Owning a Siberian Husky

Red Siberian Husky

History of the Siberian Husky

The Siberian Husky was originally bred by the Chukchi, a tribe of Siberian nomads, to provide fast, economical transportation over the vast amount of frozen land.

The breed was unusually strong and agile and was able to swiftly cover long distances on a minimum amount of food. The breed is known for its gentle nature, the Chukchi dog often served as a soft, furry bed for the tribal children. Chukchis knew many a "three dog night".

A special relationship was born of mutual need and nurtured by mutual respect between the dog and its people. Together, they thrived in virtual isolation for centuries before the outside world discovered the dog and fell in love with it.

Although the present day Siberian Husky has changed since coming to the U.S. around 1900, the breed still maintains most of the qualities that made the Chukchi sled dog such a prized possession.

Sled Dogs

Breed Characteristics

Size: Medium

Average Height: 20 to 24 inches at the whithers (shoulder blades)

Average Weight: Females 35-40lbs; Males 60-65lbs

Appearance: Compact, powerful body.

Coat & Color: Straight, thick, smooth, medium length coat with a soft undercoat; all colors ranging from white to black.

Siberian Husky Diet

Originally breed to survive on a minimal amount of food, the Siberian Husky eats a substantially less food that other dogs of his size.

You must make sure to provide a balaced diet that is high in protein and fat. But, unfortunately, many commercial foods do not meet this need.

Many people prefer to make their own diets when it comes to the breed.

A holistic diet should include:

  • Protein : 45% of total volume
  • Ground Turkey: 85% of Total Protein
  • Fish: 15% of Total Protein

  • Carbohydrate: 45% of total volume
  • Sweet Potato: 60% of Total Carbohydrate
  • Brown Rice: 40% of Total Carbohydrate

  • Fiber Source:
  • Fruit/Vegetable: 10% of Total Volume

You may, also, consider adding vitamins and minerals to the dogs diet You can try some of the below supplements:

  • Bone Meal Powder
  • Raw Wheat Germ
  • Lite Salt
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Multi-Vitamin/Mineral

Ask your veterinarian for proper measurements that will best suit you dog.

Siberian Husky Blowing Coat

Siberian Husky Grooming

The Coat:

Siberian huskies have a double coat- a soft undercoat and an outer coat (guard hairs). The double coat insulates them from both heat and cold, which is why they should never be shaved, even in the hottest climates. The topcoat is used to block the UV rays, as well, so shaving your husky, leads it with little protection; the topcoat, also, helps to cool the dog, so heatstroke is a concern when shaving the fur.

Twice a year the new guard coat coming in, pushes the undercoat out which results in a massive amount of shedding hairs, known as "blowing coat."

Grooming:

Regular grooming will help keep down fur balls in your home. It can be seen as the perfect opportunity to inspect the dog for any parasites, lumps, skin problems, ear problems, etc., that can become serious if undetected for long periods of time.

Siberian Huskies tend to be clean dogs, as when dirty they tend to clean themselves up, similar to cats, but that doesn't mean their grooming can be neglected, by any means.

The breed is a heavy seasonal shedder. They completely lose their undercoat twice a year. The entire shedding period tends to last about three weeks. With daily brushing you can easily cut down the number of "dust bunnies" in your home. Using a metal comb tends to work best.

You should only give baths when needed, as bathing too frequently will cut down essential oils i nthe dogs skin and fur. I would recommend bathing Siberian huskies outside, as to best prevent you shower drain from clogging.

Throughout the year, Siberian huskies require minimum grooming care. They fur does not need to be trimmed or shaved.

Siberian Huskies

How to Train a Siberian Husky

Training a Siberian Husky

Because the Siberian Husky is a working breed, is is a high-energy dog that requires a lot of exercise. This breed is one that needs early socialization and training, in addition to an exercise and training schedule that is kept up throughout the dogs lifetime.

In the year 2000, the US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention performed a study that resulted in about 15 human fatalities attributed the husky-type dogs, excluding the Alaskan Malamute, that resulted between the years 1979 and 1997.

