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Siberian Husky

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Troy   

The Siberian Husky

ANKC Standard

(from http://www.ankc.org.au/home/breeds_details.asp?bid=179 )

Group: Group 6 (Utility)

General Appearance: The Siberian Husky is a medium-sized working dog, quick and light on his feet and free and graceful in action. His moderately compact and well-furred body, erect ears and brush tail suggest his Northern heritage. His characteristic gait is smooth and seemingly effortless. He performs his original function in harness most capably, carrying a light load at a moderate speed over great distances. His body proportions and form reflect this basic balance of power, speed and endurance. The males of the Siberian Husky breed are masculine but never coarse; the bitches are feminine but without weakness of structure. In proper condition, with muscle firm and well developed, the Siberian Husky does not carry excess weight.

Characteristics: Summary: The most important breed characteristics of the Siberian Husky are medium size, moderate bone, well-balanced proportions, ease and freedom of movement, proper coat, pleasing head and ears, correct tail, and good disposition. Any appearance of excessive bone or weight, constricted or clumsy gait, or long, rough coat should be penalised. The Siberian Husky never appears so heavy or coarse as to suggest a freighting animal; nor is he so light and fragile as to suggest a sprint-racing animal. In both sexes the Siberian Husky gives the appearance of being capable of great endurance.

Temperament: The characteristic temperament of the Siberian Husky is friendly and gentle, but also alert and outgoing. He does not display the possessive qualities of the guard dog, nor is he overly suspicious of strangers or aggressive with other dogs. Some measure of reserve and dignity may be expected in the mature dog. His intelligence, tractability, and eager disposition make him an agreeable companion and willing worker.

Head And Skull: Expression: Is keen, but friendly; interested and even mischievous. Skull: Of medium size and in proportion to the body; slightly rounded on top and tapering from the widest point to the eyes. Faults: Head clumsy or heavy; head too finely chiselled. Stop: The stop is well-defined and the bridge of the nose is straight from the stop to the tip. Fault: Insufficient stop. Muzzle: Of medium length; that is, the distance from the tip of the nose to the stop is equal to the distance from the stop to the occiput. The muzzle is of medium width, tapering gradually to the nose, with the tip neither pointed nor square.

Faults: Muzzle either too snipy or too coarse; muzzle too short or too long. Nose: Black in grey, tan or black dogs; liver in copper dogs; may be flesh coloured in pure white dogs. The pink-streaked "snow nose" is acceptable. Lips: Are well pigmented and close fitting.

Eyes: Almond shaped, moderately spaced and set a trifle obliquely. Eyes may be brown or blue in colour; one of each or particoloured are acceptable. Faults: Eyes set too obliquely; set too close together.

Ears: Of medium size, triangular in shape, close fitting and set high on the head. They are thick, well furred, slightly arched at the back, and strongly erect, with slightly rounded tips pointing straight up. Faults: Ears too large in proportion to the head; too wide set; not strongly erect.

Mouth: Teeth: Closing in a scissor bite. Fault: Any bite other than scissor.

Neck: Medium in length, arched and carried proudly erect when dog is standing. When moving at a trot, the neck is extended so that the head is carried slightly forward. Faults: Neck too short and thick; neck too long.

Forequarters: Shoulders: The shoulder blade is well laid back. The upper arm angles slightly backward from point of shoulder to elbow, and is never perpendicular to the ground. The muscles and ligaments holding the shoulder to the rib cage are firm and well developed. Faults: Straight shoulders; loose shoulders. Forelegs: When standing and viewed from the front, the legs are moderately spaced, parallel and straight, with the elbows close to the body and turned neither in nor out. Viewed from the side, pasterns are slightly slanted, with the pastern joint strong, but flexible. Bone is substantial but never heavy. Length of the leg from elbow to ground is slightly more than the distance from the elbow to the top of the withers. Dew claws on forelegs may be removed.

Faults: Weak pasterns; too heavy bone; too narrow or too wide in the front; out at the elbows.

