The Chusky may just be the fluffiest pooch you’ve ever seen. A mix of the Chow Chow and Siberian Husky, this bold mixed breed is basically a walking pillow.
You might have heard a few other nicknames for the Chusky, including Chow Husky, Husky Chow, and Chowski.
Large and in charge, Chuskies’ personalities are matched only by their size. Keep reading to see if you can handle their gutsy nature!
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Chusky dogs 101
Like many designer dogs, little information exists about the Chusky’s origins. Intentional breeding probably started in North America in the early 2000s. We don’t know much beyond this, though.
The Chowski’s parent breeds are both known for above-average intelligence and a fierce sense of loyalty.
It’s plausible that breeders hoped to combine them and create a brainy guard dog. The Chow Husky’s fleecy coat is just an added bonus.
Breed registry with the American Kennel Club is reserved for purebred dogs, but other organizations recognize the Chow Chow Husky mix.
Since we don’t have many cold, hard facts about where the Chusky comes from, let’s get to know this mixed breed by meeting its parents.
The Siberian Husky: an iconic sled dog
When you think of the Siberian Husky, you probably envision teams of Huskies pulling sleds across vast snowy distances. And you’re not wrong!
Huskies got their start in Siberia, where the native Chukchi people bred them as sled-pullers and working dogs.
Interestingly, Huskies were also seen as companions. Women and children often looked after these intrepid canines. It’s theorized that this early pack bonding contributed to Husky’s family-oriented spirit.
Since then, Huskies have gained a reputation for their athleticism and quirky traits. Ever heard a Husky talk? Their characteristic awoo is just one of this breed’s many notable features!
Get to know the Chow Chow
Believed to be one of the world’s oldest living dog breeds, the Chow Chow may have been roaming the earth since 150 BC.
These regal dogs have served many purposes over the years. Chow Chows have hunted, hauled, and even kept watch for China’s elite!
Speaking of royalty, Queen Victoria herself took a great liking to the Chow Chow. Not long after a Chow joined England’s royal family, the breed saw rising popularity in the United States.
The AKC officially recognized this multipurpose breed in 1903. They’ve been a staple in dog-loving homes ever since!
What does a Chow Chow Husky mix look like?
What if you could have a fluffy, cloud-like Husky? That’s pretty much what you’ll get with the Chowski.
Unlike purebreds, however, there’s rarely a breed standard for mixed breed dogs. How your Chusky will look is totally up to chance.
In puppyhood, your Chowski might resemble a walking teddy bear. Chusky puppies often have rounded ears that gradually become pointed with age.
Your Chusky could have longer legs, or she might be short and stout. Her head and muzzle will most likely be broad like a Chow Chow, though an elongated Husky muzzle is always possible.
Depending on which parent breed they take after, a Chusky might have brown, blue, or hazel eyes. These hybrids could have heterochromia, too, though it’s rare.
Your Chow Husky could also inherit their Chow Chow parent’s wrinkly face. Prepare for a delightfully squishy mug!
The Chowski’s appearance isn’t all fun and games, though. With their webbed feet and barrel chests, these canines are built for action and impact.
Size: How big do Chowskis get?
Chowskis are hefty, hefty, hefty. By adulthood, the Chow Husky mix usually weighs 40-65 pounds (18-29 kg) and reaches 18-23 inches (46-58 cm) in height.
Some can even be as tall as 27 inches (69 cm)! Needless to say, this crossbreed isn’t built for lap cuddles.
They also aren’t suited for smaller homes. Between their stature and their high energy, a spacious yard is a must.
Coat color: What can you expect from the Chusky?
With their Chow Chow and Siberian Husky parentage, your Husky Chow mix is destined for a thick double coat.
They typically have short, straight hair. They just have a lot of it.
Chuskies come in an array of colors. Yours might be one solid shade or a combination of hues. Most often, we see Chowskis with brown, black, cream, red, or white fur.
Is a Husky Chow mix a good family dog?
First time owning a canine? You may find yourself outmatched with the Chusky.
With innate confidence, this hybrid dog is anything but a pushover. Even for experienced dog owners, Husky Chows can be a challenge.
