At first glance, you may not recognize a wooly Husky as being a Husky. They look quite different from the standard plush coat that most of their counterparts sport.
A wooly coat Husky is different, but is that a bad thing? When it comes to the wooly Husky, it depends on your perspective.
Wooly Husky Facts
There are three potential coats a Husky can have. These are short, plush, and wooly. The wooly Husky is a Siberian Husky with a long coat.
All Huskies have an undercoat, which is short and dense. This keeps them warm in very cold temperatures. A wooly Husky has long guard hairs which make up their topcoat. They may also have a longer undercoat, which makes them look even more wooly.
Short Huskies have short guard hairs. Plush Huskies have a medium length fluffy topcoat. Fluffy coats meet the breed standard, while short an wooly Huskies do not.
Wooly Huskies are Barred From Show Rings
A wooly Husky’s long coat goes against the breed standard. This means that purebred wooly Huskies can be registered. However, they can not participate in confirmation shows.
The AKC states that a long, rough, or shaggy coat is a serious fault. This means that if they were to participate in any show that focuses on how well the dog meets the breed standard, they would perform poorly.
Even though they can’t be shown, many Husky lovers actually enjoy the luxurious wooly coated pooch.
Wooly Husky Appearance
First, let’s take a look at the general appearance of the Husky. They strongly resemble wolves, which are their canine ancestors. They have graceful lean bodies, and long powerful legs.
They have a long snout, and medium sized erect ears. They sport a bushy tail, which they can wrap around themselves to stay warm.
They have almond-shaped eyes, which are usually either blue or brown. However, they can also be green. Heterochromia is common in the breed, which gives them eyes that are different colors.
There are many potential Husky colors. These include gray, red, black, and brown. They typically have white as well as one or more of these colors. White Huskies are the rarest, with other solid colors also being relatively rare.
Wooly Husky Coat and Appearance
We know that a wooly Husky has a long wooly coat, but how does this impact their appearance? The length of a wooly coat hides much of the Husky’s silhouette, which one reason why it’s considered a fault.
In practical terms, this means that the Husky can appear to be heavier than they actually are. Their coat typically looks extremely 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.
Wooly Husky Price
Wooly Huskies typically cost the same as their standard coated counterparts. Registered puppies typically cost around $1,000, with prices ranging from $1,000-$3,000. Unregistered puppies can be found for $400 to $800.
Puppies with unique coat colors or prestigious bloodlines can cost more, up to $3,000.
Wooly Husky Rarity
Wooly Huskies are rarer than those with a plush coat. They get their wooly coat thanks to a recessive gene. This means that both parents must pass on a wooly gene for their puppies to have a wooly coat.
Two Huskies with a wooly coat will produce only wooly coated offspring. If both parents have both a wooly and plush gene, they won’t have a wooly coat. However, about 1/4 of the puppies will have a wooly coat.
This gene is relatively rare, for good reason. In the wild, the wooly coat doesn’t do the Husky any favors. Their coat takes longer to dry, which puts them at risk in very cold and wet conditions.
Because it’s not helpful for the Huskies survival, natural selection ensures it doesn’t become common. This is also why albino animals are so rare.
Wooly Husky Life expectancy
You can expect your wooly Husky to live for 12-14 years. Their lifespan is determine by their genetics. However, a healthy diet, exercise, and regular veterinary care can help you maximize your Huskies life expectancy.
Wooly Husky Size and weight
Wooly Huskies weigh the same as their plush counterparts, even though they can look much larger. Females are a little smaller than males. They are 20-22 inches tall, and weigh 35-50 pounds. Males reach 22-24 inches in height, and weigh 45-60 pounds.
Wooly Husky Health
Wooly Huskies are considered healthy dogs. However, they can be affected by a few health issues that you should be aware of.
Many conditions that are passed on from parents to pups are decreasing, because of genetic testing. Dogs can be tested before breeding. This can reveal many conditions that they may pass on to their offspring.
If the dog has a serious health issue that can be passed on, they aren’t bred. Over time, this decreases the number of dogs born with genetic health issues.
In addition to potential health issues that affect Huskies, there are a few concerns that pertain to the Wooly Husky only.
Wooly Huskies’ long thick coat is not ideal for winter conditions. A standard Husky coat sheds water to a degree. This prevents the undercoat from getting wet. The topcoat also dries quickly, which minimizes the amount of heat loss during frigid weather.