Body: Chest: Deep and strong, but not too broad, with the deepest point being just behind and level with the elbows. The ribs are well-sprung from the spine but flattened on the sides to allow for freedom of action. Faults: Chest too broad; "barrel ribs"; ribs too flat or weak. Back: The back is straight and strong, with a level top line from withers to croup. It is of medium length, neither cobby nor slack from excessive length. The loin is taut and lean, narrower than the rib cage, and with a slight tuck-up. The croup slopes away from the spine at an angle, but never so steeply as to restrict the rearward thrust of the hind legs.

Faults: Weak or slack back; roached back; sloping top line.

Hindquarters: When standing and viewed from the rear, the hind legs are moderately spaced and parallel. The upper thighs are well muscled and powerful, the stifles well bent, the hock joint well defined and set low to the ground. Dew claws, if any, are to be removed. Faults: Straight stifles; cow hocks; too narrow or too wide in the rear.

Feet: Oval in shape but not long. The paws are medium in size, compact and well furred between the toes and pads. The pads are tough and thickly cushioned. The paws neither turn in nor out when the dog is in natural stance. Faults: Soft or splayed toes; paws too large and clumsy; paws too small and delicate; toeing in or out.

Tail: The well furred tail of fox-brush shape is set on just below the level of the top line, and is usually carried over the back in a graceful sickle curve when the dog is at attention. When carried up, the tail does not curl to either side of the body, nor does it snap flat against the back. A trailing tail is normal for the dog when in repose. Hair on the tail is of medium length and approximately the same length on top, sides and bottom, giving the appearance of a round brush. Faults: A snapped or tightly curled tail; highly plumed tail; tail set too low or too high.

Gait/Movement: The Siberian Husky's characteristic gait is smooth and seemingly effortless. He is quick and light on his feet, and when in the show ring should be gaited on a loose lead at a moderately fast trot, exhibiting good reach in the forequarters and good drive in the hindquarters. When viewed from the front or rear while moving at a walk the Siberian Husky does not single track, but as the speed increases the legs gradually angle inward until the pads are falling on a line directly under the longitudinal centre of the body. As the pad marks converge, the forelegs and hind legs are carried straight forward, with neither elbows nor stifles turned in or out. Each hind leg moves in the path of the foreleg on the same side. While the dog is gaiting, the top line remains firm and level. Faults: Short, prancing or choppy gait, lumbering or rolling gait; crossing or crabbing.

Coat: The coat of the Siberian Husky is double and medium in length, giving a well-furred appearance, but is never so long as to obscure the clean-cut outline of the dog. The undercoat is soft and dense and of sufficient length to support the outer coat. The guard hairs of the outer coat are straight and somewhat smooth lying, never harsh nor standing straight off from the body. It should be noted that the absence of the undercoat during the shedding season is normal. Trimming of whiskers and fur between the toes and around the feet to present a neater appearance is permissible. Trimming the fur on any other part of the dog is not to be condoned and should be severely penalised. Faults: Long, rough, or shaggy coat; texture too harsh or too silky; trimming of the coat, except as permitted above.

Colour: All colours from black to pure white are allowed. A variety of markings on the head is common, including many striking patterns not found in other breeds.

Sizes: Size, Proportion, Substance: Height: Dogs 53.5-60 cm (21 - 23� ins) at the withers Bitches 51-56 cm (20-22 ins) at the withers. Weight: Dogs 20-27 kg (45-60 lbs Bitches 16-23 kg (35-50 lbs) Weight is in proportion to height. The measurements mentioned above represent the extreme height and weight limits with no preference given to either extreme. Any appearance of excessive bone or weight should be penalised. In profile, the length of the body from the point of the shoulder to the rear point of the croup is slightly longer than the height of the body from the ground to the top of the withers. Disqualification: Dogs over 60cm (23� ins) and bitches over 56 cm (22 ins).

