Siberian Husky

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Is the Siberian Husky right for you?

Species group:

Other name(s): Sibe; Husky; Chukcha; Chuksha

The basics:
The powerful, cooperative, and energetic Siberian Husky is one of the most recognizable breeds. Admired for its beauty, spirit, and stamina, many individuals demand attention because of their striking mismatched eyes, one blue and one brown. Their intelligence and their eagerness to be part of a team can make them the perfect dog for an active owner committed to athletic training that gives the Husky a sense of purpose. However, a bored, neglected Husky can turn its intelligence to becoming an escape artist, a cat chaser, or a howler, so be sure you really have the time to spend with this social animal.

This ancient breed was originally developed as a working dog in the harsh climate of Siberia, where they attained a high level of physical and mental toughness in order to work in teams to pull sleds or carts in brutal weather. First imported to Alaska in 1909 to compete in a long-distance dog-sledding race, Huskies soon became an enduring favorite in both Alaska and Canada. To put the final seal on their public image, they established themselves as heroes during the 1925 diptheria epidemic in Nome, Alaska, as team after team delivered life-saving medication during weather that permitted no other means of delivery.

Appearance / health:
The Siberian Husky is a strong, compact, working dog with a soft, thick double coat that protects them from extreme cold, making them able to withstand temperatures down to -58 to -76 degrees F. The ears are triangle-shaped, furry, and set high and erect; the eyes are almond-shaped, moderately spaced and set somewhat obliquely. The eyes are not always blue; they can be blue, amber, brown, or any combination of those colors, including eyes which are half blue and half brown, known as being “parti-eyed.” A Siberian Husky that has one blue eye and one brown eye is known as being “bi-eyed.” The nose color depends upon the coat color. The tail is furry, sickle-shaped, and curls over the back when running or alert. The feet are large with hair between the toes for gripping on ice.

The Husky is a naturally clean breed typically free of dog odor. They clean themselves much in the same manner as cats, thus bathing needs are minimal. Their hair is thick and heavy with an insulating undercoat. The coat should be brushed twice weekly, with special attention given to the coat during the twice annual heavy shed. During this shed, you will need to comb them thoroughly with a large, metal comb. The Husky should be bathed only when necessary. Teeth should be check regularly. Nails should be clipped regularly.

During the twice annual sheds, the Husky is an incredibly heavy shedder with the undercoat coming out in clumps. The shedding phase is a messy phase, but it typically only lasts about 3 weeks and they are relatively non-shedding at all other times.

Siberian Huskies require a fairly large amount of exercise, which can include a daily walk or jog (but not in warm weather). They benefit greatly from a large yard with a high fence. Burying the wire at the base of the fence, or other precautions taken around the bottom of the fence, is necessary to prevent them from digging their way out and going off on a big adventure.

While Siberian Huskies are typically free of most breed-specific health issues, hip dysplasia and eye problems including PRA, juvenile cataracts, corneal dystrophy, ectopy, and crystalline corneal opacities are of some concern. Because of the potential for these problems, potential buyers should ask for verification of the parent's health certifications such as a Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF) form from an American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologist (ACVO), and an orthopedic review from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). Huskies can also sometimes develop a zinc responsive dermatitis.

Behavior / temperament:
Huskies are forever a puppy at heart. They are gentle and playful, but also mischievous and quite willful. Consistent training that utilizes a lot of patience is necessary with this headstrong breed as they will take advantage of you if they can and the opportunity presents. The Husky is a dependable and friendly dog that makes an outgoing pet. They typically enjoy being around people and enjoy being with their family the most of all. The Husky is not an aggressive dog, but should not be trusted around smaller animals. They are known to be first-rate escape artists.

The Siberian Husky is loving, friendly, docile and relaxed. They are good with children and usually friendly with strangers. They are quite trainable but have a mind of their own and are unlikely to obey your command if they don’t see the point of it themselves. Huskies are a pack dog and, as such, they do not like to spend time alone. In fact, a bored and lonely Husky is a destructive Husky and they have been known to dig all of the stuffing out of the sofa or easy chair, so you might want to consider getting two if you will be spending much time away from home.

The Siberian Husky can be quite a training challenge as they are rated high in learning rate, low in obedience, and very high in problem solving. Because they are easily bored, an owner will need to find new ways of training them to make matters interesting. To achieve effective training, the owner will have to exercise consistency and patience and develop an understanding of the character of the Arctic dog.

Huskies seldom bark but they do enjoy howling. A bored, lonely Husky can become a nuisance howler.


healthy breed, real head turner, cold weather, STUNNING dog, loyal true friend


barks, independant streak, dog hair, big howler, high prey instinct, Inexperienced dog owner, escape artist


nordic breed, Husky's energetic level, natural hunters, Siberian Husky Hello, blue eyes

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