The Siberian Husky and German Shepherd Two Solid but Aloof Dogs

Published: 04th June 2010
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When you see the Siberian Husky or the German Shepherd, it is likely that you think of them on the screen as King of the Yukon or Rin Tin Tin (especially if you grew up watching old movies). In entertainment, these dogs have suffered through many generations with unusual and amazing names such as JFK's GSD, "Clipper;" Hitler's GSD, "Blondi;" and "Chucka," the Siberian Husky owned by Sgt. Robert Preston. Both breeds are equally famous for their rescue work. Togo, a Siberian Husky, led the husky team carrying the Diptheria serum to Nome in 1925. Tracker, the German Shepherd, served in the police force in the Sudbury District in Ontario where he was involved in approximately 500 searches for missing persons, criminals, drugs and security details in the early 1990's.



The Siberian Husky and the German Shepherd share many characteristics. They are both longer than they are tall, are friendly with family and friends but aloof with strangers, and are dedicated working dogs. Both have surprising facts associated with them, as well. The Siberian is around 3000 years old, originating in Siberia, to pull sleds with small loads. He is smaller than one would think, at about 35 - 50 pounds. He is known as the "escape artist" because of his ability to get over and under fences and this talent must be curbed since, as soon as he is free, he takes off running and will run easily for hours. Siberians are also surprisingly strong - as of 1963, Charlie the Husky was the strongest dog ever - he shifted a 3,142-lb sledge. The Siberian also has some interesting physical characteristics such as a nose that stays dry at night so that it doesn't freeze in sub-zero temperatures and, often, blue or piebald eyes. And Siberians are responsible for the phrase "Three Dog Night" originally coined by the Eskimos who were describing how cold it was by how many Huskies they needed to sleep with at night to keep warm.



There are also many surprising facts about the GSD. As the Siberian seems small for his strength, the GSD seems large for his agility and grace. He weighs in at 60 to 140 pounds and is the only breed whose back legs have been bred to crouch lower than his front. This characteristic began to be seen as a deformity in the mid-twentieth century and many breeders now breed straighter back legs. The GSD is part of the Herding Group as that was his original purpose though most dog owners would place him the Working Group. The first seeing eye dog, Buddy, was a GSD trained in 1928. And the GSD ranks third in canine intelligence. The German shepherd is a recent breed even though it seems as if they've been with us for many centuries. He was developed in the early part of the twentieth century, which seems impossible considering how much he has accomplished in such a short time.



Both breeds make excellent companions but serious training is needed as both are stubborn and independent. Once trained, a Siberian Husky or a German Shepherd will prove to be a dedicated, obedient dog who is even-tempered. Both have high activity levels and tend to be a one-person dog. These breeds certainly prove that dog is man's best friend and, properly trained, we can be dog's best friend, too.



The author, Brett Carnganee lives in LA with his own lovable Prince, a Siberian Husky. When not writing in his blog or volunteering at the local pet shelter you can always be sure to find him playing with Prince at the local park.



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