The Pitsky is a cross breed of an American Pitbull Terrier and a Siberian Husky. These two breeds are very friendly and loyal, giving your pup a perfect affectionate mix.
Both parent breeds are very energetic, so it’s a given that their offspring will need a lot of activity to keep them happy and healthy.
This confident and sociable medium sized dog is perfect for active families with children who want a new addition to bring love and playfulness into their lives.
Do you think this confident and energetic pooch is for your family?
Keep reading to find out more about this unique breed with a heart of gold.
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What is a Pitsky? (Overview)
The Pitsky is a mix of a Siberian Husky and an American Pitbull Terrier. No one has claimed to be the first to breed these two friendly dogs together, but they have become popular over the last 20 years or so.
Both parent breeds have an extensive history; the Siberian Husky was originally bred by the Chukchi people as sled dogs. They first made headlines in 1925 when one Husky won a sled race in Alaska which no doubt helped fuel their popularity today.
American Pitbull Terriers originated in England and were used for bull and bear baiting in the early 1800s. Moving to America, they were bred for farm work to hunt wild game and guard the property – no farmer would be without one.
Due to its bad reputation, the American Kennel Club does not recognize the American Pitbull Terrier, but recognizes a very similar breed, the American Staffordshire Terrier.
The AKC has recognized the Siberian Husky breed since 1930, they are ranked the 12th most popular breed and are part of the working dog group.
Their appearance is really potluck, there is no way to know what a puppy will look like until they are fully grown.
Pitbulls themselves are very unpredictable, there is no breed standard and some may not even be pure American Pitbulls Terriers.
So you should prepare for your Pitsky to have an unpredictable appearance, but this does not stop them from being adorable. They can inherit the Husky’s gorgeous blue eyes and the Pitbull’s gentle smile. Their ears may flop, stand erect or a mixture of both.
The wolf like Husky and the muscular Pitbull have very different body shapes, so your pooch may look more like one than the other. The Husky is more slender and lean, while the Pitbull is more stocky and robust.
Height and Weight
No one can guarantee the size of a cross breed. They can be the size of a Pitbull, a Husky or more likely somewhere in between.
A fully grown male Husky can grow from 40-60lbs and 21-24 inches tall.
The Pitbull is a bit more unpredictable. A male can grow anywhere from 30-85lbs and 18-19 inches tall.
This means the Pitsky can grow anywhere between 30-80lbs and 18-24 inches tall.
Females tend to be smaller than males.
Colors, Coats and Fur
Again, the coat colors can be unpredictable. Both the Pitbull and the Husky have a wide range of variation when it comes to their looks.
The Pitbulls common colors include: blue, brown, grey, white, black and red.
Whereas a Husky’s color is slightly more predictable, with the most common including: Agouti & White, Black & White, Gray & White and pure White.
Their coat can either be short or long – it depends on what genes are passed onto the pups.
They can either look more like a Pitbull with a short, rough coat. Or they could inherit the husky appearance, with a long and thick double coat.
Pups that have a Pitbull coat will shed less than pups with a Husky coat.
Pitsky Personality and Temperament
Both these parent breeds are very affectionate and loyal, so it’s likely that the Pitsky will be the same.
That being said, a cross breed’s temperament is unknown. They can have the personality of a Pitbull, or a Husky, or an unbalanced mix of both!
To get an idea of what their personality will be like, we should look a bit closer at the parent breeds.
Let’s start with the Siberian Husky.
The Husky is one of the most playful dogs around – they have a ton of energy and love to bounce around.
They are known as busy bees and will easily become frustrated and bored if they are not doing something. When they get restless, they will chew anything they can get their paws on.
Often described as chatty breeds, they love to talk to you! When they are not holding a conversation with you, they love to howl. Howling is used as communication for the pack. A howling Husky sees you as part of their pack.
Next up, the American Pitbull Terrier.
Pitbulls have a bad reputation thanks to their violent past. However, they are one of the friendliest and welcoming breeds around.
They are very people-orientated, so they do not do well on their own for too long. They are prone to suffering from separation anxiety. Whilst they are friendly towards people, they are not very dog friendly – they do not like unfamiliar dogs.
It’s best to own a Pitsky when they are the only pet in the house, as they can see others as competition.
The Pitsky is a very friendly breed that loves to meet new people. They may not be the best watch dogs in the world, but Pitbulls were originally used as guard dogs for the home, so there might be some potential in them.
Is a Pitsky a Good Family Dog?
Your Pitsky should be gentle and playful which makes them the perfect combo for families with children.
Remember its best to teach your children the basics of dog body language and when to give a dog some space. This breed is easily excitable, so it’s best to keep an eye on them when playing with the kids.
How to Train a Pitsky
Training the Pitsky should be straight forward as both parents are very intelligent breeds.
They catch onto commands and training quickly.
Start training them the moment you bring them home, puppy’s brains are developing and what they learn at this point in their life is more likely to stick! Positive reinforcement is more likely to increase success rates when training your pooch commands and solving behavioral issues.
Give them a treat or praise when they follow your command – let them know they did something right and they will want to do it again.
