Siberian Husky Temperament – Is This Majestic Breed Right for You

This coat also provides them with protection from colder weather when living in other areas. It’s important to keep on top of the upkeep of their coat so they don’t develop any knots or tangles which can become painful and cause sores if not dealt with.

Their teeth also need regular care as with most dogs.

One thing you need to be prepared for is the shedding. The Siberian husky sheds year round and you’ll need to brush them daily during their heavier periods to make sure you get rid of all the hair.

It can get everywhere so be prepared for that!

Siberian huskies can’t cope with the heat as well as their short-coated cousins. Never leave them in a car on a hot day and avoid walking them in the middle of the day when it’s hottest.

Always provide them with water and shade.

Your Siberian husky will also need their nails clipping. Instead of clipping them yourself, it’s best to take them to a professional groomer who is used to doing this and will do it on a regular basis.

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Maintaining their health

The Siberian husky is generally a very healthy breed but some are prone to certain conditions so you’ll want to keep an eye out for symptoms.

Hip dysplasia affects a lot of dysplastic dogs and can cause a lot of pain. Look out for signs of lameness in your dog and take them to the vet if you notice this.

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You can also help to prevent or slow down the onset of the condition by keeping their weight in a healthy range for their size and avoiding too much strenuous exercise.

Like most dogs, the Siberian husky can suffer from eye problems. Cataracts are a common problem that occurs as your dog ages and is usually manageable.

You’ll notice your dog needing to blink frequently and having a cloudy appearance to their eyes. Glaucoma is an autoimmune condition which affects the eyes and can lead to blindness if not treated. This is usually caused by allergies or the eye fluid not being able to drain properly from the eye.

Huskies can also suffer from skin diseases which can be caused by allergies or other environmental factors. These will generally start off as red skin that becomes scaly, swollen and itchy.

You’ll notice your dog scratching a lot and sometimes you might even see small bumps or blisters forming. Treatments include medications, bathing more frequently, clipping the hair and using creams and ointments.

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This breed can suffer from heart disease, although it’s fairly rare. This is more common in dogs that are over-weight or have a poor diet.

You’ll notice symptoms such as coughing, wheezing and difficulty breathing. They may also show signs of tiredness after mild exercise.

Your husky is also at risk of diabetes. Again this is something that can be managed and treated but you’ll need to monitor their diet and exercise.

They’re also prone to thyroid problems so you’ll want to get that checked every year.

As with any dog, check their ears on a regular basis and make sure they don’t have any sores or signs of infection. If you do notice something wrong then you should seek treatment from a vet as soon as possible.

Getting the most from your dog

Siberian huskies are a very active breed. If you don’t give them a chance to burn off their energy then they’re likely to find other ways to do it.

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This could be destructive such as chewing furniture or disruptive such as barking a lot. Providing them with an area where they can run around and burn off steam is important. If you’ve got a yard then letting them run around there is ideal. You can also take them to a dog park or even take them for walks.

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As this is a very intelligent dog, you need to make sure you keep them stimulated both mentally and physically. Escaping their enclosure or simply being unchained is one of the most common ways that Siberian huskies are lost.

They don’t like being confined to small spaces and even a chain can feel like a restraint to them. If you can, it’s best if you construct a proper fence for them. Otherwise, they may find a way to break out or they’ll become unhappy and this will make them much more likely to run away if they ever get the chance.

This breed loves human company and doesn’t do well left on their own for long periods of time. Many owners struggle with leaving their husky home alone for the day while they go to work.

It’s not uncommon for them to bark or even tear up things when they’re left on their own. Many owners choose to take them to work with them, but this can be difficult for other reasons. It’s important that you find a balance that works for you and your dog as an individual.

How active your husky needs to be depends on how old they are, what breed of dog they are and what genes they inherit from their parents. Newborn Siberian huskies need to be active most of the time.

