Everything You Need to Know About the Siberian Husky

Posted by Mateja Lane
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The Siberian Husky: The dog of the North.

The Siberian Husky was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1930. Most famous for pulling sleds in the northern hemisphere, these dogs are made for cold weather and thrive in the snow.

Huskies are considered high energy and are built for pulling sleds at high speeds for great distances. They are notoriously playful and can be a bit naughty since they are such smart dogs. Huskies are often known as escape artists. The word "Husky" is actually a contraction of "Huskimos" which evolved into the English word, "Eskimos." Huskies were what the Inuits in Alaska called their dogs. The breed actually originated with the Chukchi people of Siberia, which then evolved into the modern Husky breed standard we see today.

Come shedding season, look out. Because of this dog's double coat, Huskies shed a lot. A dog's double coat consists of medium-length coarse hairs over a dense undercoat and keep the dogs warm in arctic temperatures but also help regulate their body temperature when the weather turns warm. Huskies can range from pure white to red, black, agouti, piebald, black and tan, splash, black and white, silver, copper, brown, sable, or grey.

According to VetStreet.com, "Possible inherited diseases for the Siberian Husky include hip dysplasia, an orthopedic condition in which the head of the thigh bone doesn't fit properly into the hip socket. Mild cases result in arthritis that may be manageable with medications and other therapies. More severe cases require surgery. Hip dysplasia is a terrible situation for a dog who loves to run and pull sleds."

Siberians can also have eye problems including juvenile cataracts, corneal dystrophy, and progressive retinal atrophy. So this high-energy dog does have health issues you should take into consideration. A reputable breeder can answer any questions you have when you research this breed. Remember there are breed rescue groups! These working dogs make excellent companions so don't let these health issues steer you in another direction. 

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Siberian Huskies are not the easiest dogs to train and are not recommended for first-time dog owners. But these medium size dogs are quite the lovable and loyal breed!

And it's important to know what their overall exercise needs are!

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General Appearance

Huskies are medium-sized and built to withstand freezing temperatures, snow, and ice. They are graceful and agile with high energy levels. They are considered working dogs and are built to pull sleds at high speeds over great distances.

They are smart, loyal  dogs that are notoriously stubborn and mischievous.


The Husky head has pointed ears that are always erect. They have a normal canine muzzle that isn't inherently long nor short.


The Siberian Husky coat is double-layered to protect from cold temperatures. The undercoat is soft against the coarse overlayer.  The underlayer may be shed during warmer months. Clipping a Husky is fine but shaving his fur is not recommended due to the way Huskies regulate their temperature.

Fur color ranges from gray, black, copper red, and white.


The Husky has a slightly arched neck and back, with a broad chest. The neck sits erect when standing but will arch forward in length while in motion. Huskies are well built and strong.


Siberian Huskies are generally a healthy breed but require excessive exercise. They are considered easy keepers since they don't require a large amount of food compared to their size. They are meant to be endurance dogs and are bred to run long distances on little sustenance.

Like all big dogs, Huskies are prone to hip dysplasia and eye disease but are generally healthy with the right diet and exercise.

If you decide a Siberian Husky puppy is for you, please do your research to avoid buying from puppy mills. Visit the Siberian Husky Club of America for more information on the breed. Remember that any dog is a commitment; Huskies have a life span of 12-15 years. And if you can, adopt don't shop!

Do you have a Husky sled dog? Show us in the comments below!

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Everything You Need to Know About the Siberian Husky