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The Standard for Siberian Huskies
Approved by the American Kennel Club, October 8, 1990
Effective November 28, 1990
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.
Size, Proportion, Substance
Height: Dogs, 21 to 23 1/2 inches at the withers. Bitches, 20 to 22 inches
at the withers.
Weight: Dogs, 45 to 60 pounds. Bitches, 35 to 50 pounds. 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 penalized. 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 23 1/2 inches and bitches over 22 inches.
Expression: Is keen, but friendly; interested and even mischievous.
Eyes: Almond shaped, moderately spaced and set a trifle obliquely. Eyes may
be brown or blue in color; one of each or parti-colored 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.
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 chiseled.
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 gray, tan or black dogs; liver in copper dogs; may be
flesh-colored in pure white dogs. The pink-streaked "snow nose" is
Lips: Are well pigmented and close fitting.
Teeth: Closing in a scissors bite. Fault: any bite other than scissors.
Neck, Topline, Body
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.
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 topline 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 topline.
The well-furred tail of fox-brush shape is set on just below the level of
the topline, 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.
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;
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 withers. Dewclaws on forelegs may be
removed. Faults: Weak pasterns; too heavy bone; too narrow or too wide in
the front; out at the elbows.
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.
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. Dewclaws,
if any, are to be removed. Faults: Straight stifles, cowhocks, too narrow or
too wide in the rear.
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 penalized. Faults: Long, rough, or shaggy coat; texture too harsh
or too silky; trimming of the coat, except as permitted above.
All colors from black to pure white are allowed. A variety of markings on
the head is common, including many striking patterns not found in other
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 to 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 center
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 topline remains firm and level. Faults: Short, prancing
or choppy gait, lumbering or rolling gait; crossing or crabbing.
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.
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 penalized. 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.
In addition to the faults already noted, the obvious structural faults
common to all breeds are as undesirable in the Siberian Husky as in any
other breed, even though they are not specifically mentioned herein.
Dogs over 23 1/2 inches and bitches over 22 inches.
SO you want a Siberian!!
So...You Want a Siberian Husky
Are you interested in buying a Siberian Husky? Then, you've already heard
how marvelous they are. We think you should also be told that they do have
their shortcomings, and may not make the ideal pet for everyone who is
attracted to them. Siberians are a gregarious lot and need the company of
other dogs or of people at all times. If you work all day, or have room for
only one dog . . . don't buy a Siberian.
While capable of strong affection for his family, the Siberian Husky is also
very friendly with strangers. So, if you want the fierce loyalty of a
one-man dog . . . don't buy a Siberian.
The Siberian Husky is not a watch dog, although those ignorant of his true
nature may be frightened by his appearance. If you want a dog with
aggressive guard-dog instincts . . . don't buy a Siberian.
At least once a year Siberians shed their coats. If you like fur all over
the house and in the very air you breathe, then fine. If, however, you value
neatness at all times, then . . . don't buy a Siberian.
Siberian Huskies have a natural proclivity for digging holes in backyards.
If you take great pride in your landscaping efforts . . . don't buy a
Of all the shortcomings to be found in Siberians, the most dangerous to the
pet owner is their tremendous desire to RUN. But the very first dash that a
puppy makes across the road could be his last run, anywhere. A Siberian, for
his own protection, should be kept confined or under control at all times.
If you are one of those people who think it is cruel to kennel a dog, or
keep him confined in his own backyard . . . don't buy a Siberian.
We just happen to believe that any dog is better off in a proper kennel than
running loose all over the countryside. Yes, a kennel dog is missing a lot
in life: the chance to be hit by a car; the fun of being dirty, full of
burrs, and loaded with worms; the opportunity of being attacked by other
dogs; the job of being sick on garbage infested with disease; the pleasure
of being tormented by mean kids; the thrill of being shot in a farmyard; and
finally the great comfort of never knowing where he belongs or how to
behave. We don't want to see any Siberian become a TRAMP.
If you have read this far, honestly feel that you qualify on all counts, and
are still determined to own a Siberian, then we take great pleasure in
welcoming you to the fold. Join the rest of us in the smug complacency of
knowing that we own the most beautiful, the smartest, the most nearly ideal
dog in the world . . . the SIBERIAN HUSKY!
Copyright Siberian Husky Club of America, authored by Peggy Koehler
Do you know were they really come from??
Did you know?
Native to Siberia, the Siberian Husky was brought to Alaska in 1909.
The Siberian Husky was originated by the Chukchi people of northeastern Asia
as an endurance sled dog. When changing conditions forced these semi-nomadic
natives to expand their hunting grounds, they responded by developing a
unique breed of sled dog, which met their special requirements and upon
which their very survival depended.
AKC recognition of the Siberian Husky was granted in 1930 and the first AKC
registered Siberian Husky was named Fairbanks Princess Chena.
Shortly after 1900, Americans in Alaska began to hear accounts of this
superior strain of sled dog in Siberia. The first team of Siberian Huskies
made its appearance in the All Alaska Sweepstakes Race of 1909. The same
year a large number of them were imported to Alaska by Charles Fox Maule
Ramsay, and his team, driven by John "Iron Man" Johnson, won the grueling
400-mile race in 1910. For the next decade Siberian Huskies, particularly
those bred and raced by Leonhard Seppala, captured most of the racing titles
in Alaska, where the rugged terrain was ideally suited to the endurance
capabilities of the breed.
So you want to own a Siberian Husky?
Siberian Huskies love to run and must be kept under control at all times. If
you own a Siberian Husky it is of the utmost importance you have a fenced-in
Siberian Huskies shed non-stop, if you have an aversion to dog hair think
about getting a different breed.
Siberian Huskies value company from people or other dogs. This friendly and
gentle dog makes a wonderful companion.