Breed Facts: Is The Siberian The Best Husky Dog To Get?
Looking to get a Siberian Husky? You've come to the right place!
We have spent months compiling an in depth A-Z article for 2018 on all things Husky. Whether you're looking for information on temperament, diet, size, health and exercise, we've got it all.
SIBERIAN FACT 1
The Husky first arrived in Alaska during the Nome Gold Rush and was bred to pull heavy loads in difficult conditions.
Also known as the Sibe, Husky, Chukcha, Chuksha and Arctic Husky is a Spitz-type dog. One of the most hardy and energetic dog breeds they can withstand temperatures of up to -75 degrees Fahrenheit and are born to run, being the fastest of the "Sled Dogs".
Find every question answered below:
Infographic - The Siberian in Visuals!
Siberians are intelligent though this does not always translate to obedient and are bred to work, definitely, not a pet for the "couch potato" Arguably one of the most beautiful of all breeds the Husky has become increasingly popular but they are a challenge and not recommended for the first-time owner resulting in them becoming frequently seen in rescue centers across the country.
Here Dogs Barn take an in-depth look at the Siberian breed and discover why they need a special owner.
SIBERIAN FACT 2
The Husky has a wild wolf like appearance and is a medium size dog with a light compact frame.
Husky Dog Facts
Because Huskies are Like No Other!
Originating from, yes, you've guessed, Siberia, these alert, fun-loving, affectionate dogs are a handful for most. If you are looking for a dog that will be happy with a walk round the block a Husky is not for you. Huskies love being part of a pack and are well-suited to homes with other dogs, however they are not suited to house-proud dog owners as they blow their coats at least twice a year (more in warmer climates) resulting in masses of husky hair.
These Siberian dogs do not bark but their howling can be heard for miles which could cause tension with the neighbours especially if they are left alone for long periods, they also love to dig and are renowned escape artists with a high prey drive. It is not advisable to let your Husky off the lead. Ever! Huskies popularity has increased in recent years and they are now one of the most popular breeds in the UK.
We've thrown 15 fun facts about the Siberian through out this article, look out for the tweet boxes and find out things you wouldn't believe about these huskies!
How big do huskies get?
There are a few different types of huskies, the Siberian is a medium-sized dog, the smallest of the recognised sled dogs which include the Alaskan Malamute, Samoyed and Canadian Eskimo Dog. Males stand between 21-24 inches (53-61cms) while females grow to 20-22 inches (51-56cms)
Miniature Huskies are between 13-17 inches (33-43cms) and weigh 25-35lbs
A Female Husky will be lighter
Huskies are a lean dog with males weighing between 45-60lbs (20-27kgs) and females slightly less at around 35-50lbs (16-23kgs)
SIBERIAN FACT 3
The colour of a Huskies nose depends on the colour of their coat!
Are huskies hypoallergenic?
Huskies have a thick double coat. The undercoat is soft and fluffy to retain heat while the top coat repels moisture, snow and ice, this should not be too long or wooly. Most shed heavily blowing their whole undercoat twice a year at least, which takes a minimum of 3 weeks covering your home in a blanket of fluff.
Husky coats need regular maintenance to reduce the amount of shedding and keep them looking their best. A Siberian usually thought of as being grey and white but in fact come in a wide variety of colours including:
Black Siberians can be jet black or what is called a diluted black which can make them appear dark grey. They have an undercoat of a paler colour which can be charcoal, beige or white and can also have different coloured points (pigmentation on the nose, around the eyes and paw pads)
Silver & White
This is a grey undercoat with a white topcoat
This is a reddish-brown shade; quite rare it always has black points and black tipping on the fur. The undercoat can be any shade of red but should not be beige as found in wolf-grey coats. This colouring is always accompanied by a black nose.
Agouti (the wolf-like husky)
Another relatively rare colouring Agouti describes hair which has alternate bands of dark and light shades. The undercoat is charcoal with the outer or topcoat being a mixture of grey, red, tan and black giving a grizzled look that most resembles wolves. It is accompanied by a dark mask and cream coloured markings.
