The Siberian Husky – also known as Husky or Sibe for short – is quickly becoming one of the most sought after breeds of dog. And for good reason!
These stunning creatures are more than just a pretty face (unlike and ex or two) – they are also intelligent, great with kids, affectionate, and fun! Interested in adding one of these pups to your pack?
With Balto playing in the background for inspiration, we have come up with 99 facts about this breathtaking breed to guide new and existing owners alike down the path of ‘sibe-enlightenment.’
1. Siberian Huskies were originally bred in Siberia, Russia for sledding.
2. They made their American debut in 1909 in Alaska when they were brought over during the Nome gold rush to help with transportation.
3. In 1925 a pack of Huskies saved a small town in Alaska from diphtheria – a dangerous bacterial disease that affects the breathing. This pack traveled 674 miles in -23 degree weather to retrieve the antitoxin. The snow had become so dense that airplanes were not able to take off or land. This true story inspired the popular animated film, Balto.
4. During WWII, the Army used Huskies for their search and rescue teams.
5. Siberian Huskies were once called Arctic Huskies (from 1938-1991) until the name was changed to Siberian Husky to represent the dog’s origins in Siberia.
6. This breed was first registered in Canada.
7. DNA found on the ancient bone of an Arctic Wolf suggests that Huskies are one of the oldest of dog breeds. They could possibly date back to around 27,000 years ago.
8. All dogs – including the Husky – can be linked to a weasel-like tree-and-den dweller called the Miacis, which lived 40 million years ago. This animal later evolved into the Tomarctus – a forbearer of the genus Canis (aka canine) – which is a group including the wolf, jackal, and dog.
9. The last Husky exported from Siberia was in the 1930s before the borders were closed by the soviet government.
Can You Say Attitude?
10 Most owners will agree that one of the best traits about Huskies is how affectionate they are. This trait also means they aren’t the best guard dogs. They’re more likely to welcome an intruder than warn him.
11. Huskies are very athletic and extremely high energy. Prepare to exercise, a lot!
12. Known for being independent thinkers, Huskies will sometimes ignore your commands – choosing to see them more as thoughtful suggestions.
13. Huskies can be trained to peacefully cohabitate with their feline foes. However, it should always be remembered that this breed has a natural hunting instinct and precaution should be taken around small furry critters.
14. Naturally bred to run and pull, Huskies can be a little difficult to leash train as these natural inclinations often lead to…well…running and pulling.
15. That whole independent thinker vibe can make potty training a little difficult for some.
16. These precious pooches are known escape artists and can find their way out of most seemingly secure areas.
Huskies have a pack mentality. These dogs need companionship to thrive whether it is in
17. the form of pet sibling or just lots of attention from their pet parents.
18. As mentioned previously, Huskies are independent thinkers. Because of this, they benefit well from consistent obedience training.
19. Huskies are great with kids. In fact, the Chukchi people – indigenous Eskimos of Western Chukotka – use Huskies to look after their children.
20. Scientific studies have shown that Huskies show a response to human tears and naturally want to comfort people who are upset.
21. Huskies are very observant and often respond to subtle signals – such as body language – from their pet parents.
22. Huskies like to explore and will wander away from home if not kept properly secured.
23. The Siberian Husky is described as a docile but slightly mischievous breed.
24. Huskies tend to do best when owned by someone who is dominant enough to establish an alpha leader position with the dog.
25. Although they do not bark often, Huskies are considered to be one of the most vocal breeds. They exhibit everything from howls to yelps and can even sound like they’re actually talking sometimes.
26. Although they share some similarities in appearance, Huskies and Malamutes are two completely different breeds with very different temperaments.
27. Huskies can serve as trained therapy dogs. There are even some who can detect changes in the human body such as a drop in blood sugar or the onset of a seizure.
28. Your Husky is as smart as a two year old human!
29. Huskies can sometimes be mistakenly labeled as unintelligent due to their independent and stubborn natures making them somewhat difficult to train. However, this is not the case. Siberian Huskies are extremely bright.
30. Huskies love to dig. They will often dig holes to lie in to keep themselves cool in the heat. They will also dig at carpet and furniture if not given the opportunity to dig elsewhere.
