Siberian Husky Guide

Working Dog Breeds

The Siberian husky combines power, speed and endurance, enabling it to carry a light load at moderate speed over a great distance. It is moderately compact, slightly longer than it is tall, and of definite Northern heritage. It is quick and light on its feet, with a smooth and effortless stride exhibiting both good reach and drive. It has a double coat of medium length, with a soft, dense undercoat and a straight, somewhat flat-lying outer coat. Its expression is keen but friendly, interested and even mischievous.

Fun-loving, adventurous, alert, independent, clever, stubborn, mischievous and obstinate — all describe the Siberian husky. This breed loves to run and will roam if given the chance. It may be aggressive toward strange dogs, but it is generally good with other household dogs. In fact, it is a very social dog that must have human or canine companionship. It may chase strange cats or livestock. Some howl, dig and chew.

AKC RANKING 23

FAMILY spitz, Northern (draft)

AREA OF ORIGIN Russia (Siberia)

DATE OF ORIGIN ancient times

ORIGINAL FUNCTION sled pulling

TODAY'S FUNCTION sled racing

AVERAGE SIZE OF MALE Height: 21-23.5 Weight: 45-60

AVERAGE SIZE OF FEMALE Height: 20-22 Weight: 35-50

OTHER NAME Arctic husky

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Energy level Medium energy

Exercise needs High

Playfullness Very playful

Affection level Very affectionate

Friendliness toward other dogs Friendly

Friendliness toward other pets Friendly

Friendliness toward strangers Very friendly

Ease of training Easy to train

Watchdog ability Medium

Protection ability Not very protective

Grooming needs Moderate maintenance

Cold tolerance High tolerance

Heat tolerance Low tolerance

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This is an active dog, bred to run tirelessly for miles. It needs ample daily exercise, either in the form of a long jog or a long run off leash in a safe area. It also loves to pull and enjoys cold weather. It can live outdoors in cool or cold climates, but ideally it can divide its time between indoors and out. Its coat needs brushing one or two times a week — daily during periods of heaviest shedding.
• Major concerns: none
• Minor concerns: PRA, distichiasis, cataract, corneal opacities
• Occasionally seen: CHD, glaucoma
• Suggested tests: eye, (hip)
• Life span: 11 – 13 years
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The Chukchi people of northeast Asia developed the breed now known as the Siberian husky. Its ancestry is unknown, but it is of obvious spitz stock, evolved over hundreds of years as a sled dog for these nomadic people. During the Alaskan gold rush, dogs became a vital part of life in the Arctic regions, and dog racing became a favorite source of entertainment. The All-Alaska sweepstakes race, covering 408 miles between Nome and Candle, was especially popular, and in 1909 the first team of these Chukchi huskies brought over from Siberia was entered. Smaller and more docile than most of the other competitors, they aroused little admiration, with the exception of one racer who was so impressed he imported 70 to train for the 1910 race. His three teams placed first, second and fourth and so set the stage for the Siberian husky's unrivaled dominance in this race. Throughout the rest of the year, the dogs earned their keep as utilitarian sledders, but it was in 1925 that they gained their greatest acclaim. Teams of huskies raced 340 miles with lifesaving serum for diphtheria stricken Nome and were credited with saving the town. A statue in their honor stands in Central Park. The first Siberian huskies came to Canada, and then the United States, at around this time. The AKC recognized the breed in 1930. During World War II, many Siberians served in the U.S. Army's search and rescue teams, further capturing the public's admiration. The breed's popularity continued to grow until it was cherished as much for a family pet as for a racing sled dog or show dog. It remains one of the most popular of the Arctic breeds.
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