The Siberian Husky originated from the Chukchi breed line of the Siberian Artic of some 3000 years ago. Well known as working dogs, they pull sleds great distances and herd reindeer. They can weigh up to 60 pounds. Their strong, rigid bodies are covered by a thick, medium coat that comes in a variety of colors. These dogs are very loyal to their family and make great pets. Contact the dog breeders below for your next family friend.
The Siberian Husky originated in northeastern Siberia, and is a member of the Spitz family. Although not a Wolf-Dog hybrid, it looks very much like a wolf and was developed by the Siberian people, the Chukchi, who needed a working dog that could pull sleds over long distances. With its sickle tail, double coat, triangular erect ears, and distinctive markings, the Siberian Husky was excellent as a sled dog. Most often today, the Siberian Husky makes an ideal family pet for owners who know that they must act as the "alpha dog" in charge.
The Siberian Husky is actually one of the oldest dogs in history, developed about a half million years ago by the Siberian people, the Chukchi. Although the Chukchi lived inland, they had to travel to the sea to hunt, and needed strong dogs that could pull sleds full of meat back home once the hunt was over. They are descended from the original "sled dog" breeds, as are the Alaskan Malamute and the Samoyed. The word "Husky" comes from the nickname "Esky," a derivation of the word "Eskimo."
The Siberian Husky has developed a very strong bond with children over the generations, and thus today remains a wonderful pet for families with children. These dogs are patient and loving, and extremely playful. Taken care of by Chukchi women, the dogs were always around children and became very close and protective of them as a result.
Beginning in 1908, dogs of this type were imported into Alaska over the next two decades to serve as sled dogs during the gold rush there. They also became famous for endurance distance dogsled races, especially the Nome Sweepstakes. Competitions were held from 1909 to the mid-1920s, and the Siberian Husky usually dominated.
In addition to their athleticism as historically portrayed by these competitions and their general use as sled dogs, Siberian Huskies were upheld as heroes, most especially once they became famous for saving an entire town. In 1925, Nome, Alaska was hit with an outbreak of diphtheria in the midst of winter when travel was otherwise impossible, and the only way to get life-saving antitoxin to the townspeople was by sled dog. Twenty mushers worked in relay to bring the medicine from Anchorage to Nome in a 700-mile trek over six days' time, in frigid temperatures that remained at about 40 degrees Fahrenheit below zero. Feat accomplished, the dogs themselves became heroes – and the Siberian Husky was cemented in people's minds as a breed that was relentless and selfless.
In 1930, Siberian Husky exports were stopped as the Soviet government closed Siberian borders to outside trade. Also in 1930, the American Kennel Club recognized the Siberian Husky, and the breed was registered in Canada nine years later. Most Siberian Huskies in North America today are descendants of Leonhard Seppala's dogs, the same dogs that covered much of the run to Nome, Alaska with the diphtheria antitoxin in 1925.
Today, the Siberian Husky is a member of the AKC Working Group, and is currently ranked as the 13th most popular dog among some 200 registered breeds!
The Siberian Husky is often mistakenly thought to be related to the wolf because of its wolf-like appearance. Majestic, powerful, yet medium-sized, these relatively small dogs weigh between 35 and 60 pounds in adulthood and stand 22 to 23 and a half inches at the shoulder.
The Siberian Husky has an exceedingly thick coat to withstand subzero temperatures – but this coat also similarly protects Huskies who are raised in hot environments. The coat is comprised of a thick undercoat and then a soft outer coat that can be a variety of colors. What is often a white face mask with pure white or pure black coat, with or without markings, coat colors on the back can include red and white; black and white; sable and white; gray; silver; gray and white; red orange with black tips; piebald; and dark gray and white. Eyes can be blue, brown, amber, or hazel, and many dogs have eyes that are half blue and half brown, or will have one blue and one brown eye (referred to as "odd-eyed"). Ears are erect and triangular, and the tail curves over the back.
The feet resemble large "snow shoes" with hair between the toes to keep them warm and help with traction on ice.
