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A lot of mixed-breed dogs make great pets, and the Pitsky – a cross between a Pit Bull and a Siberian Husky – is certainly one of the best examples. Adorably, friendly and affectionate, Pitskies are awesome pets for families that are willing to provide the kind of care and attention they need.
We’ll talk about some of the traits of the Pitbull Husky mix below, so you can try to determine if one would be a good addition to your family.
Pit Bulls and Siberian Huskies are both popular dog breeds, who often make great pets, so it isn’t surprising that puppies created by mixing the two breeds usually make good pets too. However, as with any other mixed breed dog, it can be difficult to know what to expect from these dogs.
We’ll try to help you learn what to expect from a Pitsky by explaining some of the most consistent traits of each parent breed. Your new Pitsky may resemble one of these breeds more than the other, but some individuals represent a pretty balanced combination of the two.
Unfortunately, Pit Bull Terriers were originally developed for terrible purposes – they were initially created to be fighting dogs. However, as public perceptions about dog fighting began to change, many of these dogs were retired from the fighting ring (or “pit,” as they were often called), and allowed to live out their days as pets. Some even went on to give birth to the ancestors of modern Pit Bulls.
This dark history has unfortunately caused American Pit Bull Terriers to become the subject of countless myths and widespread misinformation. Contrary to their reputation as an aggressive breed, modern Pit Bulls are generally extremely friendly with people. In fact, they’re often considered too friendly for protection or guard-dog work.
Some Pit Bulls are antagonistic toward other dogs, so it is wise to socialize them from a very early age, introduce them to plenty of other dogs, and always use caution when leaving them with other canines.
Most Pit Bulls have very high energy levels, so they need plenty of chances to exercise each week. Fortunately, they usually like playing in just about any way you like – they’ll play tug of war, they’ll have a blast playing “tag,” with their owner, and many also like playing fetch. Additionally, most Pit Bulls love to swim, so try to give them the chance to dog-paddle around whenever possible.
Pit Bulls are generally pretty healthy dogs, who don’t suffer from a lot of health problems. However, they are susceptible to hip dysplasia and osteoarthritis (particularly if they are overweight), and they frequently suffer from food allergies and skin problems.
Pit Bulls vary pretty significantly in terms of size. The smallest individuals may only weigh 40 pounds or so, while the largest individuals may reach 75 pounds or more. Rarely, Pit Bulls may reach even larger sizes, although such giant individuals are often susceptible to joint problems.
Siberian Huskies are one of the world’s oldest dog breeds, and they still resemble their ancestors who were first created hundreds of years ago. Initially developed to drag sleds across the snow, Huskies were originally created by the Chukchi people of eastern Siberia.
Because they were originally developed to pull sleds for miles at a time, modern Huskies have incredibly high energy levels, and they need the chance to exercise on a daily basis. A simple walk around the neighborhood won’t suffice for these dogs – Huskies need the chance to run around at full speed for at least 30 minutes a day. If deprived of such opportunities, Huskies will often develop destructive chewing habits.
Like many other sled-pulling breeds, Siberian Huskies usually get along well with other dogs. They’re usually friendly with people too, although they can be a bit rambunctious with young children, so caution is warranted. Huskies are usually easy to housetrain, but basic obedience is another matter entirely. Huskies have a stubborn and independent nature, which can make training challenging.
Huskies are generally healthy dogs, but cataracts are pretty common in this breed. This is a shame, as one of the things that draws people to Huskies is their beautiful eyes, which are often blue or green. In some cases, they’ll even have eyes of two different colors.
Huskies are medium to large dogs, who vary quite a bit in size. Small females may barely exceed 35 pounds or so, but large males occasionally reach or exceed 70 pounds in weight.
Pitbull Husky mixes vary pretty significantly, so it can be difficult to know what to expect when adding one of these mixed-breed dogs to your home. However, we’ll discuss some of the most common traits they exhibit below.
Most Husky-Pit Bull mixes are medium to large dogs, who weigh about 40 to 60 pounds. They can exhibit the light build of Huskies or the barrel-chested build of Pit Bulls – it just depends on which parent breed they favor.
Similarly, they can be covered in long or short hair, depending on whether they exhibit more Pit Bull or Husky traits. However, short hair appears to be more common than long hair in these dogs. Most Pitskies are clad in a variety of brown, white, gray and black colors, but some individuals are unicolored.
Many Pit-Bull-Husky mixes inherit the eyes of their Husky parent, which can give them a very striking appearance. Some have a unicolored face that is relatively similar to that of Pit Bulls, but others have the complex facial markings of Huskies. The majority of Pit-Bull-Husky mixes we’ve seen have a head shape that is more similar to that of a Siberian Husky than a Pit Bull, meaning that they have relatively long, thin snouts and erect ears.
Pit Bull Siberian Husky mixes can exhibit a range of personality types, but most do have a few things in common. For example, Pitskies are almost always very playful, high-energy dogs.