They have a lot of energy and if they’re confined or left alone, they’ll make their own fun, which isn’t always good. Dogs that are three months or older but younger than three years should still be fairly active. This can include walks, runs in the yard, play time with other dogs and a few short trips outside.

Over the age of three, your dog’s exercise should be less intense. Walks and short runs are more than enough to keep them happy and healthy.

This doesn’t mean you can become a slouch in keeping them active though. As mentioned, they’re intelligent dogs that need a lot of stimulation to keep them out of trouble.

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Common Diseases

The Siberian husky is generally a very healthy dog but there are some conditions that they suffer from much more than others.

Hip dysplasia: This is a genetic condition that can lead to severe arthritis in the dog’s hips as they get older. It’s caused by abnormal development of the hip socket and muscles around that area.

The severity of the condition varies from mild to crippling but there are tests that you can have done to check if your dog is a carrier or likely to suffer from it.

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Cataracts: Often found in dogs around the age of six, cataracts are a form of blindness that slowly affects the vision. They’re caused by an excess of fibrous proteins forming in the lens of the eye which starts to cloud it over and stops light from passing through clearly.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): This is another condition that causes a gradual loss of vision such as night blindness and a loss of peripheral vision. There’s no treatment or cure and it gets worse as the dog ages.

Diet & Nutrition

The Siberian husky is a working dog and as such, it needs a lot of food to keep it active. It’s important that you measure out the food you give it depending on its age, size and activity levels.

This way you’ll know if it’s gaining or losing weight. Overweight dogs have a shorter life expectancy and are more likely to suffer from health problems. Remember that a healthy diet isn’t just about how much you feed it but also the quality of food. Don’t feed it scraps from the table or people food as this can lead to dietary issues and obesity.

Brand Name Dog Food

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Many people believe that buying expensive, brand name dog food is the way to go. This isn’t always true.

Some of the most expensive dog foods are made with low quality, unhealthy ingredients that don’t do your dog any good. It might be better in some cases to get a cheaper brand that uses higher quality ingredients and save yourself some money in the long run. You should also check the ingredients listed as foods lower down the list, like corn or wheat, can be a source of allergy for your dog and should be avoided if possible.

Homemade Food

Making your own dog food at home is a great way to save money while making sure you’re only using high quality ingredients. There are plenty of easy recipes online you can follow but remember to leave time for the food to cool before you give it to your dog and refrigerate any that isn’t eaten within 24 hours.

Costs

Siberian huskies are fairly priced compared to other breeds. The average price for a pet quality puppy is $600-$1,200 and for a show quality puppy it’s $800-$1,500.

This can obviously vary depending on the breeder and whether they have titles or awards for their dogs but these are reasonable prices for a healthy puppy.

Average Cost (Dog Food + Medical Care + Annual License) $500-$700 Annually

As you can see, the costs for owning a siberian husky aren’t too much more than owning a cat. They’re active pets that require a reasonable amount of food to feed them and medical care to keep them healthy.

The average cost is about $500 a year but this can vary depending on things like their diet, supplements and checkups.

Dog License

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Every dog owner should get their pet microchipped and registered, in case they get lost and someone finds them they can be returned home. Many cities and counties also require that dogs are licensed and owners must register their address as well as having the dog wear a tag showing this information.

These tags cost between $4 and $10 each year and for most places, it’s either annually or biennially.

Siberian Husky Buyers Guide

There are many different things to think about before buying a Siberian husky, regardless of whether it’s a puppy or an adult dog. The first thing to think about is whether you want a puppy or an adult dog, as each have their own pros and cons.

Puppies are loads of fun but require a lot of dedication, time and expense. They have a habit of chewing everything, are likely to get into everything and make a huge mess and will probably bark a lot.

Puppies also need lots of attention which means you need to be home more often than not and Dedicate some time every day to play with them, take them for walks and socialize them with people and other animals.

