October 23, 2014

Breed Profile: Shepherd Husky Mix

By Lauren R. Tharpe

The Shepherd Husky is a mix of two breeds: The German Shepherd and the Siberian Husky.  Most Shepherd Husky owners consider this breed to be the best of both worlds.

Physical Traits

Size & Weight: Large.  Shepherd Huskies range from 20 to 26 inches tall at the shoulder.  Their weight also varies, but usually falls within the 35-75 pound range.

Coat & Color: Very thick coated dogs!  Their outer coat is coarse and their undercoat is thick, plush-like, and like their Husky-half, have the ability to thrive in cooler weather.  They also come in a variety of colors.  Black, black and white, or black and tan.  Their coats tend to shed constantly and will need to be groomed on a regular basis.

Other: While most Shepherd Huskies have brown eyes or blue eyes, some have one of each!

Also, the most decorated war dog of World War II, Chips, was a Shepherd Husky!

Life Expectancy: 10-13 years

Temperament

Shepherd Huskies are diligent working dogs who are eager to please.  Shepherd Huskies are highly intelligent (their “shepherd” half, the German Shepherd, was ranked the third most intelligent dog breed in the world!) and they adapt quickly to just about any situation.  Equally good as a service dog or a family pet.

Wags

  • Highly intelligent and fairly easy to train – if the Shepard side is dominant, if Husky is prevailing – dig in, you’ll have your work cut-out for you.
  • Highly courageous.  Makes for a great watch/guard dog.
  • People “person.”  These dogs, unless trained otherwise, get along with most people—including children—that they meet!

Challenges

  • Shepherd Huskies can be howlers!  Be prepared for a long night of howling any time a siren passes through your neighborhood.  They’re also known to be very “talkative.”  They may howl and moan more than actually bark, but expect a full bodied bark when they do vocalize in that way.
  • Require a lot of exercise!  Without daily exercise, these dogs may become destructive.   With your Veterinarian’s approval, this would be a great dog to bicycle, run or trike with.
  • The predator/prey instinct runs fairly strong in this breed.  If not properly socialized with other animals from a very early age, they may see smaller creatures as “prey” rather than “playmate.”
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Comments

  1. michelle says:

    I adopted a siberian husky/shepard from a shelter in Ohio. The most lovable, cuddly, friendliest dog ive ever had. Would adopt another one if I could find one.

    • Melissa Callihan says:

      Hi Michelle,

      I know of a husky/shepard mix that is need of a home. If you are interested please contact me. It is a sad story. The people keep him chained to a dog box 24/7 and now are muzzling him. He breaks his chain and comes to my house and just wants to hang with my dogs. I am not able to take a 3rd dog right now but am heart broken for him. I have been trying to find him a home. They have made it clear that they do not care about him. I have been extremely upset and trying to figure out how to help since Sunday when the situation got worse. If you are interested please email me or call me at 724-355-8320.

      Melissa

      • rhonda says:

        hi michelle….our sammie a husky/shepherd passed away last nov. we r looking for the same kind of dog because he was awesome! i have a smaller dog so it would have to be great with dogs..coild u send a pic..and possibly more info also i live in toronto so i,m wondering how far u are thanks rhonda

    • R Smith says:

      Michelle. I am in Central Ohio and am the proud mommie of a 9 year old Huskie/Shepherd mix. He has been in our family since he was a small ball of fur but sadly I find myself looking for a good home for him. Am surrendering my house and feel it would be too much to take him with me, as I am unsure of my transitional housing arrangements.

      He is a very docile, loving, energetic companion….loves walks, playing ball, jaunts to the dog park, and his peanut butter treats. Due to his size and “wolfish appearance” some are intimidated by him. Yet he has never been aggressive, nor destructive and (oddly) rarely barks. (Sometimes wish he were more of a watchdog.) He has been a pampered dog of sorts (well cared for) and I would only let him go to a family where he would continue to receive these benefits.

      Please contact me if you might consider taking him in as a part of your family. Thank you. (Just had excellent annual exam, shots, tags, etc. Mostly an indoor dog, but likes to spend as much time outdoors as possible.)

  2. K Palmer says:

    I have a rescue husky/shepherd mix and he is the sweetest, most lovable dog ever. He’s happy all the time, loves his life. He never bothers my 3 rescue cats and that was a concern when I adopted him. I have a full blood german shepherd female and they are the best of friends. From the minute I got Kyle, he and Kelley were soul mates. They love each other so much and walk — holding each other’s mouths. They talk to each other – it’s awesome. This mix is a wonderful combination of the best of both breeds.

