Siberian Husky Dog Breed – The A-Z from Puppies to Adults

Looking for a full rundown on the Siberian Husky dog breed?

You’ve come to the right place!

We have spent a long time compiling an in-depth A-Z article on all the Siberian Husky information and facts. Whether you’re looking for dog breed information on siberian husky life span, temperament, diet, size, health and exercise, we’ve got it all.

Also known as the Sibe, Husky, Chuksha and Arctic Husky is a Spitz-type dog. One of the hardiest and energetic dog breeds, Siberian Huskies can withstand temperatures of up to -75 degrees Fahrenheit and are born to run. They were first developed as a Chukchi sled dog and used heavily during the gold rush.

An Infographic About These Sled Dogs  

Siberian Husky dog breeds 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 sled dog breeds with their stunning blue eyes, the dog has become increasingly popular. Keep in mind though, these friendly dogs are a challenge and not recommended for the first-time owner resulting in them becoming frequently seen in rescue centres across the country.

Here Dogs Barn take an in-depth look at the Siberian Husky breed and discover why the breed need a special owner.

Siberian Husky Facts

The Siberian Husky has an interesting history they were originally bred by the Chukchi Tribe in eastern Siberia, they needed a special dog as the weather is about as harsh as it gets so endurance was a vital quality. The dogs were used to transport goods, accompany hunters and were an important part of the family.

They bred with only the best quality dogs, neutering the others so the qualities of speed, stamina, obedience, and strength were enhanced. Over the years traders from Russia and Alaska brought these athletic dogs’ home and they became known to the world

Siberian Husky dogs do not bark, but at times their howling like a wolf can be heard for miles which could cause tension with the neighbours, especially if they are left alone for long periods., this is a dog that needs company. Siberian Huskies also love to dig and are renowned escape artists with a high prey drive, small animals being the main targets. In fact, it is not advisable to let your Husky off the lead. Ever!

Siberian Huskies popularity has increased in recent years. They are now one of the most popular breeds in the UK, which, unfortunately, like other breeds, has seen an increase in backyard breeders and puppy mills

 

Size & Weight

How big do they get?

The Siberian Husky is a medium-sized dog, the smallest of the recognised sledge dogs, including the Alaskan Malamute, Samoyed and Canadian Eskimo Dog, all larger dogs. The breed standard requires them to be in lean and athletic condition and it’s essential to avoid weight gain, which can lead to health issues like hip dysplasia.

  • Adult males stand between 21-24 inches (53-61cms)
  • Adult females grow to 20-22 inches (51-56cms)
  • Males weighing between 45 – 60 pounds (20-27kgs)
  • Females slightly less at around 35-50lbs (16-23kgs)
  • Miniature Huskies are between 13-17 inches (33-43cms) and weigh 25-35lbs

Coat & Colours

The most common colours recognised by the Siberian Husky Club are listed below; it’s here for a page all about Siberian husky fur colours.

  • Black and white
  • Pure white
  • Sable
  • Red
  • Agouti
  • Copper
  • Saddleback
  • Gray
  • Black

Where do Siberian Huskies 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 northeast Siberia. Originally they 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.

Temperment & Characteristics

These Siberian dogs are an extremely energetic working breed and have the ability to run for miles, 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 as loyal as many dog breeds and many have an independent stubborn streak making them challenging to train, they are a working dog and need a lot of attention and firm boundaries from an early age. 

Eash Siberian has their own personality; they 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 they make terrible guard dogs.

Huskies have boundless energy and require lots of mental and physical stimulation. They are renowned for being very destructive, especially when left alone for long periods if they don’t get it. A Siberian Husky loves to chew and dig, so say goodbye to your flower beds if you have a Husky for a pet.

Reputable breeders will ask lots of questions when rehoming a puppy to ensure pet owners understand what they are getting which can avoid future problems.

Due to the demand for these puppies, backyard breeder are popping up more and more. You’ll want to look for Siberian Husky breeders that test for genetic diseases.

They are also brilliant escape artists, the dog-world equivalent of Houdini, so care must be taken to secure your yard or garden- a high fence buried underground is a must; otherwise, they will wander. Coming from the cold climates of Siberia 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 practised recall.

Properly trained, and given plenty of walks, most dogs make excellent family pets; however, their destructiveness and boisterous behaviour mean many older dogs are surrendered to rescue groups.

Adopting this breed is a big undertaking especially if you don’t know much about their background so its important to do your research. 

Are Siberian Huskies aggressive?

The Siberian husky temperament is unique; they are a friendly, alert, intelligent, energetic breed that makes an excellent pet for an active family. They are pack animals and do well in multi-dog homes; however, they have a strong hunting instinct and are not recommended for households with small furries.

Many dogs 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 (or any other animals) unsupervised together.

Are they good with kids?

Sibes are patient and gentle with children the difficulty is they 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 they do not make good guard dogs and although they rarely bark, they can be pretty vocal, utilising various yips and howls as ways hold a conversation. Huskies can be stubborn and independent thinkers, so they need firm and consistent training from a young age. They are excellent escape artists and have even been known to climb trees to flee a backyard.

Although this beautiful breed can be challenging with the proper socialisation and training, they can be great companions. One thing is for sure if you own a Siberian, every day will be an adventure.

What are Siberian Huskies like as pets?

  • Extremely energetic needs a lot of exercise
  • Destructive if left alone for long periods
  • Intelligent
  • Happily, lives with other canines but not small pets
  • Cannot be let off the 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 has a life span of up to 15 years

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 owners with feisty females 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.

