Few dog breeds are as recognizable as the Siberian Husky. Huskies are loved the world over for their loving, sociable, downright goofy personalities and, of course for their beautiful coats.
Long before Siberian Huskies were charming their way in the hearts of families the world over, the breed was hard at work in the coldest regions in the world pulling sleds, guarding villages and hunting elk and caribou with their aboriginal owners.
Siberian Huskies are a compact, medium-sized sled dog. They possess a thick coat, incredible endurance and are well bred to work in packs and alongside their handlers. As sled dogs, Siberian Huskies can pull light loads, and run at surprising speed over a frozen landscape.
Huskies are friendly, loyal, energetic, and certifiably goofy according to their loving owners. Like all dogs, there’s lots to learn about the Siberian Husky.
Siberian Husky puppies are counted in the top twenty most popular dog breeds adopted today. Husky puppies are so popular because they are adorably friendly and relatively easy to groom.
Siberian Huskies are born in litters of 4 - 8 and grow to weigh roughly 23 pounds at 3 months. Husky puppies should be fed 3 meals a day until 3 months of age, after which your Husky puppy can switch to 2 meals a day.
Siberian Huskies are very susceptible to eye problems, which is why it is important to have your puppy's eyes checked at a young age.
Husky puppies grow up to be loyal family companions, but they are also notoriously stubborn and difficult to train. If you're considering adding a husky puppy to your home, it’s important you know what to expect; training errors made early on in a Husky’s life can have a lifelong impact on its personality.
Siberian Huskies belong to the Spitz breed group of canines, characterized by a long, thick coat of mostly white fur, as well as pointed ears and a tail that often curls over the dog's back.
Despite the German name, the Spitz breed group originates in the Arctic and Siberia. The Spitz breed group is one of the oldest recorded breed groups, with archeological evidence dating back nearly a millennium.
The Spitz breed group includes modern breeds like the Chow Chow, Akita Inu, Malamut’s, Siberian Huskies and even the diminutive Corgi.
The Spitz breed group is well suited to living in cold northern climates. Most, including the Siberian Husky possess an insulating, waterproof undercoat that is much denser than their topcoat which helps to trap warmth close to the body.
Characteristically small ears reduce the risk of frostbite, and thick fur that grows on the paws protects the dogs from sharp ice. As working dogs, the Spitz breed group excels at herding, and pulling sleds, with many of the larger breeds within the group specializing in hunting large game such as elk and caribou.
A breed standard details the appearance and temperament of an officially recognized breed. The Siberian Husky is an officially recognized breed by all major kennel clubs and is therefore subject to a strict breed standard.
Siberian Huskies are medium-sized working dogs who are quick and agile on their feet, which are “free and graceful” in action. Belonging to the Spitz breed group; Huskies possess a moderately compact body, thick coat, erect ears, and a bushy tail.
Siberian Huskies possess a characteristically smooth and effortless gait reflective of its ability to run in harness carry a light load at speed and over distance. The body is well proportioned, balanced and capable of great power, speed, and endurance and therefore does not carry excess weight.
Siberian Huskies possess a head with a keen, but friendly expression that is often interested, if not mischievous. Eyes are almond shaped, moderately spaced and typically blue, brown and even partly-colored.
Ears are medium-sized and triangular in shape. Ears should be thick, arched, close fitting and set high on the head. The skull is medium sized slightly rounded on top and tapered from the widest point to the eyes.
The muzzle is medium length and width, tapering gradually to the nose, with the tip neither pointed nor square. Nose is typically black, gray, tan or may be flesh-colored in pure white dogs.
The neck should be medium length, arched and carried erect when the dog is standing. When moving at a trot, the neck is extended so that the head is carried slightly forward. The chest is deep and strong with the deepest point being just behind and level with the elbows.
When standing and viewed from the front, a Husky’s legs should be moderately spaced, parallel and straight.
The length of the leg from elbow to ground is slightly more than the distance from the elbow to the top of withers. Husky feet are oval in shape with medium sized paws with fur between the toes and pads.
A Husky’s hind legs should be moderately spaced and parallel when standing and viewed from the rear. Upper thighs are muscled, powerful and well-defined.