This colour contains the Agouti gene which gives each individual hair a range of shades and produces a rich depth of colouring in the coat. The undercoat is cream/beige with the outercoat being various shades of grey tinged with red or tan.
Most common of the grey shades found in a Siberian, the undercoat is silver or beige with the topcoat containing diluted red or tan tones.
The absence of the Agouti gene produces a silver coat with no hint of red, tan or cream. The undercoat is white while the outercoat is tipped with black but if the black is diluted it produces an almost blue or slate hue.
SIBERIAN FACT 4
Huskies are tough, determined and self sufficient with their arctic dog temperament.
Red & White
This produces the most shade variation of Husky coats, the dilution factor can produce a light red shade that is almost cream, copper through to a dark chocolate red. Dogs with this coloring always have liver points.
White - You won't see many huskies this colour
The rarest of Husky colours. The undercoat is white or silver with the lack of pigment in the topcoat producing a pure white dog that can have either black or liver coloured points.
At this blog post you can view a beautiful white Siberian who lives in Hawaii.
How long do huskies live
A Siberian is a hardy, relatively healthy breed that have an average lifespan of 12-15 years.
Is there a more striking dog than a husky?
Arguably one of the most beautiful breeds, although huskies resemble their wolf ancestors in appearance they are no more related to these Northern Predators than the Chihuahua or Great Dane. Compact and lean the Husky is a medium sized dog with well-defined muscle and no excess fat.
The head should be in proportion to the body and as with most Spitz-type dogs resemble a fox with sharp chiseled features. Siberians ears should be tri-angular in shape and fairly close together standing erect with slightly rounded tips and thickly furred both inside and out.
SIBERIAN FACT 5
Huskies are extremely intelligent and sometimes difficult to train for less experienced owners.
The neck should be slightly arched with laid back shoulder blades and the top of the front legs angled backwards from the point of shoulder. Straight or loose shoulders are frowned upon. Forelegs should be parallel and moderately spaced as should the hindquarters with well-muscled thighs.
The huskies body should have a level top-line and not be too cobby or too long as this can inhibit movement and the tail should be well-furred, carried over the back in a curve.
The coat should be a double, medium-length thick coat the undercoat dense and soft while the guard hairs of the outer coat should be straight and smooth. Huskies often have striking markings or masks on the face that are not found in other breeds of dogs. A dog which has a heavily masked dark face with no white is known as "dirty faced" and has a wolf-like appearance. Huskies coats can be a variety of colours including:
- Black and White
- Medium/Dark Grey
- Wolf Grey
- Red and White
- Silver and White
The colour of a Sibes nose depends on the coat colour being black in grey, black and agouti dogs, liver-coloured in red and copper dogs and flesh-coloured in pure white dogs. A Husky's nose sometimes becomes paler during the winter months and this is known as "snow nose."
One of the most distinguishing features of a Siberian is their eyes. They often have blue eyes and can have one of each blue and brown (bi-eyed) they can even have both colours in one eye (parti-eyed). Amber eyes can sometimes be found in red or pure white Sibes as can green eyes which is in fact amber mixed with blue making them appear green.
This is known as heterochromia and is caused by an in-balance of melanin in the eye it is hereditary and as the Siberian is one of the oldest pure-bred dogs it has become part of the breed standard. They are the only dog where heterochromia is allowed in the show ring and no one can argue it certainly adds to their appeal.
Where does the Siberian come from?
An ancient breed the Siberian lineage dates back over 4,000 years they were developed by the Chukchi people an indigenous race living in a harsh environment on the Arctic shores of north east Siberia. Originally Huskies were used in hunting reindeer but over the years as the climate became worse and the tribes had to travel further to find food these adaptable canines were used to haul possessions across the frozen wasteland.
SIBERIAN FACT 6
Huskies are extremely good escape artists and can jump walls, crawl under fences, slip collars and so on.
The Chukchi race revered their dogs and believed that anyone who harmed them would not be admitted to heaven. Huskies were raised in a family environment so became very good with children and because as many as 20 could be used to pull a sleigh with no squabbles they needed to be friendly and live happily with other dogs.
