The characteristics of the Siberian husky include its strong and muscular appearance. Like the rest of the Nordic dogs, their character is not the usual one for a pet. Although, this does not mean that it is not an ideal family companion. At Petlifey, we explain everything about the Siberian husky dog breed.
Character of the Siberian Husky breed
The Siberian husky dog breed is characterized by its kind and friendly temperament. It is never suspicious or aggressive towards strangers or other dogs, but it is always alert.
Adult specimens have a dignified attitude and are very reserved. In the character of this animal, its intelligence and docility stand out, as well as its desire to please. This makes them a good, hard-working and wilful companion, just like its “brother” the Samoyed .
In fact, this dog is very docile, although energetic, especially when young, and has many of the traits that characterize the temperament of Nordic breeds.
Thus, it can sometimes seem dismissive and overly independent, but without being sullen, especially with the people with whom it shares its life.
Well-mannered and socialized, the Siberian husky is a cheerful, very funny and affectionate dog that integrates perfectly into family life.
Its relationship with children is especially good. With them it shares games, walks and adventures, and always behaves gently and without brusqueness.
Instead, it is not a good watchdog. It is friendly with everyone, even if it does not empathize with strangers. And, sometimes react to them with indifference or with a certain air of distance.
And it is not a very noisy dog, although it can howl in certain situations, something that should be tried to prevent with patience and positive reinforcement in order to avoid possible problems with the neighbours.
In principle, the relationship and coexistence with other dogs does not have to pose any problem, since in general it gets along very well with other dogs and with pets of different species, especially if it gets used to it since it is a puppy.
The city is not its favourite environment, but it adapts quite well to any type of life, provided that you are guaranteed the possibility of exercising according to your needs.
Of course, it enjoys more living in the country or in a house where it has enough space that it can consider as its own territory.
And it is that traditionally the huskies lived outdoors, in small wooden huts somewhat raised from the ground and fastened to the door of the same with a rope or a long chain, because that was the best way to keep controlled and resting animals they had to do their best in racing or just pulling the sled to work.
Currently this type of life is obsolete and only some mushers continue to maintain it, but in reality the husky can live without problems outside or adapt to modern life inside a house.
What the husky does not do well is spending many hours alone throughout the day, because although it is true that it is a fairly independent dog, it is above all a gregarious animal, used to living and working within a group, almost always numerous, replacing its fellow men with the family it lives with and to whom it gives its unconditional affection.
If you spend only very long periods, you run the risk of ending up mentally unbalanced, to the point of being destructive and displaying serious behavior problems.
Another reason why this breed prefers to live in a non-urban environment is because of its need to exercise regularly.
As there are currently many specimens of the breed living in cities or in areas completely alien to the natural conditions of the area from which they originate, it is practically impossible to use them for their original function, that is, to practice sled races, although Fortunately, there are other adapted modalities for running on land.
However, even so it is usually necessary to have more than one copy and have the right place to practice this type of sports.
However, owners who do not want to make their pet participate in races have many other options, such as making it their ideal companion for jogging (with the consequent physical benefits for both the dog and its owner).
Target them to disciplines such as agility, flyball, Frisbee and even obedience, in which he obtains a great performance thanks to its sporting capacity, or make them participate in work of social utility or collaboration with rescue units in areas of snow or perennial ice, because its thick and double mantle protects them very well.
- Energy: It is an animal that needs to do a lot of exercise every day.
- Temperament: It is an intelligent, docile and independent dog. Affectionate and friendly character.
- Sociability: Medium / High. It is affectionate with its family, but somewhat distant with strangers. It does not usually present problems with other dogs or with other pets.
- Adaptability: Medium / High. Accustomed to living outdoors, it prefers life in the country, outdoors, but can adapt to the city if it is allowed to exercise a lot.
- Health: Some specimens may suffer from hip dysplasia, eye conditions or dermatitis.
- Longevity: Lives from 12 to 15 years.
- Utility: Versatile. It is a sled and companion draft dog, but it is also used for rescue, agility, flyball, etc.
- Use: Sled shot and company.
Characteristics of the Siberian Husky
Strong, muscular and very resistant, these are the physical characteristics that best describe a Siberian husky.
