The Siberian Husky comes from a long line of working sled dogs which contributes to their cleverness and high-athletic ability with a seemingly never-ending endurance and stamina level. This Husky must get early socialization, ongoing training, and an equal balance of physical and mental activities.
If the Siberian Husky is not paired with an experienced dog owner, they can quickly become destructive, stubborn, and excessively vocal. On the other hand, if paired with a confident alpha-leader owner, the Siberian Husky is a gentle, affectionate, well-behaved breed.
History of the Siberian Husky
The Siberian Husky is believed to be one of the oldest sled dogs in the world, close to its cousin—the Alaskan Malamute. The Siberian Husky is also one of the oldest dog breeds originating from the first dog, also known as a ‘basal breed.’
It is not fully known how Siberian Huskies have been working dogs far back in history. However, they were put to work sledding hundreds of miles over ice and snow for the oldest people in the world.
However, the first claimed Siberian Husky is believed to have been bred by the Chukchi tribe of Northeast Asia.
In 1909, the Huskies were brought to race in The All-Alaska Sweepstakes. However, they did not become famous until their rescue in 1925 when they sled 340 miles for a life-saving serum due to a pandemic known as diphtheria.
Since then, Siberian Huskies have been used for fighting in war, for search and rescue, and as police dogs for other working tasks.
The Siberian Husky is known as a sled dog, fully equipped with power, intelligence, and beauty. Although their beauty is the first to notice, this breed quickly challenges an inexperienced dog owner without further evaluation of the Husky’s temperament.
The Siberian sled dog ranges from 35=60 pounds, standing approximately 20 to 23 inches tall. Their thick double-layer coat allows them to manage below freezing temperatures and is not classified as hypoallergenic.
Characteristics of the Siberian Husky
In the early days of the Siberian Huskies’ existence, they stayed home (when they weren’t working) to help care for children and protect women. They have high exercise needs, high intelligence, and are incredibly playful and energetic.
Hence the need for an experienced dog trainer parent as the Siberian Husky tends to have their own mind.
Unless the Husky has grown up with another pet, it is not a good idea to get another during their adult years as the Husky’s prey drive is exceptionally high. However, a well-trained and socialized Husky will adapt to strangers and are generally a friendly and acceptable pet.
Originated from Siberia, this Husky comes in many colors ranging from black, gray, tan, and white, with stunning markings. It is not uncommon for a Husky to obtain one blue eye and one brown. Perhaps the Siberian Husky’s eyes are what captures most people’s hearts as they signify a deep ocean blue.
The Siberian Husky is longer than it is tall, which still puts them a medium-sized dog. Most Siberian Huskies are black and white but have been seen in all colors with unique markings. Their coat is dense and straight, and rarely do they obtain bushy tails or legs.
Temperament and Personality
The difference between temperament and personality is that a temperament stems from genetic history, a series of traits passed down from mother and father. Personality accompanies learning and growing into oneself through experience and upbringing.
Some of the main temperaments a Siberian Husky obtains are:
- Tendency to howl and bark (rarely bark, rather howl a lot)
- Sensitive (prone to separation anxiety)
- Reasonably adaptable (prefer things to remain the same)
- Extremely friendly, provided adequate training and socialization
- High-prey drive
As for personality, you can generally expect your Siberian Husky to behave with:
Temperament and personality are not one-size-fits-all. However, the above characteristics are what you can expect in the typical Siberian Husky.
Siberian Husky Care
Caring for a Siberian Husky is not a difficult task as they don’t require special diet supplements to stay healthy. Although they need more grooming than the average dog, it’s only twice a year when Huskies shed a lot.
Perhaps the most challenging task for caring for your Husky is staying in an active routine provided with consistent training throughout their life.
Due to their high-energetic needs, the Siberian Husky is best suited for an active individual. Therefore, they should be taken for walks or runs regularly or have access to a sizeable high-fenced yard.
It is crucial to get your Siberian Husky puppy socialized during puppyhood. Otherwise, they will become territorial and aggressive. The Siberian Husky’s main hobby interest has mental exercises to fulfill, such as hide and seek.
Without mental and physical exercise, this breed will become bored as they are notorious diggers and chewers.
