Making sure that you have a happy life with your husky starts with the careful decision of choosing the right puppy for you and your family.
You really have to let your head rule your heart and not the other way around when you go and talk with breeders about their puppies. Difficult as it is to be sensible, remember ALL PUPPIES ARE CUTE and it's so easy to just dive in and buy a puppy without figuring out why that puppy was bred and how it will turn out as an ADULT DOG!
We've all seen the 'show dog' specimens on the TV and in movies, and pictures of successful racing huskies in established kennels. These dogs are a reflection of the careful breeding practices of 'good' breeders, which is shown in their majestic appearance - well proportioned, balanced, attractive, athletic, and awe inspiring. Unfortunately, the reality is, there are an awful lot of huskies these days who don't look like this - due to haphazard breeding mainly driven by a want for cash than to breed quality dogs, there are a lot of Huskies who just don't 'measure up' as it were.
A good breeder will not focus on the 'cute puppy' stage as a selling point for their puppies. Instead, they will be keen to tell you about what the puppy will be like as they grow up, and what their hopes for the litter are. They will show you the dog's parents (or if the male is from another kennel, show you pictures and tell you lots about him!).
You should look carefully at the Mum and Dad, and other relatives, and ask yourself if they are what you want in a husky, as they are the best indication of what that little bundle of fluff will turn into.
When you go to see a breeder about taking on a husky puppy, the breeder should be able to talk you through the parent's pedigrees and tell you about a lot of the dogs mentioned. They should be able to tell you about why they chose the combination of the dog and bitch for the mating, and what is special about the litter and the little bundle of fluff you are thinking of taking home.
Sled dogs in general have few notable health issues, although there are a few specific problems that affect these breeds and that owners should be aware of.
Some are thought to be largely genetic, and passed down between generations.
These include Hip Dysplasia, and eye problems including Glaucoma and Cataracts.
The genetic complexity of these conditions is not yet fully understood, but evidence strongly indicates that they can be passed down through several generations without actually 'showing up'. Breeding two dogs who both carry the genes may cause the problem to show up again, even after several generations of unaffected dogs.
At present, genetic testing for these conditions has not been developed. Hip scores and eye exams can detect problems in the individual dog, and it is extremely important that any dog that is to be bred is HIP SCORED and EYE TESTED before the mating takes place. These tests will only show up problems that have emerged in these particular dogs, and will not show whether there are any problems 'hidden' in the genes that may show up in the next generation. This is one of the reasons why it is really important that breeders know the family histories of their dogs - not just some names on the dog's pedigree, but information about these dogs and their health.