Introduction to Huskies
Perhaps best known for pulling sleds in cold and snowy weather, the husky is a stunning dog that is athletic, intelligent, and beautiful. These dogs are of moderate size and tend to be outgoing, loyal, mischievous, hardworking…and vocal. Huskies are fast, powerful, friendly, energetic, and have great stamina. They can do well as outdoor working dogs and family dogs in a home, and are beloved members of families around the world.
Although the Siberian husky is the best known husky dog, there are other types of husky dogs as well, which we will describe in more detail below. However, all of these dogs share many of the same characteristics and are prone to similar health conditions, which you can be proactive about when obtaining pet health insurance for your dog.
types of huskies
Most people refer to the Siberian husky when talking about husky dogs. However, other dog breeds are also commonly called huskies due to their husky-like qualities and appearance. Siberian Huskies have been bred to be sled dogs and as search and rescue dogs. Alaskan malamutes are cousins to the Siberian husky and considerably larger, though they also excel as sled dogs. A small version of a husky is the Alaskan Klee Kai. The Chinook doesn’t look much like a husky, but it’s also a sled dog and has a large size and friendly personality.
Here are some other types of dogs that are colloquially known as huskies that you might want to learn more about:
Male Siberian Huskies typically reach heights of between 21 and 23.5 inches when fully grown, while females typically stand between 20 and 22 inches tall. The weight of an adult male Siberian husky is between 45 and 60 pounds, and females 35 to 50 pounds.
Huskies reach their full height at around 12 months of age, but still gain a bit of weight after that to reach their full adult size. A husky stops growing at around 15 months, but still builds muscle up to three years of age.
Here’s what you can expect your husky to grow when he’s fully grown. Please note that each dog is an individual, so some variation from what is typical can be expected. Talk to your vet if you have concerns about your husky’s growth.
|weight chart||3 months||6 months||15 months|
|male huskies||13 – 22 pounds||28 – 43 pounds||45 – 60 pounds|
|female huskies||11 – 20 pounds||26 – 36 pounds||35 – 50 pounds|
Characteristics of huskies
Huskies are independent dogs that don’t always need other dogs or children to be happy. They shed quite a bit, but are not likely to drool or need excessive grooming. Most are friendly dogs who find everyone they meet their new best friends. They love to play non-stop, but they don’t make the best watchdogs because they are friendly even to strangers. However, huskies commonly bark and howl. Other things to know is that Huskies are highly adaptable, energetic, and require a lot of stimulation to keep them busy. A bored husky is likely to get into a lot of trouble!
As you get to know a husky’s personality, here’s what to expect based on their breed characteristics.
|breed characteristic||Level (High, Medium, Low)|
|affectionate with people||High|
|good with kids||Medium|
|good with pets||Medium|
|need for exercise||High|
|Able to be trained||Medium|
|amount of vocalization||High|
history of huskies
Huskies are a breed of working group dog that was first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1930. However, the ancestors of the Siberian Husky can be traced back more than 3,000 years to Northeast Asia, where the Chukchi tribe developed dogs to pull sleds and help. their nomadic lifestyle. The Chukchi people needed sled dogs to expand their hunting grounds due to climate changes, and dogs that could handle freezing temperatures.
These dogs were the predecessors of today’s Siberian Husky breed, which gained worldwide popularity in the early 20th century when Leonhard Seppala led a team of Siberian Huskies who traveled 658 miles in 5.5 days to deliver medicine to Nome, Alaska, during a diphtheria epidemic. The news of this impressive achievement was published around the world and brought fame to the husky dog breed.
Today, people still use huskies for sled racing in pursuit of this sport. Dog sled racing is still very popular in Alaska, for example. However, many other people simply love husky dogs and keep them as household companions that are sociable and fun.
Standard Huskies Information
The American Kennel Club has developed an official standard for the Siberian Husky that outlines the ideal characteristics of this purebred dog. This is the standard by which Siberian Huskies are judged at dog shows and accepted by national and international dog groups.
