The Pitbull Husky Mix is a very interesting designer dog that never fails to impress both its family and the people who see it the first time. What really surprises people about the Pitsky is that it’s a relatively docile, non-aggressive, and even-tempered dog despite having an American Pit Bull Terrier as one of its parents. Don’t ever think that its even-temperament, loyalty, and affection comes out naturally in this hybrid though. Like all dogs, you’ve got to have a hand in shaping its character right from the very start. So, as lovable and affectionate as the Pitbull Husky Mix is, in the hands of the wrong person, it can still be a very formidable medium- to large-sized dog no one wants to mess with. Before making any quick and rash decisions, think many times if you’ve got what it takes to be the master of this designer dog.
History of the Pitsky
There’s no denying the parentage of the Pitsky. One parent is the American Pit Bull Terrier, a sturdy, reliable, and dependable dog that has been purely maligned both by the people who raise them and by the media outlets that cannot seem to think of anything positive about the breed. The second parent is a bit muddled.
Ideally, you’d want the American Pit Bull Terrier to be mated with a Siberian Husky to help make sure that you’ve got a really beautiful hybrid puppy. Purebred Siberian Huskies adhere to very strict breed standards especially those for confirmation. They are very elegant to look at, very beautiful. You can just imagine mixing the handsome genes of this Nordic working dog with the short-coated genes of the APBT to give rise to a really adorable and lovely Pitsky puppy.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case as some designer dog breeders use instead of an Alaskan Husky. While the Alaskan Husky is quite a stunner just like its cousin from the other side of the Bering Strait, it has a slightly shorter coat. It is also larger than its Siberian counterpart yet surprisingly leaner. The Siberian Husky has more heft, but not as well-muscled as an Alaskan Malamute. The Alaskan Husky also has a milder or gentler temperament than the Siberian.
Perhaps the most telling of all is that the Alaskan Husky is not really a pure breed. Its name is derived only from its function – being a specialist in the art of pulling anything over snow. Whenever dog sled racers compete, they always pick an Alaskan Husky, not a Siberian Husky, to lead the charge especially in sprint-racing events.
The problem with an Alaskan Husky is that it is bred more for its purpose. Looks are not important. So, it is quite difficult to conjure an image of a Pitsky where one of its parents is an Alaskan Husky. Nevertheless, you’ll definitely love its temperament and its remarkable speed.
So, that’s what Pitsky breeders are faced with. Should they aim for a more stunning look? Or will function be more important?
As for its origins, we’re pretty confident the Pitsky was first created sometime in the 80s since it was in the 90s when designer dog breeds were starting to rise in popularity. Add to this the celebrities who flaunt their so-called ‘designer dog breeds’ in the 2000s and the 1980s sounds just right as the period when the Pitsky and majority of other hybrids were created. But, you’re more than welcome to dispute this. We’re more than happy to share what you know with our avid readers.
Who are the Parents?
We know that the Pitbull Husky Mix is a combination of a Husky and an American Pit Bull Terrier. While we can be certain about the use of APBT in the mix, the Husky part is somewhat a gray area. Most designer dog breeders use a Siberian Husky in the mix, but there are also some who use an Alaskan Husky. But since an Alaskan Husky is not considered a purebred dog, we’ll have to focus our attention on the APBT-Siberian Husky combination. Ready?
American Pit Bull Terrier
While it is true that the APBT was designed specifically for blood sports in the animal kingdom, pitting them against bears and bulls (that’s why they were exceptional in bull- and bear-baiting) in gladiator-like combat, this dog has an affectionate and very friendly side to it that people who appreciate its even temperament have turned it into a venerable service and companion dog.
Yes, the APBT can be aggressive; but only if it was brought up by someone who has similar tendencies. APBTs that are trained with firmness and tempered with love and affection can exhibit the same behaviors towards other people and even other pets. It is obedient and intelligent so training it is never difficult as long as one knows how to act like a true pack leader.
A pack leader is one who takes care of the family; one who makes sure that everything is in order and that each one his place in such an order. This is where the owner comes in. He must be at the top of that order so the APBT will look up to him both for guidance and for sustenance.
