Coat and Grooming
The Siberian Husky is a comparatively easy dog to care for. He is by nature fastidiously clean and is typically free from body odor and parasites. Siberian s clean themselves like cats. In fact, a Siberian that becomes soiled with mud will clean himself up. Therefore, bathing requirements are minimal. In fact, most owners bathe their dogs once per year or less.
Twice a year, Siberians “blow” their undercoats, that is, they shed their undercoats completely. It is a very intense shedding period that can last three weeks or more from start to finish. The good news is that this only happens twice a year. The remainder of the time, Siberians are relatively shed free. Some people feel that this periodic problem is easier to cope with than the constant shedding and renewal of many smooth-coated breeds. The bad news is that the shedding period can be rather messy. The hair comes out in large and small clumps. Lots of vacuuming and brushing are in order. It should be noted, however, that this shedding “schedule” is climate dependent. Some owners that live in very warm climes, ones that lack clearly defined “seasonal changes,” report some shedding year round in the breed.
Other than during coat-blowing season, the Siberian needs very little grooming. No trimming or shaving of hair is required or recommended. Just occasional brushing to remove dead hair and keep the coat fresh and shiny is required. Their nails should be checked and clipped periodically, and their feet should be checked regularly to ensure good health, particularly in actively working dogs.
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, housed them in the family shelters, and encouraged their children to play with them. The Siberian Husky is alert, eager to please, and adaptable. An aggressive dog is not a team dog, and therefore a lousy sled dog. Siberians are an extremely intelligent and independent breed. They can be very stubborn, owing to their original purpose, and they are easily bored. This independent and stubborn nature may at times challenge your ingenuity. His versatility makes him an agreeable companion to people of all ages and varying interests. However, this is not a breed that is typically recommended for first-time dog owners, as mistakes are easy to make and sometimes difficult to fix with this remarkably intelligent and opportunistic breed.
While capable of showing strong affection for his family, the Siberian Husky is not usually a one-man dog. He exhibits no fear or suspicion of strangers and is as likely to greet a would be thief as warmly as a trusted family member. This is not the temperament of a watch-dog, although a Siberian Husky may unwittingly act as a deterrent to those ignorant of his true hospitable nature, simply due to his intense personality and appearance.
Due to the increasing popularity of the breed, many Siberians are being bred without proper consideration of the special characteristics outlined here that make the Siberian Husky a unique breed. If you plan to purchase a puppy or older dog, please take into account this temperment summary. Siberians that show these temperament characteristics are good representations of the breed, and make excellent companions.
Barking, Talking, and Howling
Siberian Huskies are rather quiet dogs. They do not typically bark. They do talk, however, in a soft “woo woo woo” sound. They can also howl quite well. Owners of multiple Huskies report frequent howling, starting and stopping simultaneously. Since the Siberian, like other northern breeds, is a very pack oriented animal, this behavior is typical.