The Siberian Husky is a beautiful dog that is free-spirited and (usually) good-natured with everyone. He is very playful, athletic, agile, and light on his feet. He loves the great outdoors and requires vigorous exercise, especially in cool weather.
He should be taken running, hiking, and/or biking, or walking every day, always on-leash, for he is independent and born to run. If something catches his interest, he’ll be gone. Teaching him to pull carts and sleds gives him a purpose in life.
It’s been often said that dogs are the only creatures on earth that love you more than they love themselves. Well, Huskies are no exception!
Siberian Huskies are not a dog for everyone. You may have been drawn to the breed after hearing about how great they are with children, how intelligent they are, what terrific jogging partners they make, or their lack of ‘dog smell’. All of these things are true and are great benefits of the breed but it is important to understand the true nature and temperament of the husky before making your decision. Owning a husky is unlike owning many other breeds, huskies are a free spirited dog, we will explain what this means a bit later on.
If you are a well-adjusted, assertive, happy and active person with a good family situation you may be a perfect Siberian husky owner.
Despite their shedding Siberians are an exceptionally clean dogs. They take great pride in their coat and strive to keep it clean (this doesn’t mean they won’t go splashing around in puddles of mud though). Siberians do not have the ‘doggy odor’ that is typical of many breeds. HUSKIES SHED! Thats an understatement, so if your worried about dog hair, this is NOT the dog for you . They shed their undercoat two times per year. This is when they SHED A LOT !! . The rest of the year they shed. A good groom and blow out twice a year can save a lot of vacuuming . NEVER shave a husky !!!
Siberian Huskies appreciate cold climates .Most people naturally associate huskies with the cold, they are built to withstand extreme cold and also extreme heat, due to their unique double coats. Both extreme hot and cold take longer to penetrate the skin so they are very adapt at surviving comfortably in both. You can certainly keep a Siberian in hotter climates but will need to take extra care and precautions during the hot summer months.
Siberians are a very independent dog, this does not mean they like to be left alone though. Siberians crave human attention and touch, they enjoy making their own decisions and this is where their independence (and stubbornness ) comes from. The more time you spend with your Siberian the happier he/she will be, particularly as a puppy a lot of attention is needed to help develop a happy and adjusted adult dog. Don’t consider getting a puppy if you will be away from home for long hours everyday, its not fair. This does not mean it is not possible, but means that you will need to put in some extra planning.
Siberians are not “backyard” dogs. Leave a Siberian alone in the yard for the day and he/she will howl and protest. They will dig holes and make your yard look like a moonscape, have your neighbors in an uproar from the howling, and they may escape to find something less boring to do . Dog doors are ok. Outdoor confinement – no.
Don’t consider getting a puppy if you will be away from home for long hours everyday, its not fair. This does not mean it is not possible, but means that you will need to put in some extra planning. For example the first weeks at a new home (8-12 weeks old) are extremely important in the puppy’s development – make sure a family member is able to spend plenty of time with them, perhaps take some well deserved holidays or share the responsibility around.
Another dog is a great way to keep a husky occupied, being pack animals they also enjoy the company of other dogs.
Siberians need lots of exercise everyday, they are extremely active dogs and instinctually they love to run! If you want a husky you need to be willing to provide a high level of activity to keep him/her happy and healthy. Regular jogging, walking and even swimming are all great daily activities. It is important to note that exercise for a husky is not just about the physical requirements but also their mental requirements. Huskies are extremely intelligent dogs and love to be challenged, stimulating their minds can be difficult sometimes and later we will look at some fun activities for everyone.
Siberians are curious by nature and it is important that your husky is fenced in well. Siberian Huskies develop strong muscular hind legs and can jump to extraordinary heights from a sitting position. It is generally regarded that a fence 6’ high will suitably contain a husky. Anything less than 5’ fencing, is not adequate .
Digging is a favorite pastime for huskies as it is for many dogs, it is important to stop any attempts to dig below fences. Concrete retaining blocks buried slightly into the soil under the fence line can be a good way to deter an escape attempt. If you are remodeling the garden anytime soon, laying some wire down approximately 20-30cm’s will also help stop any attempts.
Huskies dig for fun, but also out of boredom. If your yard is beginning to look like the moon, consider more, time, exercise or enrichment.