This is where most APBT owners fail at. They think that the APBT is an aggressive dog that requires very stern methods to keep them in line. In this case, you’re not earning the dog’s trust; you’re instilling fear. And while the dog may fear you, it will vent out this fear and frustration on others – other people and other pets or animals. That is why, if ever we hear of an APBT attacking another dog or even an individual, we feel sorry for it because it is clearly not its fault. It has grown fearful of its owner that it vents out this negative emotion on others.
To sum it up, American Pit Bull Terriers may have a stubborn and aggressive streak, but this can be addressed by someone who truly understands their needs. With the correct socialization and training, coupled with a nurturing family, the APBT is a courageous, strong-willed, affectionate, kid-friendly, pet-friendly, and very loyal companion for any family.
Unlike the APBT, the Siberian Husky never had to go through any negative publicity. As a matter of fact, it gained worldwide recognition because of its exploits in the Great Race of Mercy in 1925, delivering life-saving diphtheria antitoxins from Nenana to Nome and saving thousands of lives. One hundred fifty Siberian Huskies and other sled dogs were used by 20 mushers to travel 674 miles across inhospitable and treacherous lands in a record 5.5 days. You might know one of these dogs as Balto, the second most popular canine Hollywood star after Rin Tin Tin.
Famous for its wolf-like features, the Siberian Husky is a Koala Bear in a Wolf costume. It has a very friendly and well-mannered temperament that makes it great among children. After all, it was used by the Chukchi people to warm their little kids when winter became unbearable. The thick double-coat of the Siberian Husky provided warmth not only to itself but also the little children who snuggle or cuddle up to it for extra insulation.
But don’t take the Siberian Husky as a softy. When it comes to work, it is as venerable as any other working dog. It is a smart dog, but it only listens to someone whom it sees fit to be its pack leader. They are masters of the Arctic environment and will never trust an icy expedition to someone who clearly doesn’t know the way. It is very much like the APBT in this regard – smart yet stubborn; trainable, but only to the one person who knows its true nature.
It is gentle and alert, but don’t expect the Siberian Husky to protect you and your family. It was never bred to be a guard dog. It will, however, alert you to the presence of a stranger.
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Given that the Pitsky combines the sturdy, be-muscled look of the American Pit Bull Terrier and the double-coated, wolf appearance of the Siberian Husky, it is quite difficult to picture how a Pitsky puppy will turn out to be. This is because the resulting hybrid can take any of the characteristics of either or both parents. But if you want to identify a true Pitsky from a non-Pitsky, then you’ve got to face the facts.
- On the average, a Pitsky can range from 19 to 24 inches. However, given the fact that there’s no guaranteeing the kind of ‘Husky” that was used, then you can get a Pitsky that’s smaller or taller than most.
- A full-grown Pitsky can be 30 to 70 pounds in weight. This is highly variable, again depending on the weight characteristics of its parents. Some may even reach 80 pounds.
- It has a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years, although it can be longer provided it leads to a healthy lifestyle.
- The Pitsky can have the short-coat of the APBT or the dense double-coat of the Siberian Husky.
- The Pitbull Husky mix tends to shed heavily.
- It is very prone to separation anxiety.
Things You Should Know
Folks who want to adopt or get a Pitsky should always make a point to consider and understand the following.
Pitbull Huskies are an intelligent hybrid. However, as intelligent as they are, they still don’t know their roles in your home. It is your task to orient them – train them – to just what kind of ‘dog responsibilities’ you expect of them. Remember, the Pitsky will look up to you for leadership in the same way as a purebred Siberian Husky or a purebred APBT will. As such, if you’re not a natural-born leader or you simply don’t have the qualities of a pack leader, forget getting a Pitsky into your life.
Pitskies require training when they are still puppies. An 8-week old Pitsky can easily absorb anything you teach it especially when you make the training sessions truly rewarding, pleasant, and largely positive. Start with housebreaking then consider crate training. You can then move on to walking on a leash before going for basic obedience training.
