Siberian Huskies and German Shepherds are two incredibly popular family dogs, but do huskies and German Shepherds get along?
Huskies and German Shepherds are compatible breeds on paper and usually get along. They are similar in size and exercise requirements, but there are some key differences, such as trainability and guarding instinct.
Keep reading to learn all about huskies and German Shepherds, how they compare, and some top tips for introducing them and how to achieve long-term success.
- What Does ‘Getting Long’ Actually Mean?
- How Huskies And German Shepherds Compare
- Why German Shepherds And Huskies Get Along
- How To Introduce A Husky And German Shepherd
- How To Achieve Long-Term Success With Huskies And German Shepherds
- In Summary
What Does ‘Getting Long’ Actually Mean?
Most dogs can ‘get along’ just fine, but it’s important to understand what this means in practical terms.
For two dogs to get along, they need to enjoy spending time in each other’s company and not have any tension or aggression towards each other.
Certain dogs can get very territorial or possessive of certain things or people, creating tension and leading to fights.
Other dogs can be very independent and prefer their own space, which is also acceptable as long as there is room for them to get out of the way.
It also helps if they can play with each other and have similar exercise requirements, so they can tire each other out without becoming a nuisance.
Now we’re on the same page, let’s take a quick look into both the husky and German Shepherd to get an idea of what these two breeds are like.
Siberian Huskies are sled dogs that originated from Siberia that were used in packs to pull sleds over long distances.
They have a typical Spitz personality, meaning they are stubborn and quite independent, but they also prefer to be part of a pack due to their working background.
Huskies are known for howling and will almost talk to you as they scream and howl whenever they feel like it – this behavior can be exaggerated if you have more than one husky.
German Shepherd Overview
German Shepherds were originally used as herding dogs in Germany in the late 19th century.
It didn’t take long for their intelligence and trainability to be noticed, however, and they were quickly put to use for various applications in the police and army.
Today, German Shepherds are popular family dogs but are still common in the police, military, and personal protection.
They require a lot of exercise and quickly learn new tricks or commands. They have a strong guarding instinct and can be very wary of strangers.
How Huskies And German Shepherds Compare
Now we’ve got a better understanding of these two popular breeds; let’s see how they compare.
It’s important to consider how much exercise two dogs need when looking at compatibility.
Both huskies and German Shepherds require a lot of exercise, ideally 2 hours or more every day.
This is ideal is they will be able to keep up with each other and tire each other out during playtime.
Huskies and German Shepherds are very different when it comes to trainability:
- Huskies are very difficult to train because they are stubborn and independent. They aren’t very interested in pleasing their owners, which makes it hard for them to learn commands and tricks.
- German Shepherds, on the other hand, are very efficient at learning new commands are love to please their owners.
This isn’t as much of a big deal when keeping both dogs in the same household, but it’s important to be aware of.
Huskies and German Shepherds both have a very high prey drive.
This means they are prone to chasing after small animals by nature, so there can be difficulties with other small dogs or cats.
It also means that both dogs should ideally be kept on a leash in unsecured areas, as they might spot a small animal like a squirrel or cat and chase after it without realizing where they are going.
Huskies and German Shepherds are very different in terms of their guarding instinct.
Huskies are terrible guard dogs – they are too friendly for their own good and try to make friends with everyone. It is only in very serious situations where they have been known to protect their families, but this is rare.
On the other hand, German Shepherds are used for guarding-related tasks throughout the world, from personal protection to police work.
German Shepherds are naturally suspicious of strangers, so expect very different reactions to new people if you plan to keep both of these breeds together.
Possessiveness is slightly different from guarding instinct and is shown when a dog growls or warns you that you are getting too close to something that they have, like a treat or a toy, for example.
Possessiveness can create friction between two dogs, which can become a problem if this trait starts to surface after introducing them together.
As you might have already guessed, huskies are not a possessive breed, but German Shepherds can be very possessive.
Compatibility With Children/Babies
Huskies and German Shepherds can be great with children and babies and are naturally protective of them.
You must still be cautious with both breeds; any contact should always be supervised.
Huskies and German Shepherds are prone to separation anxiety, a condition that causes destructive behaviors like excessive chewing, howling, or barking if left alone for long periods.
This becomes twice as bad when you have both breeds, so it’s another thing to consider.
Compatibility With Male/Female Dogs
Male huskies and German Shepherds can show aggression towards other dogs to establish who is the alpha, so it isn’t recommended to have two males if you plan on keeping both breeds.
Male and female, or female-female pairings, usually work best.
Why German Shepherds And Huskies Get Along
If you haven’t realized by this point, huskies and German Shepherds are pretty good dogs to keep together.
