Whether your dog is a purebred Siberian Husky or a Siberian Husky mix, learning about their breed can explain a lot about your pet’s personality, habits and overall health. Or maybe you're looking to adopt a Siberian Husky and want to do a bit of research first — we can help with that.
Siberian Huskies originally helped cart loads across many miles in Northeast Asia as the most famous sled dogs. They rose to fame following the lifesaving 658-mile “serum run” to Nome, Alaska — the tale that inspired Disney’s movie “Balto.”
This incredible endurance and desire to run are still prevalent in present-day Siberian Huskies, and many still participate in dogsled races. But even if you live in a warmer climate, this breed needs plenty of exercise, or their boredom might lead to destructive behaviors.
Buckle up for a big pup! These dogs can grow to be 60 pounds and reach up to 24 inches at the shoulder, Dr. Emily Singler, VMD, Fetch's on-staff veterinarian, shares. It’s important to ensure your Husky learns not to jump from a young age, as these energetic pets might topple you when they’re giving you a bear hug.
Miniature Siberian Huskies exist and typically weigh up to 35 pounds and only reach 17 inches in height. However, regardless of their smaller size, these pups have the same needs as their larger counterparts: They are still energetic dogs who need plenty of stimulation to thrive.
Don’t confuse the Miniature Siberian Husky with their pint-sized cousin, the Alaskan Klee Kai, though. Although they’re similar in size and appearance, the latter is an entirely different breed with unique temperaments and needs.
Siberian Huskies are goofy, energetic, fun-loving pups and are incredibly friendly with people and other dogs. Although they’re great family pets, Huskies require plenty of mental and physical stimulation to keep them from becoming destructive.
“These dogs are also very attached to their parents and need close human contact,” Dr. Singler adds. “Without this, they may develop anxiety and other behavioral problems.”
Siberian Huskies are also notorious escape artists due to their desire to run. So if you’re considering adding this breed to your family, ensure you have a fully-fenced yard and that the fence is at least 6 feet tall.
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Introducing the Fetch Health Forecast.
Thick double coats make Siberian Huskies heavy shedders. Their fur needs regular grooming to prevent matting and keep them looking their best, Dr. Singler shares. The silver lining is that these dogs love to keep themselves clean and generally don’t smell.
“Siberian Husky coats require weekly brushing but relatively few baths,” Dr. Singler explains. “Although it may be tempting to clip their hair short to reduce the hair shed at home or to keep them cooler, this is generally unnecessary and may create additional problems.”
Even though it looks heavy, their double coat actually helps protect them from heat and sunburn, Dr Singler says. When you trim their hair to a shorter length, it might grow back unevenly, too.
These dogs' coats come in more colors than the popular black and white. Siberian Huskies may also be a combination of white and gray, brown, sable, red, black and pure white.
Like other double-coated dogs, Siberian Huskies are prone to overheating in hot climates. According to Dr. Singler, the best ways to keep your husky from overheating are to avoid too much exercise and keep the outdoor adventures short when it’s too hot outside.
“Keep dogs inside in the air conditioning when it’s hot and offer continuous access to fresh water,” Dr. Singler adds.
Siberian Huskies also have a risk of juvenile cataracts, which are changes in their eye lenses that can lead to blindness (even in puppies and young adult dogs). They’re also predisposed to patellar luxation, where their kneecaps slip out of their normal location, and hip dysplasia, which can lead to arthritis later in life.
“Huskies can also develop a specific type of skin problem called zinc-responsive dermatosis, which can cause crusting of the skin around the eyes and may require lifelong supplements to manage.”
Are you interested in adopting a Siberian or Siberian Husky mix or any pet at all? We think every pet deserves a home and encourage you to check out our shelter partners.
The Dig, Fetch's expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too.
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