Its body is medium to large in size and very harmonious in its proportions. Its appearance is that of a graceful and refined chancellor, with a robust and vigorous compact constitution, but without being heavy.
The head is medium in size and proportionate to the body. The skull is rounded at the top and its width decreases towards the eyes. The stop is well defined.
The ears are set high and very close to each other, they are medium, triangular and thick. They have slightly rounded tips and are well covered with hair.
Their almond-shaped eyes , moderately wide apart and set slightly oblique, are brown or blue , and there are dogs that have one eye of each color. His expression is lively, kind, and even mischievous.
It has medium-sized, oval feet. The pads are hard and padded, and have a lot of hair between the toes. The feet do not deviate either outwards or inwards.
The tail is long and wide, and it is covered with abundant and beautiful hair. It is inserted just below the line of the back and when the dog is at rest he carries it dangling.
Regarding its coat, it is double-coated, the undercoat is dense and soft, and on the outer coat the coat is smooth, straight and of moderate length. It covers a wide chromatic range, from black to white.
Let’s now see in more detail what the Siberian husky dog breed is like and the breed standard:
Siberian Husky breed standard
- General appearance: Large, compact, proportionate, muscular and strong. Its bearing is light but powerful.
- Size and size: Large.
- Height at the withers: Between 54 and 60 cm for males and between 51 and 56 cm for females.
- Weight: Between 21 and 28 kg for males and between 16 and 23 kg for females.
- Origin: United States.
- Other names: Siberian Husky / Siberian Husky.
- Body: It is compact, strong, slightly longer than it is tall.
- Head: medium in size and well proportioned in relation to the dimensions of the body.
- Skull: It is slightly rounded at the top and tapers to the eye area.
- Muzzle: The muzzle is of moderate width and length, narrowing towards the nose. The point is neither square nor pointed. The bridge of the nose is straight from stop to tip.
- Nose: It is black in gray, fawn or black dogs, liver-colored in copper-colored dogs and sometimes flesh-colored in dogs that are totally white. At certain times of the year the pigment in the nose may become lighter, which is known as the “snow nose” or “winter nose”.
- Eyes: They are almond shaped, a little oblique and are moderately separated. They can be brown or blue. Some specimens have a different color in each eye and there are even multi-colored ones.
- Ears : They are set high and located very close to each other. They are thick, medium in size and triangular in shape. They are well covered with hair, slightly arched at the back and quite erect, with rounded tips pointing upwards.
- Nose-frontal depression (stop): It is well defined.
- Jaws: Have a scissor bite.
- Neck: It is of medium length and arched. The dog proudly wears it upright when standing, but during the trotting movement it extends it, bringing its head slightly forward.
- Chest: It is deep and strong, without being too wide. The ribs are arched, but flatter on the sides, giving the dog greater freedom of movement.
- Back: It is straight and strong, of medium length and with a level top line from the withers to the rump.
- Forelimbs: When the dog is standing and seen from the front, the limbs are moderately separated, parallel and straight. The bones are solid, but without being excessively heavy. His shoulders and shoulder blades are very sloping back, well developed and well muscled. The forearms are slightly longer than the arms. The arm is slightly oblique back, from the point of the shoulder to the elbow.
- Hindquarters: Seen from behind, the hind limbs are moderately apart and parallel. The legs have strong, muscular thighs. Knees: Well angulated. Their hocks are well defined and low.
- Feet: Compact and oval in shape, they are medium in size. The footpads are thick and hard, and well covered with hair between the toes. The feet show no outward or inward deflection.
- Tail: it is well covered with long hair, with a characteristic shape reminiscent of a fox’s tail. It is inserted just below the upper line, and when the dog is attentive it is curved over the back in the shape of a sickle, without curling it to the sides of the body, nor resting on the back. On the other hand, when the dog is at rest, it carries it hanging.
- Color: Presents all colors, from black to pure white. Head markings are common, with striking patterns absent in other breeds.
- Hair : the hair is double-layered and of medium length. The undercoat is soft, dense and long enough to support the outer coat. The hair on the outer layer is smooth in texture, without being harsh, and remains gently seated on the body.
