Country of Origin: Siberia
Height: 20–23.5 inches
Weight: 35–60 pounds
Coat: Double coat with medium-length, straight, soft, somewhat smooth-lying outercoat and soft, dense undercoat
Colors: All colors from black to pure white; variety of markings on head are common
Registries (with Group): AKC (Working); UKC (Northern)
ORIGIN AND HISTORY
The nomadic Chukchi tribe of extreme Northeast Asia bred dogs of this type since ancient times to pull sledges and hunt reindeer. For centuries, continuing through the 19th century, the Chukchi people were famous for their excellent long-distance sled dogs. The tribe lived in permanent inland settlements and had to travel long distances to hunt the sea mammals that fed both people and dogs. A small sled dog was ideal—one who could exist on little food. Neither sprinters nor freighters, these dogs were endurance animals who could pull light loads of killed game at moderate speeds over long distances. Then known as the Siberian Chukchi, the breed first arrived in the United States in 1909, brought across the Bering Strait from Siberia to Alaska. The dogs took to life and work there as readily as they did in their homeland.
The Siberian is fun loving, friendly, gentle, alert, and outgoing. As a puppy, he is playful and mischievous; as he matures, he becomes more dignified and reserved. Still, he is not possessive, territorial, or suspicious of strangers. He was bred to live and work as part of a team, so he does not like to be alone. The Siberian gets along well with children and other dogs, but he is predatory toward smaller animals. He has a tendency to howl rather than bark.
- Exercise: The Siberian was bred to run tirelessly for long distances in front of a sled. Understandably, his need for ample exercise is inborn. He should have a large, escape-proof yard in which to run around, as well as a daily run or jog on a leash.
- Grooming: The Siberian’s coat requires only minimal attention, except during shedding season, when he loses his entire undercoat. He should be combed daily during those periods.
- Life Span: 10 to 14 years.
- Training: This dog was bred to run in front of a sled and make his own decisions. He also loves to chase small animals. Given those facts, no amount of training will make it safe for him to be off lead outside of a fenced area. He is intelligent and friendly, but he can be stubborn and may obey a command only if he sees a point to it.
Excerpted from World Atlas of Dog Breeds, 6th Edition. © 2009 T.F.H. Publications, Inc. Used by Permission.