The Breed Standard from a slightly different perspective and a personal view

Q. What relevance does the Breed Standard have for the Siberian owner ?

A. The Siberian is one of the oldest breeds in the world with a long and proud heritage, therefore, anyone truly interested in their dogs should not only consider maintaining working capability but also their distinctive type and characteristics in equal measure.

To some this joint ideal may seem irrelevant, being only interested in either working or showing their dogs, however, the requirements of the UK Breed Standard for the Siberian Husky (the definition of the breed taken from memory of the past to envisage its blueprint for the future) are based on what is needed for a successful working dog as much as for cosmetic appearance.

Sadly so often solely working-minded owners discount the Breed Standard as an unnecessary consideration and, equally, the show-mad exhibitor does not see any need to consider working ability when breeding for the show ring, so below I have tried to interpret the Breed Standard in plain language, offering an explanation as to why we should all work together to keep this breed both fit for its purpose and yet welcome in the show ring – in essence the formula for a sound working dog and the most natural and elegant of show dogs – the True Siberian Husky.

General Appearance

Medium-sized working sled dog, quick and light on feet. Free and graceful in action, with well-furred body, erect ears and brush tail. Proportions reflect a basic balance or power, speed and endurance, never appearing so heavy or so coarse as to suggest a freighting animal, nor so light and fragile as to suggest a sprint-racing animal. Males are masculine but never coarse, bitches feminine but without weakness of structure. Muscle firm and well developed, no excess weight.

An overview of the dog, a synopsis of the detail, but right from the outset there is an emphasis that the dog should be balanced, ready for work and look able to do the job. A guideline for a judge on first approach to an exhibit, this opening section is a reminder that the dog is in the show ring to display its construction as appropriate to do its job. Note the weight and muscle requirements. The dog should look able to walk out of the ring and into a harness, ready for work and yet be recognisable as (a) a Siberian Husky and (b) a dog or bitch.


Medium size, moderate bone, well balanced proportions, ease and freedom of movement and good disposition.

Or put another way, the ‘features’ of the dog. “Medium” or “moderate” are a requisite throughout the Standard – on looking at an exhibit, if the word “too” comes to mind, you are more than likely looking at a fault. As owners, we know that each Siberian is a unique individual – but here begins the definitions of its distinction from other breeds. The dog is required to be balanced within itself thus enabling it ease and freedom of movement … an important aspect when working. A team of Siberians will be of varying sizes – some say according to their position in the team from lead to wheel – but balance is paramount. A dog with balanced confirmation should be preferred to one who is out of kilter with itself. The balanced animal will work to its optimum ability whilst an unbalanced dog will waste energy trying to compensate for its flaws and thus lose efficiency. The Breed Standard is calling for a dog fit for the job and luckily this requirement results in an elegant show dog. In brief, a better balanced dog will move round the show ring more easily than a dog of unequal conformation and your balanced dog will work better in the team.


Friendly and gentle, alert and outgoing. Does not display traits of the guard dog, not suspicious with strangers or aggressive with other dogs but some measure of reserve expected in a mature dog. Intelligent, tractable and eager disposition. An agreeable companion and willing worker.

Whilst some might not regard good temperament a necessity out on the trails, consider the working dog in a stressful situation. One of lesser disposition could fail and, indeed, a dog in a trauma situation that could not be trusted would be difficult to assist by the musher. Gun dogs are bred for good hardy temperament in the field, so too should a sled dog. “Friendly and gentle” (easy to handle) and “alert and outgoing” (ready for work) is required and a Siberian in control of its emotions, displaying the right levels of composure, attention and intelligence is also easier to handle in the show ring.

It has to be said that the Siberian Husky was, however, bred to survive in difficult conditions and whilst outward aggression should be discouraged to say the least, a Siberian in its natural environment would be required to be hardy and, of course, an Alpha Dog (and Bitch) would expect unprecedented levels of respect within their Pack. Thus the Siberian Husky is quite a complicated character, but isn’t that what we love about them ?

