Have you ever stared into the ice blue eyes of a Siberian Husky? One look will tell you that this is not your average dog. Siberian Huskies are energetic and a very resilient breed. They were originally bred by the Chukchi people as helper dogs, making them highly intelligent.
The following are a few interesting facts about Huskies that you might not know!
#1 Huskies Arrived in America During the Gold Rush
They originated in northeastern Siberia but a Russian fur trader, William Goosak, introduced them to Alaska during the Gold Rush. They were used to pull sleighs through the heavy snow, however their lovable personalities made them very popular as pets as well.
#2 Huskies Are Closely Related To Wolves
According to research the Shiba Inu and Chow Chow dog breeds have the most similar DNA to the grey wolf. But the Siberian husky also has quite a bit of wolf blood. And they definitely look like their wolf cousins! But with much kinder eyes.
#3 They Don’t Make Good Watchdogs
Their wolf-like look might be scary, but that’s about the only scary thing about this friendly breed. They do not show loyalty to just one person, so according to them strangers are just potential new friends. It’s a very charming characteristic, but not handy if you want a canine sentry to guard your home.
#4 Huskies Are Tricky to Train
Because they are extremely intelligent, they can also be very stubborn. Even though they were bred as helper dogs, it’s not their biggest life mission to please humans. It will take an experienced owner to tame a Husky. They need to be properly socialized and kept in check throughout their lives.
One way of describing a Husky can be a “street angel and house devil.” They seem to perform well in a formal training setup, but at home they will choose to ignore your rules.
#5 Huskies Love Roaming Free
Maybe it’s the little bit of wolf blood that causes this tendency. You will have to make sure your yard is properly secured when you bring a Husky home. They will find a way out, if not, they might end up making a way out.
Huskies love jumping fences or crawling under. And make sure you pick a secure collar for going on walks with your Husky, or you might be running like a madman after your wolf wannabe!
#6 Siberian Huskies Are High-Energy
High-energy also means they become bored very easily. You need to invest a lot of time in mental and physical stimulation. If not, your dog will find a way of entertaining itself, meaning your garden will end up looking like a warzone. Make sure you don’t leave your Husky alone for too long, as they are very family-orientated.
#7 They Are Generally Very Healthy
These dogs were bred to withstand extreme weather, so their average life expectancy is between 12 to 15 years. But their fluffy coats mean that they cope better in cool weather than in hot weather. They do have a few unique health issues that might pop up with aging. Among these are hip dysplasia, eye disorders and zinc responsive dermatitis.
Read this article to find out more about the specific health problems of this breed.
#8 Their Noses Goes From Wet to Dry
Because they originated in a country where temperatures dropped below freezing point at night, their noses evolved to counter this problem. A Siberian Huskies nose will be wet in the daytime, same as any regular dog, but at night it will dry up. This way the dog’s nose will never freeze at night. They can survive in temperatures as low as -76 degrees Fahrenheit.
#9 Heroic Huskies
There’s a bronze statue in Central Park, New York, to salute a special Husky that helped a small town in Alaska. There was a diphtheria outbreak in a little town called Nome. The sled dog team leader called Balto, driven by Gunnar Kassen, and his team helped to deliver much needed medicine in the winter of 1925. The team transported the medicine across 674 miles of challenging Alaskan terrain to save the children of the little town. An animated movie was made of the story to celebrate the heroes:
#10 Siberian Huskies Helped the Army
During WWII, the army realized that Siberian Huskies can make great search and rescue assistants. Their endurance was also harnessed to help pull sleighs as transportation of humans and goods, as well as helping with communication between different army bases.
A Siberian Husky might be difficult to tame, but all their other loveable characteristics make up for the stubborn streak you have to deal with!
Are you considering buying a Husky or do you already own one? What do you love most about the breed?