Once domesticated, Reindeer were used to pull the heaviest loads, while the Huskies were bred for their endurance and agility this resulted in a dog that can pull light loads farther and faster than any other breed on a very small amount of food in the most extreme conditions on earth.
Hearing of these superior sled-dogs the first Siberian dogs began to arrive in Alaska at the beginning of the 20th century not as large as the Canadian Eskimo Dog and Alaskan Malamute they were initially dismissed until the first official dog sledding race in 1908. Travelling 408 miles the winner was the competitor using Huskies who completed the race in 119 hours proving without doubt they were the fastest and most reliable sled dog.
The Siberians defining moment came in 1925 when an outbreak of diphtheria in Nome, Alaska killed 2 Eskimo children and it was feared could wipe out the whole town. The nearest serum to combat the disease was over 600 miles away a journey that in the middle of winter with 80mph winds, freezing blizzards and temperatures of -62 degrees was virtually impossible.
SIBERIAN FACT 7
A Husky has high energy and needs plenty of exercise otherwise they become easily bored.
Sibes came to the rescue 20 mushers and over 100 dogs undertook the trip in a relay. Led by Norwegian born Leonhard Seppala a breeder of Siberian dogs and champion musher of the time. Seppala drove a large part of the relay himself with his lead dog Togo who ran over 5,000 miles in his career, although it was the final team led by Gunnar Kassan and his dog Balto that really captured the heart of the public.
After becoming lost on the ice Balto saved the team from certain death by picking up the trail in a severe blizzard and bringing the valuable medicine home to Nome. A statue of Balto still stands today in New York's Central Park. An annual race the Iditarod began in 1973 and continues today along the same route. It is Alaska's most famous sporting event with around 50 mushers and up to a 1000 dogs taking part.
Huskies were also used during the second world war, hauling goods in harsh conditions over rough terrain and for search and rescue. Chips a Siberian cross was the first Military working dog to be shipped overseas becoming the most decorated war dog receiving the Silver Star and Purple Heart. His memory lives on today in a book and film portraying his story.
In 1946 Richard E Byrd, a Navy Rear Admiral took 50 Huskies on an expedition to the Antarctic named operation High-Jump. The Siberians breed's popularity grew and during the 1950's they were split into 2 lines, working and show. These days most Siberian dogs are from the show lines, however, Nordic stock originating from the descendants of Leonhard Seppala's dogs still retain the qualities of those original racing dogs.
In the 1990s a lady called Bree Normandin began selectively breeding the smallest standard sized Huskies and developed a miniature Siberian Husky, mainly found in the USA these smaller versions are more manageable but still retain the personality and stunning looks of bigger Sibes. Today Huskies are one of the most popular dog breeds with many celebrity owners including Ben Stiller, Miley Cyrus, Tayler Lautner and Rita Ora who has a pure white Sibe called Bowie.
SIBERIAN FACT 8
A life expectancy of a Husky is 12 – 15 years.
What kind of animal is a Siberian?
These Siberian dogs are an extremely energetic working breed so if you are looking for a pet to curl up on the couch watching a box-set with they are not the breed for you. They are intelligent but not as eager to please or loyal as many breeds and many have an independent stubborn streak making them challenging to train.
Eash Siberian has their own personality and are gentle, loving and full of beans making them perfect for active households with children. They rarely bark and are very friendly with all humans so make terrible guard dogs. They require lots of mental and physical stimulation and if they don't get it are renowned for being very destructive especially when left alone for long periods. A Siberian loves to chew and dig so say goodbye to your flower beds if you have a Husky for a pet.
They are also brilliant escape artists, the dog-world equivalent of Houdini so a high fence buried underground is a must, otherwise they will wander. Coming from an environment where it was the survival of the fittest they are notorious counter-surfers and dustbin destroyers. A Siberian has a strong hunting instinct and will catch and kill smaller animals so should not be let off the lead because if your four-legged friend sees a squirrel he will be gone and whether or not he comes back is down to how he feels at that time, not how well you have practiced recall.