Faults: Skull :Head clumsy or heavy; head too finely chiselled. Stop: Insufficient stop. Muzzle: Muzzle either too snipy or too coarse; muzzle too short or too long. Eyes: Eyes set too obliquely; set too close together. Ears: Ears too large in proportion to the head; too wide set; not strongly erect. Mouth: Any bite other than scissor. Neck: Neck too short and thick; neck too long. Shoulders: Straight shoulders; loose shoulders. Forelegs: Weak pasterns; too heavy bone; too narrow or too wide in the front; out at the elbows. Chest: Chest too broad; "barrel ribs"; ribs too flat or weak. Back: Weak or slack back; roached back; sloping top line. Hindquarters: Straight stifles; cow hocks; too narrow or too wide in the rear. Feet: Soft or splayed toes; paws too large and clumsy; paws too small and delicate; toeing in or out. Tail: A snapped or tightly curled tail; highly plumed tail; tail set too low or too high. Gait/Movement: Short, prancing or choppy gait, lumbering or rolling gait; crossing or crabbing. Coat: Long, rough or shaggy coat; texture too harsh or too silky; trimming of the coat, except as permitted above. Disqualification: Dogs over 60 cm (23�ins) and bitches over 56 cm (22 ins). In addition to the faults already noted, the obvious structural faults common to all breeds are as undesirable in the Siberian Husky as in other breed, even though they are not specifically mentioned herein.

Notes: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

QUESTIONS

1. What is my relationship with the breed? (ie breeder, first time owner etc)

2. Where and why was the breed first developed?

3. How common is it in Australia?

4. What is the average lifespan?

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

9. How much grooming is required?

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

11. Are there any common hereditary problems a puppy buyer should be aware of?

12. When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? (eg what health tests have been done (if applicable) and what is an acceptable result to those tests so the buyer has an idea of what the result should be)

If you wish to contribute to the knowledge about this breed, please answer the above questions. (Copy and paste them into a new post).

  • Please only answer if you breed or own a pedigree example of this breed.
  • You do not have to answer all questions
  • Please keep posts limited to answering questions or for asking further questions if you require more (or expanded) information.

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huski   

QUESTIONS

1. What is my relationship with the breed? (ie breeder, first time owner etc)

I'm a first time owner who has owned a Sibe for 6 1/2 years now.

2. Where and why was the breed first developed?

The breed was originally developed by the Chukchi people of Northeastern Asia as an endurance sled dog. Despite common misconception, they have been a purebred dog for many centuries and are not part wolf, wolf hybrid, or any close relation to the wolf :) They are classed as one of the 13 ancient breeds.

A nomadic, hunting people, the Chukchi required a dog which could withstand both the extreme arctic winters and the warm Siberian summers; could work amicably as part of a large team; could pull light loads over long distances at moderate speed; and which could live happily in the tents and igloos with the Chukchi and their children. The result was the dog which formed the basis for what we now know as the Siberian Husky. The breed started its new career as a working, racing, showing and pet dog after numbers were imported into the US, Canada and Alaska in the early years of the 20th Century, to work in the goldfields and compete in the developing sport of sled dog racing.

3. How common is it in Australia?

The breed has grown in popularity in the last decade or so and is now quite popular. Unfortunately they are becoming quite popular with BYBers, as many people want a Siberian because of their beautiful looks and after movies like 8 Below and Snow Dogs, some people are trying to cash in on the craze :rofl:

4. What is the average lifespan?

A well bred Siberian will live between 12-15 years.

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

As per the breed standard, Siberians should be friendly and gentle, but also alert and outgoing. They are stubborn and strong willed, and were bred to be independent thinkers. They are not a typically biddable breed, but are very intelligent dogs. They can be aloof, they are not often an 'all over you' velcro dog, but they can also be affectionate. Micha likes to be with me, but not all over me. He's happy just to sit in the same room and occasionally he'll put his head in my lap for an ear rub. Siberians are active dogs but they shouldn't be hyper and if they are given adequate mental and physical stimulation they are quite happy to laze around all day.

