If you're in the market for an adorable puppy, then you have selected two of the cutest breeds to chose from! The German Shepherd and Siberian Husky are essentially walking teddy bears as puppies, but what sets these breeds apart and, ultimately, which breed is right for you and your family?
If you already have a German Shepherd, you will know that they are intelligent, responsive, and loyal pets who will guard their family and keep them safe. They are a large dog breed, weighing 75 lbs - 95 lbs fully grown.
If you get a puppy and train him yourself, it is good to start the training as soon as you bring him home. As with any puppy, early socialization is essential for your German Shepherd as it will prevent bad behaviors down the road. Once your puppy has been immunized, he is ready to meet other dogs. Exercise is also important as your German Shepherd dog will have a lot of energy. (Ever thought about running with your German Shepherd? Read how to start training for a half marathon with your GSD puppy here)
As soon as you bring your puppy home, start walking him on a leash so that he will get used to the sights and sounds of traffic and go to the park to get social interactions; the more dogs, kids, and adults he is exposed to, the better. This type of interaction teaches them how to behave with various beings, shows them how to behave in a friendly manner and learn to play appropriately. When you have people over at your house, the dog will learn to meet and greet them and will soon know the difference between friends and intruders. Once he has mastered this, he will learn to bark if anyone comes into your home uninvited.
Go to a Good German Shepherd Breeder
Your dog breed is important, so go to a reputable German Shepherd breeder for your puppy. A well-bred dog will come with health guarantees, and you'll be able to see the parents and their living facility. Ideally, they'll be family-raised with exposure to children and other pets.
Depending on the extent of pedigree of your dog, he can cost between $750 to $3500. (See our article here that goes into more depth on the cost of purchasing a German Shepherd - whether puppy or adoption)
My German Shepherd: Male or Female
If you have small children, this can be a difficult and important decision. Both male and female German Shepherds are known for their loyalty. This breed rarely runs away from home because of that innate loyalty. Both male and female GSDs are protective, but each in their own way. Males tend to be more protective of property and territory, while females tend to be more protective of family and pack members. (See our article here that goes into more depth about choosing a male or female German Shepherd)
German Shepherd Dogs Activity Level
The German Shepherd loves the outdoors, so he will want some activities to do when you are at work. If you have a big yard, it will help your German Shepherd to expend some energy, but they will still need to go for daily walks (for physical and mental stimulation of various scents). When they are at home, keep them busy, as a bored dog will probably dig holes in the yard or chew on things. This is a behavior in the German Shepherd that you will want to discourage.
If you are near the ocean or lake, take him for a beach walk where you can find some terrific driftwood sticks for him to catch and return. Teach your children to throw a tennis ball for them to return, and they can do this activity for ages without tiring of it. (See our article here to read more about meeting the mental needs of your German Shepherd)
Notable Trait: Herding Instinct
When you are at the park, you may notice that he tries to herd the children. They do this because they are bred to herd, and it is in their nature. As entertaining as it may be, it is not something that you want to encourage. Try to stop this behavior as soon as possible as someone could get unintentionally hurt.
German Shepherd Shedding
When your German Shepherd is inside, you may notice that he is shedding. German Shepherds have what is known as a double coat. (See our article here regarding all you need to know about double coat dogs)
This breed sheds virtually year-round, but blows their coat dramatically twice a year. Daily to weekly grooming is vital in preventing excess shedding within the home. If you take 5 minutes per day to groom your GSD outdoors, you save your home (and vacuum) from the famous German Shepherd fur tumbleweeds!
NEVER EVER shave a dog that has a double coat (unless directed by a vet for medical reasons.) The German Shepherd Double Coat is essential, as it keeps them warm in cold weather and cool (strange, I know) in the hot weather.
This breed integrates well with a family as it is extremely friendly and gentle. They are perfect for families with small children as they have no aggressive tendencies. It is a medium-size dog (weighing between 45 - 60 lbs fully grown). As with the German Shepherd, obedience training should be started early. As soon as you bring him home, get him signed up for training classes. Training can be difficult, as Huskies are a notoriously stubborn breed.
The Siberian Husky was originally bred as a sled dog by the Chukchi tribes of Siberia, so they will learn to obey commands, and you will be able to train them. Like the German Shepherd, they get bored easily, and if left with nothing to do, they will dig and dig and dig their way out of the yard and escape. Because this breed is super friendly, they are not known for being good guard dogs. They may actually happily greet an intruder.
This breed isn't known for barking but more of an ancestral howl. If the howling is excessive, you can train them not to with the help of a dog obedience expert. They often will howl because they are bored, so keep them busy. To prevent boredom, they require daily long walks (like 3+ miles) a day and a run in the park with other dogs and some dog toys for when they are at home. Although they will thrill at a walking excursion in the snow, you may not be so keen. Check out our article about training your dog to use a treadmill.
A Good Siberian Husky Breeder
As with the German Shepherd, do your research on your desired Siberian Husky breeder. They are a working breed and thrive best when they are tasked with a job to do.
The median price for a Siberian Husky is $975, but according to their pedigree, they can be up to $1500. If you are going to take one home, you will need to be prepared to issue firm commands and stay in charge of your dog's behavior. With any dog, you need to assert yourself as the Alpha dog in the pack, but this is extremely important with this breed if you want to avoid behavioural issues.
My Siberian Husky: Male or Female
Both the male and the female are pretty gentle, so it will just be a matter of taste and who has the cutest personality. If you get a male, you may need to have him neutered, or he will repeatedly try to escape to find a mate. Due to this breed's friendly demeanor, they thrive on adventure and will flee if left unleashed and unattended.
Siberian Husky Activity Level
Yes, your dog will need a big yard to run around in a high fence to stop him from climbing out. Once you get your dog home, he must be microchipped and tagged. If he does escape, you will be able to find him. They enjoy the companionship of other dogs, so if you already have a dog, he will be a good fit.
Notable Trait: Gentle Breed
Because your dog is gentle, he cannot be used as a guard dog or for hunting. He may prey on birds, rabbits, and cats but can be trained not to do this, especially if he is raised with them. He likes the company of humans and will be happy inside the house with your family. Your Siberian Husky makes an excellent family pet and is a wonderful dog.
Siberian Husky Shedding
He has a thick double coat (thicker than the German Shepherd), dense finely waved undercoat, and a longer thick topcoat. The undercoat is shed in warm weather, and he will need brushing at least once a week, more often when he is shedding.
A Siberian Husky German Shepherd Mix
A Shepsky is a mixed breed cross between a German Shepherd and Siberian Husky dog breed. They are typically medium in size and encompass all the good qualities of their breeds. They are intelligent dogs and will sometimes challenge you, so be firm and consistent in training them. When you first see them, they will be lovely fluffy puppies, and you will want to take one home. They have a calm and tranquil nature and will adapt to family life perfectly. The puppy with pedigree paperwork can cost up to $1500.
The choice between the German Shepherd and Siberian Husky breed is almost impossible to make. If you live in a cold climate, they both have ideal coats for winter warmth. If you live in a warmer zone, the German Shepherd would be more comfortable as his coat is not quite as thick.
If you are really active and do a daily jog for a few miles, both breeds will match your activity levels and run with you on a running leash to be safe. They both have exceptional temperaments, and if you have space, maybe get one of each as they both will enjoy the company.
Welcome to the Pack!
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