A black-and-white Siberian Husky female
The Siberian Husky is a medium-sized, dense-coated working dog breed that came from eastern Siberia, belonging to the Spitz family. It is identifiable by its thickly-furred double coat, sickle tail, upright triangular ears and characteristic markings.
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An active, lively and spirited breed whose relatives came from the exceedingly frigid and rough surroundings of the Siberian arctic, it was imported into Alaska during the Nome Gold Rush and dispersed from there into the United States and Canada, at first as a sled dog. It quickly acquired the position of a household pet and a show-dog, no longer much used as a sled dog. Today it has been mostly succeeded in dogsled sport by crossbreds.
Siberian Huskies overlap numerous superficial similarities with the Alaskan Malamute as well as numerous other spitz breeds such as the Samoyed, which has a parallel history to the Huskies. Siberians have a heavier coat than almost other breeds of dog.
It occurs in a mixture of colours and patterns, normally with white paws and legs, facial patterns, and tail tip. The most ordinary colours are black and white, grey and white, copper-red and white, and pure white, though many have brown, reddish, or biscuit blends and some are piebald spotted.
Prominent masks, spectacles, and other facial patterns happen in wide variety. They tend to have a wolf-like quality. Though the breed is not affiliated to the wolf any nearer than other breeds of dog, it is believed they retained this quality through isolated breeding in Siberia.
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Siberians' eyes are brown, blue, amber, green or light brown. The light blue eye colour is typical but not totally dominant genetically. The breed may have one eye brown or hazel and the other blue (called "bi-eyed") or may have blue and another colour mixed in the iris of one or both eyes; this last mentioned trait, heterochromia, is called "parti-eyed". This is one of the few breeds for which contrasting colour eyes are permitted in the show ring. The Siberian Husky is one of the few dog breeds where blue eyes are common. No preference to eye colour is given in the breed show ring, as it does not affect the dog's ability to pull a sled.
Ears and tail
Its ears are triangular, well-furred, medium-sized, and erect. Their ears are soft and they have very good hearing. Its fox-like brush tail is carried in a sickle curve over the back.
The Siberian Husky's coat comprises of two strata, a compact, cashmere-like undercoat and a longer coarser overcoat consisting of short, straight guard hairs. This top coat can in reality be two different colours, and it's not different to find it growing white then black then white on the same piece of fur. Siberians typically cast off their undercoat two times a year or with the change of seasons; the process is usually named as "blowing their coat".
Otherwise, grooming is minimal; bathing is usually unneeded as the coat sheds dirt. When grooming, most of the work needs to be done on the rear legs, as this is an area which does not by nature lose as much fur as the rest of the animal. The dog should be groomed when the fur starts to clump. Siberians in good condition rarely smell.
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Like all dogs, the Husky's nose is usually cool and damp. In few instances, Siberians can show what is known as 'snow nose' or 'winter nose'. Called "hypopigmentation", it happens from lack of sunlight, and makes the nose (or parts of it) to fade to brown or pink in winter. The ordinary colour reverts as summer comes back.
Snow nose also happens in other light-coated breeds; the colour issue can become permanent in older dogs, particularly red & white and cream coloured Siberians, though it is not related to with disease.
Piebald coloured Siberian Husky
There is a big variance in size among Huskies, and breed standards say that height at the withers and weight should always be proportionate to each other.
The approximate measurements:
Males - Height: 21 to 23.5 inches (53.5 to 60 cm) - Weight: 45 to 60 lb (20.5 to 28 kg)
Females - Height: 20 to 22 in. (50.5 to 56 cm) - Weight: 35 to 50 lb (15.5 to 23 kg)
A blue-eyed Siberian Husky
Despite their erstwhile daunting wolf-like looks, Siberian Huskies in the main have a easy disposition. Being a working breed, Siberians are very lively and enjoy exploring and running. Combined with their striking appearance, this has made them favourites as both family pets and as show dogs.
Siberians can be highly loving, curious and welcoming to people; attributes that usually make them poor guard dogs. Decently socialised Siberians are most often quite soft with children (although no dog, including Siberians, should be left unattended with small children).
The rough circumstances in which Huskies arose reinforced a powerful prey drive, as food was often meagre. As a result, Huskies may naturally attack animals such as house cats, birds, squirrels, rabbits, chickens, quail, and even deer or sheep. Nevertheless, they can get on with cats when they are raised with them from being a puppy.
A 2000 survey on dog bites resulting in human deaths by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention discovered fifteen such fatalities caused by "husky-type" dogs (excluding Alaskan Malamutes) between 1979 and 1997. Most Huskies are not particularly aggressive, but some may have more powerful prey drives than others of their breed.
