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Also known as the Chow-Husky the Chusky is a medium to large sized dog. He is definitely best suited for experienced dog owners and those with active lifestyles as he is very spirited and energetic. He will live for 10 to 12 years and is in the Working group of dogs with talents in Guard dog and companionship. He is a mixed breed being a cross between the Chow Chow and the Siberian Husky.
|Here is the Chusky at a Glance|
|Average height||18 to 23 inches|
|Average weight||40 to 65 pounds|
|Coat type||Dense, soft, thick|
|Shedding||Moderate to high (constant and seasonal shedding)|
|Brushing||Regular – once a day when shedding is heavy|
|Touchiness||Low to moderate|
|Tolerant to Solitude?||No, can suffer from separation anxiety|
|Barking||Low to moderate|
|Tolerance to Heat||Low to moderate|
|Tolerance to Cold||High – does best in cold climates|
|Good Family Pet?||Good to very good|
|Good with Children?||Very good|
|Good with other Dogs?||Moderate – needs socialization|
|Good with other Pets?||Good|
|A roamer or Wanderer?||Moderate to high|
|A Good Apartment Dweller?||Not especially because of his energy levels|
|Good Pet for new Owner?||Moderate – harder to train than many dogs|
|Trainability||Fairly hard to train|
|Exercise Needs||Fairly high|
|Tendency to get Fat||Moderate|
|Major Health Concerns||None known|
|Other Health Concerns||Eye problems, hip dysplasia, dental problems|
|Life Span||10 to 12 years|
|Average new Puppy Price||$200 to $800|
|Average Annual Medical Expense||$500 – $650|
|Average Annual Non-Medical Expense||$550 – $700|
Where does the Chusky come from?
Chusky origins are not really known. There have been mixed dogs for as long as there have been pure bred, but the deliberate mixing of two pure breeds and then naming that offspring is a recent development in the last 20 years. Also know as hybrid or designer dogs these are growing in popularity at the moment. Therefore it is important to take care should you want a designer dog. Buy from trustworthy breeders, avoid buying just based on a picture you saw online as appearance can vary even in one litter. The best way to see what appearance and temperament you could be dealing with is to look to the parents.
The Siberian Husky
While the history of this Russian dog is mostly unclear we known from DNA tests that this is one of the oldest dog breeds around today. It is thought he comes from a dog the Siberian nomads had called the Chukchi. These dogs were used as sled dogs and as family dogs. Children usually slept with them to get warmth and comfort. The Siberian Husky came to Alaska in 19098 where he was used as a sled dog and entered into dogsled races. While no more Siberians can come from Siberia now with the Borders closed they continue to do well in North America though they are now a little different to the Chukchi dog.
Today the Siberian Husky is still a pack animal and so needs an owner who can establish himself as pack leader very clearly. If you do this successfully it will make training easier. But be prepared he does like to test the rules. He is a lot of energy and needs to be exercised and stimulated enough otherwise he can become destructive. He has a mischievous nature and loves to play and show off their abilities. He is not a barker but he does howl so you will need understanding neighbors! Because they are friendly and gentle in nature they are not good as watchdogs.
The Chow Chow
The Chow Chow is another very old breed with testing showing he comes from as far back as 200 BC. He is thought to have origins in North China and Mongolia, traveling with the nomadic tribes there. They were kept as hunting dogs and were also used as guards, perhaps a little gruesomely they were also eaten and the fur was used to make coats. In China he was called the wolf dog, the bear dog, the black tongued dog and the canton dog. Then in the late 1700s British traders carried some of the dogs over to England. In those days miscellaneous items in a ship’s cargo were referred to as Chow Chow and so the dogs were named. When later on Queen Victoria showed an interest in the dog they became more popular. He fist appears in America in the late 19th century and in the 1920s were quite fashionable.
Today he is an aloof dog, intelligent and independent in nature. They are not trouble makers and will play with their family but have little interest in strangers unless he feels they are trespassing in which case he will challenge them. Socialization is important so that he is more relaxed as an adult when new situations, dogs and people come along.
