The Chusky is a mixed breed dog — a cross between the Chow Chow and Siberian Husky dog breeds. Curious, headstrong, and loving, these dogs inherited some of the best qualities from both of their parents.
Chuskies go by several different names, including Chow Husky, Husky Chow, and Chowski. Despite their unfortunate status as a designer breed, you may find these mixed breed dogs in shelters and breed specific rescues, so remember to adopt! Don’t shop!
These adorable, fluffy dogs are intelligent and somewhat stubborn, which doesn’t make them ideal matches for novice owners. They can also grow very protective of their owners and make excellent watch dogs. If you want a smart dog who enjoys training, lots of exercise, and of course, lots of cuddles, then the Chusky might be the right dog for you.
Some dogs are simply easier than others; they take to training better and are fairly easygoing. They’re also resilient enough to bounce back from your mistakes or inconsistencies.
Dogs who are highly sensitive, independent thinking, or assertive may be harder for a first-time dog parent to manage. You’ll get your best match if you take your dog-owning experience into account as you choose your new pooch.
If you’re new to dog parenting, take a look at 101 Dog Tricks and read up on how to train your dog!
Some dogs will let a stern reprimand roll off their backs, while others take even a dirty look to heart. Low-sensitivity dogs, also called “easygoing,” “tolerant,” “resilient,” and even “thick-skinned,” can better handle a noisy, chaotic household, a louder or more assertive owner, and an inconsistent or variable routine. Do you have young kids, throw lots of dinner parties, play in a garage band, or lead a hectic life? Go with a low-sensitivity dog.
Some breeds bond very closely with their family and are more prone to worry or even panic when left alone by their owner. An anxious dog can be very destructive–barking, whining, chewing, and otherwise causing mayhem. These breeds do best when a family member is home during the day or if you can take the dog to work.
Dogs with thick, double coats are more vulnerable to overheating. So are breeds with short noses, like Bulldogs or Pugs, since they can’t pant as well to cool themselves off. If you want a heat-sensitive breed, your dog will need to stay indoors with you on warm or humid days, and you’ll need to be extra cautious about exercising your dog in the heat.
All Around Friendliness
Some breeds are independent and aloof, even if they’ve been raised by the same person since puppyhood; others bond closely to one person and are indifferent to everyone else; and some shower the whole family with affection. Breed isn’t the only factor that goes into affection levels; dogs who were raised inside a home with people around feel more comfortable with humans and bond more easily.
See Dogs Less Affectionate with Family
Being gentle with children, sturdy enough to handle the heavy-handed pets and hugs they can dish out, and having a blasé attitude toward running, screaming children are all traits that make a kid-friendly dog. You may be surprised by who’s on that list: Fierce-looking Boxers are considered good with children, as are American Staffordshire Terriers (which are considered Pit Bulls). Small, delicate, and potentially snappy dogs such as Chihuahuas aren’t always so family-friendly.
**All dogs are individuals. Our ratings are generalizations, and they’re not a guarantee of how any breed or individual dog will behave. Dogs from any breed can be good with children based on their past experiences, training on how to get along with kids, and personality. No matter what the breed or breed type, all dogs have strong jaws, sharp pointy teeth, and may bite in stressful circumstances. Young children and dogs of any breed should always be supervised by an adult and never left alone together, period.
Friendliness toward dogs and friendliness toward humans are two completely different things. Some dogs may attack or try to dominate other dogs, even if they’re love-bugs with people; others would rather play than fight; and some will turn tail and run. Breed isn’t the only factor. Dogs who lived with their littermates and mother until at least six to eight weeks of age and who spent lots of time playing with other dogs during puppyhood, are more likely to have good canine social skills.
Health And Grooming Needs
Drool-prone dogs may drape ropes of slobber on your arm and leave big, wet spots on your clothes when they come over to say hello. If you’ve got a laid-back attitude toward slobber, fine; but if you’re a neatnik, you may want to choose a dog who rates low in the drool department.
