Known for their striking, wolf-like appearance, Siberian Huskies are intelligent, lively dogs who have bundles of affection for everyone. First time dog owners should think carefully before purchasing, as huskies can be fiercely independent and difficult to train. However, with regular discipline and a patient owner, a Siberian Husky would be a personality-filled, loving addition to any household. Some highlights:
With their thick coats, striking eyes and facial masks, Huskies are among some of the most beautiful breeds you can purchase.
These vocal, vivacious dogs will ensure that there is never a dull moment in your household.
Their affectionate nature means that they are great with children and with other pets.
Although Huskies can be a great breed for experienced owners, their intelligence and independence means they can often prove challenging, resulting in large numbers of this breed ending up in shelters. Prospective owners should think very carefully before taking the leap and purchasing a Husky. Some downsides to the Husky:
Often described as the ‘Houdinis’ of the dog world, huskies are incredibly adept at escaping. Owners must be vigilant at checking their gardens for areas where the dog might escape, and ensure to surround it with a sturdy fence.
Huskies are independent, and they are not people-pleasers. Owners must establish regular, consistent boundaries to ensure that their dog does not go astray. Obedience classes alone may not be enough for this mischievous breed, as they have a tendency to separate household from training and behave well in class, then misbehave at home.
Originally used to drag sleds, this athletic breed needs regular exercise to ensure that it does not feel bored and cooped-up. A lack of proper exercise is likely incite mischievous behaviour from a Husky.
Although Huskies are among the oldest of dog breeds, relatively little is known about their history. Their first appearance in historical record is as sleigh dogs for the Siberian Chukchi tribe in the 19th century. The Chukchi treated the dogs as family pets, and they slept and lived alongside their owners. The breed was imported to Alaska in 1908, and has been used there since then as sleigh dogs. From Alaska, the breed was imported to Northern America, and since then their popularity has spread across the world.
Male huskies measure between 53 and 61cm, and female between 51 and 56cm.
A male husky can weigh anywhere between 20 and 27kg, and a female between 16kg and 23kg.
This breed may come in a variety of colour combinations, such as:
Black and white
Black and white piebald
Black grey and white
Cream and white
Dark grey and white
Dark red and white
Grey and white
Grey and white piebald
Jet black and white
Light grey and white
Light red and white
Red and white
Red and white piebald
Sable and white
Silver grey and white
Although Huskies can be a difficult breed when in the wrong hands, when properly cared for and trained these intelligent dogs bring a huge amount of character to any home. Affectionate to anyone and everyone, their loving nature means they will be adored by children and adults alike.
Their blanket affection to everyone they meet unfortunately means that Huskies make terrible guard dogs. They will often alert their owner if there is a stranger at the door, but more so out of a desire to greet the stranger than to keep them away.
Although they do not bark, Huskies are an incredibly vocal breed, known for enjoying having ‘conversations’ with their owners. They make a range of noises including talking, howling and even singing.
As mentioned earlier, Huskies are an incredibly independent breed, and can be difficult to train as a result. They are pack dogs, so would benefit from a confident, experienced owner who has been clearly established as the leader of the pack. Even when well-trained and disciplined, a Husky may occasionally attempt to push boundaries and challenge their owner. In these moments, the owner must not give in to their behaviour, and take pains to ensure that their position as pack leader is maintained.
Huskies are as playful as they are mischievous, making them entertaining dogs who will easily charm any visitor. They are also show-offs, and love to display their talents.
Huskies love everybody, so they are excellent with children. Although they are large, they can be incredibly sweet and gentle. That said, as with all other dogs, they should be supervised around small children.
Huskies on the whole get along very well with other dogs, but owners should still take care to socialise them early and get them used to other people and animals. It might not be wise to leave a Husky alone with a small pet such as a rabbit or a guinea pig, as they have a history of being prey dogs. That said, if they are raised around other pets from a young age a Husky has every change of thriving in a multi-pet household.
Huskies are incredibly needy dogs, and do not do well with being left alone. They have a huge amount of energy, and may turn channel that energy into destructive behaviour if left alone for too long. Be aware, nothing will be safe once they begin their destructive rampage — there has even been an instance of a Husky chewing through a cement wall!
The average life span of a Husky is between 12 and 15 years.
As mentioned, huskies are incredibly energetic, athletic dogs who need large amounts of exercise. They would benefit from having an active owner, and have been known to enjoy joining their owners on hiking trips.
Huskies on the whole are very healthy dogs. The health issues which they have the highest risk of developing are related to their eyesight, and include Cataracts, Corneal Dystrophy and Progressive Retinal Atrophy. Health clearances should be obtained from breeders certifying that their eyes are normal, and also for conditions such as hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism and von Willebrand’s disease.
Huskies are large, energetic dogs who should have large amounts of space to run around. They are not generally suited to apartment living, but may adapt to the smaller space if their owner makes sure to provide regular and adequate exercise.
Surprisingly given their size and energy levels, Huskies do not need huge amounts of food. Owners should ask their vet for guidelines on how much to feed them per day, and ensure to feed them good quality food which meets their nutritional needs.
Huskies are relatively high-maintenance dogs, and need grooming at least once a week. They are likely to leave fur around your household, although many owners have said that the fur that they shed does not smell.
As a rough guide in pricing: Cost to buy: roughly £500-£800 for a well-bred xx puppy Other costs (Vet, Food etc): £20 per month for veterinary insurance, £40 for food.
You can read our general buying guide here (/advice-on-buying-a-puppy/), with the most important thing being going to view your xx Puppy, seeing it with its mother, and checking the quality of the breeder. More specifically, here is some Husky puppy buying advice:
Although they are beautiful and full of character, Huskies can be an incredibly difficult breed to own. Prospective owners should think long and hard about whether they are prepared to take on the challenge.
A big thank you to the following sources who helped to shape this article: https://www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-advice/five-things-think-about-getting-husky https://siberianhuskyclub.org.uk/ https://www.huskyracing.org.uk/ https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/dogs/puppy/breeds/husky