The pitsky is a cross between an American pit bull terrier and a Siberian husky. Pitskies are also commonly referred to as husky pit bull mixes. The mixed breed stands 17 to 23.5 inches tall and weighs between 30 and 60 pounds.
Pitskies are incredibly smart, loyal, and affectionate dogs that get along well with children. However, these dogs are energetic and need a lot of rigorous exercise to stay happy and healthy.
Pitskies typically cost $500 to $2,000.
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Pitsky Characteristics & Overview
|Common names:||Pitsky, husky pit bull mix, pit bull husky mix|
|Origin:||Britain, Northeast Asia, Siberia|
|Parent breeds:||American pit bull terrier and Siberian husky|
|Colors:||Black, white, sable, brown, tan, gray, brindle, red, and blue|
|Coat:||Smooth, short coat or thick double coat|
|Life expectancy:||12–16 years|
|Temperament:||Loyal, affectionate, intelligent, vocal, sociable, eager to please but potentially stubborn|
|Shedding:||Minimal to moderate|
Origin & Purpose
The pitsky mix has been around for decades, but breeders began intentionally mixing the American pit bull terrier and Siberian husky together some time in the late 1990s. During this period, designer breeds were becoming increasingly popular.
While the exact purpose behind the pitsky is unknown, it’s possible breeders were hoping to create a dog that had the wolf-like appearance of the husky, and the people-pleasing temperament of the pit bull terrier.
American Pit Bull Terrier
The American pit bull terrier originates from 19th-century Britain and was further refined in the United States. The breed was originally developed for work and blood sports like bull baiting.
American pit bull terriers were recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC) in 1898, but haven’t yet been recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). American pit bull terriers have muscular, athletic builds, short coats, and drop ears. These dogs are known for their loyalty and their eagerness to please.
Most pitskys inherit the personality traits of the American pit bull terrier, as well as the breed’s stocky stature.
The Siberian husky originates from Siberia and was initially bred to be a working sled dog that could travel far distances in the cold, Arctic climate. Siberian huskies were first recognized by the AKC in 1930.
The Siberian husky has a wolf-like appearance, thick double coat, and a gentle, mischievous personality. Pitskys typically inherit the Siberian husky’s coat and distinctive facial features.
The pitsky has an average life expectancy of 12 to 16 years when properly cared for. Regular exercise, a protein-rich diet, and plenty of mental stimulation help these dogs stay fit and happy.
Pitskys are medium-sized dogs that gain a combination of traits from their husky and pit bull parent breeds. These dogs reach 23.5 inches tall and come in several colors. Most pitskys have athletic builds, bicolored coats, and wolf-like faces.
Height and Weight
Pitskies are considered medium dogs, with a height at the withers of 17 to 23.5 inches, and a weight of 30 to 60 pounds. Males weigh more than females and are typically a few inches taller. Size can also vary depending on the dog’s diet, genetics, age, health, and activity level.
A three-month-old pitsky puppy grows up to 12 inches and weighs around 20 pounds. Most pitskys reach their adult size by 15 months old.
Pit bull husky mixes are typically white, black, brown, gray, or brindle. Most dogs have a combination of these hues, often inheriting the Siberian husky’s coat markings. The rarest pitsky coat type is solid white.
The pitsky can inherit the single coat of the American pit bull terrier or the thick double coat of the Siberian husky.
- American pit bull terrier coat: Smooth, short single coat with glossy, stiff hairs that fall straight. Minimal to moderate shedding
- Siberian husky coat: Thick, medium-length double coat. Undercoat hairs are dense and short, while outercoat hairs are long, straight, and repel water. Moderate shedding, though heavy shedding when the dog blows its coat during seasonal changes
Pitsky Personality and Temperament
As per the AKC’s official temperament guide, the Siberian husky is alert, outgoing, and friendly. The American pit bull terrier, according to the UKC, is confident, eager to please, and enthusiastic. The pitsky can inherit any of these personality traits, though most dogs are sociable and loyal.
Pitskies are affectionate, gentle with children, and well-suited to families. However, without early training and socialization, pitskies tend to show dog aggression and need a firm, experienced owner that can dedicate time to their training and care. This mixed breed also has a high prey drive and shouldn’t be kept in a house with other small pets, like rabbits and birds.
Pit bull husky mixes rarely bark unless they’re playing or want to alert their owners. However, pitskies that inherit more traits from their Siberian husky parent are likely to be vocal in other ways, like howling, whining, and yelping.
The pitsky is moderately difficult to look after because it needs a lot of exercise, consistent training, and can be stubborn. The mix also has a high prey drive and is more prone to dog aggression than other breeds.
Adult piskies should be fed 2 to 3 cups of medium-sized dog food per day, split into two different meals. The exact amount varies depending on size, metabolism, energy level, and age.
Pitsky puppies require more food, around 4 to 5 cups per day split across three separate meals. Gradually reduce the amount as the puppies grow into adulthood.
Pitskies typically have minimal grooming needs, even if they inherit the Siberian husky’s double coat. Brush these dogs once a week to keep their coats in good condition and free of dirt, dander, and debris. Wash pitskies every few months or when dirty.
Most pit bull husky mixes wear down their nails naturally, but owners should trim the nails if they audibly clack against the ground.
