Are you thinking about getting a Husky Puppy? There is no doubt about it, Siberian Huskies are magnificent. Siberian Huskies are a medium sized breed known for being graceful and tenacious sled dogs. They are naturally very handsome, energetic and dignified. They are extremely strong and able to pull light loads at moderate speeds for long distances over snow. But is a husky the right dog breed for you?
The AKC describes them as “Michievous, Loyal and Outgoing”.
We frequently feature them in our videos as they are so athletic. When you see one walking down the street, or at an event, or sledding, or even in a photo, it’s hard not to stare at them. The big soulful eyes, the lush fur….they look almost wolf-like. However please make sure you have space and energy to care for a husky well.
The Siberian Husky originated in Siberia and was first imported to Alaska in 1909. They were developed by the Chukchi people of northeast Asia for transportation. Famous for their pulling strength, endurance and stamina, they are descended from the original sled dog, which was confirmed as the “oldest breed of dog” by DNA analysis in 2004.
The Siberian Husky’s thick, dense coats are well suited for withstanding arctic temperatures of -50 to -60 degrees celsius. Siberian Huskies have often dominated in historic arctic sled races, and were even utilized by the United States Army Arctic Search and Rescue Unit during World War II. The breed is credited also for assisting Robert Peary in his expedition to discover the North Pole. In addition, during diphtheria outbreaks in Alaska, Siberian Huskies were depended upon to transport lifesaving medicine.
Siberian Huskies have wolfish qualities and are known to howl, as well as roam away from their people, leading them to take on an “escape artist” reputation.
Do Huskies Shed?
Yes. Huskies shed a lot. Built for cold climates, huskies have both an undercoat and topcoat. They usually “blow” their coats in the spring and fall. The undercoat sheds as the new topcoat grows in. It lasts for about three weeks and hair gets everywhere. They make Kilo the Pug look like a light shedder LOL.
Husky Health Issues
The Siberian Husky is a generally healthy breed with an average lifespan of 11-14 years. The Siberian Husky Club of America (SHCA) has reportedly been very proactive about watching for genetic issues within the breed and encouraging breeders to not breed dogs with defects. However they can have problems with their hips, their eyes, their hearts, their skin, blood clotting and blood pressure.
Are Huskies a Good Family Dog?
Huskies can be a good family dog with older children if you have a large fenced back yard, plus plenty of time and energy to socialize, train and exercise your husky. They are fun and love to play and be with their family. They are not usually recommended for families with small children or small pets. However there are exceptions. See the story of friends @LiloTheHusky and Rosie the Kitten. They can be great with older kids and even make wonderful therapy dogs like our friends Icy and Cathy – see their story here.
Gone to the Snow Dogs
We asked celebrity husky-lover Jess of Gone to the Snow Dogs to share her feedback on huskies here.
Jess warned people in a post : “Siberian Huskies are amazing dogs for the right people BUT…… Siberian Huskies are NOT the dog for everyone. They are NOT an “easy” breed to own. So if you are considering getting a husky, STOP AND THINK! Maybe adopt an older one. Maybe try FOSTERING one or volunteering with a rescue before you commit. There are SO many right now that people are just giving up on, and it’s NOT FAIR to the breed.”
Talented Trick Dog Maya
Beautiful Maya and Ashley performed with us at Canadian Pet Expo and have been featured in many of our videos. Ashley dedicates many hours a week to training and exercising Maya.
If you’re thinking adopting a husky, there are a few things you should know, so we asked our friend Jenna, who has three huskies as well as kittens and kids, to give us some pros and cons of owning or being owned by huskies.
1. Huskies are very friendly, loving and lovable.
2. They are playful and there is never a dull moment with a husky. They also like a job.
3. Huskies make great bed buddies (and they are quite odorless so don’t require too many baths).
4. Huskies have a way of getting us out of the house and keeping us active. If you like jogging, hiking and sports, they can be great companions.