The Chusky is an alert dog and will be protective of his family. He is very energetic and playful, he is also intelligent and loving. When he is not playing he can be laid back but he thrives on attention from his owner and can be demanding in always having it! He will entertain you with some of his antics and will certainly fill the home with his presence. He is not good being left alone at all so long periods might lead him to suffer from separation anxiety because of his need to be with you at all times.
What does a Chusky look like
He is a medium to large sized dog weighing 40 – 65 lbs and standing 18 – 23 inches tall. He has a lean body with a medium sized head and body that is well proportioned. His muzzle usually equals the length of his head and his ears are pointy. He has almond shaped eyes that reflect his energy levels and he has a black nose. His legs are long and strong and his tail is feathered and points up then curls over the back. His coat is straight, he has a double coat and it is dense, soft and thick. Colors include black, red, cream, white, brown and gold.
Training and Exercise Needs
Will the Chusky need much exercise?
This is a dog that needs a moderate to high amount of exercise a day to keep him well behaved, healthy and happy. Even if he is low demanding he still needs to be taken out daily for a long walk plus some play. He should get at least an hour a day. Be sure to have some mentally stimulating games as well as physical. For this reason they are best homed with a family or owner who already enjoys a highly active lifestyle.
Is training going to be easy?
Training is not easy for this dog as he can be stubborn and he really needs a strong owner able to establish dominance over him. For this reason he is not best suited for a new owner. He is clever though, so if you know how to establish yourself as his pack leader after that training should be fine. Be sure to start socialization and training from a young age as it is best for him and for you. If you do not carry out obedience training you are likely to have issues with destructive behavior. Consult with a professional trainer or take him to a school if needed.
Living with a Chusky
Is he easy to groom?
He has moderate grooming needs as he is a constant and seasonal shedder. You will need to brush him daily to try and control some of the shedding, you will need to have a good vacuum cleaner to clean up the furniture after him and you may need to take him to a professional groomers now and then too. Bathing will help with the shedding too just be sure to use a dog shampoo not a human one.
Clean his teeth at least 2 to 3 times week and wipe his ears once a week. Nail clipping could also be left to the groomers as you must not cut too low. Dogs nails have nerves and vessels in them so you can only cut so far down before you cause pain and bleeding.
What is he like with children and other animals?
He is usually good with children and loves to play with them, is affectionate towards them and protective of them. It is still a good idea to socialize them to ensure things go well though. This will also help how they around other dogs as usually they are not as good with other dogs. Make sure your children know how to play with a dog and what not to do.
He is a good watchdog, he will bark to alert you if an intruder comes but otherwise is not a big barker. He will need to be fed 21/2 to 3 cups of good quality dry dog food divided into two meals each day. He does not do well in hot climates and is best suited to colder ones.
When buying a puppy try to get one from a reputable breeder who can offer health clearances for the parents, this way you are less likely to get a puppy with health issues. It is possible that the Chusky might inherit some of his parents health issues such as hip dysplasia and eye problems. Chuskys can also be born without their middle teeth which may mean they will need a special diet.
Costs involved in owning a Chusky
A Chusky might cost anywhere from $200 to $800 depending on whether it is particularly popular, whether you buy from a good breeder, where you are and the health of the dog. Initial costs will cover things like a crate, a collar and leash, neutering, micro chipping, blood tests, deworming. These come to $450 – $550. Annual costs will cover things like training, vaccinations, food, license, health checks, treats, emergency health care savings, toys. This will be about $1000 – $1100.
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This is a great spirited dog that will do well in a home with a family but he does need to have an experienced owner who can establish themselves as pack leader. Therefore as great as they are they are best for first time owners. They are loveable and endearing but need an active household so he can get the exercise he needs.
Top Siberian Husky Mixes
Featured Image Credit: Dolores M Harvey, Shutterstock
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.
- Where does the Chusky come from?
- What does a Chusky look like
- Training and Exercise Needs
- Living with a Chusky
- Health Concerns
- Costs involved in owning a Chusky
- Top Siberian Husky Mixes