The Siberian Husky is a medium to large, dense-coat working dog breed that originated in north-eastern Siberia. The breed belongs to the Spitz genetic family. It is recognizable by its thickly furred double coat, sickle tail, erect triangular ears, and distinctive markings.
Huskies are an active, energetic, and resilient breed whose ancestors came from the extremely cold and harsh environment of the Siberian Arctic. Siberian Huskies were bred by the Chukchi of Northeastern Asia to pull heavy loads long distances through difficult conditions. The dogs were imported into Alaska during the Nome Gold Rush and later spread into the United States and Canada. They were initially sent to Alaska and Canada as sled dogs but rapidly acquired the status of family pets and show dogs. Because of their efficiency as a working breed, most huskies are bred to be able to withstand long work days on little amounts of food.
The Siberian Husky's coat is thicker than most other dog breeds, comprising two layers: a dense undercoat and a longer topcoat of short, straight guard hairs. It protects the dogs effectively against harsh Arctic winters, but the coat also reflects heat in the summer. It is able to withstand temperatures as low as −50 to −60 °C (−58 to −76 °F). The undercoat is often absent during shedding. Their thick coats require weekly grooming. In hot areas a husky's coat can naturally change so the dog can adapt to hot temperatures.
Siberian Huskies come in a variety of colours and patterns, usually with white paws and legs, facial markings, and tail tip. The most common coats are black and white, then less common copper-red and white, grey and white, pure white, and the rare 'Agouti' coat, though many individuals have blondish or piebald spotting. Striking masks, spectacles, and other facial markings occur in wide variety. Merle coat patterns are not allowed.
A red/white colored Siberian Husky with heterochromia
The American Kennel Club describes the Siberian Husky's eyes as 'an almond shape, moderately spaced and set slightly obliquely.' The eyes of a Siberian Husky are ice-blue, dark blue, amber, or brown. In some individual dogs, one eye may be brown and the other blue (complete heterochromia), or one or both eyes may be 'parti-colored,' that is, half brown and half blue (partial heterochromia) All of these eye-color combinations are considered acceptable by the American Kennel Club.
Show-quality dogs are preferred to have neither pointed nor square noses. The nose is black in gray dogs, tan in black dogs, liver in copper-colored dogs, and may be light tan in white dogs. In some instances, Siberian Huskies can exhibit what is called 'snow nose' or 'winter nose.' This condition is called hypopigmentation in animals. 'Snow nose' is acceptable in the show ring.
Siberian Husky tails are heavily furred; these dogs will often curl up with their tails over faces and noses in order to provide additional warmth. The tail should be expressive, held low when the dog is relaxed, and curved upward in a 'sickle' shape when excited or interested in something. It should be symmetrical, and not curved or deviated to the side; nor should it ever curl so much as to touch the back.
The breed standard indicates that the males of the breed are ideally between 21 and 23.5 inches (53 and 59.7 cm) tall at the withers and weighing between 45 and 60 pounds (20 and 27 kg). Females are smaller, growing to between 20 to 22 inches (51 to 56 cm) tall at the withers and weighing between 35 to 50 pounds (16 to 23 kg).
Source of information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siberian_Husky
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