The Siberian Husky Breed – Good and Bad

I currently share my life with two Siberian Huskies – puppy Lara (7 months old) and Shania (3.5 years old). Both of them are very silly, and very energetic. They love to play, explore, and hunt for earth critters.

Siberian Huskies are beautiful dogs who love people and love life. They can be great family dogs if properly trained. However, because of their high energy and high prey drive, they require a lot of daily exercise and are not to be trusted off leash. When bored, a Husky may chew, dig, and escape to look for adventure elsewhere.

Before getting a Sibe puppy, find out all you can about the wonderful nature of Siberian Huskies – the good, the bad, and the quirky.

Siberian Huskies – The Good

1. Siberian Huskies are love bugs.

Sibes are very affectionate dogs. They are especially friendly with people, even strangers.

Husky Shania has very many friends in our neighborhood and she enjoys going to say hello to them every day. Her most favorite friend in the world is the Awesome Cookie Guy. Whenever we pass his house, Shania always stops and waits. When her Cookie friend spots her and comes out, he comes bearing gifts – a yummy low-fat cookie for Shania!

Shania also comes to me when I am sad or upset. She will lie down next to me or lay her head on my lap and give me licks.

The people trusting nature of Siberian Huskies make it easy to find caretakers for them when I get busy, or when I need to leave on emergencies or vacations.

2. Siberian Huskies are athletic and have a strong zest for life.

Lara and Shania are frequently on the go. They enjoy re-landscaping our backyard, attacking bushes, pulling down trees, running, jumping, and digging. They both enjoy playing chasing games and are always ready to go out for a walk and explore. They get very excited whenever anybody comes to visit and enjoy spending play-time and rest-time with their pack.

As part of their zesty life program, Huskies also love to eat.

Both Lara and Shania will eat and eat and continue to eat more if they can. To keep them healthy and slim, I set up a fixed eating schedule and only give them their allotted amount of food. If I give them treats, then I reduce their regular meals a bit so that they keep a fairly constant caloric intake.

Sibes are not shy about stealing food or begging for food. Both Lara and Shania will steal each other’s food if they can. They will also steal from my other dog, Shiba Inu Sephy.

I always supervise them closely during meal-times. Food stealing can encourage food aggression, so I train my dogs not to steal and teach them that if there is any stealing, I will handle the situation.

Siberian Huskies can also get impatient about food and may get slightly overzealous when taking food out of your hand. Bite inhibition training is a must.

3. Siberian Huskies are clever and independent.

Reward Training

Sibes are smart and will quickly learn new commands and figure out interactive toy puzzles; especially when food is on the line.

Lara learned how to Sit on command as soon as we got her home (8 weeks old). In fact, if we use positive reinforcement techniques, we can start obedience training puppies  as early as 6 weeks old. However, puppies should not be removed from the litter until they are at least 8 weeks old.

With clever and independent dogs like the Siberian Husky, it is most effective to use reward training techniques. I teach my Huskies that the best way to get what they want is to do what I want first. Here is more on how I trained my Husky puppy.

  • If they want to go play in the backyard, they must first do a simple Sit next to the door.
  • If they want their food toy, they must first do a Handshake.
  • If they dig where they are not supposed to in the backyard then they lose their backyard privileges.

Since we control all of our dog’s resources, we can encourage good behaviors and discourage bad behaviors by tying those behaviors to our dog’s most desired resources.

With reward training my Sibes are always motivated to work. They are never hand-shy and love being with people. Siberian Huskies have a wonderful independent spirit, so we should not shock them, choke them, or physically dominate them into submission.

Siberian Huskies – The Bad

1. Siberian Huskies shed a whole lot.

Sibes blow their coat once or twice a year. During this time they will shed most of their undercoat and replace it with new fur. Frequent brushing will help to control some of this shedding and keep our Husky comfortable and clean.

Even though they may only blow their coat twice a year, Sibes actually shed all year round. There is Sibe fur everywhere in our house, including carpets, tile floor, counters, tables, chairs, blankets, and beds. Hair can also get onto kitchen utensils, food, and drinks.

If you or members of your family are allergic to dog fur, it is best not to get a Siberian Husky.

Because they shed so much, try to make brushing and handling fun for your Husky. I always pair brushing sessions with food so that it becomes a fun and rewarding experience. I start with a soft brush and slowly switch over to using the Furminator which is awesome at getting out a dog’s undercoat.

2. Siberian Huskies are awful guard dogs.

Sibes look wild, like wolves. For this reason, many people think that they make fierce guard dogs.

In truth, however, a Husky is more likely to invite strangers into your home with open paws and give them many licks.

Siberian Huskies are happy, goofy, and naturally trust all the people that they see.

My Siberians may sometimes make a fuss when people are at the door, but it is out of excitement rather than a warning cry.

Also, my Siberians will happily follow anyone home as long as they have some yummy pieces of food.

3. Siberian Huskies have very high prey drive.

Husky Shania is a very accomplished huntress.

When we first got our backyard landscaped, we had a big Earth Critter Attack. There are a fair number of rodents including gophers, voles, and mice that live in our area and they decided to throw a big party on our newly planted grass. Holes were appearing everywhere and the organic scent-based pest control we used did not seem to have much of an effect.

We were worried that our yard would not even last the year but then huntress Shania went into action. After a few days of hunting and marking, we noticed that the Rodent Gang had moved their party location somewhere else!

However, this high prey drive also makes it extremely risky to let a Sibe go off-leash in a non-enclosed space. If she spots a deer or squirrel, she will be gone and away before you can shout Stop. Siberian Huskies are very athletic and can cover large distances in a fairly short amount of time.

High prey drive also means that a Husky will have a strong instinct to chase and hunt cats and possibly also small dogs.

4. Siberian Huskies love to pull, pull, pull.

Sibes were bred to pull sleds, and today, they still love to PULL!

One of the biggest challenge with my Huskies is teaching them how to walk without pulling and/or to only pull on command.

The easiest way to leash train a Husky is to start when she is young and still small. I have tried a variety of techniques with my dogs and what has worked best are the red-light,green-light technique and the 180-turn-around technique.

I started leash training puppy Lara almost as soon as we got her. First I trained her in our backyard. After she was fully vaccinated, I started leash training her around our neighborhood.

While leash training a Sibe, it is very important to be totally consistent. I stop as soon as puppy Lara starts to pull and if she pulls too much, I turn around and walk in the opposite direction. This teaches her that the fastest way to get to where she wants to go is to walk along with me at a measured pace.

5. Siberian Huskies love to sing.

Sibes have a great singing voice. However, neighbors may not particularly enjoy it when Siberians decide to sing or howl to the moon.

Husky Lara is a very vocal dog. She barks when excited, frustrated, scared, and sometimes when other dogs are barking. I have to spend more time and effort training her to stay quiet because her natural instinct is to vocalize.

