Siberian Huskies are beautiful dogs. They look like wolves, and have thick, soft coats that make them infinitely cuddly. They have piercing eyes, and wonderful masks that give them a roguish and unique look.
Siberian Huskies can make very good family pets. If properly trained, they can be very good with people, children, and other dogs. Indeed, Siberian Huskies are commonly known for their friendliness toward people.
Although they may look like fierce wolves, they have the heart of Casanova. All they want to do is greet everyone, and give them licks.
However, many people have trouble with this breed, and many Sibes get surrendered every year.
Consider these Siberian Husky facts, before going out and getting a puppy. The Siberian Husky is a very special, and lovable breed, but they may not be the right breed for everyone.
Siberian Husky Fact 1
Siberian Huskies Shed – A LOT.
Be ready to have dog hair all over the house – floors, carpets, clothing, furniture, everywhere.
If we are allergic to dog hair, or like our home to be really clean, then the Siberian Husky is not for us.
When I was looking for a Sibe, I talked to a few breeders in my area. The first thing they all said was, “Siberian Huskies shed a lot”. I mentioned that my other dog, a Shiba Inu, also has a double coat and also sheds a fair amount. However, they all said, “Siberian Huskies shed a lot more“.
And they do! A whole lot more.
Therefore, it is very important to train our Husky puppy to enjoy the grooming experience.
Start with a soft brush, and lightly comb our dog’s body for a short period of time. Do this often, and pair it with food rewards. Once puppy is comfortable with the brushing process, we can slowly extend the length of the session, and switch to using the Furminator.
Frequent brushing is a good idea to keep a Siberian Husky clean, and clear out loose hair. The more hair on the Furminator, the less hair on the floor.
About twice a year, Siberian Huskies blow their coat. During this time, there will be more fur than ever. To keep things under control, try to brush every day. Remember to always keep brushing sessions fun, rewarding, and not overly long.
Siberian Husky Fact 2
Siberian Huskies Make Awful Guard Dogs.
Because Siberian Huskies look like wolves, many people assume that they are fierce dogs. Some people may even think that they are wolf hybrids.
However, a Sibe is more of a lover and less of a fighter.
When confronted with a stranger, a Siberian Husky will likely run up to him, and try to give him many licks, preferably all over the face. As a result, Sibes make terrible guard dogs. They will not only welcome everyone into your house, but will also give them the royal lick treatment.
If we want a dog that is only loyal to us and our family, then the Siberian Husky is not for us.
Huskies are happy, goofy, and trusting dogs, that like to be with everyone.
Siberian Husky Fact 3
Siberian Huskies Are Extremely Energetic.
They are intelligent, athletic, and were bred to pull sleds for extremely long distances, in the freezing cold. Therefore, be prepared to provide a Husky with a lot of mental and physical exercise.
A young Siberian Husky needs activity almost all day round. At around one-year old, my Sibe puppy sleeps for perhaps 3-4 hours during the day, and about 10 hours during the night. That leaves about 10 hours during the day where she is on the go.
She drains her energy most by playing with my other dog, a Shiba Inu. However, even my Shiba cannot fully keep up with her.
In addition to the playing, she works for all of her food, has long walks in the park several times a week, has dog play sessions, dog obedience training sessions, and still has energy left over to explore and dig in our backyard.
If bored, a Husky can become unhappy. He will likely escape, or use our house and belongings as chew toys. Unless our backyard is extremely secure, he can easily jump over or dig under a fence, in order to find adventure elsewhere.
If we are away at work for most of the day, then the Siberian Husky is probably not for us.
Siberian Huskies like having company and activity, all day long. It is possible that a Sibe can keep himself occupied if we have other dogs, but he may also lead our entire pack into mischief!
Siberian Huskies do best when there is frequent human supervision, throughout the day.
Siberian Husky Fact 4
Siberian Huskies Are Independent Thinkers.
He has a very independent mind and spirit, and will only perform, if we make it worth his while.
If we want an obedient dog, that only lives to please us, then the Siberian Husky is not for us.
A Sibe is not a “yes sir, no sir“, kind of dog. To live well with him, we need to be fair, but firm. We need to consistently enforce our house rules, or he will take over the house.
The best way to train a Husky, is through the control of resources. Teach him that the best way to get what he wants, is to first do what we want. Use reward obedience training, and follow the Nothing in Life is Free program. Harsher techniques, can make a Sibe distrustful, and ruin the natural free spirit of the breed.
Siberian Huskies are independent hunters. Their original breeders, the Chukchi of Northeastern Asia, would let their dogs free during the summer months, to hunt for food on their own.
This has two very important consequences for living with a Siberian Husky today -
- A Siberian Husky is not to be trusted with cats, or other small animals. He can be trained to live with cats, but his instinct is to hunt them;
- A Siberian Husky is not to be trusted off-leash. If he sees a small animal, he will likely bolt after it, and forget about cars, commands, and everything else. By the time he comes to his senses, he may be lost and far from home.
I have gotten a few comments about cats lately, so let me be clear …
Siberian Huskies can be trained to live with household cats. However, Sibes usually have high prey drive, and will likely want to hunt and chase small animals, including squirrels, mice, and cats. Just because a Sibe gets along with our house cats, does not mean he will treat other neighborhood cats in the same way.
Siberian Huskies are bred to run and pull. This makes them more difficult to leash train than many other breeds. To train a Husky to walk on a leash, we need to have an immense amount of patience. Always be firm and consistent with the no-pulling rule, and reward good behavior.
If we do not have a large backyard, bring our Sibe to an enclosed park, or soccer field, so that he can have some nice off-leash time to run, run, run.
Siberian Husky Fact 5
Siberian Huskies Are Not the Easiest Dogs to Potty Train.
Certain dogs, like the Shiba Inu, are naturally clean, and absolutely do not like soiling their living space. Because of their natural cleanliness, they are extremely easy to house train.
Sibes do not have that natural sense of cleanliness. In fact, they do not mind playing, and running around in their own waste products. Therefore, we must make it worth their while to potty outside.
Supervise our Siberian Husky puppy at all times, until he is fully house trained. Reward him well for pottying outside with high priority dog treats, play, and praise. If we are consistent with our puppy potty training, he will learn quickly, and be happy to go outside after a few weeks.
In addition, as Gigi points out, potty training difficulty is very dependent on what the dog or puppy is used to, in his previous environment. Puppy mill and pet store puppies are caged, most of the time. As a result, they will be harder to house train, because they are accustomed to going in their crates.
Where to Get a Siberian Husky Puppy
It really makes a BIG difference to get a puppy from an accredited breeder.
Please do not buy a puppy, from online puppy sites or pet stores. Most of their puppies come from backyard breeders or puppy mills. Buying from them, will only help support and continue, the dog cruelty of these unscrupulous puppy breeders.
If we are concerned about the initial cost of a puppy, consider that backyard breeders and puppy mills, frequently produce unhealthy and unbalanced puppies. They will end up costing us a lot more, in terms of vet bills, dog training bills, and property destruction.
Bring the breed up properly, and you should have no problems. They really are lovely dogs.
~~[ Vanessa ]
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