So, if this isn't enough to persuade you into proper training, I don't know what else is. Just remember that an untrained, unexercised dog is one that will create problems later in his/her life. As a puppy, the behavioral problems may be cute, but as an adult, probably not.

When training a Siberian husky remember that the breed is both gentle and devoted, but stubborn, as well.

The breed can easily become a dominant dog if not trained otherwise. So, do keep up basic training and commands such as sit, stay, wait, come, and leave it.

Husky Puppy Pictures

Common Behavorial Problems

Digging is probably one of the more common behavioral concerns with huskies. It is attributed to their past lives, in which they dug holes in the snow for places to sleep. For the most part huskies will dig when and where they please. If you provide the dog with a place that he can dig, you will cut down the dog's digging problem. (Well, you'll cut down the holes throughout your yard.)

Running away is another problem that you risk. Because the breed has a built in need to roam, the dog is prone to escape fence, leashes, and open doors. Make sure to keep the dog in a confined area. Keep gates locked close. Close doors tightly behind you. Make sure that collars cannot be slipped and leashes are held tight.

Siberian Husky Health

Health concerns can include:

  • Genetic defects of the eye- juvenile cataracts, corneal dystrophy, progressive retinal atrophy
  • Hip dysplasia

Siberian huskies used in sled races can suffer the following health concerns:

  • Gastric Disease
  • Bronchitis or bronchopulmonary ailments (ski asthma)
  • Gastric erosions or ulcerations

Siberian Husky Puppies

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Comments 35 comments

Crystal 4 years ago

I have a full blooded husky he was born 7/09/11 he is loseing weight and he has knots on his back I have no money to take him to the vet please help me please


theresa 4 years ago

Hi everyone. I have a 1 1/2 female siberian husky and we live on a farm. I was just wondering if anyone has any tips on how to keep them from wandering away and us having to go to other farms to pick her up. Or if tieing them up is the only option?? thanks!


emma 4 years ago

Plz can anyone help me my bf has a husky and i have a bichon they have been getting on really well but the husky has started to attack my bichon am gutterd any ideas how to stop this


Miss 4 years ago

Ours is a husky mix and incredibly amazing! Stubborn and wants to be alpha. Digs and runs, but is super gentle and well socialized! However, to make sure he knows he is not alpha, I don't put food in his bowl until after we have eaten!

Regarding the rollerblading with the pup when it's older, make sure it knows the commands and it's less than 15degrees out. They over heat easily and our guy hides in the basement all summer! I'm not sure I believe they are meant for all climates because the only way he goes out in the summer is at night and to swim.

Great dogs and we love them!


Phyllis 4 years ago

We have two huskies. One,whose name is Koda, was a stray. He found us in May 2011. We had just put our other dog down that we had had for 141/2 years. Wasn't looking for another dog but he came into our life. Didn't know anything about the breed but quickly learned after having furniture chewed on, a lamp destroyed, and several other things. We were told by our vet he was around 8 months to a year. In Oct of 2011, we adopted a white husky who is a female named Seiko. What a difference it made in Koda's behavior. We live this breed of dog. They are smart, quick to learn, but very stubborn. We walk everyday with them, as well as, ride our bikes and let them run alongside us. They are truly great dogs.


Kooldog 5 years ago

We had to put down our 10 year old male husky, Dakota, just three weeks age. We called him our furry BFF. He was beautiful, black and white with beautiful lite blue eyes. I miss him so much, am still crying over our loss. Because the house it too quite now, we began searching for another husky, no other breed will do. Last week we brought home a 6 week old, sable and white male puppy. His name is Custer and I am having a wonderful time bonding with him. We have begun puppy training in preparation for getting him a "brother" in three weeks. Yes, we are going to have 2 huskies at once. As far as we are concerned, there is no other breed of dog that will offer the same loyality,love, and devotion like the Husky. As all husky owners know, you gotta love dog hair. Did you know there is a place where you can have your dog's fur made into yarn? I will be sending some from Dakota to be spun into yarn so that I can crochet a lasting rememberance of Dakota.


