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Siberian Husky Puppy Care & Training

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If you were asked to mention a breed of dog that truly exhibits the beauty and nature of the wild, you would probably say the Siberian Husky. This breed has captured the attention of many for a hundred years and it has sparked the imagination of many writers and other artists with stories such as "White Fang".

We love Siberian Huskies and very few people can actually look at the breed and say, "No, it's not beautiful," with its medium length coat, wolfish face and intense gaze. The intelligence of this breed can be seen in his eyes and the way that he can figure out every angle in a home. The good nature of the Siberian Husky can be seen in the way he happily approaches everyone from well-loved family members to strangers that have entered his yard.

Siberian Husky Pictures


The Siberian Husky is a medium sized working dog that has all of the qualities that one would look for in a beautiful family companion. He is generally very easy to care for, only needing minimal grooming. The breed is known for its pack mentality and this equates to the breed getting along with just about anything from children to other dogs (especially when properly socialized and trained).

However, it is not a breed for new dog owners or those who consider themselves timid. The Siberian Husky is an intelligent and stubborn breed. They need owners that will train firmly and will be consistent with the rules. They also need an owner that can be very patient since they are known as rule breakers and the more they can get away with, the more rules they will break. Adequate socialization and Husky training is an absolute must for all Husky puppies.

Siberian Huskies do much better in a home with a fenced yard, although with proper exercise, they can thrive in apartments. They are known for their ability to escape from their homes and will often go on a walk-about if an opportunity arises. For this reason, constant vigilance is important with Siberian Huskies. They cannot be left in an area where they can escape and they cannot be allowed to walk off leash when they are out and about.

Since Siberian Huskies are an intelligent breed, they can become bored very quickly. When this happens, they can be very destructive and they have been known to completely demolish houses, yards and all possessions.

But with the proper training and exercise, a Husky can be an exceptional breed to own. The intelligence, friendliness and beauty of the breed will capture your heart and you could find yourself in the position of owning not one but several Siberian Huskies before you realize it!

All About Siberian Huskies

The Siberian Husky is a beautiful dog that originated in Siberia, or more specifically amongst a tribe of Siberian nomads named the Chukchi. It has become a breed that has found a special place in the history of North America, and more specifically, the history of the Gold Rush.

The breed itself has an almost wolf like appearance that has made it popular with many people throughout the years. According to the American Kennel Club, the Siberian Husky is a medium sized working dog that should be the image of power and endurance. The breed is known for its beautiful double coat that consists of a medium length topcoat and a dense undercoat. The coat has a straight, soft texture and it should lie somewhat smoothly against body of the dog.

Siberian Huskies can be found in a variety of colors and markings. They can be one color completely, usually seen in blacks and whites and they can also be white with a variety of markings such as black, grey and the more intense colors of coppers and reds. The breed is also known for the variety of eye color, you can find eyes that range in color from blue to brown.

Although breed standards have been created for the Siberian Husky in the late 1930's, they have not changed significantly since the breed was first seen. In fact, Siberian Huskies are believed to be one of the oldest breeds of dog in the world today, and DNA tests have confirmed those beliefs. We don't know much about the history of the breed but we do know that the Siberian nomad tribe, the Chukchi, used the dogs as both family companions, who often provided warmth for children by sleeping with them, and as transportation.

Siberian Husky Breeders

With the Gold Rush, the need for a hearty animal to use for transportation was very apparent and the first Siberian Husky was imported to Alaska in 1908. The abilities of the breed were quickly assessed and the dogs began competing in dogsled races shortly after they came to North America.

In 1930, the Soviet government closed the borders with North America and the Siberian Husky was no longer imported into Alaska. Instead, the dogs that were here already were bred and continued to thrive. They did change slightly from their foundation breed but they still have many of the same qualities from that breed. In 1930, the Siberian Husky was accepted as a recognized breed by the American Kennel Society and in 1939, the Canadian Kennel Club quickly followed suit and recognized the breed. The breed club, Siberian Club of America, was founded way back in 1938.