Husky Shania is a more quiet dog. She almost never barks and the only time she vocalizes is when she is playing with my other dogs. She also sings beautifully when she hears a squeaky toy.

My Husky breeder tells me that there are some Sibe bloodlines that are more noisy than others. Lara’s mother, for example, comes from a more vocal bloodline.

6. Siberian Huskies are a big time commitment.

Sibes are very energetic and affectionate. They like being with people and they also need something to do. Otherwise, they will get bored and get into at least 10 kinds of trouble.

All my dogs work for all of their food, either through obedience exercises, grooming sessions, play sessions, or through interactive food toys. In addition, they go for 1.5 hour daily walks and wrestle with each other several times a day. Sometimes, I join in on the fun and play flirt pole or the water hose game with them.

When bored or lonely, a Husky will figure out her own activities, which may lead to property damage or escape expeditions.

Do not get a dog, especially a Siberian Husky, unless you have a lot of free time to spend with her. If you must work long hours, consider dog daycare or hiring a dog walker. Sibes do best when there are many interesting activities throughout the day and frequent human supervision.

I Love Siberian Huskies

Sibes are awesome dogs. They are always ready of adventure, and they will be there to give you licks and support when you need it, or even when you don’t.

I got my Huskies through the breeder list from the Siberian Husky Club of America. I also considered adopting from my local Siberian Husky rescue, but did not find one that fit well with my Shiba Inu.

It is best to avoid backyard breeders, pet stores, and online pet stores. Such establishments almost always sell unhealthy puppies with poor temperaments.

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  1. tanya says

    I wanted to mirror everyone else and tell you how much I love this webpage. I have had the pleasure of being a Siberian husky mother for almost ten years now. My male is my life but he has been having some issues that I would like your advice on. He is house trained but recently has started going potty in the house when left alone. I started giving him a pee pad in case he cannot hold it due to age but he will pee all around it and not touch the pad. He knows what it is there for but just won’t use it. My other question is that I have had to start regulating his water intake because he will drink until he throws up and drink more. I feel bad because he is constantly trying to get in the toilet. This also means that he has to go out several times a day. He is also sleeping about twenty hours a day. Is all of this normal?

    • shibashake says

      I would consult with your vet. Based on what I have read, sudden excessive drinking could be due to a medical issue.

      When there are sudden changes in my dog’s behavior, I try to rule out physical issues first. Once I am sure that everything is ok physically, I can start looking at behavioral fixes.

      Big hugs to your boy.

  2. Rose says

    Hi. I was wondering at what age is it best to get my husky, Sterling, neutered? My vet said at 1 year, but I have other dogs ( not huskies) and they were all neutered/Spayed at 6 months. Does it really matter? And do you think it will change him a lot? I love the way he is now but I guess it would be nice if he stopped jumping so much. Thanks!

    • shibashake says

      I usually find a good vet and then go with my vet’s recommendation. He has first-hand knowledge of my dog, the medical training, as well as my dog’s medical history. When I have concerns about risks, I talk to my vet about it and ask him many questions. If I am unhappy about the answers, I push him for better answers. If I am still concerned at the end, I get a second opinion from another vet.

      Both my Huskies are females and I think we did their spay at around 4-6 months. With Shania, we had to delay the spay a bit because she had to go through surgery for her leg earlier on, so each situation may be different. I didn’t notice any change in their temperament after spaying. My Shiba Inu is male, and I didn’t notice any change in temperament from him either after neutering.

      According to the ASPCA –

      When Is the Best Time to Spay or Neuter My Dog?
      It is generally considered safe for puppies as young as eight weeks of age to be spayed or neutered. In animal shelters, surgery is often performed at this age so that puppies can be sterilized prior to adoption. In an effort to avoid the start of urine marking in male dogs and eliminate the chance of pregnancy, it’s advisable to schedule the surgery before your dog reaches six months of age. It’s possible to spay a female dog while she’s in heat, but not always recommended since she may be susceptible to increased blood loss. Though older dogs can be good candidates for sterilization surgery, your vet can best determine if the procedure can safely be performed. Please check with your veterinarian about the best time to spay or neuter your pet.

  3. Rene Cruz says

    Your website really helped my wife and i train our husky puppy. I have a question on his recent habits however. Our 4 month puppy used to love sleeping in his crate but now he seems not to enjoy his crate as much as he is used to. Any suggestions for us to get him to enjoy his crate again?

    • shibashake says

      Congratulations on your new family member!

      What helps with my puppy is to do some her favorite activities in her crate-
      1. I give her special treats in her crate that she doesn’t get anywhere else.
      2. I let her work on special chew toys in her crate that she doesn’t get anywhere else.
      3. I give her affection and help her with her toys while she is in her crate.
      4. At night, my puppy sleeps in a crate near my bed. In this way, she can see me and smell me.

      I do this regularly and repeat this many times so that she learns to associate her crate with positive time with me and rewards.

      How I desensitized my puppy to crate time in the beginning.

      Big hugs to your Husky boy.

  4. Rose says

    Hi. I wrote about my 6 1/2 month old husky, Sterling, not too long ago and he’s still doing very well. I just had a question about his teeth. They are fine and healthy but am I suppose to brush them often or do the bones I buy him help with cleaning them? I had a pit bull who I recently had to be put down because she had cancer and couldn’t have anymore surgeries or anything to help. I would brush her teeth but not that often. Only like once a month. Oh and pitbulls can be the sweetest most loving dogs ever if you teach them to be. That dog was a peace maker. She loved everything and everyone. Cats, all dogs, all animals in general, and all people. She even loved a squirell I raised. But back to the question, I was just curious if brushing his teeth is necessary? He eats Blue wilderness large breed puppy dry food but he will only eat it if I mix it with wet food. So its always mixed and I was wondering if that would be more of a reason to brush them. And if so what doggy tooth paste is a good one? I just want to make sure he always has good healthy teeth.

    • shibashake says

      With teeth brushing, I am currently brushing every day (skipping weekends) for my Husky Lara. She seems to accumulate plaque more quickly, and her vet recommended brushing her every day. My other Husky, Shania, seems to naturally have cleaner teeth, so I brush her every other day (also skipping weekends, so MWF).

      Lara is over 3 years old, and she got a teeth cleaning at the vet a few months ago. I am hoping that the increased brushing will enable us to go longer between vet cleanings, as the process is very stressful for her.

      I am currently using Petrodex dog toothpaste, but I am planning to try out the CET brand one next. I like the CET tooth brushes a lot more than the Petrodex ones, so I want to try out their dog toothpaste as well.

  5. Anonymous says

    Hello i am wanting to get a husky puppy and have been reading up on their breed for about a month now. I am still interested but I don’t have a 6 foot fence. Can the husky stay in the house while I am gone (not too long) and I am A very active person so if I am taking it for long walks and runs each day is it ok to not have a yard?

