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Photo Credit: JSF539 via Compfight cc
The Dog Profile we are looking at today is the gorgeous Siberian Husky!


Background

Originating from NorthEast Asia, Siberian Husky’s were bred for centuries by Chikuri people to herd reindeer, pull sleds and be watchdogs. In the early 20th century, fur traders from Malamute brought Husky’s over to Alaska, United States to take part in Alaskan races. In 1910, the dogs took part in All-Alaskan Sweepstakes, a 408-mile long dogsled race for the first time. Due to the Husky’s speed and endurance they excelled at the race and continued to retain their record title until 2008. 
In 1925, Siberian Husky’s popularity grew even further when there was an diptheria outbreak in Nome, Alaska.  All public access to the town had been prohibited. Considering the townsfolk desperately needed life saving medication, these dogs came to the rescue by effectively transporting the goods to and from the closest railway station. 
During World War 2, Siberian Husky’s also did their duty and served on the Army’s Arctic Search and Rescue unit. 
Siberian Huskys today are still used in dog sledding but have also become favourable house hold pets.  In Australia, the reputation of Siberian Huskys has been steadily growing since the 1980s and they are now the 12th most popular dog breed!  

Physical Characteristics

Generally Siberian Husky’s sport a heavy thick undercoat and a long coarse top coat.  Be warned that their coat sheds  heavily twice a year and can be a nightmare to clean up! Their fur colours can be black, brown, white or a mix with or without markings on the head. Their eye colour is usually vibrant blue but sometimes it can be brown.

Although Husky’s may seem small when you first acquire them as a puppy, do not be deceived! These dogs grow to medium to large size.  On average, Male Siberian Husky’s average 53-60cm in height and weigh from 20-27kg. Female Siberian Husky’s average 52-56cm in height and weight around 16-23 kg.

Temperament

Siberian Husky’s are usually playful, loving, cuddly and sweet to have as pets. They are extremely good with families who have small children and anyone in general. They are also very friendly with strangers so they wouldn’t be beneficial to have as watchdogs unfortunately. 

If you are hardly home then it is not recommended to have a Husky. Husky’s are very social pets and get bored easily. If they do happen to get bored they tend to howl. These howls can be heard as far as 10 miles away!! Not exactly pleasant for your surrounding neighbours. 

Husky’s are highly intelligent and trainable. However, you must assert strong leadership 100% of the time as they are still pack oriented. If your Husky does not believe you are dominant and strong minded enough they will become mischievous and not obey your commands.   

A slight precaution is warranted with Husky’s as their predatory instincts run deep. There have been reports of Husky’s attacking (and even killing) small animals or other household pets like cats without any hint of provocation.  

Exercise requirements

Husky’s are very vibrant and active dogs. They need to be taken on walks or played with regularly to expel all that pent up energy! When Husky’s become older and encounter medical issues such as hip problems, their exercise needs may decrease. 

Apparently they are very fond of digging. Therefore, if you have a yard with fancy petunias then it is imperative you designate your dog a spot they can rip to shreds at their heart’s desire. Otherwise bye bye beautiful flower bed. 

It is also recommended to keep your Husky in a large yard with a high fence. If your fence is wire, it is essential to bury it as these keen diggers can easily dig a hole and head out to hunt!

Life expectancy

Siberian Husky’s have quite a good life span which averages around 12-15 years of age. 

Health Problems

This breed can suffer from a range of hereditary conditions including hip dysplasia, ectopy (urethra displacement) and eye issues (i.e. progressive retinal atrophy which is mainly found in male dogs).  Breeders have also noticed that Siberian Huskys may suffer from heart problems. It is recommended to always purchase a Siberian Husky from a reputable breeder and ensure that you take them for regular health checks with your vet. 

Is a Siberian Husky for you?

The perfect pet owner for Siberian Huskys is someone who shows strong leadership and are especially dedicated to their Husky’s need for training and exercise. Husky’s crave attention and are social creatures so they are better suited to families or people that mainly operate from home. Siberian Husky’s are exceedingly energetic and require constant stimulation. Providing them access to a large garden and taking them for regular walks is a definite requirement. They need to be brushed and groomed fairly regularly thanks to their thick coats.  
If you are rarely home and/or live in a small apartment or house with no garden then Siberian Husky’s are not an ideal pet for you. You may come back and find your furniture in complete disarray if your Husky is left alone all day! 

Now we will leave you with this lovely Husky named Mishka… she has some delightful vocal chords there!