Siberian Husky

Breed At A Glance


Clever, sociable and loving

Life Expectancy
12-15 years

Average Height
Males 21-24 inches; Females 20-22 inches

Average Weight
Males 45-60 lbs; Females 35-50 lbs

Coat Color
Black and white, red and white, gray and white, sable and white, agouti and white, and solid white

Coat Length/Texture
Soft outer coat with a wooly undercoat

Shedding Propensity
Seasonally heavy, twice per year

Also known as Chukcha, Chuksha, Keshia, Sibe, Siberian, Husky

General Temperament

Gentle, playful and cheerful, the Siberian Husky loves to be in the company of people and other dogs. He will lovingly welcome guests into your home. Devoted, energetic and hardworking, Huskies enjoy having work to do; this work can include actual sled pulling, weight pulling competitions, or simply towing family members on skis or skateboards. Siberian Huskies are great for active children.

Siberian Huskies are very intelligent and trainable, although they can be willful and don’t always follow commands if they don’t see a point in doing so. Patience and consistency are important training tools, bearing in mind that the Husky is a pack animal that will establish itself as the “alpha dog” if it’s owner does not maintain dominance. They are friendly with strangers and rarely bark, thus making poor watchdogs. They do, however, love to howl, which can be a nuisance to neighbors. They also love to roam, so a well-secured fence is a priority in Siberian Husky ownership. Huskies are a very active breed and as such are not usually recommended for apartment life.

This breed gets bored easily and hates to be alone, and can be destructive if left to it’s own devices. If it is necessary for the dog to spend long periods alone, such as during the work day, consider introducing a second Husky into the home.

Breed History

The Siberian Husky found it’s origins with the semi-nomadic Chukchi people of Northeastern Asia as sled dogs, who bred the dogs for endurance and cold-hardiness. Due to their remote location, the Chukchi maintained the purity of this breed for centuries. These dogs were the sole and direct ancestors to the modern Siberian Husky.

The Siberian Husky first entered Alaska in 1909 as competitors in the All Alaska Sweepstakes Race. A large number of the dogs was imported into Alaska by Charles Fox Maule Ramsay the next year, and a team of them, led by John “Iron Man” Johnson, won the same race that year. For the next ten years, the Husky monopolized such endurance sled races throughout Alaska. A diphtheria epidemic struck Nome, Alaska in 1925, and the Siberian Husky was a major player in the relay race the deliver supplies of antitoxin to the city. The subsequent media attention won the breed tremendous affection in the United States, and they were accepted into the American Kennel Club in 1930.

Body Structure and Composition

The Siberian Husky is a strong and compact breed built for endurance. They are known for their wolf-like appearance, although they are no closer to wolves than any other breeds. The head is well proportioned to the rest of the body, and the ears are set high and carried erect. The chest is deep and strong and the legs are straight and parallel. Huskies have large, hairy feet that are ideal for gripping the snow. The tail is sickle-shaped when at rest and trails behind when the dog is in motion. The face, chest and belly are typically white, but the remaining coat can be any color. Unlike most other breeds, their eye color can be blue, brown, amber, parti-colored (a mix of multiple shades), and even eyes are that two different colors.

Medical Information

Huskies are a relatively healthy breed with very few inheritable diseases aside from eye and hip issues. Eye conditions that affect the Siberian Husky include juvenile cataracts, corneal deficiencies, and Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA). PRA is characterized by a degeneration of cells of the retina, eventually leading to blindness. Siberian Huskies are also prone to Hip Dysplasia, a condition which occurs when the head of the thigh bone no longer fits firmly in the “cup” provided by the hip socket, resulting in rear lameness and arthritis-like symptoms.

Some working lines can be prone to gastric diseases and gastric erosion/ulcerations, as well as asthma or bronchitis.

Their thick undercoat is shed twice per year, and during these times regular brushing is necessary. Otherwise, the coat is relatively easy to care for. They function best in colder climates.

Anecdotal Information

A Siberian Husky named D.J. played the roles of Demon in Snow Dogs and Max in Eight Below.

A Siberian Husky named Togo was the lead dog who covered the most distance during the 1925 serum run to Nome, which relayed diphtheria antitoxin by dog sled across Alaska to combat an epidemic. A dog named Balto was made famous by being the lead on the last team during the same run, leading to three animated films (Balto, Balto 2: Wolf Quest, and Balto 3: Wings of Change.

A female Siberian Husky mix named Laika was the first animal to enter orbit. Laika was launched into space aboard Sputnik 2; her aboard the satellite led to the mission being dubbed “Muttnik.”

The Siberian Husky is the mascot for the University of Connecticut, Northeastern University, and Michigan Technological University.

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