Breed Facts and Standard
Lifespan: 11-13 years
Trainability: very low
Watchdog ability: medium
Protection ability: very low
Area of Origin: Russia (Siberia)
Date of Origin: ancient times
Other Names: Arctic Husky
Original Function: sled pulling
The Siberian Husky descends from the Chukchi Sled Dog, which was bred in the Soviet Arctic for over 3000 years before it was introduced to North America. The nomadic tribes that bred the dogs used them to pull sleds and herd reindeer. Like all sled dogs, the breed is able to work hard for long periods of time with little food. In the late 1800's, a fur trader named Olaf Swenson brought the first Chukchi's to North America and began a successful breeding program. The dogs soon gained popularity as excellent participants in the growing sport of sled-racing. The most famous team driver of the time was a Norwegian, Leonhard Seppala, who won the All-Alaska Sweepstakes three years in a row. He later moved to the States and contributed a great deal to the breeding programs of Siberian Huskies on this continent. The breed was officially recognised and renamed the Siberian Husky in 1939. Since then, the popular breed has worked its way into the hearts of many families as a devoted pet.
The Siberian Husky is very friendly and gentle. This dog breed is neither overly aggressive with other dogs nor suspicious of strangers.
This is an active dog, bred to run tirelessly for miles. It needs ample daily exercise, either in the form of a long jog or a long run off leash in a safe area. It also loves to pull and enjoys cold weather. It can live outdoors in cool or cold climates, but ideally it can divide its time between indoors and out. Its coat needs brushing one or two times a week — daily during periods of heaviest shedding.
Official Breed Standard
Friendly and gentle, but also alert and outgoing. Should not display traits of guard dog, nor be unduly suspicious of strangers or aggressive with other dogs. Some measure of reserve and dignity expected in mature dog. Intelligence, tractability and eager disposition make him an agreeable companion and willing worker.
Medium size, moderate bone, well-balanced proportions, ease and freedom of movement, proper coat, correct tail and good disposition all most important.
A medium sized working sledge dog, quick and light on his feet, free and graceful in action, with a well-furred body, erect ears and brush tail. His proportions reflect a basic balance of power, speed and endurance. Males appearance masculine but never coarse, the bitches feminine but without weakness of structure. Neither sex heavy or cobby. In proper condition, with muscle firm and well developed, should not carry excess weight.
Head and Skull:
Head presents a finely chiselled fox-like appearance, neither clumsy nor too fine. Slightly rounded on top, tapering gradually from widest point to eyes. Muzzle of medium length and width, neither snipy nor coarse, and tapering gradually to rounded nose. Distance from tip of nose to stop equal to distance from stop to occiput. Stop clearly defined but not excessive, and line of nose straight from stop to tip. Nose black in grey, tan or black dogs; liver in copper dogs; and may be flesh coloured in pure white dogs. In winter, a pink-streaked "snow-nose" acceptable.
Almond shaped, moderately spaced and set somewhat obliquely. Expression keen but friendly, interested and even mischievous. Eyes may be any shade of blue or brown; one of each colour, or parti-colours equally acceptable.
Medium size, relatively close together, triangular in shape, height slightly greater than width at base. Set high on head, strongly erect, and at attention carried practically parallel, inner edges quite close together at base. Slightly arched at the back. Thick, well furred outside and inside, with tips slightly rounded.
Lips well pigmented and close fitting. The jaws should be strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e., the upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
Medium length, arched and carried proudly erect when standing. When moving at a trot, extended so that head carried slightly forward, not too long, or too short and thick.
The shoulder blade well-laid back at an approximate angle of 45 degrees to the ground. Upper arm angling slightly backward from point of shoulder to elbow, and never perpendicular to the ground. Muscles and ligaments holding shoulder to rib cage firm and well-developed. Straight or loose shoulders highly undesirable. When standing and viewed from the front, forelegs moderately spaced, parallel and straight, with elbows close to body and turned neither in nor out. Viewed from the side, pasterns slightly sloping, with wrist strong but flexible. Length of leg from elbow to ground slightly more than distance from elbow to top of withers. Bone proportionate to size. Dewclaws may be removed.
Back straight and strong, with a level topline from withers to croup, of medium length, not cobby, nor slack from excessive length. In profile the body, from point of shoulder to rear point of croup slightly longer than the height from the ground to the top of the withers. Chest deep and strong but not too broad, deepest point just behind and level with elbows. Ribs well sprung from spine but flattened on sides to allow for freedom of action. Loin slightly arched, well muscled, taut and lean; viewed from above, narrower than rib cage. Slight tuck-up. Croup sloping away from spine at an angle, but never so steeply as to restrict rearward thrust of hind legs.
Viewed from the rear when standing, hind legs moderately spaced and parallel. Upper thighs well-muscled and powerful, stifles well-bent, and hock joint well-defined and set low to ground. Dewclaws, if any, should be removed.
Oval in shape, but not long, and turning neither in nor out in natural stance. Medium in size, compact, well-furred and slightly webbed between toes. Pads tough and thickly cushioned. Trimming fur between toes and around the feet permissible.
Smooth and seemingly effortless. Quick and light on his feet and, when in the show ring, gaited on a loose lead at a moderately fast trot, exhibiting good reach in forequarters and good drive in hindquarters. When walking, the legs moving parallel but, as the speed increases, gradually angling inward to track close (single tracking). As the pad marks converge, the forelegs and hindlegs carried straight with neither elbows nor stifles turning in or out, and each hindleg moving in the path of the foreleg on the same side. Topline of back remaining firm and level during gaiting.
Well-furred round fox-brush shape set on just below level of topline, and usually carried over the back in a graceful sickle curve when the dog at attention. When carried up, not curled too tightly, nor should it curl to either side of the body, or snap flat against the back. Hair of medium length and approximately the same length all round. A trailing tail normal when working or in repose.
Double and medium in length, giving a well-furred appearance, and never be so long as to obscure the clean-cut outline. Undercoat soft, dense of sufficient length to support outer coat. Guard hairs of the outer coat straight and somewhat smooth-lying, never harsh, rough or shaggy, too silky, nor standing straight off from the body. Trimming on any part of dog, except on the feet, not allowed.
All colours, including white, are allowed, and all markings. A variety of markings on the head common, including many striking patterns not found in other breeds.
Weight and Size:
Height: Dogs: 53 - 60 cm (21 - 23.5 in) at the withers Bitches: 51 - 56 cm (20 - 22 in) at the withers.
Dogs: 20 - 27 kg (45 - 60 lb) Bitches: 16 - 23 kg (35 - 50 lb). 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 cm (23 in) or a bitch exceed 56 cm (22 in).
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.
Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.