    • shibashake says

      When I got my Shiba Inu I didn’t have an enclosed yard. This made certain things more difficult. For example, I had to take him out on-leash for every potty break, and puppies need to go quite often. My Shiba would also do zoomies (high speed running) inside the house, and not having a yard limits the type of games that I can play with him. Setting up play-dates with other dogs also becomes more difficult.

      We ended up taking him to our local SPCA several times a week because they had an enclosed play-space there. However, they used the space for their own dogs and for dogs from other rescues, so it was difficult to get uninterrupted time.

      We were able to keep Sephy sufficiently engaged, but it required a fair amount of extra time, effort, and management, especially for an energetic puppy.

      In terms of alone time, I had to slowly train my puppy to get used to it, so that he doesn’t get anxious when I leave. I start with very short periods of alone time (seconds), and then slowly build up from there.

  6. Tom says

    Hi, I currently have an 8 month old husky who absolutely loves to pull. Before I leave the house I make him sit before he can leave which he does fine. But as soon as I walk out he bolts and I try to stop but he oftens jumps around and gets caught on the leash. Once that’s all over I walk out and he pulls. I’ve tried using the red-light, green-light technique but it doesn’t seem to click with him. I’ve also tried using a head halter but he hates it, he almost escaped once from it.

    Any ideas? It’s particularly embarrassing when I’m walking and I can’t seem to control him. He walks fine though if we’ve done a short sprint because he’s tired.

    • shibashake says

      When my Husky was young, I would do a play session with her first, usually chasing her around the backyard + recall. This helps her get her zoomies out. Then I give her some time to calm down and we go on a walk.

      When I first started leash training Lara, we did leashed walks in the backyard. This gets her used to walking with me on the leash in a low stimulus and controlled environment. Once we are good with that, I did shorter but more frequent walks outside so that both of us wouldn’t get too frustrated. :)

      I do door manners first, and keep the leash short at the start. A short leash gives me better control and also prevents the leash from getting tangled. If she bolts out, we come back in the house and I repeat the door leaving procedure. If she keeps doing this, then I may take a break, and then try again a little later. In this way, Lara learns that

      Bolting out the door = no walk,
      Being calm = we start the walk more quickly.

      In the beginning of a walk I am usually more strict with her. If she starts to go a bit fast, I briefly tighten the lead, which is my signal to her to slow down. If she does not slow down, then I stop walking. When we start again, I start with a short lead. If she goes into pull mode right away, then I turn around and walk in the opposite direction. After a bit, if she walks well, then we go forward again.

      If she pulls again once we start moving forward, then I turn back again and we walk back for an even longer distance and so on. Ultimately, if she pulls too much, we just go home and the walk ends. Then I take a rest, and try again sometime later.

      Consistency is very important in terms of leash training so every time Lara pulls, I respond in a very consistent way. In this way, she learns that-
      Pulling = Move away from where she wants to go,
      Pulling a lot = Walk ends,
      Not pulling = Get to go where she wants to go.

      If I do not consistently stop her pulling, then she will learn that sometimes when she pulls, she gets rewarded by getting to her destination much quicker. This will teach her to pull even more because the next pull may be the successful one.

      In addition to stopping and turning back, I also control the length of the leash. When I need more control, I use a shorter leash. When Lara walks well, I reward her by lengthening the leash and giving her more freedom. I also make sure to reward her for walking well by giving her time to sniff around, food rewards, etc.

      Pulling also depends a lot on how exciting the surrounding environment is. If there is a lot happening, Lara will get more excited and will likely pull more. When I first started leash training her, we went to more quiet areas during off hours, so that I set her up for success. The more successful walks we have, the more she got into a routine of not pulling.

      In general, when I am trying to change my dog’s behavior, I try to manage the surrounding context so as to maximize success, e.g. play session + recall before, door manners, shorter lead in the beginning, shorter but more frequent walks, low stimulus environment. In this way, we have more successful walks, which helps us both build confidence, and then we can slowly build up from there.

      Hope this helps. Big hugs to your Husky boy!

    • Tom says

      Thank you so much for your advice, worked wonders on the first go. He was much easier to control and slowly got better at not pulling.

  7. Rebecca says

    Hi! I basically rescued my Siberian Husky a little over a week ago, and she just decided to kill one of our chickens. I see you know what you’re doing and have some experience with training. Is there anything you could suggest to help me train her to not kill them? She has never been around them until I got her. She was chained up and left outside. Very skinny. Because of t t he pfevious owners poor care, she will be 2 around November 15, and she has already had two litters of puppies.

  8. ricky says

    i have a 4 year old husky named sasha. she was so well behaved. we bought her at 10 weeks and she was hand shy. she bonded with my pitbull calypso and formed a pac. unfortunately calypso died and we had to replace her with akasha, a blue nose pit. sasha gas accepted her but lost all training. she escapes no matter the attention or exercise she gets. forgot commands and everything. i love her and she loves akasha let her chew on her ears plays gentle with her. could this be a lashout at the missing dog? how would i retrain her. please get back to me. e-mail would be the best.

    • shibashake says

      When my dog’s environment changes in a significant way, he can get very stressed and anxious. As a result of this, his behavior may change.

      Some things that help with my dog when this occurs –
      1. I set up a very fixed routine and consistent rules. I try to create as much certainty as possible, so that my dog knows exactly what to expect every day. Certainty helps to reduce his anxiety.
      2. I increase my dog’s daily exercise and take him to calm, quiet, relaxing trails. This provides him with a positive outlet for his anxious energy, and also helps him to relax.
      3. I supervise more and spend more time with my dog so that I can re-establish rules and structure in the changed environment. I follow the Nothing in Life is Free program with all of my dogs.
      4. My dog is also very sensitive to the energy of the people around him. If I am stress and depressed, he will pick up on that and get stressed himself. When I control my own energy and interact with him in a calm and positive way, his behavior also got better.

      What is Sasha’s daily routine like? How did you train her previously? When did the behavior change occur – was it right after Calypso passed away, when Akasha joined the household, or something else? How long has this been going on? What things have you tried?

      More on dog anxiety.

      Dog behavior is very context dependent, so each situation and each dog is different. When in doubt, it was helpful for me to consult with a professional trainer.

  9. keerthan says

    Firstly a big hi to Lara and Shania, they are adorable, and thank you so much for the post, it is really helpful. I wanted an advice from you regarding my newest family member Ivy, she is a 7 month old siberian husky puppy.
    We are five humans in the family and Lucy a 12 year old female German Spitz, now Ivy is the newest member.
    Lucy has always been a very well mannered dog, she hasn’t interacted with any dog all her life (we think she believes she is a Human). She has been very shy and has never showed any form of aggression ever. We got Ivy home about a week ago and lucy was very scared of her for a couple of days, now she shows curiosity and tries to Interact with Ivy but Ivy is extremely aggressive and always bites Lucy and pulls tufts of fur off her(Lucy has a very thick coat). we have never put a collar or a leash on Lucy and both of them stay indoors. I fear where Ivy might hurt Lucy if she ends up biting her on her face. Please do advice, looking forward to your reply.