Husky tails are very furry and “fox-brush shaped.” The tail is set just below the level of the top line and is typically carried gracefully over the back in a sickle curve when the dog is at attention.
Siberian Huskies possess a thick double coat - medium in length and “well furred” in appearance. Undercoats are soft and very dense with enough length to support the top coat.
During shedding season it is normal to see the undercoat. Owners should trim fur between the toes and around the feet for a neater appearance.
Siberian Huskies come in many colors from black to pure white. Huskies are also born with a variety of markings on the head including many patterns not found in other breeds.
Siberian Husky males stand 20 to 24 inches tall and should weigh between 35 and 65 pounds.
Female Siberian Huskies stand 19 to 23 inches tall and should weigh no more than 60 pounds.
In general, the temperament of the Siberian Husky is friendly, gentle, outgoing and alert. Huskies often appear very intelligent and eager to please. Huskies do not typically display possessive qualities like guard dogs, nor are they overly suspicious of strangers or aggressive with other dogs.
Caring for a Siberian Husky is an incredibly fulfilling, if not hectic experience. To start, Siberian Huskies don’t bark, so much as they howl.
Huskies were bred to be faithful village companions and working sled dogs, which means they are kind, affectionate and sociable when around children, and other dogs.
Siberian Huskies are naturally energetic and have very high prey drive; therefore they also have very special care requirements. Siberian Huskies that are not properly trained exercised and socialized may turn to “destructive” behavior until they receive the care they need.
The high prey drive of Huskies can be seen in their knack for escape. Owners can attest to a Huskies proclivity to jumping over, digging under, or chewing through any obstacle they perceive to be in their way.
If you care for the integrity of your furniture, and the interior of your home it's best to ensure your Husky has room to run, receives plenty of exercise, and is regularly socialized.
Siberian Huskies are high energy carnivores who need a high protein diet to fuel their agile bodies. Like all dogs, Siberian Huskies are purely carnivorous. They will never require gluten, wheat or grain, nor are they likely to benefit from artificial ingredients.
Feeding your Husky dog foods rich, healthy proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins produce a more luxurious coat, healthier skin and greater quality of life. Owners should avoid feeding their Huskies from the table, as well as:
Instead, implement a feeding schedule. In the weaning stage, it is imperative that a Siberian Husky puppy’s diet consists primarily of their mother’s milk, from which they receive 90% of their natural defenses.
Starting at 6 to 8 weeks, Siberian Husky puppies are gradually transitioned from their mother’s milk to solid food over a period of 3 weeks.
From 8 weeks on, it’s essential that Siberian Husky puppies learn that food will no longer be provided constantly throughout the day.
Start your Siberian Husky puppy on moistened dry puppy food, 3 to 5 times per day for no longer than 10 minutes per feeding. After 10 minutes remove their food even if they haven't finished.
Adult Siberian Huskies are energetic creatures who require a power-packed, protein-rich diet to fuel their energetic lives and support greater quality of life.
Vets recommend a diet consisting of healthy protein, healthy fat, and foods rich in carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.
Healthy fat supports a Husky’s ability to regulate its body temperature, which is essential considering the breed's arctic environment.
Senior Siberian Huskies, like all elderly dogs, require a special diet rich in nutrients that support joint, bone and digestive health. Before starting your elderly dog on a new diet, we recommend that you speak with your veterinarian to establish a diet that supports their needs specifically.
Siberian Huskies possess one of the most beautiful and iconic coats of any dog breed, but that also means they shed. Husky puppies quickly grow a soft fuzzy undercoat, but between 10 and 14 months, puppies go through their first complete shed; losing all their puppy fur in exchange for their full adult coat.
From 14 months on Huskies will “blow their coat” twice a year, which means they shed their undercoat during the spring and warmer months.
At least once a year a Siberian Husky will shed its entire undercoat. Therefore, owners should never have the undercoat of their Husky manually removed. It is also essential that owners never shave their Husky, as its coat provides natural protection and insulation against summer heat and winter cold.
