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the search for a dog
Siberian husky dog standing in a field covered in snow.

Breed overview

  • Breed group – Working Group (American Kennel Club), Northern Breed Group (United Kennel Club)
  • Height – 20 to 24 inches 
  • Weight – 35 to 60 pounds 
  • Coat length & texture – Thick, layered, and straight 
  • Coat color – Black, agouti, red, white, sable, or gray. Coat colors often change throughout the puppy stage, but usually stop after about a year… 
  • Exercise needs – High
  • Intelligence – High intelligence 
  • Barking – Often 
  • Life span – 11 to 13 years 
  • Temperament – Gentle, friendly, intelligent, energetic, and independent
  • Hypoallergenic – No
  • Origin – Siberia

👉 No dog breed is 100% hypoallergenic, but some are better than others for allergy sufferers.

Siberian husky fun facts

  • The U.S. Army regularly used Siberian husky sled dogs for Arctic rescues. These dogs would assist in rescue missions for downed planes & help find lost cargo.
  • The Siberian Husky Club of America offers a degree program for all purebred huskies. Your pup can achieve a basic, excellent, or outstanding degree in a specialized Sled Dog Degree program. 
  • The Siberian husky breed came to America during the early days of the Gold Rush. These pro sled dogs helped miners get to hard-to-reach gold in the Alaskan mining plains.
Siberian husky puppy standing in nature0

Siberian husky temperament and characteristics

Siberian huskies are known for their high levels of energy, making them the perfect breed for all-day play. They’re great for owners who have plenty of space to run and explore, and huskies love to go on hikes, beach trips, and engage in other outdoor activities. Huskies are extremely independent, and do best with puppy training from a young age. They are very affectionate and welcoming to visitors and family members, and they generally do well around young children and other dogs when properly socialized.

Common Siberian husky health problems

Huskies are generally very healthy, and are known for being low-maintenance pets. Beyond the occasional seasonal “snow nose,” however,  there are some genetic health issues that you should be aware of to help your Siberian husky have the healthiest and happiest life possible.  

  • Zinc deficiency. Zinc deficiency is very common in huskies and malamutes, and can lead to long-term health issues if left unaddressed. Signs to look out for include vomiting, dry or “scaling” skin, and reoccurring bacterial or yeast infections on the skin. 
  • Hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland isn’t functioning as well as it could be. Signs to watch for include weight gain, balding coat, and hyperpigmentation of the skin. 
  • Hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is more common in mid- to large-sized breeds, and occurs when the ball and socket of your puppy’s hip joint grind against each other, leading to impaired function and discomfort. 
  • Corneal dystrophy. Corneal dystrophy can cause your dog’s corneas to get cloudy, and can lead to vision loss or pain. It is hereditary, but vets are able to make treatment options depending on which type of dystrophy you’re dealing with. Huskies normally deal with the stromal classification of dystrophy, which doesn’t typically require treatment unless the condition is severe. 

Cost of caring for a Siberian husky

Siberian huskies are a generally healthy breed, resulting in less potential overall medical costs than some other dogs. On average, the cost of caring for a Siberian husky is approximately $3,000-$5,000 per year. This estimate covers the costs of veterinary care, puppy training, toys, and food for your pet, as well as grooming and supplies to help maintain your Siberian husky’s thick coat. 

While this can be expensive, pet health insurance can help. It’s a great way to offset your out-of-pocket pet expenses, and to ensure that your pet will have access to the veterinary care they need in the event of an emergency. If you’re looking for pet insurance alternatives, you might also consider a pet savings account – which is a way to set aside money at regular intervals to help cover any care needs or medical expenses that may come up.

History of the Siberian husky

The Siberian husky has been a loyal companion and favorite family pet for centuries. They were originally bred by the Churchi tribe in northern Siberia to aid in hunting and gathering across the frozen Arctic tundra. These dogs were known for their sharp intelligence, impeccable hunting skills, and friendly demeanor to those in their communities. 

Huskies made their way to the United States during the early years of the gold rush era, and were formally recorded and seen in Nome, Alaska in 1908. They worked as sled dogs, and helped miners access hard-to-reach gold in the harsh winter conditions. Teams of heroic huskies and their mushers, including the iconic dogs Balto and Togo, helped save the lives of thousands of Alaskans during the 1925 Nome serum run . Their popularity quickly grew as they were brought to New England for a series of sled dog races, and continued to spread across the U.S. as a family-friendly, snow-loving breed.

Siberian husky laying in a field with a building in the backdrop.

