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Siberian Husky

 

Siberian Husky

 

General Description:

 

Size:

Height: Dogs, 21 to 23 1/2 inches at the withers. Bitches, 20 to 22 inches at the withers. Weight: Dogs, 45 to 60 pounds. Bitches, 35 to 50 pounds. Weight is in proportion to height.

 

Color:

Ranges from pure white, gray, red, sable, agouti (guard hair is banded with black near the root and at the tip with a yellow or beige band at the center of the hair), jet black/white.

 

Energy Level:

High

 

Life expectancy:

12-14 years.

 

Children:

(for example: older dogs generally good with well-behaved children, but 2 and under are too energetic to be recommended around small children) Good with kids but could be too high energy with younger children just because they love to bound all over.

 

Other animals:

Cats are usually considered 'lunch'; sometimes the same with small dogs. Other no-nos include gerbils, hamsters, mice, rats, rabbits, ducks, chickens, etc. Most Siberians have a prey instinct.

 

Abilities:

Sledding, carting, running companion, agility, obedience.

 

Shedding/Grooming:

Be prepared for Excessive fur - the downy undercoat sheds in early to late spring.

 

Health:

Hip Dysplasia:

Out of the 114 breeds of dogs at risk for hip dysplasia, the Siberian Husky is one of the breeds least affected ranked at #111 out of a possible 114 based upon evaluations from 1974 through 1994. This impressive ranking has been achieved through the cooperation of breeders who followed the breeding program guidelines established by the OFA and the SHCA to decrease the incidence of hip dysplasia. The Siberian Husky has been one of the few breeds that had a dramatic decrease in the incidence of hip dysplasia from 1980 through 1995. The breed has experienced a change of + 42.1% in the number of OFA "excellent" dogs, and a - 55.6% change in the number of dysplastic dogs. All potential puppy buyers should ask to see the OFA registry papers of both the sire and dam of the litter.

Genetic Defects of the Eye:

Although there are many possible eye defects, only three are of current concern in the Siberian. These are hereditary or juvenile cataracts, corneal dystrophy, and progressive retinal atrophy. Each disorder is present in a different portion of the eye, and will occur in any eye color. Eye defects in the Siberian Husky are serious and should not be understated or overlooked. Of the three major eye diseases of the Siberian Husky, hereditary cataracts are the most common, followed by corneal dystrophy, and progressive retinal atrophy. A statistical report conducted by members of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists in 1999 provided the following information regarding the Siberian Husky. Out of 1345 Siberian Huskies examined, a total of 107 dogs had inheritable cataracts (8%), a total of 44 dogs had corneal dystrophy (3%), and 4 dogs had progressive retinal atrophy (less than 1%).

 

Best with:

Experienced owners, preferably exercise-Active owners; minimum 6-foot fence, very secure and inescapable either by climbing or digging.

 

Not for:

People who don't have time Every Day to exercise a dog; those who don't appreciate a self-thinker; people in apartments (they need running room).

 

Pros:

The Siberian Husky has a delightful temperament, affectionate but not fawning. This gentle and friendly disposition may be a heritage from the past, since the Chukchi people held their dogs in great esteem, housed them in the family shelters, and encouraged their children to play with them. Today, it is charming to observe the special appeal that Siberian Huskies and children have for each other. The Siberian Husky is alert, eager to please, and adaptable. His intelligence has been proven, but his independent spirit may at times challenge your ingenuity. His versatility makes him an agreeable companion to people of all ages and varying interests.

While capable of showing strong affection for his family, the Siberian Husky is not usually a one-man dog. He exhibits no fear or suspicion of strangers, and will greet guests cordially. This is not the temperament of a watchdog, although a Siberian Husky may unwittingly act as a deterrent to those ignorant of his true hospitable nature. If he lacks a fierce possessive instinct, he also lacks the aggressive quality which can sometimes cause trouble for the owner of an ill-trained or highly sensitive guard dog. In his relations with strange dogs, the Siberian Husky displays friendly interest and gentlemanly decorum. If attacked, however, he is ready and able to defend himself, and can handle the aggressor with dispatch.

The Siberian Husky is a comparatively easy dog to care for. He is by nature fastidiously clean and is free from body odor and parasites. He is presented in the show ring well-groomed but requires no clipping or trimming. At least once a year the Siberian Husky sheds his coat, and it is then, when armed with a comb and a bushel basket, that one realizes the amazing density and profusion of the typical Siberian Husky coat. Some people feel that this periodic problem is easier to cope with than the constant shedding and renewal of many smooth-coated breeds.

Chewing and digging? Siberian Huskies have been known to do their share. The former is a habit that most puppies of all breeds acquire during the teething period, and it can be curbed or channeled in the right direction. Digging holes is a pastime that many Siberian Huskies have a special proclivity for, but in this, too, they may be outwitted, circumvented, or if you have the right area, indulged.

The Siberian Husky is noted as an "easy keeper," requiring a relatively small amount of food for his size. This trait, too, may be traced to the origins of the breed, as the Chukchis developed their dogs to pull a light load at a fast pace over great distances in low temperatures on the smallest possible intake of food.

There is one final characteristic of the Siberian Husky which we must point out -- their desire to RUN. There are many breeds of dogs which, when let out in the morning, will sit in the front yard all day. Not the Siberian Husky. His heritage has endowed him with the desire to run and his conformation has given him the ability to enjoy it effortlessly. But, one quick lope across a busy street could be the last run that he enjoys, ever. Because of this, we strongly urge that no Siberian Husky ever be allowed unrestrained freedom. Instead, for his own protection, he should be confined or under control at all times. Sufficient exercise for proper development and well-being may be obtained on a leash, in a large enclosure, or best of all, in harness. If you feel that it is inconvenient or cruel to keep a dog thus confined, then the Siberian Husky is not the breed for you.

A good website to read all about who the Siberian Husky is, especially for a first-time owner, is the Siberian Husky Rescue site.

Breed Details

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