As it’s name suggests, the Siberian Husky was first bred in Russia’s Siberia. The original dogs were bred by the Chukchi people, who were hunter-gatherers. The Chukchi needed an energetic, hardy dog who could live in the extreme cold and pull sleds (their main method of transport) at speed without seeming to tire. From Siberia the breed went to Alaska, where their sled-pulling skills were employed, often in races.
Huskies are quick and move easily, with a thick, medium-length coat, erect ears and bushy tails. They are medium-sized dogs with a huge amount of energy to burn. This can make them problematic as pets because they demand lots of off-lead exercise, and they must be contained by a well-fenced yard as they can jump. Another problem is that given their intelligence, Huskies have a mind of their own and without consistent, patient training they will get away from their owners. They are, however, good with children. In fact, they love most people, so won’t make great guard dogs. While they don’t bark much they do like a good howl, and they love human company so it’s best not to get a Husky if you are out of the house all day. Be wary about introducing them to other pets – they don’t always get along well with other animals.
Huskies are a healthy breed and can live into their late teens. New owners should, however, be aware of a few health issues that are typical with this breed. Some Huskies suffer eye problems and, given their origins, many do not cope well in the heat.
Despite their size and energy levels, the breed doesn’t need a lot of food. And despite their coat, grooming them is pretty easy – a semi-regular brush will keep them in good shape.