Siberian Husky Dog Breed at a Glance
These working dogs from the Siberian Arctic are known for their ability to haul sleds and travel great distances for long periods. Also known as Husky, Icee, Chukcha, Chuksha, and Sibe, this member of the Spitz family prefers the outdoors. The Siberian Husky dog breed is friendly with children, adults, and other dogs, which is probably one of the reasons it ranks 12th overall as the most popular dog breed, according to the AKC. Other reasons could be that it is so friendly and gentle, and not at all aggressive. If you have a backyard, which you should if you bring home a Siberian Husky, expect it to do your landscaping – digging to stay cool or for pure entertainment purposes. However, they are not to be left outdoors, alone, for long periods of time.
Breed Group: Working
HISTORY of the Siberian Husky Dog Breed
The Siberian Husky is a descendant of the original sled dog. Originally used as workers to haul cargo across the frozen tundra of Siberia, today they are used primarily for dog racing and search and rescue operations in the Arctic. They became extremely popular in Alaska in 1925 when the residents of Nome required a diphtheria antitoxin, and the Huskies (along with their mushers) traveled 674 miles over a period of 5 1/2 days to deliver the antitoxin and save the residents. As such, they became famous heroes in the United States, which is why there is a statue erected in New York City’s Central Park. Soon after, the popularity of the Siberian Husky surged in Canada as well.
Origin: Siberia, Russia
At times mischievous and stubborn, these dogs are extremely fun-loving and social. As long as the Husky is raised with children, and having had pleasant experiences with them, it is a good breed for kids. It is also a very sensitive dog breed that does not take well to reprimanding or punishment. It is gentle, friendly, loving, and outgoing. These dogs may be destructive if they have not been provided with the proper care and attention. Being a pack dog, a Husky requires companionship as well as a positive reinforcement training program throughout their lifetimes.
They also have special exercise requirements. They have a high hunting drive and can jump even high fences, so the minimum fence recommendation for this breed is 6 feet.
Biting statistics demonstrate that the Siberian Husky has been attributed to 90 human attacks since 1982, placing them in the top 10% of dog attacks against humans. Of these attacks, 29 were listed as maimings, which requires extensive hospital treatment, disfigurement, or even a loss of a limb, and resulted in 27 deaths. Moreover, of the 90 human attacks, 52 were child victims and 10 were adult victims.
Though the results are disappointing and it may seem that the Siberian Husky is an aggressive dog, when calculating the average, it’s unlikely that this dog breed will cause death.
Moreover, keep an eye on your Husky around other small pets, as it has strong predatory instincts.
Did you know? The Husky howls rather than barks.
Physical Characteristics of the Siberian Husky Dog Breed
This medium-sized dogs is graceful and light on its feet. Its ears are erect and triangular, and its body is somewhat compact. It is easily recognizable from its distinctive markings and thick fur. Its outer coat is dense, soft, and straight, with a thick, harsh, and rough undercoat. The Husky’s tail is heavily furred.
The common colors of the Husky include pure white, cream, grey, black and white, black and tan, sable, red, silver, and brown as well as numerous combinations of colors and markings.
The Siberian Husky weighs between 35 and 60 pounds, and stands between 20 and 24 inches, depending on gender.
Shedding is constant, so prepare to vacuum frequently. Also, the Husky sheds heavily twice a year, which will increase the amount of hair shed. It is not a hypoallergenic breed and may drool.
HEALTH and CARE of the Siberian Husky Dog Breed
The life expectancy of the Siberian Husky is between 11 and 13 years, which is slightly below the average for this medium-sized dogs.
Common Health Concerns
Each dog breed is susceptible to certain health issues. The Siberian Husky may be at risk of developing the following:
- Uveodermatologic Syndrome
- Follicular Dysplasia
- Corneal Dystrophy
- Hip Dysplasia
A fenced yard is a must with this dog breed because it is a wanderer. Also, always keep it on a leash when out and about, as this is a breed that has a high prey drive and is bred to run and will do so when given the chance. This is a dog that can easily handle cold temperatures, but should not be over-exerted in high heat. It requires plenty of exercise and craves running. Since this is a high energy dog, it rare for it to gain weight.
Siberian Husky Dog Training Tips:
- Give your dog plenty of companionship.
- Start obedience training as soon as the puppy is immunized.
- Continue obedience training throughout its lifetime.
- Give your Husky the adequate amount of exercise or it will misbehave.
Feed your dog a high-quality dog food to ensure health and longevity. With the average weight of a Siberian Husky being 53 pounds, feed your dog between 2 1/2 and 3 cups of kibble each day.
The grooming needs of the Husky are moderate. It sheds extensively, but should never be shaved! Brushing routinely will reduce the amount of shedding, and daily brushing will help during the shedding season. The occasional bath will ensure their coat is sparkling clean. Also, check ears regularly for wax buildup and debris to avoid an infection from developing.
The AKC officially recognized the Siberian Husky dog breed in 1930.