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The Siberian husky is thought to have descended from the first sled dogs used by the Chukchi. During the non-shedding season, it is generally easy to groom. However, in times when it experiences the process called 'blowing coat,' its grooming regimen becomes more demanding. This breed is friendly, mischievous, and intelligent. Its temperament does not require a lot of space, but it thrives on an environment that allows it to run and be active. It is recommended for people with active lifestyles as it has high exercise needs and loves working.
Do you want to own a Siberian husky? Here is a brief background of the sled-pulling, snow-loving dog.
The Siberian husky is believed to be a descendant of the first sled dog, which is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. It is said to have originated amongst the Chukchi, a tribe inhabiting the northeasternmost part of Siberia. Known for its stamina and strength, the Siberian husky is utilised both as a transportation dog and a family dog, helping families survive through harsh and unforgiving conditions to make transport possible and supplies available.
In 1908, the Siberian husky breed was brought to Alaska to be used as sled dogs and later participated in popular long-distance dog-sled races, including the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race—an annual event to celebrate the six-hundred-mile delivery of the diphtheria serum, saving the epidemic-stricken city of Nome, Alaska, in 1925. The long-range relay of mushers ultimately brought fame to the breed. Until today, the Siberian husky’s role includes arctic search and rescue operations, but it is also considered an excellent family pet. The breed is officially recognised by the Kennel Club in the UK.
This sled-pulling working dog is of medium size, quick and light on its feet, moving with smooth and effortless gait. A Siberian husky typically weighs 35–60 pounds and is 20–24 inches in height. Its body is compact and well-furred with a medium-length double coat comprised of dense cashmere-like undercoat and straight, coarse topcoat. It has a slightly arched back with large ears pointing straight up. Its eyes are almond-shaped and oblique with colours of blue or brown. This breed’s physical characteristics largely suggest its Northern heritage and reflect power, speed, and endurance—perfect for long-distance sled race.
The Siberian husky sheds throughout the year, a process called 'blowing coat' which requires a lot of grooming. Outside of the shedding season, it is easy to groom. Occasionally brush its coat with a slicker brush, trim the nails, and regularly brush its teeth two to three times a week using a vet-approved toothpaste. Make sure to have its ears checked weekly for redness or odour that may suggest infection. To keep the natural oils in Siberian husky’s skin and coat, the use of high-quality shampoo is needed.
Grooming isn’t necessarily a fun activity for dogs, so make it a positive experience early on. When you do your weekly exam, make sure it’s filled with rewards and praises to lay the groundwork for a positive experience during veterinary check-ups.
The Siberian husky is a charming, mischievous, intelligent, and loyal companion. It is friendly and not overly suspicious of people and other dogs. If you’re looking for a guard dog, a Siberian husky is not for you. It is a highly active and playful dog with a sense of humour, which means your days will be full of action. It is also a bit unruly that it tends to dig and bury things. However, do not think of it as a destructive behaviour. It is only acting on centuries-old instinct. If you don’t want it digging anywhere, make sure you train it early on to dig in a specific spot.
When it comes to its living quarters, this dog breed’s temperament may not require a lot of space. But still it needs more than a small apartment in a crowded neighbourhood to release those energies. The Siberian husky will need enough room to run, take long walks, or hike. It loves exploring, so it is the best companions for people with an active lifestyle. However, due to its playfulness, a Siberian Husky’s interaction with kids must be supervised to avoid accidental injuries. It can have a very high prey drive that is challenging to curb, so it is best to avoid smaller pets like birds and rodents.
Training a Siberian husky is quite easy because it is smart and performs well in obedience tasks. Also because Siberian Husky is a pack dog, it acknowledges leadership especially if it recognises the owner as its leader.
Like every breed, Siberian husky has predispositions of temperament and intelligence. If you want your Siberian puppy to grow up to be a kind and obedient dog, expose it to different people and experiences when it is young.
Compared to dogs of similar size, a Siberian husky requires a minimal amount of food per day.
A typical serving for an adult Siberian husky is 1.5–2 cups of high-quality dry good or specially formulated raw diet daily, divided into two meals.
Husky owners need to understand that dogs, in general, need little carbohydrates and with huskies, almost none. Other than a plant-based diet of fruits and vegetables, it should only be fed with meat (including organ meat), fat, and bone meal.
Typical calorie needs of a Siberian husky:
Like any dog breed, the amount, frequency, and type of food depend on its age, size, build, activity level, and metabolism.
The Siberian husky is generally healthy with a lifespan of twelve to fifteen years. But like all breeds, it is predisposed to certain health conditions like hip dysplasia and eye diseases. The most problematic eye disease is cataract, affecting 10 per cent of the breed and often develops to blindness by three years old. Other eye problems include corneal dystrophy and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). It is also prone to other health issues such as hpothyroidism, heart disease, epilepsy, and laryngeal paralysis.
Since the Siberian husky is an active breed, regular exercise is a must. Too much inactivity will cause it to think of activities that you might not consider acceptable. Activities such as lead and obedience training are good for its physical and mental health. When safe to do so, let huskies run. Running will help it burn off some energy. During winter, you can harness its natural ability to go sledding in the snow.
Owning a dog requires a financial commitment because unlike other pets, the expenses don’t end at buying food and basic equipment. A rough estimate in raising and caring for a Siberian husky can be around £80 to £120 a month. High-quality food will cost up to £70 per month or £840 a year. A basic insurance policy will be around £20 a month and could rise to £50 a month for a lifetime policy. You also have to factor in equipment like beds, leashes, bowls, grooming kits, and others.
The importance of annual preventive care cannot be stressed out enough. Whilst some would find annual vaccination, deworming, and flea costs expensive, even useless, it will save owners thousands of pounds in the long run. Veterinary treatments for diseases that could have been prevented would cost £2,000 or more.
Your total monthly costs will depend on the type of insurance cover you purchase, and this does not even include the initial expenses of buying a pedigree husky puppy.
Are you sure the Siberian Husky is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.Dog Breed Selector Quiz
Still undecided whether a Siberian husky is a suitable dog for you? Try our Pet Finder to find out which breeds are best for you and your family.
18th Aug 2019
Reading Time: 5 minutes
Heroic dog stories never fail to stir our emotions, and this time the limelight of the story goes to none other than the Siberian husky. This article recounts tales in history where huskies saved thousands of people from a deadly outbreak to today’s times where they remain not only our best friends but our saviours as well.
14th Jan 2019
Reading Time: 4 minutes
By definition, husky refers to well-built dogs with thick coats that allowed them to adapt well in Arctic regions. These dogs used to pull sleds either for transportation or racing. In general, huskies are considered as the sled-type of dogs.