Long haired Huskies are typically known as wooly Huskies. Their coat is different from the standard for the Siberian Husky. Most Huskies have a medium length coat. Long haired Huskies are stunning, but there are some downsides to owning one. There’s also some controversy about whether these Huskies should be bred.
Long Haired Husky Facts
Long haired Huskies are friendly and energetic. Their long coat can be considered a liability. They are unsuitable as working dogs, but they do have a unique look that many pet owners enjoy.
Types of Husky Coat
There are three types of coat a Siberian Husky can have. These are a short coat, medium coat, and a wooly or long-haired coat. All Huskies have a dense undercoat, which keeps them warm, and an overcoat.
Short coated Huskies have a coat that is shorter than the standard. Their undercoat is similar to that of other Huskies. However, their topcoat, which is made up of guard hairs, is shorter than other Huskies.
Plush or medium coated Huskies are the breed standard. Their coat provides protection, but also allows their athletic body to shine. Their coat is dense enough to repel water to a degree, and dries quickly.
This is important, because Huskies were originally bred for sledding. The plush coat provides warmth, and won’t stay wet when they encounter snow.
Long haired Huskies have a longer undercoat than other Huskies, and longer guard hairs. This gives them a wooly or shaggy coat. Their coat obscures their sleek body.
The problem with long haired Huskies is that their coats require longer to dry. This is problematic if they are exposed to the elements. These dogs don’t do well as sled dogs.
They also require more grooming to keep their long hairs from getting matted.
Long Haired Husky Controversy
One reason for the controversy is that long hair is considered a fault in the Husky breed. They can be registered with the AKC, but they can’t be shown.
You may not see this as an issue, because you simply want a pet, not a show dog. However, many Husky lovers believe it is problematic.
Husky lovers want the best for the breed as a whole, regardless of whether the dog is a working dog, show dog, or simply a companion.
There’s also a concern that breeders who breed a dog with a fault like a long-haired coat, may ignore other more serious faults, like poor health. These breeders may be well meaning, but uninformed, or simply focused on making a profit, rather than the well being of the dogs.
Of course, Huskies can be wooly unintentionally as well. Two parents who have the wooly gene will produce some long-haired offspring. This means a breeder who has a wooly Husky isn’t necessarily a red flag. However, a breeder who intentionally breeds wooly Huskies can be concerning.
Long Haired Husky Appearance
Long haired Huskies are striking. They may appear very different from standard Siberian Huskies at first glance, but the only real difference is the coat length.
Husky General Appearance
Huskies look a lot like wolves, which isn’t surprising. They are descendants of an ancient breed of wolf, along with today’s wolves. They have lean, graceful bodies, and strong, powerful legs.
Huskies have a medium length snout, and medium, erect ears. Their long, bushy tail helps keep them warm in cold weather. They can wrap their tails around their body.
Their almond shaped eyes are typically either blue or brown, but they can also be green. Heterochromia, which means that each eye is a different color, is common in the breed.
Husky Coat Colors
Huskies can come in a wide range of coat colors. These include black, white, gray, tan, and red. It’s common for them to have two or three colors in their coat. Gray and white is the most common, but they can be any combination of the colors mentioned above. They can also be agouti, which is a combination of gray, black, and white that looks like a wolf coat.
Sable is another type of combination color and pattern. The sable undercoat is red or copper. The guard hairs are red close to the skin, and turn black near the top.
Long Haired Husky Coat and Appearance
Long haired Huskies have a long, wooly coat. This gives them a shaggy appearance, which can make them look larger or heavier than they are.
The fact that the coat obscures their athletic body is one of the reason why the long coat is a fault. They typically look very fluffy.
Their coat can be smooth, or like they’ve just had a blow out with a groomer. They can come in any color combination that the standard Husky can be.
Long Haired Husky Price
Long haired Huskies are typically the same as standard coated Huskies. A registered long haired Husky typically costs about $1,000, with prices ranging from $1,000 to $3,000.
Unregistered Huskies can be purchased for about $400 to $800. Generally, Huskies who are considered show quality will cost about $3,000. Since long haired Huskies can’t be shown, they are typically on the lower end of the price spectrum.
Long Haired Husky Rarity
Long haired Huskies are relatively rare for a few reasons. One reason they are rare is that the gene that causes their long hair is recessive. This means that both parents must carry at least one copy of the gene to create long haired puppies.
If both parents have one copy of the gene, they will have standard coats themselves, but about 25% of their puppies will be wooly.
If both parents have a wooly coat, they will only produce wooly coated puppies. If one parent has a wooly coat, and the other parent has the wooly gene, 75% of the puppies will have a wooly coat.
Another reason why long haired Huskies are rare is because breeding them is heavily discouraged. Most breeders try to avoid breeding wooly Huskies, because it’s considered a fault.