How often should you wash a husky
Despite their heavy shedding (You will never wear black again) Sibes are clean dogs and give off very little doggy odour. Unfortunately, many people buy Huskies purely for their looks and cannot cope with their challenging behaviour, resulting in an increase of the breed in rescue centres. A Siberian is playful, affectionate, tough and self-sufficient and for the right family make a great companion.
A Siberian Vs Alaskan Malamutes
Although they may look similar, there are many differences between the Siberian Husky and the Alaskan Malamute. Both pure-bred dogs, the Husky is much smaller and built for speed while the Malamute is the largest of the sled-dogs and built for endurance. They have other physical differences Malamutes only have brown eyes, their ears are set much farther apart and their coat can be either standard, long or wooly.
SIBERIAN FACT 9
Huskies prefer cool weather, so need adequate shade and water if living in a hot country.
Both dogs shed a great deal but obviously, the Malamute is larger with even more hair and as well as the bi-annual coat blow-out will shed constantly and heavily. The Malamute is probably the calmer of the two breeds, both are quiet but the more hyper Husky tends to be more vocal. Both require extensive exercise to be happy and not destroy your home. Alaskan Malamutes can be dog aggressive if not socialised when young and both can be a challenge to train.
An Alaskan Malamute will cost more as a puppy with a Siberian price being around £200-£500 cheaper they will also be more expensive to keep, although they are both generally healthy breeds the Malamute being larger can be prone to joint problems like Hip Dysplasia which is rare in Siberian Huskies.
Buying a Husky Puppy
Where to buy Siberian puppies
More than most breeds, it is essential to conduct extensive research before buying or adopting a Siberian Husky. Before you sit down and type into Google "Siberian puppies" It is recommended you visit races, shows and talk to breeders and owners, perhaps fostering one first to see how you get on. Ask yourself:
- Can I provide lots of physical and mental stimulation?
- Have I got an industrial strength vacuum cleaner and don't mind my clothes and furniture being permanently covered with dog hair?
- Have I got a safe secure garden with at least a 6ft high fence?
- Do I mind said garden being covered in deep craters and resembling the moon?
- Have I get the time, patience, skill and experience to train this challenging breed?
- Will I be able to make up to 15 years' commitment to this dog?
If you can provide the right environment, consistent training, extensive exercise and can put up with their shedding, destructiveness, howling, digging and tendency to wander then there are a number of options available if you want a Husky pup or full-grown Siberian.
Due to the number of people who buy this breed without doing enough research and not being able to cope with their behaviour there are lots of adult dogs and Siberian Husky puppies for adoption at local dog shelters and one of the many breed specific rescues throughout the country. Expect to pay a fee of around £75-£200 for a rescue Husky, your chosen pooch will have been fully vaccinated, neutered, micro-chipped and assessed before you bring them home you will also receive continued support and advice with any issues you may experience, a big bonus where Huskies are concerned.
Alternatively you may wish to buy a puppy from a breeder. Most Siberian breeders will be involved in either sled racing or showing their dogs and will be happy to talk to you about the breed in detail. In fact, any reputable breeder will probably give you the third degree before buying a Siberian Husky puppy and with good reason it shows they care about where their puppies end up.
SIBERIAN FACT 10
Huskies need brushed weekly during low shedding periods and daily during shedding season.
A good breeder will have you sign a puppy contract which will not only provide all the information you need on your chosen puppy, health screening, diet, information about the parents, it should also have the option for returning the puppy to the breeder if circumstances mean you have to rehome the dog.
Although there are many online groups focusing on the breed which can be helpful for research and advice be very careful about buying a Husky puppy from an internet advert. The popularity of the breed has seen an increase in puppy farms, backyard breeders and people trying to make a quick buck from these gorgeous dogs.
Always make sure you see the puppies in the environment they were bred with their mother, make sure you see the results of any health screening and never, ever agree to meet someone at a neutral location with a pup or have it delivered. You can expect to pay anything from £350 up to well over a £1000 for a Siberian pup depending on pedigree and working lines and sometimes even colour, white Siberian puppies and some of the other rarer colours can be more expensive.
