Updated on December 1, 2022
Siberian Husky: Owner’s Guide
If you look into a Husky’s eyes, you can see right into their soul. No wonder countless of us are drawn to this regal breed! A little bit of research would go a long way in making sure you are prepared to make this wolf-like Arctic dog a permanent part of your home.
Key Questions Answered
How much is a Siberian Husky?
The price of a purebred Siberian Husky from reputable breeders in the USA ranges from $1000 to $3,000. If you are looking for a Husky puppy from a champion bloodline, prices usually start at $1,500.
Where to buy a Husky puppy?
Visit the AKC Marketplace to find a Siberian Husky in your area or try your luck at a local shelter.
Husky Traits & Characteristics
|Eye Color||Usually Blue or Brown; sometimes bi-colored or parti-colored.|
|Coat Color||Gray/White, Black, Silver Gray, Gray, Black/Tan, Sable/White, Red/White|
|Shedding||LOTS of shedding!|
|Activity Level||Extremely active!|
|Good With Kids?||Great with kids|
|Endurance||100-150 miles per day|
|Origin||Bred by the Chukchi people in Siberia|
|PROS||Even tempered, social, friendly, playful, expressive, free-spirited, odorless, loyal and beautiful!|
|CONS||Escape artists, not suitable for first time dog owners, strong prey drive and heavy shedding|
The Siberian Husky’s appearance is the true definition of Striking. They have a beautiful, multi layered coat in a multitude of colors and markings.
They typically have erect ears which are either blue or brown in color. At times, because of a condition called the Heterochromia, some Huskies have almond-shaped eyes that are bi-colored or parti-colored.
With a color ranging from black, white to a few shades in between, they have a plush coat with a dense layer of undercoat and a sickle-shaped tail that curves upwards when the dog is at attention, and a tail that trails when they are resting.
The most commonly found Huskies are typically white in color with shades and markings of black on them. Below is a list of AKC recognised husky colors:
- Agouti & White
- Black & White
- Black/Tan & White
- Brown & White
- Gray & White
- Red & White
- Sable & White
Here is a full list of 23 different Siberian Husky colors and 17 unique markings and patterns.
Husky Coat & Shedding
The Siberian Husky has a thick double coat. The outer coat is medium in length giving a well-furred appearance and is thicker than most dog breeds. The outer coat has the ability to repel water and help to shield against the wind, sun, heat, or cold. The undercoat is short, soft, dense, but of sufficient length to support the outer coat.
This breed does shed heavily, but, unlike several other dog breeds that shed year-round, Huskies “blow” their undercoat once or twice a year when the seasons change. This process can take three to five weeks. Their double-layered coat allows huskies to deal with freezing cold temperatures as low as -75 F (-59 Celcius).
The male Husky stands tall at about 21 to 23.5 inches at the shoulder, weighing between 45 and 60 pounds whereas the female Husky averages 20 to 22 inches, weighing between 35 to 50 lbs.
Husky Temperament & Personality
While the general temperament of any dog is decided by a number of factors such as genes, training, upbringing and socialization, this magnificent breed is naturally born with some inherent traits that is dominant in most huskies. If there was one word to describe a Siberian Husky’s personality, it would be Effervescent. They are full of life and spread joy and enthusiasm wherever they go.
Huskies are famous for being talkative, so be prepared to sit through long canine conversations with them. They were bred to run as sled dogs in packs, which makes them very pack oriented and quite amazing at collaborating with humans. On the flip side, they are also quite independent and are self thinkers, which may be misconstrued by many as ‘stubbornness.’
Their love for digging has often gotten them into trouble and continues to do so. They say, you can either have a beautiful looking backyard or a Siberian Husky! One of the best ways to deal with this behavior is to provide them with a digging outlet rather than trying to train them out of it. While they may look intimidating to some people, Huskies generally make terrible watch dogs as they are quite social and friendly even with strangers.
Siberian Huskies are also Houdini hounds; meaning, they are great escape artists. Their inherent need to run wild and free often makes them jump fences and get out of iron clad harnesses. A few other qualities that makes this breed super endearing are their outgoing nature, their loyalty, their sense of humour and their zeal for life.
The general lifespan of a Siberian Husky is between 12- 15 years. With ample exercise, ethical breeding and a good quality diet and lifestyle, some Huskies have also lived up to 16 years.
The Huskies were bred to collaborate with humans and they absolutely thrive under human companionship. While they are quite trainable in the general sense, they also have a reputation for being ‘stubborn.’