At first glance, you may think the wooly Husky’s coat would provide extra warmth. However, it doesn’t repel water the way a standard coat does. It also takes much longer to dry.
These issues put the wooly Husky at risk of hypothermia. If your pooch doesn’t spend long periods of time in below freezing temperatures, this isn’t much of a concern. However, keep an eye on them in cold weather, particularly sleet or snowy conditions.
Many bacteria prefer a warm damp environment, and your wooly Husky’s coat can provide that. The lengthy drying time and the thickness of the coat put them at a risk of skin infections from fungus and bacteria.
Skin infections typically cause itching. Your pooch may scratch or bite at the area. You may also notice a skin lesion or a foul smell from the area.
Skin infections are easily treated by your veterinarian. They may prescribe topical or oral medication, or a combination of the two.
Wooly Husky Behavior/Characteristics
Wooly Huskies are very friendly and energetic. They get along well with strangers and other dogs. They develop close relationships with their family.
They are excellent with children. They are gentle with kids, and they are always ready to play.
They are pack oriented, and see their family as their pack. They need regular interaction with their family, or they become lonely. This can cause them to become depressed, and lose interest in activities they usually enjoy.
How to care for a Wooly Husky
Wooly Huskies do require some special care. They need plenty of exercise and regular grooming, which can be time consuming. However, their affectionate personality makes it well worth it.
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 wooly Husky at least twice a week. Start with a comb to remove any mats, and then use a paddle brush to remove shed hair and dirt. Start with their undercoat and then brush their topcoat.
They will shed twice a year, in the spring and fall. Their undercoat is shed to adapt to the changing temperatures. It becomes lighter in summer, and thicker in preparation for winter.
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.
Your wooly Husky also needs baths occasionally. You shouldn’t bathe them more than once a month, and once every 3 months is usually ideal.
Start with doggie shampoo. Then, you should apply conditioner. You may also choose to mix shampoo and conditioner, and then add a deshedding conditioner. 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, 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 them to complete the process.
Huskies need a lot of exercise. They can run 150 miles in a day, and reach speeds of 30 mph. They need to walk or run 3 to 5 miles at least 4 days a week. You can also exercise them for 1, preferably 2, hours each day.
Huskies love a fenced in yard, which allows them more opportunities to exercise. However, they are famous escape artists. Be sure that they can’t dig under or jump over the fence.
If they don’t get enough exercise, they can become bored. This often leads to behavioral problems. They may become hyper, destructive, or lick or howl frequently.
To keep your Husky living and feeling their best, they’ll need a proper diet. They need a diet that is high in protein, and has a medium amount of fat. They also need a low carbohydrate food.
Training and Socialization
Your wooly Husky will need training and socialization. Huskies are very friendly, and are happy to spend time with other dogs. In fact, it’s necessary for their mental health.
They do have a high prey drive. This means they will view smaller animals, like cats, as prey if they aren’t trained well. When they are socialized with these animals early in their lives, they will get along with them well. If they aren’t, they may attack them, because they see them as prey.
Huskies were originally bred as sled dogs. They are very independent, because they must be able to make decisions quickly when sledding, often without owner input.
This independence makes training them challenging. If you aren’t experienced with training spirited dogs, sign up for an obedience class. This will help you learn how to interact with your pup, and get their training started the right way.
How do you buy a Wooly Husky?
When buying a wooly Husky, you’ll need to be sure that you are purchasing them from an ethical breeder. There are a few ways you can accomplish this.
The simplest way to find a reputable breeder is through breeder registries. The AKC breeder registry features only AKC registered breeders and dogs.
This typically weeds out unethical breeders, because of the requirements involved.
You can also consider the Siberian Husky Club of America. They are closely affiliated with the AKC, and also have an extensive breeder registry.
Finding a Reputable Breeder
Generally, breeders who register their dogs are ethical. Registration requires work that unethical breeders usually avoid. However, not everyone wants a registered pooch, and not all non-registered breeders are unethical.
To determine if you are working with a reputable breeder, ask them how they select breeding pairs. Do they breed for specific colors or coats? Ethical breeders will always focus on the health and temperament of the dogs, while unethical breeders focus on profits.
You should also ask how they determine their dogs and puppies are healthy. Do they do genetic testing? Do their puppies have vet health certificates?
Lastly, be prepared for them to ask you questions as well. Reputable breeders will want to ensure that their dogs go to good homes. They will ask you about the living conditions the dog will have, and what you plan to do with them. They may also ask about your previous experience with dogs.