Siberian Husky

Appearance

A medium sized Siberian Husky
Siberian Husky Quick Summary
Also Known As
OriginRussia
LineagePedigree
SizeMedium
Height (at withers)18-24in (46-61cm)
Weight35-60lbs (16-27kg)
Hair Colour(s)Varies
Lifespan12-14 years
Energy LevelHigh
Litter size4-8
SheddingLow
GroomingMedium
Barking TendencyLow
Exercise requirementsHigh
Ease of trainingMedium
Suitability for kidsHigh
Animal compatabilityMedium
Aggression levelsLow
Distress if leftLow

The Siberian Husky is a medium sized, athletic and striking looking dog. The body is well-muscled with a deep chest and well-sprung ribs, a level topline, straight legs and a fox-like heavily furred tail carried in a sickle curve over the back. The wolf-like head has a medium-sized tapering muzzle, high set erect triangular ears, almond-shaped eyes that can vary in colour, and the nose colour varies depending upon coat colour. The coat itself is very impressive and consists of a thick undercoat with a soft and straight outer coat, and can withstand extremely cold temperatures as low as minus 60°C. The colouring varies greatly, as do the often striking facial markings and patterns, but the most common colours are black and white.

Temperament

Siberian Huskies are tough, resilient and athletic dogs that were bred to endure harsh environments. At the same time they are gentle and sweet-natured dogs with highly dependable natures, and they make for great companions and family pets that enjoy attention and interaction. These dogs are intelligent, quick to learn and highly trainable. However, they are very strong-willed and will only obey orders that seem worthwhile, and so they can be a challenge to train. As a result they are best suited to those with plenty of experience in dog ownership and training, rather than novices, as owners will need to show dominance. They are not suited to those with little time for their pets, and if neglected they can become bored and destructive, which tends to involve chewing. Huskies were always raised around families and so do make good family dogs, and they are used to being around children. They will show affection but are too independant to be lap dogs. Although they are used to being around other dogs, they have high prey drives dating back to their hunting roots when they were left to self-depend during summer months, and so they must be correctly socialised around smaller pets - some say they cannot be trusted around these or cats. These are high energy dogs, and without correct exercise they can become bored too, which can lead to destructive behaviour. As a rule they tend to howl rather than bark, and despite being wary around strangers, they do not make good guard dogs as they are fairly timid. However, they will bark to raise the alarm if something seems amiss, and so they do make effective watchdogs.

History & Sills

Siberian Huskies originate from north-eastern Siberia in Russia, and have a long history dating back thousands of years. They were bred originally by the Chukchi people for a variety of tasks such as herding reindeer, pulling sleds and as watch dogs, and together with Samoyeds and Alaskan Malamutes, they are directly descended from the original sled dogs. It is thought the name "Husky" is a derivation of the nickname "Esky" once used for Eskimos. The hunter-gatherer tribes relied on these resilient dogs for survival, mainly for pulling sleds to cover vast amounts of ground while hunting or looking for new ground. They were introduced to Nome in Alaska by a Russian fur trader named William Goosak during the Nome Gold Rush, for use as sled dogs, and were referred to as "Siberian Rats" by the locals due to their size when compared to Malamutes. Huskies were well suited to all of these roles too thanks to their exceptional strength and resilience, plus their ability to withstand the extremely harsh weather conditions. Their thick coats can insulate them down to very low temperatures, they have snow-shoe feet with hair between the toes to provide traction over snow and ice, and they will often perform the "Siberian Swirl" where they curl up with their tails over their faces and noses in order to provide additional warmth. It was these attributes that saw them being used later for Antarctic expeditions. They retain these skills to this day, and have also become popular as companions and pets.

Breed Specific Ailments

Siberian Huskies tend to live between 12 to 14 years and are a very healthy breed on the whole. Some of the health problems noted in this breed are mainly genetic, and include seizures, congenital laryngeal paralysis and eye defects such as cataracts, glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy and corneal dystrophy. More common problems such as hip dysplasia are not often reported. Huskies used for sled racing can be more prone to ailments such as gastric disease, bronchitis and ulcers.

Grooming

Siberian Huskies are normally low shedders, as they need their coats, and so are suitable for allergy sufferers. However, they do shed very heavily twice a year. Their grooming requirements are moderate and they only need brushing on a weekly basis, more during the heavier periods. They can be bathed as and when required.

Exercise & Environment

Siberian Huskies are suited to cooler climates due to their thick coats. Historically they tended to live outdoors but are also suitable for indoor life. They will be highly energetic when indoors, however, and so are not suitable for small homes or apartments. Despite being traditionally outdoor dogs, they do need the companionship of people and preferably other dogs too. These are dogs that have been bred to run and run in harsh conditions, and so they require a lot of exercise and preferably a job to do, otherwise they will become bored and destructive. As a result they make great hiking or jogging companions. When kept as pets, any outside areas need to be secure, as these dogs are very good at escaping and have been known to clear fences 6 feet in height, and they also love to dig their way out too. During warm periods exercise should be moderated because their coats tend to release body heat very slowly.

Recognition

FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)
AKCAKC - American Kennel Club

Breed Clubs

Coming soon!

Owners Gallery

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