According to Stanley Coren, a leading canine psychologist, huskies ranked 74th out of 138 dog breeds in terms of intelligence. This, in no way means that Huskies are not smart. On the contrary Siberian Huskies are better than several other breeds when it comes to effectively communicating with humans. It was observed in the test that Huskies, on an average, need 25-40 repetitions to learn a new, unknown command depending on the complexity as compared to 4-10 repetitions in case of a Border Collie or a Poodle.
Husky Activity Level
Siberian Huskies don’t tire easily. This is one of the significant reasons behind them being the chosen ones for sledding. Fortunately, or unfortunately, Siberian Huskies are still never-ending balls of energy and need a ton of physical and mental stimulation to keep them away from boredom and destructive behaviors.
They need at least 1 hour of exercise per day; ideally 2-3 hours. When exercising a Husky, it is important to strike a balance between physical and mental stimulation. All physical, with no mental stimulation outlet will result in an overstimulated, hyper and riled up Husky that will be way too difficult to calm down.
Are Huskies Good With Kids?
These wolf-like dogs are as far from their ancestors as they can be in terms of human friendliness. Huskies, in general, not only get along with kids, but also love them with all their heart.
Their boisterousness may at times be a little too much to handle for little kids and toddlers. However, if trained and socialized from an early age, they can be taught polite interactions.
Husky Speed, Strength & Endurance
While they may not be in the list of biggest or fastest dogs in the world, they definitely rank in top 5 in terms of their strength.
They were chosen as traditional sled dogs for their ability to go long distances at a consistent speed even with heavy loads attached to them. According to multiple sources, including Highland Canine, Siberian huskies can reach speeds of up to 30mph and have the endurance to run 100 miles per day!
Lastly, you do not want to mess with a Husky as they have a bite force of 320 PSI.
How fast can a Siberian husky run?
Siberian huskies can run as fast as 30mph.
While no two dogs are alike and every Husky has their own personality, there are a few behaviors that are common to Huskies in general, such as –
Their love for digging
Huskies originally dug to seek shelter, comfort and protection in the harsh Arctic winters. This is a trait that latched on to this breed and continues to do so despite the change in weather or the environment. If you plan on having a Husky, make sure to provide them with ample outlets to dig.
Their love for singing
One of the reasons why it is not a good idea for apartment dwellers to get a Husky is this breed’s vocal personality. While they are not big on barking, these dogs are howlers and they can be really loud. Unless you get a kick out of instigating your neighbors, your husky’s vocal cords and personality needs a bigger space so they can express themselves without inhibitions.
Their love for seeking wilderness
A Husky is born to run free and wild; at least that is what all Huskies believe! They thrive in bigger spaces and do well with families that are big on outdoor excursions and willingly take their dogs along.
Their love for chasing
The Siberian Huskies have a high prey drive and will love to chase anything that moves. While it is nearly impossible to kick out a dog’s natural instinct, the smart thing to do here is to work with them rather than against them.
Do huskies need a big backyard?
Huskies do well in larger spaces that makes it possible for them to run around and be playful without knocking things over. However, they also do well in apartments as long as their exercise needs are met and if the neighbors don’t mind the Husky howl every once in a while.
A bored Husky in an apartment is a recipe for disaster.
Are huskies good with other dogs?
Siberian Huskies have always been social animals that work, hunt and live in packs. In fact, even as sled dogs, they ran in packs. So, it is safe to say that they generally do well around other dogs, especially if they’ve been socialized from an early age.
They do tend to get possessive about their resources and this behavior may peak around other dogs. Make sure to keep an eye out when your Husky is interacting with other dogs, especially when there is a resource involved.
Their hunting instincts may kick in around smaller animals. However, they usually get along well with cats and other smaller pets, if introduced from a young age.
Husky History & Origin
The Siberian Husky, as the name suggests, originated in Siberia. They are working dogs who were bred and raised by the Chukchi people. Genetically, they are part of the Spitz family. They were primarily used for sled pulling. These dogs could go on for long distances at a consistent speed on very less food. The Huskies also proved to be incredible companion dogs.
This breed intrigued the Alaskans in the early 20th century. They were then brought to the United States. They were primarily bred for sled dog races emerged as consistent winners. In 1925 the breed gained widespread popularity and fame by saving Nome, a city in Alaska, during a diphtheria epidemic. Back then, packs of Siberian Huskies battled blizzard conditions to relay life-saving serum over 674 miles to the icebound city.
