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Education – Siberian Huskies

We always suggest taking time to research your prospective dog breeds and become as knowledgeable as possible about health, care, and training before you bring one home. Even if you have prior experience with Siberian Huskies, it is always helpful to refresh your memory and possibly learn something new.

Below we have provided some general information provided by the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the Siberian Husky Club of American, Inc. (SHCA).

GENERAL:
Siberian Huskies, aka Huskies or Siberians are an AKC recognized breed – not to be confused with the “Alaskan Husky,” which is a term used to refer to many cross-breeds containing one or more snow-breeds.
Ranked 15th in popularity out of the 195 breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC, 2019).
Listed under the “Working Group”

SIZE:
Considered to be a medium breed, Females usually weigh 35-50 pounds once fully matured and Males usually sit around 45-60 pounds. Females average between 20-22 inches and males average 21-23.5 inches at the top of the shoulders(AKC, 2017).

TEMPERAMENT:
Huskies are an affectionate breed but still hold a level of independence. They are versatile and are good companions for a variety of individuals, including those with children. Siberian Huskies are very social and not generally single-owner dogs like some other breeds (SHCA, 2015). They aim to please their owners and are very intelligent, learning rather quickly with positive and consistent training beginning at an early age. Huskies are high energy dogs and benefit from regular exercise and play time.

CARE:
Huskies have a soft double-coat that sheds seasonally about twice a year. Various grooming tools may be used to remove loose hair but shaving is never advised for double-coated breeds. Because of the minimal grooming requirements, huskies are a fairly easy breed to care for (SHCA, 2015). As a plus, they tend to have less of a dog body-odor than other breeds when bathed regularly (AKC, 2017). As with any breed, it is important to trim nails regularly if they are not being worn down naturally.

Huskies do not require a large amount of food compared to other breeds of similar size. It is not unusual for your husky to leave food in their bowl at feeding time or pick at it throughout the day. However, diets should be monitored; they may easily become over weight if fed too many treats or table scraps. Once overweight, it is difficult to get it off, and a leaner dog will live a healthier more enjoyable life (SHCA, 2015).

Huskies have a natural desire to run (AKC, 2017). Often described as “escape artists”, it is not uncommon to find that your husky learns to escape your yard. Precautions should be taken to ensure their safety. We advise extensive training be done before even attempting to allow one off leash unconfined. Huskies tend to have a very high prey drive which may result in one taking off and possibly injuring, or killing, a (generally smaller) animal, even within the home environment (AKC, 2017).

HEALTH:
~This information is for educational use only, not all dogs will develop even one of these issues~

There are possible eye defects in dogs, but hereditary juvenile cataracts, corneal dystrophy, X-linked progressive retinal atrophy and glaucoma are the ones more often seen in the husky breed (SHCA, 2015).

Hip dysplasia is a well known concern for larger breeds. Its manifestation is dependent on environmental factors as well as genetic factors (SHCA, 2015).

Seizures – one single incident, or epilepsy– repetitive seizures over a time span, have been seen in huskies. Epilepsy is considered a genetic disease, but tests should be conducted to determine the cause (SHCA, 2015).

Cryptorchidism, also called undescended testicle(s), is a common congenital deformation in dogs (regardless of breed). This condition may cause infertility and/or pain. Males with this condition should not be bred; owners can relieve risks of complications by neutering the puppy.

Hypothyroidism is a hormonal autoimmune disease (the body attacks the thyroid glad). Early signs that may indicate this hormonal imbalance may present as reproductive failures, poor coat condition, lethargy, and unexplained weight gain.

We always recommend “fixing” – spaying or neutering, your pets unless they are registered with full rights and you are expecting to enter them into a responsible breeding program OR being unaltered benefits the dog in their work or sport. Research shows that waiting until dogs are two(2) years old allows their growth plates to close completely resulting in complete physical development. If you are able to accommodate an unaltered animal for that long, it is the best option. Fixing your pets at the appropriate age has many health benefits supporting a long comfortable life, helps to minimize shelter populations, as well as may prevent or improve certain behavioral issues (AKC, 2017).