Siberian Huskies are believed to be descendants from wolves, and originally hail from the eastern side of Siberia. They were mostly used as sled dogs and reindeer herders by the Northeast Asian Chukchi people. Because of their double-layered thick fur coat, they were well suited for frigid climates, and were energetic and hard working dogs. They quickly became popular pets in countries of a similar terrain, such as North America. The Huskies were used in the great Arctic races because of their dauntless determination and speed. They were the go-to breed for the All-Alaskan Sweepstakes, in which dogs would race, pulling their owners' sleds over 400+ miles. They have been used as reliable service dogs in the 1920's when many Alaskan residents suffered an outbreak of diphtheria; it was the Siberian Huskies who would rush medicine across the wide wintery reaches, to ailing bedsides. They were recognized in the American Kennel Club in 1930, and were vital rescue dogs during WWII.
Most Siberian Huskies are silver/grey and white, or black and white. They can also come in pure white, black, copper-red, or brownish gold and white. They can have icy blue eyes or deep brown eyes, and distinct fur coloring around the eye, often with masked markings.
Siberian Huskies are known for being an active breed, full of strength and intelligence. Typically, if they are not exercised well, Huskies can behave aggressively toward other dogs and cats, though they seem to be docile with children. They are playful, social and affectionate dogs, who display great loyalty and devotion to masters whom they respect. Huskies prefer to be with people, struggling if left alone or without a "pack."
They have a definite wild side, being more likely to howl rather than bark, and have serious tendencies to escape from their homes. They need to understand that the human is certainly the "top dog" and leader, or they will attempt to exert authority and become mischievous or rebellious. They need daily activities that stimulate their minds and bodies in order to stay healthy and not develop destructive behavior.
These dogs have been described as challenging to housebreak, and in need of patient training. Siberian Huskies need to be taught that the human is a leader that they must submit to, and obey when commanded to sit, wait, heel, lie down, etc. Many advise that 15 minutes of positive-reinforcement with obedience training should suffice to help the dog thrive under the human's authority.
Huskies can suffer from seizures, eye difficulties (like corneal opacities and cataracts), and zinc deficiencies. Sled dogs may have breathing issues from time to time, as well as hip dysplasia, though it is less common in this breed.
These beautiful creatures have enormous amounts of vigor that necessitates consistent exercise. As they were built to be sled-pullers able to withstand rough climates and difficult labor, they will need rigorous training daily. While Siberian Huskies make great running partners and hiking buddies, take care that they do not get overheated exercising in their coats, if the weather is warm.
When a Husky is trained well, and regularly gets exercise, he may be able to cope with living in a limited space such as an apartment. However, because this breed has historically been accustomed to living in the outdoors, they flourish best with a running area or yard. Because of their winter coats, the Siberian Husky would struggle to live in a hot climate without constant access to an air conditioned space, and is always best suited for cooler climates.
Siberian Huskies have thick and heavy fur, and shed more than most dogs do. The Huskies require daily brushing and combing, and regular baths.