Large Breed Spotlight: Siberian Husky
Few dogs will render more compliments and attention out in public than the beautiful Siberian Husky. These fluffy, sweet, and energetic dogs make a great companion for the most active dog owners. Siberian Huskies are an iconic breed that everyone seems to love. Their beautiful coats and striking eyes will capture your heart.
They are known for being gentle and good with kids but make no mistake, this is a serious dog and a serious commitment. Bred for pulling sleds hundreds of miles with a pack of buddies, these dogs need a TON of exercise. What’s more, they’ve got a prey drive that makes it challenging to have them off-leash or in a home with other pets.
Too often, people fall for their looks and wind up putting their Husky up for adoption because of challenging behavior (usually rooted in inadequate exercise). But that’s not to say there aren’t excellent Husky owners out there, too.
Read on to learn about this breed, and evaluate if a Siberian Husky is right for your pack and lifestyle.
Physical Traits and Health of Siberian Huskies
Siberian Huskies are a working breed dog, that technically fall into the “medium” breed category. Though they appear larger due to their fluffy coats. Females weigh in between 35-55 pounds, and males are between 45-65 pounds. Both are around two feet tall at the shoulder.
Because of their slightly smaller size and athletic lifestyle, Huskies have a slightly longer life expectancy than many large breed dogs, at 12-15 years. They have a very thick double coat that keeps them warm in cold climates and helps to insulate them in warmer temps. Interestingly, Siberian Huskies are very cat-like in that they lick, groom, and clean themselves well. For this reason, they only need a bath a few times per year.
Siberian Huskies are a generally healthy breed especially in comparison to other purebred dogs. They are not especially prone to weight gain. The one thing to be aware of is the possibility of juvenile cataracts. The National Breed Club recommends having ophthalmologist evaluation and hip evaluation. You can read their breed club’s health statement here.
Personality and Lifestyle of Siberian Huskies
Siberian Huskies are remarkably athletic and active dogs that require a lot of exercise because they were bred to run. What’s more, Huskies aren’t typically into games of fetch, so you will need to commit to getting your Husky the run time they need. Huskies are a great fit for runners, bikers, regular hikers, and cross country skiers.
Because of their instinct to run and their prey drive, it can be very difficult to train your husky to be off-leash. Most sources say it’s best to always have your husky leashed or in an enclosed area. We have a Husky that we trained to be off-leash. However, we invested in a GPS collar, because there are times that she runs off, and the peace of mind to know her location was well worth the investment.
Aside from their intense exercise needs, Huskies are wonderful dogs. They are very sweet, gentle, and snuggly. They are bred to work in packs, so they fit in well with families and are known for being a very kid-friendly and tolerant breed. On the flip side, their pack-nature means they do not like being left alone for a long period of time and may be more prone to separation anxiety.
Huskies are not considered easy to train. They are amicable and sweet but definitely have a “do what I want”, almost cat-like attitude. Beyond the basics, like sit and paw, it can be challenging to get your husky to “work” for you in that sort of manner.
Thinking about a Siberian Husky for your family?
If you lead an active lifestyle and have a household where your dog will rarely be left alone, a Siberian Husky could be a great fit!
These dogs will keep you laughing, get you outside, test your patience, and be a great buddy for snuggling up on the couch.
Do you have a Siberian Husky in your pack? We’d love to hear about them below!
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