Siberian huskies are probably best-known for their incredible sled-pulling skills, but these doggies aren't all business! Indeed, they make excellent working dogs, as they were bred originally to help the Chukchi people of Siberia hunt more efficiently. But they're sweet, friendly, and loyal cuddle bugs, too.
From their distinctive, wolf-like appearance, bright blue eyes, and fascinating history, there's a lot to learn—and love!—about Siberian huskies. Whether you're already a husky parent or considering adding a husky to the family, you'll want to check out these facts about the world's most amazing sled dogs. And let's not forget about the cute pictures, too.
01 of 08
Huskies Originated in Siberia
As their name implies, Siberian huskies originated in—yep, you guessed it—Siberia.
About 3,000 years ago, the Chukchi people, a semi-nomadic tribe in Siberia, wanted to expand their hunting grounds but needed a little help pulling their sleds over such long distances. So, they set out to breed the ideal sled dog—one that required some serious endurance, a thick, winter-ready coat to protect them from subzero temperatures, and the ability to survive on minimal food.
The result? The Chukchi dog, a distant relative to today's modern huskies.Continue to 2 of 8 below.
02 of 08
Huskies Have Built-In Winter Wear
Because they originated in subzero climates, Siberian huskies are always ready for severe winter weather. They have a double coat, comprised of a very thick, short undercoat that helps them retain body heat, and a long outer coat that's water-resistant, while their almond-shaped eyes offer protection from loose snow and strong sunlight reflecting off of snow. What's more? Their long, bushy tails can be wrapped around their faces for extra warmth while they sleep.Continue to 3 of 8 below.
03 of 08
Huskies Have a Lot of Energy—and Make Great Jogging Buddies
If you're adding a high-energy husky to the family, be prepared to exercise your dog a lot. According to the American Kennel Club, Siberian huskies need regular exercise. How you achieve that is up to you and the doggo—whether you choose to walk, swim, run, play, or even sled.
Huskies were bred to run, so unsurprisingly, they make excellent jogging buddies. Just be sure to build up your husky's mileage slowly. It shouldn't run a 5k straight out of the gate, and only exercise outdoors on cool days with low humidity. Huskies' super dense coats may make them less tolerant of activity in the heat. If you live in a warm climate or want to exercise your husky during the summer months, stick to water activities, like swimming or playing in the sprinkler.Continue to 4 of 8 below.
04 of 08
Many Huskies Have Blue Eyes
Blue eyes are pretty rare in most dog breeds (unless the doggy in question has the merle gene, which prevents pigment from fully developing in the eyes and coat), but many huskies are born with bright, blue peepers. Heterochromia—or eyes of two different colors—is also fairly common among huskies, and often results in blue, gold, brown, or orangey-colored eyes.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Huskies Have Super-Friendly Personalities
Despite their tough, wolf-like appearances, Siberian huskies are incredibly friendly— sometimes to a fault! Anyone looking for a husky guard dog will be sorely disappointed, because huskies are simply too friendly and too trusting of strangers. The upside to this charming character trait? They make amazing furry family members.
So, if you live in a cooler climate, have a big backyard (a pup's gotta get his energy out somewhere), and have kids, a husky might be the perfect pick for your family.Continue to 6 of 8 below.
06 of 08
Huskies Have Incredible Metabolisms
Here's a fact about huskies science can't even explain: huskies can sprint for hours upon hours, without food, and without fully depleting their bodies' glycogen (carbohydrates) or fat stores. How do they burn so many calories without using all of their reserves? They must regulate their metabolism for performance.
Keep in mind: If we humans attempted to run for hours without any source of energy, we'd fatigue pretty quickly—and have to stop.
Huskies were bred to run for long distances with minimal food supplies, so it makes sense that their bodies have evolved to perform with hardly any fatigue. But it's still pretty amazing, right?Continue to 7 of 8 below.
07 of 08
Huskies Can Have Colorful Coats
We often think of thick gray and white or black and white coats when we think of Siberian huskies, but the colors of their coats can vary greatly. According to the American Kennel Club, huskies' coats can be one of six colors—black, agouti, gray, red, sable, and white—but there are tons of variations out there.Continue to 8 of 8 below.
08 of 08
Huskies Are Very Talkative
If you have a husky, you know they are very talkative. They're known for their jabbering, groaning, and grumbling. But did you know a husky's howl can be heard from miles away? Talk about chatty, huh?
How big do Siberian huskies get?
Female huskies grow to weigh 35 to 50 pounds; male huskies, 44 to 60.
How long does a Siberian husky live?
Siberian huskies live from 12 to 15 years.
How do you groom a Siberian husky?
Your husky needs to be groomed on a regular basis; at least weekly, with a wide-toothed comb or paddle brush. (We recommend doing this task outside, where it won't fill your home with excess fur.)
Siberian Husky. American Kennel Club.
Deane-Coe, Petra E et al. Direct-to-consumer DNA testing of 6,000 dogs reveals 98.6-kb duplication associated with blue eyes and heterochromia in Siberian Huskies. PLoS genetics vol. 14,10 e1007648. 4 Oct. 2018, doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1007648