The Siberian Husky a medium-sized spitz breed of working origin has its roots in Siberia. This graceful dog with its effortless gait, amiable nature, and mischievous expression makes for a fantastic house pet.
The Siberian Husky has a well-proportioned body with a light and agile feet. Other physical features possessed by it include:
Head: Well-shaped and of a moderate built
Muzzle: Medium length, tapering to its nose
Ears: Medium sized, triangular-shaped, closely fit and high set
Eyes: Almond-shaped, blue or brown in color
Tail: Furry tail, curled on to its back in the shape of a sickle often used by it to cover its nose while sleeping.
|Other Names||Chukcha, Chuksha|
|Common nicknames||Sibe, Husky|
|Coat||Double coat of medium length- Outer coat: Long with short and straight guard hairs; Undercoat: Soft and dense|
|Color||Black; white; red and white; grey and white; sable and white; brown; brown and white; black, gray and white; brown, black and white; black, tan and white; gray and black; copper and white; tan|
|Group||Spitz, sled dogs|
|Average lifespan (How long do they live)||12 to 14 years|
|Size (How big do they get)||Medium|
|Average height of a full grown Siberian Husky||Male: 21 to 24 inches; Female: 18 to 20 inches|
|Average weight of a full grown Siberian Husky||Male: 45 to 60 pounds; Female: 35 to 50 pounds|
|Litter size||Approximately 4 -8 puppies|
|Behavioral characteristics||Playful, gentle, loving, friendly, sociable|
|Good with children||Yes|
|Barking tendency||Moderate (only when it needs)|
|Climate compatibility||Adapts well to cold climates|
|Shedding (Do they shed)||Excessively|
|Are they Hypoallergenic||No|
|Competitive Registration Qualification/Information||AKC, CKC, FCI, ANKC, UKC, KC (UK), NZKC|
The Siberian Husky is an ancient breed, deriving its ancestry from the sled dogs like the Alaskan Malamute and Samoyed. Husky is said to be a distortion of the name “Esky”, used to refer to the Eskimos at first and eventually their dogs.
The Chukchi people dwelling in the Chukchi Peninsula petted the forefathers of this breed, keeping them for their company, apart from using them for pulling sleds and doing other enduring tasks. These dogs were developed in such a manner so that they could thrive in frozen wastelands amidst excessively low temperatures.
Though mostly developed in seclusion, they came into notice when the Siberian Husky had been brought over to Alaska and was used to pull sleds at the time of gold rush.
However, their popularity heightened immensely when Leonhard Seppala, a legendary sled puller led a team of Siberian Huskies and covered a 658-mile journey in just 5 and a half days to reach Alaska for delivering serum to the Nome region of Alaska since there had been an outbreak of diphtheria. This historic run won them popularity and accolades worldwide. Balto, a Siberian Husky, was the lead dog in this journey and has been remembered for his heroic deeds. His (Balto’s) bronze statue exists in the Central Park, New York City since 1925.
This breed not just remained confined to its country of origin but also spread to other parts of the world. They have been a part of several expeditions like Operation Highjump, organized by naval officer Richard E. Byrd. They were also used for several projects and ventures of the U.S. Army.
The UKC recognized it by the name of Arctic Husky in 1938 which finally changed to its present name in 1991. The American Kennel Club acknowledged it in 1930, and in 1939 the first Husky was registered in Canada. They ranked 16th and 14th in 2012 and 2013 respectively among the AKC registered breeds.
They have a friendly, gentle demeanor, with a great sense of humor, being a delight to live with, especially for those who have sufficient time for it. The Sibe does not deal with strangers suspiciously or aggressively and would greet or welcome them heartily, a trait which does not make it a good watch and guard dog.
When left alone for prolonged periods they could resort to destructive activities like howling unnecessary, chewing or even escaping, things they are perfect at because of their stint in the snow for a long time. A particular Husky was reported to have chewed through a cement wall. They also possess a digging instinct which can get severe when not corrected through training.
They do not bark but howl, which might be due to any cause, like spotting someone unknown within its domain or inviting a person or a pet to come and play with it.
These dogs share a good with rapport with little ones, though children below six should not be left alone with them. They would also get along with other canines; however, owing to their inherent chasing instinct and strong prey drive which they developed because of their difficult living conditions in the past, it is better to keep them away from cats and other smaller animals like rabbits and squirrels.
Note: They tend to be on the run always, and would find the slightest opportunity to escape. Hence you would need to take sufficient precautions like adding an extension to your fence which would tilt in an inward direction towards your yard. Since this breed is adept in digging ensure to use digging deterrents for this purpose. You can stuff in a chicken wire near the base of your fence, the sharp edges of which should remain rolled inwards. You can also place big rocks at the base or cover the ground with a mesh or chain link fencing.
Training the Siberia Husky dogs from the beginning is a mandate to help them shape out their personality well and get rid of a whole lot of destructive habits like digging, barking or howling without a cause or chewing.
Note: Always keep your pet happy and busy so that it would not think about leaving the bounds of its home and going elsewhere.
The National Research Council of the National Academies state that a Sibe having an average weight of 50 pounds should be given approximately 1358 calories on a daily basis. Choose a good quality dry dog food like Wellness Core, Orijen and Taste of the Wild, and also make it a point to adjust the protein level which should be about 20% in summer when there is low activity and 32% in winter when it is involved in sled pulling and other tasks.
Siberian Husky vs. Alaskan Husky
|Purebred||Not a purebred|
|Bred for appearance as well as working purpose||Solely bred as a working dog and some of them look like a cross between the Siberian Husky and Alaskan Malamute|
|They are quick dogs||They are faster than the Husky|
|Their eyes could be brown or blue||Their eyes are only brown|