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Siberian Husky

These are medium-sized dogs whose proportions suggest a balance of power, speed and endurance. With a double-layered, medium-length coat, erect ears and a brush tail, this sled dog breed comes in all colours and markings, including white, with some striking patterns being seen.

The need-to-know
  • Dogs suitable for experienced owners
  • Extra training required
  • Need to be aware of potential health issues
  • Enjoys vigorous walks
  • Enjoys more than two hours of walking a day
  • Large dog
  • Minimum drool
  • Requires grooming daily
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Barks and alerts to visitors/anything unusual
  • Could have issues with unknown dogs but gets along with known dogs
  • May need additional training to live with other pets
  • May need additional supervision to live with children
  • Needs a large garden
  • Best suited to countryside
  • Cannot be left alone
This breed may encounter health problems

The Siberian Husky is generally a hardy breed but can be prone to:
- Hip dysplasia
- Glaucoma which is a painful condition where the pressure in the eye builds up. 
- Hereditary cataracts which is a condition where the lens in the eye becomes cloudy and this can result in blindness.
 
Priority Kennel Club health schemes and testing: 
- Hip dysplasia screening scheme 
- Eye testing for pectinate ligament abnormality to find out how likely the dog is to develop glaucoma .
- Eye screening scheme 

Key Facts

Lifespan: 12–15 years
Weight: 16–27kg
Height: 51–60cm
Colours: Black and white, grey, white, black, black and tan, silver, sable and white, grey and white, red and white
Size: Medium
Kennel Club group: Working

Ratings

Family-friendly: 5/5
Exercise needs: 5/5
Easy to train: 2/5
Tolerates being alone: 1/5
Likes other pets: 5/5
Energy level: 5/5
Grooming needs: 3/5
Shedding: 4/5
Husky sitting next to owner

Personality

The Siberian Husky is very much a working dog at heart - they are however friendly, gentle, and alert. They are not dogs who will ever shine in the obedience ring however - as they are independent, scorn training and are selectively bred for one purpose. They are active and agile - and as such can be difficult to keep as a companion dog. They are quiet most of the time as they don’t bark - but they do howl which is a joy for most huskies (but not their neighbours!).

Husky in the forest

History and Origins

Country of Origin: Russia

This is one of the oldest and purest of the northern sled dogs and it’s said that they have been bred in their native Siberia as long as 3000 years ago. To the natives of the area, these dogs were key to their survival and were selectively bred to be able to carry loads over long distances at great speeds. The dogs lived alongside the families and so only non-aggressive dogs that were friendly towards the children were used in this ancient breeding programme - along with only the very best sled dogs.

At the end of the 19th century, word of this ‘super dog’ reached the Americas and in 1909 a team of huskies were sent to take part in an Alaskan sled race - where they easily beat the larger but slower Malamutes who had until then dominated.

After the second world war, where the breed had been used as a search and rescue dog in the Arctic by the US military, the breed became increasingly popular and spread to Europe where it became a favourite for those with the space and ability to exercise and care for such a canine athlete.

did you know?

Did You Know?

  • The Siberian Husky was developed as a sled dog to carry light loads at high speeds over extremely long distances. During World War Two however they turned their paw to being search and rescue dogs working with the US military in the Arctic Circle.
  • When they sleep, Huskies are known to wrap their tails around their faces, this allows for their breath to warm their tail and keeps their nose and face protected from the cold.
  • A group of Siberian Huskies saved a small town in Nome, Alaska when they were affected by a very serious disease called diphtheria. The only antidote was hundreds of miles away in Anchorage and it was too treacherous to get there by any way other than dog and sled.
  • They have super friendly personalities and so they’re not very well suited to being watchdogs.
  • A Husky’s howl can be heard from 10 miles away!

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