Key Breed Facts
Intelligence / Trainability
Children and Other Pets
Caring for a Siberian Husky
Average Cost to keep/care for a Siberian Husky
The Siberian Husky as their name suggests originates from Eastern Siberia where they were used as sleigh dogs by the Chukchi. Known for their tremendous stamina and good looks, the Siberian Husky is a very popular choice both as a family pet and companion dog. They are athletic, alert and enjoy being around other Huskies rather than being on their own. The Siberian Husky is not the best choice for first time owners, but in the right hands and living with people who are familiar with the breed and therefore known how to train and handle them, they thrive in a home environment making them a good choice as a family pet.
During the 19th century, the Chukchis used the Siberian Husky as sleigh dogs and they treated them extremely well with both man and dog living alongside each other in complete harmony. They depended on one another to survive in what is often extremely harsh conditions. Siberian Huskies were first seen in Alaska early in the 20th century and at that time they were still called Chuckchis. Because these dogs proved themselves to be incredibly fast at sled racing which was a very popular sport during this period of time, Siberian Huskies were soon to taken to compete in the States where they were renamed "Siberian Huskies".
Huskies are known to be one of the oldest known breeds on the planet and over time the breed has not changed from the dogs seen way back in the 19th century. Today, the Siberian Husky has become a popular choice as family pets and companion dogs both here in the UK and elsewhere in the world thanks to their lovely looks, affectionate and loyal natures.
Height at the withers: Males 53 - 61 cm, Females 51 - 56 cm at the withers
Average weight: Males 20 - 27 kg, Females 16 - 23 kg
The Siberian Husky is a very attractive dog that’s known for their wolf-like looks. They are a medium size dog that boasts being very light on their feet with the males being slightly heavier than their female counterparts. Their heads are nicely proportioned in relation to the rest of the bodies being finely chiseled. Their skull is slightly domed and their muzzles are moderately long and wide, tapering to the nose. Their stops are well defined and noses can be black, tan, liver or flesh coloured depending on a dog's coat colour.
Eyes are almond shaped and nicely set on a dog's face. They can be any shade of blue or brown and dogs can boast one eye of either colour. Huskies always have a keen expression about their eyes that is often mischievous but always friendly. Ears are moderate in size and set closely together. They are triangular in shape and slightly wider at the base being set high on a dog's head and which they hold very upright. Ears are thick and well covered in fur and have slightly rounded tips.
Their lips are well pigmented and close fitting with Huskies boasting a strong jaw with a perfect scissor bite where their upper teeth neatly overlap their lower ones. Necks are moderately long and thick which dogs carry arched proudly although when they are moving they stretch their necks out slightly. Shoulders are well laid back and front legs well-muscled and straight showing quite a bit of bone, but never heavy.
Their bodies are strong and Huskies boast level toplines, deep chests that are never too broad. Their ribs are well sprung and loins arch slightly, but always well-muscled, yet lean and taut with ribcages being slightly tucked up. Hindquarters are powerful with dogs boasting well-developed upper thighs.
Their feet are oval in shape, medium in size and compact being well covered in fur and a Huskies feet are slightly webbed between each of their toes. Pads are well cushioned and tough. Their tails are well covered with fur and quite fox-like. Dogs carry them with slightly curved when alert.
When it comes to their coat, the Husky boasts a dense, double coat that's medium in length with the undercoat being thicker and softer than the outer coat. The guard hair on their outer coat are straight, lying close to a dog's body. Accepted breed colours include the following:
The Siberian Husky thrives on being around people and genuinely enjoys their company. However, they also boast an extremely strong prey drive which means it would be a mistake to trust a Husky around any small animals and pets, including cats. They are not the best choice for first time owners because they need to be handled and trained by people who are familiar with this type of dog and therefore appreciate the breed's many needs.
Huskies are known to like the sound of their own voices and can be very vocal at times with dogs loving to howl rather than bark. They are extremely hardy, robust dogs that do not feel the cold thanks to their thick double coats. They need a ton of mental stimulation and exercise for them to be well-balanced dogs. Leaving a Husky to their own devices for any length of time would soon see a dog getting bored and developing some unwanted behavioural issues, namely excessive howling and being destructive around the home.
Huskies are athletic and agile which means they are also very good escape artists. As such garden fencing has to be ultra-secure and high to stop them from jumping out. However, they are also very good at digging their way out of a garden under the fence. They are intelligent dogs, but they have a mind of their own which is why they are best owned and handled by people who are aware of just how high maintenance a Siberian Huskies really is when it comes to caring and managing them.
As previously mentioned, the Siberian Husky is known to be an intelligent dog, but they are high maintenance and can be challenging to train. They are a good choice for people who are familiar with this type of dog but not for the novice owner. Husky puppies have to be well socialised from a young age which involves introducing them to as many new situations, people and other dogs as possible once they are fully vaccinated. However, it would be a mistake to trust a Husky 100% no matter how well trained and socialised they happen to be because their prey drive is so very strong.