Hey, Foxy Lady.
31. Huskies often sport gorgeous ice blue eyes. This is actually a natural trait of the breed as opposed to Weimaraners, for example, who have blue eyes due to a gene that inhibits pigmentation.
32. While black and white is the most commonly seen color combination for Huskies, they can also be full black, copper-red and white, grey and white, pure white, or a banded pattern known as agouti.
33. Merle coloring in Huskies – the result of genetic altering making the undercoat whiter – is not a recognized breed coloring and is frowned upon due to the health risks the mutation can pose for the dog.
34. Heterochromia – one blue eye and one brown – is fairly common in Huskies.
35. Males typically grow to be 21-23.5 in in height from ground to shoulder, and weigh between 45-60 pounds.
36. Females are usually smaller than the males standing at 20-22 inches high from ground to shoulder, and weighing in at 30-50 pounds.
37. Snow nose – a pink marking on the nose that can disappear in the summer and reappear in the winter – is common among this breed.
38. A Husky’s gait – or quality of movement – is described as free and effortless. Almost like they’re gliding on air.
39. Huskies are a medium sized breed with a compact and well-built frame. (just like a Subaru – and Tom Cruise)
40. Nose color is dependent on coat color and can be a black, tan, or a liver hue.
41. When a Husky is in action, its tail is curled above the line of its back, but when relaxed it is carried downwards.
42. A Husky’s vibrissae – or whiskers – are touch sensitive hairs that help them hunt in the dark, detect an approaching predator, determine whether or not they can fit through small openings, and can even sense changes in airflow.
43. Bi-colored Huskies typically have a stripe down their faces and/or a mask around their eyes.
44. Huskies have an extra eyelid! The nictitating membrane or “haw” is a layer of tissue that keeps the eyes moist and protected.
45. A husky’s nose is wet due to a thin layer of mucous that absorbs scent. This is then licked to further process the scent with their mouths.
46. The usually wet nose of a Husky dries up at night to protect it from freezing in colder climates.
47. A Husky’s nose print can be compared to a dog-world fingerprint as no two dogs share one that is the same.
48. Huskies can see in the dark thanks to a special membrane in the eye called the tapetum lucidum.
49. Huskies have almost 9 times less taste buds than humans but around 4 times as many as cats.
50. Huskies can actually regulate their metabolism. This means that while humans use up energy stores while exerting themselves, Huskies are able to alter this process resulting in them never becoming fully fatigued.
51. Huskies can reach speeds of up to 28 mph.
52. Huskies can withstand temps as low as -76 degrees Fahrenheit. (Meanwhile, I can’t even handle a chilly wind without complaining.)
53. Contrary to popular myths floating around out there, your Husky can most definitely see in color.
54. Although Huskies are extremely friendly and affectionate, their bite is pretty powerful. They exert between 150-200 pounds of pressure per square inch.
55. Huskies can dream just like humans. This is due to having the same type of rapid eye movement and slow wave sleep as humans. Twitching and paw movements are a good indicator that your pooch is in dreamland!
56. A Husky’s howl can be heard up to 10 miles away.
57. Huskies do not have an appendix.
58. Be prepared for regular brushing, these long-haired lovelies shed – a lot. So much so that a lot of husky parents have to vacuum.. a lot. Which means 3-4 times a week.
59. In addition to the regular shedding, Huskies shed their undercoat twice a year. This process is known as ‘blowing their coat’. Things can get quite furry.
60. To help with the seasonal shedding of your Husky’s undercoat, daily brushing is a must. Invest in a good undercoat rake to help loosen the dropped fur from the protective top coat. You’ll likely end up with very large amounts of loose fur, so have a trash bag ready.
61. Huskies should only be bathed when necessary to avoid the drying out of skin and fur.
62. The undercoat of a Husky is vital to its protection against extreme temperatures and for this reason should not be shaved unless it is medically necessary.
63. The Husky’s top coat is waterproof and reflects heat in the summer. So, yes, a husky is okay to have in warmer climates!
64. As a long haired dog, the fur around a Husky’s eyes, ears, and paws should be trimmed regularly.
Happy & Healthy
65. The health issues associated with this breed are mainly genetic in nature such as seizures and defects of the eye (juvenile cataracts and glaucoma).
