One of the most fascinating and friendly dogs in the world are some of the best pets imaginable.
In this post, you’ll discover the ultimate list of interesting Siberian Husky facts!
1. Siberian Huskies originated in Northeast Asia
This breed of dog was originally bred by the Chukchi people who live on the Chukchi Peninsula. This is the easternmost peninsula in Asia located in eastern Siberia in the Russian Federation.
The term “husky” is believed to have been derived from the word “Eskimo” which refers to the people living in the Arctic Region. These were referred to as “esky” which gradually turned into “husky” to describe their dogs.
2. These amazing dogs were bred as sled-dogs
The Eskimos of the Chukchi Peninsula bred these dogs to serve as sled-pulling dogs and guard dogs. The conditions their ancestors lived in can be described as extremely harsh as pulling a sled in temperatures of −50 to −60 °C (−58 to −76 °F) isn’t for the weak.
It wasn’t until the year 1908 that they were brought to Nome, Alaska at the end of the Nome Gold Rush (1899-1909). Their purpose there was the same as in their native Chukchi Peninsula which was to serve as sled dogs and more specifically, sled-dog racing.
3. They aren’t to be confused with a similar-looking North American dog
The Siberian Husky looks very similar to the Alaskan Malamute and the Alaskan husky, but they are just a bit smaller. A study has shown that all 3 of these dogs share the same lineage which can be traced back to eastern Siberia.
The Siberian Husky and the Alaskan Malamute are the closest related and both have contributed to the development of the Alaskan Husky. They aren’t, however, related to 2 other popular husky breeds called the Canadian Eskimo Dog and the Greenland Dog.
This doesn’t mean, however, that these dogs aren’t distantly related to each other. Another study concluded that all these dog breeds can be traced back to a 35,000-year-old extinct ancient wolf called the Taymyr wolf who lived on the Taymyr Peninsula in Siberia.
4. They have a coat that is optimized for extremely cold temperatures
So ho on earth are they able to withstand these extremely cold conditions during harsh Arctic winters?
The secret lies in the dog’s thick coat. Even though many dog breeds have a double coat to protect them from the cold, theirs is particularly optimized to protect them from freezing temperatures.
Their undercoat is dense and much thicker than that of most other dogs, and the top layer consists of fur or “guard hairs” which further protects their dense undercoat.
One of the most remarkable Siberian Husky facts is that this setup not only protects them from the cold but also the heat during the summer, which means they are perfectly capable of dealing with all sorts of weather!
5. If they’re still cold they can use a particular trick to keep warm
Even though their coat is well-optimized for extreme cold, this doesn’t mean that they can never experience the cold. This is particularly true when these dogs are sleeping.
That’s why they can use a particular trick which is referred to as the “Siberian Swirl,” in which they use their densely furred tail to protect their nose from the cold.
They do so by curling themselves in such a position that this becomes possible, which is a pretty neat trick!
6. They can come in a wide variety of colors
Most dogs of this particular breed have white paws and legs, as well as white face markings and tail tips. They can, however, can come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. These include:
- Black and white.
- Copper-red and white.
- Grey and white.
- Pure white.
They can also have the special “agouti” hairs in which each hair displays multiple colors. The most common color variation, however, is black and white, and any color variation in between is allowed in this dog breed.
7. Their eyes can come in multiple colors as well
Their coats can come in a variety of colors, and so can their eyes. These dogs can have either brown, blue or black eyes, or a combination of any of these three colors.
A substantial number of Siberian Huskies are particolored, which means that the irises of their eyes can have different colors. Some are even heterochromia, which means that the color of both their eyes is completely different.
8. Some individuals suffer from something called a “snow nose”
The color of the nose of these dogs depends totally on the color of their coat. These are the possible variations:
- Black in gray dogs.
- Tan in black dogs.
- Liver in copper-colored dogs.
- Light tan in white dogs.
Some dogs can suffer from a condition referred to as hypopigmentation. This condition is defined by parts of the skin that are lighter in color than the rest.
Dogs suffering from this condition have a nose referred to as a “snow nose” or “winter nose.”
9. How big are Siberian Huskies?
These working dogs are considered to be medium-sized. The males are slightly bigger than the females as well with the ideal height being:
- Male dogs: Between 51 and 61 centimeters – 20 and 24 inches.
- Female dogs: Between 48 and 58 centimeters – 19 and 23 inches.
This also translates into a slightly higher ideal weight of male dogs:
- Male dogs: Between 20 and 27 kilos – 45 and 60 pounds.
- Female dogs: Between 16 and 23 kilos – 35 and 50 pounds.
Perhaps one of the most intriguing Siberian Husky facts is that these dogs have been referred to as “Siberian Rats” because of their size in comparison with the Alaskan Malamute which is almost double in size.
The average life expectancy of these dogs is anywhere between 12 and 14 years old.
10. These dogs don’t bark but make another particular sound
One of the most fascinating Siberian Husky facts is that these dogs don’t bark but howl. This is a very common trait in this dog breed and sounds pretty much like the howls of their ancestors, the wolves.
When they howl it can mean several things. They do when they feel lonely when they feel happy, or simply because they want to make their presence felt!
11. If you want to keep your dog you better have a big fence
Having a high fence is pretty much a must if you want to keep your Siberian Husky. These are lively dogs that need lots of space to run around, and if they feel trapped, they will find a way to get out of their situation!
Having a high fence might even not be enough because they might start digging to tunnel their way out as well.
Regardless of this behavior, these are true family dogs who love the companionship of people and especially children. They have been bred this way by the Chukchi People and this trait is still common in this dog breed.
12. Balto is eternalized with a bronze statue in New York’s Central park
The most famous Siberian Husky in history was a dog named Balto who was the main dog during the 1925 serum run to Nome in Alaska. This was an effort to transport medication known as diphtheria antitoxin over a distance of 1,085 kilometers (674 miles).
The lead sled dog on this mission has earned a statue in New York’s Central Park, as well as in downtown Anchorage, Alaska.
The story of the most famous canine of his time was also partially used for the 1995 animated film “Balto.”