There’s lots to love about the intelligent and energetic Siberian Husky. It doesn’t take long for owners to learn that they are not likely to see their pet sitting still like a Husky statue. This dog flourishes with action and adventure. It needs purpose, and if bored and left to its own devices, the Siberian Husky can be quite destructive both indoors and out. You also want your yard to be Husky proof, because you may find that your dog is a great escape artist. And you will have to run and run to catch it.
Though some owners may not welcome this canine’s need to move, on the positive side owning a Husky will keep you in shape, if you exercise right along with your dog. The Husky needs to run and run and run. In fact, running was bred into this canine breed, famous for pulling sleds over frozen terrain.
Siberian Husky Heroes
During the Alaskan gold rush, Siberian Huskies were part of a vital team for navigating the wilderness. And while the dog was well known in the frozen north, Siberian Huskies were not necessarily a prolific breed beyond that area. But then a team of Huskies raced 340 miles through raging blizzards to deliver serum for diphtheria-stricken Nome, and the dog’s fame was established. By virtue of the media, the dog’s popularity expanded into the lower 48. Then a movie “Balto,” about one of the dogs on the team that saved children in Nome, made this breed recognized by people worldwide. There’s also a Siberian Husky Dog statue honoring Balto in Central Park, New York City.
Years after that heroic run, a dogsled race called the Iditarod was established, commemorating Balto and his fellow Huskies. The Iditarod began in 1973 as an event to test the best sled dog mushers and teams and evolved into a highly competitive race today. The Iditarod is not for faint of heart canines, who run in biting winds, treacherous terrain, and freezing temperatures. It’s an exhausting and dangerous marathon, both for the mushers (dogsled drivers) and the Huskies.
Your Husky May Blow in The Wind
Siberian Huskies have a thick, double coat that protects the dog against the freezing temperatures of harsh winters. If you’re the kind of dog owner who likes to give your pet a sweater to keep it warm, this is not necessary for a Husky. Breeding has provided all of the protection the Husky needs.
These dogs shed their undercoat once or twice a year as the seasons change. This “blowing” of their undercoat, made of short, very thick fur, can take several weeks. A lot of hair will drop in that period of time, so it’s best to brush your Husky daily while it’s shedding. It’s beneficial to have trained your dog to sit like a Siberian Husky Dog statue for the grooming. Once that undercoat is “blown” away, you can resort to once-per-week brushing. Be ready to devote a lot of time to vacuuming your house while your Husky is shedding its undercoat. If you have multiple family members, you may want to train them to help.
Huskies Are Exceptional Canines
The Husky’s outercoat is much longer and protects the dog from the elements: moisture, wind, heat and cold. This coat needs minimal care and is one of the characteristics that makes the Husky a distinguishable dog. The Siberian Husky keeps itself clean and does not usually have that doggy smell. The breed only needs bathing when it gets exceptionally dirty and then it’s important to use the right shampoo, so do your research. You want to maintain the Husky’s natural oils on its skin and fur.
Owners of the Siberian Husky love their pets, and they relish the variety of interesting characteristics of the Husky, among them:
- Huskies are a close cousin of the wolf
- Huskies can have two different eye colors
- Huskies are “talkative” dogs, but seldom bark
Siberian Huskies thrive on human companionship. They are, after all, pack animals. They need gentle but firm training when they are puppies, so they know who the leader is. They are very friendly with humans of all ages and other dogs. Their friendliness and limited barking may prevent them from being counted on as a watchdog. But you can count on them for cuddling.
Three Dog Night is Not Only a Band
An obscure fact about the Siberian Husky is that when the Chukchi people bred the dog, they began using a Husky reference to talk about the weather. If you own a Husky, you know how nice it is to cozy up with the dog on cold winter nights. The Chukchi phrase three dog night, meant it was so cold you would need three dogs in bed with you to keep warm. Living in uninsulated structures, probably meant the whole dog team slept with humans on those frigid Siberian nights!