The Siberian Husky is a beautiful dog breed with a thick coat that comes in a multitude of colours and markings. Their blue or multi-coloured eyes and striking facial masks only add to the appeal of this breed, which originated in Siberia.
The Siberian Husky is believed to have originated among the Chukchi, a tribe of Siberian nomads. The breed’s history is relatively unknown but DNA tests confirm that they are among the oldest of dog breeds. We do know that the Chukchi used the dogs as fast transportation and that they interacted with the Chukchi as a family dog. Huskies often slept with the children and provided warm comfortable beds for them.
The Siberian Husky was imported to Alaska in 1908 and was used as sled dogs during the gold rush. They were used in the All-Alaska Sweepstakes, which is a 408-mile dogsled race, and continue to be an active competitor in the Sweepstakes even today.
The Siberian Club of America was founded in 1938 and the Siberian Husky was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1930 and the Canadian Kennel Club in 1939.
An average male stands between 21 and 23.5 inches high while the female averages 20 to 22 inches. The male weighs between 45 and 60 pounds and the female 35 to 50 pounds.
Expect lots of hair, lots of shedding — especially during spring and fall when they blow their coats. That said, this is a fairly easy breed to care for. Siberian Huskies living in cooler temperatures tend to shed less than those who live in warmer climates. You can avoid matting — and excess hair on your furniture — if you commit to brushing your dog’s coat at least once a week during the year — and daily during shedding season.
Siberian Huskies are clean dogs and will take the time to clean themselves — much like a cat will. They don’t typically emit “doggy” odour and rarely need baths.
Huskies come in a variety of colours and markings, from black to pure white with coloured markings on the body that include reds and coppers. Their eyes can be brown, blue, or a combination. Their faces sport masks that add to their eye appeal.
Huskies make great pets for households with children. They can be very tolerant of children, but like all other dogs, should be supervised when around young children.
Siberian Huskies do get along with other dogs but it is still important to take your puppy to socialization classes. This gets them used to other dogs and also to people, although they are also very affectionate to strangers. Socialization teaches puppies how to behave and greet other dogs and their owners.
Depending on your climate, Siberian Huskies are generally low shedders except during the times of year when they blow their coat, meaning they drop large amounts of hair all at once. This happens roughly twice a year, more if you live in warmer climates, and when it does, the breed becomes a heavy shedder for about a three-week stretch.
Siberian Huskies are not recommended for apartment living, but some do quite well in apartments if they are properly trained and exercised.
Siberian Huskies are known escape artists and have been known to wander away and disappear. They can jump fences, break tie-out chains, slip collars and find any other way to escape. They need a high fenced yard and the fence should also be buried several inches below ground to prevent the Husky from digging his way out.
Siberian Huskies can be very destructive both inside and out. If they are left uncrated inside, the breed can destroy a house and cause a wide variety of damage. Outside, they enjoy digging and will dig up yards and flower gardens alike.
While they enjoy howling, Siberian Huskies rarely bark and they will not alert bark if someone comes onto your property. This makes them an unsuitable watchdog.
Siberian Huskies are not a breed for the new or timid owner. They need a strong owner who will maintain an alpha position in the home. They need obedience training from a young age and can be a difficult and stubborn breed to train.
Siberian Huskies are very curious and can become injured or lost while they are exploring something new.
Affectionate and good natured describes the Siberian Husky. Generally, they do well with children although young children should never be left alone with any breed. They also get along with people and do well in homes with multiple dogs.
Siberian Huskies were bred to need very little food to survive. This still applies today and the Siberian Husky does not need a high level of calories per day. It is important to ask your Siberian Husky’s breeder what they recommended for a serving helping and to follow their advice.
Huskies cannot be allowed to run off leash during walks. They will run away and will also chase other small animals.
Due to their beauty, Siberian Huskies are one of the most wrongly purchased breeds around. Many do not take into consideration their temperaments and particular quirks and are often left with an unruly, albeit beautiful, dog. Many Siberian Huskies are either lost, killed, or given to shelters due to uninformed owners. If you are thinking of purchasing a Siberian Husky, take a lot of time learning about the breed.