Head and Skull

Medium size in proportion to the body, presents a finely chiselled fox-like appearance. Slightly rounded on top, tapering gradually from widest point to eyes. Muzzle medium length and width, neither snipey nor coarse, tapering gradually to rounded nose. Tip of nose to stop equidistant from stop to occiput. Stop clearly defined but not excessive. Line of the nose straight from the stop to tip. Nose black in grey, tan or black dogs; liver in copper dogs; may be flesh coloured in pure white. In Winter, pink-streaked ‘snow nose’ is acceptable.

Everyone knows a Siberian doesn’t pull with its head and, to a degree, this could be regarded as a cosmetic requirement in the Standard, but, again, medium is the byword, so as to uphold the balance of the dog overall. This is after all a pedigree breed with a long tradition and should be able to be differentiated between other breeds. Any musher working a pedigree Siberian must admit to some interest in the breed, otherwise they could be racing skidoo’s in the Iron Dog Iditarod or camels in the Australian desert. The head for many defines the look of the Siberian and we are so lucky to have a vast range of acceptable colours and markings, thus making each dog an individual, yet each identifiable as a representative of the breed. The requirements of the standard describe what typifies the breed in look as well as ability. A head either too broad and heavy or narrow and snipey is not typical and, therefore, neither extreme should be considered acceptable.


Almond-shaped moderately spaced and set obliquely. Any shade or blue or brown, one of each colour, or parti-colours equally acceptable. Expression keen, but friendly, interested, even mischievous.

Cosmetics again ? No, there is no requirement for colour. The breed standard simply requires the eye should be almond shaped, moderately spaced and obliquely set. Perhaps less essential in the UK, but consider the Siberian in its natural arctic conditions – an eye correctly set will be better shielded from adverse weather than one which is set square and wide. None of us would go to the Arctic without the warm essentials, Siberians have evolved to suit their native conditions and we should not forget their ancestry when defining its future. Incidentally, an obliquely set eye is so much more attractive for the show ring than a round level one.

The Standard’s requirement is for the dog’s expression to be keen but friendly and interested, even mischievous – one of the most descriptive definitions of the traits of a Siberian Husky, or the dog in a nutshell, as the eyes “are the mirror of the soul”.


Medium size, relatively close together, triangular in shape, the height slightly greater than width at base. Set high on head, strongly erect, the inner edges being quite close together at the base, when the dog is at attention carried practically parallel. Slightly arched at the back. Thick, well-furred outside and inside, tips slightly rounded.

Again, a dog doesn’t pull with its ears, but we have accepted that certain characteristics define what is, after all, a pedigree breed and ears set on the side of a Siberian’s head detract from its eager, lively intelligent appearance – the essence of the Siberian “look”. Thickness and well-furred would be required for arctic conditions and again, the history of the breed defines its characteristics. Too tall and body heat will be lost, too small and the symmetry of the head and thus the overall balance of the dog is lost.


Lips well pigmented, close fitting. Jaws strong with a perfect regular and complete scissor bite, ie., upper teeth closely overlapping, lower teeth set square to the jaws.

Pigment should be strong, to offer the dog protection from weather conditions. Likewise, close fitting – loose, wet jowls will freeze. Correct bite is important for a dog that has survived for so many years eating naturally. Not important for working or showing in the UK., but heritage and survival are strong characteristics of the breed – the Standard is setting out its stall for the more important sections to follow.


Medium length and thickness, arched and carried proudly erect when standing. When moving at a trot, extended so that the head is carried slightly forward.

An incorrect neck may well be an indicator of deficient conformation elsewhere in the dog. Too long is an encumbrance to efficient movement, too short curtails that flowing gait. A balanced dog with its neck slightly extended will move correctly and carry itself proudly, thus the appealing dog in the show ring is built correctly to fit its work ethic. Again, the requirements of the Standard are those for the dual capability well balanced dog.


