SIBERIAN HUSKY

Common names: Husky and Sibe

VITAL STATS

  • Dog Breed Group: Working Dogs

  • Life span: 7-10 years

  • Weight: 100 to 200 pounds

  • Height: 26-34 inches tall at the shoulder

BREED CHARACTERISTICS

Adaptibility
Affection Level
Apartment friendly
Barking Tendencies
Cat Friendly
Child friendly
Dog friendly
Exercise Needs
General Health
Grooming
Intelligence
Playfulness
Shedding level
Social Needs
Stranger Friendly
Territorial
Trainability
Watchdog Ability

The Siberian Husky is believed to have developed by Chukchi Eskimos, a nomadic tribe from Siberia, about half a million years ago. The changing of the climate conditions forced this tribe to expand their hunting grounds so they developed sled dogs capable of hauling light loads over vast expanses of frozen desert in sub-zero temperatures. The term “husky” was a contraction of “huskimos” given to the word “Eskimos” by the English sailors of trading vessels. During 1925, the people in Nome, Alaska suffered a diphtheria epidemic in the middle of winter; antitoxin was needed desperately at that time. A group effort by several sled-dog teams and mushers brought the antitoxin from Anchorage to Nome in six days, nearly 700 miles and in temperature that hovered around 40 degrees below zero. The run brought a reputation to the breed. Up till now, these courageous and loyal dogs were kept as endurance sled dogs and companion dogs for their families.

Among the qualities that make them wonderful companions are their intelligence, eagerness, and sense of humor. They are affectionate with everyone which makes them ineffective watchdogs. Siberian Huskies do not bark but they do enjoy howling, which can be very frustrating for the neighbors. Though they possess intelligence, these dogs are extremely difficult to train and are known as escape artists; they have been known to wander away and disappear.

The Siberian Husky is a medium-sized working dog; quick and light on its feet and free and graceful in action. An average male stands between 21 and 23.5 inches high and weighs between 45 and 60 pounds while the female averages 20 to 22 inches and is 35 to 50 pounds. The Siberian Husky has a two coat layer that is thicker than most other dog breeds; the topcoat is straight and the undercoat is soft and dense. It protects them effectively against harsh Arctic winters, and also reflects heat in the summer. The most common coats are black and white; the less common ones are copper-red and white, grey and white, pure white, and the rare “agouti” coat, though many individuals have blondish or piebald spotting. His body proportions and form reflect this dog’s basic balance of power, speed, and endurance.

Huskies are generally healthy, but like other dogs, they’re prone to certain health conditions. Health issues in the breed are mainly genetic, such as seizures, congenital laryngeal paralysis, and defects of the eye; juvenile cataracts, corneal dystrophy, canine glaucoma, and progressive retinal atrophy. Cataracts typically start forming before the dog is 2 years old. Between 8 to 10 percent of Huskies have this eye condition yet surgery can correct the problem. Owners should keep tabs on their dog’s overall condition and consult their vet with any questions or concerns that may arise.

A Siberian Huskies have a double coat that is thicker than that of most other breeds; so expect lots of hair, lots of shedding — particularly during spring and fall when they blow their coats. Their thick coats require weekly grooming but they are remarkably self-cleaning and often need a few baths a year. A good going-over with a pin brush and metal comb every week to remove the old coat may help in promoting fine hair growth. Like other dogs, nails should be trimmed regularly.

Siberian Huskies need to be exercised 30 to 60 minutes daily to keep them from becoming bored. They make excellent jogging companions, but should not be exercised in hot weather. Because Siberians were bred to run and have a strong predatory streak, a leash is recommended during walks to prevent running-off chasing other small animals. If the owner feels lazy, a fenced yard to expend their energy can also be suggested, but if isolated or restrained for too long, Huskies will probably

Siberian Huskies were bred to need little food to survive as these dogs were developed to pull a light load at a fast pace over great distances in low temperatures on the smallest possible intake of food so they might not need a high level of calories per day. These dogs are recommended to have a daily amount of 1.5 to 2 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals. In the summer months, a lower protein level may be appropriate, around 20 percent, while a dog

Because of the dog’s intelligence and independence it may be difficult to train this fluffy dog as a beginner. They need an alpha type of owner who is strong, patient and dedicated. They need obedience training from a young age and can be a stubborn breed to train. The best approach is to make all training exercises fun for both dog and handler.

  • The epidemic at 1925 led a group effort by several sled-dog teams and mushers, with the longest and most dangerous segment of the run covered by Gunnar Kaasen. The event is despicted in the 1995 animated film Balto, as the name of Gunnar Kaasen’s lead dog in his sled team was Balto, although unlike the real dog, Balto the character was portrayed as half wolf in the film. In honor of this lead dog, a bronze statue was erected at Central Park in New York City.
  • Siberians can have blue eyes, brown eyes, eyes that are a little of both, or one of each color, heterochromic. There is no relationship between eye color and eye disease in this breed.
  • Their vocalization ability is unique. The Husky is an especially talkative dog with the ability to emit an incredible range of sounds. Their howling is particularly noticeable as it can be heard up to 15 km away.
  • In the 1990s, the Siberian Husky parent club considered changing the breed’s name to the Chukchi Indian Dog.