Purebred Chows are notoriously unfriendly. Their sweeter side is reserved for family only. Siberian Husky genes temper this trait in Chowskis, but their personality still errs on the side of stranger danger.
While this doesn’t bode well for super-social pet parents, it does give you an unbeatable watchdog.
Not only will your Chow Husky cross defend their pack, but they’ll also use their doggie voice to make sure everyone in a 3-block radius knows there’s danger afoot.
Early training can reduce–but not eliminate–excessive barking. You’ll also want to focus your efforts on obedience training and socialization.
Ironically, Chowskis are smart enough and active enough to do well in canine jobs. Their dominant, stubborn nature compromises their trainability, however.
Rely on positive reinforcement, and remember: always keep your composure. Don’t give this ornery pooch the satisfaction of knowing they got the best of you.
Consistency is another essential component of Chowski’s training regimen. This hybrid often has a strong prey drive and can be a bit of a bully toward other animals.
As such, their training and socialization should start in puppyhood and continue into their senior years.
With the right owner, even the most headstrong Chusky can be a great family pet. With a novice, however, the Chowski’s temperament can be too much to handle.
Speaking of families, if you have children, make sure they know how to read canine body language.
Your Chusky expects their boundaries to be respected at all times. Given their size and strength, it’s in the entire pack’s best interest to make training a family affair.
Notice, for example, how sweet Minie the Chowski puppy communicates with other dogs at the park.
Your goal as a Chusky owner should be to channel their independence and teach them how to say “no new friends, thanks” in a polite way.
Even if your Chowski isn’t the most affectionate dog in the world, don’t doubt their loyalty or love.
Husky Chows are so dedicated, they’re prone to separation anxiety when away from their packs. They’ll be happiest in a home with firm leadership, plenty of patience, and a wealth of free time.
Caring for a Chusky dog
If you don’t mind frolicking in the snow and see grooming as a bonding exercise, this just might be the hybrid for you!
With their thick fur, Chowskis don’t do well in high temperatures but feel right at home in cooler weather. They’re also a bit high-maintenance when it comes to coat care and exercise.
Exercise: How active do the Chusky need to be?
Exercising your Husky Chow mix is no small feat.
These dynamic doggos need at least one vigorous 60-minute walk or run each day. Couple this with a few play sessions and shorter walks and your Chusky will be one happy puppy!
Because of their energy level, this mixed breed isn’t the best choice for couch potatoes, seniors, or owners with mobility issues. If their exercise needs aren’t met, Chowskis can quickly become destructive.
Active owners, however, will enjoy this energetic dog.
Husky Chows are up for anything: running, hiking, agility, flyball, long walks on the beach–you name it!
Even if you don’t get frequent snow, you can tap into your Chowski’s sled dog heritage. Teach them to pull small wagons or carts to give their body and brain a good workout.
How much should I feed my Chowski?
Food consumption varies with each Chusky, but plan on 3-4 cups a day, split into two meals.
As Chuskies are prone to weight gain, stick to a feeding schedule, and keep table scraps (aka irresistible temptation) out of their reach.
Dog food formulated for medium and large dogs is a good idea for the Husky Chow. You’ll also want to consider their age, health, activity level, and a number of teeth.
Yes, you read that right. Some Chuskies are born with missing teeth. Depending on their set of chompers, dry food may be too difficult to chew, making wet dog chow a necessity.
Do Chowski dogs need much grooming?
The answer to this question is a resounding yes
Between their Chow Chow poof and Husky-level shedding, Chuskies are the opposite of hypoallergenic.
Daily brushing is best for this heavy shedder. Go ahead and stock up on the essentials now. You’ll need a pin brush, deshedder, and a sturdy pair of scissors for your Husky Chow.
You should also check your Chusky’s ears and brush their teeth every day.
Nail trims only need to happen once or twice a month at most. Keep an eye on your Chowski’s claws. If they begin to look like talons or if you can hear Fido clicking across the floor, it’s time for a pedicure.
Given the Husky Chow’s cantankerous disposition, you’ll want to desensitize them to the grooming process early on.
Especially if you plan to enlist the help of a professional groomer, your pup should be as comfortable as possible with being handled and beautified.
Health issues of the Chow Chow Siberian Husky mix
Husky Chows, thankfully, are a rather healthy breed. The average life expectancy for this pooch is a whopping 10-14 years!