Some breeds are brush-and-go dogs; others require regular bathing, clipping, and other grooming just to stay clean and healthy. Consider whether you have the time and patience for a dog who needs a lot of grooming, or the money to pay someone else to do it.
Due to poor breeding practices, some breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, such as hip dysplasia. This doesn’t mean that every dog of that breed will develop those diseases; it just means that they’re at an increased risk.
If you’re adopting a puppy, it’s a good idea to find out which genetic illnesses are common to the breed you’re interested in. You may also want to ask if your shelter or rescue has information about the physical health of your potential pup’s parents and other relatives.
Some breeds have hearty appetites and tend to put on weight easily. As in humans, being overweight can cause health problems in dogs. If you pick a breed that’s prone to packing on pounds, you’ll need to limit treats, make sure they get enough exercise, and measure out their daily food servings into regular meals rather than leaving food out all the time.
Ask your vet about your dog’s diet and what they recommend for feeding your pooch to keep them at a healthy weight. Weight gain can lead to other health issues or worsen problems like arthritis.
Dogs come in all sizes, from the world’s smallest pooch, the Chihuahua, to the towering Great Dane, how much space a dog takes up is a key factor in deciding if they’re compatible with you and your living space. Large dog breeds might seem overpowering and intimidating, but some of them are incredibly sweet! Take a look and find the right sized dog for you!
Easy-to-train dogs are more adept at forming an association between a prompt (such as the word “sit”), an action (sitting), and a consequence (getting a treat) very quickly. Other dogs need more time, patience, and repetition during training.
Many breeds are intelligent but approach training with a “What’s in it for me?” attitude, in which case you’ll need to use rewards and games to teach them to want to comply with your requests.
Dogs who were bred for jobs that require decision making, intelligence, and concentration, such as herding livestock, need to exercise their brains, just as dogs who were bred to run all day need to exercise their bodies. If they don’t get the mental stimulation they need, they’ll make their own work–usually with projects you won’t like, such as digging and chewing. Obedience training and interactive dog toys are good ways to give a dog a brain workout, as are dog sports and careers, such as agility and search and rescue.
Common in most breeds during puppyhood and in Retriever breeds at all ages, mouthiness means a tendency to nip, chew, and play-bite (a soft, fairly painless bite that doesn’t puncture the skin). Mouthy dogs are more likely to use their mouths to hold or “herd” their human family members, and they need training to learn that it’s fine to gnaw on chew toys, but not on people. Mouthy breeds tend to really enjoy a game of fetch, as well as a good chew on a toy that’s been stuffed with kibble and treats.
Dogs who were bred to hunt, such as Terriers, have an inborn desire to chase–and sometimes kill–other animals. Anything whizzing by, such as cats, squirrels, and perhaps even cars, can trigger that instinct. Dogs who like to chase need to be leashed or kept in a fenced area when outdoors, and you’ll need a high, secure fence in your yard. These breeds generally aren’t a good fit for homes with smaller pets that can look like prey, such as cats, hamsters, or small dogs. Breeds that were originally used for bird hunting, on the other hand, generally won’t chase, but you’ll probably have a hard time getting their attention when there are birds flying by.
Some breeds sound off more often than others. When choosing a breed, think about how often the dog vocalizes with barks or howls. If you’re considering a hound, would you find their trademark howls musical or maddening? If you’re considering a watchdog, will a city full of suspicious “strangers” put your pup on permanent alert? Will the local wildlife literally drive your dog wild? Do you live in housing with noise restrictions? Do you have neighbors nearby? Then you may wish to choose a quieter dog.
Some breeds are more free-spirited than others. Nordic dogs such as Siberian Huskies were bred to range long distances, and given the chance, they’ll take off after anything that catches their interest. And many hounds simply must follow their noses–or that bunny that just ran across the path–even if it means leaving you behind.
