In today’s world, it is practically impossible to come across a dog guardian who has not heard of the breed Siberian Husky. The Siberian Husky is a compact and thickly coated sled dog. Huskies normally come in medium size and offer great endurance. They were initially developed to work as sled dogs and in packs. They can easily pull light loads at a moderate speed over large frozen regions. Huskies are extremely fastidious, dignified, and very friendly.
They are graceful, have almond-shaped eyes that can either be blue or brown and sometimes, you may land up with a pup with both eye colors. They are also very mischievous yet playful. In this blog post, I will discuss everything you need to know as a guardian interested in getting a Siberian Husky puppy or adult dog.
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Topics covered in this blog post
Understanding the breed: Siberian Husky
Nimble-footed and quick, Siberian Huskies are known for their seemingly effortless but powerful gait. They do not go over 60 pounds in weight. Noticeably smaller and fairly light compared to their other big burly cousin, the Alaskan malamute, Siberian Huskies are pack dogs and love to be with families. They also get along very well with other dogs due to their innate friendliness. Huskies do not make for good watchdogs. They are energetic and cannot resist running after small animals. Therefore, opting for a good harness and a leash is a must. The best part about this breed for most dog guardians is that they are naturally clean with very little to no doggy odor. If you have a child or other dog in your family, a Siberian Husky would be a good companion.
The lifespan of the Siberian Husky
The lifespan of this dog breed falls between 12 to 14 years of age. They are medium-sized and keep themselves clean. As I mentioned above, they do not give out any doggy odor.
Even if the dog is friendly, certain traits, like physical characteristics, can play an essential role in deciding whether the breed is correct for your family or not. In the case of Siberian Husky, males usually go up to 24 inches tall and weigh around 45 to 65 pounds. In the case of females, they typically go up to 23 inches in height and weigh around 35 to 55 pounds.
Siberian Huskies are very close to wolves in terms of their looks. Most Siberian Huskies have a white color with a dark stripe down the center of their faces. They may also show up with a dark mask around their eyes. This gives their eyes a very mischievous and mysterious look. In most cases, Huskies are known for their eyes which is their most striking feature. In some cases, their eyes can be a piercing light blue or brown, or they may have one blue and one brown eye.
Since Siberian Husky is a breed that prefers the colder climate, they have a very thick fur coat. Their coat is normally thicker than most other dog breeds, which are not prone to living in cold conditions. The coat of the Siberian Husky usually contains two layers. A thick undercoat is responsible for protecting them from the harsh cold weather, while a short, wiry topcoat is responsible for reflecting away the heat and keeping them cool.
The coat can be available in a variety of patterns and colors. They are mostly red and white or black and white. Despite all the colored diversity that is present in the Siberian Husky, you will almost always find white color on their:
- Tip of the tail
A unique quality of Siberian Husky
One interesting feature of the Siberian Husky is that they have snow noses. A snow nose is when the nose of the Husky turns pink during the winter and cold climate conditions and returns to becoming black when the warm weather conditions come around. Sometimes, you may notice a Husky that only has the pink stripe. This pink stripe may show up above their noses in the cold weather. In other cases, they may have an entirely black or pink nose that does not change its color.
The temperament of the Siberian Husky
Any dog guardian who has a Siberian Husky will tell you that this breed is very energetic. They make excellent companions, especially if you have an active lifestyle. They get along famously with other dogs and humans in the household, whether young or old.
The friendly temperament of the Husky does not make them excellent guard dogs. They are often very comfortable with strangers, and there is a high chance that your Husky will greet a stranger by wagging his tail instead of barking. Therefore, if you are getting a Husky for the purpose of guarding, think again. Because of their history as pack animals, Huskies have not evolved very well for protection.
High prey drive
Due to their energetic personality, Huskies tend to go after everything that moves. Thus, their strong prey drive is something that the guardian must keep an eye on. Anything that moves quickly, like birds, cats, rats, or even squirrels, can fall prey to a Husky.
