The Siberian Husky

Loyal, Outgoing, Mischievous

 

AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 12 of 192

Height: 21-23.5 inches (male), 20-22 inches (female)

Weight: 45-60 pounds (male), 35-50 pounds (female)

Life Expectancy: 12-14 years

With Children:  Dependable, energetic, friendly.

With Pets:  Enjoys other dogs and will do better if there is more than one Husky. Has prey drive so needs to be raised with cats/small animals in order to be good with them.

Special Skills:  Pulling, working sled dog

Group: Working Group

 

The Siberian Husky, a thickly coated, compact sled dog of medium size and great endurance, was developed to work in packs, pulling light loads at moderate speeds over vast frozen expanses. Sibes are friendly, fastidious, and dignified.


About the Siberian Husky

The Siberian Husky is a medium-sized working dog, quick and light on his feet and free and graceful in action. His moderately compact and well furred body, erect ears and brush tail suggest his Northern heritage. His characteristic gait is smooth and seemingly effortless. He performs his original function in harness most capably, carrying a light load at a moderate speed over great distances. His body proportions and form reflect this basic balance of power, speed and endurance. The males of the Siberian Husky breed are masculine but never coarse; the bitches are feminine but without weakness of structure. In proper condition, with muscle firm and well developed, the Siberian Husky does not carry excess weight.

The graceful, medium-sized Siberian Husky’s almond-shaped eyes can be either brown or blue—and sometimes one of each—and convey a keen but amiable and even mischievous expression. Quick and nimble-footed, Siberians are known for their powerful but seemingly effortless gait. Tipping the scales at no more than 60 pounds, they are noticeably smaller and lighter than their burly cousin, the Alaskan Malamute.

As born pack dogs, they enjoy family life and get on well with other dogs. The Sibe’s innate friendliness render them indifferent watchdogs. These are energetic dogs who can’t resist chasing small animals, so secure running room is a must. An attractive feature of the breed: Sibes are naturally clean, with little doggy odor.

 

Colors

All colors from black to pure white are allowed. A variety of markings on the head is common, including many striking patterns not found in other breeds. There is no disqualification for color. The face mask and underbody are usually white, and the remaining coat any color, from wolf-gray to silver-gray or from sandy brown dark red and pure white to black with white markings. Siberians have eyes that may be brown or blue in color, One of each  or Parti colored are all acceptable, set a trifle obliquely, with a friendly expression.

 

Living Conditions

This breed loves to run and will roam if given the chance. It is a very social dog that must have human or canine companionship. This breed prefers to live in packs with other Siberians Huskies. Siberian Huskies are very active and do best with a large fenced-in yard. They are not recommended for apartments. Because of their adaptability, these dogs are suitable to life in hot climates. See: Temperature Adaptation in Northern Dogs

 

Temperament

 Though strong, Siberian Huskies are a very gentle breed and well suited for the whole family. They do not, however, make a good guard dogs. Huskies are very people oriented and are playful, enjoying activities such as pulling children in a wagon. Fun-loving, adventurous, alert, independent, clever, stubborn, mischievous and obstinate all describe the Siberian husky.This breed loves to run and will roam if given the chance. It is a very social dog that must have human or canine companionship. It may chase strange cats or livestock. Some howl, dig and chew. These dogs are gentle and playful, but willful and mischievous. This cheerful dog is very fond of their family. A puppy at heart, they are clever, sociable and loving, easy-going and docile. Good with children and friendly with strangers, they are not watchdogs, for they bark little and love almost everyone. Huskies are very intelligent and trainable, but they have a mind of their own and will only obey a command if they see the point to it. Training takes patience, consistency and an understanding of the Arctic dog character. This dog will take advantage if he can. Huskies make an excellent jogging companion, as long as it is not too hot. This breed likes to howl and gets bored easily. They do not like to be left alone, so if this is the breed for you, you may want to consider having two. A lonely Husky can be very destructive. Remember that the Husky is a sled dog in heart and soul. They are good with other pets if they are raised with them from puppyhood. Huskies are thrifty eaters and need less food than you might expect.

 

Grooming

Siberian Huskies are considered a “natural” breed. They are remarkably self-cleaning and often need only a couple baths a year, unless being shown in conformation dog shows. Weekly Brushings help keep the coat and skin in good condition. Siberians have a double coat—an undercoat, and guard hair. The undercoat is shed twice a year, and it is important to continually “rake out” the old coat, using a pin brush and metal comb. Pay close attention to the length of the nails, and keep them trimmed to prevent any foot problems. Siberians competing in conformation require a bit more selective grooming for the best presentation. The Siberian Husky has a thick, undercoat and a soft outer coat. It is able to withstand temperatures as low as -58 degrees to -76 degrees.

 

 Excercise

Siberians are active, athletic dogs who need a lot of exercise. They are a working breed and happiest when they have a function to perform. Regular exercise is important both physically and mentally, and doing activities together strengthens the bond between dog and owner. Siberians were bred to run and will do so at every opportunity; it is vital to keep the dog on a leash, in harness, or in a fenced yard at all times. There are several AKC-sponsored activities that can be enjoyed by dog and owners—rally, agility, and obedience are a few. A busy and active Siberian is a happy and healthy Siberian. This breed is also very adaptable, and for those who live in a more urban setting, daily walks or doggie play groups can provide great exercise.

This is an active dog, bred to run tirelessly for miles. It needs ample daily exercise, either in the form of a long jog or a long run off leash in a safe area. It also loves to pull and enjoys cold weather. It can live outdoors in cool or cold climates, but ideally it can divide its time between indoors and out but should not be excessively exercised in warm weather. They need a large yard with a high fence, but bury the wire at the base of the fence because they are likely to dig their way out and go off hunting.

 

Training

All breeds benefit from early socialization, basic obedience training, and learning good manners, and the Siberian Husky is no exception. For those owners who want to work their dogs in harness, training for this requires dedication and patience. There are several good books available on training for the trail that provide advice and information on getting started. The best approach is to make all training exercises fun for both dog and handler. Siberians are very social, and regularly need the company of their people or other dogs; they are not suited to being left alone all day. Most importantly, Siberians have an overwhelming desire to run, and they should be on leash or in a securely fenced-in area at all times and never allowed off lead.

 

Health

Fortunately, the Siberian Husky is a relatively healthy breed. Responsible breeders screen their breeding stock for health problems such as juvenile cataracts. Beginning at 12 months of age, all Siberians who potentially will be part of a breeding program should be examined by a canine ophthalmologist. The exam is then repeated on a yearly basis. Knowledgeable breeding practices ensure the future health of the breed. Owners of working Siberians need to closely monitor each dog to be able to recognize when something just isn’t right. Having a veterinarian familiar with working dogs is an advantage. See also Health Info

Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:

Hip Evaluation
Ophthalmologist Evaluation


Please also See Siberian Husky Pros and Cons and Siberians Husky FAQ and Siberian Husky History and The AKC Standard