- Movement: the animal has a smooth, fast and light movement. The trot is moderately fast, with a good reach of the forelimbs and good drive of the hindquarters. Each hind limb rests on the footprint of the corresponding anterior on the same side. While the dog is in motion, the upper body line remains level.
- FCI Classification: FCI # 270 FCI Group # – Spitz and primitive type dogs. Section 1 – Nordic sled dogs.
Siberian Husky Puppies
If you are looking for information about the Siberian husky, it may be because you are thinking of adopting or buying a puppy of this breed. But before making a decision and taking the big step, there are a series of aspects that you should know to know if it is the right breed for you.
You should know that Siberian husky puppies need firm and rigorous training to become great working animals. They also need to be subjected to intense socialization.
The fundamental part in their training is an intense, deep and well planned socialization. It should start before the puppy even reaches its permanent home. The first weeks of life are crucial in the development of a dog’s character.
In fact, between the third and seventh week of life the puppy’s brain acts like a sponge. It absorbs everything that happens around them, structuring the behaviour patterns that will govern its behaviour throughout its future life.
During this socialization stage, it is important to subject the animal to the greatest possible number of situations, taking it to places where it can see people, hear different noises, get to know cars, etc.
On the other hand, they are pets that need a high dose of daily exercise. Therefore, if you are a sedentary type of person or you do not have the possibility of taking it to open spaces where it can run, jump and play, it may not be the best choice.
Education and training of the Siberian Husky
As for how to train a Siberian husky, as a working and gregarious animal it is easy to train, but it needs an owner with the appropriate knowledge of canine behaviour and capable of working with its dog in a firm, constant and consistent way.
If it perceives that its master does not have enough capacity to be a leader, it feels abandoned and adopts a rebellious and independent attitude.
Positive reinforcement work methods work very well with them, that is, rewarding them when it does it well, instead of punishing them when it does it badly. So you should never lose patience or use force or abuse of authority.
Getting the animal to do what is asked for fear of punishment or threats is not the best option, because then it will always maintain a certain distrust that will translate into a mechanical way of working without any enthusiasm.
Siberian Husky diet
As for how to feed a Siberian husky, their food needs are quite demanding.
Because it is a robust, strong and very active animal, it needs a very high amount of high quality protein in order to maintain its muscular system in condition.
The healthy fats should also be of known origin, good quality and be present in the diet in the right amount.
Thus, the proper functioning of your organs is guaranteed, in addition to maintaining the health of your skin and hair.
In animals that are still pulling the sled, it is very common to supplement their diet with fish, in different presentations. This is to guarantee at once an increase in protein and a supply of very high quality fat and easy assimilation.
Siberian Husky health and diseases
The Siberian husky is a robust, agile and resistant dog, which has very few diseases that can be classified as typical of the breed .
The most common are directly related to their size and structure. They are, as happens in most medium or large breeds, hip and elbow dysplasia .
As well as, some specific eye problems , such as:
- juvenile cataracts.
- retinal atrophy (especially in males).
- corneal dystrophy.
- lens clouding.
Occasionally there are also some dermatitis related to a defective absorption of zinc, but with very good treatment. Some of these conditions are rooted in origin. And, in the consequent problems of adaptation to a new environment that is totally alien to him.
Apart from these ailments, the husky enjoys iron health. Its longevity is slightly higher than usual for other breeds of similar size. As long as the animal is well cared for, gets the necessary exercise to stay in good shape and receives adequate food.
It is also essential to have the advice and support of a trusted veterinarian as the best way to establish a preventive health program, with a schedule of vaccinations and deworming and a periodic control of the evolution of the growth and weight of the dog and the condition. of the eyes, mouth and ears.
Specific care of the Siberian Husky breed
As for how to care for a Siberian husky, the aesthetic maintenance of the breed is very simple, since it only needs a regular brushing with a natural bristle brush and a card to keep its hair in the best condition.
During the molt, which is quite abundant, it is necessary to increase the frequency, but it does not need a specific aesthetic arrangement.
Therefore, there are very few attentions that this breed demands and the complications that can appear in its possession; in return, it will fully fill the life of the family, as the husky is a sociable, intelligent, hardworking and affectionate dog.