Many potential dog owners looking for a medium-sized dog, consider the Siberian Husky due to their striking good looks, and potentially bright blue eyes. The Husky has a beautifully distinct coat and he looks as close to a wolf as you can get. He is the lightest and fastest of the sled dogs, and he brings lots of fun, comedy, and laughter into our lives.
He is not suited to every family, and there is much more to him than just his handsome looks. Not every family has the time, energy, or patience required to look after one of these majestic pups. Huskies are fiercely independent and more difficult to train than other dog breeds.
So, if you are on a quest to find out if this beautiful pooch is the one for you, you’ve come to the right place. From his history to his personality, exercise needs, and grooming routine, we cover it all and much more. So, let’s jump into the Siberian wolfy details!
Unlike most other purebred dog breeds, little is known about the Husky’s origins. After much DNA research, it is believed that they are one of the oldest dog breeds. They were developed by the Chukchi, a tribe of eastern Siberian nomads. Powerful but quick on their paws, they were kept in packs to transport goods and people across vast expanses of ice. Once they had earned their keep during the day, they were kept as companion dogs to keep children warm at night.
In 1908 they were taken to Nome, Alaska, to assist with the gold rush. There they also competed in sled-dog races. The moment that brought them to fame was the 1925 Diphtheria serum run. A group of Huskies ran 658 treacherous miles to supply the lifesaving antidote. Reported across the world and made into several Hollywood films, this story is at the heart of the Siberian Husky’s history.
They are still used as sled-dogs by their mushers. But they are now more commonly found in family homes as canine companions. He is so popular that he consistently finds himself in the top 15 most popular dog breeds.
Huskies are fun canines to have around. Not only is he always up for a game of anything you can think of, but he is always looking to make his family laugh. Whether that be with his clumsy antics, his high performing energy, or talkative howling.
He is loving and super sociable. Possibly one of the most friendly dogs in the canine kingdom! He is always pleased to meet new people and relishes the chance of making a new best buddy. He has no concept of personal space and will jump and lick visitors. This is something to train out of him. It is for this reason that he makes a lousy guard dog.
The Husky rarely sits still for longer than an hour. If you find him wanting him to snooze with you on the sofa, relish the moment! You’ll also notice that when he does take a moment out of his bonkers schedule, he is an affectionate dog who has lots of love to give. He is fantastic with all humans. And he especially loves to play with children, because they are silly just like him.
If you cannot match his needs, you will soon find that he will become destructive. He is mischievous anyway, so he’ll skip the slow phase to destruction and jump straight in the deep end. He’ll dig up your lawns, obliterate your favorite sofa, and he has even been known to chew his way through cement walls.
Siberian Huskies rarely bark, which is great news for those with sensitive neighbors, right? Wrong! This guy loves to howl, and you might find him waking up the neighborhood at dawn.
Size & Appearance
The Husky is a medium-sized dog. Not to be confused with his much larger cousin, the Alaskan Malamute. He weighs between 35 to 60 pounds. Under that thick fuzzy coat of his, he is very muscular and powerful. He measures between 20 and 23 ½ inches tall, from paw to shoulder.
Overall, the Husky is wolfy in appearance, and many people confuse them for wolf siblings. In fact, many people name their husky after some type of wolf looking pup. He has a long muzzle and a heart-shaped fleshy nose. His large eyes and pointy-triangle ears give him a cheeky impression. With his brush tail, it is easy to see his Northern heritage in him. He is very proportionate in size and shape, which gives him his ability to run effortlessly for hours on end. His body is built for speed and endurance.
Coat & Colors
The Siberian’s Husky has a thick and dense double coat. The underlayer is soft and dense, and the outer layer is longer and straight. Together, they make a weatherproof jacket that protects his body in the extremely cold Siberian conditions. In fact, they are one of the few breeds that thrive in colder weather. The Husky loves the cold weather, but he could acclimatize to a warmer climate if needed.
His coat takes many different colors, with black, gray, white, brown, red, sable, and agouti (wolf coloring) being the recognized colors. Huskies usually inherit a colored facial mask of some sort, including the gorgeous panda eye marking. Some Huskies can also come in a solid color. Huskies are also one of the few dog breeds that can inherit different colored eyes. This is a condition known as heterochromia.