You have your new best friend now what shall you call him/her?
Some popular sled dog names include:
Nanook, Loki, Blue, Storm, Blue, Moose, Echo, Demon, Kobi, Tundra
Luna, Mishka, Ice, Skye, Willow, Indy, Keisha, Nala, Lola
Are Huskies Easy to train?
How to train a Siberian?
A Siberian is extremely strong-willed and a challenge for most dog owners. They need firm consistent training from a young age and will constantly push boundaries, any flexibility or letting them get away with something once will undo all your hard work, so everyone in the family needs to be onboard.
Huskies are pack animals they need to know who is in charge and it should never be them, otherwise, it is a recipe for disaster. Being the alpha doesn't mean shouting or punishing your dog, it means gaining his respect and you can do this by establishing firm rules. Food is a great way of teaching your puppy respect never allow him to graze make him sit, putting the bowl on the floor for a short period, then remove it, getting everyone in the family hand feeding a puppy from his bowl teaches him that anyone has access to his bowl and prevents food aggression later.
As previously mentioned Sibes can be extremely destructive when bored or left alone.
Crate training is a must along with leash training. These dogs are bred to run and pull which can quickly turn walking them into a nightmare. Start lead training before your puppy can go outside, walk around the house, when he is walking at your side on a loose leash reward him with plenty of praise, as soon as he starts to pull stop and call him back to you.
Never walk while he is pulling he needs to learn pulling gets him nowhere with patience he will soon learn the correct behaviour, this method also re-enforces your alpha position as your canine companion should follow you not lead.
Enrolling in a training class can help increase your skills and expertise but beware many owners find the puppy that excels in class can be a demon at home. Consistency is the key to all Husky training and once you have mastered this you will have a well-mannered and happy best-friend.
SIBERIAN FACT 11
Huskies were used as part of the search and rescue teams during WWII.
Do huskies need a lot of exercise?
The simple answer is yes, lots around 2 hours a day and most will be happy with more. Training for a marathon or enjoy regular 10k bike rides then a Husky could be the perfect companion. They are an active energetic breed and love nothing more than having a job to do so the best way to exercise your Siberian is to get involved with a local dog-sledding group there are 4 different sled dog sports in the UK.
Off Snow- Dryland
One of the fastest growing dog sports this is popular in the UK with 300-400 teams racing on a regular basis. It is similar, to sledding on real snow, the difference being the sled has wheels.
Bikejor or Scootering
The dog is attached to a mountain bike or Scooter via a line and harness and the owner must try and match the dogs pulling speed by pedaling or scooting
Similar to cross-country running this is for real athletes, the dog is attached to its owner's waist and assists the runner by pulling them along as they try to keep pace.
Snow Sled-On Snow
Although relatively infrequent in the UK there are occasional races on actual snow and mushers come from far and wide to participate making it a great day out for Husky owners watching their breed do what they do best.
For more information or to see how to get started click here.
Remember mental stimulation can tire a dog more than physical exercise so toys can be a great asset, a Siberian can destroy most plush toys in minutes so any play-thing you provide needs to be tough. They love toys that dispense treats but use a few in rotation as Sibes are clever and can quickly work out what is required to obtain the treats becoming bored.
They also love to tug and chew so will appreciate a few strong tug ropes and Kong chews. Remember a tired dog is a well-behaved dog so providing regular exercise, fun play times, tough toys and plenty of opportunity to use their brain will combat some of the more challenging behaviours of this breed.
How often should a Siberian be groomed?
A Siberian sheds, a lot! but actually, their coats are pretty easy to maintain they don't require any professional grooming and a daily brush should keep shedding down. Many people mistakenly think that a Husky's coat only protects them from extreme cold but it also protects them from the sun and should never be shaved or clipped.
They blow their undercoats at least twice a year usually in the spring and autumn and during this time you can reduce shedding by using a slicker brush for the topcoat and a special rake or curry comb to remove loose clumps from the undercoat this will also remove any dead skin cells stimulate circulation and enhance the production of natural oils. Using a conditioning spray will combat any tangles and help stop the loose hairs from floating around.
