Siberian Huskies are a truly wonderful breed, and you may be considering getting one. Despite being one of the most popular dogs in the world, they have some very unique characteristics that set them apart from most other breeds. And you’ll want to know about them before bringing one home!
Here’s what owners must know about huskies before getting one!
10 Important Things To Know Before Getting a Husky
1. Huskies require a lot of exercise
Yep! This one was obvious…
You probably already knew that huskies need a lot of exercise, but there’s more to it than that. Huskies need high-intensity exercise, pretty much all the time.
Consistency is the most important thing to understand.
Sure, you can take your husky out for one run, that’s great, but you’re not done!… Your husky will need that multiple times per day, every day, forever. *eyebrows raise
Siberian huskies were bred by nomadic hunter-gatherers from Eastern Siberia, known as the Chukchi Tribe. Huskies we used by the tribes for transporting them and their goods across vast distances in extreme weather. So it’s literally in their genes to crave high-intensity exercise.
If you were to neglect your husky’s exercise requirements, you would be asking for trouble. Not only would you make him very unhappy, but he would develop some serious behavioral issues and become rather destructive and disobedient. Simply put, if you mess with a husky’s exercise, it’s very bad news.
2. Huskies shed a lot!
Huskies shed year-round with one or two distinct “blowouts” per year. These blowouts quickly become a significant event for most husky owners.
During a blowout, your floor will be completely replaced by his fur. Literally, huge bundles of fur will drop from your husky in some sort of never-ending madness!
Shedding is an important process and helps your husky adjust accordingly to the seasonal changes. Unfortunately, there’s no way to stop shedding, and it can’t be avoided. The only thing you can do is learn to manage it and help your husky have an efficient shed. I have a complete article on husky shedding here.
3. Huskies love to chew things
Huskies are very heavy chewers, and this isn’t just during the puppy stage. Although chewing can be managed and with proper bite inhibition training, you can avoid most disasters.
It will come with a learning curve, and in that learning curve will be a path of chewed shoes, furniture, and fingers!
This isn’t a problem for everyone, but if you don’t properly husky-proof your house and implement training from the start, It can be rather challenging to deal with.
Fortunately, if you create good habits while your husky pup starts teething, you can teach him pretty early on about what he should be chewing and what he shouldn’t be chewing. Despite his natural stubbornness, he’ll learn fairly quickly.
4. Huskies are pack dogs
For thousands of years, huskies would have lived in packs. The pack-life way of living means a few things for you and your family.
When it comes to training, you must understand the importance of being the alpha.
As huskies have this pack-life ingrained into them, they have an extreme sense of hierarchy, just like what happens in packs; and this has a huge impact on their behavior.
What this boils down to is you ensuring your husky knows the hierarchy in your household. Otherwise, he’ll turn the place inside out and never listen to you.
Breeds with strong pack instincts need strong guidance and a firm (but fair) trainer to be truly happy and obedient.
5. Huskies hate being left alone
This stems from being pack dogs. Huskies are used to having company and do not enjoy being alone.
Huskies can develop separation anxiety and isolation anxiety much easier than other breeds. These are serious conditions once developed and can be very difficult to overcome.
Therefore, you need to think about how you can dedicate time and give your husky the love and physical company he’s going to desire.
If you don’t already have a husky, and you work 12 hours a day, 5 or 6 days a week. I would not recommend getting one. And although there are various ways to get around leaving him alone, it just wouldn’t be very fair.
Most of us have busy lives and work long hours, and that’s ok, but there needs to be a balance, and you MUST ensure you can give a big chunk of your time to your husky.
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6. Huskies can be very stubborn
If you think your 6-year-old children are stubborn, try owning a husky.
Of course, you can never say that this accounts for EVERY husky out there, but they are known only to do what they want when they want to do it. So although it can lead to some very hilarious moments, it usually leads to infuriating ones.
Training should always start from the moment you bring your husky home, and by setting boundaries and teaching him basic commands right off the bat, it’s likely you won’t have many serious moments of defiance.
7. Huskies have a big prey drive
Huskies have a prominent prey drive. This can quickly become an issue if you have another small household pet in the shape of a cat…
Prey drive is a matter of instinct and can never fully be trained against. Having said that, it IS possible for huskies and other small animals to live as a happy family under the same roof, but huge precaution needs to be taken in the beginning.
If this is of particular concern to you, I have a complete article on how a husky can successfully live with a cat you might want to check out.
This may also be an issue for you when you take him for walks. Even the most well-trained huskies can sometimes slip into chase mode when they spot a squirrel or cat.
Although this seems like a big issue on the surface, it’s not one of the usual complaints of husky owners, so I don’t think there’s anything to worry about here. Just be careful with Garfield.
8. Huskies love to be vocal
Huskies can’t get enough of their own voice.
For some people, this isn’t an issue, but for others, it will be. If you like peace and quiet, a husky may not be the right breed for you.
Despite saying this, all huskies are indeed different, and some are louder than others. But to avoid surprises, it’s safer to assume your husky will make his fair share of noise.
Huskies can howl, chirp, sing, mimic, and almost talk. Most of the time, this is harmless fun, and they are simply trying to communicate with you.
Check out this super cute video on YouTube by It’s Complicated
9. Huskies have very short attention spans
Huskies don’t have a very long attention span and tend to become anxious or irritated if made to wait.
Your husky can get bored and frustrated quickly which means it’s not ideal to leave him alone for long periods of time. If you work long hours you will need to consider getting a pet sitter to visit your husky throughout the day.
This can also be an issue when taking your husky out in public places. If you ever need to stop for something, he’ll get extremely fidgety and potentially cause a little trouble.
To stop your husky from getting frustrated, he’ll need various sources of entertainment. You can use toys, play games and without a doubt, give him sufficient daily exercise.
10. Huskies are GREAT family dogs
I think putting this fact last is a wonderful way to end.
Huskies are amazing dogs with ideal characteristics to fit right into your family.
Siberian Huskies are loving, compassionate dogs that rarely ever display aggression towards people or other dogs. They are also very good with young children and do not get spooked by strangers.
Even the AKC standard recognizes that they are not a possessive type of dog, nor are they overly suspicious of people or other dogs.
Although this doesn’t make them particularly good guard dogs, it makes them great family-loving dogs.
Are You Considering Getting a Husky?
What are your thoughts? concerns? I would love to hear them.
In my honest opinion, as long you have adequate time and dedication to give to a husky, these dogs are fun, easy-going, and make to be surprisingly perfect dogs.
I put together this article not to scare you off getting a husky but rather to understand what will be involved. It’s said that huskies can be “too much dog” for most beginner dog owners. But I think it’s only the case if the owners are unknowing of the Siberian husky’s personality from the start.
If you know yourself that you can give your husky the love, companionship, time, and commitment he needs, go for it.
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Brain Training For Dogs has become very popular with Siberian Huskies in the last few years. Owners that have tried it say amazing things about the incredible results and how easily implemented the training is.
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If you would like an easy to read guide for training your husky puppy, check out my book The Husky Puppy Handbook on Amazon. All purchases are greatly appreciated.
DisclaimerThe advice given in this article is for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice in any context. Before making any decisions that may affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. For the FULL disclaimer Visit Here
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