Shoulder blade well laid back, upper arm slightly backward from point of shoulder to elbow, never perpendicular to the ground. Muscle holding shoulder to ribcage firm and well developed. Straight or loose shoulders highly undesirable. Viewed from the front, forelegs moderately spaced, parallel and straight with elbows close to the body, turning neither in nor out. Viewed from the side, pasterns slightly sloping, wrist strong but flexible. Length from elbow to ground slightly more than distance from elbows to top of withers. Bone proportionate, never heavy. Dewclaws may be removed.

Now we get to the important issues, which need defining in detail:

• Well laid back shoulder etc – if the dog’s shoulder is correctly formed and aligned, then on extension maximum reach will be achieved on the front movement. Maximum reach creates an easy, ground covering, lope instead of a quick trot. Loose shoulders will cause the dog to tire in its efforts to compensate on the trail and look ungainly in the ring, hence loose or straight shoulders are highly undesirable for trail work and, as a result, the strict requirement in the Standard. By comparison, the correct dog is effortless, elegant and attractive; the lesser dog looks uncomfortable and unevenly balanced on the move. Once again aesthetic benefits mirror working necessities.

Some judges may misconstrue the prim gait of a poorly constructed dog with short bone structure resulting is straighter angulation as “showy”, but it must be remembered the correctly formed Siberian that moves effortlessly is saving its energy for the long haul.

• Forelegs straight etc. – or in other words correctly placed for minimal effort and maximum effect. An elbow turning out will hamper a dog’s movement as will those that turn in as any divergence from the true will create a burden on energy resources. A dog with widely spaced forelegs will labour in harness and have ungainly movement in the ring, whilst the dog with narrow spacing will also be unstable on the move. A dog that covers the show ring with ease and balance will take that skill through to its working capability and endurance.

• Pasterns – the “springs”. When a dog is pounding a trail, it needs a shock absorber to avoid jarring its joints. Thus the pastern should slope slightly – not so much as to create a “weak” or “stress” point but enough to provide “give” in the front construction. A lap of the show ring will not prove difficult for a dog with incorrect pasterns, but it will make the difference of endurance and survival or failure when working. Often straight pasterns are an indication of shortfall in bone structure in the shoulder and upper arm – see below.

• Length from elbow to ground etc. – a delicate balance is required here for perfection. A dog with short legs will not cover the ground, yet too long will create an imbalance that will affect its movement and, again, working ability. This definition very simply states the correct ratio to maintain ultimate overall balance for optimum efficiency.

• Bone proportionate etc. – at this point the Standard refers to ratios. We have by now established a balanced dog will be an efficient worker, thus a taller, larger, dog should be expected to be heavier built than its more petite counterpart. The original Siberian Huskies were bred to travel vast distances at moderate speed, not as heavy shorter distance freighting animals, though were expected to work in harsh conditions. Consequently required levels of bone for power and endurance would be less than its fellow freighting sled dog the Alaskan Malamute but greater than, say, the Sight Hound Breeds. Enthusiasts should not confuse ‘power’ with excess of bone and weight, nor indeed “speed” with lightness of bone – a dog too light or too heavy boned will not achieve its work levels with efficiency. Sometimes definitions in the Breed Standard are understated – in this section the requirement for correct bone structure is extremely relevant and the ‘movement’ section will provide further definition.

• Dew claws – see below under Hindquarters. Some may have the opinion that this theory applies to the front dew claws as well, though obviously not as critical to the working dog as when found on the rear.


Straight and strong with level topline from withers to croup. Medium length, not cobby, nor slack from excessive length. In profile, body from point of shoulder to rear point of croup slightly longer than height from ground to top of withers. Chest deep and strong but not too broad, deepest point being just behind and level with elbows. Ribs well sprung from spine but flattened on sides to allow for freedom of action. Loins slightly arched, well muscled, taut and lean, narrower than ribcage with a slight tuck-up. Croup slopes away from spine at an angle, but never so steeply as to restrict thrust of hindlegs.

