Siberian husky, breed of medium-sized, muscular working dog whose origins date back thousands of years in Siberia. It stands from 20 to 231/2 in. (50.8–59.7 cm) high at the shoulder and weighs from 35 to 60 lb (15.9–27.2 kg). Its weather-resistant double coat is composed of a dense, downy underlayer and a medium-length, very dense, soft outercoat. It may be any color, but it is usually black, white, tan, gray, or various combinations of these colors. Raised by the Eskimolike Churchis of NE Siberia to pull their sleds, the Siberian also acted as a guard to their homes and as a companion. Down through the centuries this service has created in the Siberian husky a strong sense of gentleness and devotion to people and their families. The Siberian has also been popular in dogsled racing. Among purebred dogs, the term husky is properly applied only to this breed, although it is often used of any mixed-breed arctic sled dog. See dog.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.