The Siberian Husky Overview
The Siberian Husky is one of the most visually impressive breeds today. Huskies have thick double coats capable of withstanding temperatures -60 degrees Celcius. They have a wolf-like appearance boasting bright icy blue eyes, with mixtures of browns and greens.
Let’s go over some more characteristics and personality traits below.
A Friendly Wolf!
Despite the Siberian Husky’s intimidating looks, they are incredibly friendly, loving and approachable. In fact, Huskies make terrible guard dogs, as they would an intruder as their next best friend.
Huskies are naturally sociable and do not typically show aloof behavior. Most huskies will befriend anyone that comes up to them. This is friendliness isn’t just with humans, it expands to other dogs too.
Fun Fact: Siberian Huskies are no more closely related to the wolf, than a poodle is! Despite sharing upwards of 98% of the same mitochondrial D.N.A
You better start running!
Huskies are great for families that love the outdoors. Capable of running over 100 miles a day, Huskies are considered the marathon runners of the dog world. If a Husky doesn’t receive enough daily exercise and physical stimulation, you can expect them to misbehave and become quite destructive.
To have a well-behaved Husky, exercise will be a critical part of their life. If exercise is not a priority, it will make them hard to train and it’s likely they will develop behavioral issues.
You see me, now you don’t!
Siberian Huskies are better at disappearing than Harry Houdini himself. Although officially classed as having Average Working Intelligence Huskies are much smarter than they show. Mischievious is the word that the American Kennel Club uses to describe the Siberian Husky, and on top of that, I can add cunning.
Huskies are escape artists and will find a way out of your back yard if given the opportunity or not! They have a strong sense of independence and this comes with a certain attitude of “doing what I want when I want” If you Husky thinks something is more interesting on the other side of your gate. Off they go.
Watch out for your neighbor’s cat!
Siberian Huskies have a pretty big instinctual prey drive. Any time a Husky sees a small animal make a sudden movement, let’s hope you have a strong grip on the leash!
Huskies are friendly, but with small animals, caution needs to be taken. While there are many instances around the world of Huskies and Cats being best friends, it’s a slow process that requires a lot of training and constant supervision.
Huskies are vocal!
Huskies don’t often bark but they love to make a noise! Huskies use howling, much like their wolf ancestors as their main form of communication.
Howling for Huskies is more efficient and it travels further. On top of that, they seem to pick it up as super easy as puppies. It isn’t just limited to howling though, Huskies often pretend to be a parrot and almost “talk” back to their owners.
No, Huskies cant actually talk, but they have an incredible ability to match sounds and repeat short phrases we say. “I love you” is a classic one that many Huskies can “say”.
I like to be told what to do, but don’t tell me what to do!
Siberian Huskies are hard-working dogs that need guidance and leadership to be happy. A lot of working dogs need to have a role in the household, and actively “work” for them to be content.
Siberian Huskies are just like this, and it goes for training too. Huskies can be very unruly and training should be a top priority the first day any Husky is brought home. Huskies have a strong sense of hierarchy and they need a pack leader to train them skills and general obedience.
With that being said, Huskies also happen to be very defiant and stubborn. Making them “too much dog” for most beginner dog owners. Like the heading goes, I like to be told what to do, but don’t tell me what to do! This sums up the Husky personality, perfectly.
Siberian Husky Fact Chart. Physical Traits, Appearance, Personality, Behavior & General Information
|Size:||Medium Sized Breed|
|Height:||Male: 21 – 23.5 Inches|
Female: 20 – 22 Inches
|Weight:||Male: 45 – 60 lbs|
Female: 35 – 50 lbs
|Recognition:||AKC: Working Group|
|Coat:||Medium length, thick, double-coated|
|Color:||Varies from white, gray, agouti, black and shades of red|
|Eye Colors:||Blue, Brown,|
|Ears:||Triangle shaped, pointed upright|
|Cost to Buy:||$800 – $2000 In some cases even more expensive. Many factors at play|
|Age When Fully Grown||Upto 24 months, some males can fill out until 36 months|
|Preferred Climate:||Cold, but very adaptable, capable of living in hot countries|
|Exercise Requirements:||Minimum of 2 hours of intense exercise per day|
|Intelligence:||Medium to high intelligence|
|Trainability:||Difficult to train. Stubborn & mischevious|
|Obedience:||Obedient but very stubborn & independant|
|Sociability:||Naturally sociable & loves company both human and canine|
|Friendliness:||Naturally very friendly|
|Energy Level:||Very high|
|Destructivness:||If untrained and left alone, very destructive|
|Common Health Issues||Cataracts|
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Siberian Husky Appearance and Physical Stats
Male: 21-24 inches. Female: 20-23 inches
Male: 45 – 60 lbs. Female: 35 – 50 lbs
Colors can range from black, white, greys, reds, coppers and Silver
Medium Fur. Huskies typically shed their undercoat 2 times per year usually upon seasonal changes. Some huskies may just shed their undercoat 1 time per year.
Huskies are friendly and good with children. They are highly intelligent but are known for the stubbornness.They don’t actually make great guard dogs due to being so friendly and welcoming even to strangers. Need human company and firm training from puppyhood. Naturally clean dogs which do not usually have strong dog odors.
Life Expectancy: 12 – 15 years.
Daily Exercise Needs: Recommended at least 1 hour… But 2 hours is much preferred for adult Huskies.
