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Nicole Cosgrove

The Pitsky is a medium to large sized mixed breed. She is the result of crossing an American Pit Bull Terrier with either the Siberian Husky or the Alaskan Husky. She has talents in guarding, watchdog, hunting, racing and sledding and has a life span of 12 to 15 years. The Pitsky is a very loyal and devoted dog and when well raised is even tempered too.

The Pitsky is a devoted dog and makes a great pet but she really needs active owners, preferably with dog owning experience, and access to a yard. This is not a chilled dog or a lap dog or one that can entertain herself all day. She requires a lot of attention and exercise. However for those wary of the Pit Bull side to her when she comes from good lines she is not aggressive and with early socialization and training she is very even tempered and loving.

Here is the Pitsky at a Glance
Average height 20 to 24 inches
Average weight 35 to 80 pounds
Coat type Shiny, short, smooth or long and woolen
Hypoallergenic? No
Grooming Needs Moderate to high
Shedding Average to high
Brushing Daily
Touchiness Quite sensitive
Tolerant to Solitude? Low
Barking Occasional to frequent – can howl
Tolerance to Heat Good
Tolerance to Cold Moderate if has Pit Bull coat, Excellent if has Husky coat
Good Family Pet? Very good to excellent
Good with Children? Very good with socialization
Good with other Dogs? Very good with socialization
Good with other Pets? Good with socialization – can see them as prey to chase
A roamer or Wanderer? High
A Good Apartment Dweller? Low to moderate
Good Pet for new Owner? Moderate
Trainability Fairly easy to train
Exercise Needs Very active
Tendency to get Fat Average
Major Health Concerns Hypothyroidism, heart disease, eye problems,
Other Health Concerns Hip dysplasia, allergies
Life Span 12 to 15 years
Average new Puppy Price $150 to $2500
Average Annual Medical Expense $485 to $600
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $510 to $600

Where does the Pitsky come from?

There are an increasing number of mixed breeds like the Pitksy being deliberately bred and sometimes referred to as designer dogs. Designer dogs have seen a huge trend in popularity amongst the famous and the public in the last two to three decades. The intent behind most of them is to create a dog with the best of both chosen parents. (Most designer dogs are the result of two purebreds being bred together). A lot are also given a name that blends the two parent names. There are a couple of things to keep in mind if you are interested in the Pitsky or any designer dog. Firstly a lot are being bred by irresponsible breeders and puppy mills just to make money. Know where you are buying from. Secondly there are no guarantees when it comes whether they get the best or worst from the parents, or even what they look like. Here is a look at the three potential parents for the Pitsky so you know what is going into her.

The American Pit Bull Terrier

In England up until 1835 a popular spectator sport was bear and bull baiting. Dogs were bred and used to bait these animals and then later became dogs fighters when that was banned. This meant they were bred to be aggressive, courageous, tenacious. But they were also bred to never bite their handlers. In America they were used on farms to hunt game and to guard the property. They were bred to be larger too. Breeders also focused on developing a dog who remained strong and courageous but was also family friendly and gentle.

Today we see their success. The dog when he comes from a good breeder, is confident, alert, friendly, courageous, and very loyal and affectionate. This dog too would happily try to be lap dog despite his size. He will protect you and his family if there is something putting them at risk.

The Alaskan Husky

The Alaskan Husky is a mixed breed dog himself. He has some Native Village dog in him and then there are two other dogs used in the crossing, huskys, hounds, or in some cases both. He was used for various purposes too leading to a selection of sizes depending on his purpose. Some were bred to be a working sled dog so were larger. Others were bred to be racing dogs so are smaller.

They are widely varied on their appearance and personality too. In general though they are affectionate pack dogs. He is athletic and strong and very high energy. He can be very focused, he likes to wander off and loves to run and to swim. He is also quite independent and loves doing new things and having adventures.

The Siberian Husky

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. He came to Alaska in 1908 where he was used as a sled dog and entered into dogsled races.

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.


