Bred initially in Northern Siberia, the Siberian Husky is a medium-sized working dog who is quick and light on their feet. Their moderately compact and well-furred body, erect ears and brush tail suggest their Northern heritage. Huskies are very active and energetic and are known for being long-distance sled dogs.
Illustration courtesy of the Swedish Kennel Club
In 1925 a team of Siberian Huskies saved Nome, Alaska by carrying the serum to cure diphtheria a considerable distance by sled. The run was done in the middle of a blizzard and in conditions below -23 degrees Fahrenheit. The run is remembered by the annual Iditarod Trail Sled Race, and Balto, the famous sled dog who led his team through the final leg.
Siberian Huskies at a glance
Did you just welcome a Siberian Husky dog breed into your home? Are you thinking about it? Either way, you’ve come to the right place! Whether you’ve adopted a puppy or an older dog, we have the information you need to properly train and care for them.
The Siberian Husky is loyal, outgoing, and mischievous, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC). This breed is known for several distinctive characteristics including their howl and either brown or blue eyes. One of Embark’s first discoveries identified a mutation that gives Siberian Huskies their blue eye color.
About Siberian Huskies
This dog breed originated from the extreme north east of Siberia and was initially domesticated by the Chukchi, an ancient population that thrived by herding reindeer and moving with each season to new grazing regions. They came to America in 1909 and found their place in the Alaskan wilderness. They love to be out in cold weather and are known to be the ideal sled dog. This breed has strong insulated paws that are perfect for traction in the snow. The Siberian Husky also has two layers in their coat that protect them from Arctic winters.
Physical characteristics of this breed
Siberian Huskies typically stand at about 20 to 23.5 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 35 and 60 pounds.
“Quick and nimble-footed, Siberians are known for their powerful but seemingly effortless gait. Tipping the scales at no more than 60 pounds, they are noticeably smaller and lighter than their burly cousin, the Alaskan Malamute,” the AKC reported.
Playtime with the Siberian Husky
Siberian Huskies are athletic dogs who need a lot of exercise. These dogs are happiest when they have a job or activity to perform. Daily walks or runs are great for Huskies, perhaps one of the best things you can do for them. They’d also do well in a playgroup.
Huskies love to play fetch, tug-of-war, or frisbee. You can even play hide and seek with a treat or create a DIY agility course in your yard.
Nutrition for your Siberian Husky
A balanced diet is vital to your dog’s growth and health, according to the ASPCA, and portion control is key.
“Feeding a high-quality dog food is essential for the Siberian’s healthy skin and coat. Adjustments in the level of protein in the food is required for the working Siberian, based on the level of activity,” the AKC reported. “In the summer months, a lower protein level may be appropriate, around 20 percent, while a dog working in harness in wintertime may need 32 percent protein. Monitor each individual Siberian, and adjust the amount and type of food as required. Be careful not to overfeed.”
You should also keep in mind that a dog’s diet should change as they grow. A puppy should have a different diet than an adult dog or senior dog, and senior dogs should have a different diet than adult dogs.
The best thing you can do for your pup when it comes to diet is to talk to your veterinarian about a meal plan.
Grooming the Siberian Husky
The Siberian Husky is an easy dog to groom as they are considered a “natural” breed and are self-cleaning. Brushing them weekly will keep their coat and skin in great condition.
“The undercoat is shed twice a year, and it is important to continually ‘rake out’ the old coat, using a pin brush and metal comb. Pay close attention to the length of the nails, and keep them trimmed to prevent any foot problems,” the AKC reported.
Health and aging for this breed
Do you know your pup’s birthday? Never miss a celebration with your four-legged friend! And keep in mind that you’ll need to care for him or her differently as your pup ages.
The Siberian Husky is a relatively healthy breed and has a lifespan of about 12 years. Your dog is considered a senior pup after turning 8. Make sure you’ve had your pup tested with Embark so you’re armed with as much information as possible to ensure your dog is healthy and to sidestep any preventable disease that may come your way.
An Embark Dog DNA Test looks at the following health conditions in Siberian Huskies:
Want to learn more about your dog?
Do you own a Siberian Husky or do you think your dog might be part Siberian Husky? Learn more about you pup with Embark’s Dog DNA Tests, the most accurate on the market.
Siberian Huskies on Embark
Explore some Embark dogs that share Siberian Husky ancestry.
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