Some are easier to train than others. Siberians are known for their high prey drive, and if you want them to be cat friendly they need to be raised with them from puppy hood. Micha will kill small animals like possums and bats if given the opportunity, but in the same vein, he loves squeaky toys and I can utilise his prey drive to my advantage when it comes to training.

Siberians aren't hard to teach things to, I find most pick things up pretty quickly - it's getting commands reliable that can be difficult because any Siberian worth his salt will always ask 'what's the point?' and 'what's in it for me?' before doing anything you ask him. Due to their prey drive, strong willed nature and instinct to run they are not dogs that are easily trusted off leash. They can also be escape artists. One of my pet hates is when I hear that Siberians are impossible to train, they aren't at all, but it's not easy and you need patience and often need to think outside of the square as what works well with some dogs will not work well with Siberians.

There is a saying that I heard from a Siberian breeder that goes along the lines of:

Tell a Golden Retriever to sit and he will. Tell a Siberian to sit and he may run in a circle around you. He may woo-woo at you. He may ignore you. He may jump up, jump over the gates, retrieve the dumbbell from the next ring, jump back across the gates, and present it to you. He may actually sit. However, harness a Golden and tell him "Gee" and he will turn right. The Siberian will wait for the opening in the trees... :)

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

I try to give Micha 30 minutes of walking a day, they also like a good run, but as he's gotten older he can go a few days without a walk and is ok. On the days I don't walk him I always spend time playing with him in the backyard giving him a good run around. Siberians are not a dog for someone who wants a coach potato, they are a fit and active breed that needs regular exercise.

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

I rarely recommend Siberians to first time owners. They are the kind of dog who will take a mile if you give them an inch. There are a lot of Siberians in rescue because many people fall in love with their looks and purchase them without giving thought to whether or not they suit their lifestyles.

Common reasons for finding Siberians in rescue are - the dog is destructive; he won't listen to me and ignores my commands; he escapes from the yard; he won't come when I call him; he sheds too much etc. They require a lot of training and someone who understands the traits and needs of a northern breed.

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

Some Siberians are better than others. Micha would be fine as an only dog, he is happy with his own company, as long as he is getting adequate mental and physical stimulation. It depends how committed the owner is and how prepared they are to make sure their dog has its needs met.

9. How much grooming is required?

LOTS!!

Siberians shed like no other breed. I've had people who own GSDs, borders, goldies, etc tell me they know what I mean. Then I pat Micha and pull out a chunk of his undercoat and they do a double take. Especially in our climate here in Australia, Siberians shed most of the year. You need to be prepared to brush them a lot especially when they are dropping their coat. Mish sheds all year round but some times are worse than others, here is an example:

Do not get a Siberian if you want a low shedding dog! :):love:

ETA - on the upside, Siberians are not dirty dogs and their guard hairs ensure they are clean, they can get muddy and dirt will just slide off their coat. They are not smelly dogs and rarely need bathing. Micha would only get bathed 3-4 times a year, max, and it's mainly to help groom his undercoat out.

You should never, ever EVER shave a Siberian husky as their coat acts like insulation and keeps them warm in winter as well as cool in summer. Shave their coat and they will lose their main ability to control their body temperature and will be worse off. Their guard hairs (the top coat) also keep them clean as well as keeping their skin shielded from the sun etc.

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

I've never had a problem with my Siberian being around children, they are generally a very child friendly breed but just like most dogs need to be trained and socialised appropriately in order to be the best doggy citizen they can be. As a larger dog they can easily knock a child over and as any dog, always need supervision.

Micha has always loved children and has always been very gentle with them, with minimal training from me, but he's got quite a calm and placid nature.

11. Are there any common hereditary problems a puppy buyer should be aware of?

On the whole Siberians are quite a healthy and hardy breed. However, you want to be wary of hip displaysia (although it is not that common) and injuries to the cruciate ligament, as well as eye problems and hypothyroidism.

12. When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? (eg what health tests have been done (if applicable) and what is an acceptable result to those tests so the buyer has an idea of what the result should be)

Most Siberian breeds will hip score dogs before breeding them as well as holding current clear eye certs (including glaucoma) and have their thyroid tested.