Tanya 5 years ago

I also have a pup.. 9 weeks old.. learning quick, commands and all sooo goood. From going outside to sitting. Teaching him words.. although he has a problem eating too.. I hand feed him for the most part.. now usually what i do is leave his blue buffalo large breed puppy food on the floor with plenty of water mixed in with half to 75 percent white rice I have boiled to help with his diarrhea, you can always try a little boiled ground beef too.. maybe this will help with puking too.. I would ask your vet. little by little he will eat through the day and when he does I go "AUBREY, EAT.. GOOD BOY!!" or " "AUBREY DRINK WATER, GOOD BOY." I find this helps but I will probably find myself finger deep in his food later on but he has been doing it on his own more often. but congratulating him a lot especially peeing and pooping outside gives him that satisfaction of pleasing me and it feels great because he keeps learning.


Tiffani  5 years ago

I feed my husky blue buffalo, however, he doesn't eat it on his own. I have to hand feed him or else he won't eat. I have tried doing the 10 minute rule where you put the bowl down for 10 minutes and take it away if he doesn't eat it, but it didn't work. I have been through numerous brands, wellness, science diet and natural balance. None of them have work, so I was wandering if I should try Eukanuba? Did I mention he throws up every morning?


Jaeyda profile image

Jaeyda 5 years ago

I'm so glad you included in your hub not to shave your husky! A lot of people don't realize how beneficial their fur is in the heat.


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Find a premium dog food for large breed pups.


nick 6 years ago

great info, i have never owned a husky before,is their any top-tips, and what is the ideal diet? thankyou


ryansjones profile image

ryansjones 6 years ago from Snohomish, WA

I'd get a husky, but don't have the money for one, plus I have my hands full with a golden retriever and a bichon frise shizu


alecia 6 years ago

hey! that video was soooooooooooooooooooo cute I love Huskies and if you are thinking of a dog to get I strongly advise you to get a Husky they are very compatable dogs!!!!! but I strongly hope you adopt from the pound because hundreds of dogs get killed at the pound! :( sooooooooo sad it brakes my hart! :( so please adopt from the pound.


Hub Love profile image

Hub Love 6 years ago from United States

Some form of husky wandered into my yard yesterday. It was very very hot out (S. FL), so I got it a bucket of water and it lounged around for a couple hours and then got up and left. It was very mangy looking but was very friendly.


Perry in Ohio 6 years ago

We have a husky and all the things you have written apply to her, especially the digging. Also, she is a true escape artist. We have to come to her, she'll hardly ever make her way home. She is very loving and gets along great with our other dog, a mixed breed. We have been considering shaving her but you, and other websites, confirmed we should not. Thanks.


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 6 years ago from Georgia Author

The dog doesn't need snow to live in.


Rachael 6 years ago

Wow i am wondering can a husky live in a place without snow cuz now i want to get one


changtian profile image

changtian 6 years ago

LOVED IT! I have a Malamute mix myself, not so different, only bigger and if anything more stubborn. These beasts are STRONG and one needs to be rather athletic and well muscled to keep up.

My friend insisted on walking her one day. I was against it but my husband handed him the leash. One trip to the ER and three broken ribs later...........the man now has some respect!


jade603 6 years ago

Awesome Page! I have one siberian husky female puppy right now, I have owned them in the past. I was actually looking for information on exercise. I am dieting and I figured with the high energy of my husky pup that I can figure something out to lose some considerable weight. Right now, I walk her around the block, I can't run yet. I figure with time, I will start jogging with her. I also have rollerblades and skates and figure I could put those on and she can run while pulling from a harness. IDK if I trust myself on the skates yet though. We'll see. Thanks for the info!