• Straight and strong with level topline from withers to croup – this is a slight misnomer in that the appearance should be level, but any extended Standard descriptive will suggest the skeleton is required to have a degree of “arch” to the touch beneath the coat in order that the dog is supple and can easily “double-up” when working. The problem for the Official Standard is that any requirement for “arching” may well see a change of breeding and roach backs could become the norm, which would not do. The back needs to be strong – in a working dog the back endures huge levels of stress – though at the same time supple for agility.

• Medium length, not cobby, nor slack from excessive length – no show ring could possibly put this requirement to a full test, but once again out on the trails this requirement is most necessary. A dog should not be too short in the back – on the move, the back legs must not be connect with the dog’s front legs or else that front coupling will have to move apart to allow the back legs room when the dog is running and “doubling up”. Any avoidance action will detract from the forward-moving efficiency of the front legs and, hence, the working ability of the dog. And, of course, too long (here again the Standards calls for the median) and the back will be put under severe stress and pressure through excess bending. When trotting round the show ring ? No, when out on the trails of course, but a “bendy” or “banana” dog in the ring looks inelegant and clearly incorrect.

• In profile, body from point of shoulder to rear point of croup slightly longer than height from ground to top of withers – a good visual guide for the judge to define the correct proportions and a balanced animal that will prove efficient in its job.

• Chest deep and strong but not too broad – a deep chest may herald a more compact, heavier dog than is considered optimum for working proficiency, yet the chest must be sufficient to provide enough lung and heart space. Perhaps here sprinting requirements have made too much of an impression on some Siberian breeders. A working dog needs enough room for the lungs and heart to operate effectively, so a shallow chest may not define a dog with the stamina to work, but too wide and deep and the efficiency of movement is jeopardised as the front legs have to negotiate the enlarged chest area and gaiting takes on a “rolling” appearance. Hence the guideline that the chest should be level with the elbow, although this can be taken as to the point of the hair length rather than solid bone.

• Ribs well sprung from spine but flattened on sides to allow for freedom of action – the Siberian’s ribs must be well sprung to give good lung capacity so the dog can breathe without labouring, yet flattened on the sides to allow freedom of movement. If to propel itself forwards, the dog has to manoeuvre its legs around an obstacle, then efficiency is lost and I hope by now you’ve worked out what that will mean to good working practice !

• Loins slightly arched, well muscled, taut and lean, narrower than ribcage with a slight tuck-up – well muscled? Well of course, we are defining a working dog. Slightly arched to make the coupling from rear to front supple for which the tuck-up will assist in the action. This tuck-up should not take on the acuteness of say, a greyhound, but be discernable. An overweight dog will lose definition of tuck-up, whereas in an underweight dog this will become too pronounced – neither is acceptable as the correct, balanced overall outline of the dog will be compromised.

• Croup slopes away from spine at an angle, but never so steeply as to restrict thrust of hindlegs – a slope is required for fluid connection and movement, but not so steep as to hinder or, indeed no slope at all is undesirable but not uncommon. The connection of this most important area of the Siberian is so vital for working ability. A fault here will manifest itself in the show ring – the dog will be less flowing and graceful and that significant ease and freedom of movement will become hampered and disjointed. It may appear to some that the lesser dog has drive, but on closer inspection it becomes evident he is “going nowhere fast” as he lacks the rear drive to propel forwards. Out on the trails, of course, the dog will fail besides its better built counterparts. If the croup has either insufficient or excess angle the line of the whole rear angulation will be moved out as the leg bones strive to reach the ground in the easiest position be it by way of stretching or folding, thus changing joint angles and reducing thrust – such a dog would push off with its hind legs, but the propulsion would trend upwards rather than forwards, losing performance on the way.


Viewed from rear, hindlegs moderately spaced and parallel. Upper thighs well muscled and powerful, stifles well bent, hock joint well defined and set low to the ground. Dewclaws, if any, should be removed.