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Pitskies are energetic hybrids that require the right amounts of calories and proteins necessary for their active lifestyle. A 40-lb Pitsky will need about 1000 calories every day while a 70-lb Pitbull Husky Mix will need something like 1,500 calories to be divided into 2 to 3 meals. Again, you should really start learning how to compute for your dog’s daily calorie requirement rather than just basing it on a per-cup.
Animal proteins are very crucial since they come with complete essential amino acids compared to plant-based proteins. Omega-3 fatty acids and other essential fats are also needed not only for optimum skin and coat health but also for brain and eye development. The joints also need support, especially if the Pitsky has a very hefty weight.
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The Siberian Husky can run hundreds of miles over snow and through a blizzard while the APBT can be as tenacious when squaring off with an animal many times its size. These are traits that one can readily see in the Pitsky, although not necessarily doing such activities. That being said, the Pitsky expects to be given the chance to exercise. And by this, we don’t mean walking alone or playing a game of Frisbee or ball fetch. These are not enough.
Hiking, running, jogging, and biking are the best exercises for this hybrid dog. The more intense the physical activity, the happier it will be. It is for this reason that the Pitsky is never recommended for self-confessed couch potatoes or those individuals who absolutely hate running or jogging every single day. If you are this person, you can forget about the Pitsky. It will only make its life miserable and turn your world upside down.
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Pitskies may have two of the world’s most durable breeds as parents, but this doesn’t mean it’s a toughie. This is one hybrid that looks really tough on the outside, but is rather a softy on the inside; well, that’s if you know how to treat it well. The Pitsky, for all its size and work ethic, hates being left alone. It’s a people-oriented dog that thrives well in the company of its family, but most especially children. It’s a trait that it gets from both parents.
This designer dog breed is not a great watchdog, just in case you’re entertaining the idea of turning it into one. Why? Well, it has the friendliness of a Labrador Retriever that will most likely make friends even with strangers. However, if it does sense something off, then the Pitsky won’t hesitate to protect its family.
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Grooming the Pitsky can be either a piece of cake or a real pain in the butt. If the Pitsky has the coat of the APBT, then combing its coat should be an easy once weekly thing. But if it has the Siberian Husky’s coat, then grooming chores will be more tedious typically requiring at least twice to thrice weekly combing and brushing. Regardless of the type of coat, however, you’d still have to get your pet hair vacuum cleaner ready as the hybrid can shed quite a lot.
Nail-trimming, ear-cleaning, and dental hygiene are also important aspects of a Pitsky’s grooming. These should be performed every 3 weeks, every week, and every day, respectively.
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The Pitbull Husky Mix is a sturdy designer dog. However, it is not unusual that one or both its parents will be passing down an inheritable disease like hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, cardiac problems, and even hypothyroidism. We cannot emphasize enough that prospective owners of Pitskies must try to ascertain the health of the dog’s parents first.
Pitskies are perfect for you if you…
- Are a true pack leader or at least know how to be one
- Have owned and actively trained a dog before using only positive reinforcement methods
- Have access to a large open space for the Pitsky to roam free and frolic
- Are an outdoorsy person and one who enjoys highly physical activities
- Have older kids at home
Never mind getting a Pitbull Husky Mix if you…
- Cannot and will not lift your butt off of your couch
- Are just going to leave the Pitsky all alone in your house for more than 8 hours at a time
- Don’t like pet dander or pet hair on your belongings
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Very energetic with a bit of rambunctious spirit, the Pitsky is nevertheless a good-natured fellow that is more than capable of pleasing not only its owners but other people as well. Its friendliness towards kids and its ability to show affection to its family are highly remarkable attributes of the designer breed. Unfortunately, this often comes at a cost. When left for too long alone in the house, the Pitsky can be prone to fits of separation anxiety. It is protective and very loyal to its family, but can never be expected to be a guard or watch dog.
The wonderful traits of the Siberian Husky and the APBT are well-ingrained into the genetic makeup of the Pitsky. Regrettably, so are the not-so-good traits. The Pitsky may be a really affectionate and fun-loving hound, but it will only thrive in the hands of the right person.
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