Mixed Breed: German Shepherd and Siberian Husky
If you're thinking about adopting a dog, and you happen to come across a Gerberian Shepsky, as some call it, perhaps you should think about giving that dog a chance as your new friend. They are some of the greatest dogs known to man, despite not being purebred. I've had many dogs over the years, including Rottweilers, Akitas, Border Collies, Retrievers, almost a never ending list. I always have been and always will be a dog person, so you can trust my opinion. My boyfriend and I had just moved into a house together and we wanted to adopt (always adopt!) a dog as a new addition to our family. Browsing through local classifieds I saw an ad: "Free to a good home!". I checked out the ad, said that his name was Ruckus, he was a German Shepherd Siberian Husky mix, free, came with all his food and items, was a friendly dog, and that he needed someone with time and attention for him. That fit my boyfriend and my description perfectly.
Before we adopted Ruckus, we researched how this mixed breed is in general. Everywhere we read was basically saying that this was a very good dog, but each dog in the breed does have it's own little quirks,
When meeting Ruckus for the first time he was super friendly, came right up to us, and showed no signs of aggression. After about fifteen minutes of talking to his original owners, we decided we were going to give him a new home. We loaded him up and headed out. We added the perfect addition to our family.
The appearance in this mix all depends on the dog itself. These dogs range in size, since Shepherds and Husky's aren't exactly the same size. Ruckus is about two and a half feet tall, and weighs about forty pounds. Some of these mixes may be much bigger, and have a full Shepherd size, or vice versa. Their color is also dependent on the individual dog. Many have Husky colors, some have Shepherd colors. Depending on what kind of coat they have, they may need to be groomed or brushed regularly, as their hair can get pretty wild. Some of these dogs may even have two toned eyes. Ruckus has one dark brown eye and one light brown eye. Some have blue, and others have mixed eye colors.
Ruckus fits many of the stereotypes that come along with this mixed breed. One of them is that they are very active. German Shepherds are work dogs, bred for herding and the sort. Husky's were bred for work as well, so a mix of these two dogs creates a very hard worker. Ruckus absolutely loves any sort of physical activity. He wrestles, he runs, he chases, every once in a while he'll even stand on his hind legs for a good amount of time. He has pulled me (110lbs) on a small sled. He can keep up a great running pace with my boyfriend. These dogs are technically working dogs, they like physical exercise. If you do not have time to walk/run and play with the dog for at least two hours a day then this may not be the mixed breed for you. If they do not get the exercise they need, then they may become destructive just like any other dog, or they may try to run away. If you plan to exercise and play with your Shepsky like you should, then they will reward you with good behavior and love.
Since these dogs are insanely active, they do eat a lot. However some are very picky eaters. You have to figure out what brand of food to buy and stick to it, because the dog may not eat a different brand. Finding treats to offer may be difficult as well.
These dogs are smart. I know that everyone says they have the smartest dog, but really; these dogs are geniuses. Coming from dogs trained to be police and dogs trained in the rugged wilderness, they know a lot of things. In a matter of minutes, Ruckus was taught the 'shake' command (we say 'Nice to meet you!'). He also knows sit, down, rollover, stand up, dance, and speak. When we ask him questions directly he will reply. That's the Husky 'talking' coming out in him. He makes a howling noise and that's his answer to whatever we asked him. He is also an excellent tracker, and we have never trained him for that. He's led us straight to groundhog holes and could take down a rabbit or other small game if properly trained. He can also follow the scent of deer. These dogs are highly intelligent, if nothing else. If you want a dog that can impress people, you can count on a Shepsky.
In the news recently, there has been a lot of hate on certain breeds of dogs. I personally think it depends on the owner how a dog will turn out. From what I've seen and heard, this breed has no aggression issues. I know that Ruckus is the sweetest animal I have ever met. He is big, but he still thinks he is a little lap dog. He wants to play with every dog and cat that he meets. If that animal is mean to him, he doesn't really knowledge it, and it doesn't create an issue.
Because these dogs are extremely smart and extremely athletic, it does help to give them a good training foundation no matter what you want to do with them. They should be treated like a member of the family, as should all dogs. From my experience, and it seems like many others experience as well, these are great dogs. I would never trade my Ruckus for anything. If you are semi active, have the time for a dog, and need a companion who will love you forever, then a German Shepherd Husky mix may be the mix for you!