• Hindlegs moderately spaced and parallel. A similar explanation as for the front legs but perhaps even more important. The drive-train of the dog, the power to put to work the dog’s effort as it sets off in harness is focused on to the rear legs. These must, therefore, be correctly spaced and parallel to avoid reduction of efficiency. Hind legs set too wide and the will dog move awkwardly perhaps even “waddle” and indeed, if the legs are too close, then a “mincing” effect will become apparent – either way power will be lost when the dog tries to correct its course.

• Upper thighs well muscled and powerful – an argument that the purely show orientated owner may get annoyed about, but these muscles will never be quite so well formed unless the dog works. Oh and a treadmill (yes, I do know of Siberians who have their own gymnasium) won’t achieve the ultimate results either. Without good muscle achieved under working conditions, the drive of the dog will be diminished. Thus an exhibitor must always try to the best of their ability to present their dog in condition fit for purpose. If working the dog is not an option, then good exercise must be considered vital – giving in at the first fence is not an option.

• Stifles well bent – without the correct angulation at this point, your dog will not have the “thrust” needed for good propulsion. With the correct angle the projection of the dog on point-loading (pushing off from a standing start) will be forwards. A dog with straight stifles will waste a percentage of this propulsion lifting itself off the ground into the air. Or in other words a dit-dit dog – one that moves around the ring with stiff movement dit-ditting up and down, going nowhere and not very fast either. That said, too much angulation will create a weak point and the integrity of the dog’s structure is affected … but here we are back at the beginning, the dog should be balanced to be correct and a correctly formed dog will prove the most efficient worker. Some Siberians can be termed “boxy” at the rear, ie., the base of the tail is in a direct perpendicular line with the hock, this too is incorrect and causes a loss of drive as again the dog will push from its rear, but travel upwards instead of forwards. That said, angles should not be so severe as to take on the look of a GSD as too much flex will reduce the power and strength of the rear drive.

• Hock well defined and set low to the ground – the hocks are linked in with the requirement for the placing of hindlegs, hence should be parallel when viewed from the rear. That said, working enthusiasts will argue that a good working dog will tend to stand as if slightly cow-hocked in the same way a sprinter will tense at “on-your-marks-get-set” and “lean” into a starting position. This conjecture will be proven when the dog is gaiting as the hocks should level out on the move, but safe to say, true cow hocks will affect efficiency and, of course, this joint must be flexible in order for the stifles to operate properly. The standard calls for the hock to be set low to the ground, care should be taken, however, that the hock is not too short – it should be remembered any variance from a flexible, strong joint will be detrimental to the dog’s movement – both on the trail and, of course, in the show ring.

• Rear dew claws are not common in the breed, but in my opinion should be removed for safety on the trail. A sled dog on fast take-off may very easily catch rear dew claws and very painfully rip them off – an experience that could be detrimental to a dog’s early work-life experiences. A rear dew claw can look clumsy in the show ring detracting from a clear outline, so once again the working dog and the show dog requirements go hand-in-hand – or is it paw-in-paw ? Some vets are currently expressing doubts about the removal of any dew claws, linking this procedure with tail docking and other violations, even though rear dew claws are often mis-formed. I remain of the opinion that rear dew claws are unsightly and can prove a risk for the dog.


Oval, not long, turning neither in nor out in natural stance. Medium size, compact, well furred and slightly webbed between toes. Pads tough and thickly cushioned. Trimming or fur between toes and around feet permissible.

Feet do not just round off the end of the legs. They are an integral part of the dog and important in its working environment. The foot should be compact, not long, but neither should it be short and catlike as the foot and pad is another “shock absorber” between the ground and the dog’s joints, hence the need to be “tough and thickly cushioned”. Flat feet are not acceptable.

A sled dog with deficient feet, either structurally or lacking in durability will not be able to complete its task. Take-off at the start of a race is hard on a dog’s feet and they need to be tough to withstand both the shock and wear-and-tear. The show ring might not be the best proving ground for feet, but the Standard’s definition once again outlines the basic requirement for the successful working dog. And, of course, do not forget the breed’s built-in snowshoes, the webbing between its toes – a very useful asset on snow.