    • K Somerville says:

      How did you go about introducing your rescue husly/shepherd mix to your cats? I have 4 cats and am adopting a 12 year old rescue husky/shepherd mix in September of 2012. I have been working with him for about 6 months now at the local shelter I volunteer at and want it to be an easy transition in Sept. with my 4 cats. Do you have any advice for me?

      • talkscout says:

        Very slowly! We put a gate up so that they could see each other but not actually touch until they were ready to. Our cats were here first. Two of the cats were over 6 years old – so they were feeling alpha. I kept the dog on the leash for a while too so that he could watch them, and be in their environment with them before being let loose with the general population. Let us know how it goes!!

      • adasdsad says:

        you do know the average lifespan for a husky shepherd is 10-13 years, right?

  3. Ed lawrence says:

    I rescued a husky shepherd 4 years ago. He had not been socialised with humans from a pup to 7 months. His behaviour is extremely challenging. He tries constantly to get the alpha position in the house and has bitten me several times in the last four years.

  4. Charity says:

    I adopted a Husky/Sheperd mix and I’ve had him for a little over a month now and he recently turned 3 months old. He’s such a sweet dog but is already very smart and he does like to get in trouble but I play with him a lot and where I live we have lots of people with dogs and I take him out for doggie play dates every day for around an hour and a half to 2 hours. Do not get this breed of dog if you want quiet. Mine Howls and talks already and he’s still a puppy. People say these dogs cant live in apartments but thats untrue my dogs doing just fine but that may be because I take him out 3 times a day and at least 1 time for a large amount of time. He loves animals and people, he’s also potty training really fast.

    • Karina says:

      I think that like with any breed it depends on the individual dog’s personality as well however shepperd/huskies are NOT know as barkers (usually more prone to howl if they are going to be vocal). I just said goodbye to “Silver” my wonderful dog of 13 years and she only barked less than a 1/2 dozen times in her ENTIRE life… Would “talk” (not really howling, more like groaning maybe) if people were arriving at the house (especially if they encouraged it, my Dad would get her going and tell her “what’s going on, talk to me” DOG”Roowr-rooowr rooowr” Dad:”no way, tell me more” and so on and so she would sound almost like she was trying to ‘talk back’ but never ever howled in any way that would be considered nuisance (very predictable vocally).

      Don’t let your dog’s joy of barking turn you off from the breed as from everything I’ve read AND my personal experience they are not typically barkers.

  5. Cooper Weatherby says:

    Hi,

    I am looking for a young Husky/ German Shepherd mix, with playful yet docile/ aware/ protector characteristics. I have all year off of work, so I plan on doing a lot of work with the pooch. Anybody out there?

    • talkscout says:

      Have you found a dog yet? If not let us know what part of the country you are in – we can help.

      • Marcia says:

        I am in south florida and would very much like to adopt a female shepard husky mix puppy. We had one we put down 6 months ago (was 14 yrs old). We have a 9 year old female lab/chow mix who misses her sister. Email me at mgrrett@aol.com

        • Allison says:

          In waco, tx there are two 3 week old sheppard or lab huskys that need to be adopted and bottle fed and are available right now, both are females and are located at barkleys animal clinic.

  6. les says:

    we began fostering what I believe is a husky-shep. May be nearly a year old, very playful and has been great with my two small yorkies. he’s very active and loves long walks. when we don’t have the opportunity to excersise him, he does get bored and anxious on his chain…to the point of scratching off like an angered bull in the dirt. Unfortunately, its my yard and his nails rip through the grass and with each tug the grass and dirt get thrown to the skies. he’s chewed through two heavy duty chains and broken two collars. I wish I could construct a fence, but even that would have to be 8 ft tall as he is also a jumper. great loving dog and so spoiled…we love him dearly…just wish I could find him a home where he had lots of room to roam.

  7. Janet says:

    Just adopted an 11 week old Husky German Shepard mix from the Humane Society and named her Lakota Skye. In 2 days she’s mastered “sit” and did very well in 1 day of working with “heel”. Plan on taking her to puppy classes since she will be a large dog and I need to maintain control and want her well mannered. I have 3 cats who are slowly coming around the crate and are up on the coach when Lakota is loose. So far so good but am nervous. Will be bringing that matter up in the training classes.

  8. C. Worley says:

    We adopted a shepherd husky mix a couple of months ago… He is now living in California being trained as a service dog for my son with autism. He is an amazing pup and we are so excited to see his progress! He is a rascal of a dog and certainy a handful!! Barks ALL the time and is really bad at focusing when there are birds chirping and a lot going on around him. He will learn and be a super dog soon!!

    • Carol says:

      We also have a shepherdxhusky. She is now 9 months old, very smart, but on the aggresive side.

