Siberian huskies are a very needy breed – they are very popular because of their bright blue eyes and beautiful fluffy fur, as well as the recent success of Game of Thrones, and the desire to get the closest pet to a wolf that is legal. Before you decide that you want to adopt one of these beautiful animals, take a moment and evaluate your living situation, time available, and patience. This breed will test them all, and can be pretty tough for a first-time pet owner.
- Siberian Huskies, in the first 5 years of their life, need about 90 minutes of exercise per day in order to be reasonably well-behaved and stimulated. Do you have this much time available to walk / run / bike / take your dog(s) to the park?
- A bored husky is a destructive husky. If your husky does not get the right amount of exercise, they will look for things to occupy their time on their own in your house. This could mean eating a couch (yup, this has happened many times), pulling carpet up off the floor, taking items off the counter, emptying the trash, and just making a mess in general. They are mischievous explorers. The easiest way to curb this behavior is EXERCISE. A tired husky is a happy husky.
- If your possessions would be more valuable to you than your dog, this is not the breed for you.
- Siberian huskies have a natural drive to run and roam. They are excellent travel and hiking companions and love to GO GO GO. But the downside of this, is that they are escape artists. They generally WANT to get out of your yard and explore, thus extra precaution should be taken to make sure your gate is always secure and locked, there are no low items close to the fence to allow them to jump, and that all others in and out of your house understand this desire.
- They are not to be trusted off a leash. No matter how much training they get, a husky is a husky. The vast majority of them, off a leash, will see something interesting and take off in the other direction if given the chance. It’s not that they don’t love you and want to be with you… it’s just that they can’t control their curiosity!
- They are NOT watchdogs! If you are looking for a dog to be protective of you, your family, or your house, you may want to consider another breed. Though they are said to look like wolves, they are actually overly loving and trusting of strangers. If a burglar breaks into your house, your husky is more likely to welcome them and ask for treats than try to scare them away. As much as they love their humans, their natural instinct is not to be protecting against other people either.
- They shed. A LOT. Be prepared to vacuum and sweep daily if you want a semi-clean home. Although it is true that they “blow their coat” and shed en mass a couple times a year, they still continue to shed on a daily basis, year round. There’s really no escape from the fur once you have a husky in the house.
- They dig. If you highly value your landscaping and yard, you may want to reconsider this breed.
- They are STUBBORN. They can be trained, but even if they know what you want them to do, they won’t always do it. They think, “WHY do you want me to sit?” rather than just sitting. Treats help, but just keep in mind, this breed in particular may understand you and STILL not do what you want!