The Husky is a type of working dog, bred for pulling sleds and sled racing, a medium-sized dog that belongs to the Spitz family.
There are different varieties of Husky dog including the Siberian Husky, the Akita Husky, the Alaskan Husky, the Alaskan Malamute, the Chinook dog and the Pomeranian Husky.
Dogs were first recorded in the America’s 12 000 years ago around the start of the Holocene period, these dogs were wild and wolf like. They were trained and domesticated by the Paleo and Eskimo people, these were traveling tribes who moved around a lot until they settled in the Arctic 4 500 years ago. Another traveling tribe to settle in the Arctic was the Chuckchi from the Chuckchi peninsula in Eastern Siberia who emigrated there about a thousand years ago.
In 1989 a study was performed on bones discovered by miners around Fairbanks Alaska, they belonged to the ancient Canis Lupus and dated to the late Pleistocene and early Holocene periods. They were known as short faced wolves, their bones were split into two categories, most wolf like and most dog like after they were compared to the skeletons of a Beringian Wolf and Eskimo dogs from Greenland and Siberia.
In 1908 the Siberian Husky was introduced to Nome, Alaska by William Goosak a Russian fur trader, to be used in sled dog races.
Husky is the general name for sled type working dogs, the breed was ever-changing as they were cross-bred to get the fastest dog. The word Husky is a contraction of Huskimos, a name given to the Eskimos by English sailors on trading vessels. According to Inuit records the word was first used to describe the dogs in 1852.
The Husky is an active and energetic breed, strong and athletic, they were able to pull a sled at speed for hours, with little or no rest. Due to the conditions it had to live and work in the Husky has a thick waterproof double coat, it comes in a combination of grey, black, copper red and white, in no specific pattern. The coat of the Husky needs a lot of work, it sheds profusely and needs grooming at least once a week.
Typically the Husky has pale blue eyes though occasionally they can be brown, yellow or heterochronic (one eye a different colour to the other). The Husky is more susceptible than other dog breeds to Uveitis, an inflammation of the Uvea which requires urgent treatment.
Husky dogs make great pets, good with children, though they should still be supervised around toddlers. They can be difficult to train, being a pack dog they can be stubborn, strong willed and independent, they also need plenty of exercise. The Husky is a vocal dog which loves to howl and sing for their owners, they enjoy it when humans sing and talk back to them.
A secure home is needed to keep a Husky, it will easily get over or under fencing. They have a strong chase drive so care is needed around smaller pets and animals. A Husky will not be happy when left alone for any period of time, when unhappy it can become destructive, if so shouting and other punishments won’t work, the only way to stop it is to spend more time together.
There are different breeds of Husky but on average a pure breed male is typically 21 to 23.5in at the withers and a female 20 to 22in, the male weighs 45 to 60lb and the female 35 to 50lb, with a lifespan of 12 to 15 years.
Recently there is a trend for designer dogs with Husky’s being crossed with all sorts of different breeds including, the German Shepherd, the Chow Chow and the Pomeranian.