Pitsky – Everything You Need To Know About The Husky Pit Bull Mix!
The Pitsky is a bold, energetic, and totally unique mixed breed that’s becoming a popular choice for many families across America. With such iconic parent breeds as the Siberian Husky and American Pit Bull Terrier, what’s not to like? These wonderful pups are smart, full of energy, and need a family that can keep up with them. Here’s everything you need to know about the Pitsky designer dog breed.
History of the Pitsky
As with many mixed dog breeds, it’s really difficult to know the exact origin of the Pitsky. These pups could have naturally been around for many years without anyone ‘intentionally’ breeding them.
It’s likely, however, that this mixed breed dog came about at the height of the designer dog breed period in the late 1990s. At this time, breeders were breeding beloved dogs to see what new breeds could be created. Some of these, like the Labradoodle, are still very popular today.
To understand more about the history of the Pitsky, it’s worth looking at the history of the Siberian Husky and the Pit Bull Terrier.
History of the Siberian Husky
Huskies are an ancient breed dating back more than 4,000 years ago! These beautiful, wolf-like dogs were originally bred in northeastern Asia by the Chukchi tribe. The Chukchi people were semi-nomadic but when environmental changes forced them to go further afield, they bred sled dogs that would be able to haul their possessions over ice and snow for many miles.
They needed a strong, energetic, and smart dog that could withstand freezing temperatures. They also wanted a pup that would be part of the family, affectionate, and loyal.
In the early 1900s, Siberian Huskies began to gain popularity because they kept winning sled races! They were able to quickly haul medicine and other vital materials across North America. In fact, one such journey was in 1925 when a man managed to travel 658 miles in less than 6 days to bring diphtheria medicine to a town in Alaska that was suffering from an epidemic.
Nowadays, Huskies still compete in sled races, but they’re also ‘just’ loved family pets around the world.
History of the American Pit Bull Terrier
Pit bulls can be traced back to the 1800s in England. As their name would suggest, they were first bred to bait bulls. This was a cruel sport in which multiple dogs were set upon a bull until it collapsed with tiredness or injury – all for the enjoyment of the spectators.
In 1935, however, a law was passed to prohibit bull baiting. So, Pit Bulls were used for ratting instead. This was a sport where dogs competed with one another to see how many rats they could kill in a certain amount of time. In order to chase and kill rats, Pit Bulls needed to be more agile and quicker, so they were mixed with Terrier breeds too.
This agility and strength made them great fighters and, unfortunately, dog fighting became very popular. This underground fighting led to unethical breeding with aggression and violence being preferred.
Just before the Civil War, immigrants from Britain brought Pit Bulls with them to America. These dogs were bred to be bigger and even stronger, which made them great dogs to have around – they even got their name the American Pitbull Terrier. They helped protect families from thieves, hunt, guard livestock, and herd cattle. Aggression was bred out of these pups and they began to be known for being incredibly affectionate towards humans (which they really are)! Some even name Pit Bulls the ‘nanny’ dog because of how great they are with kids!
So, now you know the history of both parent breeds, this should give you more of an idea of what to expect from a Pitsky.
Dog breeding isn’t always simple – especially when it comes to mixed-breed dogs such as the Pitsky. Because of the difference in size between a Siberian Husky (or sometimes an Alaskan Husky) and a Pit Bull, the female dog must be a Husky.
This means that Pitskies are almost always first-generation hybrid dogs. Litters can have up to 8 puppies and they can all look extremely different! Because they’re first-generation, they’ll inherit traits of both mom and dad so temperament, size, coat, and color can be hard to predict.
At the moment, there are very few (if any) breeders who specialize in second-generation Pitskies (when two Pitskies are bred together). When this eventually happens, breed traits such as color and temperament should be easier to identify.
Temperament of the Pitsky
That being said, there are a few noticeable characteristics that almost all Pitskies will have. The first is that Pitskies are very energetic. Both parent dog breeds are working dogs and need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation. They enjoy having a job to do, whether that’s a puzzle toy or competing in a sled race! They need to be part of an active family that will take them on plenty of walks and adventures.
These pups can also be a little feisty and need a strong and experienced owner. Huskies are known for being stubborn pups (occasionally!) and they need plenty of fun and engaging training sessions if they’re not to become aloof and independent. Pit Bulls also need plenty of obedience training and early socialization, otherwise they may not get on well with other dogs. Without this, they can sometimes be unmanageable and even aggressive.
Many think Pitties are a scary dog breed because of their past, but regular training and early socialization can usually prevent this.
A Pitsky makes a wonderful family pet. They’re very loyal and love to spend time playing and being petted by family members. They’re playful, sometimes goofy, sociable, and very caring towards those they love.
Appearance of the Pitsky
Huskies and Pit Bulls don’t exactly look similar – so you can imagine how diverse the Pitsky dog breed can be. They vary in size, color, morphology, and weight. But one thing is for sure, they’re all very cute and attractive doggos!
These pups vary massively when it comes to weight. They can weigh anywhere between 35 and 80 lb.
Depending on whether your pup is more Husky or Pit Bull, they can stand between 20 and 25 inches tall.
A Pitsky can be many different colors, including white, black, brown, brindle, and a combination of all of them. They can also be gray dogs! There are many Pit Bull and Husky colors so they can be a combination.
