We have all heard of a wooly mammoth, but have you ever heard of a wooly husky?
That’s right, wool isn’t just for sheep either! There is such a thing as a wooly coated Siberian husky.
In this article, we will take a look at the differences between the standard Siberian husky, and a wooly husky.
Husky Coat Types
Huskies are beloved for their thick, lustrous coats that not only look stunning but also protect the dog from wet and cold weather.
Wooly Siberian huskies have coats that are similar in texture and length to that of a Shetland Sheepdog.
A wooly Siberian husky is a pet husky that has been bred to have a longer coat than a working Husky.
This is done to achieve a stunning-looking husky. But these dogs do not have the right coat to protect them from Arctic conditions, as a working husky does. Therefore they are only suitable as pets and not as sled dogs.
Husky Double Coat
Huskies have been selectively bred over thousands of years by tribes of people living in Siberia. These Huskies absolutely needed to have what is called a ‘double coat’. This means that the husky has one coat underneath, and one coat on top, called the guard coat.
Husky Outer Guard Coat
The coat on top is called the outer coat, guard coat, or top coat.
This coat, in a working Siberian husky, acts as protection against snow, rain, and ice. This keeps the dog dry, which is essential to keeping the dog healthy and well.
Huskies have an undercoat that is made up of fine, soft hairs that trap air between the strands. This keeps the husky warm. The outer guard coat keeps this fluffy undercoat dry.
Husky Wooly Coat
The wooly coat on a husky is one that has been purposely created by breeders in order to make the guard coat longer. This has been done to make the dog look attractive, with a long, flowing coat. Siberian huskies that have a wooly coat differ from the classic working husky because they are not suitable to live and work in icy, wet conditions.
The guard coat does not keep the snow, ice, and rain off the dog’s undercoat, meaning that moisture can penetrate the skin and make the dog feel the cold. This could lead not only to discomfort but potentially to ill health.
Not ideal for an animal that lives in places like Siberia!
The wooly coat on a Siberian husky takes longer to dry too, once it is wet. So this needs to be taken into consideration if this type of Siberian husky is going to be housed outdoors. This also needs to be considered during bathing times, which only need to occur every 3 to 4 months.
So these dogs are fine in warmer, drier climates, but would not be suited to their lands of origin, or anywhere similar unless they can be kept dry. Mind you, not that the plush husky should be left out in the cold and rain either! But they are better equipped to handle this if it was necessary.
Read more about: The Husky and The Wolf: A Side-By-Side Comparison
Are Wooly Siberian Huskies Rare?
In order for a Siberian husky to have a wooly coat, it needs to inherit the gene for this from both parents. If both parents carry this gene, then a puppy has a 25 percent chance of having a wooly coat.
You can read more about recessive genes and canine genetics here.
Are Wooly Siberian Huskies Purebred?
The wooly husky does not fit the required breed standard for a Siberian husky, therefore cannot be considered a purebred husky in terms of breeding and showing.
The American Kennel Club describes the Siberian husky coat as medium in length.
Their official handbook on huskies states that:
- “Coat is double and medium in length, giving a well-furred appearance, but is never so long as to obscure the clean-cut outline of the dog”.
- “The undercoat is soft, dense, and of sufficient length to support the outer coat.”
- “The guard hairs of the outer coat are straight and somewhat smooth lying, never harsh or standing straight off from the body.”
- “Faults: long, rough, or shaggy coat, texture too harsh or too silky.”
The wooly coated husky clearly does not conform to this description because of its long and silky coat.
What Other Coat Lengths Does The Siberian Husky Have?
Along with the wooly coat, and the breed standard coat which, as mentioned earlier, is called ‘plush’, there is also a husky that has a short coat.
The short-coated husky, like the wooly coated husky, does not conform to the breed standard.
Grooming The Wooly Coated Husky
Grooming for the wooly husky is the same as for the standard husky.
Their coat will shed for around 2 to 3 weeks, a few times a year. During this phase, they will need daily brushing with a rake brush, to remove the dead undercoat hairs.
This is important, to make sure that the hair does not get clumped and matted.
You may find it beneficial to get your wooly husky to lie down on their side or back so that you can get to their underside.
Give the dog several breaks during the grooming session, since raking out the undercoat can tug on their skin.
Summary On Wooly Coated The Siberian Husky
- Siberian Huskies come in three coat lengths – plush, which is the correct breed standard for the Siberian husky, short-coated, and wooly-coated.
- Wooly Siberian huskies are not suited to living and working in colder climates, unlike the plush Siberian husky.
- This is because the outer guard coat is too long and silky to keep moisture out of the dog’s undercoat. Working huskies need a protective outer coat to keep them dry and warm.
- Wooly Siberian huskies have inherited a recessive gene from both parents that make their coats long and wooly.
- Grooming for the wooly Siberian husky is the same as for the standard husky – daily brushing with a rake brush during shedding phases.
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