About the Siberian Husky Dog Breed
Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute and Samoyed are all dogs descended from Siberian Arctic sled dogs that were bred to tolerate extreme temperatures, pull sleds and provide companionship. They are ANCIENT breeds, with their lineage originating in Siberia, dating back over 4000 years. A husky is NOT a hybrid wolf, however, DNA evidence suggests they share some lineage with grey wolves! They have evolved separately from wolves for thousands of years.
Siberian Huskies were first brought to the Americas (to Alaska, specifically) in the early 1900’s for use as sled dogs — and boy did they make a name for themselves! Their ability to pull sleds quickly and efficiently made them the ideal animal for such a position. They were officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1930.
A Siberian Husky has a thick double coat that comes in many colors. White markings are usually present on the face, paws, legs and tip of the tail.They can have the brightest blue eyes but Heterochromia-or eyes of two different colors-is fairly common among Huskies.
Siberian Husky Temperament
The Siberian Husky is generally not a barking dog but instead, tends to howl. Fences and barriers are usually ineffective at keeping these dogs “locked-up”. They are great at digging under or jumping over walls and fences. They will even chew through a barrier if they can! They are a high energy breed and if their exercise needs are not met, they can become destructive. Bred as sled dogs, they have the need to belong to a “pack” and will need to feel a part of the environment they are in. They will want to be in the middle of all family activities. They are generally friendly with strangers and may not make the best watch dogs! They socialize well with children but tend not to be good with other small animals as they have a high prey drive. With consistent training, though, they may develop a tolerance for other small animals.
Siberian Husky Training
Siberian Huskies usually react well to the “pack” leader. As the dog’s owner you must insure that you become the leader. Training and rules must be consistent and firm but never harsh. Treating your dog with aggression will get you aggression or a broken spirit in return! This breed has been called “escape artists” for their ability to gain “freedom” from fences, enclosures and houses. They will bolt out the front door if not trained to sit and stay when the door is opened. Huskies are natural diggers…you will have holes in your yard! Supervise them and provide them a place to dig if possible. Stopping a Husky from wanting to dig is a difficult task. They are also climbers and will climb a 6 foot fence and possibly an 8 foot fence to get to the other side! As pack animals, this breed can be protective of their territory and food bowl. Once again, this is a natural instinct of the breed, and should be taken into account. Consistent positive reinforcement training works best and, as this breed craves and needs daily vigorous exercise, training and learning can be coupled with physical activity.
Siberian Husky Health and Care
The Siberian Husky has a thick double coat that will need to brushed weekly and when shedding heavily, daily. Obviously, due to this permanent “winter coat” they wear, the they should not be exposed to hot temperatures for any long period of time.
Overall, they Husky is a very healthy breed and do not have as many health issues as other dog breeds. Some issues that may arise are:
Hip Dysplasia is the top health concern for Huskies. This occurs when the femur does not not sit properly in the hip joint.
Eye Defects such as Hereditary Cataracts
Uveodermatologic Syndrome is an autoimmune disease that affects the eyes, skin, and nervous system and can result in permanent blindness.