Many dogs have a single coat but the Siberian Husky has a double coat designed to protect it from harsh climates. Double the fur must mean double the shedding, right? Just how much do huskies shed?
Like all double-coated breeds, a Siberian Husky does shed a lot. There are two layers of fur a husky can shed: an undercoat and a topcoat. Both layers molt a certain amount daily but huskies shed their whole undercoat twice a year, which is when you will really notice a husky shedding the most.
The Siberian Husky’s Double Coat
A Siberian Huskies coat is thicker than that of many other dogs – no wonder huskies shed a lot! Its coat evolved to protect it from the harsh Siberian weather, where the temperature could easily drop to below −50 °C (−76 °F).
The husky’s coat has two layers: an undercoat, which is quite dense, and a topcoat (the primary coat), which is actually quite short and consists of guard hairs.
These provide the dog with an extra insulation layer of fur and also help to protect them from superficial injuries.
How much do huskies shed?
Many owners say a husky sheds so much fur during its undercoat molt that they could make another dog from the fur they collect!
When their undercoat blows, a Siberian Husky will shed a lot of fur. If you groom a husky at the time it is shedding its undercoat, you will remove a lot of fur, as the next photo shows.
The ideal way to deal with a husky’s excess shedding is to groom it every day. This removes loose fur and helps to minimize shedding around your home.
As far as colors go, you will see the Siberian Husky in quite a variety of colors and different patterns but typically they will all have white legs and paws, white markings on their face and also a white tip of their tail.
The most common color combination you will see is black and white. Other colors such as gray and white, red and white, and pure white are less common.
Do Huskies Shed All Year Round?
Fortunately, the Siberian Husky does not shed the same all year round. It will blow its undercoat twice a year. However, the amount a Husky generally sheds does depend on the climate where you live.
In Siberia for instance, it will hardly shed at all but it will still blow its undercoat. In California (for example), where temperatures are quite high, it may shed its hair literally all year round.
The shedding of its undercoat helps a husky stay cool in warmer climates. At this time, fur will often come out in clumps and unless you want it all around your house you should help them with this process.
There’s plenty of advice and videos on how best to do this on YouTube but it’s not rocket science. Just using your normal dog brush will remove the vast majority of it and you really don’t need to buy a
This doesn’t mean your Husky will lose hair only once or twice a year though. Although they don’t blow all year round, they will drop hair all the time.
You should keep a vacuum cleaner handy as you could use it every day and clear up a surprising amount of fur each time, seriously – you’re going to be surprised exactly how much you suck up!
By the way, if you’re particularly worried about how much fur your Husky is losing, check this article out.
How Much Do Siberian Huskies Shed Each Year?
A Siberian Husky will shed a considerable amount of hair each year. I can’t put a figure on this as I have never weighed it! In fact, I’m not sure if anyone actually has.
But let’s try and put it another way, my friend has made a lovely scarf out of the fur that their Huskies have lost in a very short time indeed! Every single day more seems to arrive.
So, your Husky will lose hair most likely every day of its life and you will have some extra chores to do every day during the same time period.
The simple fact is, Siberian Huskies shed so much because they happen to have a lot of fur to shed!
Can I Stop My Siberian Husky From Shedding?
There is no way to completely stop a Siberian Husky from shedding. However, you can minimize it to a reasonable extent with a regular grooming regime.
By grooming, you remove loose hair before it falls out everywhere which will save you a lot of cleaning time. Obviously, grooming takes up time but it is a good bonding experience.
The undercoat of a Husky will shed at least once and usually twice a year, depending on where you live but even in the temperate climate of the UK you can expect them to blow it twice.
This will occur and you can’t do anything about it and it also happens for a good reason. Shedding is actually caused by hormonal changes in the dog caused by daylight changes.
Some people wonder why the Husky also blows its coat as winter approaches. The undercoat that is blown during this time is different from the coat that is blown during the spring.
The coat that is lost as winter approaches is their thinner summer coat. It is then replaced by a thicker winter coat.
Then, in the Spring, the heavy winter coat is blown and the shorter, summer coat grows back once more.
Siberian Huskies do shed quite a lot in the summer months too so keep up the grooming to minimise the mess around your house.
How Should I Take Care of a Siberian Husky’s Coat?
There are a few others of course but most dog breeds do require regular grooming.
You won’t be able to stop your Husky from shedding but you can make life easier for yourself. Groom them regularly, make it part of your daily routine.
I know that’s easy for me to say but it can only take a couple of minutes of your time and it’s actually quite therapeutic.
Should you shave their coat?
The Siberian Husky should never be shaved or clipped, unless of course they are at a vets and there is a professional reason to do so. There is absolutely no other reason to do this and it does not help the Husky is keeping cool.
In fact, shaving the Husky will do more damage than good. Due to the fact that the Siberian Husky has no (or next to no) pigmentation in their skin, exposing this skin to direct sunlight can cause all kinds of problems, including sunstroke and skin cancer.
The fur you have just shaved off has other uses apart from protection from the elements. It also provides a barrier between its skin and harmful insects. So, all you will be doing by shaving their coat off is making them more vulnerable.
Do all Dogs Shed?
No, not all dogs shed. So, if cleaning up all that hair every day for the next decade or so isn’t your thing, then here are a few of the more popular dogs that don’t shed:
- Afghan Hound – this breed has a rather long and silky coat and although it should still be groomed once or twice a week to keep their coat soft, it should not shed.
- Bichon Frise – the coat on a Bichon will keep growing but it will not shed, however, there is a risk it can mat into knots so should be groomed regularly.
- Maltese – the coat will keep on growing until cut but should be groomed regularly to keep its luster.
- Poodle – I’m including the Poodle here as, although it does shed, it does it in very small quantities to not really be a problem.
The Siberian Husky Background
Let’s look at the Husky in a little more detail to establish why it has such a thick coat. The Siberian Husky is a direct descendant of the original sled dog.
It is widely accepted that the breed originated in the cold Arctic climate of Siberia where, as I mentioned above, temperatures can become very cold indeed, even in their summer months.
The Husky was then introduced into Alaska in the early part of the 20th Century where they were known as ‘Siberian Rats’ as they were quite small. People are still quite bemused by how small the Husky actually is as they’re a lot smaller than a lot of people think.
They are an extremely active breed of dog which, given the chance, would spend all day, every day, outside playing. Therefore, they require regular exercise (at least twice a day) and not just a five-minute walk to the nearest tree.
Because they are designed for cold climates, although they are more capable in most climates, care must be taken in direct sunlight or when it’s particularly hot. See our post related to Husky panting.
Hopefully, you now know that yes, the Siberian Husky does indeed shed a lot, all year round. It will blow its undercoat once or twice a year, typically, which is governed by hormonal changes within the dog-related to the length of daylight.
The recommendation is usually to groom the Husky every week, however, I would suggest you try and get into a routine of brushing her coat daily.
For the amount of time it takes (literally a couple of minutes) it actually makes things easier in the long run and is a little bonding opportunity between the two of you.
The Siberian Husky should never be shaved as their coat acts as a barrier between its skin and sunlight and also helps prevent unwanted insects and parasites from causing disease and infection.
The Husky is an absolutely stunning breed and taking care of its coat throughout its life will take up a fair amount of time.
It’s part of the package though and no alternative if you want the qualities that this dog will offer you. If you maintain the coat and just accept that you’re going to have to do a fair amount more vacuum cleaning than previously, you’ll just fine!
Finally, if you want to find out more about the Siberian Husky then do check out my Complete Guide, right here.