Siberian Husky


Maple Heights, United States

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19×24 colored pencil on a grey tinted pastel paper made by Canson. Original available.

As of 03-18-16, 20260 views and 15 favorited.

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The Siberian Husky is a medium-size, dense-coat working dog breed that originated in eastern Siberia, belonging to the Spitz genetic family. It is recognizable by its thickly-furred double coat, sickle tail, erect triangular ears and distinctive markings.

An active, energetic and resilient breed whose ancestors came from the extremely cold and harsh environment of the Siberian Arctic, it was imported into Alaska during the Nome Gold Rush and spread from there into the United States and Canada, initially as a sled dog. It rapidly acquired the status of a family pet and a show-dog, no longer as much used as a sled dog as formerly; today it has been largely replaced in dogsled racing by crossbreds.
Temperament Despite their wolf-like appearance, Siberian Huskies generally have a gentle temperament. Being a working breed, Siberians are very energetic and enjoy the ability to explore and run. That, combined with their striking appearance, has made them popular as both family pets and as show dogs. Siberians can be extremely affectionate, curious (like all dogs), and welcoming to people, characteristics that usually render them poor guard dogs. Properly socialized Siberians are most often quite gentle with children.

The harsh conditions in which Siberians originated rewarded a strong prey drive, as food was often scarce. Consequently, Siberians may instinctively attack animals such as house cats, birds, squirrels, guinea pigs, rabbits, chickens, quail, and even deer, and have been known to savage sheep. However, many households enjoy harmonious, mixed “packs” of cats and Siberians; this works best when the dogs are raised with cats from puppyhood.

The Siberian Husky is a pack dog. It does better in a family type. Which means if it is left alone for too long it gets lonely so breeders suggest getting a pair.

A 2000 study of dog bites resulting in human fatalities by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found fifteen such fatalities (6% of the total) were caused by “husky-type” dogs (excluding Alaskan Malamutes) between 1979 and 1997. Most Huskies are not especially aggressive, but some dogs may have stronger prey drive than most, which may manifest itself in aggression towards humans.
Behavior As with any dog breed, Siberian Huskies do have some qualities which some pet owners may find undesirable. Despite their affectionate nature, Siberian Huskies are not as subservient and eager to please their owners as some other popular breeds, and will sometimes refuse to perform a task unless given a better “motive” than simply pleasing their trainer. Siberian Huskies can be challenging to train because of their strong will and independent thinking. Proper training requires persistence and patience. Siberian Huskies are not generally recommended for first time dog owners, as their strong will and desire to run are difficult for inexperienced owners to manage.

Siberian Huskies have strong running instincts and therefore for their own safety should never be left to run free off-leash. They have little “homing instinct” and will run for long distances, and therefore should always be kept on a leash or in a fenced yard. Siberians can also dig large holes and will show considerable ingenuity in escaping from fenced runs. As sled dogs they have a very strong desire to pull, thus good obedience training is recommended.

As mentioned they are known as escape artists, and they are a very common breed to run away. They will typically run away and then realize they have lost their owner, but are too far away to come back. Not only are they able to dig underneath fences, they are also known to jump over fences higher than 3 feet, and potentially even 4-5 feet tall fences. When playing with other dogs they will jump a lot, and sometimes even jump over other dogs.

Siberians require exercise on a daily basis and a secure fence at all times. Although they do sometimes bark, they are more frequently known to “yodel”, “howl”, or “whoo”, often vocalizing when excited, back-talking to their owners, or to initiate some play or challenge behavior with either human or canine companions. This is commonly known as “ululation”. HealthSiberians are normally rather healthy dogs, typically living from eleven to fourteen years of age. Health issues in the breed are eye troubles (cataracts, glaucoma, and corneal dystrophy among others), allergies, and cancer in older animals. Hip dysplasia occurs but is not a major concern in the breed with high levels of protein and fat, particularly when used for dogsledding. That said, Siberian Huskies are fuel-efficient dogs, consuming less food than other dogs of similar size and activity level. The diet must be adjusted to their level of work and exercise; obesity can be a problem for underexercised, overfed pets. Due to their origins, Huskies do require some amount of fish oil in their diet, primarily for their coat and nails, which can become brittle without the fish oil. Most trainers/hobbyists recommend feeding Siberians sardines as a means to introduce fish oil into their diet, though flaxseed oil can be considered a less-expensive alternative to sardines. (info from Wikipedia)

  • Complete 03-22-1997 in 23.43 hours spread over 9 days

Artwork Comments

  • JoanIreland1970
  • GittiArt
  • Dani Louise Sharlot
  • Patricia Anne McCarty-Tamayo
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