66. Huskies are prone to gaining weight which could lead to hip dysplasia and other painful joint issues. Make sure not to over feed your pooch.
67. Their typical lifespan is 12-14 years.
68. When Husky puppies are born, they are blind, deaf, and toothless. How precious!
69. Touch is the first sense your Husky will develop after birth.
70. Along with sight, most of a Husky’s vocalizations are developed at 4 weeks.
71. A medium to large breed dog such as the Husky has a resting heart rate between 60 and 100 beats per minute.
72. Don’t worry all you new Husky parents, it’s not a fever. A dog’s normal temperature is between 101 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
73. All dogs, including the Husky, are identical in anatomy – 321 bones and 42 permanent teeth.
74. Female Huskies are in heat – or have the ability to reproduce – twice a year.
75. Grapes and their evil alter ego – raisins – are poisonous for Huskies and can lead to renal failure.
76. Cooked onions and caffeine are also extremely harmful to your Husky, so keep them out of reach. (Plus, can you imagine a dog with onion breath…yuck!)
77. Apple and pear seeds contain traces of arsenic which can be fatal for Huskies (and people) in large doses.
78. They have over two times the amount of muscles in their ears as humans do – 18.
Did You Know?
79. The Siberian Swirl is a term used to describe when Huskies curl up to sleep with their tail covering their nose for warmth.
80. The name Husky is thought to be a result of a miscommunication of the word ‘esky’ – as in Eskimo dog.
81. Husky owners have probably experienced something referred to as ‘zoomies’ from their pet. Zoomies are uncontrollable bursts of sudden energy.
82. Huskies are known to howl instead of bark.
83. Your Husky’s kisses are good for your health! A study at the University of Florida at Gainesville has shown that proteins from a dog’s saliva have a positive probiotic effect on the human body.
84. The American Heart Association released a statement that Huskies can reduce your risk of heart disease due to the exercise they provide as well as the decrease in stress and heart rate associated with petting your pooch.
85. Ever wondered why your Husky kicks the dirt after a trip to the bathroom? Apparently dogs use the scent glands in their paws to further mark their territory.
86. Contrary to popular belief, Huskies are not part wolf.
87. Huskies typically have 6-8 pups per litter. Those mamas are ‘the real mvp.’
88. Huskies are purebred – not hybrid dogs. However, a Husky and a wolf can be mated to form a wolf-hybrid.
89. Huskies are actually a part of a dog type known as ‘Spitz’. This isn’t a breed or a group, but a type of dog category used to describe several breeds that share common traits and ancestry. Other members include Akitas and Malamutes.
90. Much like my strange uncle Buck, Huskies prefer to do their number twos in alignment with the Earth’s magnetic field.
91. According to America’s Pet Registry, Siberian Huskies are the 9th most popular breed of dog registered.
Pop Culture & News
92. The Siberian Husky is a popular mascot and is currently utilized by Northern Illinois University, University of Connecticut, Northeastern University, Michigan Tech University, University of Washington, and Houston Baptist University.
93. Famous pop sensation Rita Ora owns a Siberian Husky named ‘Bowie’ after another famed musician (and my spirit animal) – David Bowie.
94. The famous canine in Jack London’s novel White Fang is ¼ Siberian Husky.
95. The phrase ‘three dog night’ gives nod to the practice of the Chukchi people of Siberia keeping Huskies in bed with them for warmth.
96. There is a bronzed statue of Balto the Husky in New York’s famous Central Park paying homage to the brave dog who lead the 20 sled teams in 1925.
97. With popular t.v. shows like Game of Thrones showcasing wolves, there has been a surge in popularity for Siberian Huskies due to their similarities in appearance.
98. Sadly, animal shelters have seen an increase in abandoned Huskies due to owners purchasing them for their wolf-like appearance without considering what it would take to own one of these high energy breeds.
99. The Siberian Husky has been featured as the subject of several movies including Balto, Iron Will, Eight Below, and Snow Dogs.
If you made it through this entire list, you should probably get out more…a Husky can definitely help you with that