When you find out that Siberian Huskies are capable of running over 100 miles per day… you might question your own exercise routine with them! You may be wondering just how much exercise your own husky should be getting.
A Husky should receive around 2 hours of high-intensity exercise per day. Preferably for 1 hour in the morning and another hour in the evening. Huskies are a breed that needs a higher than average amount of exercise.
Let’s go through everything you need to know about Huskies and exercise.
Do Huskies Need A Lot of Exercise? The Truth
Siberian Huskies were originally bred by the Chukchi Tribe to help them with their nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle, pulling sleds for hundreds of miles at a time, in arctic conditions. Due to this, Huskies remain to be one of the most energetic breeds we know of today.
But let’s be honest, our lives are a little different from the Chukchi Tribe, and we aren’t using our Huskies to pull our house 100 miles down the road!
So, although the “normal” recommended daily exercise for any dog is 1 hour per day, we know that Huskies are a little different. While there isn’t a scientifically proven amount of time, it still makes sense that a Siberian Husky needs a little more than just one hour.
For Adult Huskies:
For adult Huskies, a good place to start would be 1 hour in the morning and 1 hour in the evening for a total of 2 hours per day.
For Husky Puppies:
You must have a different routine for Husky puppies as their body is still in a fragile development stage. I have a complete article on how to safely exercise a Husky puppy here.
Why Exercise Is So Important For Huskies
Exercise is important for Huskies in many different ways, let’s talk about some of the negative impacts that may occur if Husky doesn’t receive sufficient exercise.
In order for Huskies to be on their best behavior, exercise is one of the first things you have to take care of. Huskies are known to have a mind of their own, proving to be quite stubborn. You’d be surprised just how more cooperative Huskies are when they’ve had a good workout.
Maintaining a sufficient exercise routine that properly stimulates your Husky on a daily basis, can literally change the character and personality of your Husky of the course of their life. (always for the better!)
It’s so common to hear about destructive Huskies, disobedient Huskies, and bad behaved Huskies, and upon further investigation, it becomes apparent that they only receive exercise 3 or 4 times a week! Huskies will almost ALWAYS misbehave in serious ways, if exercise is neglected, even slightly.
When it comes to Huskies, two of the most asked questions are regarding exercise and training.
Siberian Huskies can be trained to a very high level, but they have a very strong sense of stubbornness and an attitude that screams “I don’t what I want when I want”
From this, you know that the road to a well trained Husky is a long bumpy one, but not that it’s unachievable.
When dealing with a breed like this, you’ll want all the tips and tricks you can in order to make the training process and smooth and easy as possible. That’s where exercise comes in but is often overlooked. Again just like with their behavior, a thoroughly exercised Husky will be a much easier Husky to train and be receptive to learning.
A Husky that hasn’t been exercised will be frustrated and won’t respond to you teaching them to sit and wait patiently!
3) Health & Well-being
Huskies are generally a healthy breed, although they do have common health concerns like most workings dogs do. One sure-fire way to encourage health problems in Huskies is through a lack of exercise.
If you think that Huskies were bred for running on a daily basis and did this for thousands of years, you can expect exercise to be a fundamental part of their health.
This goes for their entire life and general well-being. Due to the way Huskies lived for a long time, they’re able to work hard on very little food. So much so, that it’s common to have many eating issues throughout a Huskies life, sensitive stomachs, a lack of appetite and eating disorders are all serious problems. Without a solid exercise routine, it’s extremely easy to disrupt their eating habits even further.
10 Best Ways to Exercise a Siberian Husky
So after constantly hearing that a simple stroll in the park isn’t good enough, you may be wondering what else can I do? Maybe you don’t run, or want to run… This is ok, and you don’t have to be Usain Bolt to own a Husky. Although it would help 😉
Let’s go through all the best exercises you can try with your Husky that will give them a good workout.
Backyard Agility Training
One of our favorite exercises for Huskies would have to be agility training. Not only does it provide a great physical workout, your Husky will also benefit from the mental aspect of the training. You can get sets like this from Amazon, or you can even make your own. Encourage your Husky to run in between poles, jump through hopes, or chase a toy over a small hurdle.