The breeder should also make you aware of the pros and cons of the breed, as a good Siberian breeder will know the breed is not for everyone. They should interview you and ask you lots of questions. They will supply you with limited or in some cases, main register pedigree papers with your pup.

Edited by huski

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1. What is my relationship with the breed? (ie breeder, first time owner etc)

First time owner (of 2 1/2 years) to a 5 year old rescued sibe.

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

What huski said about the sibe vs GR personality is absolutely right - they are bred to think for themselves and to be very independent which, while perfect when they must make decisions on the fly (like when they're sledding), can be a big problem when it comes to training. My sibe is very well trained and soaks knowledge up like a sponge (10 minutes with a clicker and some treats and you can teach him anything) but getting him to obey commands when he doesn't feel like it is impossible. I have been told that all dogs can be like this but you have no idea until you have had a sibe!

For example, I can ask him to sit several times and he will refuse to sit, or he'll do it grudgingly and it'll be sloppy, or he'll lie down or he'll put his butt on the ground and then get back up again. If I was to have food on me and ask him to sit, he will do it straight away - it'll be straight, he'll do it at a distance and he'll stay there until i tell him to move. In general, a sibe will not do anything for you unless there's something in it for them which can be very difficult when you don't have anything the sibe wants, when they're tired or if they're not particularly food or prey driven. This is a problem when the dog is recalling for example. I think it mostly comes down to this: Your sibe isn't not obeying you because he doesn't know what you want, your sibe isn't obeying you because he doesn't care what you want - he's too busy doing what he wants and what he wants is more exciting than anything you can offer. Zero is only interested in what Zero wants and that's very typical for a sibe.

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

It depends on the individual, the weather and what lines the dog comes from. I walk with Zero for about an hour a day but he doesn't need that much. He isn't from working lines though and is quite a low-energy sibe - he's also 5 years old so doesn't . In summer we don't walk very often because it's too hot for him, but he enjoys swimming so we do that a couple of times a week instead or we wet him down and then walk for about half an hour. In winter, Zero could walk for hours and want more but if he doesn't get a walk at all, he's not particularly fussed.

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

During the day, Zero mostly sleeps and when we're home, he's with us. He copes quite well on his own, but needs a lot of mental and physical stimulation and sibes as a breed are prone to becoming destructive without it.

9. How much grooming is required?

Depends on how much hair you mind in your house :) . Sibes will generally "blow coat" once a year for males and twice a year (or after they've been in season) for females. There are exceptions to this though. While the dog is blowing coat, you will be able to pull out handfuls of dead hair (with no discomfort to the dog) all day and they would still be losing hair. When Zero is blowing coat, he gets a brush everyday, sometimes twice a day, along with a bath every couple of weeks to encourage the dead hair to fall out, when Zero is in coat and not blowing/rolling (when the hair constantly sheds but isn't coming out in clumps), he rarely gets a bath and doesn't get a "doggie" smell. I still brush him at least once a week, trim his feet, clip his nails and get the gunk out of his eyes when he needs it.

As huski said, a lot of people take the "easy" way out and shave their sibes - in the worst case senario, you can kill a sibe by shaving it. Their brains are hardwired to have the coat on so if you take it off, they can't regulate their body temperature and they can easily overheat during summer. The coat keeps the heat out (the white reflects the heat in summer), as well as the warmth in.

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

Zero is fine around my nieces and nephews and has been since she was born but you really have to show them what to do with children because just the child running can over-excite the dog. I would not generally recommend them for people with young children unless they're experienced dog owners and I would not recommend them for infirm people - they're generally too much dog for anyone not completely up to their level of care.

11. Are there any common hereditary problems a puppy buyer should be aware of?

Aside from what huski has said, because of their slow metabolisms (they're bred to run and run and not lose conditioning), sibes put on weight very easily so while not a genetic problem, it's something that a lot of people don't know. I know quite a few smaller dogs that eat twice as much as Zero.