The general appearance of a Siberian Husky is moderately compact, well furred, and capable of carrying a light load at a moderate speed over long distances. Here is an overview of the breed standard information for Huskies:
- sharp and friendly expression
- blue or brown eyes
- Medium-sized triangular ears
- Muzzle long and medium width
- Scissor bite teeth
Neck, Topline, Body:
- mid-length neck
- Deep, strong chest that is not too broad
- Straight and strong back
- Shoulder blades well back
- Legs moderately apart, parallel and straight.
- Substantial but not heavy bone
- Durable, thickly padded ear cushions
- Well muscled and powerful upper thighs
- Well defined hock and low to the ground
- Dewclaws to remove
- Double coat, medium length
- Soft and dense undercoat to support the outer coat.
- The absence of undercoat is normal during the molting season.
- Trimming whiskers and fur between toes is allowed.
- It can be black, grey, agouti, sable, red or white
- It can be solid in color, have white markings, and have multiple shades.
- The brindle pattern does not meet the standard
- Smooth and seemingly effortless ride.
- Quick and light on the feet.
- Legs gradually droop in as speed increases
caring for huskies
Siberian Huskies and other classic northern dogs are intelligent, independent, and stubborn. They love to run and are also friendly with people. These dogs do well with other dogs, especially if they were raised together. They thrive in cold rather than hot climates, are known for howling, and have a high prey drive, which means they can chase cats and other animals.
Here are some general tips for taking better care of a husky.
The best living environments:
- cool climates
- Lots of room to run
- Exercise for 30-60 minutes daily
- Farms or houses with patios
- Not recommended for apartments unless you exercise well outside of the space.
- running and chasing
- hiking with people
- Snow sports including dog sledding and cross country skiing.
- You need a lot of exercise to prevent behavior problems.
- Don’t leave him alone for too long to prevent digging, chewing, and other boredom-related behaviors.
- Give the dog a designated digging space in the yard.
- Lots of toys around the house including food puzzles when left alone.
- Start training early to help dogs focus on people and be more social
- Difficult to train, so not best for first-time dog owners
- Train not to run away or wander from home
- Practice cage and leash training
- Fur less prone to matting than similar dog breeds.
- Brush a few times a week
- More preparation is needed during the molting season.
- Heavy sheds for about three weeks, twice a year
- brush your teeth daily
- Trim nails as needed
Common Huskie Health Problems
The average Siberian husky lives between 12 and 14 years, although different types of huskies have different life expectancies. Huskies are prone to juvenile cataracts and benefit from annual eye exams to catch potential problems early. The National Breed Club recommends that huskies that are part of a breeding program have a hip evaluation and an ophthalmologic evaluation.
Here are some of the more common health problems that arise with huskies:
- Hip dysplasia
- progressive retinal atrophy
- corneal dystrophy
Diet and nutrition for huskies
Siberian Huskies were bred to not need an excess of food per day, and too much food can make this type of dog obese. Many new husky parents are surprised to learn that their energetic, hard-working dogs don’t need as many calories as they had hoped.
People feed huskies commercial dry and wet dog food, raw food, or a combination of both. Do not feed a husky for two hours before exercising or 30 minutes after exercising to help prevent gastric torsion and bloat. It is best to feed huskies two to three meals a day to spread calories throughout the day. Nutro Max Chicken Meal and Rice, Orijen, and Innova are recommended brands of dog food for huskies.
Where to adopt or buy huskies
Although they are very adorable, Huskies have some challenging traits, which sometimes causes them to end up in shelters and become available for adoption. The Siberian Husky Club of America Trust supports husky rescue operations and collects local contact information for husky rescue groups.
If you choose to buy a husky, be sure to find a reputable breeder who will check parent dogs for genetic diseases and make sure the parents have good temperaments. You can find Siberian husky puppies at the AKC market. The Siberian Husky Club of America is a resource for husky education, local clubs, competitions, and rescue groups.
If you love Siberian Huskies, you might also be interested in learning more about related dog breeds that share many of the same characteristics. Here are some additional dog breeds to consider for your next pet:
- alaskan malamute
- american eskimo dog
- icelandic sheepdog
- Alaskan Klee Kai