Their training and education has to start early and these dogs have to be handled firmly, but always fairly to achieve the best results. Huskies do not respond well to harsh correction or training methods, but they do answer well to positive reinforcement. With this said, a Siberian Husky has to know their place in the "pack" and who is alpha dog in a household to prevent them from displaying the more dominant side of the natures which would result in them becoming wilful, unruly and hard to handle.
Huskies are known to form very close bonds with their owners and they are social by nature. They get on well with children and enjoy their company. However, care has to be taken when they are around toddlers and any interaction should be supervised by an adult to make sure playtime does not get too boisterous which could end up with someone getting scared or hurt.
As such, Pets4homes advises that Siberian Huskies are not the best choice for families with babies or very young children. Anyone who already shares a home with a Siberian Husky and who have younger children should always make sure they are never left together unattended. It is also crucial for parents to teach young children how to behave around dogs and when to stay away from them, particularly when there is food around or during playtime.
They are generally good around other dogs, but it would be a mistake to trust a Husky with any smaller pets and animals due to their high prey drive. Care also has to be taken when Huskies first meet any other dogs and it's best to introduce them to each other slowly and carefully to avoid any aggressive behaviour.
For further advice please read our article on Keeping Children Safe around Dogs.
The average life expectancy of a Siberian Husky is between 12 and 14 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages.
Like so many other breeds, the Husky is known to suffer from a few hereditary health issues which are worth knowing about if you are planning share your home with one of these active and good looking dogs. The conditions that seem to affect the breed the most include the following:
As with any other breed, Siberian Huskies need to be groomed on a regular basis to make sure their coats and skin are kept in top condition. They also need to be given regular daily exercise to ensure they remain fit and healthy. On top of this, dogs need to be fed good quality food that meets all their nutritional needs throughout their lives.
Huskies are quite high maintenance on the grooming front, thanks to their heavy and thick coats. With this said, because their coat does not matt brushing a dog twice a week will keep things tidy and remove any shed hair. As with many other breeds, they tend to shed more during the Spring and then again in the Autumn when more frequent brushing would be necessary to keep on top of things. They are known to lose all of their undercoat during the moulting seasons.
It's also important to check a dog's ears and to clean them when necessary. If too much wax is allowed to build up in a dog's ears, it can lead to a painful infection which can be hard to clear up. In short, prevention is often easier than cure when it comes to ear infections.
The Siberian Husky is a very athletic and high energy dog and they need to be given at least 2 hour's exercise on a daily basis. They also need lots of mental stimulation to prevent boredom from setting in which could result in dogs becoming destructive around the home. The other thing to bear in mind is that Huskies feel the heat which in short means that during the hotter summer months it's best to take them out for a walk earlier in the morning and later in the afternoon when the sun is lower in the sky and the temperature is therefore that much cooler.
Huskies need to let off steam whenever they can to get rid of all that pent up energy and they love romping around a back garden. However, the fencing has to be ultra-high and extremely secure to keep a Husky in because if they find any weaknesses in the fencing or discover they can dig their way under it, a Siberian Husky will get out and would get themselves into all sorts of trouble.
With this said, young puppies should not be given too much exercise because their joints and bones are still growing and too much pressure on them could result in causing a dog a few problems later on in their lives.
If you get a Siberian Husky puppy from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it's important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same puppy food to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a puppy's diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don't develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it's best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again.
Older dogs are not known to be fussy or finicky eaters, but this does not mean you can feed them a lower quality diet. It's best to feed a mature dog twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, making sure it's good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements. It's also important that dogs be given the right amount of exercise so they burn off any excess calories or they might gain too much weight which can lead to all sorts of health issues. Obesity can shorten a dog's life by several years so it's important to keep an eye on their waistline from the word go.
If you are looking to buy a Siberian Husky, you would need to pay anything from £500 to over £800 for a well-bred pedigree puppy. The cost of insuring a male 3-year-old Siberian Husky in northern England would be £18.77 a month for basic cover but for a lifetime policy, this would set you back £45.32 a month (quote as of May 2016). When insurance companies calculate a pet's premium, they factor in several things which includes where you live in the UK and a dog's age and whether or not they have been neutered or spayed.
When it comes to food costs, you need to buy the best quality food whether wet or dry, to feed your dog throughout their lives making sure it suits the different stages of their lives. This would set you back between £40 - £50 a month. On top of all of this, you would need to factor in veterinary costs if you want to share your home with a Husky and this includes their initial vaccinations, their annual boosters, the cost of neutering or spaying your dog when the time is right and their yearly health checks, all of which quickly adds up to over a £1000 a year.
As a rough guide, the average cost to keep and care for a Siberian Husky would be between £70 to £110 a month depending on the level of insurance cover you opt to buy for your dog, but this does not include the initial cost of buying a pedigree puppy.
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