Siberian Huskies 101
As a general rule (and there are always exceptions, of course), huskies who don’t receive the amount of physical activity and mental stimulation they require will “figure it out themselves,” according to Dawn Eisele, Public Education Chair of the Siberian Husky Club of America (SHCA), often with disastrous consequences. Some of the potential challenges of Husky ownership:
They are notorious escape artists
Sibes have a well-earned reputation for wandering away from home given the chance, and many of these beautiful dogs have been injured or lost forever as a result.
Huskies can jump fences, crawl under them, defeat tie-out chains, slip collars, and perform other Houdini-like behaviors to free themselves from “captivity.” Having a Husky in the family means installing a high fence that is buried several inches below the ground, and constantly checking your yard for ways your dog might escape.
They’re high energy and easily bored
If you’re a dedicated runner or biker, a Husky can make a great exercise companion as long as the weather isn’t too warm. Again (and this can’t be said enough), these dogs require plenty of physical and mental stimulation, and when they don’t get it, they are known to be destructive. This is also the case if they’re left alone for long periods.
They aren’t guard dogs
Despite their imposing presence, Sibes are generally friendly and curious dogs, and not prone to barking at strangers (though some tend to really enjoy howling).
They have strong predatory instincts
It’s important to keep your Husky leashed on walks so he can’t wander off or chase after small animals.
And also, thanks to their double coats, huskies don’t tolerate the heat very well.
With that said, huskies are intelligent and affectionate dogs without being “needy.” They aren’t typically aggressive, though they can be territorial. A well-trained, well-socialized Husky does well with both children and other dogs. Experienced Husky owners provide the following for their dogs:
- Training — As independent-minded dogs, they need obedience training early in their lives, and their owners must be rigorous in adhering to it.
- Plenty of exercise for body and mind — This means several miles of walking or running per day, plus mental stimulation.
- An enclosed space they can’t escape from should a small critter wander by, or when boredom strikes.
- Daily brushing and a high tolerance for dog hair.
With all this information in mind, if you’re convinced a Husky is the dog for you, I hope you’ll adopt from a shelter or breed rescue group.