History of the Siberian Husky Breed
The nomadic Chukchi people of northeast Asia developed the Siberian husky to pull sleds and herd reindeer. The breed was developed over 3000 years ago when the Chukchi expanded their hunting grounds and needed an endurance sled dog. Developed for over 3000 years, its lineage is uncertain, however it is most certainly of spitz stock. It wasn’t until the early 1900s that Americans first heard about the superior sled dogs bred in Siberia. Chukchi huskies first competed in the All-Alaska sweepstakes race in 1909. The extremely popular race covered 408 miles between Nome and Candle. Most spectators were not impressed with the small, unassuming dogs, however one racer was interested enough to import 70 dogs to train for the 1910 race. Charles Fox Maule Ramsay entered three teams and came in first, second and fourth – totally dominating the race. Siberian huskies, especially those bred and raced by Leonhard Seppala, won most of the Alaskan races for the next decade. When not racing, the dogs earned their keep as working dogs. In 1925, teams of huskies raced 340 miles with the antibiotic for diphtheria to save the town of Nome. The town erected a statue in their honor in Central Park. The breed came to Canada and America, and in 1930, the AKC recognized the breed. During World War II, the breed furthered its heroic image by serving in the U.S. Army’s search and rescue teams. Today, the Siberian husky is one of the most popular Artic breeds.
Size and Appearance of the Siberian Husky
The Siberian husky is of medium-sized build that is slightly longer than it is tall. It has a moderately compact body with erect ears and a brush tail. Endurance, speed, and strength are the resulting traits of this muscular breed. The husky has a various eye colors – especially blue or brown. It is also notorious for having one blue eye and one brown one. This breed has a keen, but friendly expression. Sometimes its mischievous nature can been seen in its expression as well. Its coat is of medium length with a soft, thick undercoat and a straight outer coat, usually with markings on the head.
Siberian Husky Temperament
This intelligent breed has a mind of its own. It is independent – even stubborn – with a friendly, playful personality. The husky is not a guard dog and lacks the suspicious attitude that other dogs display towards strangers. It enjoys the company of other dogs, but tends to chase strange cats or livestock. The Siberian husky tends to roam if left loose. Other bad habits include howling, digging, and chewing. It is a dependable breed that makes an enjoyable companion and willing worker.
Siberian Husky Recommended Maintenance
The Siberian husky needs brushing about twice a week, more during its shedding season. Clip its nails regularly and bathe only when needed. This breed is very active and must be exercised regularly to prevent boredom, which might result in destructive behavior. It enjoys a good run, especially in cold, snowy weather. It likes to pulls things and enjoys the free play in a fenced yard. Huskies should not be exercised too hard in warm weather. This breed can live outdoors in cold climates, however it does better with access to the house. It actually makes an excellent housedog. This sled dog needs patience and consistency in training and will obey as long as they see the point of the command.
Siberian Husky Health
• Life span: 11 – 13 years
• Major concerns: none
• Minor concerns: PRA, distichiasis, cataract, corneal opacities
• Occasionally seen: CHD, glaucomax
• Suggested tests: eye, (hip)