Siberian Husky FAQ
Are Siberian Huskies part wolf?
No. The Siberian Husky is a domesticated pure-bred dog and has been for many centuries. They are sometimes mistaken for wolves, and they are sometimes used in movies to depict wolves, but they are most certainly not wolves or part wolf.
Can Siberians have different colored eyes?
The Siberian Husky Eyes may be all brown, all blue, bi-eyed (one brown and one blue), or a mixture of blue and brown in one or both eyes (parti eye) this is normal in the breed and not a fault nor is it rare. All colors are perfectly good, and no color does not impact vision.
Is there something wrong with an eye that is both brown and blue?
No. This is called a "parti eye", or a "split eye." It is also fairly common in the breed. One or both eyes may be all blue with a brown pie shaped wedge, or all brown with a blue wedge. It is simply a matter if pigmentation. This too is perfectly normal in the breed.
Is there Blindness or loss of sight with an eye that is blue?
No. Blue eyes are simply a lack of pigmentation. This is perfectly normal and acceptable in the breed. Their eye color has nothing to do with eye disease.
Are There Different Coat Colors?
The Siberian Husky has a variety of coat colors. Black & White, Gray & White, Red & White, Sable & White, Agouti & White, Solid White, Pinto and a variety of markings on the head is common, including many striking patterns not found in other breeds. So basically, you can get anything form Solid Black to Solid White most usually have the typical white markings but not all do nor is it required.
I've heard that Siberians are mischievous. Is this true?
Yes and no. Siberians are very intelligent dogs. They will often do things that surprise their owners. They can get into things that one might think are impossible. When Siberians are bored, they can become quite mischievous, inventive, and destructive. This is typical of working dogs. This is why it is so important to include the Siberian in family activities and give him plenty of attention and exercise.
Are Siberians Obedient?
Please do NOT expect slavish obedience. Even in an obedience-trained northern dog. Part of their charm is their free-thinking, and sometime free-wheeling, attitude. You might get the focus and responsiveness you desire, if you train consistently, if you remember to make training fun, if you quit BEFORE the dog is bored. And then they are going to pull something out of thin air. Just to see what happens. These dogs are always thinking
Can Siberians run free? NO!! THEY CAN NOT BE TRUSTED OFF LEASH EVER!!!!
He may be fine the first time you allow him off leash in the yard. He may come back to you promptly every single time no matter how interesting the smells or squirrels. That is, until he hesitates, just once, and the car hits him. These are sled dogs. Not porch dogs. They were bred to be stubborn. They were bred to go in one direction for 100s of miles. Their job was to lean into the harness and pull and run and pull and run. They have zero road sense. They have zero car sense. He WILL get on the roads and most likely get himself killed! NEVER let your Siberian off leash or out of a fence!!
I've heard Siberians are dumb. Is that true?
No! Siberian Huskies are extremely intelligent working dogs. People often mistake the fact that they can be difficult to train as a sign of stupidity. One must keep the Siberian interested and challenge his intelligence in order to properly train him. A Siberian will probably know what you want him to do, he just may not want to do it!
Just how cold can a Siberian Husky live in?
Siberian Huskies can work and live in temperatures as low as 50-75 degrees Fahrenheit below zero. They are very adaptable to heat or cold.
What about heat?
Siberian Huskies are remarkably adaptable animals. So long as they have adequate shade, shelter, and water, they do just fine in warmer climates. See Northern Dogs
Are Siberian Huskies Hyper?
Yes and No. Of all the shortcomings to be found, the most dangerous to the pet owner is their tremendous desire to RUN! But the very first dash that a puppy makes across the road could be his last run, anywhere. A Siberian, for his own protection, should be kept confined or under control at all times. Siberian Huskies are very pack-oriented animals. You are a member of his/her pack and he/she will want to be included. It is also good to have plenty of toys and chews for your Husky to keep them busy when you have other things to do. But, like with any breed, they need the proper exercise.
How Are Siberian Huskies with Children?
Siberian Huskies are excellent with children. The Siberian Husky has a delightful temperament, affectionate but not fawning. This gentle and friendly disposition may be a heritage from the past, since the Chukchi people held their dogs in great esteem. They housed them in family shelters and encouraged their children to play with them. They are alert, eager to please, and adaptable. The Siberian is not usually a one-man dog, and he/she is capable of showing strong affection for their family. The Siberian Husky is not a guard dog but may unwittingly act as a deterrent to those ignorant of his true hospitable nature, simply due to his intense personality and appearance. However, as with any dog, it is not a good idea to let puppies and children play unattended. Children and puppies tend to be unaware of their own size and strength and could accidentally injure each other. The best thing to do is to teach your child and new puppy how to behave around one another and you shouldn't have any problems.
Do Siberian Huskies Bark A Lot?
Siberian Huskies are quiet dogs. It is not typical of the breed to be big barkers. They do talk and howl in a soft "woo woo woo" sound. If you have more than one Husky, you will sometimes hear them howling together, starting and stopping simultaneously. Since the Siberian, like other northern breeds, are very pack-oriented animals, this behavior is typical.
Will A Male or Female Siberian Make A Better Pet?
Both sexes make good pets. Male Siberians are more dependent, and females are somewhat independent. For example, if you and your family are watching T.V. in your living room, a male Siberian will probably prefer to be in the room with you, while the female will probably sleep in the other room and just come in and check on you periodically. I have found that my males seem to want a little more of my time. See male vs female under FAQ.
Do Siberian Huskies Jump Fences or Are They Good Escape Artists?
