The Siberian Husky is a breed that is pretty distinctive and easily recognizeable. From their aggressive stance to their pointed ears that stand straight up on top of their heads, these dogs look more like wolves than actual dogs. These dogs are Commonly know as just “Husky”, these dogs are medium-sized working dogs. The original Huskies were bred by the Chukchi tribe in North-Eastern Siberia, where the first half of their name comes from. They first came to America when William Goosak, a Russian fur trader, introduced them to Nome, Alaska during the Gold Rush. His purpose was to use them as sled dogs. The people of Nome referred to the Siberian Huskies as “Siberian Rats” due to their smaller statue when compared to the traditional sled dogs: the Alaskan Malamutes.
Siberian Huskies weigh 40- 50 lbs. or 25-30 lbs. and measure 21-24 in. or 18-20 in. depending on if they are a male or female, respectively. Their average life span is around 12-14 years, which is above average for a working dog their size. Huskies have on of the thickest coats of any dog, which comprizes of an undercoat and a top coat. This double coat helps them keep warm in freezing temperatures, but means they need to be carefully looked after in the summer so they do not overheat. Huskies can have either brown or blue eyes, and sometimes, one of both! Siberian Huskies have the most chance of any dog to have heterochromia, having two different colored eyes, most commonly, one brown and one blue eye. They come in many colors, from black to white and all colors in between. Huskies also have pointed, triangle ears that are good for hearing and furry, curled tails. When laying down, they wrap their tails around them to help keep their faces warm.
Huskies can be very loud dogs, but they tend to howl much more often than they bark. The Husky breed was raised in a family setting when it was bred, so this breed tends to be very good with children. They have an average intelligence for a working dog, so some trainning is necessary for this breed. They have high energy and can be destructive at times. They have also been described as escape artists, being known to dig under, chew through, or even jump over fences as high as 5-6 feet. This is typical of most of the breeds that have descended from the original sled dogs. Some people believe that the second part of their name “Husky” is actually a corruption of the term Esky that was once applied to the Eskimos and then to their sled dogs.
Have you seen or heard of the animated movie called Balto? This is based on a true story of an outcast half-wolf (Siberian husky) who, in 1925, risks his life to prevent a deadly epidemic of diptheria from ravaging Nome, Alaska. Balto led his team on the final leg to transport a lifesaving serum from Nenana, Alaska to Nome to combat an outbreak of the disease. Balto was considered a hero, so much so, that a statue was erected in his likeness in New York City’s Central Park, New York close to the Tisch Children’s Zoo. This true story inspired the Iditarod dog sled race, one of the most iconic sporting events of our time. Overall, if you have the time and energy to put into this high energy pup, it will turn out into a great dog for you and your family.