Edited by ~*Shell*~

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Yes - PRA is present in the breed and parents should be tested for it.

I have heard that there is a type of PRA found in only sibes (and humans) called XLPRA but I don't know much about it. Last I heard, it was transmitted through the XX chromosomes of the female and a test was being developed so it can be eliminated from breeding programs. While it is a recessive gene, if the dog is to get the problem chromosome, it can be affected from as early as 5 months of age.

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Have had a number of aquaintances with Sibes who don't ever let them off their leads for "fear" that they won't get them back.

What are your recommendations then to new owners re off lead excercise?.

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huski   
Have had a number of aquaintances with Sibes who don't ever let them off their leads for "fear" that they won't get them back.

What are your recommendations then to new owners re off lead excercise?.

Unless they are prepared to commit to serious training I always tell new Sibe owners never ever to let them off leash unless in a safe and contained area.

I usually ask them what would happen if a 'rabbit' ran in front of their Sibe, would they still recall? If the answer is no, it's just not worth the risk in letting them off leash just to see if they will come back. For most owners, a Siberian's prey drive, combined with their instinct to run and stubborn nature means that they will never have a solid 100% recall. It's not just prey drive - a Sibe could recall well and one day decide they just don't feel like it and want to come back when they are good and ready. That is what makes proofing a reliable recall difficult.

I never say it's impossible to teach, it's not, but it takes a lot of commitment, experience and knowledge to get there.

Edited by huski

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Miss B   
Have had a number of aquaintances with Sibes who don't ever let them off their leads for "fear" that they won't get them back.

What are your recommendations then to new owners re off lead excercise?.

I never trust my Sibes off-leash, ever. It's just part of their nature to run, and run, and run.

I would tell new owners to be prepared for the fact that they may never be able to trust their Sibe off-leash. As Huski said, achieving a 100% reliable recall in a Sibe is not impossible but it does take a hell of a lot of commitement and training, with no guarantee that you will ever succeed.

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Have had a number of aquaintances with Sibes who don't ever let them off their leads for "fear" that they won't get them back.

What are your recommendations then to new owners re off lead excercise?.

With new owners - never ever! Especially if they aren't willing to commit to regular obedience training.

I do recommend finding fenced in off lead areas to satisfy the Sibe's need for exercise.

I hate that the majority of Obedience schools don't hold their classes in safe, fenced in areas. They then push Sibe owners into doing off lead exercises (once they are at that level) thinking that they have reached sufficient obedience to be trusted off lead. It only takes one time - and if they don't want to be caught you will NEVER catch a siberian.

I do have an off lead Siberian. I don't walk him down the street off lead, however in "relatively" safe areas, that aren't fenced in he's allowed off lead. I have another Sibe who grew up with him, and is pretty good off lead, however her prey drive is amazing and i would never trust her if she saw a rabbit or other small prey. She would be gone.

These two Sibes can chill off lead in our marquee at shows, or at races, without the desire to wander off, will respond to commands while off lead etc. The others we have with us (anywhere from 2 - 10) are never even given the opportunity!

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Hotwyr   

1. What is my relationship with the breed? (ie breeder, first time owner etc)

Owned and loved this breed for 16 years - have had over the years 7 sibes but only 3 consistantly in my life.

2. Where and why was the breed first developed?

3. How common is it in Australia?

Being in NZ - well as common as anywhere else in the world - sadly more common now due to movies like Iron Will and Eight Below......

4. What is the average lifespan?

Just lost my first sibe at 15years 8 months - so if you have a healthy one - 12-15 years is a good age

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

Should be very happy, inquisitive, friendly and should NOT bite!

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

Depends on the dog but at least 30mins to an hour of good hard exercise

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

No - not easily. and they should never be let off lead to free run in an unfenced area........

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

No - too destructive. If you like your garden - then don't get a sibe - they like gardens too.....usually in bits and with holes the size of craters on the moon....

9. How much grooming is required?

If you want a really nice coat then yes moderate grooming is required including regular bathing.

