You’re going to struggle finding a more beautiful dog than a Siberian Husky. With a friendly face like a wolf, they have long fur, thick soft coats and are infinitely cuddly and playful. With piercing eyes and a roguish demeanor, they are very good family pets, especially if they are properly trained, and are known for their friendliness towards people.
If you’re bringing a puppy home for the first time, check out this course and plan for it to be a success. You should also check out this guide on training your puppy so that you can begin making progress and setting the ground rules as soon as you bring your new pet home. One of the first things you’ll want to teach is potty training, which you can learn a little more about in this recent post.
Despite looking like a wolf, a husky is more likely to lick someone to death before they ever bite them. Here’s what makes having a Siberian Husky fantastic, and consider everything before you go out and get a puppy. They might not be the right breed for everyone.
1. They are shedders.
You will have dog hair throughout your entire house, because Siberian Huskies shed a lot. If you’re allergic to dog hair or you prefer your home to be immaculately clean this breed may not be for you. You’ll also need to train them to enjoy their grooming experience, so you can keep their coats healthy and maintained, and to keep your husky clean. It also helps to remove loose hair before it falls to the floor. Twice a year they will shed their coats, and you need to be prepared for more fur that you can imagine being all over your house!
2. They’re not guard dogs.
Despite looking like a wolf, many people wrongly assume that huskies are fierce or are some kind of specially bred wolf hybrid. In reality, a husky is more of a lover than a fighter. When confronted by a stranger they are friendly, and will most probably run straight up to them and beg for food, lick their hands and try to make them play, rather than protecting your home. They’ll welcome every burglar into your home with a royal treatment. Consider another breed if you’re looking for a guard dog, but huskies make great companions to your kids.
3. They have a huge amount of energy.
Siberian Huskies are intelligent and very athletic, as they were bred to pull sleds for extremely long distances through freezing conditions. The typical range of a healthy Siberian Husky is 150 miles in a day. When you are thinking of getting a husky be prepared to give them plenty of mental and physical exercise. If they get bored they will be unhappy, and then they will start playing up – so always get them exercised.
4. They think for themselves.
With an independent spirit, the husky reacts best to a fair and firm treatment. You must consistently enforce the rules of the house or your new pet will fast take over. Being a large dog, reward obedience training works well, as they learn the best way to get what they want (i.e. food) – is to do what you want. You need to be careful with them around smaller dogs, because their instincts are to hunt them.
5. They are difficult to potty train.
Unlike certain breeds of dogs that absolutely never soil their living space, Siberian Huskies don’t mind being a little dirty – so you have to make it worth their while to do their business outside. Rewarding the right behavior will see your new puppy housetrained in no time.
6. They are known escape artists.
There are many cases where huskies have jumped fences, broken chains, slipped collars and dug themselves free before wandering away and disappearing. You’ll need a highly fenced yard with a fence buried several inches underground to stop them getting out. They can also be very destructive if left unattended in a house, so be careful if you are leaving them uncrated.
7. They rarely bark.
Siberian Huskies like to howl, and will rarely bark at intruders or people coming onto your property. They prefer howling, and will often ‘talk’ to you by making strange howling noises when they want your attention.
8. They need a strong owner.
With a strong demeanor this breed of dog is not the one for a new or a timid owner. They need a leader who is going to give them strict obedience training from a young age, and maintain an alpha position in the home. Being bred to pull, they can often wreak havoc when you have them on a leash, if they haven’t been properly trained. Check out this course on getting your dog to behave politely while on the leash and your daily exercise will be much more fun!
9. They originated in Siberia.
This breed of dog came from Siberia hundreds of years ago, and belong to the Spitz genetic family of dogs which have not been influenced by wolves. The name “husky” comes from an old nickname “esky” which was a name given to describe Eskimo dogs.
10. They saved a town.
When an aircraft couldn’t fly through near blackout conditions to deliver medicine to the town of Nome in Alaska, a team of sled dogs took the reign. In 1925 they covered over 600 miles and deliver medicine across the country, and saved many lives.
As with all decisions to get a family pet, do your research first and make sure you fully understand the nuances of each breed. It’s not fair to bring home a pet just because they’re beautiful, you need to be ready to give them everything they need to live a happy life. Obedience training is a big part of it, and you can learn a little more in this great course on clicker training your dog. Do it right, and you’ll have a beautiful dog that’s also a fantastic companion for the entire family.