Two countries, Russia and the United States, assert ownership rights to the Siberian Husky. The breed is one of the oldest known, developed 3,000 years ago by the Chukchi tribe of northeast Asia. They cross-bred the Laika and Spitz dogs with specific requirements in mind. They needed a dog that:
- Had a strong pack mentality
- Had extreme endurance and stamina
- Had an independent nature but willing to follow orders
- Had the hardiness to survive in freezing temperatures
So, how does the United States enter the picture? The Chukchi nomads inhabited the region of Asia once connected to North America by the Bering Land Bridge or Beringia. This now- underwater gateway between continents is considered to be one of the ways humans migrated into and populated the Americas. Maybe one of those Chukchi Huskies got loose, ran over that land bridge and was adopted by an Inuit! That didn’t happen.
Huskies Arrive in North America
Siberian Huskies were imported from Russia to America in 1908 for use as sled dogs. Because this is where the breed became known worldwide, the United States apparently feels a sense of ownership for this graceful, medium-sized canine with almond shaped eyes that can either be brown or blue. During the Alaska gold rush, Siberian Huskies played a vital role in transporting miners into the otherwise inaccessible regions of that territory. There were sled dog races set up for amusement as well. Today, the most famous sled dog race is the Iditarod run in March between Anchorage and Nome, Alaska.
Huskies Can Flourish in a Variety of Climates
Siberian Huskies are pack dogs, so they relish family life and do not like to be left alone. This is probably not a good apartment dog that will spend the day by itself. If you live in a warmer climate, the Husky owner has to be aware of dehydration or overheating. Seven most common signs of dehydration in dogs are:
- Loss of Apetite
- Reduced Energy Level
- Sunken or Dry Eyes
- Dry Nose or Gums
- Loss of Skin Elasticity
Siberian Husky owners soon learn that their dog likes to run. A walk around the neighborhood requires a secure leash. The Husky is very good at pulling and cannot resist chasing small animals as they have a high prey drive. They also want to run just for the fun of it.
Husky Owners Need to Get Creative with Exercise
So, while these cold-loving dogs can be happy in any climate, no snow means no sled pulling. Husky owners in milder climates have created fun ways for their pet to use up some of its energy.
Hiking with your Husky is an alternative for owners who live closer to woodland trails. This activity is a beneficial exercise for both the owner and the dog. Remember to use that strong leash, as there are lots of woodland critters that may tempt your Husky. You can also invest in specific gear for the Husky so it can carry its own water and food bowls.
Carting is also known as dryland mushing or sulky driving and is an urban alternative to dog sledding. These types of carts may be purchased or handmade and designed to go over various types of terrain. The Husky pulls the cart that contains supplies or an individual, perfect for a trip home from the supermarket.
Bikejoring is an activity where the owner bikes along with their dog. The Husky is attached to their human’s bike through a harness which keeps both the dog and owner safe. This sounds like an activity that would not bode well in city traffic.