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Dog Breeds - Alaskan Malamute

 

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Belgian Shepherd - Working Dogs

 

Alaskan MalamuteAlaskan Malamute - Working Dog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Siberian Husky

 

Siberian Husky - Working Dogs

 

Description

The Siberian Husky was originally brought to Alaska from the Chukchi Pensinsula in the 1900’s and used as a sled dog for pulling a light load over a long distance. The gold miners also used this dog mainly for its endurance qualities and its ability to work in difficult terrain and extreme cold.  This dog then gained favour as a sled racing dog and also gained fame for its efforts in the Serum run of the 1920’s enabling the vaccine for diphtheria to get through to Nome when all other means of transport were unable to do so. Thus many lives were saved and this courageous effort by the teams of Siberians went down in history forever.

 

Temperament

Generally a good natured breed although exuberant and willful, this independent thinker doesn’t take too readily to obedience. His original breeding was to be able to think for himself, meant that nature made this dog a survivor and only those who were tough and built correctly for the job in those extreme conditions survived so they are not always the easiest dog to train. However on the positive side this dog will learn if the right incentives are given, but do not expect him to be a “fetch, go and get dog”. The Siberian Husky is also fairly destructive when young and will usually dig, sometimes climb, leap tall buildings in a single bound; you know all the usual stuff.  They love to chew, so chew they will, anything that happens to be in his domain, so if you value anything at all in the yard, move it and most importantly do not leave a Siberian unsupervised in the house. They are also known not to be very good with cats. In the past they were and still can be a small prey predator and will happily supplement their protein intake given a chance. Rodents and cats beware!

 

Appearance

Height:   60cm (23")

Weight:  27kg (60lb)

Group: Working Dog

This good looking dog seems to continually wearing a happy smiling face is of a medium sized breed with a double coat that is weather proof in arctic conditions.  The Siberian Husky is permitted to be any colour or combination of colours and any colour eye or combination of colours e.g. bi-eyed (two different colours). There is no preference in the requirements of the standard for colour as they did not need to be colour co-ordinated to do his job well!
 

Grooming

Because all double coated breeds shed, expect a snow storm of undercoat all over the yard once the coat is ready to shed. However you can minimize the mess if you regularly (at least once a week) brush the coat with an oval cushioned Pin Brush (without knobs on the pins).  It is best to bath this dog at least once a fortnight using a small amount of special plant oil in the final rinse to keep the coat hydrated, preferably using a cool dryer, blowing the coat against the growth to remove all dead hair to prevent “hot spots” appearing especially in summer.  It takes 4-6 weeks at least after shedding for the coat to regenerate to some semblance of normality so any efforts to lessen the impact of shedding is desirable and if this routine is followed, the coat will always look good. Keep the toe nails clipped for a nice compact foot and trim the hair underneath the pads. If you don't have the time to bath or groom your dog, your local dog grooming salon provides these services.

 

Life Expectancy

13 Years

 

Health Concerns

Being a fairly natural breed which was environmentally programmed for the survival of the fittest the Siberian Husky is relatively healthy avoiding most of the usual nasties that many other breeds have in their genetic makeup. There can be eye problems such as corneal dystrophy and cataracts. If purchased from a reputable breed these problems are not generally encountered.  It is recommended not to let your puppy become too overweight when young to avoid future hip and joint problems. Always try to feed good quality dog food to extend the life and health of your Husky. Keep lots of water available  – they need it.


Suitability

One of the most important things you need to do is to train your Siberian Husky because of the size and strength of these dogs.  Some owners recommend bonding the dog with a toy or food for reward-based training and creative training techniques may be required as these dogs are easily bored!  This is not a breed suitable for a flat or homes without a large yard unless the owner is an extremely active person prepared to exercise their pet for several hours a day and the happiest Husky is one owned by an active person or family with a strong sense of responsibility, who will give it plenty of exercise and has a firm, consistent training routine.

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Working Dogs: This group  includes more breeds than any other. These dogs were bred to do a variety of work from guarding, herding, pulling sleds and rescue for example. A few in this group include Border Collie, Boxer and Bullmastiff to mention a few.

 

 

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The Siberian Husky is not the ideal first pet. It will jump over fences and dig its way out of anything. It is not an indoor dog, having been bred to pull heavy loads in harsh climates.

 

 

 

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