About the Siberian Husky | History of the Siberian| Breed Standard

Siberian Huskies are gentle, friendly and intelligent, but whilst capable of forming a strong attachment to their owners they are not a on-man dog. They are an independent breed and need firm and consistent handling from the start. Siberians are normally friendly in their attitude towards all people and consequently do not make guard dogs. They also 'converse' with their family and other dogs in a soft musical 'woo woo woooh' and a variety of other unusual sounds.

Siberians are a gregarious breed and need the company of other dogs or people. They are very much a 'pack' dog and should get along well with other dogs, especially in a family or group situation. They are not usually aggressive with other dogs, but will normally take up a challenge if provoked.

Until comparatively recently the Siberian Husky has been strictly a working dog used for pulling sleds, hunting. As a result they are a very natural breed, in the sense that they are close to nature. While they are charming with people and get along well with other dogs, they are also lethal hunters and love to roam.

Because these traits are very strong in the breed, great care must be taken at all times to prevent them from straying and killing livestock or getting run over... So if you don't have a garden, or are unable to fence the garden you have, you would be better off with a budgie!

While we are on the subject of gardens, Siberians are not a breed for those who take great pride in their rose beds or immaculate lawns. They love digging holes and appear to indulge in this activity for no other reason than enjoyment.

They can also use this skill to escape from your 'well fenced' garden. It is therefore advisable not only to have a very high fence to discourage jumping out, but also to bury the fence in the ground or put paving slabs or concrete around the base.

People often remark on the fact that Siberian Huskies do not have a 'doggy' smell and it is also interesting that they do not seem to cause an allergic reaction in many people who are normally allergic to dogs and cats.

Siberians tend to be a meticulously clean breed and most lick themselves like cats to keep their 'double' coat in good working order. The Siberian Husky also performs a useful function in providing wall to wall deep pile carpeting, which usually coincides with the once or twice yearly moult....So, if you are house proud perhaps you had better get a goldfish instead!

The Siberian Husky need lot of exercise and because it is still a sled dog the easiest and best form of exercise it can be given is to allow it to pull some sort of vehicle (Although do note this is not allowed on The Queen's Highway') It is instantly obvious from your Siberian's excitement at 'hitch-up' and from their happy expressions while working that running in harness is their greatest love.

If after reading this, you are still sure that you would like to own one of this charming and beautiful breed then ''welcome'' join the rest of us....

But beware you have not caught the bug, you may find you want two.

Not a one man dog.
Will not guard your home or property.
Strong desire to run - easily lost and at risk on roads, railways, farmer's gun.
Cannot be relied on to return on command, very independent.
Not a likely candidate for obedience training/work.
Efficient hunter and killer of any non-canine stock.
Need exercise to keep fit and contented, but this MUST be done ON A LEAD!!!.
Destructive, when young, or if left alone.
Needs company, human or canine.
Garden must be fully fenced and secure. Min height 2M.
Siberians and immaculate gardens do not go together.
Needs correct feeding - some foods cause problems. Take breeder's advice.
Moults surprising quantity of fur twice a year, will re carpet your home in pale grey.
SENSITIVE to some drugs particularly Anaesthetics, Sedatives and Tranquillizers.
Dogs MUST be accurately weighed to avoid overdose.

Friendly
Honest, his voice and body language do not deceive.
No Guarding instinct at all.
Likes and needs company.
Youthful in outlook, often reaches or exceeds 14 years old.
Robust and athletic.
Good travellers.
Intelligent and mischievous.
Easygoing and forgiving.
Clean, little or no doggy smell.
Straightforward to groom.
Rarely barks, but does howl - for the joy of it.
Require less food for their size than some breeds.
Get on well with other well - adjusted dogs, but will take up a challenge if offered.

 
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HISTORY

The Chukchi people, from Siberia, developed the breed we now know as Siberian Huskies. They were bred to meet specific requirements like transporting the Chukchi to and from villages for trading and to their hunting grounds, often up to 100 miles away. Once there they would catch as many seal as they could load on their sled then the dogs would pull this light to moderate load back to the village. A prime consideration in the breeding of these dogs was that they provided speed and endurance over great distances while expending the least energy and food. Their dogs also had another useful purpose. They were sometimes brought into the igloo at night to sleep with the children to keep them warm, this would explain their loving temperament with children even today.A change to the Siberian Huskies original function occurred in 1908.

A Russian fur trader called William Goosak brought a team of Siberian Huskies with him from Siberia into Alaska, with the purpose of entering them into the All Alaska Sweepstakes, a long distance race of 408 miles with stops, for resting.

These were the first Siberians to start racing. These dogs were described as small and compact, with not a lot of leg length compared to the taller longer legged mixed breeds already being used for racing in Alaska. The team came third in this endurance race, beaten due to a poor strategically manoeuvre on the part of the driver. These imports and later litters from them were also described as having heavy bone, when the first AKC standard was drawn up in 1938. That was changed to medium bone in a later standard. From this point the future held a dual purpose for these little dogs, showing and working (although not as popular, competition in obedience was undertaken too). The records prove many of the American breeders did work and show their dogs, certainly in the early stages of the development of the breed.
 

