The Siberian Husky is a long distance sled dog and as such does not make a very suitable household pet. He wants to pull something and will not enjoy being walked on the lead. He is also a hunter and will pursue any small animal. He loves humans but his strength and exuberance allows him to jump over fences, dig his way out and escape to chase whatever it is he’s after. He loves a cold climate and his thick coat will keep him warm and dry in all weathers. He is also typically very noisy.
Inbreeding Coefficient - COI
(Should be as low as possible)
The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 6.2% - see 'A Beginners Guide to COI'
Effective Population Size - EPS142.93
EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.
Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)
The Husky’s thick coat means that he is not suited to a warm climate and will suffer if the weather is warm.
- Eye disease: Goniodysgenesis / Primary glaucoma (G) (a painful and sight threatening disease) (annual testing); Hereditary cataract (HC) (annual testing)
- Hip dysplasia (abnormality of the hip joints causing pain and disability) breed mean score 7.6 (parents should be lower)
Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) are now available for Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia:
DNA Tests Available
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy X-linked (PRA XL)
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (prcd PRA)
- Gangliosidosis (GM1)
- Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)
Unofficial (Breed Club) Schemes
Breed club – Eye testing.
Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.
Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)
- Idiopathic epilepsy
- Laryngeal paralysis (exercise intolerance, respiratory problems)
- Zinc responsive dermatosis (scaley, crusty skin, hair loss affecting the head)
- Cancer: basal cell tumors, perianal gland tumors; thyroid
- Chronic superficial keratitis (Pannus)
- Spontaneous pneumothorax (air within the pleural cavity causing breathing problems)
- Uveodermatological syndrome (auto immune disease) (tissues are progressively destroyed leading to blindness and death)
- Nasal depigmentation (Dudley nose)
- Haemophilia (blood clotting disorder)
Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.
Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions. Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.
You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP): www.puppycontract.org.uk
You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Breeding Reform Group’s (DBRG) Standard for Dog Breeding: