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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Breeds > Siberian Husky

Siberian Husky

Origin: Russia

AKC Group: Working

Height: Males: 21 - 23 inches ; Females: 20 - 22 inches (Male)

Weight: 35 - 60 pounds (Male)

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Male height: 
Males: 21 - 23 inches ; Females: 20 - 22 inches
Male weight: 
35 - 60 pounds
The double coat consists of a soft, dense undercoat with a straight, smooth overcoat.
Siberian Huskies come in all colors, in many different patterns, and with a variety of white markings.
Special considerations: 
Since Siberian Huskies tend to be mischievous, don't choose the most outgoing puppy in a litter.

The nomadic Chukchi tribe of extreme northeast Asia bred husky-type dogs since ancient times to pull sledges and hunt reindeer. For centuries, all the way through the 19th century, the Chukchi people were famous for their excellent long-distance sled dogs. Then known as the Siberian Chukchi, the breed first arrived in the United States in 1909, brought across the Bering Strait from Siberia to Alaska. The dogs took to work and life there as readily as they did in their homeland.

The breed began to gain popularity as a pet in 1925. In that year, a diphtheria epidemic broke out in Nome, Alaska, and the nearest serum was more than 600 miles away. Three teams of Siberian Huskies performed a sled relay, getting the serum to Nome quickly and saving many lives. This was the probably the first time most Americans had heard of the breed, and they loved it right away. A statue of Balto, the leader of the team that ran the last leg of the relay, sits in New York City's Central Park. Although it depicts one dog, it is dedicated to all the dogs that took part in that mission of mercy.

The Siberian's popularity received another boost during World War II, when the Army used him for Arctic search and rescue. After the war, interest in the breed grew, as did interest in sled-dog racing.

The Sibe is fun loving, friendly, gentle, alert and outgoing. He has a delightful and affectionate temperament and is not usually possessive, territorial or suspicious of strangers. Siberians possess a stately beauty, smiling good humor and unparalleled work ethic. They have a great love for their family - they are not one-person dogs.
At home: 
Siberians are adaptable to many different living conditions, provided they are given a proper outlet for their exercise requirements. They were bred to live and work as part of a team, so they do not like to be alone. Siberians are nomads at heart, and their desire to run and roam is one of their most troublesome attributes. They must be kept confined or under control at all times when outdoors, either in a securely fenced yard or on leash. Although they rarely bark, they do moan, whine and even howl when the mood strikes.
The Siberian was bred to run tirelessly for long distances in front of a sled. Understandably, his need for ample exercise is inborn. He should have a large, escape-proof yard to run around in, as well as a few daily runs or jogs on a leash.
The Siberian requires a relatively small amount of food for his size, thanks to a very efficient metabolism. He needs the energy that food gives him but operates fully on less food per 1 pound (0.5 kg) of body weight than other breeds his size. A high-quality, age-appropriate diet is best. Feeding twice a day as an adult is recommended.
This dog was bred to make his own decisions. He also loves to chase small animals. Given those facts, no amount of training will make it safe for him to be off-leash outside of a fenced area. He is intelligent and friendly, but he can be stubborn and may only obey a command if he sees a point to it. He is often impervious to disciplinary training methods. Positive reinforcement, consistency, patience and an understanding of the sled-dog character are all required to train this breed.
Siberians make excellent companions for active people of all ages. They are true pack animals, and the company of another dog usually makes for a happy Siberian. He gets along well with children, but he is a strong and powerful dog, so interactions should be monitored. He has strong predatory instincts and may view small pets as prey unless he has been raised with them.
The average life span of the Siberian Husky is 12 to 15 years. Common health problems of the breed involve the eyes: corneal dystrophy, hereditary cataracts, and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). Also, as with many breeds, hip dysplasia may occur.
Fun fact: 

The word "husky" is a corruption of the slang word "esky," used to refer to Eskimos in Alaska, and is not meant as a description of the Siberian's appearance, which is that of a moderately built, wiry animal.

Grooming blurb: 
The Siberian's coat requires only minimal attention except during shedding season (which varies depending on climactic conditions), when he loses his entire undercoat. During those periods, he should be brushed and combed daily.
This document has been published with the intent to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter within. While every reasonable precaution has been taken in preparation of this document, the author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any errors, omissions, or adverse effects arising from the use or application of the information contained herein. The techniques and suggestions are used at the reader's discretion.