She is a a very loyal dog with a lot of energy, power and stamina. She tends to be even tempered and happy, keen to be at the center of everything. Sometimes she can be a little too enthusiastic and likes to jump on people but early training and socialization can help control that. The Pitsky can be very affectionate with her family and protective. Should she deem a threat is imminent she will act to defend you or herself. She is good with children, can be playful and mild. She can get anxious if left alone for long periods and that could lead to destructive behavior.

What does the Pitsky look like

The Pitsky is a medium to large dog weighing 35 to 80 pounds and standing 20 to 24 inches tall. She can appear like either parent, husky or pit. Usually she has a broad head between her ears which are erect. Her eyes are almond shaped and she has black long muzzle. Her body is compact and sturdy and you can see her strength. Her coat can be like a Husky or a Put Bull coat, long and woolen or short and smooth. Colors can vary too though most commonly she comes in colors that are dark.

Training and Exercise Needs

How active does the Pitsky need to be?

She is a very active dog with high energy and really is only suitable for owners who are very active themselves and can commit to giving her at least 2 hours of physical activity a day. She likes to chase things and run very quickly for a long time. She needs access to a yard to play in and it needs to be well fenced in as she is good at escaping. She would be happy to go on hikes, join her owner for a jog and a walk each day, visit the dog park, have some play time. She should be mentally as well as physically challenged. Some owners will give them backpacks to carry certain items as the extra weight will tire her out more quickly, otherwise most people get tired well before she ever does.

Does she train quickly?

She is intelligent and can be easy and quick to train. But she is a pack dog and you need to make sure you are clear about being pack leader. Be firm and confident when you train and issue commands. She is eager to please so using positive training methods like rewards, treats and praise is the best way to have success. Consistency is essential and early socialization and training are important to have her become a well rounded dog.

Living with a Pitsky

How much grooming is needed?

She is definitely not the dog for you if allergies are an issue or if you do not want hair to clean up. She ranges from an average to heavy shedder and needs vacuuming up after daily. She also needs brushing daily as that will help control some of the shedding. Use a solid bristle brush to keep her coat looking healthy. You can dry shampoo her or give her a bath just when she needs one. Her ears should be inspected once a week in case of infection and then wiped clean with a dog ear cleaning solution and a cotton ball. Her nails will also need regular trimming when they get too long, taking care not to cut into the quick. Her teeth will need to be brushed using a dog toothpaste and brush at least twice a week, more if she will let you!

What is she like with children and other animals?

She is good with children, she plays with them and loves to spend time with them. Early socialization and training help and being raised together would too. She also gets on quite well with other dogs if socialized. Smaller animals and other pets can be seen as prey to chase but that too can be controlled with socialization. Make sure you teach the children how to interact nicely with dogs and what they do not like.

General information

She is an occasional to frequent barker and she can sometimes howl too. She is a good watchdog and will bark to alert you of danger as well as act to protect you if it is needed. She should be fed at least 3 to 4 cups of good quality dry dog food a day split into at least two meals. She may need more than that because of how active she is.

Health Concerns

When looking for a Pitsky you need to take some time and look for the right breeder. You should be able to ask to see parental health clearances to make sure your puppy is not from a line of unhealthy dogs and you should try to visit before buying. The parents of the Pitsky are more at risk of the following health issues Hypothyroidism, heart disease, eye problems, Hip dysplasia and allergies. This means the Pitsky is also more prone to those issues.

Costs involved in owning a Pitsky

A puppy for this mixed breed will cost between $150 to $2000. Quite a range reflecting the different sellers, from people on Craigslist, some reputable breeders and some people charging outrageous prices for no reason other than to profit. Price is not an indicator of the seller unfortunately. You cannot look to the $2000 and think scam. Some mixed breeds have costs involved in breeding them, some breeders include a lot of things with the price. Along with the puppy if not already included you will need a collar and leash, crate, carrier, blood tests, chipping, shots, deworming and spaying eventually. These come to $450 to $500. Medical basic costs each year for insurance, flea prevention, shots and check ups come to $485 to $600. Other costs each year for things like treats, food, training, toys and license come to $510 to $600.


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Nicole Cosgrove

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.