Pitsky puppies are loyal and athletic mixed-breed hybrids. The parents are a purebred American Pitbull Terrier and a purebred Siberian Husky. Some also consider a Pitsky to be a cross between a Pitbull and an Alaskan Husky, which is itself a mixed-breed dog, but this is less common.
No one knows just how or when they came to be and no single kennel can claim to have started the hybrid. They have been around for at least 15 years and likely started with the increasing popularity of designer dogs.
Because Pitskies are mixed breed dogs, they are not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), but they are recognized by the Dog Registry of America (DRA).
5 Fast Facts About Pitsky Puppies:
- Their adult weight can range from 35 to 70 pounds!
- They can have any coat color and any color pattern
- Their life expectancy is 12 to 15 years
- Their ears might flop down or stand up
- Their eyes might be any color or even 2 different colors
- Health problems could include hip dysplasia, cataracts, allergies, hypothyroidism, and separation anxiety
Their size and appearance vary so greatly because of the difference in the parent breeds. Pitskies might have a short, sleek coat like a Pittbull, or they might have a long, thick double coat like a Husky.
In general, mixed-breed dogs, like Pitskies, tend to be healthier over their lifetimes than their purebred parents. This is because genetics plays a factor in health and purebred dogs pass down the same genes, with those same health problems, to their puppies.
Mixed-breed dogs often get a relief from those genetic health issues because half of the genes come from a different parent breed.
That said, it is possible that your Pitsky puppy will inherit health issues from one or both parents.
Adopting Pitsky Puppies
If you are considering adopting a Pitsky puppy, take a look at the rescue organizations in your area and save a dog in need of a home. You may also be able to find breed-specific rescues that focus on either Pittbulls or Huskies as well as mixes.
Pitskies are energetic and loyal family dogs, but they aren’t without their challenges. They need plenty of physical and mental activity and strong leadership. Do you think you have what it takes? Find out now!
15 Signs You Have What It Takes to Raise a Pitsky Puppy:
1. You Have Experience Owning Dogs
Pitskies can be mouthy and stubborn and they need an owner that understands more than basic care. They need someone that understands a dog’s psychology.
Experience with dog behavior, including understanding why dogs behave the way they do, is especially important for raising a Pitsky puppy because they are likely to challenge you more than other breeds. Understanding training techniques and being consistent using them will prove invaluable.
2. You Are a Strong Pack Leader
Pitskies are strongly pack-oriented. You and your family are the pack and everyone has a place. If your Pitsky doesn’t sense and respect your leadership from an early stage, she might feel the need to take over that role, which can lead to unwanted behavior.
Unwanted behavior could include:
- Excessive barking
- Excessively nervous – dogs will follow the lead of it’s owner or “pack leader”. If the pack leader throws off a lot of nervous energy, the dog will not feel safe.
- Refusal to listen to basic commands.
- Could become aggressive with other animals or even children.
3. You Are Physically Active
Pitskies are strong, athletic and energetic dogs that come from 2 working breeds. They thrive with an active family. They need plenty of regular exercise, ideally 2 hours daily. This might include walking on a leash, running off-leash in the yard, playing fetch at the dog park, skateboarding with the kids, agility training.
Consider your age against the life-expectancy of your new dog. What many people don’t realize is that they are going to get older and as those changes occur they may, or may not, be able to keep up with an active dog.
The pitsky has a life-span of 12 to 15 years and many dogs do not slow down with age.
4. You Want a Dog to Share a Bond With
Pitsky puppies are affectionate creatures who want to be next to you most of the time. The pitsky might not be the dog for you if you are away from home often or cannot take the dog with you.
When the time comes that you need to go out for errands, work, or for any other reason, consider crating your pitsky. Many people do not like to do that, but it actually gives the dog a sense of feeling safe while you are away.
5. You Are Not Overly Attached to Material Possessions
Unfortunately, you could easily lose your favorite shoes or even furniture if you’re not careful. Pitsky puppies need to be supervised. In the early days, try putting your puppy in a dog-friendly playpen (something he/she can’t chew out of).
Pitsky puppies are strong chewers so be sure to start them off with a good toy that won’t easily break. Like children, puppies can choke on toys or swallow pieces of toys that then become obstructed.
6. You Know How to Stick to Rules
You will have the best results if you can begin training your Pitsky puppy early. By 3 or 4 weeks of age they should be socializing, getting comfortable with different people, environments and other pets in the home. By 6 to 8 weeks they can start learning some basic commands.
