Although it has originated in Siberia, the Husky is still thought of as an American breed. After all; it was here that it was recognized as a separate breed rather than as just another Arctic dog. Like all other northern breeds, the Husky boasts a full tail that carries over the dog’s back. Evolution explains the reason behind this trait: the tail could be used for brushing away snow and protecting the dog’s eyes and face from harsh winds especially when it curls up on the ground. Let us study some more interesting facts and features about the Siberian Husky.
Siberian Husky facts
- The breed’s original name is Chukchi and they came from the Siberian part of Russia. They were imported from Russia during the Nome, Alaska Gold Rush. From Alaska, the breed soon moved into United States and Canada and was used extensively as show dogs, sled dogs and family pets.
- Admiral Robert Peary used the Siberian Husky during his search for the North Pole.
- Richard Byrd brought about 50 Siberian Huskies with him during his attempt to go around the coast of Antarctica.
- Siberian Huskies are accredited with having done a noble task of delivering diphtheria serums from Nemana to Nome Alaska. This 600 mile run took place in 1925. The Iditarod Sled Dog Race commemorates their delivery and The Central Park has also erected their Statue for this amazing feat.
- Siberian Huskies are faster than Samoyed and Alaskan Huskies.
- Ancestors of huskies include Asian sled dogs that existed nearly hundred years ago.
- Male huskies stand up to 23 inches tall at withers. Females stand up to 22 inches. Weight range for male huskies as per breed standard is between 45 and 60 lbs while that for female huskies is 35 and 50 lbs.
- Many people believe that this breed closely resembles wolves. In reality; huskies are much smaller. Many have blue or brown eyes. Some have two colors in one or both eyes. Sometimes, one eye is brown the other is blue.
- Siberian Husky colors – Siberian Husky coat color can be white and black, white and gray or white and red. Some huskies are all white or all gray or black. Most have white faces or white faces with black mask.
Where to find a Siberian Husky
Finding a breeder for a Siberian Husky puppy should be relatively easy. Simply visit the official club (SHCA) website of the breed in United States. Here you can find several registered breeders. An ethical breeder will be willing to answer all your questions you may have. S/he will also make you wait for a puppy, as they would not have too many litters each year. An established breeder will have outstanding ethics and would sell you a Siberian Husky puppy at a fair price after first ensuring that you are indeed a suitable owner for this dog.
Tips to selecting your puppy
- The puppy should appear healthy and well fed. Just make sure its abdomen is not distended. (A distended abdomen indicates worms or incorrect feeding).
- The puppy should have a solid, firm feel.
- Make sure the puppy is alert and curious.
- No matter how hard these puppies are to resist, do not buy the first one. Do look around until you find the best match.
It is also a good idea to look at adopting. Contact a rescue shelter near you to see if they have a Siberian with them.
Temperament and personality
Siberian huskies are gentle dogs; aggressiveness is not a breed standard. So if you come across an aggressive Husky; he could be a product of puppy mills or indiscriminate breeding. Characteristic temperament traits of Siberians are: gentle, friendly, alert, and outgoing. They do not have the possessive qualities of a guard dog; nor do they have a suspicious or aggressive personality which other breeds of similar kind display. Mature huskies are reserved and dignified. Their intelligence, tractability and eager disposition make them ideal companions that are also easy to train. They are willing team workers who get along with other pets (not small household pets though!) and children, provided you socialize your pet from an early age. Huskies have a tendency to run and that can endanger them. So always confine your pet to a pen or place it on leash.
This is a highly active dog breed that is suitable for athletic and active owners, particularly families. They are not one person dogs as they do better in a family. Make sure you walk your Husky twice a day to burn off energy. A bored dog is a destructive dog. So give him something to do. Huskies are also prone to running. Ensure that he has enough toys and mental and physical stimulation to keep him tired.
Siberian huskies need to be brushed 2-3 times a week. Their double coat is of medium length; straight outside and dense inside. They blow their coat twice a year. It is a good idea to use slicker brush to capture stray hairs. That way, you’ll have fewer hair in your surroundings. Your puppy will enjoy the grooming process provided you start him on it at an early age. Regular grooming will remove tangles and mats, dandruff and dead hair as well as parasites. It is also a good way to spend quality time with your fur baby. Bathe your Husky only if needed, about once a month. You can also use dry bath products like sprays and powders between baths.
Like all other pure bred dogs, the Husky is prone to certain health issues. Good breeders around the world are working to minimize these problems but there are still two prominent issues that huskies are known to face: eye problems and hip related conditions. The huskies eyes are their most prominent features but they are also prone to cataracts, retinal atrophy etc. Hip dysplasia is another common problem in this breed. We mention these problems here not to dissuade potential Husky owners but to help them raise awareness so that they can give their pet the best possible care.