    Thanks in advance

    • shibashake says

      Ivy is extremely aggressive and always bites Lucy and pulls tufts of fur off her

      Dog behavior is very context dependent. It depends a lot on the dogs involved, the surrounding situation, background, and more. What do you mean by extremely aggressive? Has she drawn blood? Caused puncture wounds? Was there any food, toys, or resources around? What is Lucy’s reaction? What is Ivy’s background? What is her routine? What is her reaction to other dogs?

      My Huskies love to wrestle and they play pretty rough. Tufts of fur often get left around on our carpets after play.

      So it really depends on the temperament of both dogs, what Ivy is doing (is she playing, protecting something, fearful, or something else), how hard the biting is, body language of both dogs, etc. Each situation is different and it is not possible to tell without seeing things firsthand.

      This is why in cases of aggression, it is usually safest to get help from a good professional trainer.

      Here is more on how I introduce a new dog to my existing dogs.

  10. Lauren says

    Hi, My name is Lauren and my boyfriend and I brought home a beautiful and sweet husky pup 3 weeks ago. I am curious about food… She is ALWAYS seeking food, wanting more food, and is highly motivated by food. The vet said she could gain some weight, so I increased the amount of food I am giving her, and she seems to have put on a few more pounds. However; she still acts starving. She is 10 weeks old. I am curious about how much I should be feeding her. I want her to have a healthy a sufficient calorie intake and I am wanting some clarity on the dangerous of feeding her too much. Isn’t is hard for huskies to loose weight? Anyway, trying to navigate this the best I can. Please help! Thank you so much . I love your website!!

    • shibashake says

      Congratulations on your new Husky puppy!

      I am curious about how much I should be feeding her.

      That depends a lot on what kind of food is used, on the individual dog, and on the dog’s daily routine. When Lara was young I used the Wellness canned puppy food, because frozen Kongs were great at keeping her occupied. After she got a bit older, I switched to their puppy kibble. I currently feed my adult dogs Wellness CORE.

      More on how I pick my dog’s food.

      When my Huskies were young, I fed them a lot more. They seemed to burn off all the calories and did not put on much weight. There was one time where Lara ate overly much, and she got gas and her poop got soft. So I just made sure not to go overboard.

      As they get older, around 3 years old, is when I usually have to start watching how much they eat.

      I have not had any problems with helping Shania and Lara stay slim. When I noticed Shania putting on a bit too much, I just cut down a bit on her kibble and she lost the weight after a few months. The most difficult part is making sure that other people do not give her extra food or treats. She is very skillful at getting food from people. :D

      Big hugs to your Husky puppy!

  11. Frank from MT says

    Really like the halters we have for our 2 Sibes. Wonder Walker out of Seattle, WA. They have lot of Sibes in that area. Has ring on back of neck and on breastbone in front. They suggest using one in front. Seems to make walking easier. Wonder Walker. Google it. Hope this helps.

  12. Frank from MT says

    What is red light, green light technique for walking a husky that pulls.
    I plan to use it with the 180 degree turn-around drill with my two.

    • Frank from MT says

      One point on dog food. I use Nature’s Domain in the light blue sack from Costco. Salmon and sweet potato. No grains in it. Add a spooonful of pumpkin for ruffage (no spice kind, just natural) and a capsule of fish oil. Seems to work okay for my 2 sibes.

    • Frank from MT says

      I copied everythingn you gave me. Quite a pile with comments. I have 60 ft. deck where most of training will go on. Also in my opinion there are too many dog training books. They don’t break it down to small segments.
      Too much time spent on things that don’t matter: roll over, shake hands, and other mundane things for dogs to do. Only about 6 main
      things that dog need to learn (maybe 8) for an obedient dog.
      Most dogs are not well trained. Owners need guidance. They want to do right thing.

  13. Sara says

    Hello there,
    Came into your website as I was researching for dog food and I felt compelled to write in.

    I like your website and the manga/anime-like of husky displayed at the the top and bottom of each page – nicely done! Your website is clean and easy on the eye that made me feel like there is a “breath of fresh air” when I first entered and that I can read each article at a calm state of mind. Thumbs up :-)

    Your Siberian Husky and Shiba Inu are very good looking and what can i say but love them at first sight. Please send my big hugs to them.
    Awesome :-)

    Wish you and your family well.
    Best Regards
    Sara and Harley (my pet husky)

    • shibashake says

      Thank you very much for your wonderful comment Sara. It is greatly appreciated. :D

      Big hugs to Harley!

  14. bobbi alder says

    I need help my husky loves to tear up my carpet inhis attempts to escape its gotten so bad he has made a hole in my floor anyway to stop it? I cant crate him as hes destroyed two creats trying to get out which he usually succeeds. I also cant get him to stop stealing food and eating out the trash no matter how much he eats. Also have a kitten and he seems to be playing but then bites it idk if he plans on hurting it or not I really need advice I love my dog very much as does my child and I doubt ill ever find a breed so good with her but imloosing options

    • shibashake says

      How old is he? How long have you had him? What sort of training has he had? What is his daily routine like? How much exercise does he get? Does he worry at the carpets or try to get out of his crate only when he is alone?

      In terms of stealing food, that is a self-reinforcing behavior. If a dog tries to steal food, and then succeeds, he gets rewarded for the “stealing” behavior with food. This reinforces the stealing, which encourages the dog to keep repeating it more often. To stop counter surfing and other types of stealing behavior, I make sure that my dog never gets rewarded for the behavior (i.e. he never succeeds in getting anything).
      – When there is food on tables or counters, I make sure to be there to supervise and prevent stealing.
      – When I cannot supervise, I make sure there is no food to be had. I keep my trash within a cabinet and I put food away where my dog can’t get to it.

      As for cats, here is an article from the ASPCA on introducing a cat to a new dog.

  15. Frank from MT says

    Subject: 3 legged dogs
    We deal with a Siberian rescue facility in Dayton,
    WA. At different times there were 3 legged dogs there. Most of the time I did not even notice they were 3 legged. I always thought it would be advantageous to line up these dogs with amputee vets from Afgan and Iraq
    wars. I don’t thing anything ever came of it. Just a thought. I wouldn’t mind having a 3 legged Siberian.

    • shibashake says

      Most of the time I did not even notice they were 3 legged.

      Yeah, that happens a lot with Shania. Most of the time, people don’t even notice because she is such a go-go girl, and is taking me for a walk.

