The Siberian Husky is an amazing sled dog bred in the Far North. It is unlikely that you will find any other breed whose representatives would share so many hardships and difficulties with a person, and the history of saving the city of Nome from the diphtheria epidemic will forever remain in the grateful human memory. Husky is the living embodiment of a canine mind, quick wit, devotion, and love for humans.
- Breed name: Siberian Husky
- Country of origin: Russia (according to FCI – USA)
- Breed origin: 1966
- Weight: males 20-28 kg, females 16-23 kg
- Height (height at the withers): males 53-60 cm, females 51-56 cm
- Life span: 12-15 years
- Husky has a cheerful, good-natured, and welcoming perception of people of all ages, a calm attitude towards strangers.
- These northern dogs are very understandable and open in communication.
- Sincere interest in learning new things, love for long walks, and even multi-day travel.
- Genetically determined good health.
- Excellent learning and training ability.
- Husky’s coat does not have a characteristic odor, the dog will not cause problems associated with allergic reactions.
- Husky is very laconic. He practically never barks, but howl like a wolf – it can.
- Gets along well with other dogs, but does not favor cowards.
- In relation to its size, it shows moderation in food intake.
- Among the shortcomings, one can note the Husky’s tendency to escape, excessive, sometimes even destructive activity (especially at a young age), a very strong stubborn character, a desire for leadership – and hence the possible problems during training.
History of the Siberian Husky Breed
Dogs of the Siberian Husky breed are able to fall in love with themselves at first sight. In their movements and gaze one can feel the charm of the wild, pristine nature, and the dazzling beauty of the endless snowy wastelands. This breed originated in Siberia and was widely used by the Chukchi tribes for various purposes. First of all, of course, as a sled dog.
However, the matter was not limited to this – these animals were reliable companions and companions of the Chukchi, they lived, ate, and slept with them in the same bed. These dogs were especially often put to bed with children to provide warmth and comfort on the cold Siberian nights. It is not known for certain now, but DNA tests tell us that the Siberian Husky is a very ancient dog.
Researchers believe that the breed arose as a result of the natural domestication of the wild wolf by the Chukchi tribes and their ancestors, at least 1000 years ago. The Chukchi treated and still treat their Huskies like full-fledged family members. Of course, with the amendment that this is still a dog and not a man.
For many years the Siberian Husky was used exclusively at home, however, in 1908, the first dog of this breed was transported to Alaska. Actually, this is how the Alaskan Husky appeared later – today it has some differences from the Siberian but carries a lot of similar features. In Alaska, these dogs have also become very popular, thanks to the amazing qualities of their character, endurance, physical strength, and ability to withstand danger together.
They began to be used especially widely during the gold rush when crowds of gold prospectors rushed to Alaska not only from America but from all over the world. In addition, many chose these dogs to compete in the 408-mile sled dog race – in fact, this is still the case today, albeit to a lesser extent.
It is believed that the last dog of this breed left their native places in 1930. In the same year, the Siberian Husky was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club as an independent breed, in 1938 the American Siberian Husky Club was founded. The Canadian Kennel Club recognized the breed a year later, in 1939.
The Siberian Husky is a large-sized dog with a muscular and proportionally folded body. The limbs are of medium length, the tail is fluffy, saber-shaped, often bent up, not docked, the coat is long. The muzzle resembles a wolf, but wider, the ears are erect of medium size, the eyes are blue. Sometimes one eye is blue and the other has a different color.
Coat and Color
The Husky’s coat is of medium length, which, creating the effect of good hairiness, does not interfere with seeing the lines of the body. The undercoat is soft, dense. The coat is straight and smooth, but by no means coarse and erect.
Color – from pure white to black. On the head, there are white markings, characteristic only of the Husky.
Friendliness, the liveliness of mind, and calm disposition are the main qualities of the Siberian Husky. The ancestors of modern animals, who devotedly served man for many centuries in the harsh conditions of the Far North, passed on to their descendants all that variety of distinctive character traits and behavior that so attract connoisseurs of this breed today.
Huskies, like true sled dogs, are very active and need good constant physical activity.
Representatives of this breed are not suitable for hunting enthusiasts, despite the presence of a rather strong instinct. For the Siberian Husky, this kind of fishing is one of the ways of food, and it will not share the prey (the dogs were fed only in winter, the rest of the time the team was on the grazing).
These northern dogs are gregarious animals, which has led to almost complete leveling of the instinct to protect their own territory, so such pets are completely unsuitable for the role of a watchman. The lack of aggression towards humans, even towards a stranger, also does not allow these dogs to be classified as guard dogs. Attempts to embitter the dog can only lead to permanent mental disorders of the animal.
Nature has endowed these amazing dogs with well-developed intelligence and the ability to make independent and often extraordinary decisions. Hence the difficulties that arise during training, when, with certain commands, a template algorithm of actions are required from the Husky. The use of representatives of the breed as service animals is not practiced.
