The Samoyed German Shepherd mix, also known as the Gerberian Shepsky, is a relatively new hybrid dog that brings together two classic and highly intelligent breeds. This crossbreed combines the affectionate and adaptable nature of the Samoyed with the loyalty and protectiveness of the German Shepherd.
If you’re considering adding one of these pups to your family, read on to learn more about their appearance, temperament, health, care and exercise needs, and what it’s like to live with this energetic and devoted hybrid dog.
|16-24 inches tall; 40-80 pounds
|Double-coated; medium to long in length; sheds moderately to heavily
|White, black, brown, gray, tan, or mixed
|Friendly, loyal, intelligent, energetic, protective, trainable
|60+ minutes exercise daily; active owners preferred
|Active singles, couples or families; house with yard ideal
|Responds very well to positive reinforcement training
|Daily brushing needed; shedding can be significant
|Hip/elbow dysplasia, allergies, eye problems, diabetes, thyroid disorders
Appearance and Vital Statistics
The Samoyed German Shepherd mix can vary significantly in looks, depending on which parent breed is more dominant. Generally, they tend to be medium to large-sized dogs standing 16-24 inches at the shoulder. Their weight ranges from 40 to 80 pounds when fully grown.
Coat colors common in Samoyed German Shepherd mixes include:
Some individuals might have a combination of these colors in their fur. The length of the coat can be medium to long and dense. German Shepherds are double-coated dogs, so it’s likely this cross will inherit an inner dense undercoat and an outer coat that can be straight or wavy.
Ears often stand erect like those of German Shepherds. Eye color varies but tends to be brown. The muzzle is usually slightly tapered but not extremely pointy or blunt. The bushy tail might curl up and over the back like a Samoyed’s.
Vital Statistics of the Samoyed German Shepherd Mix:
|White, Brown, Black, Grey, Tan
The lifespan of a healthy Samoyed and German Shepherd cross is typically 12 to 14 years. Make sure to keep your dog active and feed them a nutritious diet to help them reach a long lifespan within this range.
Temperament: Friendly, Loyal, Intelligent
Samoyed German Shepherd mixes tend to be friendly, loyal, highly intelligent, and devoted companions when properly trained and socialized. They are active working dogs that need a job to do, consistent training, and plenty of playtime and exercise.
This crossbreed is loyal like the German Shepherd yet sociable and adaptable like the Samoyed. They form strong bonds with family members and can be slightly aloof or wary of strangers without proper socialization. Early socialization and obedience training is highly recommended for these hybrids.
Some of the most notable personality traits of the Samoyed German Shepherd mix include:
- Loyal and loving
- Intelligent and highly trainable
- Friendly and social
- Active and energetic
- Playful and gentle with family
- May be shy around strangers
- Protective instincts
- Strong work ethic
The protective nature of German Shepherds combines with the affectionate personality of Samoyeds to produce an excellent watchdog and guardian for families. These dogs are quick learners and aim to please their owners.
With the energy levels common in herding dog breeds like German Shepherds, this cross needs plenty of exercise and engagement. Without sufficient activity, these intelligent dogs may become bored and destructive. The Samoyed influence makes them gentle and friendly around children, unlike some lines of German Shepherds that can be aloof with kids.
Proper socialization is imperative starting from puppyhood into adulthood. Though not usually aggressive, Samoyed German Shepherd mixes can be reserved around strangers. Socialization will help them become more confident and outgoing.
This interesting crossbreed combines some of the best qualities of both parent breeds. Let’s look closer at the histories of the Samoyed and German Shepherd to understand this mix.
History and Origins
To better understand the Samoyed German Shepherd mix dog, it’s helpful to learn about the histories of each of the parent breeds used to create this cross.
History of the Samoyed
Samoyeds take their name from the Samoyedic peoples, a nomadic tribe from Siberia. They bred white, fluffy dogs with smiling expressions to help with herding reindeer, hunting, and pulling sleds. The friendly Samoyed would keep their owners warm at night by sleeping on top of them. Their all-white coat helped them blend in with the snowy landscape.
The Samoyed breed as we know it today was further developed in England beginning in the late 1800s. British explorers and miners brought back the thickly coated working dogs from Siberia. Breeders in England worked to refine the bloodline and bred for a friendly, dignified temperament.
Samoyeds were registered as an official breed in Britain in 1909 and America in 1923. While still used in the cold climes of their namesake homeland for reindeer herding and sled pulling, elsewhere in the world they transitioned into beloved family companions and show dogs.
