The Siberian Husky

In the early evening hours if you ever hear a mournful cry in the distance don’t go all nutsy. It’s not a baby with lungs of titanium or a lone, baying wolf. It’s probably just a neighbor’s Siberian husky. This gentle giant has depth to its demeanor. It’s a worker but the Siberian husky is also a cuddler.

On the intelligence scale, it’s no border collie. But that does not mean this animal is a dummy. While the border responds to a first command 95% of the time, the Siberian husky gets it right more than 50% when it’s told to do something. Optimists call that independence.

Hey, it could be worse. Ever try to train an Afghan hound? You’ll be lucky if they get it after 100 requests.

Getting in the Game

This breed has a lot of chutzpah with a heavy dose of inquisition. A good example of their personality is that they are “thinkers.” Siberian huskies are like the guy in the meeting that rarely says anything, but when he does speak-up; everyone around the table is stunned by the momentary burst of reason.

Trainable? Sure, but you must be patient. And be prepared to offer refresher courses every-so-often. The dog is a canine version of Miss Manners. Very polite. However, they do like to express their feelings.

The sounds do not only manifest themselves as full-throated barks. Expect to hear songs, warbles, mumbling and an entire array of noises that are worthy of a spot on the America’s Weirdest Home Dog Video Show. If they were in a band, they could play virtually every instrument with their racket.

With a double coat, you must give ‘em a weekly grooming. You’ll also have to double your vacuuming schedule or you’ll be surrounded by hairy tumbleweeds from their shedding.

Back Then

We can thank the folks from the top region of Asia for the Siberian husky. Makes sense, right? Siberia.

Pretty snowy, they were bred to pull sleighs. At first they were called Chukchi dogs after the people who created them. Then around 1900 a guy named William Goosak, who traded in furs, brought a few of the beasts from Russia to compete in some Alaskan sled races.

People were stunned at their endurance in the old All-Alaska Sweepstakes. That’s when breeders started to evolve the Chukchi into what we have nowadays.

The story doesn’t end there, though.

While the modified breed continued to sled around the great white north, in the winter of ’25 the citizens of remote Nome came down with a killer case of diphtheria. Mind you, modern transportation was still in its infancy. And while there was a cure, how do you get it to the suffering?

Thanks to relay teams of Siberian huskies, “the Great Race of Mercy” turned an unknown dog into hero superstars.

Take it in Stride

Considering that the Siberian husky is in the top twenty most popular breed by the AKC, it received that status for a reason. Nevertheless, if you plan to adopt a pup there are a few matters we need to discuss:

  • You won’t ring-up a pile of bills from the vet because a Siberian husky is not a disease magnet. There are a couple of things to think about. Check the papers of their parents to ensure that they haven’t inherited any type of eye diseases. Another affliction the mutt can be plagued with is hip dysplasia. Ask the breeders for papers from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals to give you peace of mind.
  • This animal needs to get a job. That means they’re less likely to get the blues as long as they have something keep ‘em occupied. Paper route? Forget it. They’re lousy pitchers.
  • Proper training by a professional will keep them from getting down-in-the-dumps since you most likely don’t sled to work. Schooling always gives living things a good mental attitude.
  • Lastly, these are not apartment dogs unless your last name ends in Trump. The Siberian husky needs a lot of exercise. Make sure you don’t let them run wild except under controlled, fenced-in conditions. The last thing you want your dog to do is dart toward Nome.

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