Dog Breed profiles

Siberian Husky Breed Profile

Siberian Husky fact file

KC Group: Working
Size: Large
Height: Dogs: 53 - 60cm; bitches: 51 - 56cm 
Weight: Dogs: 20 - 27kg; bitches: 16 - 23kg
Average lifespan: 14 years
Good with children?: Seek breeder advice
Exercise requirement: Lots
Good guard dogs?: No
Moulting level: High
Grooming: Moderate
Colours: All colours and markings, including white. A variety of markings on the head is common, including many striking patterns
Jogging partner: Top dog!

Health

The Siberian Husky is generally a healthy breed. However, the following conditions are known:
  • Cataracts and glaucoma.
  • Hip dysplasia.
Cataracts are a painless clouding or coating of the lens of the eye, which gives it a milky appearance. They most commonly occur as the dog ages, or as a result of injury to the eye, but can also be hereditary. They tend to affect both eyes simultaneously.
 
Glaucoma is when the pressure of the fluid inside the eyeball is excessively high. The internal structure of the eye is destroyed, rendering the eye blind. It’s painful and must be caught early if the dog’s sight is to be saved.
 
Hip dysplasia results from the abnormal development of the hip joint in a young dog.
 
Health tests
 
The Siberian Husky is listed under the British Veterinary Association/Kennel Club Hip Dysplasia Scheme and the BVA/ KC/International Sheep Dog Society Eye Scheme.
 
The average hip score in the Siberian Husky is seven (each hip is scored individually and the two figures added together to give the dog’s final hip score). Breeders are strongly encouraged to only breed from dogs with scores well below this figure.

Temperament

  • Gentle and kind
  • Charming and mischievous.
  • Intelligent and alert.

Lifestyle

The Siberian Husky is a pack dog and will get on well with other dogs if socialised early on.
 
He is a primitive breed with strong chase instincts, and a lethal hunter. He will not get on with cats or other small furries — he will consider them fair game.
 
He is good with children but all interactions must be supervised.
 
The Husky loves to run. 
 
However, due to his strong desire to hunt and roam, and far from reliable recall, exercising a Husky is difficult. He simply cannot be trusted off lead. No matter how obedient your Husky is, if that hunting instinct kicks in he will be gone — and he could easily get into trouble. If you insist on giving him off-lead exercise, make sure it is in a very safe and secure area.
 
Many Husky owners use the Husky’s inbuilt love to pull as a means of exercise and will invest in a rig on wheels so that they can work their dogs in harness.
 
These dogs require above-average mental stimulation — a bored Husky will get into trouble. They crave company and will not do well left alone for long periods.
 
Huskies are notorious diggers and can jump to great heights from a standstill. It is recommended that your garden is secure with fences standing at least 6ft, and that the fencing either extends underground or has concrete slabbing around the base to stop your Husky digging an escape tunnel.

Trainability

Starting as early as possible, your Husky will respond best to firm, consistent training. It’s important that he knows he isn’t the boss. He is an incredibly intelligent dog, but possesses a stubborn streak.

General care

Care must be taken with exercise while your Husky is growing.
 
The Husky possesses a thick double coat which will require a regular brush through. Be warned, he moults at least once a year — and you will notice it.
 
Huskies can have sensitive stomachs so discuss your dog’s diet with his breeder.

Pros

  • Healthy and hardy.
  • Good tempered.

Cons

  • Above-average exercise needs — both physical and mental.
  • Not suitable for first-time owners.