Siberian Husky

Type: Northern Breed

Height: Males: 21 - 23.5 inches; Females: 20 - 22 inches.

Weight: Males: 45 - 60 lbs.; Females: 30 - 50 lbs.

Life Span: 10 -14 years.

Litter Size: 6 - 8 puppies.

Country of Origin: Siberia (Russia)

Activity: Very High

Watch-dog: Medium

Guard-dog: Low. Huskies are much too friendly to guard against anything.

Description: The Siberian Husky has a sweet nature and is a breed that is suited for the whole family, but does not make a good guard dog. They are very friendly, and generally get along well with children and other dogs. Gentle in character with a determined look, they are very people oriented dogs. The Siberian Husky was developed constantly in the presence of children, allowing them to be very used to family. Males have a tendency to roam and need to be kept in a fenced in area. If they get out it may be impossible to catch them on foot, as Huskies have been known to be excellent escape artists. Siberian Huskies are long lived, active, and outgoing with friends and family. They tend to be independent, not being very obedient, but are not a one-person dog. They enjoy all types of people. A member of the Spitz family, the Siberian Husky is strong and has the ability to haul heavy loads over long distances and rough terrain. Siberian Huskies will happily pull a young child in a wagon or sled. They have strong legs and a sturdy build, but lean enough to be quick. They have great endurance, with their medium sized compact bodies. They have medium length, straight and thick fur and they can have many different colors in the eyes. They can be blue, brown, one of each or even parti-colored. The nose color depends on the coat color, which can be any color, most often with markings on the head with the underbelly and face a lighter color than the rest. Siberian Huskies are not only magnificent looking, but magnificent in personality as well.

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Other Names: Arctic Husky

Colors: All colors; markings on the head are common. The fur on the underbelly and face are usually lighter colored than the rest of the body.

Coat: Medium and well-furred, the outer coat straight, thick, and smooth against body. The undercoat is soft and dense.

Temperament: Siberian Huskies are dependable, energetic, and friendly. They make lively, outgoing pets that generally like being around people. Although they are stubborn, independent and not very obedient, they enjoy being with the family the most. They are active, intelligent and not aggressive. They get along well with children and other dogs, however they should not be trusted with smaller animals. Arctic Huskies are very cleanly as well. They have been known to be excellent escape artists.

With Children: Yes, they are great with children.

With Pets: Siberian Huskies enjoy other dogs, and may do better if there is more than one Husky. They do not get along well with cats or other small animals.

Special Skills: Sled dog and family pet.

Care and Training: Brush their coat twice a week, paying special attention during shedding. Bathe the Siberian Husky only when necessary. Clip their nails regularly, as well as check the teeth. The Siberian Husky needs a lot exercise and they should not be exercised hard in warm weather, as their thick coat can make them prone to heatstroke. Daily walks and a large fenced yard will help keep the Siberian Husky in shape and prevent boredom and destructive behavior. The Arctic Husky makes a great cross-country skiing partner. A sled dog at heart, they need consistency and patience when training. They will obey if they see the point of the training. They can become easily bored, and therefore need new ways of learning.

Learning Rate: High. Obedience - Low. Problem Solving - Very High. The Siberian Husky is very intelligent, but can get easily bored and do not always listen to their owners.

Special Needs: Exercise, fenced yard, leash, job or organized activity to do, socialization and training.

Living Environment: Siberian Huskies have a thick insulated coat and are not suited to live in hot climates. They will do well in a kennel or outside in a fenced yard. An owner of a Siberian Husky will need to spend considerable time exercising them and should not mind a dog who is a playful, challenging, and independent.

Health Issues: Hip dysplasia and some heritable eye problems such as cataracts, corneal dystrophy, and PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy).

History: The Siberian Husky was developed by the Chukchi Indian tribe of what is now Siberia, which is on the coasts of the Arctic and Pacific Oceans on the peninsula that reaches out from Siberia towards Alaska. The Chukchi people lived far inland, and needed dogs to pull sleds, hunted animals and themselves across the miles of snow. Therefore, about 3,000 years ago, the Chukchi developed a breed used to pull sleds and herd reindeer for this nomadic tribe. The Chukchi were often referred to as the "Dog Breeding" Chukchi. The breed was highly regarded and ideal if they could survive with little food and have enough endurance to trek across wintry snowscapes. Owning one of these dogs made an excellent asset to a Chukchi family. If one were not enough to haul the load, one would simply borrow others from other tribe members and hook up 16 or 18 Siberian Huskies to a sled. It wasn't until the early 1900s when the Siberian Husky was introduced into Alaska where they became renowned for sled racing and search and rescue work. Originally the breed's name was simply Chukchi Dog or "husky", which was a generic term used to describe any dog that pulled sleds. Later on the breed was renamed Siberian Husky when entered into the U.S. When the gold rush of Alaska came around, sled dogs were the only way in or out of the cold environment, thus boosting the breed's popularity. Soon sled dog teams were formed and races and competitions began, eventually evolving the Iditarod. The Siberian Husky was very pure until the 20th century, when sled racing became popular in Alaska and other breeds began to be imported. The breed served in World War II as a search and rescue dog, and the decade after became hugely popular in the U.S. and Canada.

First Registered by the AKC: 1930

AKC Group: Working Group

Class: Working

Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 5), KC(GB), UKC