Caring for your Siberian husky

If you’re planning on purchasing your first Siberian husky, it’s important to get ready for your first few weeks of ownership. We know it can be overwhelming, so we’re here to help you cover everything that you need to make your pet ownership experience a success. 

The first step will be to book your first vet trip for your Siberian husky, and to schedule all of the necessary vaccinations and boosters they’ll need to stay healthy. You’ll also want to take the time to puppy-proof your home to keep both your pet and your furniture safe during the puppyhood teething stage! 

Exercise 

Owning a Siberian husky means that you’ll need to plan ahead for exercise and outdoor fun! Scheduling this in advance can help you to make sure that your husky’s high-energy needs are met. Generally, this breed does best with at least two hours a day of vigorous exercise. This can come in the form of training, playing, , hikes, fetch, and fun in the great outdoors. Huskies also enjoy indoor play on those hotter days, especially when they can put their brains to work with toys that appeal to their high intelligence and cognitive abilities

Huskies love affection and cuddles, so be sure to build in plenty of time for that, too. They’re a breed that loves attention from every member of the family, making them great for families with multiple dogs or young children. However, they are pretty high-energy and independent, which is why we recommend this breed to experienced owners and previous pet owners. making this the perfect pet for any type of family or live-in group.

Very fluffy white Siberian husky dog sitting in a green field.

Grooming 

Siberian huskies are very hygienic, and they don’t  require trims to keep up their double coat. Instead, they need regular brushing and bathing to help tame their intense seasonal shedding schedules. Their multi-layered coat protects them in all types of weather, especially in harsher and colder climates. However, the multiple layers of the coat result in heavier shedding than many  other breeds,so investing in shedding support tools, such as brushes and furniture skimmers, is a must. 

Huskies also need support for other elements of their hygiene, such as nail trimming and ear cleaning. While they aren’t genetically prone to periodontal disease, keeping up with regular teeth brushing can help your husky’s overall oral health and breath. Regularly freshening their mouths will help  keep bacterial overgrowth at bay. 

Diet and nutrition 

Siberian huskies have a diet similar to that of other breeds, but generally require lower carbohydrate content in their foods. They prefer high-protein, leaner diets, and do well with carbohydrates that aren’t sourced from inflammatory sources, such as wheat, corn, and soy. Huskies are larger breeds, which means that their overall food consumption may be higher. On average, huskies will eat about one and a half to two cups per day. However, this amount can vary depending on their stage of development. 

If you’re unsure about how much your pup should be eating, consider reaching out to your veterinarian. They’ll be able to advise you on dietary recommendations based on your pet’s breed, health history, and overall profile of nutritional need.

Training your Siberian husky

Huskies are incredibly smart and respond well to engaging training techniques. They are known for their stubborn, independent side, and do well with puppy training and follow-up community classes – appealing to their need for affection, socialization, and intellectual challenge. 

Positive reinforcement works especially well for huskies, as it appeals to both their need for attention and intellectual engagement. You can use tools to support this style of training, such as a clicker or  tasty treats during the course of the session. Extra cuddles work particularly well too – your husky will appreciate the attention and love!

Siberian husky dogs harnessed and working as a sled team.

Breeds similar to the Siberian husky

Not quite sure that a Siberian husky is right for you? Even if you are, it’s worth taking the time to research and consider other similar breeds. Here are a few to get you started:

  • Samoyed. Samoyed dogs are slightly larger, and offer just as much friendliness and intelligence as a husky. They are very playful and kind, and are great family pets to consider if you’re looking for a husky alternative.
  • Alaskan malamute. Alaskan malamutes are larger than huskies, and can grow to be larger than the other husky alternatives. They’re calmer than the Siberian husky and have lower overall energy needs, which make them a great option if you’re living in a home with more limited space. 
  • Icelandic sheepdog. Icelandic sheepdogs are significantly smaller than Siberian huskies, and are extremely friendly and high-energy. This breed is just as loyal and fun as a husky, while offering a more flexible and submissive temperament and demeanor.

Frequently asked questions

Is a Siberian husky a good pet?

The Siberian husky is a good pet, especially if you’re looking for a friendly, loyal, and intelligent addition to your family. They do well in a variety of climates, and enjoy being around people and other pets. We do want to note that this may not be the top breed of choice for first-time owners, though, as they are very energetic and independent. 

Is a Siberian husky a family dog?

Siberian huskies make great family dogs, and they’re often  fiercely loyal to their “packs.” After the initial meeting, your husky will feel right at home in a family of any size. 

Is a Siberian husky a wolf?

Although this is a popular myth, Siberian huskies are not wolves. They do look similar, but huskies are a member of the Spitz family of breeds,and are no more closely related to a wolf than other domesticated breeds.