Siberian Husky Information

Overview

Bred in Northeast Asia as a sled dog, Siberian Huskies are known for their exceptional endurance and willingness to work hard in cold climates. As the 16th most popular dog breed in the United States according to the American Kennel Club, the Siberian Husky is a relatively easy keeper that makes for a loving and playful companion for families of all sizes. Read on for a full breed description to determine whether a Siberian Husky could be the best match for your household and lifestyle.

Siberian Husky
Basic Info
NameSiberian Husky
Other NameHusky, Icee, Sibe, Chukcha, Chuksha
OriginSiberia, Russia
Size Type Medium Dog Breeds
Breed Group Toy Dog Breeds
Life Span12 -15 years
Temperament Gentle, Intelligent, Outgoing, Alert, Friendly
HeightMale: 21–23.5 inches; Female: 20–22 inches
WeightMale: 45–60 pounds; Female: 35–50 pounds
ColorsSable, Splash, Piebald, Black, Red, White, Black & White, Black & Tan, Copper, Agouti, Silver, Grey, Brown,
Puppy PriceAverage $700 - $1000 USD

Siberian Husky

Physical description

Body Type

As a strong, compact dog breed built for strength and stamina, Siberian Huskies have a medium-sized head that is in proportion to the body with a muzzle that is equal in length with a well-defined stop. The dogs possess medium-sized oval-shaped eyes that are moderately spaced and may be blue, brown, amber, or half brown and half brown. While the ears are triangular and erect standing high up on the head, the tail is curved slightly over the back. Siberian Huskies have large feet that resemble snow shoes with light feathering between the toes to keep them warm in snow. Male dogs are normally between 21 and 23 inches at the shoulder height with a weight from 45 to 60 pounds, but female huskies are slightly smaller at 20 to 22 inches with a weight ranging between 35 to 50 pounds.

Color

Coat colors for the Siberian Husky include all variations from black to pure white, with or without markings on the head or body. While the face mask and underbelly are typically white, the coat may be black and white, red and white, brown, gray, silver, sable, red-orange, dark gray, or piebald with black tips.

Coat

Possessing a coat that is thicker than most other dog breeds, Siberian Huskies have a dense undercoat with a longer topcoat of short, straight guard hairs. With the purpose of protecting the dog breed effectively against the harsh winters in the Arctic region and reflecting heat in the summer, the coat enables Siberian Huskies to withstand temperatures as low as -55 to -75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Characteristics
Good with Kids
 
Cat Friendly
 
Dog Friendly
 
Trainability
 
Shedding
 
Watchdog
 
Intelligence
 
Grooming
 
Popularity
 
Adaptability
 
Hypoallergenic  No

Grooming

Since their coat sheds heavily twice each year, Siberian Huskies will need to be brushed and combed daily during this period to eliminate dead hair and enable quick re-growth. The dogs should be brushed with a wide-toothed comb with rounded teeth in the way the hair grows to break up any mats. While no trimming of the hair is needed, it is encouraged that owners get rid of extra hair on the paws in the summer months to allow the dogs to perspire on their paw pads. As fastidiously clean dogs that are free from body odor, Siberians often clean themselves similarly to cats. Therefore, bathing requirements are very minimal with many owners preferring to bathe their dogs just once a year.

History

Descending from one of the oldest dog breeds known as the Eskimo dog that have been resident in the Arctic for at least 4,000 years, Siberian Huskies were used for centuries by the Chukchi Tribe of the eastern Siberian peninsula to pull sleds, herd reindeer, and serve as a watchdog. Since they were perfect working dogs for the harsh conditions, the Siberian natives were brought to Alaska and Canada by fur traders in the 20th century to help whole tribes survive in the harsh climate. In fact, Admiral Robert Peary within the U.S. Navy utilized the strength of huskies on his expeditions to reach the North Pole in the early 1900s. By 1908, Siberian Huskies made their debut in the first All-Alaskan Sweepstakes, where they excelled with their great speed on the 408-mile long dogsled race. When a diphtheria epidemic hit Nome, Alaska in 1925, Siberian Huskies gained increased popularity for delivering the much needed medicine to the people suffering from the illness across great distances in Alaska. During World War II, the breed also served on the Army’s Arctic Search and Rescue Unit. Although Siberian Huskies have been famous for centuries for their talents in sledding, carting, and racing, the breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1930.

Temperament

As a sled dog in heart and soul, Siberian Huskies are loving, playful, gentle, and happy-go-lucky dogs that are loyal companions for families. Despite being a high-energy breed, these dogs are often described as being docile, social, casual, relaxed, and enthusiastic. Good with children of varying ages and friendly with strangers, Siberian Huskies are not natural watchdogs because they bark little and love to be around everyone. Since these dogs need to be trained with a firm, confident, and consistent pack leader to avoid behavioral problems of mischief or willfulness, it is recommended for owners to engage their huskies in a 15-minute daily obedience training class with positive reinforcement. Siberian Huskies often have a tendency to run and roam from their dog sledding roots, so it is important for the dogs to receive a fair amount of physical exercise, including a daily work or jog. Not a good fit for apartment living, this dog breed requires a large yard fenced-in with a high fence to run off excess energy and wire at the base of the fence to discourage digging out. Although exercise is highly important, owners must remain careful with precautionary measures during the summer months when the dogs may become overheated. When the dogs do not get sufficient mental and physical exercise, Siberian Huskies can become bored, display destructive behaviors, and howl frequently.


Interesting Siberian Husky Facts

  • According to the book “The Intelligence of Dogs” by dog psychologist Stanley Coren, Siberian Huskies are the 45th most intelligent dog breed, which is considered being of average working/obedience intelligence.
  • Siberian Huskies gained great popularity within the story of the “Great Race of Mercy” in the 1925 serum run to Nome, where Togo became famous for guiding his musher Leonhard Seppala on a 91-mile journey for the longest run of the relay across the extremely dangerous Norton Sound.
  • As one of the two dog breeds that are closest in appearance to wolves, Siberian Huskies have a tremendous bite force of about 320 pounds. In addition, these dogs can run up to 50 miles per hour and travel around 150 miles each day!