Today, Siberian Huskies still prove that they are an amazing breed of dog. They are still used as sled dogs and they perform well in conformation and obedience competitions. They also do well in obtaining working dog titles. More importantly, they continue to be an excellent family companion that loves everyone.

Siberian Husky Size & Appearance

Siberian Huskies are considered to be a medium sized breed of dog and it is evident in the power and build of this beautiful and strong dog. It is a breed that truly shows a difference between the genders and you will find that a male is the epitome of masculinity while the females have a very feminine appearance to them. Generally, the Siberian Husky can grow to heights of 21 to 23.5 inches for a male and 20 to 22 inches for a female, with the height measuring from the shoulders to the ground. When it comes to weight, you will find males weighing a bit more at 45 to 60 pounds (20.5 to 27.3 kg.) and females weighing between 35 to 50 pounds (15.9 to 22.7 kg.).

Life Span Of The Husky

Siberian Huskies have a fairly long life span and you can expect your puppy being with you for 12 to 15 years, sometimes longer. Of course if you source your puppy from a well respected Siberian Husky breeder you increase your chances of bringing a healthy and happy dog into your household. It is also vital that you provide a nutritious, well balanced diet, puppy socialization and training to ensure your Husky has the best chance of a long and fruitful life.


Caring for your Siberian Husky

If you believe that every dog is cared for in the same manner, then you will be completely surprised when you bring your new puppy home, especially if it is a breed that you have never had before. All dog breeds are unique. They have different temperaments, different needs and different problems, so it should not be surprising to find out that their care would also be different.

The Siberian Husky is not a breed for the faint of heart. If you are looking for an easy breed that requires very little care, then this is not the breed for you.

When it comes to the actual care of the breed, you will find that it is fairly easy. Siberian Huskies are considered to be a cleaner breed and Siberian Huskies are actually more cat-like when it comes to cleanliness. Generally, a Siberian Husky can be kept quite clean with only one bath each year. Throughout the rest of the year, they will bathe themselves and if you use a dry shampoo, you will find that you have very little problem with odour and dirt in your dog's coat.

Siberian Huskies should be brushed on a regular basis, usually once a week, since they have a double coat. It is very important during shedding season, which usually occurs about twice a year, more if you live in warmer climates, to brush your Siberian Husky on a daily basis to prevent matting from occurring.

The rest of the care for your dog is fairly common and something that you would do with all dogs. Nails should be trimmed regularly, this usually means about once or twice a week. Since Siberian Huskies are a working breed, their feet are very important to them and it is often stressed that you ensure your dog's feet are healthy. Hairs should be trimmed, nails clipped short to prevent splitting and any problems, such as lesions. Ears should also be cleaned on a regular basis with a cotton ball or damp cloth. Never stick anything into the ear canal of your dog since it can damage your dog's ears.

Now that we have covered the actual grooming care of your Siberian Husky, it is very important to touch on a few other points of care.

Siberian Huskies are not the best pet for an apartment. This does not mean that they can't live in an apartment but since they have high energy demands, they are not the best match for apartment living. A Siberian Husky that lives in an apartment would need a nice long walk twice a day to burn off some of that excess energy.

On average, it is important for your Siberian Husky to receive about 30 to 60 minutes of exercise each day. Since they are a working dog, they love to be working. Jogging with them is an excellent way to make sure that your dog is getting enough exercise and both of you will be much happier.

Although many people prefer to have an indoor dog, Siberian Huskies are not generally made that way. They love being outside and would thrive as an outdoor dog, although I should stress that they will need ample interaction with humans for both socialization and their own well being. Huskies can be prone to separation anxiety if left alone and isolated for extended periods.

They do require a fenced yard, but they also require a lot more. Siberian Huskies are notorious escape artists and some have even been known to climb trees to escape from a yard. One of your biggest responsibilities as a Siberian Husky owner will be in making your yard escape proof. This means building a fence that is sunk into the ground and checking for loose boards in the fence or places where the dog can scale. A Siberian Husky will be the first to notice a weak spot in his yard and will use it as an advantage to go roaming - so you will need to be on your toes.