      I always thought it would be advantageous to line up these dogs with amputee vets from Afgan and Iraq

      That is a good idea. I think 3 legged dogs can help in a broad range of circumstances because they handle adversity so well. Being a Sibe, Shania often leaps first and looks later, so I have to do the worrying for her. :D

  16. Frank from Montana says

    We have 2 Siberians(from rescue). 1 1/2 to 2; male and female.
    They love to play fight. We call it Kung Fu fighting. Read article in dog magazine that this was natural.
    We let them do it at home. Also involves pull toys. They get along
    very well. I am wondering what carry-over is this dog parks.
    Need Pros and Cons.
    The dogs get along very well.

    • shibashake says

      With dog parks it depends a lot on the people and dogs who frequent the park.

      Some of my dog park experiences.

      All my dogs like rough type play with lots of wrestling, so they do better in smaller, more structured play groups. I supervise and carefully pick their playmates so that everyone has compatible play-styles and everyone enjoys the session.

    • Frank from MT says

      Here is 1 example of dog parks. I call it the dog park from hell.
      It is in AZ at a campground. Most of owners are seniors. They use it as a time to visit and don’t watch dogs. Most of their dogs are old (fragile). Almost all the dogs are also 8 inches long. Sibes’ prey instincts and fact that most of dogs look like rats do not go together. At least it doesn’t have my other peave about parks: super small kids. Most of trouble starts at entry gate. I try to keep my dogs away from entry ritual. How do I cope? I go at off times when there are no dogs or large dogs. My 2 dogs can entertain themselves and know how to run on their own. Dog parks require a lot of work by owner to be a successful experience.

    • shibashake says

      Yeah, I agree. For all these reasons and more, I no longer take my dogs to enclosed parks. They do much better in smaller play-groups that are much more structured.

      The parks that I went to had rules about not bringing kids, but still people brought them. They also had separate areas for small dogs and big dogs, but people often bring their small dogs into the big dog area because that was where most of the people were. In the end, it worked out much better for me and my furry gang to organize play groups at home with friendly neighborhood dogs.

  17. Jessica Martin says

    I am emailing wondering if anyone has had any issues with there siberian husky peeing in cage. We have a almost 7th month old siberian we have had since she was 8 weeks old. She has been house trained for a couple months now. She was spayed three weeks ago and every since she has started to pee in the back room where her cage is and is peeing in her cage no matter how long she is in it. She is always let out before being put in the cage. The Vet checked her urine and found no issues but still gave her an antibiotic. Does anyone have any tips or ideas on why she would be doing this? She lays right in her pee and doesnt care.

    • Jessica Martin says

      Let me point out she is an indoor husky puppy and she only is in her cage during the day while were at work. At night she sleeps with us. (bad habit was started by husband)

    • shibashake says

      Is she also peeing more often? Is she only peeing in the cage, or are there mistakes elsewhere as well? Does she only pee in the house when she is alone? How long is she usually in the cage?

      Is she alone in the backroom? Was the cage always in the backroom? Was she ok being in the cage before the spay surgery? Has anything else changed since the spay surgery – either with her behavior, routine, or surroundings? Has she shown any improvement after the antibiotics?

      This thread has a discussion on more frequent urination after spay-

    • Frank from Montana says

      Our 2 Sibes have run of house. Usually our mistake when they pee in house. You get so you are a real good judge of body language when they have to go outside. I always try to mentally keep track of how long it has been since they went out. Good luck.

  18. Jesse says


    I am a soon to be husky puppy owner. I am in the works of adopting a 12 week old husky however i will not be able to welcome him into my home until he is 14 weeks. Something i am truly concerned about is loosing that initial 6 weeks with the puppy. How big is he going to be at 14 weeks? am i missing out with those 6 weeks? both for the experience and the training advantage as well?


  19. Sebastian says


    My Serbian Husky is 4months old today. She has been crate trained since the day we got her and is very comfortable bing in the crate as of a night.

    The crate is in our bedroom as to give her that bit of security that her pack is close. She is house trained, sits and taps on the door as and when she needs to go out to the bathroom. Our before bed routine is to go outside to the toilet and then straight into the crate where I give her a little treat.

    Almost every night, around 1-2am, she starts to cry and tap on the cage door because she needs the bathroom. She goes straight outside, goes to the toilet, has a sniff around and comes straight back in to her cage. No problems at all.

    I feel that this has started to become a habit more than anything else. Is there anything I can do to brake this habit? or does she really need to go out? Or is she bored and just wants to go out and play?

    There are some nights when she will go the entire night without wanting to go out. This is usually after we have been for an extra long walk and she is completely shattered, but not always.

    She goes into her bed around 10pm and out again in the morning between 6:30-7am. On a good night she will last all that time. But most, she wants to go out at about 1-2am.

    Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

    Take care.

    • shibashake says

      One thing that I do with my puppy is to limit water intake right before bed. I stop giving my puppy water about 2 hours before bedtime, but I make sure she drinks a bunch on last call. Then, as you describe, I let her go out to do her stuff right before bed. If I need to give her treats before bed, I give her wet stuff such as little pieces of boiled chicken. I don’t give her dried biscuits or anything else that may make her thirsty. If she is thirsty, I give her an ice cube, which helps with teething and also limits the amount of water intake.

      or does she really need to go out? Or is she bored and just wants to go out and play?

      It is difficult to say without seeing the dog and her surrounding context. Purely from your description, it sounds (to me) more like she needs to go. Since she actually does her business and then goes straight back into her crate, there doesn’t seem to be much opportunity for play.

      When my dog is angling for outside time, he doesn’t pee right away or he may not pee at all. Instead he wants to spend most of the time exploring, and then does not really want to go back inside. :D

      Congratulations on your new Sibe! She sounds like a really wonderful pup. Do you have any pictures of her online? I would love to see her.

  20. RYan says

    Yeah i have a snake and was going to put a mouse for it and the mouse jumped on the floor and my husky grabbed it to quick for me to catch it. ran away and i couldnt get it away from him. hes about 23 months old… is this going to be bad for him or do i have little to worry about

    • shibashake says

      So far, the worst thing that has happened to my Husky from eating outside mice is tapeworms. However, that is from the fleas on the mice – so it shouldn’t be an issue with indoor mice.

  21. aydin says

    hi i got my male husky 3 days ago and he used to live on 5th floor flat and he always used to go a toilet on there balcony. since living with us he urinates inside my flat even though i have the balcony door open for him. i always take him out for long walks about 4-5 times a day. can you give me some advise on this please??

    • shibashake says

      When I move homes with my dog, a potty training refresher course may sometimes be necessary. Dogs may not generalize potty training lessons from one place to the next. For example, my dogs are potty trained for my house, but they may still mark at the vet’s office or in dog class.

      More on how I potty train my dogs.

      When I get a new dog, I also take him to the vet for a check-up, so that I can be sure that everything is ok.

  22. Mitzy says

    Hi my husky is now 4 months old and he does not like to sleep in his dog house even when it rains he prefers to sleep where there’s coverage but not in the dog house. LoL. Is that okay?