How To Take Care Of A Siberian Husky
Back in the day, Huskies could rally and run on scarce amounts of food. This is true even today. Now, this is not a license to underfeed your Husky.
They have special needs and dietary requirements so as to be able to be their energetic selves. They need the best dog food for huskies, which means good nutrition that optimally supports their daily requirements for the production of fuel for their body. On any given day, they require high protein (30-40%, depending on ), moderate amounts of fat (20%), and moderate amounts of complex carbohydrates (30%). The protein must ideally be from animal sources.
The best proteins for snow dogs must primarily come from fish and fowl-based foods. Red meats like beef, lamb, or bison should constitute a smaller percentage of their protein intake. rabbit, venison, elk, and bison as a switch are also good options.
What do Siberian huskies eat?
In general, Siberian huskies do best on a high-quality diet that is rich in protein. This is because huskies are working dogs that require more protein than other breeds. Just like humans, they should be eating real food, not highly processed food. Look for a food that lists meat or poultry as the first ingredient, and avoid products that contain fillers such as corn, wheat, or soy.
Articles about Husky nutrition:
- How long can Huskies go without food?
- Why does my Husky eat grass?
- How often should Huskies drink water?
- Why do Huskies eat snow?
One of the first things that hits you in the face (sometimes, literally) about the Husky is their energy. They have leaps and bounds of it.
The definitely need a ton of exercise. However, it is imperative to strike a balance between physical and mental stimulation for these dogs. Letting a Husky run wild and free for a whole hour may knock him out for the next few hours, but it will eventually lead to hyperactivity and over stimulation. What we allow a dog to do consistently when they’re in a playful mood is a huge deciding factor on the kind of dog they will eventually grow up to be.
A Siberian Husky’s exercise routine can be a healthy mix of the following –
- Puzzle toys
- Interactive toys
- Frozen feeders
- Sledding games
- Training games and sessions
- Outdoor excursions like hiking, trekking, swimming etc
How much exercise does a Siberian husky need?
The amount of exercise your Siberian husky needs will vary depending on their age, health, and energy level. However, most huskies will do best with at least one hour of exercise per day. This can include walking, running, playing fetch, or any other activity that gets them moving.
Grooming the Siberian Husky is a tale in itself. Being a Husky pet parent means signing up for grooming sessions almost every other day. They shed heavily and need to be brushed with a slicker or a bristle brush combined with a line comb every other day. This helps in getting rid of loose hair and dead skin.
Make sure to invest in a powerful vacuum cleaner. Most Huskies only need baths a few times a year so as to not get rid of the natural oils of their fur. Trim their nails regularly, especially if your dog has a job. This is to avoid painful tearing, overgrowth and clicking against the floor. Make sure to trim the paw pad fur to prevent slipping on smooth services. Huskies often lick themselves tidy after meals just like cats. This eliminates the doggie odor. Clean their ears and their eyes to prevent bacterial and fungal infections.
Training a Husky is all about managing your expectations, to begin with. A Husky, unlike a Border Collie or a Labrador, may or may not be a people pleaser. They may not even be as food motivated. Finding out what gets a Husky going in a given situation is imperative while training this breed.
They are independent and self thinkers, two traits that may make obedience training challenging. However, do not forget that they were bred to work with humans. Thus, their ability to take directions and collaborate with humans is excellent.
A Husky pet parent must focus on 3 things to ensure safety of their dog and promote good manners in them in any given situation.
1. Impulse Control
The textbook definition of a dog’s impulse is ‘a sudden strong and unreflective urge or desire to act.’ Huskies are quick on their feet and it doesn’t take much to get them up and running. Most times, a squirrel will do the trick. Teaching a Husky to control their impulse to take off at the sight of the smallest little things is of utmost importance to ensure the dog and the human’s safety.
Letting a Husky off leash without a solid recall is the easiest way to lose him. No matter how much they love you, they are escape artists and WILL take advantage of their freedom. Make sure to build a reliable recall with your Husky and start at puppyhood. It takes several months to build a reliable recall with a Husky.
3. Leash Walking
An untrained Husky on a back clip-on harness = human kite! Investing time, money and resources in leash training your Husky is not a luxury, but a necessity.
Overall, the Siberian Huskies are robust dogs that are blessed with a considerably long life and good health. However, there are a few health problems common in this breed.
Hip dysplasia is quite commonly seen in this breed.
Eye conditions such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Cataract and Hemeralopia, also known as day blindness has been reported in several Huskies.
They are prone to Hypothyroidism, a disease where the thyroid doesn’t produce a sufficient amount of hormones.