Separation anxiety issues
Again, due to their pack mentality, Huskies also do not do very well if left alone. Therefore, if you are planning to get a Husky, you should either already have a dog or plan to adopt another one very soon. This way, when you are away, your Husky will have a playmate to keep him busy. Alternatively, you can also enroll your Siberian Husky in a dog daycare where you can leave him when you go to work. The purpose here is to avoid separation anxiety.
If you leave a Husky alone for a long period of time, they will not get the appropriate amount of stimulation they need on a regular basis. This can lead to disruptive behavior. If you leave a Husky under simulated, they may start to:
- Dig under fences
- Dig up the plants
- Get into general mischief
- Destroy the inside of the house
Grooming habits of Siberian Huskies
With their long and thick coats, the Siberian Husky needs a regular groom. You should set one day in the week when you groom your Husky. Huskies are known to shed throughout the year. However, when seasonal changes arrive twice a year, they may shed much more and in larger clumps. The right time to bathe your dog would be once every three months.
Unfortunately, many people from tropical and warm countries also keep Huskies, knowing that these dogs are not meant for warm climates. Another widespread mistake is shaving the coat because guardians think this will help the pup cool down during warm months. Please, do not shave the coat of your pup. A clipping is also not required in the case of a Husky. Their thick coats have a dual purpose. They are responsible for keeping the Husky warm during the winter months and cool during the summer months. It may seem counterintuitive, but if you shave your Husky’s fur, it can actually cause overheating.
Remember to care for your Husky’s teeth with dental treats, brushing, and tooth wipes. You can also take your Husky to the dentist once or twice a year for a complete clean. Grind out with the nails as and when necessary.
Food habits of Husky
Siberian Huskies are very active and energetic dogs. Therefore, maintaining their feeding schedule is crucial. Do not feed your dog two hours before you exercise them and 30 minutes after the exercise. You can opt for commercial dog food or raw dog food for your pup. However, human foods like cheese, vegetables, fresh fruit, and meat can be provided as treats in small amounts.
Many dog guardians have moved from commercial dog food to raw dog food. Many Husky guardians provide them with raw dog food and have observed improved coat quality and overall demeanor. If you are planning to start your dog on a raw diet, remember to consult your veterinarian before you do so and make sure that the transition from commercial dog food to a raw diet is very gradual.
Also, ensure that all the snacks you provide your dog do not makeup over 10% of your dog’s diet.
How much exercise does a Siberian Husky require?
If you are a guardian of a Siberian Husky, you know that these dogs belong to the working dog breed. Therefore, such dogs are happiest when they are kept active and busy. They were originally bred to pull sleds and run for long distances.
Therefore, to keep your Husky happy and healthy, you must provide three to five-mile walks at least daily. Alternatively, you can also go for runs four days a week, especially if the weather is cold. If the temperature around you is warmer, try not to strain your Husky with too much exercise. If the climate is warm, your Husky can land up with a heat stroke within 10 minutes or even less. Thus, keep the exercise to a minimum. If the temperatures are around or below 20 deg F, this is the best time for Huskies to exercise. You may notice that your Husky is showing more activity and is happier during colder weather.
During hotter weather, exercise your dog during the times when the weather is cool, like in the evenings or inside the house when the AC is on. When exercising, make sure that there is plenty of water for your Husky to keep him hydrated. You can also give him some ice chips if it is warm weather outside.
Huskies love to run. Therefore, if you are thinking of adopting a Husky, make sure that you have a backyard where your Husky can freely roam around. Also, ensure that the yard is fenced and the fence is high. Huskies are known to be athletic and escape artists. They can jump high. Therefore, the fence must be at least over 6 foot high. This way, you can avoid any sudden escapes.
Like every other dog breed, Huskies also require proper training and early socialization. Fortunately, since Huskies are highly intelligent, they are fairly easy to train. However, they do show a stubborn streak every now and then. Just focus on using positive reinforcement and keep your training method consistent so that your Husky understands which instruction to follow.