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 six 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 age old saying goes.

“If you want a good dog, gets a male…. If you want a great dog get a female and cross your fingers”

Do huskies need a lot of exercise?

The simple answer is yes, lots, around 2 hours a day and most sled dogs will be happy with more. Training for a marathon or enjoy regular 10k bike rides? Then a Husky could be the perfect companion. They can walk for miles. 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.

How often should a Siberian Husky 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 to a minimum, they shouldn’t need their nails clipping (if they are getting enough exercise) but their ears require regular cleaning to avoid infections. Many people mistakenly think that a Husky’s coat only protects them from the extreme cold, but the thick fur also protects them from the sun in warmer climates and a double coat should never be shaved or clipped, no matter how fed up you are with the shedding or excessive dog hair.

They blow their undercoats at least twice a year, usually in the spring and autumn and during this time, you can reduce Husky shedding by using a slicker brush for the top coat 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.

What to feed Siberian Huskies

When you first bring your Husky puppy home, the breeder should provide you with information about their diet and what the puppy’s parents are eating. It is important that you make any changes gradually to avoid stomach upsets. Puppies need four small meals a day which can be reduced as they get older.

A Siberian has a very high metabolism and requires a smaller amount of food than full grown breeds of a similar size. Breed clubs advise they need a diet high in protein and fat, many do not thrive on popular cereal-based kibbles and a certain number cannot tolerate rice. They should have two 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 research raw feeding to ensure they receive the proper nutrients. Working dogs will require more food but use common sense; you should be able to feel the dog’s ribs through a thin layer of fat.

They are not greedy dogs, 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 Siberian Husky can result in health problems. Your vet will be happy to give advice on the best diet for your Husky

Do Huskies suffer from health problems?

Siberian Huskies are generally a healthy breed that doesn’t suffer from many health problems. Still, there are a few Siberian Husky health issues that potential owners need to be aware of. They can be prone to a few genetic health problems, such as the inherited disease of hip dysplasia and health conditions such as Von Willebrand’s disease and cataracts. Breeding dogs should always be screened for eye problems

Breeding Huskies

If you have an adult dog with sound bloodlines you may be tempted to breed. First you will need to apply for a licence from your local council. 

The good news is it’s rare for Siberian Huskies to need a C-section, although they should be health screened to avoid any health issues with the litter.

Husky litters usually consist of around 4-8 puppies which can be a variety of colours from snow white to copper, silver and even black. 

How much does a Siberian Husky Puppy Cost?

A Siberian is a relatively inexpensive dog to own. Siberian Husky puppy prices range from £1000-£3000 and then there is the cost of vaccinations, microchipping and neutering. They are a healthy breed, so vet bills should be kept to a minimum, but they do need good quality food, which will cost £40-£50 per month.

Siberian Huskies and the American Kennel Club

The breed was recognised by the AKC IN 1930, and in 1980 a Siberian Husky named CH Innisfree’s Sierra Cinnar won best in show at the Westminster dog show, one of the US’s oldest events.

Huskies in the Limelight

There have been some well known Huskies over the years

Balto 

The most famous Husky of all time Balto even has a statue in New York City, deservedly so, as he led a sled dog team over 700 miles in horrendous conditions to deliver a diphtheria vaccine to the town of Nome in Alaska

The 8 below Husky team

Most of us have had a good sniffle at this 2006 film which stars six Siberian Huskies left behind to fight antarctic conditions.

Charlie

In 1963 Charlie was proclaimed the strongest dog alive, Many Siberian Huskies can haul weights, but this Siberian Husky managed to pull a sledge weighing 2,142 lb some achievement, I think you’ll agree.

It’s not just us who love the breed either; celebrities like Rita Ora, Ben Stiller and Miley Cirus all own these nordic dogs.

FAQs

Why do so many Huskies have different coloured eyes?

This is caused by Heterochromia, which is an uneven distribution of melanin in the dog’s irises. Heterochromia does not cause blindness or affect vision and is caused by in-breeding; obviously, 1000s of years ago, there were no other lines to breed from in the arctic, so it became a standard characteristic of the breed. Heterochromia is disallowed in the show ring, with Huskies being the only exception.

Can Siberian Husky dogs swim?

A Siberian is not a natural water dog; in the harsh Siberian environment where they originated, falling through the ice into the 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 are miniature Siberian Husky dog breeds?

There are two types of miniature Husky one is a smaller version of the purebred Sibe, which came about in the 1990s purely by breeding small Siberian Huskies 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 fortunate to find miniature Siberian Huskies for sale in the UK as they are still scarce.

Do Siberian 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 thick double coat at least twice a year, meaning they lose their whole undercoat in clumps over 2-3 weeks.

Do Siberian Huskies 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; an appropriate weight for a male is around 45-60lbs

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 surrended to rescue shelters, so it is essential there are no unwanted puppies. However, Huskies are highly energetic. 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.

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Conclusion

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 are generally healthy, have big personalities and a huge heart.

Whether you purchase a pup from a breeder or go down the adoption route and get an adult dog, there’s one thing for sure: 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 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.

John Devlin

Blogger and owner of George and Henry. Two gorgeous goldens that couldn’t be more different. One is a dream loving and caring, and his sibling is as naughty as can be. When I am not blogging about dogs, I love watching sport and travelling with the family.
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