German Shepherds are one of the most popular breeds in existence, and the Siberian Husky is not far behind. Both breeds have their own pros and cons, but their popularity has led to many households having one of each breed.
But is that a good idea? Do German Shepherds and Siberian Huskies get along with each other?
German Shepherds and Siberian Huskies do get along, provided each dog is well socialized and there are no behavioral issues in either dog. The two breeds are very similar in energy, intelligence, and play styles. Poor breeding and a lack of training can cause issues, but overall, the two breeds can live in harmony.
In the article below, we’ll go through the reasons German Shepherds and Siberian Huskies get along so well, as well as potential issues to keep an eye out for.
We’ll also discuss how you can safely introduce one to the other, and how to ensure that your German Shepherd and Siberian Husky maintain a good relationship with each other.
Do German Shepherds And Huskies Get Along?
The short answer is yes, German Shepherds and Siberian Huskies get along. They get along quite well, actually! Both breeds are popular in their own right, but German Shepherds and Huskies have also created a popular mixed breed known as the “Gerberian Shepsky” which you can check in the video. This is further proof that the two breeds do mesh well together, both physically and mentally.
While a lot is dependent on the two individual dogs and their upbringing as to whether they’ll get along or not, most German Shepherds and Siberian Huskies will get along in most living situations. At the very least the breeds will tolerate each other!
5 Reasons Why German Shepherds And Huskies May Get Along Well
For most German Shepherds and Siberian Huskies, their similarities will outweigh their differences. Both breeds tend to get along for the following reasons:
German Shepherds and Siberian Huskies are generally known as being very physical in their play styles. For some breeds of dogs, like a Greyhound, this aggressive play style is too much and can cause issues. But for the German Shepherd and Siberian Husky, it’s the perfect style for them!
Both breeds like to wrestle, grab with their mouths, bark, and play games of tag. While individual dogs of each breed may have their own preferences for how they like to play, in general, the German Shepherd and Siberian Husky tend to get along well because they both like to play rough.
Like their play styles, both the German Shepherd and the Siberian Husky also have very similar energy levels. Both breeds are known for being high energy, which makes them great for active owners who enjoy doing physical activities with their dogs.
With such similar energy levels, the two breeds of dogs are better able to keep up with each other and owners have to worry less about one dog tiring out before the other…provided they are both of a similar age, of course!
Both the German Shepherd and the Siberian Husky are also known as being highly intelligent dogs. While each dog has differing levels of trainability (with the German Shepherd being easily trainable and the Siberian Husky being a little more independent), both are extremely smart.
They are each capable of a high degree of understanding of the world around them, which makes it likely that they can both adapt easily to an owner’s schedule and lifestyle rather than one being an “easier” dog and one being a “harder” dog.
Siberian Huskies and German Shepherds are also both known as being good family dogs. While the Siberian Husky can be a little more independent whereas the German Shepherd can’t handle much “alone time”, both breeds tend to enjoy being part of the family environment.
For owners who enjoy being in the great outdoors, the German Shepherd and Siberian Husky are the perfect choices for canine companions. Both breeds are known for being working dogs, which leads to their ability to handle being in outdoor environments for long periods of time and in sometimes grueling conditions.
As they each have a similar interest in doing things like like hiking, camping, as well as running, it makes it likely that both dogs will be able to participate in the chosen activity without their owner running into any issues with one dog becoming tired before the other or one dog becoming stressed or uninterested in the activity. Both breeds also enjoy water and love swimming!
4 Reasons Why German Shepherds And Huskies May NOT Get Along
While both of these breeds do tend to get along, a lot is dependent on the individual dogs and their socialization history. If one or both of the dogs are poorly socialized, then it’s likely there will be issues. There are also inherent breed traits that could affect individual dogs and how they interact with each other.
High Prey Drives
German Shepherds and Siberian Huskies have high prey drives, which can cause issues if you have both dogs in a household with small animals or where the dogs have access to small wildlife.
If one dog begins chasing something, the other dog will likely be triggered as well, and this could lead to injury or death of the small animal. It could also cause a scuffle to erupt between the two dogs as they are engaging in the chase.
To help with this, you can teach both dogs impulse control and basic obedience cues. If your dogs are puppies, you can also work on creating a more positive relationship between them and small animals through socialization, however as predatory drive is instinctual neither dog should be trusted alone with small animals until you are certain there will be no issues, and even then it may be best to keep them separated.
While dogs don’t have the same complex understanding of jealousy as we humans do, they do understand access to resources and if one of them has more access to a resource than the other, resource guarding can develop. This can happen with food, toys, shared spaces such as beds and specific rooms, and even the owners themselves.
Both German Shepherds and Siberian Huskies tend to be “jealous” breeds that bond very closely with their owners, so there is a potential for scuffles to occur if either dog feels like they must guard a treasured resource.
Teaching impulse control, ensuring that each dog receives alone time, and providing enough resources to make everyone feel comfortable can help with this.
It is also important, though, that both dogs learn that sometimes life isn’t fair, and that it’s OK if they don’t have what the other has sometimes. This helps teach the dogs to better regulate their emotions so that they don’t devolve into temper tantrums.
Unfortunately, due to poor breeding, many German Shepherds and Siberian Huskies can be prone to aggressive outbursts. While a lot of this has to do with their socialization history, sometimes it is more related to genetics and even environmental trauma.
Both of these breeds can go from 0 to 100 very quickly, so two of them together who have a history of outbursts may create issues. If either dog has a poor socialization history or has previously responded aggressively to a trigger, it’s wise to not leave the two alone together and to employ the guidance of a professional dog trainer or even a veterinary behaviorist who might be able to help if the situation warrants it.