Long Haired Husky Life expectancy
You can expect a long haired Husky to live for 12 to 14 years. A healthy diet, exercise, and regular veterinary care will help maximize your pooch’s lifespan.
Long Haired Husky Size and weight
Female Huskies are a bit smaller than males. Females can weigh 35 to 50 pounds, and reach 20 to 22 inches tall. Males will weigh 45 to 60 pounds, and grow to 22 to 24 inches tall.
Long Haired Husky Health
Husky breeders have been working hard to lower the risk of disease within the breed. Genetic testing can identify many genetic diseases. If a pooch has a genetic disease, a responsible breeder will not breed them.
Over time, this reduces the amount of Huskies with the disease.
Of course, Huskies are still at risk of some diseases, like all dogs. In addition to standard Husky health concerns, there are a few issues that apply to long haired Huskies.
A long haired Husky isn’t well suited to harsh winter conditions. A standard Huskies coat will shed water, and dry quickly when it gets wet. The coat prevent the undercoat from getting wet, which reduces heat loss.
Long haired Huskies coat offers less protection, and takes much longer to dry. This puts them at a higher risk of hypothermia.
If you aren’t sledding with your Husky, this isn’t as much of a concern. However, you should monitor them in the winter, particularly if its snowing or sleeting.
Bacteria thrive in a warm and damp environment. Unfortunately, this puts your long haired Husky at risk of skin infections.
The thickness of their coat, and the long drying time make it a suitable environment for bacteria and fungi.
Skin infections typically cause itching. This leads the dog to scratch or bite at the area. You may also notice skin lesions or sores, and a foul odor.
Skin infections are easily treated by your veterinarian. They may prescribe topical or oral medication, or a combination of the two.
Long Haired Husky Behavior/Characteristics
Long haired Huskies are excellent family dogs. They are gentle with children, and always ready to play. They get along well with people, including strangers.
They also get along well with other dogs. They are highly pack oriented, which means they need regular interaction with other dogs. They also need plenty of affection and attention from their family.
How to care for a Long Haired Husky
Long Haired Huskies require more care than their standard coated counterparts. It’s quite a commitment, but Husky owners say they are well worth the work.
Grooming a Wooly Husky
If you don’t groom your Husky properly, their hair will quickly become matted. If this occurs, the only way to solve it is to cut their luxurious coat.
The other issue is that skin infections can develop without regular grooming. Brushing your Husky helps remove dirt and dead skin cells, which can lead to infection over time.
You’ll need to brush your long haired Husky at least twice a week. It’s best to aim for every day, or every other day. Use a brush, beginning with the undercoat an then moving to the outer coat.
Once you’ve brushed them, use a comb to remove any mats and shed hair. You can expect to brush them at least 10 minutes once every day or two. Once a week, you’ll need to rake their undercoat. This can take an hour.
Long haired Huskies will shed twice a year, in the spring and fall. Their undercoat is shed to accommodate changing temperatures, becoming lighter in the spring and thicker in the fall.
When your Husky is shedding, they should be brushed daily. This will reduce the amount of hair that gets everywhere, and shorten the shedding process.
Bathing a Long Haired Husky
Long haired Huskies do need regular bathing, usually about once a month to every 3 months. Before bathing them, you should brush their coat well.
Start the bathing process with doggie shampoo. Then, you should apply conditioner. You can also choose to mix shampoo and conditioner, and then add a deshedding conditioner. This helps to remove shed hair from their undercoat, which can cause tangles. Allow the conditioner to sit for 5 to 10 minutes before rinsing it away.
After the bath, you’ll need to dry them well. Start by towel drying them. Once that’s finished, it’s a good idea to use a blow dryer to finish drying their coat. You can use a hair dryer designed for dogs. If you use a human hair dryer, be sure it’s on the cool temperature setting.
Once their coat is dry, brush their coat to complete the process.
Huskies need a lot of exercise. They have a high level of endurance, because they were originally bred for sledding. They can run at speeds of 30 mph, and travel 150 miles in a day. Your long haired Husky needs at least one and preferably, two, hours of exercise each day. Another way to ensure they get their exercise is to walk them 3 to 5 miles at least 4 days a week.
How do you buy a Long Haired Husky?
When buying a long haired Husky, you’ll need to be sure you choose a reputable breeder. Remember that reputable breeders don’t intentionally breed long haired Huskies, so finding one takes a little extra effort.
Finding a Reputable Breeder
The simplest way to find a reputable breeder is through breeder registries. The AKC breeder registry only lists AKC registered dogs and breeders. This eliminates unethical breeders due to the registration requirements.
The Siberian Husky Club of America also has a breeder registry. They are closely affiliated with the AKC, and are considered reputable.
Of course, not all Husky lovers need or want a registered pooch. There’s nothing wrong with a Husky without registration papers, as long as you research the breeder well.
Ask them what they focus on when choosing a breeding pair, and how they ensure their dogs and puppies are healthy.