High-energy dogs are always ready and waiting for action. Originally bred to perform a canine job of some sort, such as retrieving game for hunters or herding livestock, they have the stamina to put in a full workday. They need a significant amount of exercise and mental stimulation, and they’re more likely to spend time jumping, playing, and investigating any new sights and smells.
Low-energy dogs are the canine equivalent of a couch potato, content to doze the day away. When picking a breed, consider your own activity level and lifestyle, and think about whether you’ll find a frisky, energetic dog invigorating or annoying.
A vigorous dog may or may not have high energy, but everything they do, they do with vigor: they strain on the leash (until you train them not to), try to plow through obstacles, and even eats and drinks with great big gulps. These dynamos need lots of training to learn good manners, and may not be the best fit for a home with young kids or someone who’s elderly or frail. A low-vigor dog, on the other hand, has a more subdued approach to life.
Some breeds do fine with a slow evening stroll around the block. Others need daily, vigorous exercise, especially those that were originally bred for physically demanding jobs, like herding or hunting.
Without enough exercise, these breeds may put on weight and vent their pent-up energy in ways you don’t like, such as barking, chewing, and digging. Breeds that need a lot of exercise are good for outdoorsy, active people, or those interested in training their dog to compete in a high-energy dog sport, such as agility.
Some dogs are perpetual puppies — always begging for a game — while others are more serious and sedate. Although a playful pup sounds endearing, consider how many games of fetch or tag you want to play each day, and whether you have kids or other dogs who can stand in as playmates for the dog.
Dog Breed Group:Mixed Breed DogsHeight:18 to 23 inchesWeight:40 to 65 poundsLife Span:10 to 13 years
More About This Breed
- The Chusky is a mixed breed dog. They are not purebreds like their Chow Chow or Siberian Husky parents.
- The main colors of Chuskies are brown, black, cream, red, and white. Sometimes their coats are solid, and sometimes they have a mix of colors.
- Their fluffy, long, double-coats make the Chusky a heavy shedder. They may not be the best dog for allergy sufferers. Daily brushing will help cut down on excessive shedding. Their coats are suited for cold weather, but they may not do as well in hotter climates.
- When it comes to other pets, Chuskies can get along with other animals if they are introduced slowly and calmly, and early socialization will help this go smoothly. That said, they may prefer to be the solo pet in the home.
- Chuskies are intelligent, but they can be stubborn. They thrive best with experienced dog owners.
- This mixed breed is known to be protective, especially of family. Your Chusky may bark every time someone knocks at the door or someone new enters the home. This also makes them excellent guard dogs.
The Chusky dog breed may have existed naturally over the years, but designer breeders likely started intentionally mixing the Chow Chows and Siberian Huskies in the early 2000s, likely in North America.
While the Chusky is an aesthetically pleasing dog, designer breeders may have also mixed the two breeds due to both the Chow Chow and the Siberian Husky’s high intelligence levels. Combined with their size and loyalty, the Chusky’s smarts make them an excellent watchdog.
Even though the Chusky breed got its start as a designer breed, some have ended up in shelters or in the care of rescue groups. Consider adoption if you decide this is the breed for you.
Check your local shelters, look up Chusky rescues, or check with breed-specific Chow Chow or Siberian Husky rescues, as they sometimes take in mixed breed dogs and find homes for them.
As the Chusky is a relatively new mixed breed, there are few standards when it comes to size. That said, as a mix between Siberian Husky and Chow Chow parents, you can expect Chuskies to be on the medium to large side.
Most weigh in between 40 and 65 pounds and range in height from 18 to 23 inches at the shoulder. That said some may be larger or smaller.
Many Chusky enthusiasts would describe the breed as a somewhat difficult but rewarding one. Due to both the Chow Chow and Siberian Husky’s working background, the Chusky can be intelligent but a bit stubborn. They thrive best with an experienced owner.
