Narrator: A group of Siberian Huskies saved Nome, Alaska.
Dr. Karen: That’s quite an accomplishment for a dog.
Narrator: That’s right. In 1925 a killer diphtheria outbreak crippled the town. Teams of Siberian Huskies mashed through a blinding blizzard to deliver life-saving serum. The league dog Balto is even memorialized with a statue in New York’s Central Park.
Huskies are the strong silent type, but boy can they howl. A Husky’s howl can be heard up to ten miles away.
Dr. Nicholas: And they’re a real dog of a dog, I mean not a toy dog, not a pretend dog. This is a real dog.
Narrator: As its name implies, the Siberian Husky is from the extreme northeast of Siberia. The Tchotchke people developed this dog to work in harsh arctic conditions. Huskies were brought to America by way of Alaska in 1909.
Dr. Cherise: This is the quintessential sled dog. They love to be out in the cold weather and they love to be pulling sleds.
Narrator: This breed has striking eyes. There are several color variations including mixed, but icy blue eyes are most prevalent. And always this is a dog built for the arctic. Well-furred toes insulate from sub-zero temperatures. Strong claws provide traction.
These dogs are also great at digging.
Dr. Nicholas: Heavy news that sometimes in a garden that they will dig a little hole in the snow and can get down under the wind.
Narrator: This dog has a double-layered coat so dense arctic chills are no sweat.
Dr. Cherise: And it allows them to withstand temperatures that some people have reported be as low as up to like minus 50 or 60.
Narrator: The Siberian Husky has also developed an uncanny ability. This dog can change its metabolism. Scientists still don’t understand exactly how that works.
Dr. Karen: They can race for hours and hours burning energy but reserving their fat stores so it prevents them from getting fatigued.
Narrator: Siberian Huskies can be trained just don’t try to outsmart them.
Dr. Karen: They’re smart enough to figure out, “Maybe I don’t want to do this today.” Where other dogs are just going to go with the flow.
Narrator: Huskies need plenty of space to expand their considerable energy. These dogs were bred to work in the arctic.
Dr. Cherise: I usually don’t recommend them for tropical, sub-tropical areas.
Narrator: That dense double coat demands attention.
Andrea: You need to make sure that you groom them at least weekly because they do have a very dense undercoat and you don’t want that to get matted.
Narrator: Though robust, this dog does have a few health issues.
Dr. Nicholas: Huskies have issues with their hips; they can also have some eye problems too.
Narrator: This is a pack oriented animal.
Dr. Karen: Siberian Huskies have an affinity for children. And they make a wonderful family pet.
Narrator: There are a lot of breed variations but in general the Siberian Husky does better in colder climates. They have some hip and eye problems, but are generally healthy. A weekly brushing is recommended. Training Huskies requires patience. The Siberian Husky loves to be part of a pack and will fit in well with the right family.
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