Some tips to show your pitsky that you are the pack leader (and gain their respect) include:
- Calm, assertive behavior. Acting overly excited, raising your voice, etc., will only get your dog worked up more.
- Pick a word for training and stick with that word. Constantly changing the word from “drop” to “leave” to “give me that” will only confuse your dog.
- Just say no. You don’t need to explain to a dog why they can or can’t do something. Dogs respond to firm action and resolve.
7. You Have Plenty of Time
Pitskies are very pack oriented and do not like being alone for long periods of time. As mentioned above, if you do have to leave your dog alone, make sure to crate him/her. Put a favorite blanket and safe toy inside the crate. A few crating tips that seem obvious but may not have been considered include:
- Don’t leave the crate near a window where it might get too hot
- Don’t leave the crate where there might be a very cool draft.
- When starting with crate training, try it for very short periods of time. Don’t let the first crate experience be an hour’s long experience.
8. You are Able to Challenge Your Puppy Mentally and Physically
Pitskies are intelligent dogs that can get bored without enough mental and physical activity, which can lead to behavior issues. Practice training commands, teach your dog some new tricks or try hand signals if you’ve only been using voice commands.
9. You Don’t Mind Some Fur Around the House
Pitsky puppies are a mix of the Husky (with that thick, long, double-coat) and the Pitbull with its shorter coat. There aren’t that many dogs out there that don’t actually shed at all.
The best way to keep fur shedding to a minimum is through regular grooming. The good news is that you won’t need to bring your dog to a professional groomer because you can do it yourself.
Look for good grooming products that specifically meet your dogs needs. Cherrybrook has a wide selection of grooming supplies for just about any breed.
10. You Are Able to Deal with Challenges From Your Pitsky
May try to become dominant pack leader, especially as they reach maturity. Like teenagers, the Pitsky might try to push some boundaries. If you have been a good pack leader all along, you won’t have any problems.
11. You Don’t Mind Not Knowing What Your Dog Will Look Like
Mixed breeds are unique dogs in that there are never two that look alike. That’s one of the perks of owning a mixed breed dog.
12. Your Home Has Plenty of Space
Whether inside or outside, your growing pitsky puppy is going to need to stretch his legs. There should be plenty of space to roam and explore safely. Install safety gates in the home and ensure your yard is well protected with a sturdy gate.
13. You Have Your Own Home
There are plenty of apartment buildings that are dog friendly; however, the pitsky puppy might not be what they had in mind when they advertised “dog friendly”. Although the dog is loving and affectionate, he can be very noisy and unsettled, especially if he doesn’t get enough exercise.
14. You Want a Family Friendly Dog
There’s a misconception that any dog related to pitbulls (bully breeds) are bad. That’s simply not true. Bully breeds are often the clingiest breeds who want nothing more than to cuddle. Of course, it’s important to socialize dogs from an early age once they have had their first vaccinations.
15. You Are Aware of Potential Health Issues
All dogs have inherent health problems regardless of the breed. The best option is to either invest in dog health insurance or put some money away where it can grow in interest. When, or if, your dog needs medical attention you will be prepared financially.
The two most common health conditions you may encounter in Pitskies include hypothyroidism and hip dysplasia.
Did You Pass?
Pitsky puppies are a gorgeous blend of the American Pit Bull Terrier and the Siberian or Alaskan Husky. These incredibly smart dogs need owners who can stay one step ahead. These dogs can become a little protective of their owners, but that is a behavioral issue that can be adjusted with a little training and leadership.
If you know someone who has a pitsky, don’t expect to find one that looks just like it. These dogs vary in appearance. It’s safe to say, however, that your adult pitsky will be well-muscles and lean.
Jeng, Richard; October 9, 2019; “The Energetic and Playful Pitsky”; https://thesmartcanine.com/pitsky-husky-pitbull-mix/
PetGuide.com; “Pitsky”; accessed March 7, 2021; https://www.petguide.com/breeds/dog/pitsky/
Simon, Linda, MVB MRCVS, “Pitsky”, accessed March 7, 2021; Dogzone.com; https://www.dogzone.com/crossbreeds/pitsky/
Woods, John; October 10, 2018; “Pitsky Dog Breed Info: the Pitbull Husky Mix”; All Things Dogs; https://www.allthingsdogs.com/pitsky/