The Chusky can have a strong prey drive, though they can be trained to not chase away smaller animals in the house. This mixed breed is also known to be very protective, especially of their family. Your Chusky may bark every time someone knocks at the door or someone new enters the home. This also makes them excellent guard dogs.
These dogs do best with early training to curb any unwanted barking habits. They can be stubborn and have a ton of energy, but for an energetic, consistent owner, their loyalty and desire to please will help training go a bit more smoothly.
The Chusky can make a great family pet and will generally do best in homes with yards or other spaces to run free. If they are stuck in a small area without entertainment, they may get destructive. That said, the Chusky is best suited for a home where they will not be left alone for long hours.
The Chusky breed is predisposed to some of the same conditions that the Chow Chow and Siberian Husky also face. While most are generally healthy, some may be prone to a few health issues, which is why it is important to maintain good care and regular veterinary checkups.
Some of the more common health problems Chuskies suffer from include:
- Hip dysplasia
As with all dogs, you should keep up with your Chusky’s regular veterinary checkups to detect any health concerns early. Your vet can help you develop a care routine that will keep your dog healthy.
Even though they are big dogs, you should not overfeed your Chusky. They can be prone to weight gain, and they have high energy levels.
Make sure your dog gets at least one good half-hour- to hour-long walk per day with a few good, active play sessions and shorter walks mixed in. You can even take your Chusky on challenging hikes or runs, weather permitting.
Check their ears for debris and pests daily and clean them as recommended by your vet. Trim your dog’s nails before they get too long–usually once or twice per month. They should not be clicking against the floor. Your groomer can help with this.
A primary concern with your Chusky will be maintaining their oral health. They can sometimes be born missing a couple teeth, which means you have to take care of the ones they have! You should brush their teeth daily. Your veterinarian can show you how to properly brush your pup’s teeth.
An ideal Chusky diet should be formulated for a medium- to large-sized breed with high energy. They have a tendency to gain weight if they are overfed, so you should stick to a regular feeding schedule and not leave food out during the day. Limit their amount of treats, as well.
As with all dogs, the Chusky’s dietary needs will change from puppyhood to adulthood and will continue to change into their senior years. You should ask your veterinarian for recommendations about your Chusky’s diet, as there is far too much variation among individual dogs–including weight, energy, and health–to make a
Coat Color And Grooming
Chusky coats are often a mix of their Chow Chow and Siberian Husky parents’ coats and colors. The main colors of Chuskies are brown, black, cream, red, and white. Sometimes their coats are solid, and sometimes they have a mix of colors.
Their fluffy, long, double-coats make the Chusky a heavy shedder. This means that a Chusky might not be the best dog for someone who suffers from dog allergies. Daily brushing will help cut down on excessive shedding, along with regular grooming appointments.
Because of their heavy coats, Chuskies aren’t particularly suited for extreme heat. What their heavier coat is great for, however, is cold weather.
Children And Other Pets
Since the Chusky is a larger dog, it is important that children, especially smaller kids, know how to safely interact with your dog. Chuskies are affectionate and loyal to their family, but they can become protective when someone new enters the space, including new children. That said, for children who learn early how to properly approach and play with a big dog, Chuskies can make great, active companions.
When it comes to other pets, Chuskies can get along with other animals if they are introduced slowly and calmly, and early socialization will help this go smoothly. It’s best if they get used to other pets early. That said, Chuskies aren’t naturally fond of other animals and may prefer to be the solo pet in the household.
Still, many Chuskies get along just fine with other dogs and cats, so it really comes down to training, socialization, and the luck of the draw.
It may be hard to find a breed-specific rescue for Chuskies because they are a mixed breed. However, you may want to try Chow Chow or Siberian Husky breed-specific rescues, as they often care for mixes, as well. Here are some rescues you can try:
- Chow Chow Rescue of Central New York, Inc.
- Raven’s Husky Haven and Rescue