Frosty Meadow profile image

Frosty Meadow 6 years ago from Fletcher, OH

Nice article...always good to read more and more about Siberian Huskies. By far my favorite breed!


akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

Beautiful pics - just getting to more hubs to look around and love the videos etc. The sibes are a lot like my breed, the mals - although I THINK they are a tad more on the not AS excitable side though not by much! Great hub though - I write about mine so much because the one word associated with mals seems to be 'rescue' - sad affair but like so many of your hubs point out too if you don't know the breed, it'll come back to 'bite' you in the long run. Audrey


AshleyNikole profile image

AshleyNikole 6 years ago from Virginia

I have bred Huskies for over 5 years and this is very good information. I also own a lot of your accessories you have up there for Huskies. Good Choice of products, they are the best. Most brushes will get someone, but the ones posted will get rid of 95% of hair. which is the most you can accomplish with a Husky. Thanks for the Hub!


cinewton profile image

cinewton 7 years ago

LOVED IT! I have a Malamute mix myself, not so different, only bigger and if anything more stubborn. These beasts are STRONG and one needs to be rather athletic and well muscled to keep up.

My friend insisted on walking her one day. I was against it but my husband handed him the leash. One trip to the ER and three broken ribs later...........the man now has some respect!

Cinewton


LEANNE & *MARLEY* 7 years ago

THIS SITE IS BRILL, I GOT A SIBERIAN HUSKY PUP A WHILE BACK SHES ONLY 5 MONTHS OLD NOW, SHES SOO MISCHEIVIOUS BUT I WOULDN'T TRADE HER FOR THE WORLD SHES MY LIL BABYGIRL HER NAME IS MARLEY SHES COPPER AN WHITE, IM GLAD TO SEE SO MANY PPL HAVE RESPECT FOR THIS BEAUTIFUL BREED!! :)


christina 7 years ago

i looooooooooooooooooovvvvvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee huskies they r so cute


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 7 years ago from Georgia Author

Although that is one method, that doesn't work in all cases to stop digging. That only works if the dog is digging in one place every time.


Taryn 7 years ago

Thanks so much for all the great information! I have some easy ways to solve the behavioral problems: for digging- if they're digging holes, to put their own poo in the hole and they'll stop digging it! Thanks a ton! ~Taryn Z.


Sviata 7 years ago

Thank you for some great info :) I picked up some new training points for my Husky pup!!!


Thea 8 years ago

Thank you for these grat informations! ;)


sdorrian profile image

sdorrian 8 years ago from Chicago

As a Husky owner, I really enjoyed this hub. You should definitely do your research if you are thinking of getting a Husky. They have their own challenges, but are definitely worth it!


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 8 years ago from Georgia Author

Funride-you should be fine with the high temps, as their top coat helps to keep them cool and warm, depending on weather. That's why one shouldn't shave them. Plus, by keeping the breed inside, with PLENTY of exercise you should be fine.

Thank you


funride profile image

funride 8 years ago from Portugal

I love huskys and I haven´t one because I supose they will suffer with the high temperatures over here :-(

Great hub as usual ;-)


gamergirl profile image

gamergirl 8 years ago from Antioch, TN

Another hub I'm printing, Whitney. Thank you so very much for taking my requests.


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 8 years ago from Georgia Author

Caryl: that's a lot of great information. I have several training hubs that cover this information.


Caryl Oliver profile image

Caryl Oliver 8 years ago from Australia

Wow! What a lot of great information!

My thoughts are more general but apply to all dogs:

One of the easiest traps to fall into is over-feeding dogs, they are always hungry and will eat whatever falls near their faces. Because I use treats to reward my dog when training him I also allocate a part of his daily food as those treats so they are not extra. As quickly as possible get them used to one meal a day and look at the size of the dog and then consider the size of its stomach - you will be surprised how small a meal they need each day!

Because of the upright ears and tail, other dogs often see huskies as a threat so start socialising the dog with other breeds as early as possible so they do not react aggressively to each other. Also start the training of your dog as early as possible - I have made some suggestions on the Hub in response to your other question.

Lots of exercise will help overcome the bad habits that arise because a dog is bored in a small space.

Because the dog must see you as leader of the pack one of the reasons they are so escited when you get home is that they presume you have returned from hunting for food - so feeding them just after you get home will reinforce that but it is not critical. My dog get fed just as I am preparing the evening meal. Either way remember that dogs can tell the time so they will be there tapping their feet impatiently at the same time you feed them each day!

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