Health problems to look out for with Siberian Husky
Huskies are purebred dogs. Due to this, they are prone to certain health conditions if the parents of the pup have not been properly screened. Some of the common physical health conditions that Siberian Huskies suffer from are:
Hip dysplasia is a form of arthritis that mostly affects dogs belonging to large breeds. It is very common in Huskies. There is only one way to prevent this condition. The breeder is responsible for checking the parents and mating only those who do not have hip dysplasia.
In case your pup has hip dysplasia, you can treat it via weight management and reduction of the strain put on the joint. The vet may also prescribe you some anti-inflammatory pain relievers and suggest a reduction in exercise. In severe cases, surgery may be an option.
Siberian Huskies are also prone to suffering from epilepsy. If your dog suddenly has a seizure, take him to the vet immediately. A seizure can either be an isolated incident or part of an epileptic disorder. Therefore, it should not be ignored. Dogs who suffer from epilepsy should not be bred. This can help prevent the passage of the condition to the puppies. In most cases, the seizures do not require any kind of treatment. However, if the seizure is harming the life of your pup, contact your veterinarian.
In the case of Huskies, eye issues like cataracts are very common. Huskies generally form cataracts between 6 to 18 months of age. If you suddenly notice that your dog’s eye lens starts to look cloudy, take him immediately to the wet.
Huskies are also known to suffer from various types of cancers. Most cancers can easily be cured by surgery. However, some of them may require a dose of chemotherapy. Early detection is key in the prevention and curing of cancer. Make sure that your Huskies are undergoing regular observation and testing.
Never let them off-leash
If you have a Husky and you are taking him out on a walk, never let him be off-leash. They have a very high prey drive, as I have mentioned before. This high prey drive was Huskies caused them to run off and chase tiny animals. Furthermore, Huskies are stubborn and may refuse to respond to your recall command. Therefore, leave your Husky off leash only if the park does not have other animals or if you are an expert at running after your Husky and catching him.
Huskies have a habit of getting along well with other dogs and companion animals. They are also known to get along well, even with small kids. They are easily trainable and can live with other animals like birds and cats. Since Huskies are one of the most allergenic breeds, if you have an allergy to dog hair, skin, or saliva, getting a Husky may not be the right option for you.
The one characteristic of Husky is that everyone knows that Huskies howl. These dogs are not very vocal, but they love to howl and express themselves. You may notice that your Husky has a variety of howls that he uses to communicate with you. This most likely has developed due to their close association with humans and other dogs.
As I mentioned before, Huskies are extremely capable escape artists. Therefore, you must make sure that your house is escape-proof. If you keep your Husky in a crate, he can easily break the wires and doors if he wants to get out. Huskies don’t care if they injure themselves. If the separation anxiety is high, your dog will do anything to escape the situation. If you have a large yard, your dog can escape the yard by jumping over the fence. Therefore, investing in a good quality dog tag with all the latest information is crucial if you have a Husky.
Are you ready for a Siberian Husky?
Suppose you have gone through all the above-mentioned points about Siberian Husky and realize that you are ready to get one for yourself. Congratulations. You are ready to add a Siberian Husky to your life. One crucial thing that you must remember as a guardian of a Siberian Husky is that they require exercise. You cannot cut down on the timing or the duration of the training. Exercise is essential not only to keep your Husky in good shape but also to release all the excess pent-up energy in the dog.
If you only have a Siberian Husky and no other dog companions to keep the Husky occupied when you are at work, consider enrolling your Husky in a dog daycare. This way, your Siberian Husky will be busy while you go to work. It will also prevent separation anxiety from developing in your pop.
If you want to know more about Siberian Husky or any other type of dog breed, their care process, training, and psychology, don’t forget to subscribe to The Happy Puppers. Your subscription will allow me to notify you about the release of new blog posts the moment they are released. This way, you can stay on top of all the tips and tricks from the dog care world.
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