To keep their husky feeling comfortable and looking clean, owners should regularly clean and groom their Huskies topcoat. To bathe your Siberian Husky, use warm, soapy water. Remember that your Husky’s coat is loaded with natural oils that promote a healthy coat and skin.
Be sure not to over-bathe your Husky as it will strip the natural oils from the coat and leave the skin dry and irritable. Therefore, a bath is only essential once every 4-5 months.
After a bath, a Siberian Husky needs to be fully dried and thoroughly brushed to remove tangles in the coat and prevent matting - no trimming of hair required, simply brush to remove dry hair and dead skin.
Grooming also presents a terrific opportunity to check your Husky for potential health concerns such as cuts and abrasions to their legs and paws, poor dental hygiene, ear & eye infections and infestation of fleas and/or ticks.
A visit to the vet is recommended If any such concerns are discovered during the grooming process.
Siberian Huskies are bred to run in harness with other Huskies. Predictably, Huskies who are not properly exercised have a tendency to release their pent-up energy by digging holes, jumping fences and destroying furniture.
To ward off destructive behavior, Huskies should receive at least two hours of energy burning activity per day.
Huskies have a reputation for being headstrong, even petulant when it comes to training. The trick to successfully training a Husky puppy is diligence, consistency and lots of patience.
Remember that the goal of canine training is to establish yourself as the dog’s leader through positive reinforcement, not fear of punishment.
It’s best to introduce your new Siberian Husky puppy to its new environment slowly. Start by confining them to a single room or floor for its first few days.
It’s important to keep a sharp eye on your puppy for the first few weeks as it gets acclimated to its new home. If you notice unusual behavior or symptoms of a potential disorder be sure to consult a trained veterinarian.
Potty Training - It takes lots of practice for your puppy to learn where to go potty. Consistency is key to housebreaking a Husky puppy. Use the same words and phrases to indicate when, where and how you want your puppy to do its business.
Watch for signs that your dog needs to go potty like pacing, sniffing, and squatting. Calmly and quickly hustle your puppy outside and to the correct spot. When your puppy is about to do its business say something similar to “go potty.”
Once they “go potty” in the correct area praise them and offer a treat. With practice, your puppy will learn what “go potty” means, then you’ll be able to tell your Husky where and when to go.
Until then we recommend purchasing potty training mats or at least stocking up on old newspaper.
Crate Training - Husky puppies are light sleepers and often find trouble if given the opportunity. Training your Husky puppy to sleep in a crate at night ensures you will find your socks, shoes, and furniture intact when you wake in the morning.
Owners should also crate train their Husky puppy when they leave the house, and in conjunction with potty training and other housebreaking lessons.
Siberian Huskies are pack animals who need to be socialized to learn how to behave in new environments and to ward off destructive behavior.
Siberian Huskies that are not socialized are less likely to gain the experience needed to feel safe in a given environment and may be prone to defensive behavior when presented with new situations, people, or pets.
Fetch is a great way to exercise your Husky while providing it with an opportunity to play according to its natural instincts. Daily walks are a great way for a Siberian Husky puppy to explore their surroundings and meet other dogs and people while feeling secure in your presence.
If a dog does not believe you to be its leader, it won't obey you. Therefore, the most important part of obedience training is to establish yourself as the dog’s leader.
It’s essential that your puppy follow your commands because it wants to please you, not because it fears you. Which means there is no need to yell or show aggression when your dog disobeys or makes a mistake.
Instead of punishment calmly and firmly tell your pup, in language the dog can understand, that you are in charge. Basic reward-based training principles like “sit” and “stay” are a great place to begin obedience training. When training it’s best to:
Remove Distractions - Puppies are easily distracted. Focus is an essential lesson in any training session. The best way to keep a puppy’s focus during training is to remove distractions from the area.
Be Patient - Take the time to ensure your puppy understands your commands. As with children, patience is key to train a Husky puppy properly.
Be Consistent - Consistency and repetition are critical to establishing the desired pattern of behavior.
Designate a specific sound and gesture for the desired command and use that combination every time you issue the command to your Husky. Issue your command. Pause. Then reward with a treat when they get it right.