They can have dark eyes or the particularly striking, bright blue eyes common in Siberian Huskies.
One of the biggest differences between a Siberian Husky and a Pit Bull is their coat. Huskies are fluffy, double-coated pups, and Pitbulls are… well, not. Usually, however, Pitskies have short, single coats. This makes them a better choice for allergy sufferers than their super-shedding Husky parents. They’re not considered a hypoallergenic dog breed, though.
A difficulty for many Husky owners is temperature. Huskies prefer cooler temperatures and their thick coat makes it difficult for them to manage in warmer weather. A Pitbull Husky mix can be a good solution for those wanting a Husky but that don’t live in Siberia!
How Much Grooming Does A Pitsky need?
These pups should be minimal shedders. Which means they shouldn’t require too much grooming. At least, certainly less than their Siberian Husky parents. If your Pitsky has a relatively short and single coat then they will only need the odd brush every week to keep their coat slick and the hair around your home to a minimum.
If it’s a bit longer and thicker, you may need to brush them three times a week to stop mats from forming. Pitskies don’t require much bathing (unless they specifically roll in something) but it can help to keep shedding under control.
If you don’t mind a bit of grooming, you could think of adopting a Pomsky (Pomeranian Husky Mix) instead!
Health of a Pitsky
A mixed-breed pup is usually healthier than a purebred dog and it’s no different for a Pitsky. That being said, they can suffer from a few health conditions common in other canines.
They can suffer from:
- Hip dysplasia
Care of a Pitsky
As with all other dogs, it’s important to take your pet from a young age for regular checkups at the vet. This can help to detect conditions such as hip dysplasia early on so you can find the best treatment.
Pitskies need a lot of exercise to keep them happy and healthy. This will help them to maintain a healthy weight and keep their brains engaged and excited.
Life Expectancy of a Pitsky
Pitskies can live to be between 12 and 16 years old. With lots of care, exercise, checkups, and playtime with you, they should live a long and healthy life.
As well as providing adequate care, it’s also really important to feed your Pitsky high-quality, nutritious food. These friendly dogs are athletic and strong, which means they need enough dog food to match their energy levels. For a pup of this size, you should be feeding them between 2.5 and 3 cups of premium kibble a day. Make sure you check the specific feeding suggestions on the packaging and consult your vet if you’re not sure.
It’s best to split their food into 2 or 3 meals per day to stop bloat (a painful, life-threatening condition). You may also want to consider feeding your Pitsky fresh dog food. This is nutritious, uses human-grade ingredients, and often comes in pre-portioned packs so you can’t overfeed your dog.
Snacks can be a great way of rewarding pups. Try not to feed them too many processed doggy treats. Instead opt for healthier versions such as pineapple, broccoli, peas, or cucumber. Check out the BarkingTalk food page for more ideas!
It’s important to talk to your canine nutritionist or vet if you’re considering changing your dog’s diet.
Do Pitskies Get On With Other Animals And Children?
Pitskies are great family dogs and get on well with children. Their playful nature and endless supplies of energy make them great companions. Of course, it’s always important to supervise children around dogs and teach them how to play. They should never pull on ears or tails and never approach a dog that’s eating.
Just like an American Pitbull Terrier, a Pitsky may be reserved and apprehensive around other dogs. Training from a young age and plenty of socialization can help them to feel more comfortable around new dogs.
Can Pitskies Be Left Alone?
There’s no one exact rule as to whether a Pitsky can be left alone for a few hours or not. Huskies don’t do well being left alone and can easily develop separation anxiety. They’ll be very vocal and can even become destructive. Pit Bulls, on the other hand, don’t mind being left alone for short periods.
Depending on your pooch, you may be able to leave them alone for a couple of hours if you slowly introduce it when they’re a puppy. It should be gradual and it’s important your dog has plenty of water and things to entertain them. Try getting them an indestructible dog toy to keep them entertained for short periods.
Are There Recognized Clubs?
Because a Pitsky is a Husky Pitbull mix, it is not recognized by the American Kennel Club or any other kennel clubs. It is, however, recognized by the Dog Registry of America and there are many Pitsky clubs and local groups.
Do Pitskies Make Good Guard Dogs?
No. Not really. Huskies may look like wolves and be pretty vocal, but they’re more likely to lick an intruder than actually chase them off. Similarly, Pit Bulls are sociable and love being around people – two qualities that are not exactly desired in a guard dog.
If your dog looks more like a Pit Bull than a Husky, you may find that some people are wary of being around them. Because of their fighting dog past, many feel nervous around Pit Bulls which could help dissuade intruders if they happen to be walking past!
What To Think About When Adopting A Pitsky Puppy
As with any doggos, it’s important to do your research when trying to find a breeder. These pups may not be purebred dogs but their parents should be if they’re to be considered a true Pitsky. A breeder should be able to prove that the Husky mother and Pitbull father are both healthy and purebred dogs.
With this dog breed, it’s also really important to socialize and train them when they’re puppies so they grow up to be happy and friendly dogs.
One of the best things about these dogs is that they can just be so different! From a litter of 8 puppies, each dog will be unique in both temperament and appearance. With an experienced owner and plenty of socialization, these dogs can be amazing family pets that are as loving and as loyal as they come!