Differences In Sensitivity Levels
Like aggression, poor breeding has also resulted in many German Shepherds being overly sensitive and overstimulated by the world around them. Siberian Huskies can be sensitive, but they tend to engage in an over-dramatic display of loud yodeling or temper tantrums rather than reacting aggressively like the German Shepherd can.
If you have a confident Siberian Husky who tends to be domineering in their behavior (play or otherwise) and a sensitive German Shepherd who becomes quickly overwhelmed by the Husky, a scuffle is likely to break out. This is especially true if the Siberian Husky is not responding to the German Shepherd’s signs of stress.
Some Siberian Huskies seem to take a personal offense to another dog rejecting them, and if they have any play skill deficits they may overreact to the German Shepherd’s threat, resulting in a full-blown fight.
If you have a sensitive German Shepherd and an overly confident Siberian Husky, you can help the relationship between the two by making sure your German Shepherd feels safe and comfortable at all times.
Providing safe spaces for your German Shepherd to retreat to if they are feeling overwhelmed is a good idea, as is monitoring play between the two and redirecting your Husky if you see things are starting to get a little wild.
Can A German Shepherd And A Husky Live Together?
Yes, German Shepherds and Siberian Huskies can live together. To ensure that the household is peaceful, it’s important that owners provide safe spaces for each dog to retreat to if they are feeling anxious or tired and do not want to interact with the other.
It’s also important to train and play with them separately AND together. Siberian Huskies have developed a reputation for being a little hardheaded when it comes to training, so they may need some additional time dedicated to training and may need higher value rewards than a German Shepherd would.
German Shepherds also tend to bond very closely with their owner, so additional training may need to occur to ensure that the German Shepherd does not develop any resource guarding of their owner.
Otherwise, both dogs are likely to keep each other occupied due to all of the reasons I’ve listed earlier in this article, and active owners will enjoy the fact that both dogs can participate in a wide variety of activities. Nobody needs to feel left out!
How To Introduce A German Shepherd And A Husky
If you already have a Siberian Husky and are considering adding a German Shepherd (or vice versa), there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure the interaction goes smoothly.
Firstly, it is important to get a good history (or at least as much as possible) of the new dog to see if there are any potential issues you need to watch out for, such as poor socialization skills.
It is also a good idea to have the first introduction occur in a neutral location, preferably off-leash. If you are introducing two puppies or an older dog and a puppy, you can skip this step as they are more likely to adapt to each other faster than two adult dogs meeting for the first time.
Provided this initial meeting went well, for the next several weeks you want to keep a close eye on the two dogs and make sure everything is proceeding smoothly.
It’s likely there will be a few scuffles, as both breeds do tend to be very confident, and they will need to figure out their social hierarchy. Once that hierarchy is established, things will likely have settled down and the dogs can be left alone together for short periods.
How To Help Your German Shepherd And Husky Get Along
To ensure that your German Shepherd and Siberian Husky continue to get along, it’s important to develop good routines with both dogs and teach them both impulse control and manners.
While there are some things, such as play behavior, that cannot be taught (especially if either dog has any play skill deficits), you can help teach them what is and is not appropriate. Both breeds are highly intelligent and can pick up new things quickly, but the Siberian Husky might need a little more effort due to their independent streak.
It’s also important to provide each dog with their own spaces, beds, and food bowls. Making sure there are ample toys of all kinds will also help keep the peace, though it’s important to monitor the dogs when any new toy or chew is introduced to make sure one dog doesn’t guard them.
Spending time with the dogs while they are together is a good idea, as is spending time with them individually. Both breeds tend to be very affectionate with their owners, but they can also develop deep bonds with the other dog so it is important that they feel comfortable when separated.
It’s also important to recognize that even if your German Shepherd and Husky get along, it’s likely there will still be moments where they have arguments with each other. Most of the time this is just normal behavior (similar to human siblings arguing!), and nothing to be concerned about.
This video is a great example of that!
Signs Your German Shepherd And Husky Are Getting Along
If your German Shepherd and Siberian Husky are getting along, you’ll see loose, fluid body movements during play and during their general interactions with each other.
As both breeds tend to play very rough, you might also see lots of body slamming, vocalizations such as growling or barking, and grabbing with their mouths. Provided each dog has good bite inhibition and it does not appear that one dog is bullying the other, this is considered normal play behavior and not something to be concerned about (even with all the noise!).
Additional signs of good play include the presence of meta signals, role reversal, self-handicapping if one dog is older, younger, or has any sort of physical limitations, and each dog responds to cutoff signals when one dog decides they need a break.
What To Do If Your German Shepherd And Husky Are Not Getting Along
There may be times in which your German Shepherd and Siberian Husky engage in a scuffle, even if they normally get along.
This can happen if you introduce a new pet to the household, provide a special resource such as a new chew, or there is a lot of stress and excitement in the household that is not normally present. Provided the dogs normally get along and there is no concern about an underlying issue, it’s like the scuffle will end quickly and without major incident.
Sudden instances of aggression may indicate an underlying illness or injury, though, so if you notice one dog is acting oddly it’s wise to schedule a vet appointment.
Making sure each dog receives appropriate training (especially when it comes to impulse control) is important to keeping the peace, as is providing separate spaces as needed.
In some cases, you may need to keep the dogs separate when you are not home or during feeding time, even though they get along otherwise.
In general, the similarities between a German Shepherd and a Siberian Husky mean they are likely to get along. They both have similar play styles, energy levels, and intelligence levels. Both breeds enjoy being with their owners and families, and they like to engage in similar activities outdoors.
There are a couple of causes for concern that could cause issues between the two, such as high predatory drives, jealous tendencies, and poor breeding that can lead to aggression and overly sensitive dogs.
But overall, it’s likely that the two breeds will get along nicely, and they make an excellent choice for an active owner!