Heritage and Registry
The history of Pitsky could be traced to the 90s. Considering this time frame, it can be said that this is still a pretty new breed although it couldn’t be contested that it may have naturally existed unrecorded for many years.
The reason behind the crossing of these two was to possibly eliminate hereditary diseases commonly passed on during inbreeding.
To say that the crossing was successful is an understatement. The popularity of this dog breed increased especially since a Pitsky was found to have the best traits of both its parent breeds, and it is also the best companion particularly to very active fur parents.
Pitsky is a mixed breed dog that is a combination of a purebred Siberian Husky and American Pit Bull Terrier parents. Because it is technically a designer breed, American Kennel Club does not recognize this breed.
On the other hand, Dog Registry of America Inc. recognizes this dog breed.
American Pit Bull Terrier
The American Pit Bull Terrier parent of a Pitsky was traditionally bred to bait bulls for spectators’ entertainment. Although over the years, its role transitioned into being a working dog on the farm, and later on, family dogs because of their even temperament even with children.
It is without a doubt that this dog looks intimidating with its muscular built and fierce look. But truly, it is far from it. It is quite a loving and affectionate darling if you get the chance to be around it and it could easily steal your heart. They have the characteristics that make them great companions so it does not come as a surprise why many fur parents want to have this dog breed.
Who wouldn’t recognize the Siberian Husky parent of a Pitsky? It easily sticks out from the crowd with its looks alone that is almost wolf-like. The coats of Siberian Huskies would make you think of snow and they often have bright blue eyes. This may have something to do with their breed being traditionally bred as sled dogs. Thus, it has also the endurance and energy level of a working dog.
Playful it may be, but Siberian Husky is a very intelligent breed. It is very confident and an independent worker which makes pleasing even its fur parent not a priority. However, its stubborn streak could easily be curbed when its fur parents train and socialize it at an early age.
Needless to say, the stubbornness of a Siberian Husky does not discourage fur parents to settle on this dog breed. In fact, many still want this doggo because, with the right amount of TLC, it makes a perfect companion dog.
General Information on a Pitsky
- Height 20 to 25 in tall
- Weight between 35 to 80 lb
- Lifespan 15 years
Loyal, Affectionate, Very Active, Stubborn, Intelligent
Active fur parents, Families with small kids, Home with an enclosed backyard
Siberian Husky and American Pit Bull Terrier
Like other hybrid dog breeds, it won’t be easy to predict how your Pitsky dog would turn out. There are many variables involved that even Pitsky puppies coming from the same litter often don’t look the same.
However, you can expect that a Pitsky would be a powerful breed coming from two parents that are no strangers to hard work. It won’t come small too. In fact, it could be a medium to large breed growing up to 20 to 25 in tall and weighing anywhere between 35-80 lb.
The Pitsky breed would be on the muscular side. Its body would be composed of defined muscles, especially on the chest and legs part. Its ears would either be erect or floppy.
Pitskies normally acquire the bright blue eyes of their Siberian Husky parent. Sometimes, they also inherit the trait from the same parent which makes their eyes have two different colors.
It will be hard not to be captivated by said eyes especially since they look like two deep pools of water. This makes Pitskies all the more unique and adorable.
The coat of a Pitsky could either be long or short. This typically comes in solid brown, brindle, gray, white, or brown, or two or more combination of said colors.
If the coat of a Pitsky takes after its Husky parent, then it wouldn’t have issues withstanding a cold temperature. But if it has the Pit Bull coat, then it wouldn’t harm if you would give it added clothing during winter.
The frequency of brushing your Pitsky will depend on the type of coat it has.
If it got the coat of its Siberian Husky parent, then every other day through brushing, or even every day is ideal. If it has a coat from its American Pit Bull Terrier parent, then you can do with even just once a week brushing.
If you are wondering – yes, you need to brush your Pitsky even if it only has a short coat. Pitskies are slight to moderate shedders depending on their coat. Thus, you’d want to manage this and keep the coat from spreading everywhere in your house.