    • shibashake says

      When it rains, I usually limit my Huskies’ outside time. One time, Shania developed a hot-spot from lying too long on a wet surface. Since then, I make sure to call them back in after a short time in the rain. I always reward them extremely well (with games, attention, food, and more) for coming inside when I call, so they are happy to do so. I also dry them with a towel (if necessary).

  23. shamesh says

    Hello i am having three months siberian husky puppy.her weight is 6 kg.what food i have to give her to increase her weight.please replay me

  24. Todd U says

    I have a 14 year old husky, who prefers the outside more then being inside. I have tried every dog house known to man and she prefers to sleep in the snow. I live in Indiana and it has been 9 degrees and less and still prefers to sleep in the snow. I have noticed that she eats every other day instead of 3 times a day. The vet said she is healthy, just 2 pounds under weight for her age. No diseases, and she still chases cats, catches mice in the snow, and even goes after the raccons and bunnies. I recently switched from pedigree to Blue Mountain which is more meat based, could that be an issue with her eating habits?

    I adopted my husky from an abusive home 13 years ago, and she is friendly with me and my son and people around me, but everyone else she is a guard dog. She won’t allow anyone near the house that she does not know. Also not fond of any other breed of dogs except for other huskies and malamutes.

    • shibashake says

      I recently switched from pedigree to Blue Mountain which is more meat based, could that be an issue with her eating habits?

      It could be. My younger Husky, Lara, is pretty picky about food. She will always eat boiled chicken, but she only eats her kibble (currently Wellness CORE) when she is hungry. I feed her twice in a day, but not too much each time, so that she always has an appetite and doesn’t eat too much in one sitting.

      Also, if a Husky is getting a lot of mice and other prey, that is fresh meat that she probably prefers.

      My Husky loves to stay out at night as well, because that is when there is most critter activity. She got sprayed by skunks a couple of times, and then got tapeworms, we think, from the mice. Now, I keep her inside at night. She gets to go out whenever she wants during the day, but if it is raining, then I limit her outside time.

      Big hugs to your Husky girl! It is great that she has found such a good home. :D

  25. Amy says

    Please help. My male husky who just turned 3 started to eat my bushes this year. He has moved from my rose bush to peeling the bark off my rose of sharon (and it’s mid-winter). What do I do?

    • shibashake says

      Some things that help with my Huskies –
      1. More structured exercise. I take them on longer daily walks, play structured games with them, and do obedience training. The more energy they drain doing positive activities with me, the less likely they are to devise their own “games”.

      2. Fence young trees and bushes. I fence up young trees so that my dog can’t get to them.

      3. I supervised my dog closely when she is outside. If she goes for a tree, I no-mark and body block her away. Then I redirect her into doing something else. If she keeps going back for the tree, she loses her backyard privileges. Ultimately she learned that attacking trees is very unrewarding because it results in losing her outside freedom, so she stopped. For this to work, I had to be very consistent with supervision and follow-through.

  26. Bella says

    Awesome site! AWESOME!!!! I have a 13 week old pretty husky named Bella. My wife and I were not prepared for her when we got her, we thought we were but we really werent. I have two questions to the forum. 1.) Sleeping arrangements. The first night we got her we were ignorant to the fact that she needed to sleep with a “pac”. She had 3 sisters, 1 brother, and her mom and we put her in a room by herself. Needless to say the next day we got a crate and put her in our room. When can we start to put her back into the other room? 2.) Potty training. She sleeps through the night with no problem and she for the most part will not pee in the house. Recently she has been peeing inside the house and yesterday pooped in the house. She goes outside as well. We are only feeding her 1 time a day around 2:00-2:30 when I come home and she wont use the bathroom for an hour to hour n half after we feed her. She would be feeding her more? The “breeder” was a friend and according to the post his way of training his dog is completely different from what most recommend.

    • shibashake says

      1. Sleeping in a different room
      It was different with both of my Huskies. Lara wanted to be out and about after a few months and Shania slept in our bedroom for many years, until I didn’t want her going up the stairs anymore. I like having my dogs in the bedroom, so I let them choose whether they want to stay in their crate in the bedroom, or be on the prowl downstairs.

      Desensitization training can also help a dog become more comfortable with alone time. I usually start with very short periods of alone time (seconds), and then slowly build up from there.

      2. Feeding and potty training
      I fed my Husky puppy really often when she was young. Puppies need to eat more, and I found that it was better for her digestive system if I fed her smaller meals, more frequently. I was home with her the whole time, so I was able to take her out very frequently for potty breaks whenever she needed it.

      More on how I potty trained my Husky puppy.

      Big hugs to your pup! :D

  27. Geoff Phipps says

    Question for your advice: We have a 6 month old Sibe named Juno. She is awesome. She gets crated once a day for about 60-90 minutes between when I get home from work and when my wife leaves. Juno sleeps upstairs in a crate at night in our bedroom and is quite content. She has just outgrown this 36″ crate upstairs, and we have another, 42″ crate. It is to big for the bedroom, and we had started leaving her old crate door open in the bedroom and she would usually just sleep on the floor.

    We tried setting up the crate in the basement (the new crate) and she was left today for 2 hours and went CRAZY, destroyed her little sleeping mat, which was in her old crate. The basement is finished, tv was on, and she is comfortable in the basement as we often hang out with her down there.

    How do I prevent her from being so upset being crated in the basement? She is SO good otherwise. When we get a dog walker in the future, we can’t have the walker getting Juno from the bedroom when we aren’t home – privacy and all. What do you suggest?



    • shibashake says

      One thing that seemed to help with my Shiba is to redo crate training for different places. For example, he was comfortable with sleeping in his crate at night in the bedroom. This was because we were there with him, so he felt safe. After doing this for a while, he got used to sleeping in his crate in the bedroom, even if we are not there. I think he has associated crate-in-bedroom with calmness and safety.

      However, when I moved his crate somewhere else, it is a totally different situation for him, he got anxious, and could not settle.

      What helped with Sephy is to redo crate training in the new place. I first start by throwing food into the crate and letting him go in and out on his own with the door open. I repeat this many times until he is comfortable with it. Then I may close the door for a few seconds, and then open it, and so on. In this way, I slowly got him used to time in his crate in the new place. In the beginning, I make sure I am there with him the whole time and that the experience is very positive.

      Then once he is comfortable doing this, I use a similar process to slowly get him used to being alone in his crate in the new place. I start with very short periods of alone time in the beginning and slowly build up from there. More on how I did crate desensitization with my Shiba.

      An article from SFSPCA on crate training-

      Big hugs to Juno and Happy Holidays! :D

  28. sonali says


    just saw your site.. Loved it! need some advice desperately…

    We live on a large estate with a forest touching our property. We have 4 dogs, the recent addition being our Siberian Husky who is now over 2 years old.

    the dogs play all day long and go for long walks in the forest twice a day.. exercise and fresh air is plenty. we live up in the mountains in the Himalayas (India) so temperature wise its great for the husky..

    the problem is that we have some goatherds from the nearby village that come in the forest to graze their cattle. Our husky “Indie” has attacked and killed nearly 5 goats till now (on seperate occasions). We have done everything possible to secure the property … chain link fences upto 6′ high, concrete block in the bottom .. etc etc.. we have even resigned to having him on a long leash all day.. even though neither my husband nor I like that!!!!