Occasionally, the usually medium-length double coat is long instead, which is called a "woolly coat." This is from a recessive gene and is not part of the written standard.
If you've chosen a Siberian Husky for your family pet, congratulations. Siberian Huskies are very amiable and can even be said to be "happy-go-lucky" – but they love to work and are very sociable. Your pet will bond very quickly with you and your family, especially with your children. Of note, your pet will also be friendly to strangers, meaning that it will not make a good guard dog, but can be very protective if need be. In fact, the Chukchi people used Siberian Huskies to look after their children, meaning that these also make good "nanny dogs." Although you should never leave your small children completely alone with your pet and expect it to keep watch over them entirely, it will be very protective.
Very intelligent, the Siberian Husky is also quite trainable – but what is equally likely to happen is that your dog will watch you and then will carefully mimic your behaviors. Your dog can (perhaps to your dismay) learn to turn lights on and off, open doors, raid the refrigerator, and so forth. If you give your pet enough mental and physical stimulation and plenty of attention, this shouldn't be much of a problem, although you will always have to keep a watchful eye. The Siberian Husky is a "runner" and a "digger" by instinct, and these behaviors will never entirely be completely suppressed, so keep your dog on leash at all times when not in an entirely safe environment. Your pet is also a howler – which may or may not be amusing to you, depending on your point of view.
Finally, Siberian Huskies are also prey animals by nature, implying that you should not have other pets – including cats – in your household if you intend to adopt a Husky. Again, these behaviors are instinctual and cannot be entirely suppressed. It is advised that you have no other pets except for perhaps another dog.
The Siberian Husky lives a long time, 12 to 15 years, but is prone to eye problems such as juvenile cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, and corneal dystrophy. These problems aren't often detectable in puppies, so to avoid them as much as possible, make sure you get your puppy from a reputable breeder, one who will produce certification that the puppy's parents and grandparents have been confirmed free of these defects and therefore appropriate for breeding.
As you might expect, your thickly-coated family member will need significant grooming to keep shedding in check as much as possible. Although shedding is moderate during most times of the year, your pet will "blow" its coat once or twice yearly, which will seem as though your pet is literally "snowing" massive tufts of hair everywhere. When your pet is shedding this excessively, use a coat rake or shedding blade to keep up with it as much as you can. Otherwise, regular brushing with a slicker brush should suffice. Bathing is rarely necessary, although nails should be trimmed regularly. The Siberian Husky also is quite agreeable to having its teeth brushed regularly with appropriate "doggie toothpaste," good for overall dental health.
AKC Meet the Breeds®: Get to know the Siberian Husky. http://www.akc.org/breeds/siberian_Husky/index.cfm. Retrieved May 25, 2013.
Siberian Husky. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siberian_Husky. Retrieved May 25, 2013.
Siberian Husky (Husky) (Sibe). http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/siberianHusky.htm. Retrieved May 25, 2013.
Siberian Husky. http://www.vetstreet.com/dogs/siberian-Husky. Retrieved May 25, 2013.
Group Classification: Working dog
Country of Origin: N/A
Date of Origin: N/A
Shedding: Heavy Shed
Body Size: N/A
Weight M: 35-60 pounds
Height M: 21-23.5 inches
Weight F: 35-50 pounds
Height F: 20-22 inches
Litter Size: 6-8 puppies
Life Expectancy: 11-13 years
Recognized By: CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR
Black and white, Jet black, Silver (dilute) black and reddish black, Grey, Wolf Grey, Silver, Sable, Copper, Chocolate Copper.
Since Siberian Huskies have thick, woolly coats, they are ideal for people who live in areas with cool climates. Should the owner live in a tropical country, air-conditioning for the dog is a must. This is an outdoor type of breed and would be perfectly happy with a straw bed outside. However, since these dogs are now serving more as social pets and family members, the dogs primarily reside indoors. A Siberian can be perfectly happy in an apartment if trained from a pup to enjoy the tight but cozy way of living, though it is not recommended. As long as this dog gets enough exercise, it will adapt to most kinds of living conditions.