Brushing has other perks too which include spreading evenly the oil on your Pitsky’s coat and preventing your Pitsky’s coat from being a tangled mess especially if it has a long one. It could also be a good bonding experience between you and your pooch especially since it could be a very tactile creature.
It will be very rare when your Pitsky won’t want to be brushed. Either it is not used to it or it has previously a bad experience from it. Nevertheless, you could help it get acclimated to the task by introducing brushing to it at an early age. It could also help if there will be treats waiting for your Pitsky afterwards.
A Pitsky, ideally, would need a proper bath every other month. But this doesn’t mean that you won’t wash your pooch when it is already developing an awful dog smell.
You can still give it a bath whenever you think it is necessary. However, you should keep the interval of baths far apart.
The coat of a Pitsky develops a natural oil that gives it a healthy look. This could be washed away during baths and could make its coat appear dry.
When you give your Pitsky a bath, wash it thoroughly using a good-smelling shampoo. As you do so, check its skin for any rashes, bruises, or bumps that would need extra attention. Keep also the bathwater from penetrating its eyes and ears.
Other Grooming Requirements
Aside from the usual bathing and brushing, a Pitsky still has other grooming needs. These need to be met to mitigate the development of bacteria that may cause infection and even diseases, and to maintain the good hygiene of your pooch.
You can start with brushing your Pitsky’s teeth at least thrice a week to keep its teeth strong and without plaque or tartar. You can also do this daily which is more ideal. This would prevent your pooch from developing dental diseases.
You should not forget to clean the ears of your fur baby at least once a week. Use cotton and ear solution for dogs on the task.
Clean only the outer ears and never put anything on the inside part, especially a sharp object, as this could cause irreversible damage to its hearing. If you smell anything funny coming from its ears, then it is possible that they are infected and you need to see the vet.
The nails of your Pitsky also need regular grooming. You need to trim it at least every two weeks or whenever you could hear it clicking on the floor as it walks around.
Just be careful when cutting off the excess length of its nails. Overcompensating could cause the soft part of its toes to get cut also which could lead to bleeding. Since dogs are particularly sensitive to their feet, this may bring trauma to you Pitsky and it is likely that it won’t let you touch its toes again.
One reminder when you are grooming your Pitsky is to just use dog-formulated products starting from the bath products, down to the toothpaste and toothbrush. Human products are definitely a no-no to them as they may have ingredients that could harm all dogs alike.
Admittedly, it is not very easy to groom your Pitsky especially if you are a first-time parent. If you think you need help, then professional groomers are available also to help you groom your fur baby for you. You may need to pay for the service but the result would be worth it.
Food and Feeding
Food is the number source of nutrition for a Pitsky. This provides it the energy it needs for its daily activities and ensures that it grows as a healthy pooch.
Failing to plan its diet through the different stages of its life could either cause it to be undernourished or obese. The goal is to keep it healthy as you maintain also its ideal weight.
You should consider that the nutrition need of a Pitsky varies depending on its age, activity level, and even size. It would also vary depending on whether or not it has dietary restrictions.
But there is no need to fret as all types of dog food are already available commercially nowadays. You can just choose the best one for your pooch and adjust whenever necessary.
Whether wet dog food or dry food, just ensure that you are getting a high-quality one that is not made of too refined ingredients and fillers. In that way, your Pitsky could get the maximum possible nutrients from it.
A normal size, adult Pitsky would need about 2 1/2 to 3 cups of kibble formulated for it daily. This should be dished out into two feedings so the metabolism of its food would be regulated.
Gauge if the amount is just right for your Pitsky. The answer is no if you observe it getting overweight, or having more pronounced ribs. Depending on the need, you could increase or decrease the amount of its food.
There are fur parents who choose to feed their Pitsky a combination of wet food and kibble, or cooked food and kibble. There are also those who settle for just cooked food.