This means that they’ll not only need to go on several long walks each day, but they’ll also need the opportunity to run around at the dog park or in your backyard. Just be sure that you don’t allow them to run off leash. Not only are Pitskies likely to run off like their Husky parents are, but they may also become antagonistic toward other dogs while exploring.
Pitskies are also almost always very friendly, affectionate dogs. They don’t bond as strongly with their owners as some other breeds do, and those who take after their Husky parent may be a bit stubborn, but they’ll always enjoy getting love and attention from their owners. Most Pitskies are also exceedingly friendly with strangers.
You may find it difficult to train Pitskies. They are fairly intelligent dogs, but they often have a stubborn streak, and they rarely have the innate drive to please their owner the way some other breeds do. However, they’re usually not difficult to housetrain, particularly if you start teaching them the proper bathroom protocols at a young age and use a crate to assist with the training process.
Because they’re the product of two different dog breeds, Pitskies enjoy the benefits of something called hybrid vigor. This essentially means that because they are the product of two very different gene pools, they aren’t as likely to suffer from some of the diseases and problems that many purebred dogs are.
However, Husky-Pitbull mixes can experience a few health problems that you should be aware of. Many, for example, are susceptible to skin and coat problems, and they may even be allergic to some proteins. Fortunately, most of these issues are fairly easy to treat, and sometimes you can improve their skin and coat health by simply supplementing their diet with omega-3 fatty acids.
Joint problems are also something to watch for when adding a Pitsky to your family. They may suffer from hip dysplasia, and osteoarthritis is also a potential problem. To help avoid these problems, be sure to select a good food for your dog, watch his body weight closely, and avoid letting him jump up or down from high places.
In many respects, you can care for a Pit-Bull-Husky mix the same way you would any other large-breed dog. However, there are a few things you’ll want to be particularly aware of to ensure your new pet remains healthy and happy. This includes the food and toys you provide, as well as making sure your new pet has a good place to sleep, ensuring that you bathe him properly and provide him with a suitable flea control.
It’s always important to provide dogs with a nutritious, AAFCO-compliant food, and Pitskies are no exception. Be sure to discuss your food choice with your vet while your dog is a puppy, as young Pitskies may require a food formulated specifically for the needs of large-breed puppies. However, others may not – you’ll just need to discuss the issue with your vet.
On the other hand, adult Pitskies will usually thrive on just about any high-quality food designed for large breed adults. The only exception would be those who suffer from food allergies or specific skin problems. But don’t worry: We have you covered in either case. We discuss some of the best foods for large breeds here, and we review a few of the best foods for dogs with food allergies here.
Pitskies will often develop destructive chewing behaviors if not provided with enough mental stimulation and exercise. But you don’t want to try to eliminate chewing behaviors completely – they’re a natural part of dog biology. Accordingly, you must provide your new pet with a safe chew toy.
But note that Pitskies are often very aggressive chewers, so you can’t just give them any old chew toy. You have to give them a toy that will hold up to their strong teeth and jaws. We discuss a few of the most durable chew toys here. Just be sure to give your dog the largest chew toy he can comfortably handle, as this will help ensure it lasts and represents less of a choking hazard.
Even if you are the type of owner who doesn’t mind their dog sleeping on the bed or couch, you’ll want to obtain a high-quality dog bed for your new pet. The best dog beds – such as the orthopedic models we discuss here – will cradle your dog’s hips, shoulders, knees, elbows and spine in a manner that helps alleviate joint pain and promote a good night’s sleep.
Additionally, it is a good idea to provide your new pet with a secure crate. Crates not only help during the housebreaking process, but they can also be very reassuring for nervous dogs. They’re also helpful from a pet-management point-of-view, and they give you a safe place to confine your pet when the need arises. We discuss some of the best crates on the market here, so be sure to give that article a read before buying your pet’s crate.
It is very important to adopt good bathing and grooming practices for your new Pitsky. Most Pitskies have relatively low-maintenance coats, but those who take after their Husky parent and have long hair will require weekly brushing. In fact, it is a good idea to brush all dogs regularly, as this will help reduce the amount of hair they shed in your home.
Try to bathe your Pitsky on a regular basis, so that he won’t develop offensive odors. Regular baths will also help reduce the amount of hair your new pet sheds. Just be careful not to bathe your new pet too frequently, as this can actually lead to coat and skin problems. Typically, a once-per-month schedule is appropriate.
SEE ALSO: 9 Tips for Husky Grooming and Coat Care
No matter which parent your Pit-Bull-Siberian-Husky mix favors, you must use a high-quality flea treatment on your pet. Fleas will make your dog miserable and they can even cause your pet to develop allergies. Fleas can even transmit parasites to your dog, so you want to do everything possible to help keep your dog flea-free.
We discuss some of the best topical flea treatments and other flea-killing products here. No matter which type of flea-control product you decide to use, be sure that you apply it consistently.
Do you have a Pitbull Husky mix of your own? Tell us all about him! We’d love to know about some of your experiences, so let us know some of the things you like most about your pet, as well as some of the biggest challenges he’s presented. Your comments may even help other prospective Husky-Pit Bull owners decide whether or not they’d enjoy one of their own.
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