Huskies are often taken on by people who not appear to appreciate their unique and demanding requirements. They may appear attractive and friendly but they require much attention and do not respond well to neglect.
A Husky needs a lot of exercise otherwise they will become destructive and make attempts to escape, which they are very good at. They need a big safe enclosed space for exercise.
As with any dog breed, Siberian Huskies do have some undesirable qualities . Despite their loving traits, Siberian Huskies are not as subordinate and anxious to please as some other favourite breeds, and will sometimes decline to do a task unless presented with a better "motive" than merely satisfying their trainer.
Siberian Huskies can be difficult to train due to their strong will and individual reasoning. Correct training necessitates perseverance and forbearance. Siberian Huskies are by and large not advisable for first time dog owners, as their noticeable will and tendency to run are hard for the uninitiated to deal with.
Siberian Huskies have powerful running instincts and hence for their own safety should never be left to run loose off-leash. They have little "homing instinct" and will run for lengthy distances, therefore should always be kept on a leash or in an enclosed piece of land. Siberians also dig big holes and will show appreciable inventiveness in escaping from enclosed runs. As sled dogs they have a very powerful want to pull, therefore excellent obedience training is needed.
Siberians need regular daily exercise with a secured fence at all times. Although they do sometimes bark, they more often "yodle" or "whoo", frequently vocalizing when excited, back-talking to their masters, or to start some play or challenge action with either human or another dog.
Two months old grey/white Siberian Husky
Siberians normally live from 11 to 15 years of age and are generally healthy. Health issues when they do occur include eye troubles, allergies, and cancer in older animals. Hip dysplasia sometimes occurs but is not a major problem.
Huskies need a high-quality protein and fat diet, especially when they use up so much energy as in dog sledding. Compared to other dogs of their own size and activity, they are fuel-efficient and do not need as much food.
Their food intake should be be adjusted to their level of work and exercise, if they do not take much exercise and are fed too much they can become overweight.
Because of their origins, Huskies need fish oil in the diet, otherwise their coat and nails can become brittle. Fish oil can be introduced into the diet by feeding them sardines.
A copper-coloured "bi-eyed" Siberian Husky exhibiting "snow nose"
The Siberian Husky is commonly believed to have come from Coastal Chukchis tribes of the east-Siberian peninsula. Also there is evidence they came from the the Koryak and Kamchadal tribes. It is known that the Husky is a very old breed though DNA analysis. The dogs were imported in Alaska from 1908, during the gold rush days to be used as sled dogs.
The dogs took part in the All-Alaska Sweepstakes (AAS), a 408 mile (657 km) distance dog sled race from Nome to Candle and back. Because of their small size, stamina and ability to run faster than other working dogs they dominated the the Nome Sweepstakes.
Leonhard Seppala, a Norwegian gold miner, became involved with Siberian Huskies in the 1914 AAS and dominated the races thereafter. He was important in the Nome 1925 serum run which delivered diphtheria serum to the city after an epidemic of the illness.
The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race celebrates this Nome run.
The year after Seppala’s dogs toured the USA, beginning a new craze for sled dogs and dog sled racing.
Exports of Huskies stopped from Siberia when Russia banned external trade in 1930.
1930 also saw the American Kennel Club give the breed recognition and in 1939 it was registered in Canada.
Most Huskies today that are registered in North America come from the descendants of the 1930 imports and those of Seppala's dogs.
Husky Dogs working the sleds Dog sled racing
Siberians are run in dog sled racing but have been supplanted by the Alaskan Husky and other cross breeds specifically bred for speed with lighter in weight coats. The Alaskan Husky is basically now the dog of the sled racing world.
Siberian Huskies were bred to move a medium load over big distances at medium pace and therefore cannot match other dogs in the racing arena.
They are still popular in purebred races and remain faster than other sled dogs such as the Samoyed and Alaskan Malamute breeds. The breed is now divided between racing and show dogs. The Siberian is very popular for recreational mushing and are also used for skijoring (one to three dogs pulling a skier) and European ski-pulka. Some dog owners use them for them for dog-packing and hiking. They have also seen use as therapy dogs. In the UK, husky racing in the UK is popular in the winter using forest tracks and specially designed tricycles, best-known as rigs, instead of the traditional sled.
A sable-coloured female Siberian Husky
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"Siberian huskies are one of the greatest creature,so magnificent,jolly and wonderful in their endless beauty and charms."
"i love my sibes they are the best! very loving and charismatic . totally awesome dogs! stubborn : )"
"Husky and Malamute are the sweetest!"
"Huskys are the best dogs ! i just love them they're so clever and beautiful ^^ it rul3"
"Awww......These dogs seem pretty vicious at first but I'm sure their really great?"