History of the German Shepherd Dog
German Shepherds were first bred in Germany in the late 1800s as all-purpose herding dogs that could protect and work a shepherd’s flocks. Their intelligence, loyalty, trainability and protective instincts made them ideal for these jobs in rural Germany communities.
During World War I, the German Army made use of the breed’s strength, athleticism, trainability and intelligence. German Shepherds served as military dogs alongside Red Cross rescuers throughout battles on the Western Front.
The intelligent, agile and handsome German Shepherd quickly became popular worldwide after the war. They were brought to America and recognized by the AKC in 1908. German Shepherds have served with police and military forces around the world and work today as service dogs, bomb and narcotics detection dogs, search and rescue dogs, and faithful family guardians and companions.
Origins of the Samoyed German Shepherd Mix
While purebred Samoyeds and German Shepherds have lengthy histories, crossing these two breeds is a more recent phenomenon. As interest in hybrid dogs rose over the past couple decades, breeders began experimenting with blending different purebreds. The Samoyed German Shepherd mix results in sociable, loyal dogs primed for active families.
There isn’t extensive documentation on the original development of Samoyed German Shepherd mixes. It’s likely breeding first occurred in America sometime within the past 10 to 20 years. The crossbreed has grown in popularity along with many other “designer dogs” like Labradoodles and Maltipoos.
Enthusiasts of this energetic and good-natured hybrid appreciate the blend of intelligence, trainability, sociability and protective instincts from two classic working breeds. Let’s look closer at what makes these canines excellent companions.
Why Own a Samoyed German Shepherd Mix?
Samoyed German Shepherd mixes make loyal family dogs that bond closely with their owners. Here are some top reasons you might want to make one of these clever hybrids part of your home:
- Highly intelligent and trainable
- Friendly and gentle with children
- Devoted and protective of family members
- Energetic and always ready for activities
- Adaptable to different climates and settings
- Playful and good-natured
- Minimal shedding if it inherits more Samoyed coat qualities
- Loves being outdoors and athletic
- Makes an excellent jogging or hiking companion
- Alert watchdog and guardian instincts
These crossbred dogs can succeed in a range of environments and homes, from apartments to houses with yards. Their energetic natures and high intelligence make training a must. If well exercised daily, they can thrive in any home.
Samoyed German Shepherd mixes form close bonds and do best when around their family members often. Their protective instincts and ability to sense trouble make them excellent watchdogs. With socialization, they can also be trusted around children and strangers.
Overall, these hybrids have cheerful dispositions and take readily to training. Their energy and trainability allow them to make wonderful adventure buddies, jogging partners, or Frisbee and agility competitors. They’re ideal for active singles, couples or families looking for a smart and friendly canine companion.
Caring for a Samoyed German Shepherd Mix
While wonderful family dogs, Samoyed German Shepherd mixes do have high care needs. Their exercise requirements and grooming routine require an investment of time and attention. Here’s what you need to know about caring for one of these energetic hybrid pups.
Plan to provide your Samoyed German Shepherd mix with 60 to 90 minutes of vigorous exercise every day. These high-energy dogs love having a job or task involved in their daily activities.
Great ways to exercise your Gerberian Shepsky include:
- Long walks or hikes
- Playing fetch or Frisbee at a park
- Jogging or running together
- Access to a securely fenced yard for play
- Swimming – many love water!
- Agility training or competitions
- Sled pulling or carting jobs
- Canine athletics like dock diving
Mental stimulation is also important for these intelligent hybrids. Food puzzle toys, obedience or trick training, and interactive games help tire them out. Without adequate physical and mental exercise, these easily bored dogs are likely to entertain themselves with destruction and barking.
Living in an apartment or without a yard is possible but challenging for this energetic cross. Be prepared to provide sufficient exercise opportunities if you live in an urban setting. Samoyed German Shepherd mixes should not be left alone for long periods of time.
The grooming needs of Samoyed German Shepherd mixes depends on whether the longhaired Samoyed genes or the medium-length coat of German Shepherds is more prominent. Expect shedding year-round and heavily during spring and fall.
Thicker coated crosses should be brushed daily to control shedding and prevent mats. Bathing every 6 to 12 weeks can help keep their coat clean. Some may need professional grooming a few times a year for de-shedding treatments and haircuts.
In addition to coat care, follow these grooming tips:
- Trim nails monthly
- Brush teeth weekly
- Check and clean ears regularly
- Bathe as needed using dog-formulated shampoo
If your Samoyed German Shepherd inherents more of the moderate German Shepherd coat, grooming may be slightly less intensive. They will still require regular brushing and bathing.
