21 Incredible Facts About the Siberian Husky


The Siberian Husky is a unique breed of dog that has become very popular in the last decade. There are many reasons for this. It is unlike any other dog on the planet. There’s a lot more to this breed of dog than just it’s incredible appearance. Here are 21 facts that you might not know about the Siberian Husky!

1) The Husky Can Have Different Colored Eyes

When you first look at a Siberian Husky, what sets it apart from other breeds is its facial features. Typically, the color of their eyes is blue when they are first born and then they will change to a grey before settling on brown. However, this isn’t always the case. For starters, their eye color may not transition through grey to brown at all, they will stay blue. Or, both eyes might both have a bit of brown and blue in them.

I think the most striking look though is when each eye is a different color, one brown and one blue. This is called heterochromia. Note that none of these different varieties of color affects the vision of your Husky.

2) They Will Howl More Than They Will Bark

Actually, the Siberian Husky is quite a quiet breed of dog. Well, most of the time. When they do make a noise though it is usually a howl, rather than a woof! But when do they do this? Well, usually it happens when they’re not getting their way! This could be in the following situations:

  • They have decided it’s time to go out for some exercise but it’s wet and cold outside and you’d rather stay in.
  • They are outside and you’ve decided it’s time to go back inside, however they aren’t ready to go back in yet.
  • They are bored and want to do something.

So basically, it’s their way of communicating with you that there’s something upsetting them in some way. There could be other reasons. For instance, if you have another Husky then one of them howling can set the other one-off. Or maybe they don’t feel well, this is not so common but it does happen.

3) The Husky Makes A Terrible Guard Dog

They might look aggressive but these things would possibly make the worst guard dog on the planet. In fact, I’d go as far to say a mouse would make a better guard dog than a Siberian Husky. There are many other breeds of dog that would be a better choice, such as the Rottweiler, Boxer, Bullmastiff or German Shepherd.

So, let me tell you what might happen if a burglar entered your property whilst you’re out and the Husky is home:

  1. As the intruder enters your property the Husky hears a noise. Its ears prick up and it opens one of its eyes.
  2. The intruder continues to make their way in and the Husky starts to investigate where the noise came from.
  3. Your Husky finds the intruder and they set eyes on each other. The intruder is nervous and considers doing a runner back the way he came from. Your Husky starts wagging its tail.
  4. The intruder slowly backs off towards the front door. Meanwhile, your Husky rushes off to show the intruder its favorite toy.
  5. Husky quickly returns with toy and drops at intruders feet. Intruder and Husky become best friends.

So, don’t use your Husky as a guard dog unless you want to make new criminal friends 🙂

4) The Husky Has a High Prey Drive

The Siberian Husky is a very sociable breed of dog and will happily spend its life with its human owner and family. It is not aggressive and not possessive and these are two big points that make it potentially a great companion or family dog. I say ‘potentially’ as there is a lot to the Husky and it has a lot of requirements to ensure it gets what it needs to lead the life it deserves.

Siberian Husky and Cat

However, there are reasons why it can’t make the perfect family pet for everyone. If you’re considering introducing the Husky into a family with cats, for instance, you should think again. The Husky does indeed have a high prey drive and what this means is that its natural instinct is to view small mammals as prey.

This is the reason why you shouldn’t let them off the leash when you’re outside. If they see a small animal then they will be off and before you can blink they’ll be several hundred yards away. The problem is cats are mammals and they are rather small. Therefore, the Husky sees a cat (usually) as prey. This can have very unfortunate consequences if a cat and a Husky are living together.

If you are intent on doing this then know that there are loads of families out there who have never had a problem with their Husky and a cat living together. However, there are always exceptions to any rule. There are also reports of the two being absolutely fine for years until one day when something switches in the Husky’s brain, they see the cat as prey and the end result can be very disturbing.

The advice generally is don’t have a Husky and a cat living in the same home.