The Siberian Husky is a companion dog. She is perfect for a large family, she will tenderly love all household members, although she recognizes only one leader and master. The attitude of these animals to children deserves special attention. It is difficult to find a more gentle, attentive, and affectionate friend for a child. Suffice it to recall that the Eskimos used Huskies even to heat newly born babies.
One of the unusual traits for dogs is the tendency of animals to run away. A door latch or a snap hook will not become an obstacle – to understand how they work for a pet is a matter of several days. Digging a hole under the fence, and if necessary, overcome a high obstacle is also not a problem. No one claims that your dog will systematically engage in such tricks, but you should not forget about this feature of the Husky.
In matters of upbringing and training the Siberian Husky, it is important to take into account that these dogs are by their nature working, but not service. Experts consider the breed to be a good and easily trained animal. But they will obey only the recognized leader and owner – you must become an indisputable authority for the pet.
Raising a puppy should be based on two main principles – rigor and fairness. The carrot and stick policy is unacceptable. An overly gentle attitude will spoil the baby, and cruelty will embitter the animal, which on occasion will surely take revenge on you.
You can start teaching and training a dog from the age of three months. The Siberian Husky is very smart, and if you fail to interest him, it will be difficult to achieve the result. And not because the animal does not understand you – no, he is simply not interested. The greatest effect is given by the training process, clothed in a playful form. These dogs are very sensitive to the very manner of giving commands, so correct intonation is very important. You must speak calmly, confidently, and clearly. Although at the same time, many owners of dogs of this breed note that Huskies respond better to a request than to order. In any case, each owner is looking for their own way to the heart and mind of their pet.
The education of any dog is impossible without a system of rewards and punishments. There are several Husky offenses that should be addressed immediately:
- aggressive behavior towards the owner;
- unreasonable hostility towards other dogs;
- actions that can harm the animal itself.
The best punishment method for the Siberian Husky is to demonstrate their strength and advantage. To do this, simply take the animal by the withers, press it to the floor, and hold it there until the dog stops resisting and calms down. Beating as a method of education is unacceptable.
It’s easier with awards. Always praise your dog for any correct action. If you are working with a puppy, you can enhance the praise with a piece of treat. The intonation should be different from the tone you are giving commands, but do not be overly emotional – Husky hates high, squeaky intonations.
How to Start Training a Puppy
- Recognizing your own name. The methods are quite simple. Call his name when you call your pet to a bowl of food, after waking the baby, gently stroke him, saying the nickname. The results will not belong in coming.
- Husky needs a leader, so from the first hours of your stay in your house let her know who is in charge here. And be careful – even when communicating with your family members, you must behave like an unquestionable authority, and the puppy must see this. Husky is very smart and will immediately feel if you let “relax” in relations with other members of the pack, and the dog perceives all household members just like that.
- Execution of the simplest commands: “Near!” and “Come to me!” achieved in the traditional way – with a delicious treat and praise.
- Many owners are worried about how to act in cases when the puppy reacts violently to the arrival of strangers into the house: it behaves annoyingly, gets underfoot, begs for food. The only answer is to ignore it. Do not iron, do not admire (Husky is just waiting for this), but simply do not notice. The method works flawlessly. The dog, realizing that he is not interesting to anyone, will very soon leave for the place.
Among the general recommendations for the upbringing and training of the Siberian Husky, the following can be distinguished:
- do not forbid your pet to communicate with other dogs;
- do not take the dog in your arms, especially holding it with your belly forward;
- do not tire the Husky by executing the same command many times in a row;
- respect your friend and treat him fairly.
Conditions of Detention and Care
When purchasing a Husky puppy, you should remember that he cannot stay in a confined space for a long time. Any attempt to make your pet an “apartment pet” is doomed to failure. Movement, active games, good physical activity, long walks – these are the elements of these magnificent animals.
In order for the energy of a dog, especially one living in an apartment, to be directed in the right direction, breed experts recommend loading the Siberian Husky in full. Otherwise, the livability of your home can be seriously affected. As one of the solutions, the option of keeping the dog in a cage can be considered. Accustomed to this state of affairs from an early age, the Husky will react calmly enough to this. Another thing is that for a loving owner the sight of a friend sitting behind bars will not arouse positive emotions at all, so the best way out is still seen to “load” the pet in such a volume that he simply did not have the strength for domestic pranks.
The country house also has its own characteristics. Remember that Huskies are dogs from rough lands, and being outdoors is not a burden for them. Many owners note that even in severe frosts, animals rest and sleep in the snow, and not in a booth – the spirit of the Arctic reminds of itself.
Be sure to equip your pet with a spacious aviary. For fencing, take a wire that is at least half a millimeter thick. It is better to lay the floor with natural stone because these dogs are great specialists in digging and will not fail to demonstrate their talent in this matter. If you think that the aviary is superfluous, make sure that the fence of your site is a reliable obstacle on the way of the Husky in his desire for research and long journeys.
