Dog-ology: Siberian Husky

December 17, 2013

Basics

Huskies are an active, energetic, and resilient breed whose ancestors came from an extremely cold and harsh environment.  It is thought that the term "husky" is a corruption of the nickname "Esky" once applied to the Eskimos and subsequently to their dogs.  Males typically weight 45-60 lbs, females 35-50 lbs.  The Siberian Husky's coat is thicker than most other dog breeds, comprising of two layers; a dense undercoat and a longer topcoat of short, straight hairs.  The most common coats are black and white, or the less common copper-red and white, grey and white, and pure white.  The eyes of a Siberian Husky are considered "almond-shaped" and are typically colored ice-blue, dark blue, amber, or brown.  They are known to howl rather than bark.  They are affectionate with people of all ages.  Behavioral issues include a tendency to roam and to make escape attempts.  They require daily exercise as they are very active dogs and enjoy the frequent companionship of people and other dogs.

 

History

The Siberian Husky is widely believed to have originated from within the Chukchi Tribe, off the eastern Siberian peninsula.  They were bred primarily are sled dogs.  On February 3, 1925, Gunnar Kaasen was first in the 1925 serum run to Nome to deliver diphtheria serum from Nenana, over 600 miles, to Nome.  His sled was led by his lead dog, Balto.  The event is loosely depicted in the 1995 animated film "Balto."  In honor of this lead dog, a bronze statue was erected at Central Park in New York City.

 

Fun Facts

  • Huskies served in the American Army's Arctic Search and Rescue Unit during World War II.

  • A 2004 DNA analysis confirms the Husky is one of the oldest breeds of dog and are thought to be more than 3,000 years old.

  • Admiral Robert Peary of the United States Navy was aided by this breed during his expeditions in search of the North Pole.

  • The Husky's coat is able to withstand temperatures as low as −60 °C.  In hot areas, a Husky's coat can naturally change so the dog can adapt to hot temperatures.

  • Siberian Husky tails are heavily furred; these dogs will often curl up with their tails over their faces and noses in order to provide additional warmth.

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