Huskies, known for their wolf-like looks and trademark blue eyes, are a breed most commonly associated with valiantly pulling sleds through the snow–and rightfully so. Bred for mushing in subzero temperatures, these dogs know how to work. But, how do they survive in such conditions?
Huskies are bred for extremely cold weather. But did you know which characteristics allow these pups to withstand such frigid weather?
- A thick, double-layer coat that keeps them warm in temperatures far below zero, even up to negative fifty or sixty degrees!
- Fur on their toes keeps paws insulated.
- Their claws enable them to maintain a grip on icy ground.
- They’re also great diggers, and will scoop out holes in the snow for a place to burrow and shelter themselves from the wind. Plus…
They’re able to change their metabolisms. Apparently, scientists still can’t put their finger on how this works. Huskies can sprint for hours without getting tired, all the while reserving their energy and fat stores.
Do you know how far a Husky’s howl can be heard? Up to ten miles away! Husky owners know that these dogs are particularly talkative.
The iconic sled dogs hail from Siberia (hence, “Siberian Husky”), but were introduced to the United States in 1909 when they came to Alaska.
These howling heroes saved an entire town. In the midst of a diphtheria outbreak in 1925, teams of Huskies raced through a treacherous snowstorm to deliver medicinal serum to Nome, Alaska before the disease could further devastate the town. Remember Balto? He was the leader of one of the teams that braved a particularly difficult route.
Huskies are often blue-eyed beauties. Many members of this breed have strikingly pale blue peepers. Heterochromia (two different colored eyes) is also a trait that runs in the “family,” but at least one is almost always blue. As for their coats? They come in six different shades.
Huskies are not the perfect dog for every home. Unsurprisingly, Huskies are happiest in cold climates and need a big yard to exert all that energy! Neat freaks and allergy sufferers, beware: these dogs shed A LOT! But if you don’t mind a little Husky hair in your morning cereal!
They can make great family dogs! This breed is particularly pack-oriented and thrives in a family unit. Huskies aren’t the best guard dogs, and usually do very well with children (Note: All animals should be assessed on an individual basis and carefully introduced to younger members of the family!). If you and your family live in a cool or cold climate, have lots of yard space, and would love bringing a pooch on your outdoor adventures, a Husky may be the perfect addition to your family!