Siberian Husky - Breed Information

Husky Walking in Snow

Do you want a pet dog that loves to spend time outdoors and able to brave cold climates? If so, then a Siberian Husky might be the perfect dog for you. Before you get one though, we urge you to read on and learn as much as you can about this dog breed.

Appearance

Huskies are medium-sized working dogs that grow up to 23.5 inches in height and weigh up to 60 pounds.  They live for up to 12 to 15 years and sometimes longer with excellent care.

Huskies have a thick undercoat and a long, coarse top coat that is available in black, brown, white or a mix with differing head markings. The eye color varies but is typically blue.

History

The Chukchi tribe is widely credited for breeding the first Siberian Huskies. They needed a sled dog able to withstand the arctic conditions of the Northeast Siberian Peninsula. Ultimately, they succeeded in creating a dog breed that has remarkable endurance and speed yet requires a minimal amount of food which is essential on long expeditions.

Siberian Huskies are remarkable in that they have a  unique metabolic capability that can be turned on and off based on their environment. It is this ability that enabled them to dominate the  All-Alaska Sweepstakes - a 400-mile dog sled race that started in 1908.

The Siberian Husky got into the spotlight in 1925 by running a medical mission for diphtheria break out in Alaska. Subzero conditions prevented the town from receiving much needed medical supplies to fight the infection. A team of huskies was sent out to retrieve the medication and saved hundreds of lives in the process.

After word of the breed’s heroism spread, a group of Huskies was invited to compete in sled races in New England. The capabilities and character of the type won people over, and demand for the dog breed grew tremendously in the United States.

The AKC (American Kennel Club) recognized the breed in 1930. The type also took part in Antarctic explorations and served in The second world war in the Army's Arctic Search and Rescue unit.

Brown Husky Standing in a Forest River

Temperament

Siberian Husky behavior can be described as outgoing, adorable and observant canines. These dogs have a strong predatory instinct, nevertheless, and should never be left alone with small animals.

Huskies also like to dig - a lot! Owners need to walk them daily to expel energy, and provide an area designated for digging is critical. Doing so will help curb destructive behavior which can be a problem at home. Fortunately, Siberian Huskies are smart and can be trained easily so long as their owners provide direction and leadership.

Potential Health Problems

Concerning healthcare, Huskies are susceptible to:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Eye problems

Hip dysplasia happens when the top of the thigh bone does not fit into the pelvic joint socket correctly. Eye problems are genetic and can consist of juvenile cataracts, corneal dystrophy or progressive retinal atrophy. Some effects are minor, and others can trigger loss of vision, so ask to see an eye evaluation report before buying a puppy from a breeder.

Care and Grooming

Huskies are very active dogs that require room to play and run. Owners need to walk them daily or at least provide a fenced off outdoor area where they can vent out their energy. These dogs are likewise exceptional escape artists and known for digging or jumping their way out of the lawn.

Huskies don’t bark much, but they do howl similar to wolves which people can hear from over 10 miles away. This is something that you will have to consider and match the dog to your living arrangements at home.

Siberian Huskies' double coats can also be a challenge for owners to maintain. They shed routinely and can blow their coats one or two times a year. Owners can expect to invest an hour or more every week brushing them to manage shedding.

The fur is susceptible to mats, so brushing must not be overlooked. Brush the fox-shaped tail regularly too. Inspect the eyes and nose for any discharge on a regular basis and trim nails as required.

You don't need to own a husky before you get something cool about these lovely dog breeds. A Siberian Husky calendar will just be great on the walls of your home.