Exercise & Living Conditions
The Siberian Husky is one of the most energetic dogs that you could take on, so you best be very active yourself! He needs between 60 to 90 minutes of exercise every day. And that isn’t just a long stroll around the neighborhood. He needs intensely-hardworking activities that will burn off his working sled-pulling energy of his. You don’t have to take him sledding every day, or at all, but he needs to be exercised hard!
Think long weekend hikes up the mountains or hours of forest exploring and swimming in the lake. A great way to burn up energy is to take him down to the local doggy park for an hour of playing with his four-legged besties. This allows you to take it easy for a few activity sessions a week, and it also tops up his socialization skills. Everyone’s a winner!
They need to live in a large home that will provide him with ample space to live. He is not suited to apartment living, simply because he will get cabin fever. Remember, this guy was raised on vast expanses of open Arctic wilderness! He also needs access to a box full of toys. We would suggest durable toys for the Husky, simply because of the amount of time he will spend playing with them. Or puzzle-solving ones that will stimulate his clever brain.
He will also need access to his very own private yard. His yard needs to be reinforced and secured so that he cannot escape, because he will try! As long as his exercise needs are met and he is socialized well as a pup, he will do well in a multi-pet household.
Huskies can be difficult to train, not because he thinks he knows better, but because he always has something better and more fun to do. They are also independent and headstrong dogs, making training challenging for first-time dog owners.
This is a pack dog, and so for him to be completely happy, he needs to have a fair but firm leader. Without this, he will feel that he has no leadership or routine in his life, and he may try to fulfill this role himself. Begin obedience training with this guy as soon as you get him home. Make him work for treats such as food or sofa time, and he will grow up to respect you.
The Husky, with his dog-sledding ways, loves to run, and run, and run. We do not advise letting him off leash because he will, you guessed it, run! For this reason, it is important to leash train him from a pup. This will ensure that he walks nicely on his leash, making your life a whole lot easier.
Crating your Husky from puppyhood is another factor to consider. Huskies are extremely mischievous, and no matter how well-trained he is, he will get himself into trouble if left alone for too long. Crate training him not only gives you peace of mind when you have to leave him for a few hours. But it also gives him a space that he can chill for a few hours. You need to exercise him adequately before putting him in his crate. Otherwise, he will try his best to get out.
Because of his potentially stubborn ways, low attention span, and pack mentality, he should only be taken on by someone who has previous doggy ownership experience. First-time dog owners might have a hard time with this pooch. The key is to never give in to his stubborn ways and be persistent with him when he isn’t concentrating.
Huskies are a very healthy dog breed and enjoy a lifespan of 12 to 14 years. Like all pedigree dog breeds, he is prone to a particular set of health concerns more so than others. That’s not to say that he will not suffer from anything else. But the following conditions are ones to research and be aware of their symptoms to recognize them.
Hip dysplasia: This is where the hip ball and socket joint has not formed correctly due to imbalanced growth. This can lead to lameness, paralysis, and other bone-related conditions. Both of his parents should have been tested for a good hip score, reducing his likeliness of developing poor hips himself.
Eye conditions: The Husky is prone to various eye concerns, with three conditions being the main concerns. Juvenile cataracts, corneal dystrophy, and progressive retinal atrophy are the three most common to look out for.
You can do many things to increase his health and lifespan. Keeping up with regular veterinary checkups is one of them. As well as working with reputable breeders who will screen for the above concerns.
Huskies are highly energetic dogs that need fuel to keep them going throughout his crazy day ahead. Always feed your Husky the best food that you can afford. This will increase his chances of eating a nutritionally balanced diet. High-quality kibbles carefully selected for the Siberian Husky are designed for his superior-energy needs.
He should always eat an age-specific diet. To be more precise, during puppyhood up to the age of 12 months, he should be fed a puppy kibble. These have more energy, protein, and fats to help his body develop as he should. Then transition him to an adult kibble. And once he reaches his golden years, find him a less calorific and rich kibble.
These dogs were bred to work all day, with little to no food. This means that he eats much less than most people think. 860 to 1290 calories per day is the average Husky need, which is about three cups of kibble a day. Thankfully, like some other breeds, this guy rarely puts on too much weight. But always follow food package instructions just to be sure.
They typically have a thick fuzzy coat, and need a lot of grooming to keep hair off your furniture. He sheds moderately throughout the year. During the shedding seasons, which is spring and fall, he experiences a full ‘blow out.’ The best way to manage his shedding is to brush him several times a week throughout the year and daily during shedding seasons.