Every time your Siberian Husky correctly executes a command reward them with a treat to reinforce the behavior.
Puppies are the most impressionable and easiest to train the earlier you start. Remember; It can take up to 6 months to fully housebreak a puppy.
Is a Husky a good pet? Absolutely. Siberian Huskies are incredibly affectionate, devoted and gentle when properly trained, housebroken and socialized.
Is a Husky a dangerous dog? No, but parents should ensure that children understand how to approach and interact with any canine properly.
Do Huskies make good family dogs? Yes. Huskies are kind, affectionate and incredibly devoted to their families. They can even keep pace with the most energetic child.
Are Siberian Huskies part wolf? Yes. Like all canines, Siberian Huskies are descended from wolves and have retained many wolf-like traits in appearance, pack mentality and their bold, often stubborn personality.
Why do Huskies jump on you? It’s common for Huskies to jump when interacting with humans because they are highly energetic and affectionate dogs. However, it is possible to dissuade your dog from jumping with regular training.
Is it cruel to have a Husky in a hot climate? No. Huskies are incredibly adaptable; they do just fine in warmer climates so long as they are provided adequate shade, shelter, and water.
Are Siberian Huskies loyal? Yes. Siberian Huskies are remarkably devoted to their families.
Are Huskies really that hard to train? Siberian Huskies have a reputation for being difficult to train. This is because Huskies are instinctually pack animals who obey their pack leader.
Therefore, if a Husky does not recognize you as its leader, it won't obey you. Canine behavioral experts recommend early training to establish yourself as the Huskies leader and reduce bad behavior.
Why do Huskies have curly tails? Siberian Huskies possess a “sickle-shaped” tail, which is a trait present in dog breeds originating in colder climates. The “sickle-shaped” allows a Husky to keep its tail off the cold ground when sitting, and to wrap around itself for warmth.
Why do Huskies howl? We don’t yet fully understand why huskies howl. Howling is a primitive trait possessed by all dogs, though older breeds are more likely to howl than relatively newer breeds.
Wolves howl to communicate over distance. Huskies are closely related to the wolf, though we suspect they simply howl when bored, and when in the company of other Siberians.
Why does my husky lick me all the time? The short answer is; because they like you, and your skin tastes salty.
Are Huskies cuddly? Huskies are super cuddly. In fact, the phrase “three dog night” originates from the Siberian Chukchi people who used to sleep with their dogs for warmth on, especially cold nights.
Do Huskies have separation anxiety? Every dog has some degree of separation anxiety Siberian Huskies are especially prone to separation anxiety and preferring not to be left alone.
Do Huskies like to swim? Huskies are not big swimmers and will likely avoid water if given a choice. However, for some Huskies, swimming may be a very enjoyable activity. It is up to the owner to decide whether they think it is safe to allow their Husky into the water for a swim.
How cold is too cold for a Husky? Siberian Huskies are bred to be resilient; they can withstand temperatures as cold as -60 degrees Fahrenheit. That being said, if it is too cold for you to be outside, then there is no need to leave your Husky outside.
As the name implies, Siberian Huskies originated in Siberia, the largest, coldest region in Russia. Huskies were originally bred and raised by the Chukchi people, a tribe of Siberian nomads who used sleds pulled by teams of Huskies for fast transportation across the vast frozen landscape.
Strong, agile, and well adapted to the cold climate, Huskies can swiftly cover long distances on with minimal effort and food. The Chukchi people developed a special relationship with the Husky and thrived in near total isolation for hundreds of years before introduction to the outside world.
First introduced in Alaska, Huskies made their first appearance in the All Alaska Sweepstakes Race in 1909. Arguably the most iconic Siberian Husky is Balto, who in 1925 lead a sled dog team across the frozen Alaskan wilderness to deliver a life-saving diphtheria serum.
The Siberian Husky has changed little since then and has only grown in popularity. Today Huskies are one of the most popular and iconic breeds in the world.
Siberian Huskies have found homes from Alaska to Australia, but they will always be working dogs. Huskies have served on dozens of Antarctic expeditions, and in the U.S. Army’s arctic search-and-rescue teams since World War II.