Pitskies are high-energy dogs that require at least 90 minutes of exercise per day in the form of walking, running, and games. Without adequate exercise, pitskies often become destructive and engage in behaviors like digging, chewing, scratching, and howling.
Pitskies can live happily in apartments if they get enough exercise and are taken out regularly to relieve themselves. However, these dogs thrive in a household with a large backyard. Ensure the yard is fenced securely because pitskies are known escape artists.
Pitskies require plenty of mental stimulation to stay mentally fit, ideally at least 60 minutes per day. Great activities for the pit bull husky mix include training, interactive games like tug-of-war, scent work, puzzle toys, and hiking.
Common Health Concerns
Pitskies are a relatively healthy mixed breed, though these dogs are prone to the health problems that frequently affect their parent breeds, including:
- Congenital cardiac disease: Aheart abnormality that’s present at birth. Symptoms include breathing difficulties, tiredness, coughing, and exercise problems. Treatment for congenital cardiac disease varies, depending on defect, severity, and age
- Patella luxation: When the dog’s knee cap moves out of its proper position. Symptoms include joint aches, pain, lameness, and a hopping gait. Treatment for patella luxation involves physiotherapy, rest, and surgery
- Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA): An inherited eye disease that eventually leads to permanent blindness. Treatment isn’t possible, but the condition can be genetically screened for
- Hip dysplasia: When the pitsky’s hip joint doesn’t develop properly. Symptoms include lameness, limping, a wobbly gait, and cracking sounds from the joint. Treatment for hip dysplasia involves weight reduction, physical therapy, joint supplements, and exercise restriction
- Degenerative myelopathy: A debilitating disease that affects the dog’s spinal cord. Symptoms include leg weakness, incontinence, and paralysis. Currently, there is no possible treatment for degenerative myelopathy
- Cataracts: When the lens of the eye becomes clouded. Symptoms include eye color changes, vision problems, clumsiness, and reluctance to climb stairs. Cataracts can be removed entirely with surgery
- Hypothyroidism: When the thyroid is impaired and doesn’t work properly. Symptoms include weight gain, an insatiable appetite, cold intolerance, lethargy, and excessive shedding. Hypothyroidism is treated with thyroid replacement hormone medication
- Glaucoma: A buildup of pressure within the eye. Symptoms include a cloudy, hazy look to the eye, redness, dilated pupil, watering, and blindness. Treatment for glaucoma can involve surgery and medicated eye drops
Pit bull husky mixes are typically smart and love pleasing their owners. However, these dogs can sometimes be stubborn, which can make training them more difficult than other dog breeds. Most pitskies respond well to positive reinforcement (reward-based) methods.
Start training and socialization from a young age because puppies are more receptive to learning new behaviors than adults. Begin with housebreaking, crate training, and basic obedience training. Gradually move on to more advanced training as the pitsky puppy grows and becomes more confident.
Pitskies are also prone to dog aggression, so ensure the puppy is exposed to other dogs in a positive, controlled environment.
Like most designer dog breeds, the husky pit bull mix is relatively expensive. The initial price depends on the dog’s bloodline, appearance, age, and whether you’re buying from a reputable breeder or adopting. Older dogs are cheaper than puppies.
How Much Is a Pitsky?
A pit bull husky mix typically costs $500 to $2,000. Puppies with rare coat colors or good lineage can cost significantly more. Adopting an adult pitsky is a cheaper alternative, with most rescue shelters charging an adoption fee between $50 and $250.
How Much Does It Cost to Own a Pitsky?
Owning a husky pit bull mix costs between $100 and $160 per month. This amount covers expenses like food, grooming tools, vet trips, toys, and treats.
Expect to pay more in the first year — around $2,500 in total — because of initial costs like neutering and puppy vaccinations. Dog walkers, pet sitters, training classes, and health problems can increase the overall cost of care.
Is a Pitsky Right for You?
Pitskies make great family dogs that’ll keep you entertained with their goofy antics and outgoing, lovable personalities. However, these dogs aren’t suitable for some owners and lifestyles.
Pitskies Are Suitable for:
Pitskies are ideal for families with young children because, when properly trained, the dogs are gentle and nurturing. Pit bull husky mixes are also well-suited to people that lead active lifestyles and have large backyards.
The best owner for a pitsky is someone who is experienced with pet ownership and has plenty of time to train and socialize a dog.
Pitskies Are NOT Suitable for:
Husky pit bull mixes aren’t suitable for first time dog owners, people with mobility issues, or households with small animals. Pitskies are prone to separation anxiety, so they also aren’t ideal for people who work long hours.
People who live in dense community areas, where noise complaints are likely, should avoid this mixed breed. The pit bull husky mix is often loud and vocal, especially if it inherits more traits from its husky parent.
More American Pit Bull Terrier and Siberian Husky Mixes
Want an American Pit Bull Terrier mix or Siberian Husky mix, but aren’t keen on the Pitsky? Check out these other hybrid dog breeds:
American Pit Bull Terrier Mixes
- German Shepherd Pit Bull Mix
- Golden Retriever Pit Bull Mix
- Pit Bull Mastiff Mix
- Pit Bull Boxer Mix
- Pit Bull Lab Mix
- Rottweiler Pit Bull Mix
- PitBull Corgi Mix
- Pit Bull Husky Mix
- Pit Bull Dachshund Mix
My dog is American Staf.,and Siberian Husky. Is she a Pitski?
Her dna was 50/50.