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Siberian Husky

History

The SIberian husky comes from Northeast Asia and is believed to have been first bred by the Chukchi people or Siberia. It was bred using Spitz stock and was used as a working dog, pulling sleds for the nomadic people who lived in arctic regions. It is thought that the name Husky is a broken form of the word Eksy, which was used to describe Eskimos. They are one of the oldest breeds around today.

Behaviour

The Husky is an alert, active and hard working breed. They are great with children as they were bred to protect them. They get along well with strangers and rarely bark, though they do sometimes tap into their wolf roots and howl. They are quite stubborn and training needs to be firm but positive to get the best out of the breed. A short 10-15 minute training session every day will help keep the dog in check as they like to push boundaries and will cause problems if not properly trained. They are quick to learn and love pleasing their owners.

This is a dyed-in-the-wool working dog and needs plenty of activity to prevent boredom. They can run for miles on end without tiring, even through the thickest of snow. Their recall is practically non-existent and they need to be walked in a safe area to prevent escapees. Recall training is one of the hardest challenges with Huskies and many owners keep them on a long lead at all times. Having been bred to pull, this makes walking to heel tricky too.

They are a very social animal that loves the company of other dogs, especially in the home. They can sometimes show signs of aggression towards other dogs, but socialisation from an early age will help prevent this. They enjoy playing and are best kept with another dog. Huskies have a natural need to be part of a pack, but this can include their human family too. A very affectionate breed, the husky will often come up to you for a cuddle or a chance to share some affection. They are known for being destructive when they get bored, be sure to provide them with plenty of exercise to prevent this. In general, if given the chance to get outside and explore, they will be happy.

The Husky is an old and, as a result, very healthy breed. Their dense fur needs a fair bit of grooming to prevent having a house full of fur.

Temperament

Siberian Huskies are athletic and adventurous dogs. They could run all day given the chance and will not be happy without sufficient daily exercise. They are also an intelligent breed with a lot of pride and respond best to positive training methods. They may throw a tantrum if they think your methods are harsh. They get on well with other dogs generally and love meeting new people, but in the vicinity of small animals (including cats) their high prey drive will kick in.

Health Problems

Cataracts can sometimes be seen, but they are rare. Canine Hip Dysplasia is also possible due to the fact that they are a larger breed. Other possible issues include progressive retinal atrophy (PRA: degeneration of the retina which can lead to blindness), allergies, heart disease and epilepsy.

Breed Details

  • Status: Common
  • Life Expectancy: 12 - 15 years
  • Weight: 40 - 60 kg
  • Height: 20 - 23"
  • Rare: No
  • Coat: Short - Double
  • Grooming Requirements: More than once per week
  • Town or Country: Country
  • Minimum Home Size: Large House
  • Minimum Garden Size: Large Garden
  • Breed Type: Working Dog
  • Size: Large
  • Energy Level: Medium
  • Exercise Required: Over 2 hours

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