You may need to spend up to 30 minutes a day grooming your Siberian Husky when they are blowing their coat. The good news is Huskies are clean dogs and rarely need bathing they groom themselves with some describing them as almost cat-like. Starting the grooming process early gets the dog used to being handled and can be used as a bonding time between dog and owner.
SIBERIAN FACT 12
To protect their eyes and keep them moist, most huskies have a nictitating membrane or extra eyelid.
What to feed a Siberian
When you first bring your Husky puppy home the breeder should provide you with information about their diet and it is important that you make any changes gradually to avoid stomach upsets. Puppies need 4 small meals a day which can be reduced as they get older.
A Siberian has a very high metabolism and require smaller amounts of food than breeds of a similar size. They need a diet that is high in protein and fat, many do not thrive on popular cereal based kibbles and some cannot tolerate rice. They should have 2 small meals a day of the best quality food you can afford.
This breed can do very well on a raw diet but it is essential to do your research into raw feeding to ensure they are receiving the right nutrients. Working dogs will require more food but use common sense you should be able to feel the dog's ribs through a slight layer of fat. They are not a greedy dog though they can be quite fussy, becoming bored with the same foods and if something puts them off a particular food they will be unlikely to eat it again, so you may have to mix things up a bit. You should keep an eye on their weight as an overweight Husky can result in health problems.
Do Huskies suffer from health problems?
Siberians are generally a healthy breed that don't suffer from many inherited disorders but there are a few, that potential owners need to be aware of we wrote an article about it here
SIBERIAN FACT 13
Huskies have a tapetum lucidum membrane in their eyes which allows them to see in the dark.
Are huskies aggressive?
The Siberian temperament is unique, they are a friendly, alert, intelligent, energetic breed that makes a great pet for an active family. They are a pack animal and do well in multi-dog homes, however they have a strong hunting instinct and are not recommended for households with small furries. They can tolerate cats if they have been brought up with them but some have been known to turn on felines for no reason. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule but never leave a Husky and a cat unsupervised together.
Sibes are patient and gentle with children but can be very boisterous and a bit mouthy when young so would probably be better with older kids. They have very little guarding instinct so do not make good guard dogs and although they rarely bark they can be quite vocal, utilising various yips and howls to hold a conversation. Huskies can be stubborn and independent thinkers so need firm and consistent training. They are excellent escape artists and have even been known to climb trees in order to flee a backyard.
Although this beautiful breed can be challenging with the proper socialisation and training they can be great companions and one thing is for sure if you own a Siberian every day will be an adventure.
Male Husky Vs Female Husky
This is down to personal preference but there are some factors to consider A male will be slightly larger and possibly more dominant, although there are owners with feisty females who will disagree. Females can be more independent and tend to accept affection on their terms whereas a male will be more outgoing and eager to interact with everyone.
SIBERIAN FACT 14
Male Huskies can weigh 45 – 60 pounds while females weigh 35-50 pounds.
Females mature quicker than the boys who will often still be acting goofy well into adulthood. Females can also be more jealous than males and quite crafty at getting what they want. Of course, there is the question of sex-related behaviours with both, with males the obvious marking, tendency to wander, humping cushions and visitors and with females the mood swings and 2-3 weeks of discharge every 6 months. If you are not planning to breed your dogs, spaying your bitch will cost twice as much as neutering your male dog. Many people mistakenly presume females are sweet and cuddly but as the old saying goes.
"If you want a good dog get a male.... If you want a great dog get a female and cross your fingers".
Cost of Ownership
How much does a Siberian cost?
A Siberian is a relatively inexpensive dog to own. Husky puppy prices range from £350-£1000 and then there is the cost of vaccinations, micro-chipping and neutering. They are a healthy breed so vet bills should be kept to the minimum but they do need good quality food which will cost £40-£50 per month.
The cost of insuring your Sibe depends on several factors. You will be looking at around £15-£20 a month for a 3-year-old Husky living in the north of England which is basic cover. A lifetime policy will set you back at least double that amount.