5) The Husky Isn’t As Big As You Think

When you first think of the Siberian Husky most people naturally think that this is a big dog. However, it’s really not and is formally classed as a medium-sized dog. Usually, the male is taller and heavier than the female. The female height being around 50-56 cm with a weight of around 19-20 kg whereas the male has a height of between 54-60 cm and an average weight of about 23-24 kg.

What some people do is compare the Siberian Husky with the Alaskan Malamute. The Malamute is taller and considerably heavier than the Husky.

6) The Siberian Husky Has an Interesting History

The nice thing about the Siberian Husky is that we can trace it back quite a far way, unlike many other breeds. The breed was developed by the Chukchi people who inhabited the cold Siberian Peninsular. The Husky was very much part of their culture for centuries and they were perfect for this environment. As you can imagine, the weather conditions were pretty extreme and temperatures could easily get down to −50 °C (−76 °F) – chilly, ey? This wasn’t a problem for the Husky though and actually, they came into their own in this climate.

It’s not as if they were sitting around all day, they would be working. The Husky was used to pull sleds and were critical for the survival of the Chukchi. It’s not possible to say that they wouldn’t have survived without the dog but I think it is safe to say they wouldn’t have thrived as well as they did.

7) The Husky is NOT for the Beginner Owner

This is an important point for anyone thinking of buying a Siberian Husky. This is a complex breed of dog with many complexities and it is most likely not for the first-time dog owner. Owning a Husky is a full-time job. Although it can make an absolutely fantastic dog for the family you need to be prepared for what it needs. There are too many people who love the look of this dog, buy one without doing any kind of research and soon establish that they can’t cope with its requirements and have to send it back to the breeder or a rescue center, this is truly very sad.

You could just mention its exercise requirement and leave it there, that would (should) put most people off. Unless you can dedicate at least two hours a day over two exercise sessions then this really isn’t the dog for you. Remember, the Husky was bred to work all day and that’s what it expects. It’s not going to be happy with a quick 30-minute walk.

You could mention its prey-drive and that you should never let it off its leash outside due to the high chance it will run off as soon as it sees something small that moves.

There are many nuances to this dog you really need to understand before you jump in. Do the research first!

8) They Are One of the Most Stubborn Breeds of Dog

If your Husky hasn’t had any kind of training then you’re certainly going to have your work cut out for you. The Siberian Husky is well known for being an extremely stubborn breed of dog. Training certainly helps but this stubborn streak will always be there, lurking under the surface, ready to surprise you.

When you usually experience this behavior is when you are trying to get them to do something that they really don’t want to do. Often, this will be when you’re trying to get them back inside after exercise. Actually, they start to become aware when you’re outside and start heading for home after a while and will begin complaining from that point. They’ll know you’re heading back home and won’t be happy about it. It’s not uncommon for them to just sit there, looking at you, hoping you’ll change your mind.

You will also see this stubborn behavior during training. This is more likely to be seen when they are older rather than younger but can really be at any point. This can be incredibly frustrating for the trainer. It’s hard enough trying to train a ‘normal’ dog to do something they don’t particularly want to do but the Husky is a whole different ballgame. The only advice we can give here is patience and perseverance.

9) The Siberian Husky Can Escape From Anywhere

The Husky has an inbuilt natural urge to escape from any kind of perceived confinement, even if it isn’t one. Let me give you an example. You have a fenced garden that you use to allow your Husky to go outside to the toilet in a safe environment. The Husky will see the fence and immediately start thinking about how they can escape. Now usually, the approach is simple:

  1. Husky sees fence.
  2. Husky jumps over fence.

Don’t be fooled into thinking your four-foot fence will contain this medium-sized dog. It won’t. Some Husky’s have been known to jump over 6-foot fences and climb over fences that are over 9 feet tall. It’s like a mission to the Husky, they simply must try at all costs to escape and usually they succeed. If you’re crating the Husky don’t be tempted to buy a crate with no roof as they will just escape that also!