AKC Recognition: Working Dog Group
UKC Recognition: Northern Breed Group
Siberian Husky Temperament
Siberian Huskies are working dogs. They have high energy levels and come to life when put through intense exercise. Despite their wolf-like appearance, huskies are very friendly and affectionate. They love human company and are also good with kids. They’re not great guard dogs and will likely befriend intruders upon arrival.
Huskies are not possessive or aggressive with other dogs or people. They’re also not overly suspicious upon the presence of a new dog or person.
Huskies are highly intelligent and can be trained extensively. However, along with their high intelligence, can also be high levels of stubbornness. This generally changes and not every husky is stubborn. If proper training is given from puppyhood then the stubborn behavior can be avoided.
The History of Siberian Huskies
The Husky was initially called the Siberian Chukchi. The Native Chukchi Tribe located in a remote place called the Yakutsk Region in North-East Asia was responsible for developing this breed of working dog around 3000 years ago. The name was later changed and recognized as the “Arctic Husky” and then finally the “Siberian Husky”
Siberian Huskies were used to help the Chukchi Tribe pull sleds and heavy loads across long distances in challenging weather conditions. It is said that the tradition of the tribe was to castrate all of the weakest out of the pack. This was to promote genetic improvement through the reproduction of only the strongest individual dogs. When the Huskies were not busy working and pulling loads across harsh weather conditions, they were cared for by the women, which in turn made them not only a working dog, but a compassionate, human loving dog. To this day huskies are great with people and also children.
The tribe along with their huskies made their way from Siberia across the Bering Straights eventually reaching Alaska in 1908, Canada and then the United States. In 1908-1909 during the Nome Gold Rush in Alaska, Huskies were used primarily for sled pulling and sled dog racing. Over the next decade Huskies were noticed by Americans and Canadians for their exceptional abilities in strength, endurance and speed, and thus became a phenomenon in sled racing and teams of the best Siberian Huskies dedicated solely for competing in races became a well-known and accepted thing.
Siberian Huskies Saved an Entire Population of an Alaskan Town
In 1925 the small town of Nome was at risk of a Diphtheria epidemic. The best Husky sled teams came to the rescue consisting of around 20 mushers and up to 150 sled dogs. An epic relay sled team covering 674 miles across Alaska commenced and the huskies carried the life-saving Diphtheria Antitoxin and other medical supplies in just five and a half days, in time to save the town of Nome from a widespread epidemic.
This was known as the historic “Serum Run” and rightfully catapulted Huskies into the spotlight and media across the United States. The breed became very well respected and earned a heroic status. A statue stands of “Balto” the lead sled dog of the last relay bringing the serum to Nome in Central Park, New York City, in memory of all of the sled dogs that participated in the grueling relay.
Important Facts For Future Husky Owners
Siberian Huskies need intense physical exercise on a daily basis. Preferably 2 hours per day, 1 hour in the morning and 1 hour in the evening of running, chasing, hiking, agility training, sled pulling and anything else intensive. Huskies can run 100 miles per day.
It’s extremely likely that if exercise requirements are not met, they can be very destructive and disobedient. Training will become much harder and your Husky can be seriously affected by a lack of physical stimulation.
Siberian Huskies shed a lot
Huskies have thick double-layered coats that shed twice per year (usually). This happens before big seasonal weather changes. Shedding periods can last a few weeks and you will need to provide extra grooming for your husky during these moments. Year-round malting is guaranteed.
The undercoat of your Husky is soft and warm, designed to be a great insulator of body heat. This is the coat that sheds. The topcoat of your Husky is usually longer, tougher and more coarse, designed to provide protection against the wind, UV sun rays, dirt, and insects. This layer does not shed.
It’s true that Huskies aren’t big eaters
Huskies have a small appetite and are not big eaters in general. A Husky will not eat after they are full or close to full. They will leave the food in the bowl without finishing it in most cases.
Huskies lived most of the existence during times where food was not readily available. However, this didn’t change the amount of work they had to do. Siberian Huskies would be pulling sleds for most of the day and they wouldn’t have had that much food. This way of living led them to develop an extremely efficient metabolism that can generate tonnes of energy, on only a small amount of food.
Eating issues in Huskie are quite common. On top of this, they have naturally sensitive stomachs which many owners a long time to properly manage.
Intelligent, but hard to train
Huskies can be trained to a high level but it will require time and a solid training routine with a firm trainer (or yourself). Huskies should be trained from the day they’re brought home. They need guidance and leadership and thrive when they know what to do and how to behave.
Huskies can be quite stubborn and defiant, which makes them a hard breed to train. In the beginning, Huskies will test their owner’s patience to the limits and this will require a strong person to remain calm consistent and positive.
Once properly trained, the Siberian Husky is a truly fantastic breed in every aspect you could wish for. Though it won’t be an easy road to get there.
Huskies still have a big prey drive
Huskies have a big prey drive and this can never be fully trained against. If a husky see’s another small animal no matter what it is, even another dog suddenly move quickly in front of them, their natural hunting instinct WILL kick in and they will chase.
Despite this, it is common and acceptable to live harmoniously with a Husky and a cat, and this is the case for millions of households around the world. But it will require a lot of training and consistency on your part to get to this stage.
You’ll need to pay them a lot of attention
Huskies are very affectionate and crave attention. They have actually been voted the No.1 most attention-seeking breed of dog. If you’re considering getting a husky you need to be able to give a lot of your time and attention to them. If you work long hours every day, a husky may not be good for you.
Some people think because Huskies are stubborn and independent, it means they don’t need you and that they are ok with their own company. This is untrue and Huskies, in particular, develop seperation anxiety very quickly. This is something very important to consider if you’re thinking of getting a Husky.