husky dog breed information

Everything You Need to Know About the Husky

Huskies are a breed of dog with incredible endurance and intelligence, they are one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. Huskies are often bred in cold climates and used as working dogs. They are great pets for families as well because of their protective nature. A Husky is not a wolf, although many people assume that they are, this is a misconception.

If you want to learn more about the different types of Huskies, yes there is more than just one type! As well as their temperament, training abilities, and fun facts, continue reading this article for more in-depth knowledge about Huskies. 

What is a Husky?

Husky
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A Husky is a medium-sized dog that closely relates to the Spitz breed. The Spitz breed is a long haired dog that was bred in Arctic regions as working dogs. Other known dogs related to the Spitz are Pomeranians, Malamutes, and the Chow Chow.

Where Did Huskies Originate?

First Husky Dogs Are Believed To Have Been Bred In Northeastern Part Of Asia
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Huskies originally were bred in cold and frigid climates. Many nations like to claim the Husky breed, but the first Husky dogs are believed to have been bred by the Chukchi tribe in the Northeastern part of Asia. The Chukchi tribe was a nomadic tribe that used Huskies as working dogs.

Huskies were later brought to Alaska eventually, and they were bred throughout the United States and Canada. 

What Were Huskies Bred For?

Huskies Pulling Sled
Image by Viola ‘ from Pixabay

Huskies were bred to help early nomads pull their sleds in arctic climates where there were often frigid temperatures and snow on the ground. Huskies were able to pull the sleds for long distances due to their high energy levels and impressive endurance. 

Huskies were working dogs for many years, but then became a source of entertainment for locals when they were introduced to sled pull races. Crowds would gather to watch the Huskies race across the snow. Huskies aren’t only a source of entertainment in today’s world though, because now they are seen as loving pets and part of the family for many dog owners. Huskies are still used as working dogs in many places such as Russia, Alaska, and Canada. 

What Does A Husky Look Like?

Huskies With Beautiful Almond-shaped Eyes
Image by Adina Voicu from Pixabay

A Husky has a thick double coat that helps keep them warm in cold climates. A Huskies coat is plush which gives them their fluffy appearance. Their coat is also very dense and can come in many colors depending on the type of Husky. Siberian Huskies can be almost any standard color ranging from all black to all white, a mixture of both, to brown, tan, or gray. While the Alaskan Husky can be any color or pattern since it is technically a mixed breed. Other types of Huskies share a similar color style as the Siberian version. 

Unique Physical Characteristics

Eyes

A Husky has beautiful almond-shaped eyes that are close set. Huskies are born without pigment in their eyes which makes them appear blue. As the puppy grows their eyes may change in color when the pigment is developed. 

Some Huskies will have eyes known as particolored, which is one pigmented eye and one non-pigmented eye. Particolored eyes give the appearance of one blue eye and one brown eye. A Huskies eye color isn’t fully developed until they are about 6 months old.

Tail

A Huskies tail is bold and bushy with a curve that arches like a sickle. Their tail is long and changes based on their emotional state. When a Husky lays down its tail is long enough that it can wrap around its head!

Ears

Huskies are born with floppy ears that drop down, it isn’t until their muscles and bones around the ear fully form that they get the upright and pointed ears that we are familiar with. Once they are about 6 weeks old their ears begin to fully erect and stand on their own. A full brown husky should have thick ears that are triangular and stand upright on their own. 

Snout

A Huskies snout is medium in length that tapers toward the nose. Their noses are either black or liver in color or flesh-colored for pure white Huskies. 

How Big Does a Full-Grown Husky Get?

Full Grown Husky
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Huskies are not as big as many people believe them to be, especially those who have only seen pictures of them. The Siberian Husky is considered a medium-sized dog. 

Male Huskies stand between 21 to 23 inches and weigh about 45 to 60 pounds. Female Huskies stand between 20 to 22 inches and weigh about 35 to 50 pounds.

Different Types of Huskies 

Different Types Of Huskies
Image by Viola ‘ from Pixabay

Did you know the Husky breed is a general term and that there are multiple versions of this beautiful breed? Below we will discuss each of the various types of huskies.

Siberian Husky

The Siberian Husky is probably the most well-known type of Husky. Siberian Huskies are majestic and beautiful dogs who form incredible bonds with their owners and families. Siberian Huskies are sometimes referred to as Sibes or Siberians, but many people just refer to them as Husky. Siberian Huskies are not an easy breed to raise. They must have a firm owner who introduces boundaries and training from an early age. They have a lot of energy and should be raised in an environment that allows them to run and play.

Labrador Husky

The Labrador Husky is not a Labrador/Husky mix, it is a pure Husky breed that is rarer than other Husky breeds. The Labrador Husky gets its name from the area in which it was bred, a city called Labrador in Canada. The Labrador Husky is playful, energetic, and very active. This breed needs an owner who can help them fulfill their natural desires to get out and explore. 

