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 breed comes in all colours and markings, including white, with some striking patterns being seen. Adult males stand at 53-60cm, females at 51-56cm. Adult males weigh 20-27kg, adult females 16-23kg.
- Category size: Medium
- Grooming requirements: More than once a week
- Shedding: Heavy
- Allergies: No
- Noise: Not too noisy
- Dog Group Kennel Club: Working
- Alone: 1 to 3 hours
- Other pets: Low
- Stability as a guard: Low
The Siberian husky breed was employed by the Chukchis of the Kolyma River in Siberia during the 19th century. The fine temperament of the breed can possibly be acclaimed to the fine treatment of the Chukchis. As dog sledges were the principal means of transport, these huskies were of paramount importance to the natives. The first Siberian Huskies arrived in Alaska in the early 20th century, still known as Chukchis. Sled-racing then became popular at about the same time and the breed's speed amazed and inspired dog racers in the States. The Americans renamed the breed as Siberian Husky around that time.
The breed is known for its good temperament and its love of people means they don't make natural guard dogs. They love and need company and should not be left alone for long periods of time or they can become very destructive. They will be happy with other well-adjusted dogs but are keen and efficient hunters so contact with other household animals needs careful handling and training. Whilst they do not often bark, they will howl, often just for the joy of it!
The Siberian Husky is generally a healthy, hardy breed. However, as with many breeds, they can suffer from hereditary eye disorders and occasionally hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems). Eye testing and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important.
This breed does need a considerable amount of exercise but this must be done in a safe, enclosed area, or on a lead, as they do have a strong desire to run if free and cannot be relied upon to return on command. A well-fenced garden is a necessity and, as they can jump anything from a standstill, height is also important. An adult Siberian needs two-plus hours of exercise daily and an appropriate opportunity to run.
Your dog's diet needs to have the right balance of all the main nutrient groups including a constant supply of fresh water. It's important to conduct regular body condition scores to ensure you keep your dog in ideal shape and remember to feed him at least twice daily and in accordance with the feeding guidelines of his particular food.
Grooming is particularly easy: a brush and comb through two or three times a week normally, but daily grooming during the moulting period. This is a clean breed with little or no 'doggie' smell.