No matter what food you choose for your Pitsky, that is a non-issue. This is as long as its diet is well-balanced and healthy, and it is just right for it.
If you think you cannot gauge this on your own, you can always ask for help from your vet. They would no better about the right ingredients and serving size.
If you want to supplement the health of your fur baby, you could also give them vitamins and a vet could also help you out on this. Likewise, you could also give your Pitsky treats but be sure that this will not be frequent.
Treats have ingredients that could impact the weight of your pooch as well.
Right Training Approach
Training a Pitsky is not a job for the faint of heart. Pitskies would need a firm and consistent hand to ensure that its training would be successful. You may be in for a challenge if you are a first-time owner.
With the type of parentage a Pitsky has, you need to establish first your dominance as a pack leader before you can proceed in training this pooch. You need to show it who is the boss and you are not a pushover before it gives you the reign to lead it. But this doesn’t include intimidating it.
Negative reinforcement won’t be a successful strategy if you will train a Pitsky or even other dogs. In fact, this could even mean several steps back from where you have started. Not only would this break the disposition of your pooch, but this could also even break the bond between the two of you. Further, it could even transform into an aggressive dog.
The best way forward with a Pitsky is still a rewards-based approach. Give it treats, scratches, and cuddles for every desired behavior achieved. In that way, it would be encouraged to repeat it until it becomes a habit.
It would also help you get a higher success rate if you start training your Pitsky at a young age. Fur parents have the tendency to veer away from correcting bad habits until it is too late because they find their Pitskies too adorable to resist. Thus, these doggos normally grow without knowing right from wrong.
You need to resist spoiling your Pitsky no matter how cute and powerful their puppy eyes are. You’ll realize soon enough that this will be more beneficial for both of you especially if you start formally training it already.
Ideally, you can start training a Pitsky as young as 8 weeks old. However, you don’t need to immediately go advanced. Instead, teach it obedience training first and start house training.
When you do teach your Pitsky obedience training, it is recommended to start small. Teach is first basic commands such as sit, stand, stay, and most importantly, no.
Being able to accurately respond to said commands would be effective in controlling your Pitsky especially during dire situations. It would also instill discipline in its mind which would be helpful especially if you decide to let it go through a more advanced training later on.
Potty training is also important to a Pitsky. This would prevent it from making a mess inside your home. The last thing you’d want is to always clean after the icky business of a Pitsky and one way to go about it is to teach it the right place to potty.
You should know the right time to bring your Pitsky out to “potty” in order for the training to be effective. The schedule that works is normally 3 to 4 times a day – upon waking up, before sleeping, and minutes after feeding.
Potty training would take time. So you should manage your expectations and expect smelly accidents to happen until your fur baby develops the desired habit.
Don’t exhibit frustrations during said incidents. Instead, just go back on guiding it to the right way. A Pitsky is a very intelligent dog so it will be without a doubt that it would develop the right habit later on.
Another important training for a Pitsky is socialization training. Its training would amount to nothing if it won’t know how to act around people, animals, and even places that are outside its comfort zone.
Quite an overwhelming task right? But contrary to what many believe, it is not hard to teach socialization to your pooch. You just need to give it the exposure it needs as much as possible.
For instance, you can schedule it for playdates with neighboring dogs or let it mingle with other dogs at the dog park. You can introduce it to guests during gatherings and let it spend time around them. You can also let it absorb and interact with those it meets during your daily walks.
Doing this regularly would help boost the confidence of your Pitsky in dealing with people and other pets, and will also help it become a well-rounded dog. It would also curb its instinct to look at other pets as prey.
Moreover, it would mitigate its tendency to be defensive during interactions which often leads to aggression.
If you think you cannot provide your pooch enough socialization training, then letting it attend a doggy kindergarten would help shape its character for the better. They have programs at this place that would help your dog be more social.
When properly trained and socialized, it is not hard for your Pitsky to reach its maximum potential.
