Siberian Huskies - Choosing a Siberian Husky - Dog Breeds

Siberian Huskies - Choosing a Siberian Husky - Dog Breeds

The Siberian husky is one of the most popular breeds in the United States. With eye color ranging from crystal blue to brown to multi-colored, the husky is a sleek and strong dog. The breed was previously quite popular as an Alaskan sled dog, but in recent years has been replaced with the Alaskan husky, a mix of various breeds.

History and Origin

The Siberian husky first appeared in northeast Asia serving as a sled dog for nomadic people. The breed was brought to Alaska in 1909. That year, the first team of huskies competed in the All Alaska Sweepstakes Race, and within a few years Siberian huskies were winning sled races and were becoming respected as a rugged, yet gentle dog with incredible strength and endurance. Today the breed is a popular, well-loved pet across North America. Siberian huskies are classified as working dogs and were first registered by the American Kennel Club in 1930.


The Siberian husky is a medium-size dog with a full, soft undercoat and an outercoat that falls back slightly against the body. The coat color varies: It may be gray, tan, black, white or copper. Though the Siberian husky's eyes are most often blue, they may also be brown, one of each color or have patches of colors (parti-color). The ears point straight up and are set fairly close together on top of the head.


Siberian huskies average 20 to 23 inches in height at the shoulder and weigh 40-60 pounds.


Siberian huskies have a pleasant disposition and remarkable ability to adapt to a variety of living conditions. They thrive in cooler to cold climates and love large areas in which to roam; however, those raised in the city also do well. The Siberian husky is friendly and not reputed as a vocal or aggressive dog. Because they were originally bred to travel long distances, they have abundant energy and enjoy exercise.

Home and Family Relations

The Siberian husky interacts well with children and other dogs. This breed can be suitable as a first pet for owners if you can accommodate the dog's need for exercise and activity as well as spending the time to train them. This may be a better pet for experienced dog owners. However, the husky should be kept under control at all times. The American Kennel Club advises owners to fence in their yards.


The Siberian husky is intelligent, agile for his size and trainable. Although intelligent, some husky's can be willful and difficult to train. In addition to being trained for long excursions over vast expanses, this breed has performed heroically for search and rescue teams in the Arctic. They are playful and responsive.

Special Characteristics

The Siberian husky is more comfortable in cooler temperatures. To prevent serious health conditions, he should not be left outdoors for more than a few minutes in hot weather. Although they tend to maintain a clean coat, you should brush the coat daily to stimulate circulation to the hair follicles. This also promotes a close, trusting relationship between you and your pet. It should be noted that huskies often seem to shed continuously although they generally blow out their undercoats twice a year.

Special Care

The Siberian husky relishes exploring and roaming. Knowing this may help you to prevent running away and wandering through the neighborhood.

Health Concerns

The following diseases or disorders have been reported in Siberian husky's:

  • Zinc responsive dermatosis - is a condition that results in hair loss and crusting around the eyes, ears, mouth and genital area. The problem usually develops around 1 to 3 years of age.
  • Laryngeal paralysis is a serious disease that may begin as early as 6 months of age in the Siberian husky. Nerves and muscles of the voice box (larynx) function abnormally.
  • Corneal dystrophy causes the appearance of spots on the surface (cornea) of the eye. This condition usually occurs in both eyes and does not affect vision.
  • Entropion is a problem with the eyelid that causes inward rolling. Lashes on the edge of the eyelid irritate the surface of the eyeball and may lead to more serious problems.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is a disease that causes nerve cells at the back of the eye to degenerate. The condition usually begins in older pets and can lead to blindness.
  • Cataracts cause a loss of the normal transparency of the lens of the eye. You may see a cloudy, white color in the pupil, which is normally black. The problem may be in one or both eyes and may cause blindness.
  • Pannus is a disease of the eye resulting in inflammation.
  • Testicular tumors are tumors that involve the testicles in intact male dogs.
  • Glaucoma is a disease of the eye that develops when the pressure within the eye increases which can lead to blindness.
  • Degenerative myelopathy is a progressive degenerative disease of the spinal cord that slowly results in weakness and eventually inability to use the rear legs.
  • Hypertension is an elevated blood pressure.
  • Laryngeal paralysis is a dysfunction of the larynx, or voicebox causing respiratory distress. Most common is the acquired idiopathic form.
  • Nasal depigmentation - is a disease that may affect some Siberian huskies, cause is unknown.
  • Testicular tumors are tumors that involve the testicles in intact male dogs.
  • Perianal gland adenomas - are tumors that can occur of the anal glands.

    Life Span

    The average life span of the Siberian husky is 10 to 12 years.

    We realize that each dog is unique and may display other characteristics. This profile provides generally accepted breed information only.