With their gorgeous coats, unique markings and icy eyes, the Siberian Huskies are known and loved the world over for their beauty. Huskies are also immensely intelligent and active dog, an aspect that, sadly, several Husky owners have either under researched or choose to ignore till it’s too late.
It’s safe to say that Huskies are neither for the faint-hearted nor for the first-time dog family. The more research one puts in before deciding to spend their life with this breed, the better.
The image of a Siberian Husky running miles and miles in the snow is an important one to keep in mind; they are not meant for hot climates, unless they are confined to an air-conditioned life indoors.
Siberian Husky is a working dog which comes with a fun personality. Its energy levels are also pretty high and it loves playing around. Equipped with blue eyes that are known to melt hearts and its soft coat, it is one of the best looking breeds out there. This breed loves working and loves outdoors and has evolved as a breed which works hard.
Soon after their import into Alaska, their popularity spread wildly and uncontrollably into the United States and Canada. They were a carefully bred breed which carries with itself an ancient lineage which can be traced back more than 4000 years. This breed was developed by Chucksi people of North Easter Asia.
The purpose of developing this breed was to majorly help in hunting, carry luggage for long distances as the weather of the region was very harsh. Siberian Huskies were a favorite of the Chuskis and they believed that whoever mis treated a dog wouldn’t be allowed on the gates of heaven. This breed was also never overworked and treated with kindness and respect.
Siberian Huskies don’t usually do too well in apartments and hot climates. Their coat and the padding on their feet are meant to equip them for extremely cold weather, and their bodies are designed to serve athletic, agile dogs.
In warmer places, they will need air-conditioned lives inside the house and loads of exercise outside. Huskies are the Houdini of the canine world.
They are known to be big escape artists, notorious for wandering far from their homes. A large yard with a sunken fence is highly recommended, if you’d like to keep regular search parties at a minimum.
Leash training is a must for Huskies; there is simply no question of taking them on off-leash walks or runs. Huskies rarely bark, but they more than make up for this by often throwing their heads back and howling.
Further, Huskies are not quite known to be great guard dogs, so the howling will not be limited to warning you of a stranger’s presence.
Siberian Husky puppies are just like their adult counterparts when it comes to energy levels, so be prepared to be constantly on your feet with these puppies. If the energy is not channelized towards positive learning, they can quickly turn destructive.
Ensure that there is early socialization for these puppies and introduce them to a variety of sights, sounds, textures and scents at an early age. The breed has its history in extremely cold temperatures where food was scarce, so Husky puppies show hunting tendencies at a very young age.
If you have other smaller pets at home, make sure they are socialized early and all play is supervised. Leash training will have to begin as early as three months of age, to control the escape artist in your Husky.
If you’re planning on sharing your life with a Husky, invest in a top-of-the-line vacuum cleaner and a sturdy grooming brush. Huskies shed, and shed a lot. Normally, they shed twice a year – in spring and fall – when they ‘blow’ out their coats, a term that describes excessive hair shedding over a period of two to three weeks. In warmer climates, however, Huskies are likely to shed more often and more vigorously.
The Siberian Husky has a double coat of medium length hair. The top coat is straight and the undercoat is soft and dense.
It is the latter that sheds all year round and more profusely twice a year especially during spring and fall. You will need brush the coat at least twice a week and, in shedding season, almost every day.
This will ensure that there is no matting of the coat and will also ensure less loose hair around the house. On the plus side, Huskies need baths only sporadically and do not have any distinct canine odour.
Siberian Huskies are high-energy working dogs, known for their intelligence. However, they can be stubborn whilst training, since they love to test your capacity for being the boss.
Training a Husky will be an uphill task with a person who cannot quickly yet gently establish that he or she has to be listened to. As in the case of all dogs, positive reinforcement is the best way to get results.
Expose your Husky from an early age to different sounds, sights and experiences as much as possible, to ensure a well-adjusted adult dog. Leash training is a must with this breed, since they are famous escape artists. They have a high prey drive, which can be a driving force for their escape, so keep a securely fenced yard.
This breed can function on minimum food but that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be fed regularly and a balanced diet. The diet of husky is mostly animal protein and fat and the diet needs to be low in carbs.
This is especially applicable to the huskies. They can also be fed a limited amount of plant matter like berries and roots as that is what they were fed in the earlier times.
The meal should have a major proposition of meat. Huskies are prone to zinc deficiencies and they should be fed a lot of zinc to ensure that they don’t suffer from a zinc deficiency.
Huskies need little food and a lot of exercise and the same is applicable to Huskie puppies. They are very good at converting their calories to energy.
One should avoid feeling the husky right before and right after their exercise time. They need to be fed in proposition and over feeding should be avoided at all costs. Give this breed two medium sized portions twice a day.
It is safe to say that this breed is not for first-time dog families. They need gentle yet firm upbringing and need to be trained early by an experienced and patient family.
Siberian Huskies are pack dogs and do very well with families and especially children. However, this is not a dog that can be left alone.
If their extremely intelligent minds are not kept adequately occupied at all times, they can turn very destructive and use their smarts to wreak havoc in your home. They are affectionate and warm without being needy, but can often be stubborn and test your leadership skills.
It’s important to establish who’s boss quite early with a Husky. This is a high energy breed and will thrive if given ample exercise.
They need experienced handlers who can understand their needs. They are charming and mischievous which can be quite a handful at times.
They are not good watchdogs or guard dogs; they love strangers and are friendly towards them, to the point of inadvertently welcoming intruders into the house.
Siberian Huskies are generally a healthy breed but, like all breeds, they may be prone to certain breed-specific conditions. Cataracts are common amongst Huskies.
While they mostly occur during old age and do so gradually, some younger dogs may also develop cataracts. Sometimes, vets will advise you to get the cataracts operated, especially in the case of younger dogs.
Huskies sometimes develop a condition called Corneal Dystrophy, which is opacity of the cornea caused by a collection of lipids. It is usually seen in young adults and is known to affect female Huskies more than males.
This is not a dangerous condition and is not known to affect their vision. Huskies may also be prone to Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), a degenerative eye disorder caused by the loss of photoreceptors at the back of the eyes.
While the condition eventually leads to blindness, PRA is detectable at a very early stage and, since it is a gradual process, dogs that develop it tend to also developed heightened capabilities with regard to their other senses, which makes up for the loss of sight.
There are some issues that most breeds are at risk for, which is applicable to the huskies as well. These would include problems like Hip Dysplasia, eye disease etc.
This breed in comparison to other breeds is healthy. This breed also doesn’t require a lot of food and can remain healthy even with lesser food. Though a high protein diet is good for its health.
They are naturally clean and thus aren’t attacked by parasites that much. They are also not high maintenance and not a lot of medical expenditure is needed for this breed. If this breed is lean and fit, there are chances that it will live a long and healthy life.
Cataracts is a huge problem in this breed, about 10% of the entire Siberian Husky Population suffers from Cataract. Other problems in this breed include Follicular Dysplasia and zinc deficiency.