Appearance
The Siberian Husky is medium sized, females 20-22 inches and 35-50 pounds, males 21-23 inches and 45-60 pounds. The coat is soft and thick, of medium length. Many people who are allergic to dog hair can tolerate Siberians. Colors range from white, which is uncommon, through gray, tan and red to black and white. Mask-like face markings are characteristic. Eyes may be brown or blue, or one of each color, each being equally acceptable.

Temperament
The Chukchi people which originated the Siberian Husky kept their dogs as household companions as well as draft dogs. Since the dogs were often in the dwellings with people and in close contact with children, bad temperament could not be tolerated. The Siberian Husky is still one of the most even-tempered of all breeds and Siberians often have a special love for children. They are also, for the most part, not aggressive with other dogs. Bad temperament is a very serious fault in a Siberian.

Siberians are seldom one-man dogs but give their affection to all members of the family and are often friendly with strangers. Most do not make particularly good watch dogs, though they can be taught to bark at intruders and their appearance is intimidating to people unfamiliar with the breed.

One of the most attractive things about the Siberian Husky is its enthusiasm. Siberians seen to get the utmost enjoyment out of life. Along with this comes an independent streak and a mischievousness so characteristic that the breed standard uses this word in describing the ideal Siberian expression. Siberians love to tease, and though they delight in pleasing their human companions, they usually have ideas of their own which they do not keep to themselves. A person who feels a dog should lie quietly in a corner except when obeying a command would probably not be happy with a Siberian Husky. For someone who enjoys a fun-loving, boisterous companion and who doesn't mind a little back-talk, the Siberian is perfect.
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Grooming
In terms of grooming, Siberians are very easy to care for. They have little or no doggy odor and their coat sheds dirt, making bathing seldom if ever necessary. Siberians shed their coat once or twice a year, so for a few weeks of the year there is fur everywhere, but the rest of the year there is virtually no shedding. For many people this is less nuisance than the year-round shedding found in some breeds. Daily brushing during shedding helps.
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Living Needs
Many Siberian owners have been successful in keeping their dogs dogs indoors or outdoors and or both but compromise has always been the rule here. Ideally, Siberians would chose to live outdoors but many times this may not be possible. Many have been kept successfully in city apartments. This requires a great deal of extra effort, tolerance and flexibility, particularly during puppyhood, and anyone who cannot stand dog hair all over everything several weeks a year, rowdy games in the house and daily walks through rain and snow, should consider another breed. Siberians crave company and an indoor dog usually spends more time with people than an outdoor dog, so if given careful training and regular outdoor exercise, indoor dogs are often better behaved and more in tune with humans. An indoor dog should have an area of its own where its bed and water dish are kept. If it can be confined to this area at night and when left alone, several problems may be avoided.

No dog should run loose, least of all a headstrong Siberian. A dog does not suffer from confinement as many people believe, and will almost surely live a longer, safer, healthier life and keep its family on better terms with neighbors if kept in a secure enclosure. A fence about six feet high with concrete or strong wire mesh at its base should surround this area which may include the entire property or only part of it. Siberians can tolerate extreme cold, and surprisingly, do not suffer in hot weather. They need a dry, draft-free shelter in Winter and Shade in Summer.
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Exercise & Health
Siberians love to pull things, and this is the ideal way to exercise one. With a special harness, which is not hard to make, a dog can easily pull an adult on a bicycle, a loaded wagon, a small log or an old automobile tire. People who race Siberians use a wheeled cart to train and condition their dogs where there is no snow and an ambitious person can make or by one of these. An indoor dog needs daily outings, including some running or pulling and a chance to romp off leash in area which is safe from traffic. Chasing a stick or a ball, jumping, and playing with another dog, are all good exercise. Contrary to the popular notion, most outdoor dogs will not get sufficient exercise on their own, so even a dog that has the run of the backyard should be taken out several times a week and should have daily play periods with the family. Siberians are very gregarious and need plenty of company to prevent loneliness and boredom which can make a dog noisy and destructive.

Siberians are moderate eaters and have no special needs outside of a well-balanced diet. As one of the "natural" breeds, the Siberian Husky is not prone to special health problems as many breeds are. Hip dysplasia, such a plague in some breeds, is not a serious problem in Siberians, but it is wise to buy a pup whose parents have been x-rayed and to discuss with the breeder what will be done if the puppy develops this condition.
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Obedience Training
Siberians, even more than other breeds, need at least a minimum of training for their own safety and for the comfort of the people around them. They are not among the easy-to-train breeds, but are quite trainable with patience and perseverance. If they are somewhat of a challenge to work with, the satisfaction of having a well-trained Siberian is just that much greater. Many Siberians enjoy obedience work and showing at obedience trails is an activity the whole family can take part in. It is a plus if your puppy is raised in contact with both adults and children to make them a well adjusted companion. Most breeders try to place puppies in homes which are right for them. If you think a Siberian Husky may be the right dog for you, we would be happy to answer your questions about the breed in general.
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Copyright 1998, 1999,
2000, 2001, 2002,
Northern California
Siberian Husky Club, Inc.
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This page last updated: 01/2002