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Siberian Husky


The Siberian Husky is a medium size, dense-coat working dog breed that originated in Siberia. A member of the Spitz family, the Siberian Husky has a double coat of thick fur, perky ears, and unique markings. Highly intelligent, hardy, and energetic, the breed was developed in the harsh Siberian Arctic, where it was used to haul cargo long distances across frozen tundra.


The Siberian Husky is the only pure bred dog in Australia where the word husky is part of the proper name; husky being a corruption of the word esky which once was used for eskimos and, subsequently, their dogs.

The Siberian Husky is, and has for centuries been, a purebred dog – not a wolf, half-wolf or cross-bred animal as some sites suggest. The breed was originally developed by the Chukchi (pronounced ‘chook-chee’) people of north-east Asia as an endurance sled dog. In 1909, the first large numbers of these Chukchi dogs were brought to Alaska to compete in the long-distance All-Alaska Sweepstakes races, and the Alaskan dog drivers quickly recognized the ability of these huskies from Siberia.

In the winter of 1925, when a diptheria epidemic broke out in the isolated town of Nome, Alaska, a relay of dog teams brought life-saving serum from distant Nenana. This heroic endeavour earned national prominence for the drivers and their dogs. One of these drivers, Leonhard Seppala, brought his team of Siberian Huskies – descendants of the original imports from Siberia – to the U.S.A. on a personal appearance tour. While in New England she competed in sled dog races, and again proved the superiority of Siberian Huskies over the native dogs.

Karen Romstead and her Huskies during the famous Iditarod race
The breed has since become very popular. It earned recognition by the American Kennel Club in 1930, and later in England, Europe and Australia.

From near obscurity in the 1980s  the Siberian Husky has had a meteoric rise in popularity in Australia.


The Siberian Husky is an arctic breed with striking blue or brown eyes – or one eye of each colour. The skull is medium sized and should be proportionate to the body, slightly rounded on top and tapering from the eyes forward. The muzzle is medium length and with, tapering gradually to the tip which is neither completely round nor completely square.

The nose is black for grey, tan or black dogs, liver in cooper dogs, and can be flesh-coloured in white dogs. Some dogs have a nose that has pink streaks, referred to as “snow nose.” The ears sit high atop the head, are triangular in shape with slightly rounded tips that should point straight up in the air. The back is long and straight. 

Siberian Husky - Photo Credit: Asryn Kennel

The Husky's tail is covered in thick fur and is fox-brushed shape. It is carried over the back in a sickle curve when the dog is alert, and trails when the dog is relaxed. The coat comes in many colours including various shades of gray and silver, sand, red, and black-and-white, often with striking markings on the head that are not found in other breeds.

  • Height: Male: 54–60 cm; Female: 50–56 cm 
  • Weight: Male: 20–27 kg; Female: 16–23 kg

For the Siberian Husky Breed Standard, please visit Dogs Australia


The Siberian Husky has a delightful temperament, affectionate but not fawning. This gentle and friendly disposition may be a heritage from the past, since the Chukchi people held their dogs in great esteem, housed them in the family shelters, and encouraged their children to play with them. The Siberian Husky is alert, eager to please, and adaptable. Their intelligence has been proven, but their independent spirit may at times challenge your ingenuity.

The versatility of the Siberian Husky makes them an agreeable companion to people of all ages and varying interests. While capable of showing strong affection for their family, the Siberian huskies are not usually a one-person dog. 

They exhibit no fear or suspicion of strangers, and will greet guests cordially. Theirs is not the temperament of a watchdog, although a Siberian husky may unwittingly act as a deterrent to those ignorant of their true hospitable nature. 

A Siberian rarely barks – they prefer to whine or moan and will hold their head high and produce a beautiful howl. If the howl persists the neighbours may get upset – they are a rather vocal dog.

In their interactions with unfamiliar dogs, the Siberian Husky displays friendly interest and gentlemanly decorum. If attacked, however, they are ready and able to defend themselves.

Predatory instincts in the Siberian Husky are strong. While the Siberian is normally gentle and friendly with people and other dogs, owners MUST be aware that small animals in and around the home, such as rabbits, birds, guinea pigs and cats, are potential victims of their strong predatory instinct. 

Chewing and digging? Siberian huskies have been known to do their share. 

Bored Siberian Huskies are famous for chewing through drywall, ripping the stuffing out of sofas, and turning your yard into a moonscape of giant craters.

Digging holes is a pastime that many Siberian Huskies have a special proclivity for so if you take great pride in your landscaping efforts… Don’t buy a Siberian Husky.


Huskies are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they can be prone to certain health conditions.

Breed health concerns may include crystalline corneal opacity, epilepsy, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, juvenile cataracts, osteochondritis dissecans (OCD), nasal depigmentation, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and Von Willebrand's disease.

The average life span of the Siberian Husky is 12 to 14 years.


The Siberian Husky is a comparatively easy dog to care for. They are by nature fastidiously clean and free from body odour and parasites.

Once or twice a year the Siberian Husky sheds his coat, and it is then, when armed with a comb and a garbage bag, that one realizes the amazing density and profusion of the typical Siberian Husky coat! Some people feel that this periodic problem is easier to cope with than the constant shedding and renewal of many smooth-coated breeds. 

If you like fur all over the house and in the very air you breathe, then fine. If, however, you value neatness at all times, then… Don’t buy a Siberian Husky.

Training & Exercise

This is not a breed suitable for a flat or homes without a large yard unless the owner is an extremely active person prepared to exercise their pet for several hours a day.

Siberian Huskies are intelligent and physically very capable. They are often more in need of training than other breeds so that small problem behaviours don’t grow into big ones. Behaviours that can perhaps be tolerated in toy breeds often become completely unacceptable when done by a dog as large and active as a Husky.

Some owners recommend bonding the dog with a toy or food for reward-based training. Creative training techniques may be needed as these dogs are easily bored!

Housepet Potential

To make sure you can safely invite a Husky into your home you will need to have:

  1. Six foot fences around your entire backyard with proper latching gates. Huskies can dig, chew, squeeze and climb their way out of even apparently secure yards, and have been known to learn to operate simple gate locks.
  2. Time during the day and especially the morning and evening to walk, play with and be a close companion to your Husky. They are not a set-and-forget breed and need to be included in all the variety of your family’s daily life, every single day. A family’s lack of time is the number one reason most Huskies end up in rescue.
  3. A commitment to training to bring out the best in your Husky, and manage their intelligence, exuberance, assertiveness and even affection using motivational training techniques. Lack of basic discipline is the number two reason most huskies end up in rescue.
Australia's largest dry land dog sled race near Shepparton (VIC)
Recommended for

The happiest Husky is one owned by an active person or family with a strong sense of responsibility, who will give it plenty of exercise (1-2 hours daily!) and has a firm, consistent training routine.

Breeders strongly recommend new owners attend dog training classes with their puppy and to always exercise the dog on a leash. Owners say Siberian Huskies have no road sense and if they are let off a leash or escape, they will just run and run.

Frankly, most Siberian Huskies are "too much dog" for the average household. Very few people can provide the types of athletic activities that keep this breed satisfied.

For more information on the breed, please visit

Siberian Husky Club of NSW
Siberian Husky Club of VIC

If you’d like to re-home a Husky, please contact

Arctic Breed Rescue
Husky and Malamute Rescue Inc. Western Australia

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