Today’s siberian husky, alaskan malamute, chow chow, the tiny Pomeranian, and a number of other breeds in North America, were originally all developed in the northern areas of Europe and Asia. These spitz-type dogs were often bred with timber wolves to improve their heartiness in drastic conditions. The Siberian Husky, one of the breeds of working dogs, originated in northeastern Siberia and is smaller than the Alaskan malamute. In the early 20th century it was imported into Alaska, where it has been commonly used as a working sled or racing dog, watchdog, and pet. In recent years, because of its unusual cleanliness, gentleness, intelligence, and graceful appearance, the dog has become more popular in the U.S. as a pet.
The Siberian husky is a medium-sized dog; the male being 21 to 23.5” high at the shoulder and weighing 45 to 60 lb; the female being 20 to 22” at the shoulder and weighing from 35 to 50 lb. The Siberian husky has a double coat with the undercoat consisting of soft, thick fur, and the outercoat of soft, smooth hair that gives the dog a well-groomed appearance. The husky can be practically any color, usually gray, silver, black, red, brown, or tan with various shadings, particularly with lighter tones on the underbelly, legs, head, and face, but can be solid white also. This wolf-like dog has a medium-sized, rounded fox-like head; triangular shaped erect to semi- erect ears placed high on the head; almond shaped brown or blue eyes, sometimes with mixed colors; a strong, compact body; deep chest; strong, straight legs; and a bushy tail that trails when working or relaxed and is held up in a semi-curve when on alert.
Huskies are usually active dogs that need lots of exercise and love the great outdoors, especially in cool weather. They can have an independent attitude at times, so training them to do some type of working or pulling helps to keep them happy. They don’t necessarily need a large yard to run in, but it is preferable to have ample space for such an energetic dog. Any regular activity will keep their natural instincts and energy in check. As long as they are given adequate time and attention from their owners, they do fine in just about any setting.
Huskies are very intelligent as well as active. They are also very social animals and need to be included in family activities as much as possible. They are good natured, love to play, and being pack animals, need the companionship of another dog if their owners will be away for a good portion of the day. They are usually not aggressive with other dogs but may instinctively think cats and other small pets their prey. They are very intelligent and loyal animals, though they can be quite independent in nature. When trained correctly, the only discipline usually needed is a firm attitude and a strong voice. Being very social animals, they may be too friendly with strangers to have very good guarding instincts, though they can be trained to be good watchdogs. They are generally good natured with children and for many years even slept alongside children sleeping in igloos to help keep them warm. Digging and howling may likely need to be curtailed when young.
Siberian huskies are generally healthy animals and will live 12-15 years with proper care. They should be regularly wormed, vaccinated, properly sheltered, and fed with a good diet for longer life. Light weekly grooming is all that is needed, as this breed is unusually clean natured, though shedding is frequent. Huskies rarely need to be bathed or dipped. Cost of Huskies depends on registration or show quality status. Good purebred pet quality pups sell for about $300 without papers to about $600 with papers. Purebred show or breeding quality pups sell from between $500 -$1500, and should have papers. Huskies, being very sociable animals, are one of the most popular family pets today. Any family with a big heart has room for this loyal family companion and will do well to choose one, regardless of the status or cost.