5. They are a beautiful looking and intelligent breed.
1. They can become destructive if not trained and exercised mentally and physically or if left alone for long.
2. They are a high energy breed and they can be “escape artists” and “diggers” (Jenna mentions on her blog that she walks her dogs at least twice a day and is always outside with them in the yard).
3. They can be somewhat noisy (they “talk” rather than bark).
4. They shed…. ALOT! They have a double thick coat and grooming is a constant job.
NB There are organizations (such as the Save Our Siberians Siberspace Rescue Fund at www.SOS-SRF.org) who will accept Husky fur sheds to weave into some wonderful items, or you can spin and create your own, to sell and raise funds to help homeless Huskies. via Five Sibes.
5. They have a higher prey drive than some breeds so often enjoy chasing things.
“Before you decide to adopt a Siberian Husky, my biggest piece of advice is to do your research. As wonderful as this breed is, they are not for everyone. Far too many huskies end up in shelters because owners simply do not understand the breed or do not have the time and energy. Sibe’s can make a great addition to any family, but it takes a lot of time, work, energy and consistency in positive reinforcement training.” Jenna
Laika the Rescue Dog
Television personality Brad Smith was joined by 10-month-old Husky puppy Laika while we filmed segments for our TV series “Fit Dogs Rock” and “Rescues Rock” in Toronto’s beautiful High Park.
Laika was adopted from Moosonee Puppy Rescue. This group that focuses on helping dogs in isolated northern Ontario communities where there are no veterinary services. Many dogs are kept outside and lack of spay and neutering/breeding has led to over-population. For many years, the only solution to the over population problem was the dog cull where stray dogs were rounded up and shot. Thankfully Laika was rescued and adopted. She jogs and walks and plays with her new family and gets lots of reward-based consistent training.
Siber Rescue is just one of the many organizations fighting for the welfare of the breed. Located in Aurora, ON this rescue saves, rehabilitates and rehomes huskies in need. We met gorgeous rescue Charlie and representative Vanessa at The Canadian Pet Expo.
Charlie is a six-month-old female husky who was looking for her forever home (UPDATE: pleased to announce she found her forever home and is very happy – yay!). Sadly, Charlie had spent the first months of her life stuck in a crate before the SPCA stepped in and she was placed in rescue. Properly researching the breed is key for happiness down the road. Charlie’s previous owners didn’t know how to care for a husky puppy. They kept her in isolation, fed her junk food and were too busy to socialize her. Charlie is also hearing impaired, but that doesn’t stop this playful puppy. She’s learning sign language and is proving to be a very intelligent girl. She is another inspirational rescue dog that proves they aren’t broken, they can learn and they make amazing pets.
Everyone we talked to recommends a large well-fenced yard as the breed is known to jump very high when motivated. They do not generally recommend their rescues for families with small children and cats. Having prior experience with northern breeds is also an asset. This ensures that owners will understand the level of energy and commitment these dogs require.
Nikita is a very active 1 1/2-year-old spayed Husky gal! She’s a beauty and she knows it. She loves to chase balls and occasionally likes to bring them back (true Husky). This lovely girl is very active so she’ll need an active home to keep up with her. She will not be suitable for a home with small animals or children. Other dogs may be fine with her, but an introduction would be best as she can be picky about her canine friends.
Shadow is a striking, long-legged, male Siberian Husky looking for his forever home. He is very sweet and loving but can be a little nervous of new, unfamiliar situations. Because he is so tall and agile, he will need to go to a home with a secure, high fence. He can jump when he is motivated.He is neutered and up to date on all his shots. We are seeking a home with previous Husky experience.
Siber Rescue website is currently under construction if you are interested in adopting any of these dogs contact the phone numbers listed or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are so many huskies waiting to be adopted. If, after careful research and planning, you are considering the breed, please adopt and don’t shop! Visit one of the rescues listed above, use Pet Finder or check your local Shelters and Humane Societies. Rescues Rock!
Do you have a husky? Is it the best dog breed for you? Share your photos and stories below.