This will engage your Husky’s mind and also work their muscles extensively, making it an all-round great choice. It’s also perfect if you aren’t able to leave the house. Shop around on Amazon, as the prices range quite significantly.
A classic that never gets old, at least for your Husky! Frisbee’s or tossing their ball are both great options. The reason why we suggest a frisbee is that it encourages your Husky to jump more than chasing a ball on the floor.
Jumping up to catch the frisbee will work more muscles as well as their coordination compared to tossing a ball. Both are great options but if you can invest in a frisbee, it will be worth it! As Huskies are aggressive chewers, it would be best to get a tough frisbee like this which is still inexpensive but will last much longer than others.
Stair or Hill Runs
It’s starting to sound like we are in the army, but don’t worry, you can stand at the bottom! This is best done in your local park or if you have some hiking trails near you. Ensure that the area is safe for you to let your Husky off the leash. Stand at the bottom of the stairs or hill, engage your Husky further by getting them to sit patiently for a few seconds before you throw the ball as far as you can up the hill or stairs.
Uphill runs will work your Husky’s muscles significantly more than running flat. Of course, take into consideration your Husky’s energy levels, their age and the condition of their body. I would not recommend this for very young or very old huskies.
If you are lucky enough to live near a forest or woodlands where you are allowed to take dogs, this is a fantastic option. Nothing will satisfy your Husky’s adventurous nature like a hike through the woods. Different smells, noises, and sights will engage your Husky more than anything else. Huskies are curious and inquisitive so bringing them somewhere in the “wild” definitely keeps them very happy.
Ensure that your Husky does get a good workout though, a long walk is nice, but won’t burn much energy for your Husky. It would help to bring their ball or frisbee to play with at the end or beginning.
Biking, Running or even Skateboarding
For sure, some are easier than others here. You may be an avid skateboarder, but if not, you can run or ride a bike. We only recommend this option for Huskies that are very well trained, this is extremely important for obvious safety reasons. If your Husky is trained to a high level, grab the leash, jump on your bike or skateboard and off you go.
Your Husky not only gets a great run, but this will be quite a bonding experience for them, actively engaging in the activity with your Husky will be something they’ll absolutely love! Perfect for a breed that needs a close bond with their owners.
Hanging Tug of War
Tug of war is a game that dogs have loved forever, it’s exciting and brings out their competitive playing spirit. Normal tug of war is great but if you’re at risk of putting your back out, you could go for a hanging tug of war option. This is a great inexpensive toy that hangs from a tree in your yard where your Husky can jump and tug as long as they want. It uses a bungee so there it’s quite forgiving on their mouth. This can help keep your Husky entertained for a while without you needing to do anything. This shouldn’t replace normal exercise, but it will definitely give them a workout. Always read the safety advice for toys like this.
Of course, what kind of list would this be if we didn’t include sled pulling? This depends on where you live and how many Huskies you have. If you have one Husky, this may work if you have a child, if you have more than one Husky, you can do it. You would have to teach a Husky to pull a sled but after that, this will surely be their preferred exercise. This option is limited quite a lot, but if you are interested, this is a good video to check out: https://youtu.be/GgAoz6ex1lc?t=8
Doggy Meet-Up Sessions
Being sociable can be exhausting, right?… just kidding 😉 Your Husky will absolutely love going to doggy meet up sessions and it’s a great way to burn energy and stimulate their minds. Huskies are a very naturally social breed and enjoy spending time meeting new people and dogs.
This shouldn’t replace their fundamental exercising routine of running or hiking but it can be a great addition to the week. Fortunately, these types of things are becoming really common, so you shouldn’t have too much of a problem finding one in your local area.
Laser Pointer Chasing
Be careful of the eyes! We thought it’s best to get that out of the way. Having a laser pointer is a great way to keep your Husky entertained, and wear them out significantly. On a bright sunny day, this may not work great outside, but if it’s overcast, it can be such a fun game to play with your Husky. This shouldn’t replace their normal exercise but you’ll be surprised just how crazy your Husky will go when they see the laser dot.