Huskies can be a destructive force of nature and nothing is too indestructible for them to destroy. I have heard of a dog chewing through a wall due to boredom and also as a way to escape and there have been many owners who complain about their houses and yards being destroyed by a very imaginative Siberian Husky. If you do leave your Siberian Husky at home alone, it is important to provide him with some enjoyment, exercise him well before you leave and crate train him. If he is in a crate, then chances are, he won't be as destructive as he could be.

Siberian Husky Training

Lastly, Siberian Huskies can be very loud dogs. Generally, they don't really bark and this can be a wonderful trait to look for in a dog - but they do enjoy a good howl. This is usually only a problem if you live in an area where the noise will disturb other people.

Siberian Huskies can present a challenge for any owner. You will need to be vigilant, use a crate and always be one step ahead of your dog, which can be a daunting task at times. However, if you are vigilant and care for your Siberian Husky properly, you will find yourself the proud owner of a beautiful, intelligent and happy companion.

Siberian Husky Health Problems

Although health problems are often prevalent in purebred dog breeds, the Siberian Husky is a fairly hearty breed. It has few breed specific health concerns and is believed to be clear of the serious condition of hip dysplasia that affects many dog breeds. It is important; however, that when you purchase a Siberian Husky, you do so from a reputable Husky breeder that screens their dogs for all potential health risks including hip and elbow dysplasia. Even though it is not a concern in the breed at this point, poor breeding practices could lead to hip dysplasia becoming a problem and your new puppy could experience it if the parents have poor health or are at risk. It is also crucial that your puppy and the parents have certified eye exams since eye problems are prevalent in Siberian Huskies.

Cataracts: Everyone has heard of Cataracts and even dogs can get them. A cataract is when a film, or opacity, occurs on the eye, more specifically on the lens. This is seen as a cloudy film in your dog's eyes and it does impair sight for the dog. It can be treated surgically and is something that can be both an inherent disease and one that is seen with age.

Corneal Dystrophy: Another disease that affects the eye, it is more prevalent in female dogs but it can be seen in all dogs, generally when they are young adults. It is an opacity in the eye, usually in the cornea, that gives the dog's eye(s) a cloudy appearance. It is a condition that does not seem to impede vision and there is no treatment for it.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): This is a serious disorder that affects the eyes of a dog. It is a progressive disorder where the dog begins to lose the photoreceptors at the back of the eye. As the condition advances, the eye sight of the dog degenerates until the dog is blind. On a positive note, this disease is one that can be detected before any significant long term vision loss occurs by having yearly eye exams and only selecting puppies from breeders who get their dogs eyes tested and certified.

Siberian Husky Training

Before you purchase a Siberian Husky, it is very important that you assess your own abilities as a dog owner and trainer. If you feel that your dog will have more control in the house and you are not a firm trainer, then I would strongly recommend not purchasing a Siberian Husky, especially if you are a first time dog owner.

Siberian Huskies are a strong willed breed. They are known for being stubborn and although they are very intelligent, that intelligence can work against a trainer. They are a breed that is constantly testing the waters. This means that they will test your authority, test the rules of the house and test the area to find places to escape. They follow a mentality where any flexibility in a rule or behavior on the part of the trainer means flexibility in everything - including firm rules that should never be broken.

When you are training your Siberian Husky, it is important that you be the alpha. I know that many trainers disagree with Alpha training but trust me, if you are not in charge from the moment your Siberian Husky comes into the house; your puppy will quickly take the role of alpha. If you don't like the term "alpha" you can substitute it for "firm, fair and always consistent leadership".

Siberian Huskies are pack dogs; this means that there is a hierarchy in their world, right from puppyhood. The stronger "figures" in the pack rule the roost and it is important that you take up this role as the strongest "figure". After you comes your spouse, then your kids and at the bottom of the pack is the dog. You should never allow your Siberian Husky to work his way up the pack hierarchy since this can spell trouble for everyone.

