Perhaps one of the most iconic dogs of all time, Siberian Huskies are large, gentle animals that quickly adapt to any home. The medium size working breed hails from the frozen tundra, a past that makes them both energetic and independent.
Huskies need to be active. They take well to the great outdoors, especially in forested or mountainous regions, and enjoy running in wide open spaces. Daily walks and other games are a must with the breed.
Though some assume all huskies are the same, there is a marked difference between the Alaskan and Siberian Husky. Siberians are purebred, while Alaskans are not. Alaskan Huskies are also faster.
However, both dogs have distinct husky markings and come in a range of colors, such as the Red Husky, Brown Husky, and Copper Husky. The White Siberian Husky and Black Siberian Husky are two of the most common Husky coat colors, but Tan Huskies and Blue Huskies exist as well.
The dogs are incredibly social. Not only do they love the company of humans, but they get along with all other breeds as well. The canines thrive in packed houses and actively feed off of high-energy situations.
Height: 20 to 24 inches
Weight: 40 to 60 pounds
Life Span: 12 to 15 years
Colors: Brown, Red, Grey, White, Black, Piebald, Agouti, Splash, Silver, Sable, Copper, Black & Tan
1. Personality & Temperament
Siberian Huskies are loving dogs with sweet personalities. They enjoy humans and will actively bond with their owner whenever they get the chance.
However, as they are northern dogs, huskies love to move in open spaces. Always be careful about letting your husky run free.
The canines are extremely energetic animals that love to spend time outdoors. As such, they need constant exercise are much more comfortable zooming around than being trapped inside.
When you do bring them indoors, it is best to give them an indestructible dog bed that can withstand extended use.
Huskies are generally quiet animals. While they may check out strangers or investigate potential threats, they do not bark in the way smaller dogs do. They will howl, however, and that is something you always want to be aware of when bringing the breed into your home.
2. How to Care for a Siberian Husky
Though Siberian Huskies do not consume as much food as other large breeds, they do need a lot of nutrients to stay active. The playful dogs should eat a diet full of meat proteins to fuel their active lifestyle.
You can give your Siberian Husky raw food, dry food, wet food, or a combination of all three. As long as you use high-end brands like the ones in this guide, your husky will stay healthy.
Just be sure to always purchase kibble or wet food that comes with at least two meats in addition to a vegetable or fruit.
Though it can be tempting to feed your husky like a normal dog, their bodies are great at utilizing fuel. The canines typically only need two meals a day, and they will likely skip feeding every now and then.
The long-haired Siberian Husky is a two-coat breed. To keep both layers vibrant, you need to brush and bathe your pup quite often. They can be groomed anywhere from once a week to once a month depending on how much activity they get.
Regular brushing keeps your Husky’s shedding in check, while grooming prevents dander and oil build-up. Even if you have a short haired husky, it is important to follow this regiment.
Once each year, Huskies will shed their entire undercoat. During that time, it is extremely important to give them daily brushings to make sure they never shed out of control. Premium clippers for thick coats can go a long way as well.
The canines are some of the most active breeds on Earth, which is the reason for the long husky lifespan. The dogs need space to run and they love being outdoors whenever possible.
The breed enjoys long, extended walks. You should go out for about forty five minutes to an hour at a time. That will give your pup the exercise they need while giving them plenty of spaces to explore.
Due to their nature, the dogs love running along hiking trails and traversing tricky terrain. They also like games of chase and will actively run with their owner.
As huskies hail from the isolated tundra, they love to be on their own. That makes them easy to raise, but it also means they aren’t easy to train.
You have to be extremely consistent when working with your husky. The dogs are intelligent, and will easily become distracted if they don’t get a firm routine.
It is important to be stern with your husky, but not overbearing. The dogs like a mental challenge and will engage with learning, but only if you present it in a fun and friendly way.
Getting one of the best dog crates helps with training as well.
3. Common Health Issues of the Siberian Husky
Many ask, “how long do Huskies live?” The answer, thanks to their long, lean bodies, is quite a while. The Siberian Husky life expectancy ranges from 12 to 15 years.
However, they are not invincible and are still prone to other problems seen in many large dog breeds.
Siberian Huskies are extremely prone to eye problems. The canines tend to develop cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), and corneal dystrophy. All three of those conditions hinder eyesight and can lead to blindness if left untreated.
Eye conditions quickly grow out of control is not caught early. It is key to take your husky in for regular check-ups to ensure you get out ahead of their health.
Hypothyroidism is another common issue for Siberian Huskies. The condition occurs when your dog’s thyroid gland has an abnormal amount of secretion.
While this issue is not lethal, it does lead to a range of long-term problems that affect common husky traits. Dogs with the condition typically gain weight, lose fur, grow bald spots, and sleep a lot.
As with humans, dogs need zinc to survive. Unfortunately, Siberian Huskies suffer from zinc deficiency much more than other breeds. This condition typically manifests in hair loss around the elbows, eyes, chin, and lip.
Supplements can fix this issue, as can a general change to diet. However, always consult your vet before making any broad shifts to what your dog eats at home.
Siberian Huskies are at high risk for follicular dysplasia as well. This common health problem leads to abnormal hair growth, hair loss, and infectious skin.
It affects husky puppies between 3 and 4 months of age and, while it is easy to detect, there is no treatment. Rather, you can manage it through special shampoos and antimicrobials.
4. Children & Other Pets
Huskies are large dogs with a lot of energy. That leads people to ask “are huskies aggressive?” and “are huskies good with kids?”
Despite their inherent energy, the dogs are fantastic companions for kids of all ages. They love to play and will have hours of fun playing fetch or other games with your children.
Huskies also get along with other breeds. The canines, while not social, do not mind having other animals to play with. They thrive in homes with multiple dogs, especially if those dogs are their size.
The breed, however, does not do as well with smaller pets. Their hunting nature often causes them to chase cats, birds, and rodents.
5. The History of the Siberian Husky
There are many interesting Siberian Husky facts to cover when analyzing the breed. The dogs were first developed as sled pullers by the Chukchi tribe some 3,000 years ago in what is now Siberia.
The dogs stayed in the north for centuries, and did not arrive in America until the early 1900’s. At that time, there were used as racing dogs in Alaska.
From there, the breed gained popularity as both work and show dogs in all sorts of cold weather environments. The full blooded husky then gave way to other types of huskies, including the American husky.
The dogs, including the Siberian Husky mix, became more and more popular as the years went on. They picked up a lot of steam after World War Two ended.
It was at that time they exploded across America, where they were cherished for a combination of their sweet nature and fun-loving personality.
6. The Regular Expenses of Owning a Siberian Husky
Purebred Siberian Huskies breeders go for between $600 and $1300. Though there are some outside that range, the average price falls around $750.
7. Siberian Husky Rescue Groups
There are many groups and organizations dedicated to matching huskies with potential owners.