The Siberian Husky is a family-loving, gentle, and kind breed. These important points make them an increasingly popular household dog. However, due to a few classic husky traits, it’s important to ask a valid question, are huskies high maintenance?
Huskies are considered a high maintenance breed. They require a lot of attention, a huge amount of exercise, need consistent brushing, hate being left alone, and can be difficult to train. Huskies require a lot of your time and focus.
Let’s go through a more detailed look at what owning a husky involves and what exactly could cause them to be “high maintenance” for you.
Are Huskies a High Maintenance Breed? 5 Things To Know
Let’s start this section by saying Huskies are hairy dogs! The more hair on their body, the more hair on your floors too.
1) Husky Grooming Requirements
Huskies were originally bred by the Chukchi People in Siberia as working dogs, transporting goods and people in harsh arctic conditions. Due to their origin, Siberian Huskies boast a thick double coat that needs regular grooming and attention.
Huskies require a regular brushing routine consisting of around once or twice per week. While establishing a brushing routine like this shouldn’t be considered high maintenance, hoovering white dog hair all year could be a pain.
Huskies, like all dogs with double coats, usually need to shed twice per year, and when shedding season happens, you WILL know about it!
Shedding is often a problem for most people and consists of an onslaught of your Husky’s dead undercoat hair piling up on your floor for around 2-3 weeks. It can get to the point where your husky is laying down, next to another fluff ball the size of another husky!
*However, I would like to make two important points about husky shedding.
Firstly, shedding can be managed and minimized by following certain tips. I have a whole article dedicated to managing husky shedding
Secondly, if you really want a Siberian Husky, the shedding onslaught that only happens twice a year, isn’t too much to worry about.
2) Husky Exercise Requirements
This is perhaps the main doubt that people have when considering getting a Siberian Husky.
The energy levels of a Husky is that of a 5-year-old after a bag of candy… But with no energy crash.
The reason Huskies have such high energy comes from their origins. Huskies were bred to work hard all day long in harsh conditions, on little food. Over thousands of years of living like this, it has not only given them very naturally high energy levels, but also an efficient metabolism. On little food, a husky can go on and on
So this leads to a classic husky question, how much exercise does a husky need? Ideally your husky should have exercise of around 2 hours per day, one time in the morning and one time in the evening. This exercise shouldn’t just be a casual walk either.
The best type of high-intensity exercise for husky include:
- Agility Training
- Sled Pulling
Exercise doesn’t cure-all!
Exercise is one way of stimulating your husky, but it’s common to hear from other husky owners that even after a lot of exercise, they still have tonnes of energy.
If your husky does not have proper training, chew toys, and is left alone for hours per day while your work, their energy will likely be channeled into destructive behavior.
I have two articles that I think will help you with this situation:
How to leave a husky home alone (what you can do)
To summarise this section, if you live a very active lifestyle where exercise is something that YOU enjoy and engage in, then having a husky is perfect.
On the other hand, If you are a very busy person, with little time at home or for exercise, a husky likely is not the ideal breed for you.
3) Husky Trainability Issues
Huskies are smart, but they’re also stubborn.
This is another one of the most asked questions about Siberian Huskies, and there’s a good reason for it.
Huskies are known for being independent thinkers and this can prove difficult even for experienced dog owners. Their stubborn ways can make them difficult to train compared to other breeds and they generally want to do only what they want, when they want.
The training phase of any husky could definitely be called a tough challenge and will require a lot of your attention, focus, and time. The early stages of owning a husky will be high maintenance due to this. Although this could be said for many other breeds.
Not to worry! When there’s a will, there’s a way
Let’s not get too caught up thinking about how stubborn huskies are. They are very intelligent and can be trained to a high level of obedience, which will ultimately make them less work and hassle.
A trained husky is a happy, well-behaved husky!
Certain training methods work better than others, but the one that tops it all is positive reinforcement-based training. This approach to training can be applied to all different types of training you give. You reward your husky when they get it right, and you do not punish when they get it wrong.
This approach to training mixed with a lot of repetition (huskies learn best through repetition) will fast track your training program and will make your husky more obedient and less maintenance.
4) Husky Eating Habits
Siberian Huskies are unlike labradors, where a labrador will eat continuously even if they are full up, a husky will happily leave their food without even sniffing it.
This is a common issue many husky owners face and can lead to health issues if not monitored closely.
The lack of appetite huskies experience is once again, down to their origins when they worked hard for many hours, on a limited amount of food. Food was not plentiful when huskies were bred by the Chukchi People so their body and metabolism adapted accordingly.
Figuring out the perfect diet for your husky may take longer than you think, so you have to be prepared to spend your time, focus, and money! on the new fussy eater in your family.
On top of this, huskies have very sensitive stomachs and make finding the perfect diet even harder.
This phase after you get your husky will certainly be considered high maintenance and buying any old regular dog food will not work! Trial and error over a period of time is the only way to know what your husky will eat.
5) Are Huskies Actually High Maintenance?
Considering the above, it would be safe to say that the Siberian Husky would be slightly more work than the average breed, but not by much…
If you are thinking of getting a dog, you still need to apply a lot of attention, focus and your time to any breed!
It is commonly said that the Siberian Husky is often “too much dog” for most people. In general, I agree with this, but only if you aren’t prepared and dedicated.
If you are able to give the time, attention and commitment to your husky, as well as give adequate exercise per day, a Siberian Husky will NOT be too much to handle for you.
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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 to support My Happy Husky directly and have an easy to read and entertaining 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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