Many dog owners are curious about the background of Siberian Huskies, where this breed came from, and what was the purpose of raising them. You will find answers to all these questions in this article.
Siberian Huskies were originally bred about 3000 years ago by Chukchi people as sled dogs. These medium-sized dogs were very tough, raised to withstand very harsh climatic conditions, i.e., below freezing-point. They are robust dogs who can also protect their owners as well. Besides being bred for sled-pulling, they were also bred for guarding and companionship.
Having an explicit knowledge of Siberian Husky’s background can help you understand the needs of its needs and problems related to this breed. At the end of this article, you would have enough knowledge about your Husky, which will help you to take care of it in a much better way.
History of Siberian Huskies
Some people mistakenly consider Huskies as a dog-wolf hybrid. However, they have nothing to do with wolves. Russia and the US claim that they bred the Siberian Husky. But these dogs were actually bred by Chukchi people about 3000 years ago in Siberia for the purpose of sledding.
The Chukchi people used to live inland and travel far away for hunting purposes. In such a freezing temperature area, they required a dog who can withstand it and provide them support as well. Also, it could help them pull the sled to bring meat back home.
Although very tough nature, but these dogs were also very charming and lovely. They used to spend a considerable amount of time with women, who used to take care of them. They also used to play with children to release their energy. That is the reason modern-day Huskies love to play with children.
These dogs came in Alaska in the 1900s, to compete in long-distance races. They gained popularity for their sledding talent. Later these dogs were used to deliver mail as well as race.
These dogs made headlines when they raced 340 miles to deliver serum for diphtheria-stricken Nome. In 1925, people in Nome, Alaska, suffered from an epidemic, diphtheria. Siberian Huskies traveled in below-freezing temperatures for almost six days and brought the Antitoxin required to cure the epidemic.
This achievement brought fame to this breed. From there on, these dogs are used in the US Army and also participated in World War II. They were used in sledding competitions and were declared as an essential companion if you are living in a snow-covered area.
Huskies are still famous as a sled dog who can travel with you many hundred miles without creating any issue. However, due to their charming nature, people prefer to adopt them as pet dogs in homes.
Siberian Huskies as Pet Dogs
Husky is a classic northern dog. It is a very intelligent breed and loves the human company. Although you might find them stubborn sometimes. However, it is a temporary mood, and they get back to their loving nature soon.
Considering their robust background, many people can think that these dogs cannot be adopted as pet dogs. However, the reality is the exact opposite. Huskies are one of the best pets in the US right now.
Their loveable and charming nature can win hearts. They are highly energetic and can force your kids to play with them. Parents also prefer this breed because it not only allow their kids to have some exercise but also protects them in case of any emergency.
The ancestors of these dogs spent considerable time with women, who took care of them and also with kids whom they used to play. Therefore, modern-day Husky loves to spend time with children. This characteristic is inherited from their ancestors.
Huskies are a physically very active breed. They can become anxious if you overfed them or not take them to exercise. They were born for running. Therefore, running at least three to four times a week, keep them stable and healthy.
Although Huskies make an excellent pet dog, it should not be taken for granted. You need to put effort into their training and take care of their diet. Early training and socialization play a vital role in the development of Husky attitude.
If they are trained in the right way, they will consider you as the pack leader and obey all your commands. Remember, the purpose of this breed was to withstand the tough situations and run for long distances. You have to provide an adequate environment to train them.
You cannot leave them alone. They become very sad and start howling in the absence of the owner. This can be a disturbance for your neighbors. The training sessions should be held a couple of times a week. You have to instill the right behavior in your dog to make your life easy.
Once they are done with training and learn all the things you want them to, they can prove to be a very loyal, obedient, and loving dog. Husky is amongst the top pets in the United States right now and high in demand.
Living with a Siberian Husky
If you are looking for a cool and calm dog, who can sit with you on a couch all day watching TV. Then the bad news is Siberian Husky is the exact opposite. This dog is going to fill your life with energy. And if you cannot match with its energy, then it is recommended to go for any other breed.