Huskies tend to be much friendlier and easy-going, whereas German Shepherds might be wary at first, but after a while, there’s a good chance they will become close friends.
I’ve seen this combination several times, and I can vouch for these two dogs being kept together – there’s a reason why they are included in my list of the best dogs to keep with huskies.
There are still some important things to know about introducing and keeping them together over a long period of time, though.
How To Introduce A Husky And German Shepherd
If you aren’t sure how to introduce a husky and German Shepherd safely, follow the steps below.
Start From Young (Ideally)
One of the best ways to help a husky and a German Shepherd get along is to socialize them from a young age.
Puppies tend to bond much faster, and there is not as much risk if they have a disagreement. You do need to make sure that you train both separately and give them time on their own as well for the best chance of success.
This is obviously not applicable in every case, and the steps below outline what you need to do if both dogs are mature.
Walk Them Near To Each Other On A Leash
With mature huskies and German Shepherds, the first step in introducing them together is to let them walk close to each other while on a leash.
Walk in a single file, let one dog lead, and then swap positions. This lets each dog get an idea of the other, including what they smell and look like.
If they show genuine interest in each other rather than aggression, let them get close and smell each other properly, closely monitoring any signs of a potential fight.
Walk Them Together On A Leash
Once they know what the other smells and looks like, you can take both dogs for a walk together while on a leash.
Do this in a neutral area like a dog park or a field, and closely monitor the dogs to see how they are getting on.
At this point, you’ll get a good idea of how resistant the German Shepherd is (if at all) and how friendly the husky wants to be.
Keep praising both dogs and let them play together if they want to.
Let Go Of The Leash
After a while of walking them together on a leash, you’ll know whether they are friendly or not.
If everything is going according to plan, let them play together in an enclosed space like your backyard, keeping their leashes on in case you need to regain control.
Let Them Meet Inside The Home
After a few meetings outside, let the two dogs meet inside the house.
If you are introducing a husky, the German Shepherd might be protective of their own space at first, so monitor things closely.
You may have to repeat this a few times and remember to give lots of praise with each interaction. You will also find this is much easier if you are introducing a German Shepherd to a new home with a husky, as they won’t be as protective.
Keep Them Separate While Unsupervised
Now they are comfortable with each other; you can let them move in properly.
A smooth transition can take up to a year, especially if the German Shepherd was originally in the house by itself.
It’s a good idea to keep them separate while unsupervised until they have bonded properly.
This is a very cautious way of doing things and for good reason. In many cases, the dogs will bond and become friends right away, but you need to be careful with German Shepherds, who are prone to being very protective of their homes or possessive of their owners.
How To Achieve Long-Term Success With Huskies And German Shepherds
It’s one thing introducing a husky and German Shepherd, but long-term success will require quite a lot of work on your end.
Here are some things to remember to ensure your husky and German Shepherd get along long-term.
Don’t Pick Favorites
As harsh as it sounds, it’s normal to have a favorite dog even when you have more than one, but you shouldn’t actively treat them any differently from your other dogs, and the same applies to huskies and Geman Shepherds.
Make sure you give equal praise and positive reinforcement to both. German Shepherds can get possessive, and giving one special treatment over a husky with extra treats or toys will only worsen this type of behavior.
The goal is to make both feel comfortable as equals in the pack, rather than one being the alpha over the other.
Be Aware Of Possessive German Shepherds
Some German Shepherds can be very possessive, and while you can address this mainly through training, they may still exhibit this behavior to other dogs.
It’s important to be aware of this and what type of triggers lead to this behavior.
For example, if your German Shepherd has a favorite toy they won’t let anyone else near, you need to be careful when letting them play with it.
Huskies can be very friendly and try to play without considering any potential risk, leading to fighting or aggression.
Do Obedience Training Separately
If you have both of these breeds, training them separately is essential.
German Shepherds learn very quickly and are eager to please, so you will get much more out of their obedience training if you train them on their own.
Huskies are much more difficult and won’t listen to you half of the time, so it’s better to keep them separate while training for the best results.
Address Conflicts Quickly
The last point I want to mention is addressing conflicts quickly and correctly.
It’s only natural for your dogs to fight occasionally, even if they are the most well-trained and well-behaved dogs.
When this happens, it’s important to break up the fight as soon as possible and shout a firm ‘No!’ at them.
This should be more than enough if they are well-trained, and it’s very unlikely that anything more serious than a minor disagreement will happen between these two breeds.
If you weren’t sure about keeping these two breeds together before reading this guide, hopefully, you have a better idea of why they are suited together now.
Just remember to take things slowly and be careful of the husky being too friendly or the German Shepherd being possessive, and you should be fine.
I’ve known many huskies and German Shepherds who have gotten along just fine, and it can be very rewarding to see them form a pack.
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