Before I touch on other Siberian Husky training techniques, I want to stress that alpha does not mean beating your dog. You can be an alpha in many non-threatening, non-aggressive ways. First, stick to the rules. A dog that has a strong temperament should not be allowed on the furniture and they should not sleep in your bed. Also, your dog should eat only after you eat and he should never eat from the table or be able to find his own food. Always provide a meal and then remove it from the floor after he is finished, never allow him to free feed and you will be able to exert your alpha position much more effectively. When he is a puppy, start hand feeding him from his bowl. This means you should scoop a handful of kibble up and make him take it from your hand, not eat around it. Have everyone in the house do this so he understands that everyone has access to his bowl. This will also prevent any problems if a small child accidentally touches his bowl when he eats. Your dog will be used to others being in his bowl and he won't get upset and snap at the child.

Once you have established your alpha position, stick with it. You will find that your Siberian Husky has periods when he tests your authority but if you remain firm, it will pass very quickly. Clicker training is a great way to set boundaries and provide much needed leadership to your Husky. Most Huskies respond brilliantly to clicker training techniques.

As I mentioned in the care of your dog, crate training is very important to keep your Siberian Husky from being destructive. It is also important to leash train your dog since Siberian Huskies were designed for pulling and will do so on the leash if they are given the chance. Also, a Siberian Husky should never be allowed to run free when you are out on a walk. Since they love to roam, they could be miles away before you realize that they have no plans on returning.

Make sure your Siberian Husky receives lots of socialization as a puppy. Since they are a pack breed, they tend to enjoy the company of everyone, including other dogs. They are not the best guard dogs since they are so affectionate but they can be wonderful with children.

Take your puppy to puppy socialization class and also take them to more advanced training classes. Trust me, having the help of a professional - make sure it is a trainer that knows the breed - will make dealing with their stubbornness much easier. Many owners find that they have two separate dogs; the amazingly trained Siberian Husky at class and the little devil that comes out the minute they get home. Patience is one of the best virtues when you are training your Siberian Husky and in the end, your intelligent companion will quickly become your best friend. Consistency in your training is the key!

Check Out This Beautiful "Talking" Husky







More information:

When you are looking into purchasing a puppy, it is very important to find out as much as you can about the breed. Speak with other owners, and breeders who have firsthand knowledge about Siberian Huskies.

The Siberian Husky: Live the Adventure by Margaret Koehler, If you are looking for an excellent read written by someone who knows the breed, then this is definitely a must. Margaret Koehler is a long time Siberian Husky breeder and a dog sled competitor. She knows the breed and her book offers excellent advice for anyone, whether you are a long time Siberian Husky owner or are completely new to the breed.


Siberian Huskies Complete Owner's Manual by Kerry Kern, If you are looking for a more inexpensive book that still has a lot of information about Siberian Huskies, then I would strongly recommend this book. It is fairly short, compared to others, and it may not be as in-depth as some, it still provides Siberian Husky owners with a well of information.


A New Owner's Guide to Siberian Huskies by Kathleen Kanzler, Another great book that has a wonderful section on caring for and training your Siberian Husky.

Breed Club:
There are many breed clubs out there for Siberian Huskies but I would recommend starting with the parent club since they can direct you to other clubs. Siberian Husky Club of America, http://www.shca.org/ The Siberian Husky Club of Canada, http://www.siberianhuskyclubofcanada.com
Rescues:
Not all new dog owners will opt for a puppy and this is a wonderful choice. There are many purebred Siberian Huskies that are looking for their forever homes and you can even find some Siberian husky puppies. Many breed clubs will provide you with a listing for a rescue center and some have a rescue center of their own but here are a few to get you started. Remember that some rescue centers will allow out of state, or transcontinental dog adoption, while others will not.

Siberian Husky Assistance & Rescue Program, http://www.shccrescue.com

MaPaw Siberian Husky Rescue and Referral, http://www.sibes.com

Siberian Husky Rescue Site, http://www.siberianrescue.com





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Please consult the services of a Professional Dog Trainer, Behaviorist or Veterinarian before implementing any of the advice contained on this site.