Huskies are beautiful, fluffy, and loveable. It’s natural to be curious about where they come from and why they are bred. I was so I did some research, and I would love to share with you what I found.
So, what are Huskies bred for? Today, Huskies are bred to be companions. They do not make good service animals or guard dogs. Huskies were originally bred to be sled dogs in the Siberian region. Their endurance and ability to live in the cold made this breed perfect for the job.
Huskies are such fun loving dogs and make excellent pets but there are some personality traits that make them a bit tricky to train. Most people who own huskies own them as furry companions.
What Huskies are Bred For Nowadays
Huskies that are bred today are mainly bred for domestication. The simple answer of why is just because people love them.
Huskies are medium-sized, fluffy, and very beautiful. Many people get Huskies because of their look. With a wolf-like appearance, but a soft and friendly manner, of course they are popular.
According to AKC of American Kennel Club, Huskies are the 12th most popular breed, consistently. Just so you know, that’s out of 190 different breeds.
A Husky has great strength and can live in extremely cold weather, in other words, it’s a pretty dang durable dog. This is a reason that they are so popular.
Huskies are bred for dog sleds currently, but this is not as common anymore. This is just because getting around by sled dogs is not the best way to travel in the 21st century.
Back in the days, this was a big reason that they were bred, but now dog sled racing is more for tradition purposes. It’s more of a sport now than anything else.
History of Huskies
Originally, Huskies were bred by and for the Chukchi people. These people lived in northeastern Asia, the region known as Siberia. This is why this breed of dog is called the Siberian Husky.
Siberian Huskies are descendents of wolves, specifically the Taymyr Wolves. This breed was able to adapt to live around humans, to be friendly and playful, unlike the wolves.
This was about 3,000 years ago, to give you a better idea.
The Chukchi people bred these dogs as endurance sled dogs, and as companions. They picked Huskies because of their high energy, stamina, and adaptabiltiy.
One of the greatest things about these Siberian Huskies is their ability to function fully at sub-zero temperatures. Huskies thick double coat keeps them alive in even negative 60-degree weather.
The Chukchi people realized these dogs could help them transport goods over a long distance, and bred the dogs for a very long time, with little to no breeding with other dogs.
As technology and travel become more widespread, these dogs also became used in areas like Alaska and Canada (around 1909.)
Siberian Huskies gained worldwide attention at the beginning of the 1900’s because of their amazing abilities as sled dogs. They won a lot of races.
Do you know the cartoon movie Balto? About the sled dog? Well, that movie is based on a real Siberian Husky named Balto, the lead sled dog on the “Serum Run” that brought much-needed medicine to the city of Nome, Alaska.
Ever since this time, Huskies have been beloved and trusted like no other dog.
Why People Love to Have a Husky
So if Siberian Huskies aren’t used for their original purpose, or you have no need for a sled dog, then why are they so popular?
Well, Huskies are great and friendly dogs. There are lots of reasons to love them.
- They are friendly. This is a huge thing for dogs. Families, especially those with young children, need a dog that is gentle and kind. They need a dog they can depend on to not act aggressively. Huskies are all of these things. Training for all dogs is important, but huskies are pretty good at being welcoming.
- They are high-energy. While this may not be a characteristic that suits all owners, Huskies bubbly energy is great for rowdy kids and active adults. If you want a running companion, a husky is a perfect match.
- They are naturally pack dogs – I promise this is relevant. A lot of dog owners get Huskies to be companion dogs. Huskies play well with other dogs and they make a great second (or third) dog. If you already have another dog it makes it easier for your Husky to let some more energy out (BONUS).
- They are hardy dogs – This is another reason these dogs are great with kids. Siberian Huskies are able to play around with kids and not get hurt. Small dogs aren’t always “durable” but Siberian Huskies have adapted to be “durable.” We all know that kids aren’t always good at playing nicely, but Huskies can take it.
- They are gorgeous – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Siberian Huskies are beautiful and that’s a big reason that people love them. With their distinct face patterns and quirky facial expressions, it’s easy to see why people are drawn to them. Huskies have a good range of color, which is a bonus as well.
There are honestly a lot more reasons why people just love to own Huskies, which is why they are mostly bred to be pets.
Being ranked number 12 on the most popular dog breed is not a fluke. They deserve to be there. Breeders have to keep up with the demand as well, which is no easy task. That’s why purebred Huskies are a bit pricey.
The average price for a purebred Siberian Husky is: $720. Different bloodlines are priced even higher. Different colors, fur or eyes, and size can effect the cost as well.
Why Huskies are Not Bred as Service Animals
Even though there are a million great things about Huskies, there is a bit of an attitude problem that most of them have, which is why they are not bred as service dogs.
Until you stop and think about it, it’s hard to realize that you’ve probably never seen a Husky as a service dog. It’s not because Huskies aren’t good dogs, and it’s not because they are not intelligent. The reason is that they are a little stubborn and think independently.
Most Huskies will do what they want when they want to, even if they have been trained. If they follow a command, it’s because they wanted to, not because you told them.
This aspect of Huskies is what eliminates them as candidates for good service dogs.
Getting a Husky trained young will definitley help with this problem but they will probably always be stubborn.
Why Huskies Are Not Bred as Guard Dogs
Huskies are not bred as guard dogs for an entirely different reason. Basically, Huskies are too nice and friendly to stand guard. They will usually go up to great a new person instead of getting defensive.
Huskies also don’t bark most of the time. If they make noises, it’s usually a howl, which isn’t a great alarm system if there is an intruder.
A quality that makes them lovable as a pet makes them not desirable as a guard dog, but that really isn’t a terrible thing. Being good with people is just something that makes them difficult to breed for any purpose other than domestication.
If you are looking for breeds that make good guard dogs, you should look at:
- Great Dane
- Moscow Watchdog
What are Huskies good for? Huskies make good companions. They are good companion dogs for families with children. They are excellent dogs to have if you live somewhere cold because they are able to live in sub-zero temperatures. In hot climates they cannot be shaved for releif.
How do Huskies help humans? Siberian Huskies are good companion dogs. They are good for people who are high-energy. They help people exercise and are often taken along with people on runs and hikes. Siberian Huskies are loyal and affectionate, so they bring humans comfort.
How expensive is a purebred Husky? A purebred Siberian Husky can be anywhere from $500 – $1,000. The median price is $720. Mixed dogs cost a lot less than purebreds. Be sure that you purchase from a reputable breeder or a site run by the American Kennel Club.