The Siberian Husky is a medium size breed supremely equipped to live in northern climates. The original Siberian Huskies were bred by the Chukchi People in north-eastern Siberia, Russia. Their thick, double coat keeps them well insulated in the coldest of climates, and their markings and masks make them a striking and beautiful animal. Their thick double coats range from black and white, red and white, gray and white, as well as pure white (and with blue eyes, a stunning combination).
One of the most striking features of Siberian Huskies are their piercing blue eyes, though not all Huskies have them. Some have brown eyes and in some cases you'll see "bi-eyed" dogs, with one blue and one brown eye. These eye combinations are considered acceptable by the American Kennel Club. If you've never looked a blue-eyed Husky straight in the eye, the first time you do so can be a little unnerving. It was for me, when I met my first Husky (Kodi, a grey and white). It was as though his gaze was looking right through me.
Siberian Huskies are also a very talkative breed, and most likely you'll hear one howling, or singing, before you find one barking. Ours talks to us every night, almost as though he's telling us about his day.
Being very smart, single minded and resourceful, they can be very capable escape artists. Most Husky owners have crater fields, rather than gardens, and if bored and confined, most likely they'll find a way to dig, chew, climb or jump over their confinement.
And of course their real job, should their owner decide they need to earn their keep, is to pull a sled. Huskies were "born to run" and run they will if they are ever left off leash, or out of the confines of a fenced in yard. They are ideally suited to run, all day long if need be, and trained to do so. Their metabolism adjusts to the demands of their environment, and their intelligence makes them attentive, and resouceful, two ideal sled dogs traits.
Siberian Huskies were raised by the Chukchi in a family setting, so consequently they generally are good people dogs. Like any dog, their owners and environment have a great deal to do with how their personality is shaped. The ASPCA classifies the breed as being good with children, but they do need their exercise, and if bored can be destrucitve.
Siberian Huskies also have a high prey drive. They are excellent hunters, especially of small animals, so unless raised from a young age, or under close supervision, they may not be good around cats. Huskies will hunt squirrels, chickens, gophers and other small prey, so it is good to keep an eye on them.
And of course the most famous Siberian Husky was a sled dog by the name of Balto. Balto was a lead dog on Gunnar Kaasens sled team that delivered Diptheria serum in 1925 to Nome, Alaska, a distance of 600 miles. Balto didn't go the whole 600 miles, as this was a group effort by several sled dog teams and mushers. Nonetheless it was a remarkable achievement that saved many lives. There is a tribute to Balto and the idomitable spirit of the Siberian Husky in the form of a statue, located in Central Park, NYC.
So if you're ever walking down the street, and see one of these beautiful animals, say hello to their owner, and ask their owners if you can say hello to their dog. You may even get a pet or two out of the visit. We're all very proud of our dogs, but mostly we love them for all that they are; friendly, furry and fun loving.