work and stimulate the new things that you associate with them.
Are They Good With Children?
A German shepherd-husky mix is very well suited for older children and teens. Having a friendly disposition and unswerving loyalty is what makes them a good friend.
Just as long as they are socially trained when young, they can be the best friend to kids. They are known to be very affectionate and can be easily attached, especially when they started socialising even when they were puppies.
They can become great companions and are very patient. But always keep in mind that they are large and strong dogs. Leaving a small child unattended with them poses a risk of being knocked over.
On the other hand, teach children to be gentle with them. No pulling of hair and ears. No disturbances, especially when they are eating and sleeping, as this may aggravate their temper, which may lead to potential danger.
Our German shepherd-husky mix friend can be the perfect family dog, companion, friend, and explorer.
They can be striking, bold, stubborn, and mischievous, but as long as you have the time, patience, compassion, and love for them, they will surely flourish and unleash the best attributes of both their parents.
Training them can be a challenge for first-time parents, but it is surely worth the effort and investment.
Good research, understanding of the process, and adequate support and attention for your Shepsky pets are your best tools for being a diligent dog parent. As we all say, “a happy dog means a happy owner.”