Socialization is also very important for a puppy’s development. They need to know what behaviors are acceptable and which are not.
Let them meet a wide range of people and children, this stops them from being nervous around new people and new strange experiences.
The Pitbull genes may make them aggressive towards strange dogs, but early socialization can change that. Meeting new dogs should be an enriching experience for every dog. Introduce your pup to other dogs when they are pups, encourage them and show them it’s a good experience by giving them treats and praise.
As said before, Huskys in particular like to be busy and love to be doing things! Mental stimulation is very important as it stops them from being bored and destructive.
Play games with them like hiding a treat in a room and letting them sniff it out.
Caring for a Pitsky
The Pitsky isn’t a breed for a laidback owner. These dogs can be a lot of work, so dedication and commitment is needed.
They are perfect for active families who have kept a medium/large dog before.
This is a dog that will love a large backyard and a big house to run around in, they won’t be happy living in apartments!
Read on to learn how to care for your pooch.
Remember Huskys are endurance breeds and Pitbulls are athletic dogs. So your cross breed will be a bundle of energy that needs at least 90 minutes of activity each day.
You could take your Pitsky to agility classes and show them off, maybe even win competitions. Daily walks are a good way to expend some of their never-ending energy.
Take them out on hikes, go on a jog with them or visit a local beach/lake.
Whatever you do with them just make sure that you get them out the house and keep them active.
Grooming and Shedding
Your pooch will have one of two coat types.
They can have the Pitbull coat, which is rough and short. This will be easy to groom – brushing is only needed once or twice a week.
The other type is the Husky’slong and thick coat. They have a double coat, with a dense undercoat and a coarse overcoat. It will need lots more grooming. They will need regular brushing and at times will need to be brushed daily.
Huskys usually have a blowout twice a year, at this time a grooming routine is vital.
Dogs don’t like their nails too long, so make sure to trim them regularly. Check their ears for wax, build up and debris. Brush their teeth regularly to keep their smile looking good.
Feeding and Diet
The calorie intake for this dog will vary depending on their weight, activity levels and age. Puppies generally need more calories than older dogs.
There is no exact science behind how much a Pitsky should eat, but there are guidelines.
A rough guide on how much to feed an average Pitsky (50lb) is around 2.5 cups of kibble a day divided into 2 meals.
Dogs need a balanced diet, just like people. They need a lot of protein, as this is their main source of energy. Avoid lots of carbohydrates, as this can cause obesity. Starchy carbs can also cause tartar buildup and damage your dog’s teeth.
Commercial dog foods can contain lots of carbs, so it’s best to avoid this by reading the ingredient lists. Filler ingredients (like corn syrup) are common in dry foods.
Raw meat diets have been becoming more popular, however make sure you research and ask a vet before you decide.
Dogs also need vitamins and minerals; these can be found in fruits and veg. Remember though they can’t eat some veggies like onions.
Known Health Problems
It is commonly agreed that cross breeds are healthier than pure breeds, thanks to their increased genetic variation.
This means the Pitsky is less likely to inherit genetic disorders that could be potentially passed on from their parent breeds. However, no dog will be 100% healthy. Some health issues that they can suffer from include:
- Hip Dysplasia:This condition is caused by abnormal development of the hip joint – it can cause pain and lameness. Husky breeds are prone to developing it and it’s common with active dogs.
- Hyperthyroidism:Unfortunately this is common in both parent breeds. It is caused by too much hormones being produced, effecting the metabolism of the dog. It will rapidly change the dog’s weight and appetite.
- Obesity:This can be a common problem for active breeds that don’t get enough exercise. Make sure you exercise your pooch and feed them in moderation.
How Long Can a Pitsky Live?
A healthy Pitsky can expect to live between 12-15 years.
How Much Does a Pitsky Cost?
A Pitsky can range from $200 up to $1000
It’s a general rule that the more reputable breeders will be more expensive as it can cost a lot to care for a healthy breeding pair.
Quick Breed Summary Table
|Size:||18 to 24 inches tall|
|Weight:||30 to 80lb|
|Lifespan:||12 to 15 years|
|Coat:||Either a short, rough coat or a long, straight coat|
|Color:||Huge variation of colors (see appearance section)|
|Do They Shed:||Depends on the type of coat (either low or high amounts)|
|Temperament:||Affectionate, confident, loyal and playful|
|Socialization:||Vital with meeting unfamiliar dogs and other animals|
|Destructive Behavior:||Loves to chew furniture when bored and lonely|
|People Skills:||They love people and are very confident when meeting new people|
|Good with Children:||Great with kids when socialized correctly|
|Activity Levels:||Highly energetic! 90+ minutes of activity each day|
The Pitsky is not a laid back dog – they will need at least 90 minutes of exercise each day to satisfy their needs.
Remember when looking for breeders, avoid ones that do not want to be asked questions, that are pushy and do not want you to visit the litter.
The ideal family for this pooch has a large backyard for them to play in.
Grooming can be difficult to predict for this breed, as you won’t know what type of coat they will have until they are adults – but it should not be too much work.
Do you have any questions about this loyal loving pooch? Let us know in the comments section below…