About a Siberian Husky
Bred in North East Asia to be a high endurance sled dog the husky was bred to have great stamina and a thick coat to help him brave the cold. The first thing most people notice when they meet a Siberian husky are their trademark blue eyes. The second thing most people notice is their playful nature. The combination of these two qualities often leads to the impulsive, if not genuine, decision to bring a husky home and make them a part of the family. Siberian huskies by nature are very personable dogs. They are affectionate, playful, and energetic but they can also be equally stubborn, destructive, and mischievous. Their personalities aren’t suitable to everybody and many owners have found that they have bitten off more than they can chew when it comes to obedience training and care. As a result, the initial impulse to bring the breed into their home leads many of the huskies being surrendered to local shelters or rescues.
Forever Husky aims to educate and support our “husky friends and family” so we can reduce the number of dogs that are surrendered to and killed at shelters every year. We believe that if the decision to bring a husky home is paired with education and a support system that it is not a decision that will ever be regretted. Listed below are some of the breeds common traits and characteristics. Like people, all huskies are different and when adopting a dog from a rescue or shelter past history must always be taken into careful consideration as it shapes the personality of the dog almost as much as you will once you bring it home. There is no such thing as a bad dog. All dogs can be taught to live within your rules and boundaries some may just take more time than others.
- Extremely energetic
- Amazing physical endurance
- Loves to run (they make great jogging companions)
- Can be very destructive with your carpet, couch or garden
- Highly social : huskies are quick to make friends with complete strangers
- High predatory instincts : Preys on smaller animals like squirrels and birds but does not exclude cats (depending on the individual dog some have been known to live happily alongside a feline companion)
- Shedder: We cannot stress this enough. Huskies SHED. They shed to the point that you will think your dog is going bald. Be prepared with a powerful vacuum and time for lots of brushing.
What to expect from a Siberian Husky:
Why can’t we be friends?
Wolf-like looks. Strong. Alert. These three adjectives not only describe the Siberian husky they also lead many people to believe that they will make good protectors and guard dogs. While the description of the breed is correct the assumption is not. The husky is quick to approach people with tail wagging and the sole intention of making a new friend. They are not territorial or possessive; instead the breed in general is very friendly, outgoing, and affectionate with just about everybody they come in contact with.
Play, Play, Play, Play, Play!!
To say the husky is energetic would be an understatement. They are extremely energetic (especially after a good night’s sleep) and are always rearing to go. When they are not napping they are usually ready to run and play. This is not a couch potato dog. That’s not to say that they don’t enjoy their naps or lounging time but, be warned, when they’re ready to go its full steam ahead.
Did I do that?
A bored husky is a destructive husky. To prevent this unwanted behaviour a daily exercise routine is strongly recommended. Without an outlet for his energy your husky will be sure to find his own outlet (usually by being destructive with your property). You should take him for a good walk every day or provide him with a large secured yard that he can play in to release his energy. Huskies like to dig so we don’t recommend leaving them unsupervised. When alone, or indoors, they need activities that will provide them with mental stimulation. If he gets bored or lonely he will quickly find ways to entertain himself (sometimes good and sometimes not so good).
Huskies are social dogs that thrive when in the company of people and other dogs. While they do enjoy their “quiet time” so they can rest for their next adventure, if left alone for too long they will become bored and frustrated which leads to the destructive husky that we described above. Their ideal playmates are dogs that are about the same size that will run, chase, and tumble around the yard with them. Keep in mind that while your dog may be very friendly and playful with dogs you should always be cautious when introducing him to a strange dog because, like people, dogs don’t necessarily get along with everyone they meet.
The Trouble with Huskies
Bred to run this is exactly what your husky will do! If you leave the front door open he’ll be off down the street in a flash! He’ll run away not because he’s chasing anything but because he loves the feel of his paws racing down the street. No matter how obedient or well behaved your dog may seem he can never be trusted off leash.
Huskies are very intelligent and adept at finding ways to escape from crates, bedrooms, and fenced in yards. Huskies have been known to climb over fences, tunnel their way out under a fence, squeeze through holes, open doors, and hot wire cars! Okay, maybe not the car but all the other points are true. An enclosed yard with a six foot fence is one of the securest environments you can keep your husky in, but it is probably best not to leave him unattended outside for long periods of time.
He’s a highly skilled, cunning and patient hunter with a very high prey drive and cannot be trusted with smaller animals (this includes small dogs). Huskies usually get along well with cats if raised with them. But even then, some have been known to kill a cat that they’ve lived with, in peace for years, for no apparent reason. Any stray cat that decides to cross through the backyard will either have to run for his life or meet an early demise.
Keeping up Appearances:
Siberians have very thick coats; a shorter undercoat which is soft and fluffy to touch and a longer outer coat which is coarse. They can be black, brown red, and even pure white with eyes that are blue, brown, and occasionally, one of each!
Siberian’s don’t require much grooming at all and need only an occasional brushing. Huskies shed all year round. While the shedding does ease up for a few months during the year, at least twice a year, he “blows” his coat and will shed a such a surprisingly large amount of hair that you will wonder how there is any left on your dog at all. Regular (daily) brushing of his coat will reduce the amount of hair in your home, but won’t stop it all together. What you pull out with a brush won’t tumbleweed around your floors but you should still expect to find hairs stuck to your clothing and couches even if you do brush him daily.
Beauty and Brains:
The husky is moderately easy to train. He learns new commands at an average rate compared to other breeds partly because of that independent and stubborn streak we mentioned earlier. In other words: a Siberian is not easy to train but he’s also not hard to train either – he prefers the comfort of the middle ground.