The Siberian Husky Breed Standard

General Appearance:

The Siberian Husky is an alert, gracefully built, medium-sized dog, quick and light on his feet, and free and graceful in action. He has a strong, moderately compact body; a deep, strong chest; well-muscled shoulders and hindquarters; and straight, strong legs with medium bone. His coat is dense and very soft, and his brush tail is carried curved over his back when at attention, and trailing when in repose. His head presents a finely chiselled and often fox-like appearance, and his eyes have a keen and friendly expression. Bitches are smaller than dogs, averaging up to 2 inches (5cm) shorter and 10lb (5kg) less in weight. Siberians range in build from moderately compact (but never cobby) to moderately rangy; in all builds the bone must be medium, the back powerful (never slack, from excessive length), and the shoulder height never exceeding 23.5 inches (60cm). (Any ranginess is merely a matter of proportion, not of actual height.) The most important and characteristic points in a Siberian Husky are medium size and bone, soft coat, high-set ears, freedom and ease of action, and good disposition.

Size: Dogs from 21- 23.5 inches (53-60cm) at the shoulder; bitches from 20-22 inches (51-56 cm). Dogs, from 45-60lb (20-27kg); bitches, from 34-50lb (15-23kg).

Coat and Colour: The Siberian Husky has a thick, soft, double coat consisting of a soft, dense, downy undercoat of fur next to the skin; and an outer coat of soft, smooth texture, giving a smooth, full-furred appearance and a clean-cut outline (in contrast to the harsh, coarse coat of the Alaskan Malamute or the bear-like Eskimo Coat). The coat is usually medium in length; a longer coat is allowed, but the texturemust remain the same in any length. All colours and white are allowed, and all markings. The commonest colours are various shades of wolf and silver greys, tan (a light sable), and black and white points. A large variety of markings, especially head markings, is found in the Siberian, including many striking and unusual ones not found in any other breed. Frequently found are the caplike mask and spectacle markings.

Head: Skull of medium size in proportion to the body;width bewteen ears medium to narrow, gradually tapering to eyes, and moderately rounded. Muzzle of medium length. Both skull and muzzle are finely chiselled. Nose black for preference, brown allowed in occasional specimens of reddish colouring; flesh-coloured nose and eye rims allowed in white dogs. Some dogs, especially black-and-white ones, have what is often termed a "snow nose," or a "smudge nose," ie, a nose normally solid black, but acquiring a pink streak in winter. This is permissible, but not preferable.Lips dark and close-fitting; jaws and teeth strong, meeting with a scissors bite. Eyes either brown or blue ("watch" or "China") in colour, one blue and one brown eye permissible but not preferable; set only very slightly obliquely in skull. Eyes have a keen, friendly, and fox-like expression; this expression is distinctly "interested," sometimes even mischievious. Ears of medium size, erect, close-fitting, set high on head, and well covered with hair on the inside. There is an arch at the back of the ears. Ears are slightly taller than width at base, and moderately rounded at tips. When dog is at attention, ears are usually carried practically parallel on top of head, with inner edges quite close together at base.

Forequarters: Shoulder well-developed and powerful. Legs straight and well muscled, with good bone (but never heavy boned like the Eskimo or Alaskan Malamute).

Body: Back of medium length, not too long, nor cobby like the Elkhound's, and strongly, nut not too broad. Ribs should be well arched and deep. Loins well muscled and slightly arched, and should carry no excess weight of fat.

Hindquarters: Powerful, and showing good angulation. Stifles well bent. Dewclaws occasionally appear on the hind legs: they are not a sign of impure breeding, but as they interefere with the dog's work, they should be removbed, preferably at birth. Feet oblong in shape, and not so broad as the Eskimo's or Malamute's; well furred between pads which are tough and thickly cushoined; compact; neither too large (like the Malamute's) nor too small (like many Samoyed's). The Siberian's foot, like that of all true Arctic dogs, is a "snowshoe foot," ie, it is somewhat webbed bewteen the toes, like a retriever's foot. Good feet are veryimportant, and therefore feetshould always be examined in the ring.

Tail: A well-furred brush carried over the back in a sickle curve when running or at attention, and trailing out behind when working or in repose. Tail should not "snap" flat to back. Hair on tail is usually of medium length, varying somewhat with the length of the dog's coat.

Gait: His characteristic gait is free, tireless, and almost effortless when free or on loose leash; but showing great strength when pulling; the trot is brisk and smooth, and quite fast.

Faults: Any clumsy, heavy, or unwieldy appearance or gait should be penalized. Any harshness of coat (except while actually shedding); rough or shaggy appearance (like Samoyed, Malamute, or Eskimo); absence of undercoat (except when shedding). Head clumsy or heavy; muzzle bulky (like the Malamute's); skull too wide between the ears; snipiness, coarseness. Eyes set too obliquely (like Malamute's). Low set ears; ears too large; "flat" ears; lop ears. Weak shoulders; heavy bone; too light bone. Weak or slack back; weak or flat chest. Any weakness of hindquarters; lack of proper angulation in hind legs. Soft or splayed feet; feet too large or clumsy; feet too small or delicate. In addition to the faults stated herein, obvious structural faults common to all breeds (such as cowhocks) are just as undesirable in a Siberian Husky as in any other breed, although not specifically mentionned in this standard.

Disqualifications: Weight over 60lb (27kg) in a male or over 50lb (23kg) in a female. (Anything over these weights indicates cross breeding.) Height and weight are very important, and the upper limit in each must be rigidly maintained.

Scale of Points:

General Appearance and conduct - 20

Head and ears - 20

Body and shoulders - 20

Legs and feet - 15

Coat - 15

Tail - 10

Total: 100

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