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

Yes, however my son and sibes grew up together and I trusted them with him as a baby implicitly. They never knocked him over.....

11. Are there any common hereditary problems a puppy buyer should be aware of?

hypothyroid, Jeuvenile Catarracts, Hips/Elbows, monorchidism or cryptorchidism (testicles retained), bad bites

12. When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? (eg what health tests have been done (if applicable) and what is an acceptable result to those tests so the buyer has an idea of what the result should be)Thyroid results, eye certs including gonioscopy (should be slight or good)

Different lines carry different problems - read any info you can get - talk to many breeders and just because a dog is a big winner doesn't mean it will be a good producer or free from genetic problems...

Think about why you want a sibe BEFORE you begin looking around and above all make sure you see the parents and the test papers. Don't believe everything you are told.......

Rae

Edited by Hotwyr

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are the breed typically fence jumpers or is this a problem created by boredom?

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huski   
are the breed typically fence jumpers or is this a problem created by boredom?

Siberians are known for being houdinis, Micha can push his body through very tight, narrow gaps! He's never been a climber although I've never tested the theory as we have almost 3 metre high solid timber fencing. When we first moved into the house we are in now, one of the palings along the side of the house was loose - the house is raised about a meter or so off the ground. We were out the front of our house chatting to our neighbours when Micha suddenly appeared from underneath the house, still 'locked' in as the palings go all the way around :( :D

We nailed it back on but a little while later we got a knock on our front door, it was our neighbour who had Mish sitting on the front porch. The neighbour had been having a pool party and they'd been making a fair bit of noise (happy, 'having fun' noise) and Micha decided he wanted to join them. So he pulled the paling loose, went under the house, found a gap in the palings on the other side that was big enough for him to squeeze through and ran into the neighbours yard to "join in" :laugh: :p The neighbour was like, 'we were all in the pool mucking around and I looked up and he was just standing there' :(

He's not escaped since as we've made it secure, but you can imagine the look on his face! He thought he was SO clever!

I think the problem is that once a Sibe knows how to escape they will keep doing it, bored or not. You need to make sure the yard is secure and fences are a decent height because they will escape if they can. Naturally, a dog who is under stimulated and bored will be more inclined to try and get out of the yard, and Siberians are a breed that require a decent amount of exercise and mental stimulation.

So it's a bit of both - there are many Siberians out there who are gifted escape artists.

Edited by huski

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are the breed typically fence jumpers or is this a problem created by boredom?

What is my relationship with the breed? (ie breeder, first time owner etc)

Have owned and enjoyed Siberians for 7 years.

Kissindra my first Siberian never jumped fences or tried to escape.

Our second girl scaled fences and used items to assist her.

The next two got out one night through a hole that you wouldn't think a rabbit could get through.

Some Siberians will test the boundaries, the fence or wire you thought was secure one day

not so secure the next.

As for boredom I would not have thought this is the reason my dogs have tried to get out.

They are walked everyday.

Two of my dogs escaped from a fully fenced dog park within minutes, they were not bored as they had been

playing.

One minute they were there, next minute they were out.

Going back to my first dog, he would have done none of these things.

Sometimes I think I should have stopped at one. :)

Edited by mysticpaw

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laeral   
are the breed typically fence jumpers or is this a problem created by boredom?

My Sibe was a chronic escape artist her whole life. She would climb wire and jump 6 - 7 ft easily. She would work patiently at one piece of fencing till it came loose and she was free, even if this took days. I have witnessed her climb a a tree to get over a fence.

One day i had to lock her in our 'secure' sun room type area for the day as she had had a go at the fencing the night before and I didnt have time to fix it. She chewed a hole in the wooden door big enough for her and her canine friend to escape from. :)

Dont get me wrong I know they arent all like this (thank God) but mine was a bugger for escaping!

Edited by laeral

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Hotwyr   
are the breed typically fence jumpers or is this a problem created by boredom?

depends on the dog...

I used to live on a 330sqm section with 2 sibes.

fencing as follows....at back of house.