Exercise and Physical Activity
A Pitsky is a highly spirited, very active hybrid which it got from its parent breeds. Thus, when you are still in the process of getting one, be prepared to plan for its daily activities because it would need a lot of exercise.
While a regular dog would be satisfied by a lengthy walk around the neighborhood, a Pitsky wouldn’t be happy with just that. You need to pair its daily walk with other high-intensity activities such as running, playing fetch, and even hiking every once in a while.
If you are an athletic fur parent, definitely this would be a non-issue for you. But if you are not, then better start getting creative because you need to provide a Pitsky enough exercise that would burn its energy while at the same time, stimulating its mind.
Inability to fulfill this could cause your Pitsky to get depressed. It could also result in your fur baby looking for an alternative outlet for its excess energy such as gnawing at the furniture, destroying your shoes, digging holes in your garden, and even non-stop barking.
It may help if you have a spacious backyard that is enclosed by a fence. You may let your fur baby play there on its own. You could give it a ball to chase or even other interactive toys that could provide it the added entertainment.
Exercising your Pitsky has benefits health-wise too. It could keep its body conditioned and could help maintain its ideal weight. When your fur baby is regularly exercised, it has less likelihood to develop any diseases such as obesity and high blood pressure.
But be careful not to subject your Pitsky to too strenuous activities until it is a fully adult dog and its bones have already stopped developing. Otherwise, it may harm its growing bones.
Like other mixed breed dogs, a Pitsky may generally be a healthy hybrid but there are still instances when it suffers from health conditions transferred to them genetically by either or both of its parents.
Some of these diseases are the following:
Hip Dysplasia is a skeletal disorder affecting the hind part of a Pitsky. This happens when the ball and socket joints at its hip area get dislocated from each other due to an injury or they don’t naturally fit well together. Instead of working flawlessly, they rub against each other which often causes pain to the pooch.
This significantly impacts the mobility of a Pitsky because it renders the affected leg lame causing it to walk in a bunny hopping motion as it moves around. Over time, the muscle mass on the affected leg decreases while at the same time the Pitsky’s chest becomes more muscular because the latter exerts more pressure as your dog walks.
There is no treatment for Hip Dysplasia particularly if it is hereditary but there are treatments available to improve its mobility and to manage the pain.
Hypothyroidism is a condition affecting the thyroid glands of a Pitsky. When your pooch has this, then its thyroid is not giving off enough hormones which significantly reduce the rate of the metabolic process throughout its body.
A Pitsky dog suffering from this disorder normally exhibits tiredness, weight gain, and changes in its skin. There is no cure for Hypothyroidism and normally, treatment for this is lifelong
Cataract is an eye disorder characterized by the clouding of the lens due to protein accumulation. This then prevents the light from penetrating the eyes which causes partial or permanent blindness.
Cataracts are normally corrected with the help of surgery. But there are also eye drops available that could help manage the disorder.
There is no exact equation to actually determine what disorder your Pitsky would end up with. But one thing that can lessen the likelihood would be getting your Pitsky from a reputable breeder because they make sure that the parent breeds are healthy before crossing them. Thus, there is less possibility of any hereditary diseases occurring to the Pitsky puppy.
You can also help any disorders from escalating when you bring your Pitsky to the vet regularly. The vet could detect early symptoms and help address them before it’s too late.
The average life expectancy of a Pitsky is about 15 years. This is an excellent number in terms of doggy years. This just means that it will be around to love you longer than many other dog breeds.
However, its longevity would still depend on its lifestyle because the healthier a Pitsky is, the longer it will likely live. Because of this, its fur parents need to ensure that it would only have a healthy lifestyle through and through.
You will get the best of its parent breeds’ temperament with a Pitsky. It will be nothing short of active, intelligent, and athletic, but with a sprinkle of stubbornness also if it sets its mind on what it wants.