      I was very worried about her interaction with our Grandson, who is now 8 years old, autistic, and not a big dog lover.

      I was overjoyed when my Grandson spent the night last weekend. Our puppy who can be very wild and still learning not to use her teeth for the wrong reasons, somehow understood our Grandson’s needs. She was very careful around him, and even convinced him to share a bit of his grilled cheese with her, which was surprsiing, he doesnt like to share. Win win!

      I must commend you on having your puppy trained as a service dog, I hope you come back and share his progress!

  9. Melissa says:

    We have had our shepard/husky mix, Scooby, since he was 6 weeks old. Best dog ever! He definitely has more shepard than husky. He is calm (most of the time) and friendly, and has never been destructive. However, we had another that was more husky, Bailey, and he was a handful! He ate everything in the house, including one of our stairs! When people would walk into the door, he would literally jump into their arms. We could not keep him on a leash, in a pen, or train him to stay in the yard. He would dig under, eat through, or literally scale over our 6 ft fence, and run with the wild dogs at night (we live in the middle of a wildlife refuge). He started bringing home all sorts of dead animals. We eventually gave him to someone who could better suit his needs. Scooby is still with us though, and he is now 17 and still going strong!

  10. georgia says:

    I am taking care of my son’s shepard/husky mix. Kap must be more Shepard as he is very calm, and takes the submissive role around other dogs. We have a Pappillon and he is the alpha in our home and Kap just allows him to take that roll. However Kap will bark when someone comes to the door, bite someone NO but I do not know any one crazy enough to attempt getting close without permission! We have had him only a couple of day sand he has shown no real need for excercise , I know he needs it – he is a little over two years old. He has been in an apartment living for 6 months and he seems to be sleeping alot or just laying around last couple weeks could be missing my son. So far no bad behavior but I best get him some activity or bad behavior might start he is an inside BIG dog truly he does need someplace to run. He not to good on a leash, maybe some training he is smart, WOULD he adjust to becoming an outside dog he really is used to being with people at least 50% of his day.

  11. Gail says:

    ,I just rescued a 2yr shepherd husky mix. Not sure which is more dominate, seems the husky might be. He is very smart, loving.His face & tail have a husky appearance and the way he leaps in the air seem much the way huskies play. Only he seems to be aggressive toward other dogs, his first trip to the vet was a hair raising experience. Definitely a howler,. the first night, he did it, it startled me it was so deep & loud sounds like a wolf. Hope his being neutered will calm him some.

  12. HUSKY/SHEPHERD PUPPIES NEED RESCUE: If you are in the Bradenton/Sarasota/Tampa area, please try to help this man! These puppies are trying to survive with their momma outside with no shelter. The man has no resources to care for them or vet them. He will keep the momma but cannot take care of the puppies. He is putting water on hard food for them to try to eat. His phone # is 941-920-0849. The puppies are husky/shepherd mix born December 22, 2012. Extremely urgent! The puppies are in Bradenton.

    • Gunhild Horne says:

      Hi we saw a shepherd/husky for the first time today and fell in love with the dog. Do you still have a problem of finding someone to adopt your puppies. Could you send some pictures.

      Hope to hear from you.

      Gunhild Horne

  13. leida says:

    I have a 10 year old Shepard husky mix name simba We had him since he was 3 days old and he is just an amazing dog. He was a very bad pup He does take his husky side personality wise. He is very active and loves children. Simba and my brother (same age) are very close to each other. Simba protects my little brother. We still have trouble with him when it comes to other animals tho. He tends to kill small animals that are in the yard. But he love my parakeets which I find very odd since he tends to kill other small animals. Sherpard husky mix are a bit hard to handle as puppies.

  14. Jenny says:

    I am looking to get a shepard husky mix puppy within the next year. I would like to get it as a puppy. I have one cat that is very used to being an only child and spoiled. I am slightly concerned about introducing a dog but really want on. I live in NC and have been unable to find a breeder within driving distance. Any suggestions? Thanks!

  15. Linda says:

    I’ve had my husky/shepherd mix for 2yrs now. I picked him out at animal control when he was 5mths old. He weighed 32lbs then and now is 65lbs. He is dominant shepherd. He loves to play with his mouth which makes it easy for brushing his teeth and taking things away from him. He is very loving and protective. I live alone but always feel safe. I highly recomend the breed.

  16. alesha mueller says:

    I have a german shepard husky and she is the sweetest most lovable thing ever…but last night she killed my kitten we don’t know why but after she acted like she didn’t do anything wrong I don’t know what to do? any advice

    • talkscout says:

      Alesha, we are so sorry for your loss. As you know, all dogs have a prey instinct and it can be even higher in the Husky breed.