The likelihood of a Husky suffering from a Gastrointestinal condition called Bloat is high due to their size and deep chest.
Make sure to screen your puppy for auto immune thyroiditis before adopting.
Important breed tests before adopting a Husky
To ensure you’re buying a Siberian Husky from a credible and ethical breeder, ensure you get an All Clear on the following tests:
- Cone Degeneration
- Degenerative Myelopathy – detection of SOD1A
- MH – Malignant Hyperthermia
- Progressive retinal atrophy XL-PRA
How cold can a Siberian husky tolerate?
Siberian huskies are bred for cold weather and can tolerate temperatures as low as -60 degrees Fahrenheit. They have a thick coat of fur that helps protect them from the cold.
Huskies are generally very active dogs and this helps keep them warm. If you have a husky, you probably don’t need to worry about them being too cold. However, if you live in a warm climate, you may want to consider getting a dog that is more tolerant of the heat.
How hot can a Siberian husky tolerate?
While they can tolerate cold temperatures well, Siberian huskies are not built for heat. They can overheat quickly and need to be in a cool or air-conditioned environment during hot weather.
If you take your husky out in the heat, make sure to provide plenty of water and shade. Never ever leave your husky in a car during hot weather! If you are concerned about the heat, it is best to err on the side of caution and keep your husky indoors during the hottest months.
Siberian husky puppies are absolutely adorable. With their fluffy coats and big blue eyes, it’s no wonder that so many people fall in love with them at first sight.
If you’re thinking about adding a Siberian husky puppy to your family, there are a few things you should know first. Here are some tips for choosing, raising, and training your new furry friend.
When choosing a Siberian husky puppy, it’s important to select one from a reputable breeder. This will help to ensure that your puppy is healthy and has been properly socialized.
It’s also important to start training your husky puppy as soon as possible. Puppies learn best when they are between 8 and 16 weeks old, so this is the ideal time to start teaching them basic obedience commands and proper socialization skills. If you don’t take your husky to puppy school, you will regret it for the rest of their life!
Raising a Siberian husky puppy can be a lot of work, but it’s also incredibly rewarding. These dogs are full of personality and life, and they will bring years of joy to your family.
Wondering if huskies are expensive to look after? Read our Siberian husky price guide.
How to train a Siberian husky puppy
Here are some tips on how to train a Siberian husky puppy:
- Start with basic obedience commands. Siberians are intelligent dogs and can learn basic obedience commands quickly. Start with commands like sit, stay, come, and down.
- Use positive reinforcement. Reward your puppy with treats or praise when they obey a command. This will help them to associate good behavior with rewards and make them more likely to repeat the behavior.
- Be consistent. It’s important to be consistent when training your puppy. If you only occasionally give them a treat for obeying a command, they’ll soon learn that they don’t always have to listen.
- Be patient. Training a Siberian husky puppy can be frustrating, but it’s important to remain patient. They’ll eventually catch on to what you’re trying to teach them.
- Get help from a professional. If you’re struggling to train your puppy, consider hiring a professional trainer. They can help with any problems you’re having and offer additional tips and advice.
With these tips, you can successfully train your Siberian husky puppy. Just remember to be patient, consistent, and use positive reinforcement. With time and effort, your puppy will learn the obedience commands you’re teaching them.
The price of a purebred Siberian Husky from reputable breeders in USA ranges from $1000 to $3,000. If you are looking for a Husky puppy from a champion bloodline, prices usually start at $1,500.
Husky Pros & Cons
|Even tempered and social||Escape artists|
|Friendly and generally get along well with every specie||Not suitable for first time dog owners|
|Playful and expressive||Strong prey drive|
|Free-spirited, makes for an amazing working dog||They can dig up and destroy a whole backyard|
|Odourless||Can be too boisterous for some|
|Loyal and pack oriented||Heavy shedding|
|Strikingly beautiful||Highly vocal|
Siberian huskies are one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States and for good reason. They are beautiful, intelligent dogs that make great companions. As with any breed of dog, there are some things to consider before bringing a Siberian husky into your home.
Make sure you research the breed thoroughly and understand the exercise, training and nutritional needs of these dogs before making your decision.
Huskies can be one of the most demanding breeds in terms of attention, care, exercise and training. But when in right hands, they can be one of the most giving canines in terms of love, affection, loyalty and joy. At the cost of sounding corny, if you’re lucky, a Siberian Husky will walk into your life and change it forever.
Do you have a Siberian Husky?
Share your experience (and photos! 😍) with them in the comments below.