However, you could also trust that it would be loyal and devoted to you as its fur parent. It would have no qualms showing you affection and expecting it in return.
In fact, it thrives in it. Whether it is just your attention or some belly rubs, it treasures every single time you provide it. As such, it does not anymore come as a surprise that it gets anxious and depressed with the extended absence of its fur parents.
The Pitsky hybrid could be a friendly dog to strangers because its parent breeds are naturally personable. But don’t underestimate its instinct to protect because it will not hesitate to pounce if its human parent is in danger.
This doesn’t mean that a Pitsky is a danger to society. In fact, it is not aggressive especially if it is socialized from puppyhood. But it knows how to put the well-being of its owner before its own.
Despite the natural good temperament of a Pitsky, it shouldn’t be expected that this will be maintained if no training and socialization were provided to it. This will not happen if a fur parent wouldn’t be willing to work for it.
Pitsky As A Family Dog
It is without a doubt that a Pitsky would be a great family dog with training and socialization from a young age. However, given the breed’s training requirements, it may be better off with fur parents that have previous experience in handling a similar breed.
A Pitsky would also benefit from having active and even athletic fur parents. They could easily meet its exercise requirements and in return, a Pitsky would be a wonderful companion to their adventures.
A Pitsky wouldn’t have any difficulty keeping up during hiking trips. It has immeasurable endurance and stamina especially when conditioned daily. Moreover, it could even be a good guard dog during such trips.
Pitskies would also make great family pets even for fur parents with young kids. They have the size that won’t make them too fragile during playtime, unlike tiny dogs. They are also very patient with kids and can tolerate their antics.
However, kids should still be taught also on how to approach and handle this pooch. Pitskies’ ears should not be pulled and their territorial instincts should also not be triggered. It is also recommended not to just leave your young kids alone with your dog no matter how tame it is. Utmost supervision is required to ensure that no one will get injured during their interactions.
If you have other dogs in your home, Pitskies would be amenable to living with them as long as they are raised together. If not, then a prolonged introduction is needed before you can be confident in letting them be around each other on their own.
Pitskies may look like fierce dogs but in truth, they are big babies. They always want to shadow their fur parents and they develop separation anxiety when away from their fur parents for a long time. As such, you cannot also expect them to be outdoor dogs.
Likewise, given their size, Pitskies won’t make great apartment dogs. They require space for them to roam around and release their energy. It would be best for them to live in a spacious home with an enclosed yard.
The Cost of Getting a Pitsky
With all the amazing traits of a Pit Bull Husky mix, it won’t be surprising if you are among the fur parents who want to have one.
To give you an estimate, buying a Pitsky puppy would cost you around USD500 to USD2000. The price is dependent on the quality and of course, the pedigree.
The higher the quality of the Pitsky puppies, the higher would be their price tag. This would still skyrocket if they came from an American Pit Bull terrier that is of rare coloring or from a champion line.
However, the price will be worth it especially if you will get it from a licensed and reputable breeder. They breed intending to create high-quality companion dogs in mind. Thus, you can have a guarantee that they will only provide you with the best Pitsky puppy in mind.
They choose top-of-the-line purebred parent dogs to cross. They make sure that they don’t have any health issues that they could pass on to their young. They are very transparent that oftentimes, they even allow fur parents to see the actual parent dogs and provide a copy of health clearances that would attest that the parent dogs are healthy.
Reputable breeders also take care of the pups they create until such time when they are finally released to their new homes. They provide them the right care starting from sustenance down to medical care. They do not at all scrimp because they want to only provide the best.
Because of these, you can have the guarantee that your money will not get wasted. You can sleep peacefully at night knowing that your new family member is healthy and well.
It would be doubtful if you could say the same thing for backyard breeders and puppy mills. They don’t have the controls in place which makes it hard to determine the condition of the Pitsky pup that you are getting.