One thing to note about this exercise. It may result in your Husky’s natural prey drive to increase. The act of chasing is part of their instinctual predatory sequence. Keep this in mind if you have a cat or any other small animal.
If your Husky loves nothing more than chasing their ball, you could look into local flyball teams for dogs. If you aren’t familiar with flyball, it’s a dog sport where two teams of dogs race against each other around a course with small hurdles, to a small machine where they press a button with their paw, and a spring-loaded tennis ball pops out, they catch the tennis ball then continue the track to make it back to their team, the next dog then goes. It’s a team relay race.
Siberian Huskies are actually really good at this sport, their agility and speed help them significantly. Granted, this option is a bit more “out there” but it’s an interesting one, to say the least!
Create Your Own Exercise and Games
If you think about it, the list is endless! You can create games or find other ways you can exercise your Husky.
There are two things which make exercise better:
- If you can be a part of the exercise with your Husky
- If there’s an element of mental training in the exercise
If you are a part of the exercise with your Husky, it will become a great bonding experience for both of you. Huskies are an affectionate breed that benefits significantly from times like this.
Also, if the exercise encourages your Husky to think or use their brain, it will act as valuable mental stimulation as well as physical. Something that is equally important for Huskies.
Mental Stimulation Is Also Important For Huskies
We’ve spoken a lot about physical stimulation in this article but we need to address how equally important mental stimulation is for Huskies.
Mental stimulation is what makes their brain work, which can include training, figuring out problems, using interactive toys and the list goes on.
Out of the list of ideas above, there are some that have a mental aspect to it, agility training and frisbee are two of the best examples. Of course, this list was focused around the physical side of things so there are better methods for mental stimulation out there.
Try to ensure your Husky receives a good amount of mental stimulation as well as physical, remember that they’re both extremely important.
One Thing to Consider
Your Husky needs regular exercise, every day, consistently! It’s no good to start an amazing new routine with your Husky, only to stop following through with it one week later.
Your Husky’s health, happiness, and behavior depends on it. It’s a good idea to try to incorporate your Husky’s exercise into a hobby you may have of your own. If you’re a runner, enjoy hiking, or go rollerblading, bring your Husky along and make that their exercise. This way it’s far more likely that you will remain consistent.
If you aren’t particularly active, you can either become active! or hire someone to be your Husky’s official “exercise person”
Siberian Husky Exercise FAQ’s
Let’s cover some frequently asked questions about Huskies and exercise with a quick, direct answer.
1) How many hours of exercise does a Husky need per day?
For Siberian Huskies, 2 hours of exercise per day is the recommended amount. Huskies require more exercise than the average breed, who only requires 1 hour per day.
2) Can 1 Husky pull a sled?
If you have a young child, it’s possible that your single Husky could pull the sled, providing the snow is compact. For pulling a grown adult, you may need at least two Huskies.
3) How do you exercise a Husky puppy?
Husky puppies, like any puppies, are still growing and developing, which means their bones, joints, and ligaments can be fragile. Due to this, you need to be careful when exercising any puppy and it’s very different from adult dogs. Check out this article on exactly how to exercise a Husky puppy correctly.
4) What if I don’t have time to exercise my Husky?
In times when you are unable to exercise your Husky yourself, you must find someone that will do it for you. Skipping their exercise isn’t an option so It’s best to use one of the many online services to find dog walkers in your local area. It’s a very common service and you will often have many options. Or, have a friend or family member do it.
5) Why is my Husky so destructive?
You may be wondering why this question is here, well, nearly the route cause of all bad behavior in Huskies is not enough exercise. In some circumstances, it can be because they’re left alone too long. But usually, it’s exercise. If you’re Husky isn’t behaving well, look at their exercise routine first.
After this article, you should know just how important exercise is for a Siberian Husky, how much they should receive, and what kinds of exercises you can do with them!
If you have any tips or tricks about exercising Huskies, please comment below, we would love to hear them!
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https://pages.wustl.edu/dogbreeds/articles/26019 – “The Physiological Response of Siberian Husky Dogs to Exercise”