CHARACTER AND TEMPERAMENT
His rugged endurance, stamina and untiring energy have led to the misconception that the Siberian is a fierce, belligerent animal. Nothing could be more untrue. A Siberian will pull in harness until he drops in the traces. He will vehemently argue the view that only small breeds should be lap dogs. He thrives on affection and returns it doubled. When raised from a pup with a child, a safer, more friendly and faithful companion could not be found. The only conceivable danger with a Siberian unused to children is his boisterous enthusiasm to be friends. The Siberian is alert, intelligent and extremely independent; and while he can excel at almost any type of work, including AKC obedience, he will often do things “his way” rather than the way he was trained. He has proven himself a showman and can be competitive in obedience at many AKC shows. Sensitive and affectionate, he is neither a man, woman, or child’s dog exclusively. He is at home with all members of the family, and adaptable to any way of life. Happy-go-lucky, mischievously sassy or proudly dignified, each Siberian has his own unique personality. A quiet breed, he is more inclined to talk or howl occasionally than to bark. The Siberian is a born hunter of birds and small animals, “for his own benefit.” Consequently, an understanding between you and your pup at an early age will be advantageous to both your smaller pets and the neighbor’s chickens. He will also quite gleefully dispose of all manner of objects by storing them in his stomach in various stages of mastication-with the possible exception of his dinner. Naturally, this behavior must be discouraged, as serious effects can result from his indiscriminate appetite. The Siberian has an insatiable desire to run and possesses no traffic sense. He should, therefore, be confined to a fenced yard, kennel run or kept on a leash at all times. He can be extremely destructive, if left alone for long periods of time. This is especially true of puppies and youngsters. Friendly by nature, he possesses no guarding instincts and will greet an intruder as happily as he would his family. Although seldom, if ever, the aggressor, if his rights are challenged by another dog, he will usually settle the affair to his satisfaction.
CARE AND FEEDING
The Siberian is adaptable to all types of climate in spite of his heavy coat and cold weather heritage. The heavy undercoat is shed in mass twice yearly, more often if the dog is kept inside. He is fastidiously clean and almost 100% odor free. Bathing is necessary only at the beginning of the shedding period, and at the completion of shedding. Brushing is also recommended at this time. A stiff wire brush, or fur rake, with the bristles embedded in rubber is recommended for this purpose. At all times care should be taken to remove “stickers” or any foreign matter from the dense undercoat, as they can work their way into the skin and may cause infection. The Siberian will be equally comfortable outdoors the year around or in the house. Consistency is necessary, however, as his coat will adapt itself accordingly. Siberians can endure any degree of cold, but dampness is very dangerous. If your dog is kept outside, be sure he has a dry place to sleep, and to retreat from rain.
Feeding the Siberian is no more expensive than for many of the smaller breeds. Breeders have individual preferences as to specific diet. However, there will be times, especially in hot weather, when your Siberian will go off his feed. Unless he is ill, don’t baby him. Never leave food overnight. During this loss of appetite, try giving the dog only a cup of meal mixed with meat. This will tend to whet his appetite so that on the following night he will be more interested in eating. However, do not ignore your dog’s reluctance to eat. Make sure there is not a health reason. In all matters of care and feeding, your veterinarian is, of course, the wisest counsel. After your dog has received his permanent distemper-hepatitis lepto, parvo and corona virus, and his rabies shots, no shots are necessary until he is a year old. It is generally agreed that all Siberians should have yearly booster shots for the above diseases. Additionally, heartworm has been seen in the Colorado area. Contact your veterinarian for further information. Although the Siberian is a healthy breed, inherited diseases are not unknown. Breeding stock should be X-rayed at 2 years of age for hip dysplasia and undergo yearly eye examinations by a certified canine ophthalmologist. Fleas are uncommon in this area, but during warm summer months an occasional animal may be bothered by lice, and in some areas, ticks. Every effort should be made to keep your dog free of these pests.