Siberian huskies are beautiful, almost wolf-like dogs. They are very energetic, adventurous dogs who are friendly and fun-loving. They are active dogs, always ready to chase with their quick and powerful gait. Huskies make great companion dogs, and they will always keep you and your family on your toes with their mischievous behaviors – though just don’t expect them to be seasoned guard dogs!
Siberian Husky History
As the name suggests, Siberian Huskies are from Siberia, thought to have originated within a tribe of Siberian nomads called the Chukchi. They are among the oldest dog breeds and have stood the test of time. Siberian Huskies have historically been used for transportation because they are very fast and can pull heavy sleds with ease.
Siberian Huskies were recognized by the AKC in 1930 and the Canadian Kennel Club in 1939 as an official breed.
Siberian Husky Appearance
Siberian Huskies are very striking in appearance. They look like wolves, with their brown, amber, or blue eyes - or a mixture of two! - just waiting to pounce. Their two-layered coat is short and soft on the side and straight and thick on the outside. This helps provide warmth in cold climates and unfortunately means they shed more than other breeds.
Siberian Huskies can be black, white, or a mixture of different colors, including agouti and white, black and white, black tan and white, brown and white, grey and white, red and white, and sable and white. In addition, huskies can have markings on their saddle-back.
They are between 20 and 23.5 inches tall and weigh between 35 and 60 pounds. They are a medium-sized dog, but what they lack in size, they make up for in personality. They are willful, outgoing dogs just waiting to get into trouble, but it’s hard to stay mad at them. One look at their natural, infectious smile and wagging long, bushy tail and you will forget why you’re mad.
Siberian Husky Personality
Siberian Huskies are very curious and energetic dogs. They have a can-do attitude, which is what has made them great for pulling sleds, so if you need any work done, Siberian Huskies will be up for the challenge! They are traditionally pack animals, so they love to do tasks and be with other dogs, people, and children, even from a young age.
They are gentle, friendly, and playful. Huskies will greet strangers with curiosity, and they are great family dogs. Siberian Huskies will not bark a lot, but that doesn’t mean they are quiet dogs. Instead, they will whine, moan or howl to get your attention.
If left alone too long, Siberian Huskies can get into trouble. They are prone to very destructive behaviors, so they need a lot of physical and mental exercise to keep them engaged – and exhausted. They will dig, tear and chew anything if left to their own devices. The best way to avoid this is by keeping your Siberian Husky properly exercised.
Siberian Husky Exercise Requirements
Siberian Huskies need between 30 to 60 minutes of exercise per day, though you will want to keep an eye out for what works best for your dog. Some need more exercise to help prevent any destructive behaviors.
In addition to walking, they also make great jogging buddies. They will do great in a small but secure backyard to help them to burn off some of their energy, though they will always dig, no matter how exhausted you get them.
In addition, you will need to train your husky for the best behaviors. They are intelligent, but they really need to be doing something to be happy, so if you aren’t training them, they will find something else to keep their attention - and it’s not always good!
Siberian Husky Training and Care
Training is a must for Siberian Huskies. They thrive when they are doing tasks, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy! Though they are very smart, Siberian Huskies are also very stubborn. You will need to be patient with your husky and make sure to bring tons of treats to help your training sessions along. They are known to refuse to do something if they don’t feel like it so don’t get frustrated.
Give your husky lots of socialization with other people and dogs from a young age. This will help your husky to develop into a well-rounded dog. They do well with other dogs, especially if they are raised with them, though smaller animals tend to set off their prey drive. Proper training can help mitigate this instinct, especially when you start at a young age, but it will never fully go away.
Your Siberian Husky will need to eat between 1.5 and 2 cups of high-quality dog food and have constant access to freshwater. They are not the easiest dog to care for because of their high energy and borderline destructive behaviors, but with patience and care, your Siberian Husky will learn who is the boss.
Siberian Husky Health
Huskies are a sturdy, healthy breed, but they can be prone to some genetic diseases, which are passed down by their parents. While there are much fewer than other breeds, here are some of the most common ailments to impact Siberian Huskies:
- Eye issues like cataracts, corneal dystrophy, and progressive retinal atrophy
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
Siberian Huskies tend to live between 12 and 15 years, and when they have a proper diet and exercise routine, they will stay young and active well into their final years. Your breeder should be able to provide you with tests to ensure your Siberian Husky's health, though huskies that are adopted may not be able to provide you with the same documentation.
Siberian Husky Grooming
Siberian Huskies need a fair amount of grooming, especially during the high shedding seasons, Their double coat will shed during the fall and spring. You will need to make sure they are combed at least once a week, more during the shedding seasons to prevent matting. During this time, you’ll want to keep your vacuum plugged in!
They only need a few baths a year and are known to be “self-cleaning.” Even though they are high shedders, Siberian Huskies do not have the dog smell that is common with other breeds. Huskies are known to have ear infections, so be sure to check their ears regularly.
You will want to make sure to trim their nails at least once a month - more if they don’t naturally wear them down while walking. Additionally, brush their teeth at least two to three times a week.