Siberians have been known to do their share of digging, chewing, jumping, and escaping. Digging holes is a pastime of many Siberian Huskies. Some will have no problem in a fenced-in yard. Others will dig out from under the fence, jump 4-foot fences, or try to find a way to escape so they can run, even if they have to chew their way out. If your dog's outdoor run isn't on cement, I wouldn't leave the dog unattended in the yard unless he is tied up, or you might never see your Siberian again. If your dog’s pen is only 4-foot high, I would suggest putting something over the top, so they don't climb or jump out.
My Siberian Husky is an escape artist. He constantly gets out of the yard. What can I do?
This too is a very simple problem to solve. Siberians can be mischievous, and as a result can be notorious escape artists. The best solution to this problem is an electrified wire at the top, and or bottom of your fence, depending on the problem (digging or climbing or both). You can obtain a cheap, low power, electric charger at any home improvement store. I have two solar powered ones. The shock they produce is very small, sort of a strong static electric shock, and the dogs absolutely hate it. Even if you have a very short fence (4 ft.), that would take any dogs seconds to dig out. However, with the little wire at the bottom, they will stay about 8 inches away from the fence at all times. All it takes is one shock. I do not recommend the "invisible fence" type of arrangement for a variety of reasons such as does not keep other animals out and some Siberians will take the shock to get out, plus lots of other reasons I will not get into here.
How Much Grooming Do They Need?
The Siberian is fastidiously clean and is free of body odor and parasites. Siberians clean themselves like cats. In fact, a Siberian that gets soiled with mud will clean himself/herself up. Therefore, bathing requirements are minimal. Most Siberian owners only have to bathe their dogs twice a year or less! Twice a year, Siberians "blow" their undercoats. They will shed their undercoats completely. It is a very intense shedding period that can last three weeks from start to finish. The good news is it only happens twice a year! The remainder of the time, Siberians are relatively shed free. Some people feel that this problem is easier to cope with than the constant shedding and removal of many smooth-coated breeds. The hair usually comes out in large and small clumps. During the intense shedding period, if you brush the dog every day, to help get out the undercoat, it should shorten the shedding period. Other than during the shedding season, the Siberian needs very little grooming. No trimming or shaving of the hair is required. Just occasional brushing and to remove dead hair and keep the coat fresh and shiny. Their nails should be checked and clipped periodically.
Do Siberian Huskies Like the Snow?
Yes! You will have a hard time keeping your Siberian Husky inside in the winter time! They love to play in the snow and pull sleds! Siberian Huskies can work and live in temperatures as low as 75 degrees Fahrenheit below zero. But regardless, your dog should always have some type of shelter.
Should I keep My Siberian Husky Inside or Outside?
They prefer to be wherever you are, inside or out. They are pack animals and do not like to be alone. The Siberian Husky is an easy dog to care for. They make wonderful indoor pets because they are fastidiously clean and free from body odor and parasites. They are an easy keeper, requiring a relatively small amount of food for their size. They are very easy to train because of their high intelligence. People will often mistake the fact that they can be difficult to train as a sign of stupidity. You really need to keep the Siberian Husky interested and challenge his/her intelligence in order to properly train them. A Siberian will probably know what you want him/her to do, they may not want to do it, so it is really important to start training at an early age. Help him/her understand their role in the family and show them that you are the Alpha. If you choose to keep your Siberian outside, never shave them in the summer! Their coats help keep them cool, but because of the hot summers, always make sure your dog has some type of shelter to get in out of the hot sun. Some also love water, and it will help keep them cool in the summer.
I live in a hot part of the country. Will this be uncomfortable for my Siberian Husky?
Siberians are a northern breed that is very adaptable. As the dog is well taken care of, brushed regularly, has plenty of water and shade, he will be just fine in your warm climate. Siberian Huskies are found all over the world, from the deep southern part of the United States, where it is very warm and humid, to South Africa, Russia, New Zealand, Australia, and Alaska. Literally all over the globe in every climate you can imagine. See Northern Dogs for more info.
My Siberian Husky digs constantly and is destroying the yard. What can I do?
Digging for a husky is perfectly normal and acceptable behavior however it can be a very difficult for owners. It is the nature of the breed to dig cooling holes to lie in. One method that has worked for me is to provide the dog an area in your yard in which he is allowed, even encouraged, to dig and train him to dig there. A sand-box, of sorts, with soft cool dirt with an occasional treat (like hot dogs) buried there can work well.
My Siberian Husky puppy is very noisy, particularly at night. What can I do?
This is not particular to the breed, but since I get asked this question all of the time, it is worth repeating the answer. The noisy puppy at night is simply lonely. He needs to be near his "pack," which is you in this case. It used to be his littermates. Over time, your puppy will learn what I would call "pack permanence," borrowed from the term "object permanence" in which a human infant learns that objects that "disappear," i.e., a dropped toy, a parent leaving the room, return. They do not vanish from his or her "universe," that is, they are "permanent." In the puppy, he needs reassurance that you are "permanent." One easy method is to use a crate at night with your puppy, and put the crate next to your bed. When your puppy wakes and whines, you can easily reassure, or in some cases "rattle" the cage, to quiet the dog. This is also an effective house training technique.
I've been told that Siberian Huskies are "cat killers." Is this true?
Yes and No, they can be. It depends on how they are socialized as puppies. They have a very strong prey-drive, and if they are not socialized to smaller animals as puppies, they will likely kill most small animals they encounter rabbits, squirrels, cats, etc. and can even interpret other small fluffy dogs as prey if not socialized with them. However, see our Learn by YouTube page for videos of them with small animals and cats. If socialized as puppies and raised with them they do great.