Looking for a fun-loving dog breed with lots of energy and a personality to boot?
The Siberian Husky is full of energy and personality, making them fun dogs to have around. This cold weather-loving breed is right at home in the snow, and they're particularly well-suited for colder climates and winters. While the Husky is a highly popular breed, this dog isn't for everyone. Huskies need lots of exercise and consistent training, and they're not always the best choice for first-time dog owners or families with young children. When you're prepared and know what to expect with this breed, though, the Husky can make a loyal addition to your family.
The Siberian Husky: The Dog of the North
The Siberian Husky was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1930. Most famous for pulling sleds in the northern hemisphere, these dogs are made for cold weather and thrive in the snow. They participate in Alaskan sled dog races and one of the more famous of these sled dogs is Balto, who, on top of his movies, has a statue in Central Park, New York. Balto carried much-needed serums to the town of Nome, Alaska during the diphtheria epidemic. They were also used during the gold rush in Nome and featured in the All-Alaska sweepstakes, a 408-mile run from Nome to Candle and back commemorating the famous run Balto was a part of since they can pull sleds for long distances. During World War II, they were also a part of the United States Army's Arctic Search and Rescue Unit of the Air Transport Command.
They belong to the spitz family of cold-weather Nordic working dogs that originated in Russia and similar climates. Huskies were what the Inuits in Alaska called their dogs. The word "Husky" is actually a contraction of "Huskimos," which evolved into the English word, "Eskimos." The breed actually originated in northeastern Asia with the Chukchi people of Siberia, which then evolved into the modern Husky breed standard we see today. Due to their heritage, they have a high prey drive since they wandered during the summer months. So they will use that high energy level to go chase after small animals.
Huskies are considered high energy and make great family pets. They love to be social, which makes them mediocre watchdogs. However, they are notoriously playful and can be a bit naughty since they are such smart dogs. Huskies are often known as escape artists and should not be walked off-leash.
Husky Health and Care
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Come shedding season, lookout. Because of the Siberian Husky dog's thick double coat, they shed a lot. A dog's double coat consists of medium-length coarse hairs over a dense undercoat that keeps the dogs warm in arctic temperatures and helps regulate their body temperature when the weather turns warm. Huskies come in a variety of colors pure white to red, black, agouti, piebald, black and tan, splash, black and white, silver, copper, brown, sable, or grey. They are also known for having blue eyes, either one or both.
According to VetStreet.com, "Possible inherited diseases for the Siberian Husky include hip dysplasia, an orthopedic condition in which the head of the thigh bone doesn't fit properly into the hip socket. Mild cases result in arthritis that may be manageable with medications and other therapies. More severe cases require surgery. Hip dysplasia is a terrible situation for a dog who loves to run and pull sleds."
There are several other health problems associated with this breed. Siberians can have eye problems, including juvenile cataracts, corneal dystrophy, and progressive retinal atrophy. So this high-energy dog does have health issues you should take into consideration. A reputable breeder can answer any questions you have when you research this breed. Remember, there are breed rescue groups! These working dogs make excellent companions, so don't let these health issues steer you in another direction.
Bringing Home a Siberian Husky
Siberian Huskies are not the easiest dogs to train and are not recommended for first-time dog owners. But these medium size dogs are quite the lovable and loyal breed! They are playful long past puppyhood. They love socialization and a day at the dog park will help with their exercise needs.
If you are looking for a purebred Siberian Husky puppy, look at the list of breeders and do your research to ensure you get a reputable breeder and not a puppy mill. Then, visit the Siberian Husky Club of America for more information on the breed. Remember that any dog is a commitment; Huskies have a life span of 12-15 years.
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