Like most dogs, the Siberian Husky will significantly benefit from basic puppy training, such as behavior and attitude training. Since the Siberian Husky is a pack dog, they need an alpha-minded owner.
When a Siberian Husky becomes pushy or tests alpha limits, the best thing to do is ignore the behavior and reward once the attitude stops.
Your Husky needs to know that you are in control of everything, so making them wait for toys, food, and treats is the best way to help them associate that you are the boss.
Your Siberian Husky will likely become destructive out of boredom and resemble signs of disrespect as they test for dominance without proper training. This behavior can quickly get out of control—which is the main result as to why more Huskies are impounded.
While all dogs should be properly socialized for a well-rounded and well-mannered dog, the importance of socialization in the Siberian Husky cannot stop just at puppyhood.
The purpose of socialization is to help your Husky become accustomed to new sights, sounds, situations, smells, and people so that they can recognize the world as a comfortable environment.
Socialization needs to start within the first eight weeks of puppyhood. A good rule of thumb is to introduce them to 100 new things and people within the first eight weeks of life.
The goal of socialization is to desensitize your Husky to things that may appear threatening or challenging. As your Husky matures, you’ll need to continue socialization to prevent fearful situations, ensuring your dog will be well-mannered.
Grooming a Siberian Husky is a hefty task as they obtain a thick undercoat and a thick layer of top-coat hair. Two times a year, they experience “blowing coat. “During spring and fall, it will look as if it’s snowing inside your home.
While it can become overwhelming, tools such as de-shedding and a bristly brush will keep the hair and fur in check. It’s best to brush your Siberian at least two times a week. During the blowing coat seasons, a deshedder coupled with a brush can be used to keep the hair at bay.
When it comes to trimming, your Huskies’ nails need to be trimmed during puppyhood to allow them to get used to the feeling. Never trim too close to the quick. As for bathing, the Siberian Husky keeps themselves reasonably clean, so a bath is only needed if they are visually dirty.
Diet and Nutrition
While the Siberian Husky should have high-quality dog food, they don’t need nearly as much as other dog breeds do due to their size and history. The most appropriate serving for a mature Siberian Husky is approximately two cups of dry food twice daily.
The Chukchis fed their sled dogs little food throughout the day to have just enough energy to run long distances quickly on a light load of dog food.
When it comes to diet and nutrition, it’s best to check in with your vet, so they can diagnose how much depends on the size and activity of your Husky.
Siberian Husky Health Overview
Fortunately, the Siberian Husky does not have many genetic health problems. However, like most medium to large-sized dogs, it is best to become aware of some diseases that few Huskies are prone to:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Corneal Dystrophy
If you’re thinking of adopting a Husky, it’s always a good idea to search for an experienced breeder. However, the following questions are what many pre-Husky owners ask.
Is a Siberian Husky a wolf?
No, Siberian Huskies are not wolves. However, they can mate with wolves, making them a wolf hybrid. A Siberian Husky is none other than a distant cousin to the wolf species.
How cold can a Siberian Husky handle?
Siberian Huskies can tolerate below-freezing temperatures of -75F(-59C). In many pictures and history stories, the Siberian Husky was explicitly bred for sledding in cold temperatures on freezing ice and snow.
Do Siberian Huskies make good pets?
With early enough socialization, basic training, and challenging mental and physical activity, the Siberian Husky makes an excellent pet, especially with children and family households.
On the other hand, this breed can get out of hand without adequate training and early socialization as they strive for dominance and power.
How long do Siberian Huskies live?
The lifespan of a healthy Siberian Husky ranges between 12 and 15 years. While the oldest recording states that a Siberian Husky has lived to be 18 years old, no record states a Husky outliving 20 or more years.
Most people are attracted to the Siberian Husky due to their impressive beauty, from their colorful long, healthy coats to their beautiful blue or golden eyes.
While the breed needs an alpha-minded owner to state dominance and control, the inexperienced owner will have difficulty being challenged by the Husky’s clever and playful nature.
In conclusion, the Siberian Husky makes for a great family companion, with little care needs and the ability to adapt well in any situation—given proper guidance and socialization.
Perhaps the most challenging experience of owning a Siberian Husky is undergoing training, as this breed has a stubborn side with the ability to think for itself and trail off towards its independence.