Many people are attracted to Siberian huskies, I mean, who wouldn’t? These dogs have the most striking appearance, they are athletic, they stand tall with dramatic coloring, thick coats, and with the most awe-inspiring ice blue or mismatched blue and brown eyes. Not only that, but the canines have a way of charming humans with their demeanor. Their intelligence and outgoing, highly active nature really equip them to be the perfect partners each individual adores for in playtime and outdoor activities. With this, it’s no wonder that you, my reader, are interested, more so eager to care for one. You searching for all things Siberian Husky can really speak of curiosity and might be that help in yielding a decision if you should really buy and raise one of this dog breed.
Siberian Husky in Focus
Tacking their size, the breed standard indicates that Siberian Huskies are in general between 20 and 24 inches (ca. 61 centimeters) tall at the withers and weighing between 45 and 60 pounds (27.22 kg). Female counterparts are smaller, growing to between 19 and 23 inches (ca. 58 centimeters) tall at the withers and weighing between 35 and 50 pounds (22.68 kg). Nome residents referred to these dogs as “Siberian Rats” because of their size.
Siberian huskies have a double coat that is thicker, compared to most dog breeds. It has two layers, defined as a dense, finely wavy undercoat and a lengthy top coat of thicker, straight guard hairs. The two coats are able to protect these canines effectively against harsh Arctic winters and also reflect heat in the hot summer. It is able to combat temperatures as low as −50 to −60 °C (−58 to −76 °F). Siberian’s undercoats are often absent during shedding, and their thick coats require weekly grooming.
Coats and Markings
The Siberian Husky is a middle-sized working sled dog breed. The breed is classified among the Spitz genetic family. It is easily identified by its chunky furred double coat, bristling trilateral ears and peculiar and attractive markings, and it is smaller than the agnate-looking Alaskan Malamute.
These dogs come in an assortment of colors and patterns, typically with light-colored legs and paws, as well as facial markings, and their tail extremity. In general, nearly all coats are black and white, then copper-red and white, gray and white, pure white, and the infrequent “agouti ” coat. Striking masks, spectacles, and facial markings are present all over their body due to this coat. Going to the eyes, it is an almond shape, moderately spaced and set slightly obliquely. It is brown, blue, or black. The eyes can be the same, with some being mismatched. Parti-color does not reflect the vision of the dog, and most say it’s what makes them strikingly attractive.
What Makes them Attractive
Their nose is black in gray dogs, tan in black ones and liver in copper-colored ones and lastly, maybe light tan if huskies are in pure white. It is pointed with some squared-looking. Tails are densely furred and will often curl up atop their faces and noses to provide them additional warmth. If you are to picture it when curled up to sleep Siberian huskies will cover its nose for comfort and warmth, and it is called Siberian swirl. When they are relaxed, their tail should be expressive and held low, curved upward in sickle shape, when they are excited.
History of Siberian Huskies
Siberian Huskies arise in Northeast Asia, where Chukchi people reside, and had developed the breed for the pacific use of sled dogs. Genetically, Siberians are part of the Spitz family, and it was the early 20th century, where Alaskans shows interest in the breed and Siberian huskies were then brought to the United States
Over the years, huskies have shown impressiveness and excellence as sled dogs. Perhaps, the most notable was the transport of antitoxins to Nome, Alaska during the unfortunate epidemic of diphtheria. The commemoration of this life-saving journey has led to the creation of the yearly Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. A statue of the lead dog who completed the serum run, Balto, was assembled in Central Park in New York City in 1925.
On Gaining Popularity
As the breed began to gain relevance and popularity, in 1933 the Navy Rear named Admiral Richard E. Byrd bought almost half a hundred Siberian Huskies with him on a voyage in which he together with the dogs fulfill their journey around the 16000,-mile coast of Antarctica. The dogs were trained at Chinook Kennels in New Hampshire and were called Operation High jump. The historic trek, then, was correct in proving the worth of Siberian Huskies, being active, energetic, and resilient, applauded despite their compact size, and with an appreciation for their great speed.
They also served in the United States Army; Search and Rescue Unit of the Air Transport Command, during World War II. Their popularity was sustained, passing through the 21st century.
Present Day Huskies
Today, Siberian Huskies are kept as house pets because most people are amused by their looks and their impeccable act of service. Pop culture, like the series Game of Thrones, spurred a huge uptick in the demand for these dogs because they show resemblance to the fictional dire wolves. Films like eight Below, Snow Buddies, Z Nation, and Parks and Recreation also popularized these dogs even more. Currently, they are the 12th most popular breed, according to the data of the American Kennel club in the U.S., categorized now as companion dogs.