What should be purchased before bringing a pet into the house? First of all, this is a couple of bowls for water and food, special “chewing” toys, a rug on which your friend will rest. A little later, you will need to buy items of equipment such as a collar, leash, and muzzle. A halter can also come in handy – even a child will be able to control the Siberian Husky with it.
Up to two months of age, the puppy is fed 6 times a day, up to 4 months – five, up to six months – four, then – three times a day. From ten months, it will be enough for a Siberian husky to eat twice, and an adult animal (over one and a half years old), depending on physical activity, eats once or twice a day.
Most experts agree that it is better to feed a four-legged friend with dry food and special canned foods. It must be premium and super-premium products. Cheap food contains a lot of starch, which is not very useful for these northern dogs.
Until the animals reach 10 months of age, a “puppy” type of food will be sufficient for normal development; for adult Husky, balanced food for breeds with high physical activity should be used.
Breeders recommend, even when using the highest quality feed mixtures, to closely monitor the condition of the dog in order to make adjustments to the menu if necessary.
It is somewhat more difficult to organize a nutritious diet for your Husky with natural products. Up to 60% of the diet should be meat (raw or slightly “cooked”). The best choices – beef, rabbit, and turkey – are possible, it is better not to mess with chicken because of the high risk of allergic reactions, pork and lamb should be completely excluded. Eggs, or rather egg yolk, boiled and raw, can be added to porridge a couple of times a week, vegetables are also useful, with the exception of potatoes. Dairy products are best given only in their acidic versions. Do not forget to add a little vegetable oil and fish oil to your feed.
No matter how varied you feed the Siberian Husky, you cannot do without vitamin preparations. Your veterinarian will tell you about their correct use.
Pet hygiene comes down mainly to grooming the coat, especially during molting, as well as controlling the condition of the teeth. To keep them white and smooth, clean the stone and plaque in a timely manner. This can be done both at home and in the clinic.
But the Huskies do not need to swim. Their fur is capable of self-cleaning and does not feel like a “dog spirit” from this dog. It is precisely water procedures that provoke the appearance of an unpleasant odor, which can lead to a violation of the fat balance of the skin and wool.
Proper care and maintenance is the key to your friend’s well-being and longevity.
As a true child of the high northern latitudes, the Siberian Husky is distinguished by good health. However, this does not mean that the owner should not monitor the condition of his pet. When purchasing a puppy, study the pedigree of its parents and check if there were any diseases transmitted at the genetic level in its family. For dogs of this breed, most often it can be diabetes mellitus or problems with the thyroid gland, some eye diseases (glaucoma, corneal dystrophy, cataracts), dysplasia of the hip joints. Sometimes Siberian Huskies suffer from epilepsy. It will not be possible to completely cure this disease, but competent care will reduce the number of attacks.
Timely and complete vaccination, careful monitoring of the condition of the dog will avoid most of the health problems.
It is recommended to periodically examine the ears, eyes, and teeth of the animal, to monitor the condition of its coat. Don’t ignore your Husky’s gait. Lameness can be the result of both muscle damage and incipient problems with the musculoskeletal system.
Monitor your dog’s weight. Obesity and wasting are both harmful.
Timely deworming is very important for the Siberian Husky, especially given the tendency of dogs of this breed to eat feces (any attempts should be strictly suppressed).
Keeping in mind your northern origin, try to choose the coolest and shady places during summer walks.
In case of any manifestations of indisposition, you should immediately contact your veterinarian.
With good care and maintenance, the Husky’s life span can be over 15 years.
How to Choose a Puppy
The main rule is that you can buy a baby only in specialized nurseries or from well-known breeders. This will give you much more assurance that the grown animal will fully meet breed standards and be in good health. Buying a Husky puppy online or in the market is completely excluded. Even if you are really offered a purebred baby, how can you check the conditions in which the dog was kept, how was the puppy, as well as its parents, fed? No one can guarantee you a correct and timely vaccination. And these are all the components of your pet’s future health.
Buying a Husky puppy from a breeder or nursery has other benefits as well. First, you get the opportunity to communicate directly with all the puppies in the litter, evaluate their character, temperament, and intelligence. Secondly, to gain for yourself a lot of important information about the behavior of animals, their diet, habits. An experienced and responsible breeder will definitely answer all your questions, ask why you have chosen the Siberian Husky, and give practical advice on care and maintenance. Thirdly, a puppy from a nursery or from a recognized breeder must have all the necessary accompanying documents, from a pedigree to a veterinary book with data on vaccinations and deworming performed.
A Siberian Husky puppy can be taken to your home at about two months of age. Try to see your baby, walk and play with him as often as possible. Many breeders recommend taking an older animal – the dog already has some skills and is more disciplined, and the new owner will have just a little less educational tasks at first.
It will also be useful to know that every Husky raised in the nursery has its own brand. It is usually placed on the inside of the ear or on the belly of the dog.