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In Memory of Indy

Information about Siberian Huskies

A Short History

Originally bred by the Chukchi in northeastern Asia as an endurance sled dog, the Siberian Husky is a purebred —not cross-bred with wolves, as some might think. They first came to Alaska in 1909 to compete in the All-Alaska Sweepstakes races, where their agility and drive caught the attention of local dog drivers.

The breed garnered nationwide attention in 1925 when Siberian Husky-led dog teams carried critical medical supplies across far distances during a diphtheria outbreak in Nome, Alaska. Afterward, one of those daring sled drivers brought his team of dogs to the United States for a publicity tour. While there he competed in sled dog races in New England, where the breed won over a new legion of adoring fans.

New Englanders adopted and bred the popular newcomers, and the Siberian Husky attained AKC breed recognition only five short years later.

Temperament
Excellent Companion Animal The breed’s friendly nature most likely dates back to its upbringing in northeastern Asia, where the Chukchi people integrated them into their households and with their children. That may explain why Siberian Huskies tend to make excellent playmates for youngsters and people of all ages.

The Siberian Husky tends to be affectionate and easygoing, not only with his owners but also with complete strangers. The dog’s confidence helps him approach new encounters without fear, including when meeting other dogs. However, if provoked or attacked, the Siberian Husky will readily defend himself.

Predatory Instincts When it comes to small animals, however, their predatory drive is high — both inside and out. The survival skills Siberian Huskies acquired running long distances in colder climes remain intact, and they are patient and cunning hunters. They are not recommended for homes with small domesticated animals such as cats, birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, gerbils or hamsters.

Intelligent and Independent Nature Siberian Huskies are known for their intelligence and independent nature which, when combined, can sometimes test the patience of their owners. Like most puppies, they have a chewing instinct that begins with teething that can be redirected into more constructive behavior. Siberians also tend to have a penchant for digging, which can require a certain level of ingenuity on the owner’s part.

Bred to Run Their love of digging coupled with their strong desire to run — reinforced by centuries of travelling long distances — sometimes turns the Siberian into something of an escape artist. An otherwise loyal and affectionate husky may escape the yard and run away for the pure joy of running — and never be seen again, or worse. Therefore, Siberians require extra diligence and a watchful eye to ensure their own safety, and should never be allowed to roam free.

Care and Maintenance

General Care Siberian Huskies are relatively easy to care for. They take self-grooming to new heights, and do not require clipping or trimming. They also don’t tend to have that “dog smell” that most dog owners learn to live with, and tend to be free from pesky parasites. They shed their coats at least once a year, which some owners find less bothersome than constant shedding year-round.

Diet For a larger dog, the Siberian Husky won’t eat you out of house and home when it comes to his daily food requirements. Bred to run long distances on minimal food, Siberians require less food to fuel their days than dogs of comparable size.

Exercise Thanks to all those years pulling sleds for days and even weeks on end, this breed requires more exercise than a lot of other breeds to be well-adjusted and balanced. As mentioned earlier, never let your Siberian Husky roam unfettered — or that may be the last time you see him. Always use a leash or harness on your outdoor walks, or exercise him in a securely confined area.

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