The best brush for the Husky is a slicker brush and a deshedding tool. It will take 15 to 20 minutes to brush him, but this time will act as a bonding session for you both. You will be able to make a new Husky out of his coat during the shedding season! So, if you aren’t a fan of dog hair, we would suggest considering another breed.
To make up for the incredible amount of Husky floof he sheds, he takes pride in being a clean dog. He will clean himself fastidiously after every exercise session and muddy adventure. Much like a cat does throughout the day. He rarely has a strong doggy odor, and he doesn’t really drool either. Yes, he’s hairy, but he’s super clean, which is a fair compromise in our books.
He will need bathing less than most other dog breeds, and once every two to three months is ideal for this guy. We would advise picking a natural shampoo that’s recommended for Huskies so that they don’t irritate his skin. Or if he has an extra thick coat, a concentrated shampoo will be able to penetrate his weatherproof outer layer for a deeper cleanse.
Breeders & Puppy Costs
One of the most important decisions you can make to ensure that your ride as a Husky owner is smooth is to work with the right breeder. Whether that is someone close to you for extra puppy visits or someone you have heard is good through a referral. They must be reputable and ethical. The average price of a pup from a reputable breeder will start from around $1,000. Siberian Huskies with ‘perfect’ coloring and markings, or those with different colored eyes, tend to be more desirable and more expensive.
Always do your research, and look for breeders with professional websites. Huskies are not only a common breed, but he is an ancient one too, so look for breeders with years of experience. Reputable breeders will want to meet you in person and ensure that you are prepared for your new crazy life with a Husky. As well as introducing you to the pups, parents and providing you with health certificates.
Be wary of puppy mills and backstreet breeders who will pump out as many Huskies as possible, with little care for their health. When you bring him home, you can be sure that he will not be as healthy and happy as one from a reputable breeder. It’s not worth the lower price because you will pay out much more in vet bills and canine behaviorist classes.
You also need to think about all of the other puppy costs, such as crates, beds, toys, food, insurance, etc. And because he is an energetic dog, he will chew and destroy his toys and bedding. So you’ll need to be in a position to replace them if he doesn’t learn how to respect his belongings.
Rescues & Shelters
If you’re not set on welcoming a puppy into your life, you should consider rescuing a Husky. Rescuing a pooch is one of the most rewarding things you can do (we are all rescue moms and dads here at LoveYourDog). Unfortunately, because many families can’t match their intense needs, there are a lot of Huskies in rescue centers. So, head off to your local rescue center and be prepared to meet the pooch of your dreams!
If you didn’t meet ‘the one,’ there are many breed-specific rescue shelters too. Here is a list of just some of the dedicated Siberian Husky rescue organizations:
- Husky House
- Siberian Husky Club of American Trust
- Free Spirit Husky Rescue
- Husky Education and Rescue Team
As Family Pets
- The Siberian Husky is full of energy, and he rarely sits still for longer than an hour.
- He needs 60 to 90 minutes of exercise every day to keep him happy and healthy.
- The Husky also needs plenty of stimulation throughout the day.
- A bored husky is a destructive dog, so you’ll want to keep your pup entertained.
- He is affectionate with his close family and enjoys a cuddle in the evening.
- They are very sociable dogs and will make friends with everyone.
- He is a talkative dog who howls a lot.
- The Husky is great with children and suited to all types of family.
- As long as he is socialized well, he will fit in well with a multi-pet household.
- Huskies are escape artists, so plan ahead with a fenced in yard for your pup.
- He can also be very destructive if unstimulated, so he needs lots of attention.
- You will spend a lot of time grooming the Husky, but thankfully he is a very clean pooch.
The Siberian Husky is a wonderful dog breed who is full of life and laughter. He will keep any family on their toes, and he commands lots of attention, stimulation, and exercise. If you are an active person looking for an energetic canine sidekick, you cannot get much better than this pup. No matter what kind of activities you chuck his way, he will take it on with a smile on his face.
To enjoy a long and happy life with the Siberian Husky, you need to be sure that you are the right family for him. Because if you are taking him on just for his stunning looks (which many families do), you will quickly realize that he can make your life difficult. Hopefully, after reading this breed guide, you know exactly whether he is the right pooch for you. If he is, we guarantee that welcoming him into your life will be one of the best choices you’ll ever make!