Smart and energetic, Samoyed and German Shepherd crossbreeds thrive when given obedience training, socialization, and a job to do.
Signing puppies up for puppy kindergarten helps them learn good manners and boosts socialization. Basic and then more advanced obedience training will tap into your dog’s high working drive. Consider getting involved in canine sports like agility, nosework or dock diving that provide an outlet for their energy and enthusiasm.
House training may be quicker than average if you stick to a consistent schedule and use crate training. However, the high intelligence of the parents can lead to some stubbornness. Always use positive reinforcement techniques when working with this cross.
While independent thinkers, these dogs aim to please their families. Training that provides mental stimulation paired with rewards for good behavior brings out the best in Samoyed German Shepherd mixes.
These energetic medium to large dogs need a high protein and fat diet to fuel their activity levels. Feed at least 2-3 cups of quality dry dog food per day divided into two meals.
Samoyed German Shepherd puppies should be fed a large breed puppy formula until at least 12 to 18 months to support healthy development. Monitor your dog’s body condition and adjust food amounts so they maintain ideal lean body weight as adults.
Hybrid dogs tend to be healthier overall than purebreds since crossbreeding increases genetic diversity. Still, Samoyed German Shepherd mixes can inherit certain health conditions from their parent breeds. Some issues to be aware of include:
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
- Eye problems like progressive retinal atrophy
- Heart disease
Supplementing their diet with fish oil, glucosamine, or chondroitin can support joint health. Discuss recommended health screens with your veterinarian. Annual exams, heartworm preventatives, flea and tick control and vaccines like rabies shots are also important.
With proper care, exercise and early health screenings, many Samoyed German Shepherd mixes enjoy life expectancies of 12 to 14 years. This hybrid has good vitality when their needs are met.
Finding Samoyed German Shepherd Mix Puppies
This popular crossbreed is available from an increasing number of breeders, though well-bred puppies are still not common. Here are some options for finding Samoyed German Shepherd mix puppies:
- Check local Samoyed and German Shepherd breed club directories for breeder referrals. Responsible clubs only list breeders who follow codes of ethics.
- Search sites like AKC Marketplace for breeders of both parent breeds. Reach out to ask if they ever have “Gerberian Shepsky” litters.
- Vet your breeder carefully to ensure they health test dam and sire and breed responsibly. Visit their home and meet parent dogs.
- Ask trusted veterinarians and trainers for referrals.
- Check pet adoption sites and shelters in case Samoyed German Shepherd mixes end up in need of rescue.
- Join Samoyed and German Shepherd mix community groups on Facebook to connect with other owners and breeders.
Avoid purchasing Samoyed German Shepherd mix puppies from pet stores, flea markets or irresponsible online sources. Always meet the puppies with their parent dogs in the original breeder’s home.
This mix tends to be more expensive than some common mutts but less costly than rarer designer breeds. Puppies often range from $500 to over $1000 USD depending on pedigree and location.
Some breeders charge more for certain coat colors like rare blacks and sables. For companionship, temperament and health should take priority over color. Be wary of breeders who seem to only care about profiting from the latest trendy mixed breeds.
Life with a Samoyed German Shepherd Mix
Caring for and living with a Samoyed German Shepherd mix can be rewarding for the right owner. This hybrid bonds closely and thrives when included in family activities. Early socialization helps them become more comfortable in various environments and around strangers.
Their exuberant natures allow them to get along well with children, especially if raised with kids. Still, supervision is recommended due to their large size. Proper manners training helps minimize jumping up, nipping, or exuberant play that could injure young children.
Multi-pet households are possible with careful introduction and socialization to other animals. Their high prey drive makes them better suited to homes with larger animals rather than small pets like rodents.
Samoyed German Shepherd mixes make devoted companions for active singles, couples or families. They can thrive in apartments but ideally have access to a securely fenced yard. Brisk daily walks plus playtime and training will keep them stimulated.
These adaptable and people-pleasing dogs aim to spend their days hanging out with their family. They love recreational activities like hiking, camping, jogging or playing at the dog park. Training them in a canine sport gives purpose to all their enthusiasm and energy.
If you lead an adventurous life and are seeking a friendly dog to join in the fun, the good-natured Samoyed German Shepherd mix could be the perfect choice. Their lively and loving personalities bring smiles to their owners each day. With training, care and plenty of quality time together, they make the ideal four-legged friend.