Noted for their great speed and ability to withstand extremes of cold, Siberian Huskies found great favour in 1925 in Alaska when there was a diptheria epidemic and they were used to transport medicine to people in remote areas.
They are a strong, compact, spitz-type breed with a thick double coat for very cold temperatures. They also have hair between the pads on their paws to help them in the snow. They come in a variety of colours but the markings, particularly on the head, are clearly specified. There is a long-coated variety but it is not recognised by most kennel clubs.
They were used by the Chukchi Tribe to pull sleds and herd reindeer in Eastern Siberia. They are highly intelligent with lots of energy so need plenty of outlets to exercise their body and brain. They can also be a little wilful and a bit of a handful but are naturally loving, loyal, enthusiastic and happy dogs. They are not watchdogs but enjoy howling. They are people and child friendly and particularly enjoy the company of other dogs although they may not be trustworthy around other animals. They are very active indoors but need a good deal of outdoor exercise too. They get bored very easily and can be destructive if not properly exercised. They often find warm weather difficult to cope with. Care needs to be taken when they are in a garden as they are excellent diggers. They prefer to live in packs.
Grooming only needs to be intensive twice a year when they shed heavily. They are prone to hip dysplasia, eye problems, PRA, and a skin problem known as zinc responsive dermatitis, which is treatable by giving zinc supplements.