Photo by © Cinawa

Siberian Husky - Breed Profile:

Origin: Siberia
Colors: Black and white, copper-red and white, grey and white, pure white
Size: Medium
Type of Owner: Experienced
Exercise: A lot of daily exercise needed
Grooming: Little
Trainability: A bit difficult to train
Combativeness: Friendly with other dogs
Dominance: Low
Noise: Likes to howl

An active, energetic and resilient breed.

Siberian Huskies are thought to be one of the most ancient dog breeds whose ancestors came from the extremely cold and harsh environment: their origins are traced to the Chukchi tribes of Siberia. The tribes required dogs capable of pulling light loads at moderate speeds over incredible distances on relatively little food. Huskies are best known as sled dogs; they are the smallest of all native sled dogs. The breed is a working dog breed belonging to the Spitz genetic family.

Physical characteristics

Siberian Huskies have a remarkable appearance that tends to remind you of the wolf. This is a medium to large size dog. The size of adult individuals is 21 to 23,5 inches (53 to 60 cm) for males and 20 to 22 inches (51 to 56 cm) for females. The weight is 45 to 60 pounds (20 to 27 kg) for males and 35 to 50 pounds (16 to 23 kg) for females. The eyes can be dark blue, light blue, amber or brown. Some dogs may have one eye brown and the other blue, or one or both eyes may be "parti-colored" (for example, half brown and half blue).

Temperament

This is an active, energetic and resilient breed. Siberian Huskies are extremely intelligent and willful, which can make training a little difficult. You will need some considerable patience, and you'll need to be sure to remain a good pack leader. To stay happy, the Husky requires daily work, both physical and mental. Running and pulling is in their blood, so a dog that doesn't receive a sufficient amount of exercise is very likely to mope and develop various kinds of unwanted behaviour.

Coat and grooming

Siberian Huskies have one of the thickest coats that has two particular layers: a dense undercoat and a longer topcoat of short, straight guard hairs. It effectively protects the dog against harsh Arctic winters. In summer, this wonderful coat reflects heat.
Photo by mastahanky

The colour and pattern of Siberian Huskies can have many variations, but usually they have white paws and legs, facial markings, and a tail tip. The most common colors are black and white, copper-red and white, grey and white, and pure white. Many individuals have blondish or piebald spotting. Striking masks, spectacles, and other facial markings are very common.

Health

Given proper care, your Siberian Husky will have a typical lifetime ranging from 12 to 15 years. This breed has some genetic defects of the eye such as juvenile cataracts, corneal dystrophy, and progressive retinal atrophy. Hip dysplasia may also occur but it is rare. Generally, Siberians have remarkably good hips. If a Siberian Husky dog is used for sled racing, it may also be prone to other ailments such as gastric disease, bronchitis or bronchopulmonary ailments ("ski asthma"), and gastric erosions or ulcerations.

Other interesting facts

  • Siberian Huskies are known to howl rather than bark.
  • The dense coat of this breed is capable of withstanding temperatures as low as -60 °C.
  • With proper coat care, Huskies have little to no doggy odour.
See also: Husky's particular qualities