  17. happyface blueberri says:

    I am looking for a shepherd husky mix but I have two cats should I still get one?

    • talkscout says:

      Every case is unique. We have four cats, and Kodiak the husky-shep mix came into the house at six months. There was some chasing at first but we made sure that there were plenty of places for the cats too jump to. We never left them unsupervised until there was harmony.

  18. happyface blueberri says:

    ok thanks:)

  19. Tierra says:

    I just adopted a 10 week old shepherd Husky Mix. She is such cutie. We call her Winter. Even though she is entirely black. (Maybe a Minnesota thing) She likes to chew on everything! Even though all puppies do. Anyways, how can I tell what breed is more dominant? She has only had a few accidents due to me being to slow to get out of the house in time. We went on a walk for 30 minutes and came home and literally slept the rest of the day. She doesn’t like being in a crate, so we’re trying to get her more comfortable with crate training. She whimpers going down stairs, at other random times and the first time she was in a crate she was really sad/scared? She’s already pretty good with commands such as sit and come. I don’t know if that helps. Thank you!

    • talkscout says:

      Hi Tierra, Not sure about the whimpering – if you haven’t already you might want to check that out with your Veterinarian. In the crate – try giving her a Kong toy filled with peanut butter and then frozen. Let us know.
      Sorry for the delay your comment was stuck in our inbox. Enjoy Winter!

  20. Wendy says:

    I adopted a husky/shepherd mix from a shelter when he was about 3 wks old. Trytten is now a little over 2 and is a big baby. I have 2 smaller dogs (Yorkie Mix and Schnauzer mix) and 2 cats. He and the Yorkie mix are inseparable. He actually picked her out of the litter, and they are the best of friends. The other is about a year old and he does well with him as well. As far as the cats, he really doesn’t bother with them, and even have a picture of him and the one cat sleeping together. I did have a problem with him jumping fences, but we have since extended the height and put up a couple of privacy fences and that has helped. Trytten is very protective of me and my 2 grandsons. Although recently my son and his wife insist that he is aggressive because he won’t let their american bulldog be near any of us. I have to say this is the only dog I have seen him go after, and unless he feels threatened loves people. My son tried to force him out of his spot under my feet and he tried to bite him (supposedly), I can only say that Trytten had to feel threatened and if he did attack it was out of self defense. I would definitely adopt another, but since he is still fairly young we have a long ways to go!!!!

    • talkscout says:

      Wendy our house is populated also with cats, A Husky/shepherd mix and … a Yorkie. Sometimes we feel like we are on a set of Animal Planet. Everyone gets along. :) But the Yorkie and Husky-Shep are the best of friends and ADORE each other. We’d love to see a pic of your dynamic duo – to post on this page. If you have one and would like to share please send to Info@SarasotaDog.com. Many Wags.

  21. jj says:

    I adopted a 1yr old shep/husky from the animal shelter. We are her 3rd home. She is cute, loveable and was returned as she played too rough with their toddlers! She didn’t kmow what a cat was. We have 6. My oldest cat(12yrs) went up to her and taught her manners. She now plays with two of the cats that like to be rolled about and she will gently nibble on the oldest one. She responds to “no nibbles!’ and “play gentle’. She hunts for moles and ground squirrles in the woods. We now have 4 pullets and when she sees them she licks her lips. Guess the pen will stay locked when we are not around! She is loving, crafty and very, very smart. She is a problem solver. I love her happy spirit, love of the woods and gentle kisses. I am glad we found each other.

    • talkscout says:

      Great job with your Shep/Husky JJ. So happy that she found you – I guess the third time really is the charm. Love the command “No Nibbles!”. Enjoy.

  22. Nick says:

    I adopted Marley at 2 months old, she is a German shepherd/husky mix. She is the sweetest dog ever and very playful. She is 5 months and weighs about 33 pounds, I’m wondering about how much she will weigh as an adult, she is dominant shepherd. Also it’s nearly impossible to potty train her, my girlfriend has a border collie and it took about 4 days to potty train her, but no matter what I do I can’t get Marley potty trained, any advice?

    • talkscout says:

      Have you tried crating her? If you crate her, then immediately take her outside to go potty, she’ll get the idea. Let us know how it goes!

  23. Christina says:

    My husband and I had been talking about adopting a husky if we ever found one. Well our dreams came true about a month and a half ago. We adopted a 5 month old puppy. And the ride (even though we are just starting) has been a hoot. He makes me laugh with his inquisitive look. Nightcrawls have been his addition. Staring at the ground, listening intently and trying hard to catch them. I laugh at his looks but “awe” his determination. I wouldn’t take back our decision of getting even him if someone told me I had too.

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