Mini Husky

The mini Husky has the same temperament and loving nature as the standard-sized version, the Siberian Husky. Mini Huskies were bred for people who love huskies but wanted a smaller version of the breed. They are almost identical to the Siberian Husky, but they only weigh about 20 pounds.

Alaskan Husky

The Alaskan Husky is a type of Husky that was bred with other breeds such as German Shepherds and Greyhounds. They are a Husky mix-breed and will have various coat colors, eye colors, and sizes. Alaskan Huskies are considered working sled dogs and are most commonly found in Alaska.

How to Take Care of a Husky 

Taking Care A Husky
Image by Nina from Pixabay

Huskies require a lot of special attention and should only be adopted by people who understand their needs. A Husky that isn’t having its needs met can become very unruly and destructive. A Husky can become a danger to itself and to others, especially small animals if they are not given the right resources. 

Exercise

The biggest indicator for adopting a Husky is making sure they are exercised enough. Without the proper amount of exercise, a Husky will act out in ways that can cause a lot of damage, not only to their surroundings but to themselves. A Husky needs at least an hour of exercise per day to meet its needs. 

They are high-energy dogs that were originally bred to travel miles at a time, this instinctive nature makes them curious about their environment.

Grooming

Your Husky will need to be groomed regularly, but the task isn’t as daunting as it may appear. While Huskies do have a thick double coat of fur, they are actually natural groomers and keep themselves clean on their own. Brushing your Husky weekly will help prevent excessive shedding and allow new hair growth, and biweekly bathing will help keep their fur and skin moist and clean. 

Your Husky is more likely to shed during the summer months when the weather starts to get warmer! During these months, you may want to brush your Husky more frequently.

Diet

Huskies need to be fed a quality diet in order to live a long and healthy life. Many owners opt for a high protein raw diet, but you can also feed your Husky dry or wet dog food. A Husky needs about 3 cups of food per day depending on their activity level. Older dogs are usually less active, once your Husky is above the age of 7 you should cut back on their amount of food if they aren’t as active.

Split your dog’s meals into 2 meals, one in the morning and one in the evening. Huskies are finicky eaters and will usually stop eating when they are full, that is why one large meal per day doesn’t work with this breed. 

Common Food Allergies

Huskies, as well as other breeds, are often allergic to ingredients found in low-quality dog food. Ingredients such as dairy, wheat, soy, and artificial flavors can cause allergic reactions in dogs. Some Huskies are also allergic to the proteins in meats such as chicken and beef. 

Are Huskies Easy to Train?

Huskies Training With A Professional Trainer
Image by FitNishMedia from Pixabay

Huskies are very aloof at times which makes them difficult to train. If you are not an experienced dog trainer you may find it difficult to train your new Husky. If you don’t have the time, patience, or knowledge available to help you train a Husky, then you may need to opt for another breed or ask for help from a professional.

Are they Easy to Potty Train?

While training, in general, can be a hard task for new Husky owners, potty training is one of the easier tasks for them to learn. The best way to get your Husky to catch on the potty training is to keep it fun and offer them a reward for their good behavior.

What is a Temperament of a Husky?

Husky With Other Small Animals
Image by Joey from Pixabay

A Husky is known to be friendly and a bit aloof. They aren’t guard dog material as they don’t see other people or animals as threats. They are typically outgoing and gentle with a lot of energy. They are often alert and eager to explore.

Does This Breed Do Well With Children?

Huskies are great for households with children. They are very gentle and loving with everyone in the family, especially kids. They are known to be very patient and tolerant. Always be aware that not all breed characteristics apply to every dog. Never leave children unattended with a dog, even one you trust.

Does It Do Well With Other Pets?

Huskies are pack animals with a high prey drive. This means that they will often form close bonds with dogs that are similar to them and that they see as equals. They will get along with the dogs that they see as belonging to their pack. But, due to their high prey drive, they may see smaller dogs, cats, or other small pets as something they need to hunt. Never leave your Husky alone with small animals, even if they aren’t aggressively hunting them, they may accidentally injure them during playtime. 

Are Huskies Aggressive?

Husky Playing With A Dog
Photo by Karl Anderson on Unsplash

Huskies are not considered an aggressive breed and are rarely defensive or on guard. That being said, all dogs are different and their aggression can increase if they are afraid or in pain. Always use caution when approaching animals that do not belong to your household, and look for warning signs of aggressive behavior.

What Environment is Ideal for a Husky?

Husky In A Large Backyard
Photo by Saira Sustaita on Unsplash

A Husky should not be kept in a small or closed environment. Apartments are not an ideal living situation for Huskies, which means living in the city with a Husky is not the best idea. Huskies are a high-energy type of dog that requires a lot of space to run and play. The ideal living situation for a Husky is a home with a large backyard or piece of land where they can roam and explore. 

Huskies were bred in cold climates and have a thick double coat that helps them stay warm in below-freezing temperatures. If you live in a cold climate, a Husky can be a great breed to have.

What is the Average Lifespan of a Husky?