    Someone suggested getting him neutered. Will that help?
    We are extremely worried that the villagers might hurt him if he attacks their cattle again.. and are desperately looking at doing something to calm this dog..

    he is extremely playful, friendly otherwise.. its only this aggression towards cattle.. which I know is natural for huskies but I am genuinely concerned about his safety.

    Please help!


    • shibashake says

      How does he escape from the 6′ chain link with concrete blocks at the bottom? Is the property hilly? If so, a dog can go on the more elevated part, and then jump down. With my Husky, the first thing that I did was examine our fence perimeter closely, supervise her closely, and try to identify *how* she is escaping. Once I understand that, I can take steps to fix it.

      When he goes for walks in the forest, is he on leash? Does he try to go for the cattle then?

      For draining my Husky’s energy –
      1. I make them work for all of their food through obedience exercises, interactive food toys, grooming sessions, etc.
      2. I play structured games with them outside and inside the house.
      3. They usually play with each other inside the house where I can supervise them and control their level of excitement.
      4. During Lara’s escape phase, I observed her when she was outside, and if she started digging on the fence line, I would no-mark and stop her.

      As I understand it, neutering can *sometimes* help to reduce roaming because a male dog will feel less of a need to go out and look for female dogs that are in-heat. Here is an ASPCA article that has good information on neutering.

      However, both my Huskies have very high prey drive. If I let them, they will go after deer, cats, squirrels and more. When my Husky Lara escaped, she was going after an Earth critter, and dug her way out. In this case, the escape was due to her high prey drive. We also skipped her walk on that day, so she had energy to burn.

      What helped with Lara was to increase the amount of supervised exercise, observe her outside time more closely, and identify her escape route, so that I could effectively block it.

  29. abi says

    Hi there I have a 6 month old alaskan malamute and I am having a hard time house training her. She pees and does her business outside fine and I praise her for it but between the hours of 11pm and 6am she is put to a room of her own with her plastic bed in it and overnight pees a puddle and most of the time poos aswell. She is let out every 2hrs from 6am til 11pm. I do not overfeed her or give too much water. She will pee in the house aswell occasionally too. I need some advice on how to stop this peeing overnight please feel free to email me with any advice at all. It will be appreciated.

    • shibashake says

      How long have you had her? Did this behavior start recently, or has she always done this? If the behavior just started recently, what changed during this time? Does she seem stressed when she is in the room by herself? Does she whine, scratch the door, or try to get out?

      Sometimes, when there is frequent pooping and peeing, it could be from physical issues or from stress and anxiety (e.g. separation anxiety).

      In terms of potty training, I learned from my Husky pups that supervision is key. I need to not only maximize successes, but also minimize mistakes. Every time I catch my puppy in the act and take her outside, she learns that going outside is the right thing to do, and going inside is not. Every time my puppy makes a mistake and I am not there to stop her, she slowly learns that it is ok to go in the house.

      More on how I potty trained my Husky puppies.

  30. Justine says

    Hi, i just took my siberian husky Mya (9months) to the dog beach and when we got there she attacked a small blackish dog and wouldn’t let go, i think it bled. She has never done anything like this before and I’m really quite frightened. the owner of the other dog smacked her and pushed her off and I hit her on the nose and we left the beach almost immediately. I ignored her the whole way home and placed her in the garden and locked the gate, closing all the blinds so that she couldn’t see me. i know that they are a very dominant dog and that i must remain calm, i just don’t know what to do? she goes to dog day care once a week in order to get trained and socialise with other dogs? please help? do i let her back in and act normal or continue ignoring her? Thanks so much xx

    • shibashake says

      My Shiba Inu (Sephy) was also pretty reactive to other dogs when he was young. Some things that helped with my Shiba-

      1. Management is key.
      Small, structured, and well supervised play groups work best for Sephy. In this way, I can throw in many play breaks, have clear play rules, and properly manage his excitement level. In the beginning, I took Sephy to enclosed dog parks, but that turned out to be a big mistake for us because he ended up learning a lot of bad behaviors from his time there. Here are some of our dog park experiences.

      With daycare, it depends a lot on on whether they properly group the dogs, how well supervised the play groups are, how good the trainers are, and what training methods they use. It also depends on the temperament of the dog.

      2. Pick his friends.
      I also am careful about picking Sephy’s playmates. He does well with larger playful dogs. Small dogs usually become afraid of him because he likes to wrestle and do high speed chasing. He also does not do well with dogs who challenge him, because he will not back down.

      Husky Shania is a lot more flexible and does well with a larger range of dogs. However, I make sure to protect her from overly exuberant dogs who can overwhelm her.

      3. Positive socialization and desensitization exercises.
      What helped Sephy most is to make sure that his social experiences with other dogs are positive, or at worst neutral. Positive socialization is important, because it helps him to associate other dogs with happy experiences, and he learns good behaviors during interactions.

      More on dog-to-dog desensitization.
      More on positive socialization.

      Consulting with a good professional trainer can also be helpful.

  31. Lauren says

    Hello! I just found your site and so far love it. I have a Husky boy that I got last June, he is now almost 18 months old. We live on a farm. I love him so much. He is sweet and wonderful. I’ve wanted a Siberian Husky for as long as I can remember. Well, he got loose once and had a taste of chickens. I know they have a predatory instinct and I figure there probably isn’t much I can do about that. My husband thinks I need to sell him, fearing that if he gets loose he will kill our cows and pigs, too.

    My first question is that I would just like to see if you have any thoughts on that…do you think huskies would kill that kind of livestock?

    My second question is what type of fencing/housing would be the best for a husky? I cannot allow him to get loose and kill any of our animals, or our neighbors for that matter. Is it wrong to keep him outside with proper housing?

    My teenage son is going to hate me if I sell him, and I love the husky so much as well. I just am torn over what to do.

    Any feedback would be welcomed.
    Thank You,

    • shibashake says

      Both my Huskies will chase after deer, and they are always very interested in the goats that come by the hiking trails. I would *not* leave a Husky alone with livestock.

      In terms of fencing, I have a 6 foot fence around my property, together with concrete blocks at the bottom. Huskies love to dig and they can really move dirt, so it is necessary to make the bottom of the fence secure so that they cannot dig out.

      Some people use chicken wire, but it did not work out as well for me as the concrete blocks. We can also bury the fence.

      How high the fencing needs to be also depends on whether there is any elevation on the property. I make sure there isn’t anything around the fence line that my Huskies can climb up, and use to get over the fence.