Well furred or round fox brush shape set on just below level of topline and usually carried over back in a graceful sickle curve when dog at attention. When carried up, tail should not curl too tightly, nor should it curl to either side of body, or snap flat against back. Hair on tail of medium length and approximately same length all round. A trailing tail is normal for dog when working or in repose.

We should deal with ancestry first – a floating coat and tail is one that is thermally inefficient in arctic conditions, so the tail should be round and fox-brush like. In its original environment, the Siberian curled its tail around its nose to keep warm. For more current use, the tail is required to be trailing when working or in repose, so here we have a working tail not just an appendage on the end of the dog. The tail provides balance for the dog and, further, incorrect set can be the indicator of flawed conformation – a flat croup can cause the tail to snap over the dog’s back, though a judge should check this fact out, rather presume this is the case.


Smooth and seemingly effortless. Quick and light on feet, gaited on a loose lead at a moderately fast trot, exhibiting good reach in forequarters and good drive in hindquarters. When walking, legs move in parallel but as speed increases, gradually angling inward to single track. As paw marks converge forelegs and hindlegs carried straight wither neither elbows nor stifles turning in or out, each hindleg moving in path of foreleg on same side. Topline of back remaining firm and level during gaiting.

• Smooth and seemingly effortless – nothing jerky, wobbly or bendy. Not appearing to make an effort, just doing its job as a sled dog hour-on-hour, day-after-day and in doing so creating one of the most spectacular breeds on the move. As a judge, you often wish the show rings were larger in order to view movement. As an exhibitor I sometimes wish not ! But as a working dog, the breed should be judged with balanced, sound and correct movement as a highest priority.

• Quick and light on feet, gaited on a loose lead at a moderately fast trot, exhibiting good reach in forequarters and good drive in hindquarters – not “strung up” in the show ring, the dog should be allowed freedom to exhibit its lightness of foot, speed and drive. And, indeed, display any faults ! More graceful than the freighting breeds, the Siberian should be handled at a fast trot, but the show ring is not a race track and it is possible to mar a dog’s performance by running too fast round the ring, thus hindering a perfect display. Reach and drive are most important, the dog will cover the ground faster and with less overall effort if its structure is correct, which once again will be mirrored out on the trails. Shorter more bouncy strides may look showier, but are the forecast projection of incorrect structure.

• When walking, legs move in parallel but as speed increases, gradually angling inward to single track. As paw marks converge forelegs and hindlegs carried straight with neither elbows nor stifles turning in or out, each hindleg moving in path of foreleg on same side – construction once again creating the optimum working sled dog. A dog that paddles and waddles is not a good working dog and does not form an elegant dual purpose Siberian capable of travelling great distances over snow whereas a correct single-tracking dog will only break one trail through snow, thus saving energy.

• Topline of back remaining firm and level during gaiting – level topline shows strength in this most important part of the dog. A chopping incorrect gait, resultant from incorrect structure, will not retain a level topline on the move. A Siberian moving correctly should appear to “float” round the ring, effortlessly yet with all the drive needed for its job. Understated, yet a class act. When judging movement, think swan, not jellyfish ……


Double and medium in length, giving a well furred appearance, never so long as to obscure clean-cut outline of dog. Undercoat soft and dense of sufficient length to support outer coat. Guard hairs of outer coat straight and somewhat smooth-lying, never harsh, rough or shaggy, too silky nor standing off from body. Absence of undercoat during shedding normal. No trimming of fur on any part of dog, except feet.