You may see that it looks pretty healthy as you get it from the breeder, but because you don’t have the guarantee on the health of its parent breeds, you cannot be sure if it would develop hereditary illness later on which would cost you more. You cannot even be sure if it would be a first-generation Pitsky or a product of mixed breed.
Considering the Shelters
Don’t forget that another place where you could get a Pitsky is at doggy shelters.
Even though it is a highly sought designer breed, there are instances when this hybrid ends up abandoned by their original fur parents. Thus, you are not only helping the shelter by adopting a Pitsky from them but you are also making a significant change to this doggo’s life.
You will find that it would show its gratefulness to you by being a loyal dog.
Don’t worry about having a Pitsky who previously had a different owner. This dog breed is very resilient and it would love anybody who would show it the care and love it deserves.
Other Costs for a Pitsky
Taking care of a Pitsky would entail hard work, patience, and of course, costs. You need to be able to meet its needs throughout its lifetime for it to grow into a healthy dog. Failure to factor in its need into your budget is a recipe for disaster.
Among the needs that you’d need to provide for your Pitsky include its food, shelter, medical care, and dog accessories such as a bowl, leash, doggy toiletries, and toys that would keep it from getting bored.
It would also need services such as grooming every now and then, and even the fee to be paid for a trainer if you want it to go through a more advanced lesson. Lastly, there would be miscellaneous needs too such as the cost you will pay for dog proofing your home or the cost of fencing your yard for it to have a safe place to play.
Most of these are not expenses that you need to cover once only. Instead, most are repetitive needs of your pooch, particularly the food. Thus, you must gauge first the costs’ affordability to you before taking home one so there wouldn’t be any heartbreaks in the future.
If you love a companion dog that is active, affectionate, and is generally a healthy breed, then getting a Pitsky would be among your options. It has the foundation of a good family dog given the characteristics of its parent breeds, and it would also be a great partner for your adventures especially if you are an athletic fur parent.
However, before you jump into that final step and take a Pitsky home, ensure first that you have the ability to take care of such a dog with a high energetic requirement. Aside from that, there is also the upbringing cost you should consider and the commitment to raising a new family member.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Are Pitsky dogs aggressive?
A: Pitsky is not a naturally aggressive dog. In fact, it is even far from it because it has a great temperament coming from a Siberian Husky and an American Pit Bull Terrier parents.
But like all other dogs, without proper training and socialization from an early age, it will be hard to maintain its good temperament. You have no issues if you got this covered because you will definitely love the affectionate and even gentle nature of a Pitsky.
Q: Are Pitsky good dogs?
A: It is without a doubt that a Pitsky is a good dog. It has a temperament suited for almost all fur parents alike. It is not even naturally aggressive which is among the top concern of all fur parents alike. Moreover, given that it is a product of parent dogs that are known to be among the top choices for companion dogs, it also has the making of a great companion dog – if not a superb one.
Q: What were Pitskies bred for?
A: Pitskies were bred to significantly reduce, if not eliminate, hereditary diseases common for purebred dogs. They are best companions for active fur parents or for active families because of their high energy levels. Even for those families with young kids, this dog breed will be a good choice because it is very gentle and tolerant of small kids’ antics.
If you are gone most times and you are a first-time owner, it is likely that the Pisky would not be for you. They have a high training requirement and can be prone to separation anxiety. Thus, you may want to reconsider your choice of dog.
Q: How much is a Pitsky?
If you want to buy a Pitsky, then expect that it would cost you anything between USD500 to USD2000. A bit costly, yes. But trust that you are getting a quality pup when you buy from a reputable breeder.
In fact, you shouldn’t even consider other options because even if puppy mills and backyard breeders could sell it to you at a low price, it may just have a higher long-term cost for you particularly if they will come in a poor condition. This normally happens for pups from such breeders. It is your lucky day if you can even get a first-generation Pitsky puppy because oftentimes, their parents are products of mixed rather than pure breeds which will significantly impact the pedigree of the pooch you are going to get.