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) (annual testing); Hereditary cataract (HC) (annual testing)
- Hip dysplasia: breed mean score 7.6 (parents should be lower)
Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) : EBVs for Hip Dysplasia are available for this breed
DNA Tests Available
DogWellNet and IPFD Harmonisation of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD)
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy X-linked Type 1 (XLPRA)
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (prcd-PRA)
- Cone Degeneration (Achromatopsia)
- Gangliosidosis (GM1)
- Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)
- Warburg Micro Syndrome 1
Availability of a DNA test does not mean that it is always necessary or even desirable for breeders to use this test. Good breeders will have followed the recommendations of the appropriate breed clubs, Kennel Club and/or other qualified experts.
Other Breed-Specific Health Screening 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
- Zinc responsive dermatosis
- Endocrine alopecia
- Potosystemic shunt
- Cancer: Cutaneous soft tissue carcinoma; palpebral neoplasia; thyroid; testicular
- Degenerative myelopathy
- Eye disease: Cataract; Chronic superficial keratitis (Pannus); Corneal dystrophy; Glaucoma
- Spontaneous pneumothorax
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: