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Siberian Husky

Siberian Husky


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Siberian Husky
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Breed Organization
Siberian Husky Club of America
Website: http://www.shca.org
Native Country
Siberian Arctic
Other Names
Arctic Husky, Husky, Sibe
Life Expectancy
Approximately 12-15 Years
Litter Size
Average 6-8 Puppies
Breed Group
AKC Working
Breed Appearance
The Siberian Husky is a medium-size, dense-coat working dog breed that originated in north-eastern Siberia. The breed belongs to the Spitz genetic family. It is recognizable by its thickly furred double coat, sickle tail, erect triangular ears, and distinctive markings. Huskies are an active, energetic, and resilient breed whose ancestors came from the extremely cold and harsh environment of the Siberian Arctic. Siberian Huskies were bred by the Chukchi of Northeastern Asia to pull heavy loads long distances through difficult conditions. The dogs were imported into Alaska during the Nome Gold Rush and later spread into the United States and Canada. They were initially sent to Alaska and Canada as sled dogs but rapidly acquired the status of family pets and show dogs. Because of their efficiency as a working breed, most huskies are bred to be able to withstand long work days on little amounts of food. They can travel up to 40 miles per day.

Breed Description
Head: Not heavy. Skull slightly rounded on the top. Very pronounced stop. Muzzle of moderate length. Dark lips. Nose blends with coat color.
Ears: Medium size, triangular. Carried erect, set high and close together. Thick and well furred.
Eyes: Almond shape, set slightly oblique. Brown or blue color. One eye of each color or parti-colored eyes permissible.
Body: Moderately compact. Arched neck carried proudly erect when dog is standing. When trotting, neck is extended forward so that head is carried slightly forward. Deep and strong, but not too broad. Taut, lean loin. Sloped croup, though never steeply sloped. Straight, solid, moderately long back
Tail: Richly clad, carried above the level of the back in a sickle curve.
Hair: Medium length, straight and somewhat smooth-lying. Never harsh. Dense, soft undercoat.
Coat: Any color from black to solid white is acceptable. A variety of markings and striking patterns is common.
Size: Dog: 54 to 60 cm (21-23.5 in).Bitch: 51 to 56 cm ( 20-22 in).
Weight: Dog: 20 to 28 kg (45-60 lb).Bitch: 15.7 to 23 kg (35-50 lb).


History
The Siberian Husky, Samoyed, and Alaskan Malamute are all breeds directly descended from the original "sled dog." Recent DNA analysis confirms that this is one of the oldest breeds of dog. The term "husky" is a corruption of the nickname "Esky" once applied to the Eskimos and subsequently to their dogs. Breeds descending from the Eskimo dog or Qimmiq were once found throughout the Northern Hemisphere from Siberia to Canada, Alaska, Greenland, Labrador, and Baffin Island. With the help of Siberian Huskies, entire tribes of people were able not only to survive, but to push forth into terra incognita. Admiral Robert Peary of the United States Navy was aided by this breed during his expeditions in search of the North Pole.

Dogs from the Anadyr River and surrounding regions were imported into Alaska from 1908 (and for the next two decades) during the gold rush for use as sled dogs, especially in the "All-Alaska Sweepstakes," a 408-mile (657-km) distance dog sled race from Nome, to Candle, and back. Smaller, faster and more enduring than the 100- to 120-pound (45- to 54-kg) freighting dogs then in general use, they immediately dominated the Nome Sweepstakes. Leonhard Seppala, the foremost breeder of Siberian Huskies of the time, participated in competitions from 1909 to the mid 1920s. Gunnar Kaasen was first in the 1925 serum run to Nome to deliver diphtheria serum from Nenana, over 600 miles to Nome. This was a group effort by several sled-dog teams and mushers, with most of the run covered by Leonhard Seppala. The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race commemorates this famous delivery. In honor of this lead dog, a bronze statue was erected at Central Park in New York City. The plaque upon it is inscribed, "Dedicated to the indomitable spirit of the sled dogs that relayed antitoxin six hundred miles over rough ice, across treacherous waters, through Arctic blizzards from Nenana to the relief of stricken Nome in the winter of 1925. "Endurance, Fidelity, Intelligence"

In 1930 the last Siberians were exported as the Soviet government closed the borders of Siberia to external trade. The same year saw recognition of the Siberian Husky by the American Kennel Club. Nine years later, the breed was first registered in Canada. Today’s Siberian Huskies registered in North America are largely the descendants of the 1930 Siberia imports and of Leonhard Seppala’s dogs. Seppala owned a kennel in Nenana before moving to New England, where he became partners with Elizabeth Ricker. The two co-owned the Poland Springs kennel and began to race and exhibit their dogs all over the Northeast. As the breed was beginning to come to prominence, in 1933 Navy Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd brought about 50 Siberian Huskies with him on an expedition in which he hoped to journey around the 16,000-mile coast of Antarctica. Many of the dogs were trained at Chinook Kennels in New Hampshire. Called Operation Highjump, the historic trek proved the worth of the Siberian Husky due to its compact size and greater speeds. Siberian Huskies also served in the United States Army's Arctic Search and Rescue Unit of the Air Transport Command during World War II.


Behavior
Siberian Huskies are loving, gentle, playful, happy-go-lucky dogs that are fond of their families. Keen, docile, social, relaxed and rather casual, this is a high-energy dog, especially when young. Good with children and friendly with strangers, they are not watchdogs, for they bark little and love everyone. Huskies are very intelligent and trainable, but they will only obey a command if they see the human is stronger minded than themselves. If the handler does not display leadership, they will not see the point in obeying. Training takes patience, consistency and an understanding of the Arctic dog character. If you are not this dog’s 100% firm, confident, consistent pack leader, he will take advantage, becoming willful and mischievous. Huskies make an excellent jogging companion, as long as it is not too hot. Huskies may be difficult to housebreak. This breed likes to howl and gets bored easily. Does not do well if left alone for a long period of time without a great deal of exercise beforehand. A lonely Husky, or a Husky that does not get enough mental and physical exercise can be very destructive. Remember that the Husky is a sled dog in heart and soul. It is good with other pets if raised with them from puppyhood. Huskies are thrifty eaters and need less food than you might expect. This breed likes to roam. Siberian Huskies can make wonderful companions for people who are aware of what to expect from these beautiful and intelligent animals and are willing to put the time and energy into them.

Health
Health issues in the breed are mainly genetic, such as seizures and defects of the eye (juvenile cataracts, corneal dystrophy, canine glaucoma and progressive retinal atrophy) and congenital laryngeal paralysis. Hip dysplasia is not often found in this breed; however, as with many medium or larger-sized canines, it can occur. The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals currently has the Siberian Husky ranked 155th out of a possible 160 breeds at risk for hip dysplasia, with only two percent of tested Siberian Huskies showing dysplasia.

Advice
This breed is made for the great outdoors but also makes a wonderful companion. The Siberian Husky needs intense exercise to maintain mental health. Weekly brushing is required. Currying is required during seasonal shedding.

Function
Sled dog (light loads at moderate speeds over great distances), Pet.


Dogs
Horse Herd