Puppy training classes are advisable and cost around £10 per hour. You also need to take into account the cost of really tough toys and if you become involved in Husky sports the cost of equipment can soon add up. The average cost of keeping this breed can range between £70-£150 per month
Is this the right breed for you?
What are Siberians like as pets?
- Extremely energetic needs a lot of exercise
- Destructive if left alone for long periods
- Happily, lives with other dogs but not small pets
- Cannot be let off lead
- Sheds, a lot!!!
- Gets on great with children
- Way too friendly to be a guard dog
- Can be a challenge to train
- A healthy breed that can live for up to 15 years
Where to buy a Husky Dog?
When looking for husky dogs for sale as with any pedigree dog it is always recommended to purchase a puppy from a reputable breeder and with this breed more so than most it is important to do extensive research before going ahead. Go to races and shows and talk to people about the breed. There are also many Huskies in rescue shelters waiting for their forever homes where you will pay an adoption fee of between £75-£200.
Husky Dog Price
A lot of backyard breeders are taking advantage of the breeds popularity so it may be possible to pick up a Siberian for as little as £300-400 but this is not recommended and it is much better to buy a puppy from a reputable breeder where you will pay anything from £500-1200 depending on pedigree and working lines.
What were Huskies bred for?
Originally Siberian dogs were bred to help hunt reindeer but as the climate became colder in the region people needed dogs to haul belongings from one place to another in search of food, thus Siberian Huskies were developed to become competent sled dogs able to pull loads in harsh environments on little food.
Where did Huskies originate from?
An ancient breed Siberian originated in the north-eastern Arctic shores of Siberia where they were developed by the Chukchi people almost 4,000 years ago.
How big do Huskies get?
A Siberian is a medium dog, the smallest of the so-called sled dogs they can grow up to 24 inches or 61cms at the shoulder.
Why do so many Huskies have different colored eyes?
This is caused by Heterochromia which is an uneven distribution of melanin in the dog's irises. Heterochromia does not cause blindness and is caused by in-breeding, obviously 1000s of years ago, in the arctic there were no other lines to breed from, so it became a standard characteristic of the breed. Heterochromia is disallowed in the show ring with Huskies being the only exception.
Can Husky dogs swim?
A Siberian is not a natural water dog, in their original environment falling through the ice into water meant almost certain death and many have an inherent fear of water. That said, they can swim and if introduced to water in the right circumstances when young can enjoy a splash around.
What is a miniature Husky?
There are 2 types of miniature Husky one is a smaller version of the purebred Sibe, which came about in the 1990's purely by breeding small Siberian to achieve a much more compact size.
The other is the American Klee Kai although very similar in looks this is a mixture of various dogs including the Alaskan and Siberian Husky and the Schipperke resulting in a much smaller Husky-type dog. You will be very lucky to find miniature Siberian Huskies for sale in the UK as they are still very rare.
Do Huskies shed?
Yes, if you own a Husky you will be covered in hair a lot of the time as will most of your furniture. Siberians also blow their coats at least twice a year meaning they lose their whole undercoat in clumps over a period of 2-3 weeks.
Do these dogs eat a lot?
A Siberian was bred to run long distances on few calories so no, they don't eat much compared to some dogs of a similar size.
Does neutering a Husky calm them down?
There is a lot of differing opinions about this first and foremost there are a lot of Huskies in rescue shelters so it is essential there are no unwanted puppies. However, Huskies are extremely energetic it's the way they are wired and neutering will probably make little or no difference to their energy levels. The best way to calm a Husky is exercise, training and mental stimulation.
SIBERIAN FACT 15
The huskies tail stays down when relaxed and curls up when they are moving.
So, there you have it, all the information you need, to make an informed decision whether this stunning, challenging breed is compatible with your lifestyle. These dogs have a big personality and a big heart.
Owning a Husky will definitely keep you fit and on your toes, and while they are not the most loyal of breeds will still happily chill out with on the sofa after a long run. Their antics will make you laugh out loud and if you bring a Siberian Husky into your life, every day will be an adventure.