But no breed is without its health problems, much to the dog lover’s dismay.
The Chusky may experience breathing issues if their faces are particularly wrinkly. And eye problems, including cataracts and entropion, are also possibilities for the Chusky.
While these may not sound severe, cataracts can impair your dog’s vision as they age. Entropion, a condition that causes the eyelid to fold inward, can be quite painful. Both often require surgery to correct.
Joint issues are another health concern. Larger breeds like the Husky Chow are at risk for hip dysplasia and patellar luxation.
If your Chowski starts walking with a limp or only running on three legs, get them into the vet as soon as you can to avoid any long-term complications.
How much is a Chusky puppy worth?
The true price of owning a Chowski puppy depends on several factors.
Buying a Chow Chow Siberian Husky mix puppy will set you back $500-1000. Budget another $1500 or so in annual maintenance costs, including medical care and supplies.
You can reduce costs by adopting rather than purchasing from a pet store. Buying a healthy pup from a reputable breeder can also save you money on future vet expenses.
Let’s explore both options so you can make an informed decision.
Choosing a Chow Chow Siberian Husky breeder
Our search for a Chusky breeder didn’t yield many results. You may need to do some digging to find a trustworthy breeder near you. But with these tips, you’ll be ready to take the leap when you do find the perfect match.
The best breeders are both knowledgeable and discerning. They want to make sure their pups go to a good home. It’s not uncommon for breeders to ask questions about your lifestyle and experience raising dogs.
You should ask questions of your own, too.
Request health guarantees and proof of genetic testing for your future pup and her parents. You’ll also want to schedule a time to get to know the breeder’s puppies.
Look for a Chusky puppy that interacts freely with its littermates and with people. You want a confident pooch that isn’t too rough or dominant.
A Husky Chow pup that seems fearful or bullheaded might not be right for you, especially if you have kids or other pets.
Adopting a Chowski from a rescue or shelter
This may seem counterintuitive, but you might have better luck finding a Chusky for adoption. But as with all things, rescuing a pup comes with a few caveats.
You should be aware that dogs often come to shelters with unknown histories. It’ll be hard to say with certainty that your pup is a 50/50 Chow Husky split. Just think of your shelter dog as a medley of amazing breeds!
It’s equally important to note that rescue pups can sometimes have behavioral issues.
You never know what circumstances they’ve lived through or if they were provided healthy structure in their last home. Keep this in mind when you adopt your Husky Chow.
Check with Husky and Chow rescue organizations for the best chance at a true Chowski. They can also help match you with a Chusky of the right temperament. Here are a few rescues to consider:
- Chow Chow Rescue of Central New York, Inc. (Brewerton, NY)
- Houston Chow Chow Connection (Houston, TX)
- Free Spirit Siberian Rescue (Harvard, IL)
- Husky House (Matawan, NJ)
Pros and cons of getting a Chow Chow Siberian Husky mix
Now that you’ve met the Chusky, let’s summarize what’s good about ‘em…and not so good.
- Husky Chows are devoted and protective. They’ll keep you and your family safe.
- They have a unique appearance and cloud-like coat.
- Chuskies are strong and energetic–perfect for athletes!
- Chowskis are comfortable in large families, especially when the whole pack is dog-oriented.
- Chow Chow Huskies are high-maintenance when it comes to grooming, training, and exercise.
- These dogs are known for heavy shedding. They aren’t good choices for allergy-prone owners.
- Chuskies can be hard to socialize. Homes with rambunctious children or other pets should proceed with caution.
Similar Chusky breeds
Not entirely sold on the Chowski? That’s understandable. This is a memorable crossbreed, without a doubt, but it won’t be a good fit for each pack.
You could even go with an entirely different but equally impressive Husky-like purebred, the Alaskan Malamute!
Is a Chow Chow Husky Mix right for me?
The Chusky sees itself as a regal alpha dog. You’ll never have to worry about low self-esteem with this confident pooch!
Because of their bold personalities, Chowskis need owners who have experience with brazen breeds and an endless supply of patience.
In the hands of the wrong dog owner, they could become destructive or downright dangerous.
Are you the perfect Chusky owner? Tell us why in the comments!