You would need to modify your life as well as your house to compensate for a Husky. Backyard space should be converted into a play area. You need to take your Husky to dog centers and dog parks to interact with other dogs. They also require a good run a couple of times a week.
Training is an essential part, which should begin from the very first day. If you start their training from the very first day, you will instill a sense of ownership on them. Husky puppies create a very close bond with their trainers, and as they grow up, the bond gets stronger and stronger.
Raising a Husky is a tough job. However, All these efforts are worthy. Because Huskies are going to be a very loyal and charming dog, it will protect you and entertain your kids. They can be rude some times, but do not worry, it is temporary, and they are going to love you.
The Challenges of Raising a Siberian Husky
The biggest challenges of raising a Siberian Husky as a pet dog are:
- No compromise of quality of food
- Continuous check on their health
- Daily physical activities
- Handling over-excitement of Huskies
You need to be a very active and dedicated type of person in order to raise your dog. They can cause many problems, and the only way to overcome it is through proper training and exercise.
If your dog obeys you and, in your control, then half of your problems are solved. The other half is related to maintain a balanced diet and physical activities of your dog. If you have kids, training your Husky is curcial so that they get along well with your children and play with them.
These dogs are bred for long runs and survive in extreme climatic conditions (below freezing point). So considering this fact, Husky owners are advised to take the dog at least twice a week for a walk outside. They should not be left outside during hot weather since they are not used to high temperatures.
Siberian Huskies in Racing Competitions
The spirit of racing is in the blood of Siberian Huskies. These dogs were used to pull the sleds in freezing winter seasons. Being a very competitive breed, they developed a habit to run faster and beat the dogs pulling other sleds.
From there, the concept of sled dog racing occurred, which is a proper sport nowadays. These dogs are most favorite in two of the most major sled racing events:
- American Dog Derby
- Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race
The biggest reason for being the hot favorite is that these dogs can run hundreds of miles without taking a break or eating. The food requirements are very low (however, the premium quality is required), and their energy is enormous.
There are three significant reasons for which these dogs are considered for sled dog racing:
- The high level of energy allows these dogs to cover far distances.
- The competitive nature pushes them to beat the opponent.
- The team spirit allows these dogs to coordinate with each other and give maximum output.
Huskies are perfect sled dogs because of their size and athleticism. They got good canine feet to cover long and tough distances. Although good canine feet is the dog owners require pre-requisite excellent food and foot care.
Extreme snow can lead to damage to their dog’s feet; therefore, continuous care is required. For longer distance races, you have to give breaks to your Husky so they can refill the energy and get ready for the next task.
These dogs can only sweat from their mouths and feet, not through skin pores. This can cause a problem while racing competitions. The body temperatures of Huskies can rise to a dangerous level. It should be controlled by giving breaks to your dog and providing them some breathing room.
Although Husky ancestors used to cover hundreds of kilometers of distances, it was on average speed, a speed at which they can maintain their body temperature by passing the sweat through their mouths and feet.
However, the case during racing competition is different, Huskies are pushed to their limit to gain the top speed, and they sometimes compromise on their body temperatures. It can be compensated by having a proper check on the dog during race.
My Final Thoughts
Husky is a very charming and loveable pet. Some people consider them as the breed drawn from wolves. However, they have nothing to do with wolves and were bred to face severe cold climatic conditions.
They used to cover hundreds of kilometers of distances, and the food intake was minimal (however premium quality). Despite being a tough dog, Huskies proved themselves as one of the most favorite pet dogs. Their ancestors used to spend time with kids and women who used to take care of them.
They love to play with kids and are very loyal and protective of them. The most crucial quality of Huskies is that they follow the leadership of their pack. Once they admit you as a leader, they will follow every instruction of yours.
However, you need to act boldly and confidently. Once they sense that you lack confidence, they will stop obeying you. The use of an authoritative tone is one of the best techniques to handle your dog because these dogs were bred to take authority seriously.