By Claudia Bensimoun
Image credit: Simple Wiki
The Siberian Husky is a medium-sized working breed that is energetic and light on his feet. His movements are graceful and quick in action. This breed belongs to the AKC, UKC, Working and Northern groups. This compact and handsome breed is an active, sporty dog that is outgoing and friendly. His brush tail suggests his Northern heritage.
The Siberian Husky is independent in nature, very alert, yet gentle in temperament. He is an extremely clean dog that is free of odor that is common amongst breeds that have dense coats. This breed is adaptable to many different kinds of living environments. The Siberian Husky enjoys having the freedom to roam around and explore. He is built for power, speed and endurance, and his body proportions reflect this. This is not an aggressive breed, so the Siberian Husky does not make for a good watchdog. Instead he loves being around his family and having fun.
The male should appear larger than the female, and should be 21 to 23 ½ inches at the withers. Females should be 20 to 22 inches at the withers. The male should weigh between 45-60 pounds, with the female weighing in at 35-50 pounds. Weight should always be in proportion to height. Siberian male huskies are masculine in confirmation, with the females being feminine, without any weakness in confirmation. The Siberian Husky should always have firm muscle tone, be well developed, and not carry any excess weight.
Before adopting or buying a Siberian Husky, it’s best to learn as much as possible about the breed. Each breed was bred for performing particular tasks like hunting, herding, sledding, and even being a companion.
The Siberian Husky is thought to have originated from the Chukchi Indians in Siberia, more than 3000 years ago. This breed was first used as a sled dog and enjoyed pulling small loads. It was a breed that was kept free from interbreeding until the twentieth century. This is when the Alaskans started importing dogs to use for sled racing. With the Alaskan Husky demonstrating more speed, the use of the Siberian Husky for this sport diminished. This breed was also used during World War 2 as a sled dog with the U.S. military.
The Siberian Husky ranges in coat coloring from black to pure white. There are also a variety of markings found on the head area, with many interesting patterns that are not found in other breeds. The Siberian Husky has a double coat that is medium in length, so that he looks well- furred. Yet, this breed never has an unkempt coat because the coat is always clean-cut. With an undercoat that is soft and thick, and that also supports the outer coat, the Siberian Husky always looks well- groomed. During shedding this breed loses his undercoat.
The Siberian Husky should be of moderate bone, well balanced in confirmation, have an easy and free gait, good disposition and appropriate coat. The eyes can be blue, brown or one of each color. Most interesting is this breed’s nose color, which will depend on his coat color, and can be either black, liver, flesh colored, or of a pink colored hue.
Today the Siberian Husky is more of a companion dog. He has a high activity level and needs lots of room to exercise. Although still used for sledding, the Siberian Husky is best with an active family. This breed needs plenty of socialization and positive training.
The Siberian Husky is an enjoyable companion whether in the city or out in the countryside. These are “people” dogs that are intelligent, active, friendly and need a job like sledding or pulling. The best suited pet parent for this breed will keep him busy with dog sports like Frisbee, long walks and canicross. With his superior ability to race, this breed responds to stimulating environments like rugged terrains and snow. The Siberian Husky has plenty of endurance, and can travel for long distances. Easy to housetrain, they are a delight to have at home.
Is a Siberian Husky Right For You?
The Siberian Husky is a working dog that needs plenty of exercise. Think before choosing this breed, as the focus should be on positive training, enriching environmental stimuli, off leash hikes, plenty of socialization and lots of love. The Siberian Husky is high energy and demands the right care and mental stimulation. Do not leave this breed alone all day. The Siberian Husky thrives when he’s allowed to participate in family activities, pet travel and plenty of outdoor fun. He also needs routine health checks.
The Siberian Husky is prone to cataracts, corneal dystrophy, hip dysplasia and PRA.
Diet needs to keep puppy growth steady and slow so that hip dysplasia is avoided. Dog food diets and formulas also need to be properly balanced with protein being kept around 21 to 25%, most especially during the puppy growth stages when puppies tend to grow rapidly. The key to success with nutrition is discussing your dog’s diet with your veterinarian. Keep your Siberian Husky on a diet that is free of additives, byproducts, pollutants and additives. Study all dog food ingredient labels, and understand what’s best for your pooch. Support your dog’s diet with fresh fruits and vegetables. Probiotics, vitamins and additional supplements should be considered. Opt for the very best in dog foods to avoid long-term health problems.
The Siberian Husky benefits from regular exercise every day. Regardless of which dog sports you choose, long off leash hikes, Frisbee, flyball, agility or canicross, choose dog activities that are best suited to your dog’s breed, health and age. Also take into consideration the weather and where you live.
Common Signs of Illness
Most Siberian Huskies are well past puppyhood when they get eye problems. All dogs need to be vaccinated during puppyhood. These vaccines should include distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis, leptospirosis, rabies and parainfluenza. Siberian Huskies are also susceptible to parasites like roundworm, ticks and hookworm. Signs of illness will include:
- Abnormal lumps
- Foul breath
- Lack of appetite
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Excessive head shaking
- Increased water intake
- Loss of hair
- Change in behavior
- Excessive scratching
Living with a furry best friend means providing your dog with good veterinary care. Provide your pooch with regular dental care to prevent periodontal disease. This is important for all dog breeds. Set your dog up for a lifetime of good health. Good nutrition is key for optimal canine health!
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