If you were given a task to name famous arctic dogs that come to mind, chances are Siberian Husky and Saint Bernard will be on the list.
Now, have you ever wondered what happens when you cross-breed these two fluffy coated and large breeds? You give birth to the Saint Bernard Husky Mix.
In the roster of designer breed dogs, this mix does not ring much bell so let’s dig in and learn more about these two.
What is a Saint Bernard Husky Mix?
If you were paying close attention, this breed is a mix between a Saint Bernard and a Siberian Husky. While the name combination is quite obvious, still it is not as common as other mixes such as the Huskypoo or the German Shepherd Husky Mix.
Due to their size difference, the Siberian Husky is often the sire or the father while the dam or the mother is Saint Bernard.
Apart from calling this unusual combo the Saint Bernard Husky Mix which can be quite long, you can also call it Saint Berhusky.
Since this breed is a combination of two breeds, knowing exactly how it will look or what will be its temperament is not an exact science. Good thing there’s a wealth of information from both sides of its parents.
Let’s just say that the apple will not fall far from its tree. In this case, the pup will either be somewhat like its mum or dad or anywhere in between.
History of the Saint Bernard Husky Mix
Some believe that the Saint Berhusky is a fairly new breed that started in the early 2000s. But who first intentionally bred it is quite a mystery.
Since it is also a designer breed, major kennel clubs do not recognize it yet.
So let’s take a look instead at each of its parents.
The Siberian Husky is quite a popular breed at the 14th spot of American Kennel Club (AKC)’s ranking. Even those who are not much into dog breeds will not find it hard to recognize its striking blue eyes and medium body wrapped in furry double coats.
As its name gives out, it originated in the cold Siberia. They were first bred by the Chukchis, a nomadic Russian tribe, to transport goods and passengers across its icy terrain. Apart from being endurance sled dogs, they were also known as a great companion.
The breed became popular in 1925 when Leonhard Seppala led a relay of Siberian Huskies to rush a lifesaving serum for epidemic diphtheria to Nome, Alaska. With the “serum run” well reported across the globe, the popularity of Huskies has not been abated since then.
In fact, the lead dog of Seppala named Balto even has a statue in honor of him in New York City’s Central Park.
Siberian Husky was officially recognized by AKC in 1930 as its 87th breed.
In another snowy part of the globe, particularly in the snowy pass within the Alps Saint Bernard became popular. In the 1050s, a monk named Bernard of Menthon, which is now a saint, established a hospice to aid pilgrims traveling from Rome.
Because the area was treacherous at 8,000 feet above sea level, with drifts as high as 40 feet, many unlucky travelers got buried by the avalanches. The dog was used to locate and rescue them; thus they have been known as great search and rescue dogs throughout history.
Also used as a sled dog, it is also believed that Saint Bernard is a descendant of Mastiffs crossed with other Alpine dogs.
How Does a Saint Bernard Husky Mix Look Like?
Growing a mixed breed is like taking care of a surprise box; you’ll never know what you will get! But thanks to their parents, you get some snippets of clues.
The Saint Berhusky can have almond shaped eyes that might be a bit squinted and sad-like similar to its Saint Bernard parent. Its color can take after its Husky parent with striking blue eyes.
It will sport a broad head, larger and blockier than a Husky but smaller in comparison with a Husky; with medium sized muzzles and a nose that can be of black or brown color.
The pup may also likely inherit its Husky parent which can be curly.
The color combination can also vary where the most common and predominant is a white coat with mixes of black and brown. It can also be of white, black, brown, sable, gray, red, brindle or anywhere in between.
In terms of size, it will not be larger than a Saint Bernard but it will definitely stand bigger than a Husky.
A Husky will weigh up to 60 pounds and stand at 23.5 inches tall. A Saint Bernard is indeed larger with a weight double the Husky at 180 pounds. Considered a “giant breed”, it also stands 30 inches tall. With its long coats, Saint Bernard appears larger than it actually is!
Somewhat in between, a Saint Bernard Husky Mix will weigh between 70 to 80 pounds and get as tall as 25 inches in height. Leaner, yes but also more active!
How to Groom a Saint Bernard Husky Mix?
To weather the cold, both parents have thick coats. That will remain extra true for the Saint Bernard Husky Mix.
How coarse its coat is will be somewhere in between Saint Bernard and the Husky. The head, ears and neck area will have softer hair but coarser around the body area. Meanwhile, its undercoat is soft.
Yes, the Saint Berhusky is also double-coated so expect them to blow if off twice yearly. During the pre-summertime and fall, they will shed excessively than they usually do.
What does this imply? It means that you will spend a great deal of time grooming this fluffy dog! Yes, it is a high-maintenance dog needing brushing at least 3x a week with a slicker brush, greyhound comb or pin brush.
To help you manage its coat, a deshedding tool, furminator and a vacuum will be lifesavers!
Because it sheds a lot, this breed is also not suited for allergy sufferers from dog dander.
Bathe the Saint Bernard Husky Mix every 6 weeks using only a neutral dog shampoo while brushing of teeth is recommended 4x a week.
Take extra care of its ears also by ensuring no moisture or dirt is left that can cause infection. Nails should also be trimmed when you hear it already clicking on the floor.
What is the Temperament of a Saint Bernard Husky Mix?
A Siberian Husky is described by AKC as loyal, mischievous and outgoing. They are known to be very friendly and loving of their owners that they do not want to be left alone for a long time or they can get destructive. They get along well with children but are aloof with strangers.
Huskies also have a mind of their own, are very vocal and have a reputation of being an escape artist.
Meanwhile, Saint Bernard is playful, charming and inquisitive. These gentle giants are considered one of the best family dogs. They are called such because they are quite tolerant with hair pulling and tail tugging from children.