Behaviors and Personality of Siberian Huskies
Based on the Siberian Husky Club of America, Siberian Huskies are “independent spirits that may at times challenge your ingenuity, and their predatory instincts are strong”
Siberian Huskies are often most commonly described as dogs who are always on the go and have a keen eye for adventure. They have been known to wander away and disappear, as their curiosity gets the best of them. They can jump fences, break chains, slip collars, and many more mischievous attempts. This is why, preferably, they need to fall under a strong owner who will maintain an alpha position in the home. These canines, moreover, require obedience training from a young to be sure that they’ll not end up disobedient and stubborn.
Athletics are their main edge, and these dogs for sure need a lot of exercise every day. Being a working breed, they are at their happiest state when they get to perform. Regular exercise is vital for both their physical and mental health needs. Also, the need for it strengthens the bond between them and their owner. With this, you can imagine how Siberians just love to run and will do so in every opportunity they are to see. It is definitely a must to keep them on a leash outdoors.
Keep in Mind!
These dogs are friendly yet independent. They are affectionate and very people-oriented, but they are not the type of dogs that will pester you for affection, they do well entertaining themselves. What is also great, is these canines do not poise aggressiveness, and they really do well in multi-dog homes. People of all ages, as well as calm and safe strangers, are welcomed with warmth and a light mood. They are protective of their home, but they also recognize others that they feel secure with, with open arms.
They are sweet, wagging their tails excessively around their favorite people. Not only that, but they also are the best when it comes to babysitting! As well as caring for older ones. Funny, as they can be at times silly in showing actions. They would not dare to hurt you in the slightest, despite their strong and robust appearance. All in all, you can never really go wrong with having huskies around, right?
Basic Care Guide for Siberian Huskies (Training and Caring Combined)
Now, let’s go over and see how you as an aspiring owner of a Siberian Husky will thrive in raising them,
1st Factor: Training
Socialize and bond with your husky puppy.
Socialization should start as early as you bring them to your home, as it teaches your dog properly with various aspects of his new environment. For instance, all he will know other people and other dogs he ought to live with. This will help him grow into a confident and well-mannered adult canine. Allow your puppy to freely spend his time around different people and experience various sights and sounds, as well. Other different socializing examples you can do:
- Signing up your husky in a puppy kindergarten class.
- Exposing your husky to different situations in his environment, such as the sounds of honking horns and passing cars. You can definitely invite your friends over to help him be comfortable around the new people he is to bond with for the rest of his life.
- Taking him to a park to experience various people, sights and sounds.
Enroll your now-adult Siberian Husky in an obedience training class.
We all know that, by nature, huskies are very independent and intelligent. However, stubbornness is also present in their being, which can make training hard work. Obedience classes are great for training these canines.
Crate train your dog.
Crate training aid in the house training process to go more smoothly, as this will result in your Siberian not wanting to urinate or defecate where he sleeps. Furthermore, crate training will turn the very crate into a safe space he can reside in if he ever feels scared or needs rest.
Leash train your own Siberian Husky.
If you let this dog off his leash, he will likely dash away from you with no second thought, for a good u or the happy pursuit for something far away. He loves you, but unfortunately, his active and athletic side will always prevail. It is really essential. Leash training prevents your husky from aggressively pulling on the leash.
Assert that you are your Siberian Husky’s leader.
These dogs are pack animals, and their wild instinct expects a clear leader of the pack. Therefore, your husky needs to see you as his chief. Here are primary ways you can achieve it:
- Make him wait to eat
- Controlling when he eats
- Leading him to the walks
- If your husky occasionally assumes leadership, just be firm, but do not use violence.
2nd Factor: Exercise and Playtime
Exercise with your Siberian Husky every day.
Huskies are working dogs, as we learned in their origin, they used to pull heavy sleds over long distances. Thus, it should come as no surprise why these dogs must require a daily, vigorous exercise, at least half an hour to release those stored pent-up energies. Here are some easy choices that are great for starters:
- Long walks
- Playing fetch
- Going hiking
Make sure you can also keep up with his energy!
Secure your yard, so your husky would not escape.
Siberian Huskies are master escape artists. Enclose your yard with a fence size of six feet. Also, have it sunk at least several inches to the ground to prevent a digging escape. We all know these dogs have a keen eye for adventure, right?
Find a playmate for your Siberian Husky.
These dogs are very social and would appreciate having another dog with whom they can play and exercise.
Do not exercise your Siberian Husky when it is hot outside.
These dogs, we learn as well, that they possess double coats, which make them best-paired in cold climates. While this does not translate to you not being able to own a husky in a warm climate, you can, you just have to be really cautious when playing and exercising with him during warm months throughout the year. If you live in a warmer climate, adjust and let your dog exercise and play during those early moments when it is still not too hot.
3rd Factor: Feeding and Grooming
Your Siberian Husky needs to be fed high-quality dog food.
These dogs survive on small amounts of food, and will not need to eat a lot of calories to maintain health and have lasting energy to play and exercise.
- Feed your dog twice a day and avoid physical activities for at least 90 minutes after eating.
- Your dog might need more or less food, depending on various factors such as size, age, and status of health. Consult your veterinarian to double-check.