A clean-cut dog with smooth outline – note to some exhibitors, never standing out from the body, so beware of over-preparation of this natural breed. The guard hairs are required to lay smoothly over the dense undercoat – this provides a water-proof cover for the dog and in arctic conditions allows the warmth of the body to be trapped to withstand severe weather. Think of a duck with its down undercoat and water-proof feathers and a Thermos flask that keeps your coffee warm and you have the gist of the requirement. And an anecdote – did you know during the Gold Rush at the turn of the last century many British prospectors’ dogs perished because they were brought into the warm overnight, where the snow melted and soaked the dogs right through negating the usefulness of this double coat and thus killing the poor animals when they were exposed to the harsh weather again the next day. Sometimes it’s good to do as the Romans and all that ….

But I digress, we are back to the present although the Breed Standard is remembering ancestry in its requirements, however, again this clear-cut outlined dog has so much more appeal than its longer and incorrectly coated counterpart in the show ring. I refrain from comment on lack of undercoat, save to say that a dog can grow its coat back but never cultivate a correctly laid back shoulder once it has reached adulthood. That said, an out-of-coat dog should not be awarded BoB and go on to represent the breed in the Group Ring – where our specialist foibles about working requirements being the author of the Standard fade and the show begins in earnest.


All colours and marking, including white, allowed. Variety of marking on head is common, including many striking patterns not found in other breeds.

It says it all. No requirement to “have the coat texture of a yak”, no colour bans, not even preferences. This Breed Standard has been written with the emphasis on construction, balance and ability. Coat colour and markings come along as a postscript, which in turn creates our most interesting and exciting breed – and long may this philosophy continue. An interesting point to make, however, is that whatever colour of the coat, a Siberian with correct conformation is unmistakable as the breed, whereas the incorrect dog, however typical its colouring, may not.


HEIGHT – Dogs 53-60 cms. ( 21-23.5 ins.) at withers
Bitches 51-56 cms. ( 20-22 ins. ) at withers

WEIGHT – Dogs 20-27 kgs. ( 45-60 lbs. )
Bitches 16-23 kgs. ( 35 – 50 lbs. )

Weight should be in proportion to height. These measurements represent the extremes in height and weight with no preference given to either extreme. A dog should not exceed 60 cms. (23 ins.) or a bitch exceed 56 cms. (22 ins.).

Here is the finite definition of the height to weight ratio in order to maintain a balanced dog. I have to add – as a Breed Specialist with a working interest – my very personal view at this point is that I will always place a dog outside of the Standard sizing requirements that is balanced within itself and built correctly over a dog that is within the height restrictions but is inadequate in structure and symmetry. This is very much my opinion and one that has got me into arguments before now, but since my theory in this article is that the Standard is the written design of the working as well as the show dog – what else would you expect me to do ? However, when the correct dog comes along with balance and symmetry and within Standard, here is my outright winner.

In recent times the general view of the dog world has caught up with the ideals of the UK Siberian Husky Breed Standard and pedigree dogs should now be considered “fit for function” and judges are advised to ensure that all show dogs are fit and healthy and any dogs which are visibly suffering from any condition which would adversely affect their health or welfare, eg., having an obvious breathing difficulty or significantly over or under weight, should be excluded from the ring.

In addition to the obvious health provisions, an overweight Siberian will lose most of this definition and will not present the required overall outline, being one of elegance, beauty and understated efficiency. Equally, a dog without enough body covering is undesirable as muscle tone is jeopardised and the general outline will become far too angular. Medium continues to dominate best practice. As a rough guide, pin bones should not be obviously visible, but easily located to the touch, with the spine just detectable in between. Ribs should not be prominent.


Any departure from the foregoing should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.
Note – Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

Since my hypothesis is that the current UK Breed Standard for the Siberian Husky is written as a blueprint for the working dog which produces the optimum show dog, it seems quite sensible that faults should be judged according to their severity, ie., a dog with minimal or minor faults should be placed over and above the dog which has significant conformation faults – after all which one will work most efficiently ?

For many years and against the odds, Siberian Enthusiasts have stayed true to their principles in the UK and have promoted a truly dual purpose Siberian Husky to the greater world … and long may this situation continue.

And at this point I rest my case … Q.E.D.