Siberian Husky

Dog Sledding 2011 Husky Snow Sled Dogs

About

Siberian Huskies are strong, compact, working sled dogs. They have medium-sized heads that are proportionate to the body, with muzzles that are equal in length to the skull. The color of the nose depends upon the color of the dog’s coat. It is black in gray, tan or black dogs, liver in copper dogs and flesh-colored in pure white dogs.

Their eyes are moderately spaced and come in blue, brown, amber or any combination thereof. Eyes can be half blue and half brown, or dogs can have one blue eye and one brown eye. They have large “snow shoe” feet with hair between the toes to help keep them warm and for gripping on ice. Their thick coats can withstand temperatures as low as -58° to -76° F.

History

Siberian Huskies were used for centuries by the Chukchi Tribe, off the eastern Siberian peninsula to pull sleds, herd reindeer, and as a watchdog. They were perfect working dogs for the harsh Siberian conditions: hardy, able to integrate into small packs, and quite happy to work for hours on end. The dogs have great stamina and are lightweight.

Native to Siberia, the Husky was brought to Alaska by fur traders in Malamute for Arctic races because of their great speed. In 1908 Siberian Huskies were used for the first All-Alaskan Sweepstakes, an event where mushers take their dogs on a 408-mile long dogsled race. The dogs gained popularity in 1925 when there was a diphtheria epidemic in Nome, Alaska. Siberian Huskies were used to bring in the much needed medicine to the people. In the early to mid-1900s Admiral Byrd used the dogs in his Antarctic Expeditions. During World War II the dogs served on the Army’s Arctic Search and Rescue Unit.

Temperament

Siberian Huskies are loving, gentle, playful, happy-go-lucky dogs that are fond of their families. Keen, docile, social, relaxed and rather casual, they are high energy dogs, especially when young. Good with children and friendly with strangers, they are not the best watchdogs for they bark very little and love everyone.

If you are not this dog’s 100% firm, confined , consistent pack leader, he will take advantage, becoming willful and mischievous. Huskies make an excellent jogging companion, as long as it is not too hot. Huskies may be difficult to housebreak. This breed likes to howl and gets bored easily. Huskies do not do well if left alone for a long period of time without a great deal of exercise beforehand. A lonely Husky, or a Husky that does not get enough mental and physical exercise can be very destructive.

Stats

  • Height: Males 21 – 24 inches / Females 20 – 22 inches
  • Weight: Males 45 – 60 pounds / Females 35 – 50 pounds
  • Lifespan: 12 – 15 years
  • Grooming: The coat sheds heavily twice a year. During that time they need to be brushed and combed daily.

Care & Health

They are not usually recommended for apartments, however they can live in apartments if well trained and properly exercised. Siberian Huskies are very active indoors and do best with a fenced-in large yard. Because of their heavy coats, these dogs prefer cool climates. One has to use common sense with respect to maintaining them in the heat by providing adequate shade and air conditioning.

They are prone to hip dysplasia, ectopy (displacement of the urethra), eye issues such as juvenile cataracts, PRA (primarily in male dogs), corneal dystrophy and crystalline corneal opacities.  Huskies are also susceptible to a skin issue known as zinc responsive dermatitis, which improves by giving zinc supplements.

Siberian Huskies need a fair amount of exercise, including a daily walk or jog, but should not be excessively exercised in warm weather. They need a large yard with a high fence, but bury the wire at the base of the fence because they are likely to dig their way out and go off hunting. 

Your Love Match

The perfect pet parent of a Siberian Husky:

  • Firm patience
  • Likes to exercise
  • Has air conditioning or lives in a cooler climate
  • Energetic

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