Adult dogs are less demanding in most regards but there are some things to think about. They might already have some behavior problems or stubbornness.

They might also have health issues you’ll need to look after or have a medical history that you should know about. As with puppies, make sure you find out if there is a chance the dog may have aggression issues or is prone to running off.

Whichever type of dog you decide on, you should also think about where you’re going to keep it. While siberian huskies are able to sleep outside in cold weather and enjoy doing so, this isn’t the case in warmer climates or when they’re indoor pets.

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You’ll also need to make sure you have a large yard for them or somewhere safe they can go if they want to run around whereas a smaller apartment would not be suitable for most dogs.

Puppies

A lot of people want a siberian puppy because they’re cute, furry and mimic human behavior like playing and being affectionate. The work and time spent raising them is worth it when you grow up together and have a lifelong bond.

Advantages

Siberian husky puppies are fun and loving, actively playing with you for hours on end. They demand attention and love, always wanting you to play with them.

When they’re young, they don’t require a lot of exercise so they’re happy to simply be around you, following you around all day.

Disadvantages

Puppies don’t just require attention and playtime, they also chew on everything, get into everything and generally make a mess wherever they are. They also have a habit of barking a lot whenever they’re not sleeping and usually wake you up early in the morning and keep you up late at night.

Siberian husky puppies also need to go out for walks or be let out in the yard every few hours so they don’t make accidents inside.

Adult Dogs

Some people prefer adult dogs because they come trained and don’t have the chewing, barking and crying issues that puppies do. The dog can also quickly and easily be transported to a new home as well, allowing you to take the dog with you if you ever move.

Advantages

While adult dogs require a lot of attention at first, they don’t chew on your shoes or furniture, they don’t bark constantly and they don’t make a mess when they’re bored. They also go outside to the bathroom and don’t make messes inside like a puppy would so you don’t need to spend as much time taking them out or cleaning up after them.

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Disadvantages

While adult dogs might be calmer than puppies, they still need a lot of attention and exercise if you want them to stay healthy and happy. They also have behavior issues that need to be worked on and you may need to make a trip to the vet for an checkup.

Adult dogs also don’t always do well with new situations and may miss their old owners or get stressed out when you move to a new home.

Medical History

As with any living creature, a dog can come with its own set of medical issues and problems. Some are minor, others are major and still not all of them can be seen right away.

By knowing about the medical history of your dog, you’ll know what to do in case of an emergency and what potential problems you may need to look out for in the future.

The Siberian husky has a few common issues that need to be addressed. The most common is obesity, which is especially common in older dogs that no longer get as much exercise.

Obesity can increase the chances of health issues such as diabetes, heart disease and even arthritis. As such, you should make sure to limit the amount of food that you are feeding your dog and increase their level of exercise.

Hip dysplasia is another common issue in the siberian husky, which occurs when the head of the hip joint is irregularly shaped, causing it to fit poorly in the socket. This can cause pain and lameness in the hind legs of your dog, sometimes even causing difficulty getting around.

This condition is genetic and unfortunately there is no cure. Keeping your dog at a healthy weight, providing appropriate orthopedic bed and keeping your dog at a healthy weight can provide relief and help slow the progression of the condition.

Allergies are another issue that siberian huskies commonly suffer from. Allergies commonly manifest themselves as rashes or small red bumps on the skin, though in more severe cases, they can cause constant sneezing and watery eyes.

In some rare cases, dogs may even have trouble breathing. You can treat minor allergies with over the counter medicine, while more severe cases may require a trip to the vet for treatment with steroids or other drugs.

Finally bloat is another issue that siberian huskies commonly suffer from. Bloat occurs when the stomach is forced to distend greatly, often by gas, fluid or food.

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If not treated quickly, it can cause death quickly by restricting blood flow to the heart. This is a deadly condition and requires immediate medical attention.

