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Siberian Husky: Pictures, Temperament & Traits

siberian husky sitting
Height 20-23.5 inches
Weight 35-60 pounds
Lifespan 12-14 years
Colors Black and white, gray and white, red and white, sable and white, white, black, tan, and white, gray and black, black, brown, tan, black, gray, and white, copper and white
Suitable for Active people, families, farmers
Temperament High-energy, friendly, mischievous

Originally bred to pull sleds as part of a pack, the Siberian Husky is a thick-coated Nordic breed that was produced in Siberia, Russia. The vast region of Russia is mostly tundra, forest, and mountains and experiences extremely cold temperatures, which made the Husky suitable for pulling sleds in cold climates.

In modern life, the Husky may be used for a professional or competitive sled dog team, or as a beloved family pet. The medium breed is friendly, beautiful, and loving, and many people desire them for their wolf-like looks, striking eyes, and coloration. As pack dogs, Huskies are happy to be part of a family of people and other dogs, but they have a high prey drive and may chase small animals. Huskies are also workhorses, so they need an owner who will give them a lot of activity and attention.

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Siberian Husky Puppies – Before You Get One…

siberian husky puppies on the grass
Image Credit: ANURAK PONGPATIMET, Shutterstock

Energy:
Trainability:
Health:
Lifespan:
Sociability:

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3 Little-Known Facts About Siberian Husky

1. Huskies Are Built for Sub-Zero Climates

Siberian Huskies have a double coat with a short, thick undercoat to retain heat and a long, water-resistant outer coat. They also have long, bushy tails to cover their faces while they sleep and almond eyes to deflect snow, as well as “eyeliner” to keep sunlight glare from compromising their vision – like a football player wearing eye black.


2. Blue Eyes Are Common in Huskies

While blue eyes are rare in most dog breeds, Huskies are often born with bright blue eyes. Heterochromia, when eyes are two different colors, is also common in the breed.


3. Huskies Have Incredible Metabolisms

Though science can’t explain it, Huskies have incredible metabolisms. They can sprint for hours without food, yet don’t tap into their fat or glycogen storage. This is because they can regulate their metabolism for performance, which is likely from being bred to pull sleds over long distances with minimal food.

Siberian Husky Dog
Image Credit: jpgordijn, Pixabay

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Siberian Husky

Huskies are beautiful, but how do they get along with families, children, and pets? Learn more about this breed’s temperament and intelligence.

Are These Dogs Good for Families?👪

Huskies love people and get attached to all family members, so they’re a great choice for families with children. They are large and can be rambunctious, so they must be taught manners to avoid accidental injury of children. In turn, children must also be taught to respect the dog’s space and avoid tugging on its tail or ears.

Huskies are vocal and have a signature howl that sounds similar to a wolf, but they’re not great watchdogs. If a stranger approaches or someone knocks at the door, your dog may not alert you.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Huskies are pack dogs and learn to work as a team, so they tend to get along with other dogs. They do have a high prey drive, however, and will often hunt and chase small animals. They’re unafraid of cats, so they have no qualms about chasing one around.

If you have small animals, it’s important to socialize your Husky well. This is a hard habit to break, however, so it may be best to select another breed or commit to keeping your small animals safely tucked away in separate areas than the Husky.

siberian husky pulling a sled
Image Credit: Viola ‘, Pixabay

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Things to Know When Owning a Siberian Husky:

So, do you think a Husky is the right choice for you? Read more about the breed’s diet, exercise, training, and grooming needs.

Food & Diet Requirements🦴

Huskies can go long periods without food, but they do best on a high-protein diet designed for their energy needs. Choose high-quality dog food with natural ingredients and animal protein as the first ingredients. You may want to get a breed-specific food that addresses the Husky’s needs in their puppy, mid-life, and senior stages of life.

Exercise🐕

Huskies were bred to pull a sled all day, and they haven’t lost that drive. Even as a family dog, a Husky will want to run and does best with a fenced-in yard and regular walks or playtime. Huskies are not reliable dogs off-leash and should never be left to roam.

Though Huskies prefer cold climates, they can adjust to living virtually anywhere. Keep their natural environment in mind, however, and avoid leaving them outside or exercising them during the hottest part of the day.

siberian husky dogs pulling a sled
Image Credit: badamczak80, Pixabay

Training🎾

Like all breeds, the Siberian Husky benefits from obedience training, socialization, and discipline early on. For Huskies, they may need more, since they’re a breed that’s accustomed to taking commands and working with a pack.

Huskies are born to run, so teach your dog good leash manners and always keep it on a leash or within a fenced year. If your dog takes off, it may run for hours and may not be able to find its way home. Huskies are also good at escaping, so make sure your fence is solid and buried partially under the ground to avoid digging. Huskies can climb chain links, so they’re best suited for yards with vinyl or wooden fencing. Invisible fences aren’t suitable for Huskies.

Training a Husky can take hours of dedication and patience, especially if you plan to use the dog for sledding. Huskies are social dogs and need attention and affection from their owners and other dogs, so they’re not suited to being home alone all day.

Grooming✂️

Huskies have a thick double coat that must be brushed several times a week to shed loose hair. During the shedding season, they may need to be brushed daily. Huskies are naturally odor-free, but they benefit from regular bathing.

Siberian Huskies have strong nails that grow quickly, so you may need to trim your Husky’s nails weekly or biweekly. Some Huskies may get an abnormal buildup of wax and debris, which can lead to infection. Be sure to clean your Husky’s ears once a week.

Siberian Husky
Image Credit: BARBARA808, Pixabay

Health and Conditions🏥

The Siberian Husky is a healthy breed, especially when it comes from responsible breeders. Huskies are prone to genetic conditions like juvenile cataracts and hip dysplasia, however.

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Male vs Female

There’s little difference between the temperament of a male and female Husky, especially once spayed or neutered. Fixing your dog prevents behavioral problems, such as marking, aggression, and increased vocalization, as well as medical conditions like reproductive infections and cancer.

Otherwise, the main difference between a male and a female is size. Males are typically larger and heavier, but this can vary by individual. Though it’s not much, that could have an impact on the amount of food or the cost of weight-based medications. This shouldn’t be a reason to select a female, however – choose the individual that best suits your personality.

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Final Thoughts

Often romanticized in stories like “White Fang” and “Game of Thrones,” the Siberian Husky is a beautiful, agile dog bred to pull a sled as part of a pack. With their wolf-like appearance, striking eyes and colors, and fluffy coats, Siberian Huskies are popular for many owners. These affectionate dogs are a beloved part of the family, but they have some behavioral quirks to consider before bringing one home.


Featured Image Credit: Aleksandr Abrosimov, Shutterstock

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