One thing to bear in mind is what happens to the Husky after they have escaped. Well, they tend to disappear. Before you realize they have gone, they’ll be a couple of miles away. One solution would be to attach a dog locator to their collar. There’s only one I recommend and I think it’s the best one out there so if you’re interested in getting one of these I have found it on Amazon so do take a look Opens in a new tab.(opens in a new window).

10) The Husky Will Exercise ALL Day

The Siberian Husky was bred to work all day pulling sleds and this desire/need has stayed with it since its origins. It is part of the Husky’s make-up and you will not be able to train it out. It will stay outside with you all day if it could but unfortunately, we can’t all commit to that. Well, no-one can probably commit to that but they really should be exercised at least twice a day for about an hour each time, at least.

It’s just not always possible to do this though. For instance, you may have received an injury that prevents you from going out as much or maybe you’ve had to move into an area which makes it more difficult to do it. Whatever the reason, if you can’t exercise them outside you will need to up the exercise inside. One idea a lot of people are looking at now is investing in a doggy treadmillOpens in a new tab.! These might seem odd but they are absolutely perfect for this breed of dog.

11) The Husky Does NOT Need Us!

If, in a blink of an eye, all us humans disappeared from existence, what would happen to our Husky friends? Well, they would most likely do just fine. Despite the fact that the Siberian Husky loves the attention it gets from us humans it is a truly independent dog, capable of fending just fine by itself.

Once it escaped the confines of its regular home it would leave and prey on small mammals. To be honest, I’m not sure they would give us a second thought which annoys me no-end, but what can you do? Personally, I think they are all just using us for their own benefit 🙂 They cuddle up to us at night, play with us and make us feel better when we’re feeling sad. They undoubtedly love us (almost) as much as we love them – but that doesn’t mean they need us.

12) The Husky Has Two Coats!

Although I bet sometimes they wish they only had one! The two coats consist of a dense undercoat that blows (falls out) typically twice a year. Once, before the winter months so it can grow back thicker and once, before the summer months so it can grow back thinner. It really is quite clever. The primary coat (the outer one) consists of guard hairs and as well as providing an extra layer of insulation, also protects the Husky from insects. This primary coat also helps to keep the snow and rain from getting to its skin.

These two coats were invaluable when they existed in the harsh climate of Siberia or Alaska. However, the problem comes when they are brought over to places like California, Arizona or even other countries like Saudi Arabia and India. How can you possibly get their exercise requirements in with this heat when they are wearing two coats? It would be like running a marathon, in a desert, with a sheepskin coat on. The Husky wasn’t meant for these kinds of climate.

13) They Can Overheat at 0 °F!

Which is almost -18° C if you prefer centigrade. Whichever one you look at though, it’s cold. Most locations on the planet never reach this kind of coldness, not even on the coldest night of the coldest year on record. This doesn’t mean that when they aren’t doing anything they will overheat of course. The problem comes during exercise.

The Husky, with its two coats and appetite to run, can quickly overheat in temperatures it is not accustomed to. If you’re taking your Husky out in anything above this temperature, which is, let’s face it, all of us – then you just need to be a bit careful and keep an eye on them. You should stop frequently to provide them with rest and water. Try and avoid exercising in direct sunlight!

14) You Will Be Constantly Sucking Up Their Fur

Anyone who is thinking of getting a Siberian Husky will be well aware of the amount of fur they lose. It is the stuff of legend. But you can’t really appreciate just how much they lose until you have one. You will wonder where it all came from as surely it can’t have all derived from one dog?

You will think you can get away with vacuuming up once a week and you’d be right, technically. However, by this time you will have a layer of hair covering your house. It will be everywhere. You will be eating your food extracting hairs from your mouth for the rest of his time. So, do yourself a favor and start vacuuming once a day!

15) The Husky Was Used in WW2

Not many people know that the Siberian Husky was actually used as part of the U.S effort during World War II. The U.S. army utilized the Husky to help downed pilots who had either been shot down or crashed in the Arctic. It wouldn’t take long for the crew to fall foul of the weather so time was critical in these situations.

