The Siberian Husky and the German Shepherd do share some similarities, particularly in terms of their physical appearance. Both dogs have well-proportioned bodies, broad foreheads with a tapered muzzle, triangular, erect ears, and a long and sweeping tail. Both of these dogs also sport a thick double coat.
If you are keen on both of these dog breeds but the size is a factor that is important for you, then you may be wondering which breed is larger – the Siberian Husky, or the German Shepherd.
In this article, we will explore the topic of Husky vs German Shepherd size, as well as discussing several other factors that make these two wonderful dog breeds quite different!
Hopefully, by the time you finish reading this, you will be one step closer to making your final decision about which breed would be a better fit for you and your lifestyle.
German Shepherd vs Husky: Size
Generally speaking, the larger of these two dog breeds is the German Shepherd. A male adult German Shepherd will weigh anywhere from 30 to 40 kilograms, and females will weigh between 22 and 32 kilograms. Siberian Huskies, on the other hand, only weigh in at 20 to 27 kilograms for adult male dogs and 16 to 23 kilograms for adult females.
Height-wise, the adult male German Shepherd is 60 to 65 centimeters tall at the shoulder and females are 55 to 60 centimeters tall. Siberian Husky is 54 to 60 centimeters at the shoulder and females are 50 to 56 centimeters.
So if you are on the lookout for a smaller dog, then the obvious choice would be the Siberian Husky.
BUT – this comes with a big caveat.
If you are looking for a smaller dog because you think they are easier, then guess again!
Siberian Huskies need a LOT of daily exercise. That is not to say that German Shepherds don’t, they do – but they are, in many ways, an easier dog to take care of, with exercise being one of them.
Let’s take a look at why.
German Shepherd and Husky Temperament
German Shepherds were developed in the 1800s in Germany by farmers who wanted the dog to guard their sheep. So they only bred from the dogs with the best temperament for that type of work – dogs that were brave and fearless, wary of strangers, but highly responsive to the commands of their masters, and fast learners to boot.
Siberian Huskies, on the other hand, were bred to work as part of a dog pack, and endurance and athleticism to cover vast distances in harsh conditions.
Both dogs are intelligent, and both breeds need to work and have a job to do. But one breed works closely and one-on-one with its owners is attuned to the finest commands and thrives on obedience and training. This is the German Shepherd. The Husky, on the other hand, is simply not motivated to work with people in the same way. It works best in a team with other dogs.
So whilst you may be tempted to think that a Husky is easier because they are smaller, you are wrong. Huskies are stubborn, headstrong, hard to train, and lack focus unless they have a vigorous physical job to do – such as pulling a sled.
German Shepherds, on the other hand, will meet you halfway and more when it comes to teaching them to do what you need them to do. They thrive on this.
Please do not read this as saying that German Shepherds are better dogs than Siberian Huskies, that is not the case. But in terms of training, German Shepherds are just a lot more responsive and therefore the easier dog to own, and this makes them a lot more versatile in the jobs that they can perform.
Learn more about: Husky Traits and Behaviors
Should I Own A German Shepherd Or A Siberian Husky?
If you love daily vigorous exercise or want to get into a vigorous sport that uses dog power (such as mushing), then the Husky is your perfect dog.
Both dogs have double coats and shed a great deal, needing daily grooming. So in this regard, you are neither here nor there with either breed.
If you want a dog that loves training and obedience work, then choose the German Shepherd.
It should be noted that both dogs are great family dogs who love their families and are wonderful with kids. But German Shepherds are more loyal and more protective of their families. They also make ideal watchdogs, who will guard your home if an intruder is around. Huskies are not a good breed for this task. They are friendly to all and sundry!
Huskies are a bit more zany than German Shepherds, so if you want a goofy and clownish pal then look no further. German Shepherds are somewhat serious once they are grown up.
Huskies hate being left alone and they can become destructive or make regular attempts to escape their yard if they are left alone for extended periods. They are happy in multi-dog homes. German Shepherds can manage to be the only dog in the family, and they are also able to cope with being home alone while their owners are at work. Having said that, no dog should ever just be plonked in a backyard and ignored, this is cruel.
A Conclusion On The Husky vs German Shepherd Conversation
If you like the look of both of these handsome wolf-like looking dogs but are concerned that German Shepherds are too big, then do not be deterred. These dogs are very obedient when well trained so their size will not make them a hassle to have in the home.
Siberian Huskies may be smaller in build but they need more exercise! If you love exercise then this will not put you off owning a Husky.
Both are working dogs who respond well to firm and consistent training. Both are athletic dogs. And both breeds shed a lot!
But Huskies are not as motivated to respond to human commands as German Shepherds. They are also much less wary of strangers.
Which breed you choose ultimately comes down to your lifestyle and what you are looking for in a canine companion.