Getting to know the Siberian Husky
From the land of ice and snow, the hardworking Siberian Husky is a heart-warmer! Find out more about this slightly stubborn, but social and energetic dog breed.
There are some dogs who look at you and you see not only the intelligence shining from their eyes, but also mischievousness—that, in a nutshell, is the Siberian Husky. Other breeds may be eager to please, but a Siberian Husky, with its intelligence and stubborn streak, will benefit from consistency, socialization and proper training. They are beautiful family dogs, considered friendly with children of all ages.
The Husky’s History
This dense-coated dog is a working breed who originated in north-eastern Siberia. His coat helped him survive the brutal snow and frigid temperatures when he was used to pull heavy loads through harsh terrain and conditions.
The Husky’s endurance has long made him a favorite as a sled dog. In fact, in 1925, these were the dogs who pulled sleds and delivered medication to far flung Alaskans suffering from diphtheria. The dogs would travel more than 600 miles through blizzard conditions to deliver the medication.
Siberian Huskies are still kept and raised by mushers in the colder climates, but devotees of the breed prize them for their companionable and loving nature.
Siberian Husky owners will tell you this breed possesses an overwhelming and insatiable urge to run. They need to be always on-leash or let loose in a secure, fenced in space. Huskies love to dig and left alone in a fenced in space will dig her way to freedom. This wily dog needs supervision to keep her safe and at home.
Siberian Husky’s are natural pack dogs. They consider both the humans and the other dogs in the family part of their pack and want to be with them as often as possible. If you’re looking for a watchdog, you may want to look past the Husky; this dog is innately friendly and are considered indifferent as watch dogs.
Huskies cannot contain themselves and love to chase small animals—if they’re out of doors they will dash after squirrels and rabbits. This chasing instinct may lead them to chase the family cat. Teach your Husky that cats and smaller breed pets in the house are friendly family members, not prey.
Because this breed is so intelligent and so stubborn and playful, he may look at your training commands as hopeful suggestions. Be prepared to repeat training tips on a regular basis and to enthusiastically reward him for a job well done! Siberian Huskies need a pet parent with a personality as strong as hers is!
Editor’s Note: The Siberian Husky is a beautiful dog breed with many fine traits—thick coat, energetic, intelligent, and a propensity for throwing childlike temper-tantrums?
Health and Physical Traits of a Husky
One of the first things you notice about a Husky is the almond-shaped eyes, which can be blue, brown or one of each. Because of all of the fur, this breed often appears larger. However, Husky’s will top the scales at about sixty pounds and are a medium-sized dog. Males top out at about two feet in height, females are about twenty-two inches at the shoulder and are smaller, weighing in at most, fifty pounds.
Husky’s are a relatively health dog breed, but if you purchase your pup from a breeder, the National Breed Club recommends having a hip and ophthalmologist evaluation (to looks for signs of hip dysplasia). Other conditions more prevalent in this breed include certain eye disorders—corneal dystrophy, cataracts, and progressive retinal atrophy.
Pet parents who share their lives with a Husky know the breed will “blow his coat” seasonally, but a Husky also sheds copious amounts of fur year-round. Brushing and combing his double coat is imperative as is trimming his nails. The Husky requires only a few baths a year.
Because of the dog’s coat and his breeding, he thrives in snow and colder climates much better than he does in hot, humid climates. This breed is prone to overheating and exercise needs to be kept to times of day when the temperatures are at their coolest and water must be plentiful and supplied frequently. They are playful, prone to barking and howling, high energy, full of wanderlust, and pack-oriented and doesn’t like being left alone.
Note: Siberian Husky is known for its cleanliness and lack of doggy odor! They’re also social, requiring regular sustained exercise. They are graceful and nimble and have a powerful, beautiful gait.
Why is a Siberian Husky the right breed for you?
If you’re a pet parent who is active and who lives in the cooler climates of the country, a Husky might be the ideal companion for you and your family.
Husky fun facts:
They may be more empathetic to their owner’s emotions than other breeds.
They are difficult to leash train because their instinct is to run and pull sleds, so they may run and pull when on a leash
Some have what is called “snow nose” a pink mark that appears on his nose. The pink will disappear in summer and may reappear in the winter.
They may not bark much, but they are very vocal and will howl and yodel to get your attention.
Many are as smart as a human two-year old.
As with any breed you want to share your life with, do your homework and find a dog who fits your lifestyle and personality.
Robbi Hess, award-winning author, is multi-petual: She shares her home with two Devon Rex kittens, three adult rescue cats, a mini poodle, a Goldendoodle, three lizards and two ferrets. When not caring for her pets, she is an editor, speaker, time management and productivity guru, content creator, social media manager and blogger. She writes at All Words Matter, My Divas Dish, and is the story editor and chief cat herder at Positively Woof.