By Victoria Swanson — One of many Dog Breeds blogs on SmartLivingNetwork.com
Siberia is where this northern breed originated from. The Husky is believed to have come from the Chukchi Indians, natives of the Siberia region, dating back to 3,000 years ago! The breeds made their way to Alaska around 1908 during the "Gold Rush" time. The American Husky is known more as the Alaskan Husky instead of its ancestor the Siberian Husky. The Alaskan Husky is used more competitively while its ancestor the Siberian is used as a recreational sled dog or companion.
One of the most famous Siberian Huskies was depicted in the 1995 film, Balto. Although the film portrayed the dog as half wolf, the real Balto was a purebred Siberian Husky. Gunnar Kaasen was one of many relay teams of sled dogs that participated in the serum delivery to Nome during January 1925. He led his team of dogs, with Balto being the "Lead Dog" to deliver diphtheria to Nome, along with another famous Husky, Togo and his musher, Leonhard Seppala. Seppala and Togo crossed the most dangerous portion of the relay, Norton Sound, where temperatures dipped below -50° and winds were at 80 mph, making it impossible for planes to fly the serum to Nome. Balto and Togo are still the most famous Huskies known.
A northern breed, the Husky was bred for one purpose only, a working breed to pull sleds in the Siberian region. Whether it is to transport people, goods, or other such things, this breed will get the job done! They were even used in the United State's Army Arctic Search and Rescue Unit during World War II.
The Husky's height is 20 - 23.5 inches and they can weigh between 35 - 60 pounds.This breed shares many of the same outward look as their cousin the Alaskan Malamute, however the Malamute is of larger size. The Husky is a compact, medium size and muscular dog. Their ears are erect and they have almond shaped eyes that can be brown, blue or one of each and even parti-colored, making their look even more striking! Their noses can be black, liver, and flesh-colored or streaked with pink depending on the color of their coat. Their coats come in a variety of colors and patterns. This breed is a HEAVY shedder due to their thick double-coat, straight outer coat and a dense undercoat. DON'T shave your Husky's coat in the summer! Their coat helps to keep them cool in those hot summer months by reflecting the heat, so daily grooming is required for this breed. Their tail is furry and helps keep their nose and face warm when they are curled up outside in the cold winter months. Many people believe the Husky is very close to looking "wolf-like."
Friendly, outgoing, adventurous and they enjoy hearing their own voice, which tends to be a howl instead of a bark. Because of this, they are often referred to as having "wolf-like" characteristics in their personality too! They will require obedience training and proper socialization at a young age for pet-parents to enjoy their Husky. This breed tends to be a "runner" if not on a leash or a fenced in-yard. They are intelligent, but also independent. They enjoy being with the entire family and is not a one-person dog. This breed is well known for being an "escape artist." Proper fencing is required for this breed to keep them contained in their own yard, otherwise they will escape to explore and can easily travel up to 50 miles a day! This is a non-aggressive breed and will not make a good guard dog. They like to welcome humans and other dogs into their lives with open paws!
Their activity level is HIGH. The Husky is not for the introvert, quiet, and relaxed individual. This breed needs and requires an active partner throughout their life! This breed is so smart, that they will sit and observe their humans and mimic their activity such as: turning on or off lights, opening up refrigerators, opening doors and other household activities. This breed is easy to train, but they need consistent and constant physical and mental stimulation to keep them from getting into trouble. They make an excellent running partner, will enjoy Skijoring (a winter sport where a Husky or other breed pulls a person on skis), agility, hiking (don't forget to put a backpack on this breed) and many other outdoor activities. One or two walks a day will NOT be enough exercise for this breed. This breed does better in cold climates vs. warm climates. During warm temperatures, exercise should be kept to a minimum to prevent heat-stroke.
A typical life span for the Siberian Husky is 12- 15 years. Health concerns are: seizures, defects of the eye (cataracts, corneal dystrophy) and PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy), typically this breed does not suffer from Hip Dysplasia (ranked 155th out of 160 breeds at risk for HD).
As you begin looking for a Siberian Husky, please check with rescue organizations first. Every year there are millions of dogs being euthanized, not because they are bad dogs, but because there is no home for them and insufficient resources to care for them at rescues? By adopting a dog, you are truly saving a life!
At the very least, NEVER purchase any dog from a pet store. Unfortunately, those puppies almost always come from puppy mills. Instead, look for a reputable breeder to work with.
On a final note, it is important to spay and neuter your puppy by 6 months old to have a healthy and happy pet for many years to come!
Original Dog Bible, 2nd Edition by Kristin Mehus-Roe
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