Gate between house and neighbours left side. Then 2m wooden fence to back

1.5m x .5m wooden fence between gate and neighbours right side. (narrow section) then 1m wooden paling fence to back. Along the back 2m wooden fence.

They NEVER jumped the 1m wooden paling fence ever............. But if you left the underhouse door open they would be in there under the house and out under the front steps in a heart beat LOL

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Are Sibes similar to Alaskan Malamutes? What are the differences?

Visually sibes and mals differ quite a lot. Sibes are bred to carry a light load at a moderate speed over a long distance whereas Mals are bred to carry heavy loads so their bodies reflect that. Mals are bigger, look more powerful, are heavier boned - to me they look more bear-like than sibes who are "prettier" if that makes sense? When you stand one up next to the other, the differences are obvious. Both have double coats and will shed like there's no tomorrow while they're blowing coat.

Temprement wise they're both very independent, will challenge you at every opportunity and are known for not being the most obedient of dogs. I've been told that malamutes tend to be more mellow but I'd say that certain lines of both breeds would be high energy and other lines would be low-energy (I have a low-energy sibe and he's a lot more mellow than some working-line mals I've seen). Both require a well fenced yard but sibes are probably the better escape artists because they're more maneuverable.

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huski   

I agree with Shell, Sibes and Mals share some similarities in temperament because they are both Spitz breeds but that's about it. I often get asked if Mish is a malamute but they are two very different, seperate breeds.

I've always found this table a good comparison of the two breeds, it links you to side by side pics of each breeds head and body too:

http://www.minnesotamalamuteclub.com/malvsibe.htm

Siberians and Mals were bred for different types of work too. Siberians were bred to carry a light load at a moderate speed over a great distance which lends to their finer build; Mals were bred to carry a heavy load at a slower speed and in a smaller team, which lends to their heavier and thicker build. They were also developed by different people, Siberians by the Chukchi in Norther Eurasia (Siberia) and Mals were bred by Eskimos/Malamutes in North America (Alaska).

Mals can easily be double if not more in weight than a Sibe, so size is often the easiest way to tell them apart. As Shell described Mals have a much thicker and heavier build than a Sibe. Siberians also have a very different tail carriage, they hold their tails up with a slight curve whereas a Mal's tail will curl over. Unlike Siberians, Mals do not have blue eyes, so be wary of any BYBers and pet stores selling "blue eyed" malamutes as they won't be purebred.

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As the major questions have been answered, I just want to share my experience of my huskies triumphant form of escape.

As far as our yard goes we've been very lucky our dogs have never tried to dig under or jump our fences, BUT if someone leaves the front door open for a touch too long out they go, one day 2 escaped Tiki went one way and diesel went the other, so if your dogs come inside watch your front door.

1. What is my relationship with the breed? (ie breeder, first time owner etc)

My husband & I have been involved with Siberian huskies for 9 years our first 2 were pets and then we decided to get into showing in the conformation show ring, we run them in harness in the winter. We do breed but not very often. We have 4 dogs in total at the moment hoping to increase by 1 more at some stage this year.

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

We walk ours for at least 1 hour every day

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

I honestly believe that the Siberian husky is happiest when they have another dog for company.

9. How much grooming is required?

I brush/Comb them regularly they are bathed quite often b/c they're show dogs.

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

Sibes should be fine with kids but like all breeds they need training and should be well socialised.

12. When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? (eg what health tests have been done (if applicable) and what is an acceptable result to those tests so the buyer has an idea of what the result should be)

Definitely if the dogs have been hip scored & eye tested ask to see the certificates. Also if possible meet the breeder and they're dogs before you even start looking at puppies. Go to dog shows in your local area if possible & talk to the breeders.

Most importantly everyone should do some reaserch about the breed and make sure your life style suits owning a husky before buying one,a good example of this if you love you garden (as Rae said don't get a husky) We had a lovely garden and nice plants in pots on our decking when we got our first sibe now we have no garden and no pot plants, But we decided we loved our dogs more than the garden & plants lol.

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