- Do not feed them human food and canned meals, it causes your Siberian Husky to become a finicky eater and develop diarrhea.
Brush your dog’s coat.
By nature, Siberian Huskies love to be clean, and they have little to no dog odor, and they also groom themselves frequently. Therefore, you are in luck as you will not need to do extra grooming. Keep in mind however that these dogs shed quite a bit, particularly in periods of spring and fall, when they are to blow their coats. ( this means complete shedding of the undercoat).
- The blowing coat period occurs in a three weeks interval.
- Brush your dog with a slicker brush, it should occur weekly. This aids in removing dead hair and keeping his coat at its best, healthy and shiny.
- Do not shave your Siberian Husky’s coat in the summer, it removes protection from the harmful UV rays.
Bathe your Husky, periodically throughout the year.
Huskies rarely need baths because they are excellent at keeping themselves clean.
Trim your dog’s nails.
Your dog’s nails should undergo trimming once every two weeks. Siberian Husky’s energy and size might interfere, what you can do is ask for a nail trimming appointment with the help of your veterinarian.
Brush your Siberian Husky’s teeth.
This helps not only in keeping his breath fresh but also prevents plaque and buildup of tartar, both of which unfortunately lead to some serious dental and systemic diseases. Brush your dog’s teeth three times a week for optimum dental health.
Health Considerations of Siberian Huskies
Siberian Huskies are a generally healthy and lively breed. The Siberian Husky Club of America (SHCA) has been very prudent in monitoring the genetic issues associated with these canines. The organization also encourages breeders to not breed those dogs with defects, therefore they do not really have a myriad of issues that some other breeds possess.
Still, no dog breed or animal, for that matter, is completely free from diseases. There are a few health concerns that Siberian Huskies’ owners must be aware of and knowledgeable, to prepare for uncertainties. The following are the top three:
This disease is really prevalent in over 114 breeds of canines. According to SHCA, it is the primary health concern for Huskies. Dysplasia, come to exist when the head of the femur does not fit properly into the dog’s pelvic joint. It may be classified as mild, to severe, with some cases being inherited. For diagnosis, a veterinarian uses radiography to be aware of its existence.
Next is a complex disease that affects the Siberian huskies’ eyes, skin, and nervous system, if they are diagnosed. It is an autoimmune disease where the immune system destroys and makes damage to the melanocytes (cells that are responsible for pigment making) in the skin and eyes. It causes dogs to experience premature whitening of the hair and the skin. Huskies affected also suffer painful eye problems, including uveitis and retinal separation. That is why, painful, red eyes in your husky should never be neglected, thus should be checked out immediately. Furthermore, it is known that this disease has treatments, however irreversible blindness is typical.
Lastly, Siberian Huskies can be damaged by 3 eye defects: hereditary or juvenile cataracts, corneal dystrophy as well as progressive retinal atrophy. As reported by SHCA, these eye diseases are very serious, and should not be overlooked. The most repeated of all is hereditary cataracts. For all of these diseases, genetic testing is available and must be sought so if you are getting a husky puppy, you are certain that he is abstaining from these unfortunate dilemmas.
Frequently Asked Questions Concerning About Siberian Huskies
Are Siberian Huskies non-allergenic?
Unfortunately, no, these dogs are not hypoallergenic canines because they are moderate shedders and produce a moderate amount of dander. Dander, by definition, is one of the main causes of allergies concerning most people.
Siberian Huskies as guard dogs, can it work?
Another no, Siberian Huskies are not known for their guarding abilities. These canines typically do not possess great protective instincts and by nature, are not just aggressive with other people.
Are Siberian Huskies good for those beginners and first-time dog owners?
Siberian huskies, based on their care guide, need a lot of exercise and maintenance requirements. These can be overwhelming for a novice or first-time owner. These dogs are not the easiest to train and handle, they are independent-minded. They need the guidance of a well-experienced owner, so they can function with obedience and in their well-mannered aura.
Do Siberian Huskies love to hone their swimming bilities?
Yes! Because they are active and energetic, swimming, which is a challenge for most dogs, is approached with a very competitive mind, when you are leaning towards a Siberian Husky. They love the water, especially in the summer.
Are Siberian Huskies friendly with kids, other dogs, cats, and strangers?
An easy four yeses! Siberian Huskies are very social, extroverted, and warm in welcoming both humans and animals. They are kind, careful, and lovely with little kids. They are highly friendly and affectionate when meeting and connecting with other canines, and get along great with those lovely quiet cats. Lastly, for strangers, these dogs are highly cordial and bring such a light aura, they do however need a bit of time to be comfortable with new faces, but once they get past that, they are the friendliest and sweetest.
It’s a Wrap!
And it’s a wrap! Siberian Huskies are very fascinating breeds, aren’t they? If you are an experienced dog owner, I highly suggest you take your dog parenting journey and try it on one of these highly gorgeous, athletic, working service dogs.