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BREED STANDARD 

General Appearance
Medium-sized working sled-dog, quick and light on feet. Free and graceful in action, with well furred body, erect ears and brush tail. Proportions reflect a basic balance of power, speed and endurance, never appearing so heavy or coarse as to suggest a freighting animal, nor so light and fragile as to suggest a sprint-racing animal. Males are masculine but never coarse, bitches feminine but without weakness of structure. Muscle firm and well developed, no excess weight.

Characteristics
Medium size, moderate bone, well balanced proportions, ease and freedom of movement, and good disposition.

Temperament
Friendly and gentle, alert and outgoing. Does not display traits of the guard dog, not suspicious with strangers or aggressive with dogs but some measure of reserve expected in mature dog. Intelligent, tractable and eager disposition. An agreeable companion and willing worker.

Head and Skull
Medium size in proportion to the body, presents a finely chiselled fox-like appearance. Slightly rounded on top, tapering gradually from widest point to eyes. Muzzle medium length and width, neither snipy nor coarse, tapering gradually to rounded nose. Tip of nose to stop equidistant from stop to occiput. Stop clearly defined but not excessive. Line of the nose straight from the stop to tip. Nose black in grey, tan or black dogs; liver in copper dogs; and may be flesh-coloured in pure white. In winter, pink-streaked is acceptable.

Eyes
Almond-shaped, moderately spaced and set obliquely. Any shade of blue or brown, one of each colour, or parti-colours equally acceptable. Expression keen, but friendly, interested, even mischievous.

Ears
Medium size, relatively close together, triangular in shape, the height slightly greater than width at base. Set high on head, strongly erect, the inner edges being quite close together at the base, when the dog is at attention carried practically parallel. Slightly arched at the back. Thick, well furred outside and inside, tips slightly rounded.

Mouth
Lips well pigmented, close fitting. Jaws strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.

Neck
Medium length and thickness, arched and carried proudly erect when standing. When moving at a trot, extended so that the head is carried slightly forward.

Forequarters
Shoulder blade well laid back, upper arm angles slightly backward from point of shoulder to elbow, never perpendicular to the ground. Muscle holding shoulder to rib cage firm and well-developed. Straight or loose shoulders highly undesirable. Viewed from the front, forelegs moderately spaced, parallel and straight with elbows close to the body, turning neither in nor out. Viewed from the side, pasterns slightly sloping, wrist strong but flexible. Length from elbow to ground slightly more than distance from elbows to top of withers. Bone proportionate, never heavy. Dewclaws may be removed.

Body
Straight and strong, with level topline from withers to croup. Medium length, not cobby, nor slack from excessive length. In profile, body from point of shoulder to rear point of croup slightly longer than height from ground to top of withers. Chest deep and strong but not too broad, deepest point being just behind and level with elbows. Ribs well sprung from spine but flattened on sides to allow for freedom of action. Loins slightly arched, well muscled, taut and lean, narrower than rib cage with a slight tuck-up. Croup slopes away from spine at an angle, but never so steeply as to restrict the rearward thrust of hind legs.

Hindquarters
Viewed from rear, hindlegs moderately spaced and parallel. Upper thighs well muscled and powerful, stifles well bent, hock joint well defined and set low to ground.

Feet
Oval, not long, turning neither in nor out in natural stance. Medium size, compact, well furred and slightly webbed between toes. Pads tough and thickly cushioned. Trimming of fur between toes and around feet permissible.

Tail
Well furred, of round, fox brush shape set on just below level of topline and usually carried over back in graceful sickle curve when dog at attention. When carried up, tail should not curl too tightly, nor should it curl to either side of body, or snap flat against back. Hair on tail of medium length and approximately same length all round. A trailing tail is normal for dog when working or in repose.

Gait/Movement
Smooth and seemingly effortless. Quick and light on feet, gaited on a loose lead at a moderately fast trot, exhibiting good reach in forequarters and good drive in hindquarters. When walking, legs move in parallel, but as speed increases, gradually angling inward to single track .As pad marks converge, forelegs and hindlegs carried straight with neither elbows nor stifles turning in nor out, each hindleg moving in path of foreleg on same side. Topline of back remaining firm and level during gaiting.

Coat
Double, and medium in length, giving a well furred appearance, never so long as to obscure clean-cut outline of dog. Undercoat soft and dense; of sufficient length to support outer coat. Guard hairs of outer coat straight and somewhat smooth-lying, never harsh, rough or shaggy, too silky nor standing straight off from body. Absence of undercoat during shedding normal. No trimming of fur on any part of dog, except feet.

Colour
All colours and markings, including white, allowed. Variety of markings on head is common, including many striking patterns not found in other breeds.

Size
Height: dogs: 53-60 cms (21-231/2 ins) at withers; bitches: 51-56 cms (20-22 ins) at withers. Weight: dogs: 20.-27 kgs (45-60 lbs); bitches: 16-23 kgs (35-50 lbs). Weight should be in proportion to height. These measurements represent the extremes in height and weight, with no preference given to either extreme. A dog should not exceed 60 cms (231/2 ins) or a bitch exceed 56 cms (22 ins).

Faults
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

Note
Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended

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