Coat Type

The Siberian husky has a thick double coat that is designed to withstand the harsh cold weather of its native environment. The undercoat is thick and designed to trap air next to the skin to provide insulation, while the longer guard hairs keep this air from escaping.

The length of the coat is designed to protect the dog from temperatures as low as -60 Fahrenheit.

This coat is designed to withstand cold weather, however it is not designed for hot weather. Dogs with short coats are more suited for living in warmer climates as they are less likely to suffer from health issues due to the heat.

These breeds may still suffer from health problems in colder weather, but it is less likely.

The Siberian husky is also known to be a “working dog” and as such, it thrives on having a job to do. Without something to do, it is natural for the dog to get bored which can lead to behavioral problems.

Providing your dog with the opportunity for mental stimulation will help prevent this from becoming an issue.

The Siberian is also an extremely energetic breed that has a lot of stamina, making it an excellent choice for working dogs. It has beenbaed working with people to pull sleds, as well as hunting, racing and even just running around.

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Today however it is more commonly kept as a family pet. This active breed is not content to lie around the house all day and requires a large amount of exercise and activity. It is not a good idea to keep this breed in an apartment and it is certainly not a one person dog, as it does best when with a family that it can spend a lot of time interacting with.

The Siberian is among the breeds considered to have a “top dog” personality. It is intelligent, independent, determined and persistent.

This means that it requires a trainer that can be equally as determined and persistent. If you aren’t able to maintain dominance over your dog, then it will easily become the dominant one in the relationship, which is something you definitely want to avoid. The best way to train this dog is with a firm, but calm approach. It is important to establish yourself as the alpha dog right from the start.

This breed is also extremely adept when it comes to learning tricks and commands. It is intelligent enough to be able to learn things like circus tricks, or even more practical skills such as turn off and on lights, open doors and even pull wheeled carts.

Exercise Requirements

This breed is extremely energetic and as such requires a significant amount of exercise. Due to its thick coat, it does best in warmer temperatures, so you want to avoid exercising it in the hottest parts of the day.

Because of this, it is best if you are able to provide it with an area where it can freely run around and play for several hours each day. If this is not possible, then it would be a good idea to get the dog involved in some type of exercise that does not involve running. This could include agility training, cart pulling, hunting and even sledding.

Because this breed has such thick fur, it tends to shed a significant amount each year as well as constantly track mud and debris through the house. Due to this, many owners choose to keep the dogs outdoors.

However, it is important that these dogs receive a lot of socialization while they are young so they do not become fearful of new people and situations.

Males in particular have a tendency towards being aggressive towards other dogs, especially those of the same gender. It is extremely important that they are given plenty of opportunities to socialize with other canines when they are still pups.

Without this early socialization, they are likely to be aggressive towards unfamiliar dogs throughout their lives. This can occasionally be directed towards people as well.

The Siberian is an extremely intelligent breed that requires a lot of stimulation in the form of mental challenges. If you do not provide it with enough mental stimulation, then it is going to become bored and restless.

This can lead to a wide range of behavioral issues including destructive behavior, barking and howling and even depression.

This is not a breed that does well when left alone for extended periods of time, whether it is alone in a yard or locked in a house. If you do have to leave it for long periods of time, it is important to get the animal used to this early so it does not experience any stress or anxiety.

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It is best if you can find someone that can stay with the dog or take it to a doggie daycare or boarding facility.

Sources & references used in this article:

Simon & Schuster’s Guide to Dogs by G Pugnetti – 1980 – books.google.com

The giant book of dog names by LB Morrow – 2012 – books.google.com

Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution: The Complete Guide to Raising the Perfect Pet with Love by Z George, DR Port – 2016 – books.google.com

Siberia: a cultural history by JSBWF Black, S Chickens

The urban tree book: an uncommon field guide for city and town by S Hodgson – 2016 – Macmillan

A Dog’s Best Friend: An Activity Book for Kids and Their Dogs by AJ Haywood – 2010 – books.google.com