Unlike the vocal Husky, Saint Bernard is known to be quiet and will only bark as needed. It is also not destructive but the downside of owning this large dog is its excessive drooling and shedding. Its large paws are also a magnet for dirt.
As a working dog, it has a can-do attitude with high energy.
So what to expect of the mix, Saint Berhusky?
Like its parents, this breed is also affectionate and playful with family members and will form a strong bond with them. They are friendly, outgoing, enthusiastic, free-spirited and independent. They are loyal and extremely patient with children. Going outside and working its energy off will make it happy!
A Saint Berhusky is like a big, cuddly teddy because it loves to cuddle!
In terms of strangers, while they are still aloof, it will be more social than its Saint Bernard parent. It is also very vocal making it a good watchdog but this mix is never aggressive.
It is also prone to mischief! In fact, just like its parent, being an escape artist also runs in its veins! A spacious and secured backyard is a must when taking care of this breed.
When well socialized at a young age, they can do well with other animals.
How Much Exercise Does a Saint Bernard Husky Mix Need?
With both parents belonging to the working group, being on its feet for a good 45 to 60 minutes is required to keep this breed healthy and in a happy state. For an older dog, 30 minutes will also be sufficient already.
What kind of exercise should you do with your Saint Bernard Husky Mix? A few minutes of walking, hiking, fetching, agility training, indoor exercises, brain games are all great start-offs.
As a known escape artist, the Saint Berhusky must always be leashed when exploring outdoors. If not, you will have a hard time calling it as it wanders away.
Exercise is needed by dogs not just to stay fit. Giving them a proper way to burn off their energies will keep them off from being destructive. On the plus side, a tired dog is a happy dog!
How to Train a Saint Bernard Husky Mix?
Saint Bernard is on the 65th spot in the list of intelligent dogs. At this level, they are known to have fair working obedience or intelligence. They can follow a new command with 40 to 80 repetitions. For common commands, they follow 30% of the time better.
Meanwhile, a Husky is at the higher spot at 45th with average working intelligence. These dogs can grasp new commands with 25 to 40 repetitions and obey the first command 50% of the time or better.
What does it mean for its spawn, the Saint Berhusky? This dog will learn more quickly than a Saint Bernard but slower than a Husky.
It is a smart breed but very headstrong making it harder to train. Yes, be prepared to deal with a stubborn dog who does not want to be told what to do!
Training a Saint Bernard Husky Mix is not for the faint-hearted and first-time dog owners. It is recommended to enroll Saint Berhusky in an obedience training class and start it while still young.
Its trainer should use positive reinforcement coupled with rewards-based training. It will do well when it is complemented and given praise every time it obeys a command. With short attention spans, training sessions should always be short but consistent.
Since it takes time for this breed to follow commands, never lose patience and love it all the more! With consistency and patience, you will just be surprised at how this dog learns.
Some of the areas where this dog should be trained while at puppyhood are socialization, crate training, potty training and housebreaking.
Saint Bernard Husky Mix Food and Care Needs
The nutritional needs of dogs vary depending on their size, age, activity level and a lot more in consideration. But for a large dog, its kibble must be specially made considering its size with protein as its main ingredient.
It must also be balanced though with the right amount of fats, carbs and vitamins for a stronger immune system.
A Saint Berhusky will need 1,500 to 2,000 calories daily. Recommended kibble cups are 3 to 4 and served in 2 or 3 portions to reduce its risk of gastric torsion or bloat.
Pair up its dry kibble with healthy treats such as fruits and vegetables but also make sure not to go overboard the 10% recommended intake.
Since this breed is prone to hip and bone dysplasia, this breed should be with fish oil and glucosamine and chondroitin supplements as soon as possible.
Common Health Issues of a Saint Bernard Husky Mix
Because it is a mix, it will likely suffer less from the common ailments of its parents; still, be wary of the possible health issues of this breed:
- Laryngeal Paralysis
- Joint Dysplasia
- Gastric Torsion
What is the Average Lifespan of a Saint Bernard Husky Mix?
Given proper care, diet, grooming and tender loving care, a Saint Bernard Husky mix is expected to live from 11 to 13 years.
That is a long year to take care of a pet so make sure that your lifelong commitment must also be robust!
How Much is a Saint Bernard Husky Mix?
As a unique mix, the price tag of a Saint Bernard Husky Mix for a puppy is between USD 1,000 to USD 1,500.
This is only an upfront cost as on average, it costs USD 1,500 annually with its food requirements, regular visits to the vet and a lot more. Part of the lifelong commitment is also ensuring that costs to take care and home this breed for the long-term is also considered.
While buying a puppy from a reputable breeder is a great option, you may also want to consider adopting dogs at the rescue center. You can look for Siberian Husky and Saint Bernard shelters as they also take in the mixed breed.
For sure, you can find a perfect Saint Berhusky that will love you for life as a reward for saving it. Adoption fees for this breed can range from USD 250 to USD 500.
Is a Saint Bernard Husky Mix a Good Family Dog?
Yes, it is a great family dog and will love children to bits! Sometimes though, it forgets how big it is so always supervise when playing with kids.
If you have pets too, they can get along well when properly introduced.
Conclusion: Is the Saint Bernard Husky Mix the Right Dog for You?
Before you take in a Saint Bernard Husky mix, remember that it is a dog with high maintenance needs in terms of grooming and exercise. If you love your cushioned furniture, expect also to vacuum it often no thanks to its thick coats.
Then again if you are a first-time owner, it might be a challenge to train it with its stubbornness and size so enrolling it in obedience training is a prerequisite.
If you are game to all these troubles, then a Saint Bernard Husky mix may be the right pet that will love you to bits!
Once you bring home one, promise to take care of it until its lifetime.