What is the Average Lifespan of a Husky
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The average lifespan of a Husky is between 12 to 15 years. When given the right amount of exercise, quality food to eat, and a loving and safe environment, these dogs will live long and happy life. 

Husky Common Health Issues

Husky With Common Health Issues
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No pet owner enjoys it when their dog gets sick or has issues with their health, but it is good to know and understand which health issues can be common with specific breeds. Knowing what to look out for can help prevent or diagnose certain diseases early which will help them in the long run. 

  • Hip Dysplasia 
  • Cataracts
  • Epilepsy
  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma

How Much Does a Husky Cost?

How Much Does a Husky Cost
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A quality breeder will charge between $900 and $1,400 for a Husky puppy. The price can increase in certain demographics, but should not go above $3,000. Adopting a Husky from a shelter will cost about $300, and they will come with their vaccinations, spay or neutering, and will be dewormed. 

Don’t forget to factor in the cost of vet appointments, dog food, toys, bedding, treats, and medication for your new dog. You will have to pay around $500 for the initial cost of everything needed for your new puppy, then around $200 per month thereafter.

Other Similar Dog Breeds

Husky Dog Breed Relaxing
Image by ertuzio from Pixabay

If a Husky isn’t the right dog for you, but you want a dog that is similar check out these breeds below! 

Alaskan Malamute 

The Alaskan Malamute is also a sled dog that is similar to a Husky. The Alaskan Malamute is a breed that should be raised by a seasoned dog owner that has plenty of experience. This breed can be quite stubborn, and they can be aggressive with other pets in the household. Alaskan Malamutes are very intelligent but can be tough to control, they have a high prey drive which can make them a threat to other small animals in the household. They need an owner who is bold and knows how to handle them. Training is required for this breed to reach its full potential.

American Eskimo Dog

The American Eskimo dog is super furry and extremely clever. It is a great alternative to a Husky because it can be significantly smaller and easier to handle for those who think a Husky is too large. American Eskimo dogs come in toy, miniature, and standard sizes. The smallest size is less than 10 pounds, and the largest is between 20 to 30 pounds. These dogs are affectionate and loving which makes them great pets. 

Icelandic Sheepdog

The Icelandic Sheepdog is a small to medium breed that can be great for families. It is affectionate and loving, with abundant energy for playtime. They are mildly protective and very easy to train. They have fox-like faces and thick dense coats which make them very adorable. These dogs make great pets and live up to 14 years. 

Samoyed

The Samoyed is a type of sled dog that has thick white fur and a friendly smile and demeanor. The Samoyed can be affectionate and loving but requires training and discipline. When left alone they can be quite destructive. Samoyeds do great in cold climates and are very vocal. 

Finding the Right Breeder

The Right Husky Breeder Loves Dog
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When it is time to buy a new Husky, you will want to find the best breeder in your area to purchase it from. Some breeders are more qualified than others which means it is up to you to check their qualifications and trustworthiness. Below are some tips that will assist you when buying your next puppy from a breeder. 

Tip 1. Schedule to Meet the Breeder

Meeting with the breeder will help you see their attitude toward their dogs and how well they treat their animals. Always schedule to meet the breeder at their facility where the parents of the puppies live so that you can meet them as well. You will want to see how healthy the parents are and how well they have been taken care of. Look for signs of neglect or disease to help you make your choice about the breeder. 

Tip 2. Ask Questions About the Dogs Medical History

You should always ask questions about both the parent’s and puppy’s medical history, as well as the medical history of any previous litters. Ask the breeder if they do any medical testing or know of any illnesses that have occurred in either the parents or other litters of puppies. Don’t purchase a puppy that has sick parents and never buy a puppy that isn’t in good health. This could be a sign that this breeder isn’t breeding healthy litters and that they are not a quality breeder.

Tip 3. Ask for the Pedigree Papers

Once you know that you have found a trustworthy and quality breeder that has healthy dogs and a reputable facility, you can move on to the next step of the purchase. At this point, you will want to ask the breeder for a copy of the pedigree documents. This documentation is a certificate that provides information about your puppy and its parents. 

Things to Avoid

If you find a breeder online, always schedule to meet with the breeder in person to meet them at their breeding facility. You want to be able to meet the parents of the puppies to see if they are healthy and being taken care of properly. If the puppies have not been born yet you will want to revisit shortly after they arrive to check their health as well. 

Any breeder who will not set up an in-person meeting at their location could be a scammer or run a puppy mill. A puppy mill is an inhumane breeding facility that doesn’t provide its dogs with the proper quality of life they deserve. Puppy mills should never be supported.

Conclusion: is a Husky the Right Breed for You?

When choosing a new puppy or adopting a dog from a shelter it is best to know if the breed is right for your household. Huskies are energetic, friendly, and extremely lovable, but they do have high needs regarding space and exercise. If you aren’t able to provide a Husky with a place to run, play, and explore then this breed may not be the one for you.

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