They’re cute, they’re fuzzy, and they’re one of the friendliest dog breeds in the US. They’re Siberian Huskies, and they’re perhaps the best pets a person could ask for. With their distinct triangular ears, thick coats, bright eyes, and unbridled vitality, huskies are one of the most recognizable dog breeds and are well-known for their strength and hardiness.
Siberian huskies are loud, loving, and bursting with energy almost from the time they’re born. Huskies usually weigh an average of 45-60 pounds and reach an average height of 18-24 inches with a lifespan of around 14 years or so. Husky puppies are born in litters of 4-8 at a time and quickly grown into their wolf ancestry.
Way way back in their ancestry, Siberian huskies were bred for their abilities to withstand harsh winters in the arctic. Circa 3000 years ago, the Chukchi people, a nomadic tribe of Siberia, bred huskies to be able to pull sleds for long journeys. Later, when the Chukchi people began domesticating reindeer, huskies served as herders to keep the packs together. Huskies made it to what is now the US around in the 20th century by means of traders.
Professionally, huskies are probably best known for their prowess in sled races like the Iditarod. Teams of trained sled dogs pull a sled and take orders from their musher on routes that span miles and miles of snow and ice. For the iditarod in particular, teams begin with 16 dogs, and at least 5 of them have to cross the finish line. The sport of mushing grew in popularity in the mid 1900s and marks an important link between cold climates and some of their earliest inhabitants.
If you’re considering getting a husky as a pet, there are a few lifestyle decisions you need to make to ensure that you’re prepared for this furry member of your household. For one, huskies are very loud. Closely related to and often genetically mixed with wolves, huskies are known to howl very loudly. They’re gentle and good with children, but they need plenty of space and exercise. If you don’t have lots of open space for your husky to burn off some energy, it could cause some damage to your home.
Huskies have often been termed “escape artists” because of their ability to get around fences by digging, tearing, or other means. If you don’t have a large yard with the capacity to dig a fence deep into the ground, the siberian husky may not be the right dog for you.
Huskies all have very distinct personalities. Some are more playful, others more sneaky and devious. You’ll have to learn how to “get along” with your dog and develop a good relationship that you’ll cherish forever.