It would be hard to deny that the Siberian Husky is a cold weather specialist. With an abundant double coat and a hardy constitution, the medium-sized Siberian is an ideal companion for outdoor winter fun. Developed by the ancient Chukchi people along the edge of the Arctic Ocean, these dogs were bred to cover long distances carrying or pulling light loads in all weather conditions. Their speed and endurance has won them many devoted fans among sled-dog racing enthusiasts.
Along with their physical stamina and speed, Siberians add a charmingly gentle personality. They love the company of other dogs and humans, and they make great family pets. Factor in their striking beauty, and you have a combination that’s hard to beat.
Thanks to their devoted following of careful breeders, they have remained relatively free of genetic defects and diseases that have haunted other dog breeds. Even so, prospective Siberian owners should only buy from breeders who have had their breeding stock certified clear of eye and hip defects.
Siberians, or “Sibes,” as their fans often call them, aren’t for everyone. Their primary urge is to run. They don’t look both ways when they come to a road or highway, either. This means keeping them leashed at all times when outside, keeping them in a securely fenced yard or letting them run at a dog park with a good fence. They also have a strong prey drive and are not the best match for a household with cats or other small pets.
Often described as “easy keepers,” Siberians can thrive on light feedings. Their fastidious habits generally keep them clean, and they have little doggy odor. A brisk weekly brushing keeps their coat in order except during the period when they “blow their coat” once a year. At that time, thorough daily brushings are a must to even begin to make a dent in the amount of undercoat a Siberian can shed. Some shedding is normal year-round, but nothing like the annual moult.
Like their wolvish ancestors, Siberians are fond of lifting their muzzles in song. It takes little encouragement to get one of these virtuosos started, and if there are other Siberians present they will readily join in.
Sadly, some people who can’t resist an adorable Siberian puppy aren’t prepared for the dog it grows into. The shedding, the destructive behavior it can develop if bored or left alone too long, the vocal antics can all get these delightful characters into trouble with the wrong type of owner. Think carefully about your lifestyle if you’re attracted to Siberians, and if you think one would be the perfect dog for you check out rescue organizations first. You may find the perfect sledding partner before the snow melts.