The Siberian husky is not a wolf, or a hybrid of a wolf, although its striking good looks and piercing blue eyes give it more than a passing resemblance.

The breed does, however, have a very ancient lineage dating back more than 4,000 years.

They were the dog of the Chukchi tribe in northern Siberia for many centuries – an all-purpose canine that would pull sleds across snowy terrain for many miles, hunt for hours at a time, and (to a lesser extent) guard property and livestock.

They were also loyal and affectionate companions and some dogs would live within the family homes of the tribes folk.

The Siberian husky is classed as a ‘primitive’ breed – one that loves human company but that is quite capable of surviving without it.

So much so, that in the summer months the Chukchi tribes folk would let the dogs loose to hunt for themselves, helping to maintain the breed’s predatory instincts.

The very first Siberians arrived in the UK in the 1940s, but it was only in the 1960s that the breed became established.

They make good pets, but would-be owners need to be aware of the breed’s traits – some good, and some not so good.

They are renown for being intelligent and independently-minded, even mischievous, which means that Siberians will test their boundaries and need constant reminders about what is right and wrong.

They have legendary ‘selective deafness’ and so recall off a lead, for example, may not be possible.

Another widely observed trait is that Siberians have two speeds: full pelt or fast asleep.

They have immense stamina and can exercise for hours without tiring, and then spend even longer curled up on a couch.

Like most dogs, they enjoy human company and don’t like being left alone, and boredom and separation anxiety can lead to destructive behaviours.

They are not known for being big barkers, but they do have a reputation for howling and ‘singing’ to their owners.

Siberians come in a variety of colours, including black, grey, white, copper, brown and sable, and they have double-layered coats which require expert grooming.

Our rescue kennels has two amazing examples of the Siberian breed in its care at the moment: Chief, who is ten years old, which means he is middle aged in husky terms given the average lifespan is 15.

Chief has lived with children and another dog, and he is very laid back – he’s simply looking for a quiet life with lots of cuddles and attention, interspersed by walks in the countryside.

He is a gentle soul with a calm nature, and his main motivation in life is to please his human companions in return for treats.

At the other end of the Siberian spectrum is young Reggie, who is a one-year-old (very striking) copper and white husky.

He is a bit of a handful and is testing his boundaries at the moment, and so he will need a new home with plenty of structure and routine.

He isn’t well socialised with other dogs and he can be very reactive, and he pulls on the lead, and so his training will need to go back to basics.

He has been a much-loved part of a large family, but his previous owners feel that he needs to be given more attention and time, with someone who can commit the energy and resources to appropriate training.

Ideally he should be rehomed to an adult-only family, or one with older children who can respect Reggie’s needs. He hasn’t lived with other pets and is likely to have a strong prey drive around smaller animals, and so being an ‘only child’ would suit him best.