Siberian Husky: A Breed Guide
The Elegant Siberian Husky: A Breed Guide
Bright, beautiful eyes, pointed ears, and a fluffy coat are characteristic of Siberian huskies. This breed of dog is certainly pleasing to the eye, but huskies are about more than just their aesthetics. These dogs are intelligent and hardworking, personality traits that can make them a challenging and rewarding companion for their owners. Is a husky the right fit for you?
Siberian huskies originated in the Northeast Asia, bred by the Chukchi people, according to The Spruce Pets. Over the years, huskies have made a name for themselves as superior sled dogs. Eventually, the breed made its debut in the United States. Siberian husky Balto even has a statue in his honor in Central Park, commemorating the dog’s heroic journey to deliver medicine to children in Nome, Alaska.
Built for Endurance
As sled dogs, huskies have an incredible amount of endurance. Males of the breed can weigh up to 60 pounds, while females are smaller, weighing 35 to 50 pounds, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC). These working dogs have an expected lifespan of 12 to 14 years.
The lithe, muscular body of the Siberian husky is covered with a thick, fluffy coat. You can expect layers of the coat to shed a few times a year, but overall, the husky does a good job of self-cleaning. The breed has less of a typical “doggy” smell, and you really only need to bathe your pup if he or she gets particularly dirty on one of your outdoor adventures.
What to Expect at Home
Huskies are an easily recognizable breed, but the frenzy around HBO’s “Game of Thrones” threw even more of a spotlight on the breed. Suddenly, tons of people were looking to bring home their very own dire wolf. While dire wolves are actually extinct, huskies look pretty close. Unfortunately, not everyone did their research.
Huskies are a high-maintenance breed that requires extensive training and daily, rigorous exercise. Following the popularity of the show, dog shelters across the country experienced an influx of unwanted huskies, according to the AKC.
If you are thinking about choosing a husky, consider your ability to give the dog what he needs. Siberians need regular mental and physical stimulation to be happy and well-behaved. These dogs are also known escape artists. Do you have access to a fenced area where they can safely run off-leash? Plus, huskies are social, pack animals. Leaving one at home all day while you work is not an ideal situation.
If you have the time and energy to keep up, a husky can be a wonderful addition to the family. Well-trained huskies can learn to get along with children and other pets.
When it comes time to select your husky, spend the time to find a reputable breeder or look for a pup with a local rescue organization. Free Spirit Siberian Rescue and Raven’s Husky Haven and Rescue are both located in Illinois.
Written by Carrie Pallardy