First, the downed plane had to be spotted by a search plane. At this point, a transport plane with a dog team (the dogs being Huskies) would be dispatched to as close as they could to the crash site. The Huskies were then used to get medical help and supplies to the crew as soon as possible, it really was the quickest way. Actually, when you think about it, in the absence of helicopters in an area like that, they might still be the quickest method for recovery!

16) They Must Always Be Kept on a Leash

The Siberian Husky, if taken outside and not kept on a leash, will one day run away. Maybe it didn’t happen yesterday or today and maybe it won’t happen tomorrow, but one day it will happen. You can’t remove the natural prey-drive this breed of dog has and occasionally it will just switch on. You will then have zero say in what happens next.

Without a lead, the Husky will bolt. It will chase after whatever it saw and will not stop until it either catches it or loses it. Either event could be two miles away, you have no way of knowing. Your chances of getting them back can vary depending on the location, the temperament and whether you have a pet locatorOpens in a new tab. (link to see my recommendations in a new window) attached to them at the time.

It’s just not worth the risk, put on an extendable leash so at least they have some scope to play about, but always leave it on!

17) The Husky Can Make Shelters

The Siberian Husky may not just be digging to annoy you, although that is one possibility. They may be doing it to store their food. However, there is another possible reason. The Husky’s ancestors used to dig holes to build a nest for themselves. This was required to escape the freezing winds they would experience when they were outside in Siberian conditions. You may also see this behavior when they are on your sofa, moving around in circles trying to get all the things just right before they settle down!

18) The Husky is a Fast Runner

Another reason why they shouldn’t be left off the leash is that the Siberian Husky is a fast runner! They can run at up to about 28 miles per hour! This is actually just over the speed Usain Bolt ran at his peak. Not only that though, they can maintain speeds in excess of 10 mph for hours on end.

19) Their Howl Can Be Heard a Long Way Away!

The Siberian Husky’s howl can be heard over 10 miles away! Just think about that for a second, 10 miles away from your location is a long way. Personally, I’d like to see the evidence as that’s just crazy but apparently, it’s true. It’s not about the volume though, it’s the frequency that allows it to travel such distances.

20) Siberian Huskies Love Children

The Siberian Husky adores children and is one of the reasons why it can make a great family pet – for the right family, of course. It is a non-aggressive, non-possessive breed and these are qualities that you like to see in a dog that’s going to be spending time around your children. They can make a fantastic friend and companion and to see children and the Husky grow up together is a beautiful thing. Just be careful if you let the children take the Husky out on the leash as they are a strong animal and could easily pull the person who’s holding the leash over if they run off and the child isn’t strong enough to hang on!

21) The Husky is Totally Different to the Alaskan Malamute

A lot of people get the two breeds confused but they are actually quite different, both in physical properties and personality. The Malamute is a taller and overall bigger animal than they Siberian Husky and a lot of the time people are surprised when they see how small the Husky actually is. It’s probably because they’ve seen a Malamute and thought it was a Husky! The Malamute is also not as affectionate and more aggressive than the Siberian Husky. Yes, they can be good with children but they shouldn’t be pushed and also because of their larger size can easily knock a small child over!

Summary

There you go, I hope you learned something new about this amazing breed of dog. If you’d like to know more then why not check out these great booksOpens in a new tab. that I’d suggest anyone who is interested in the Husky takes a look at.

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Matt

I'm Matt Pettitt, joint founder of the Pets Knowledge Base alongside my wife, Jane. Since I was just 2 years of age I've had pets in my life - which I don't mind admitting is 47 years! I strongly believe that when you introduce a pet into your family you should do everything you can to give it the best life possible. I've learned a lot during the past (almost) five decades and this blog gives me a medium to share everything I have learned ( both good and bad) about pets. If you'd like to know more about us, and how to contact us - take a look at our About page here!

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