  32. Elle says


    I need some advice on my 1 year old husky. We usually have thunderstorms every day and sometimes hael. This weekend we had a down pour of rain and it has been raining non stop for 2 days. My husky has a dog house outside to shelter him from the rain, but he just doesn’t want to sleep in it at all! I have given up trying to place a cushion or blanket in the house, because he tears the cushions and plays with the blankets! So, the dog house is there just to get out of the rain because usally he likes to sleep on the grass. I even opened the house for him, tried to get him inside with a treat but he grabbed the treat and ran outside again. When he eventually came in and lay down, i tried to dry him off with a blanket but once again he jumped up and ran outside. He always looks like he is feeling so sorry for himself in the rain but he doesn’t want to take shelter or get in the house. Is there anything i can do or should i just let him be?

    • shibashake says

      That is interesting. One of my Huskies, Shania, was like that when she was young. She liked staying outside in the rain because I think the water brings out the smell of her surroundings. Here is a picture of her sitting on her bed in the rain. :D

      Shania got a hotspot on her leg though, from lying on wet surfaces. After that I made sure to bring her inside. I do a lot of recall training with her, so that was very helpful in getting her to come when called. Here is a list of recall training techniques from the ASPCA.

      If she does not come, I will go out and fetch her. I put on a leash if necessary. However, she is usually happy to come because I play her favorite games with her, give her affection, and some tasty food when we are inside. In this way, she learns that being inside is a lot more fun than being outside, even when it is raining. :D

      Daily walks also helped a lot with Shania. When she gets to go on long walks in the neighborhood or hiking trails, she is less interested in staying out in the backyard.

      Big hugs to your Husky boy!

  33. Rose and Mya says

    OK so this is a way different question then all the other topics but I hope you can help me. I have a 8yr old husky that won’t run or pull and I’m wondering what it could be. I also have a Springer spaniel and a Beagle/Shepard mix. We just recently started running at night (like a actual sled team) but Mya won’t run she only jogs and only because half the time her brothers are pulling/dragging her along. I have tried switching up the team like putting her as the lead dog, putting her hext to her brother and even putting her behind her brothers. Even when she is running solo she only jogs. Im not sure what to do with her. I’ve heard of arthritis and other stuff but she is in perfect health. Always playing and wrestling with her brothers and when she gets out if the house unintentionally she has no problem running from us. Do you have any suguesstions. And yes they all are on special pulling harnesses I even tried her without her harness same problem. Some times she will even just stop running completely and said down while on the team.

  34. amber says

    My husband and I have a 3 1/2 year old pure bred Siberian Husky who is wonderful. Extremely loving and gentle for the most part. She lets you take food and water from her dish while she is eating with no problem. We can take toys from her and bones but when it comes to squeaky toys, she gets aggressive where she snaps and will not let us take the toy. We aren’t sure if she thinks it’s a small animal and we have found that we avoid giving her toys like these. She also if bored or ignored, will find things that she shouldn’t have such as socks or paper and we have learned from obedience classes with her, that we should trade her a better item such as a piece of cheese or another toy that way she learns that giving up that item results in getting something better. She knows commands and does well with people. She loves going to doggy daycare and although she does well with the dogs there, when we go for walks with her we tend to avoid coming in contact with other dogs because she starts to get anxious. My question is does anyone else experience these issues with their huskies?

    • shibashake says

      Yeah, squeaky toys are also higher priority for my dogs. The sound makes the toy more interesting, gets them more excited, and may sometimes trigger prey drive. During training exercises, I always start my dog off on very low priority items first, and then we very slowly work my way up into medium level items, and then higher level stuff.

      The priority of items is also different for different dogs. Both my Huskies are very food focused, so the food toys (especially smelly chews) are most high priority for them. My Shiba likes new toys or things that he doesn’t usually get. When we first gave him a Greenie, he got really stressed, and ran around trying to find a place to hide it. :D

      Following the Nothing in Life is Free program also helps a lot with my dogs.

      In terms of other dogs, it depends a lot on the situation. Being on a leash can cause anxiety with some dogs, because that limits their freedom and ability to flee, if necessary. The actions and energy of the other dog, the other owner, and myself are also very important. If I am worried, my dog will pick up on that, and start to get worried and anxious as well. Past experiences also matter. Shania and I have been charged by several large dogs before, so now both of us are more wary of those areas/houses.

      I find that doing dog-to-dog desensitization exercises helps my dog to build confidence and teaches him to be more calm while in the presence of another dog.

      Big hugs to your Husky girl!

  35. lia says

    I have to husky they are bothers. I am having a hard time with potty training. the boys are 5 months old, some night they do great and than they start peeing and pooping in the house. I started with crate training but now there are to big to both be in crate. I really didn’t want to crate them at night. they have been chewing more so i need to get them out more. they are lovable but LOTS of WORK.


  36. Demetrius says

    I have a 2 month old Siberian Husky who is amazing. Ive had him for only 3 days and he uses the pad 90% of the time and has shown great bladder control as I have taken him for a few long drives. What shampoo and food would you recommend for him. He has been eating some food the pet store gave us however he has been gagging and I want to switch his food to see if it stops.

  37. Alena says

    Hi, I have a Siberian husky puppy who is about 10 weeks old. He really likes to bite and whenever I play with him he will try to bite my hands, feet, clothes, etc.. I know he is just playing but I don’t want this to become a habit for him. How can I stop it effectively and humanely?

    • Cliff says

      Huskies like to do what is called “mouthing” and a lot of people shy away from the breed because they think that they are bad about biting and this isn’t the case, it is just something that Huskies do; it is just one of their quirky traits, I mean, if I didn’t have opposable thumbs I would probably get creative at holding onto things too Mine is just over a year old and has all but stopped doing it because when she tries I don’t jerk my hand away, I didn’t want her thinking it was a game, so instead I would lightly grab her lower jaw (basically my hand would be in her mouth) and do to her what she was doing to me, just grabbing, not doing it to cause discomfort or pain, after a few seconds she would throw up a paw to push my hand away and she would start licking my hand instead. Not saying that this would work for every Husky, but it did for ours. Ours isn’t crate trained, nor does she go into a crate (not against it, just never got around to shelling out the cash for one when she was younger). She has been phenomenal about staying in the backyard with a 4 foot chain link fence (which she could easily clear), though, the neighbor behind us refuses to keep his dog in his yard, and I do not want a litter of mix-breed pups. Currently I am a full-time student and we have 3 kids so affection is never a problem in this household. All in all, Huskies are amazing, and you really do have to have the right mentality and personality to have one in your life. Not all of the behavioral change should be on their part. Sometimes I will just stop what I am doing to roll on the floor for a bit with ours, not really rough play because the house in not the place for that, more so just showing affection and showing her that I don’t always expect her to come up to my level.

    • shibashake says

      Not all of the behavioral change should be on their part.

      So very true.

      Sometimes I will just stop what I am doing to roll on the floor for a bit with ours

      Yeah my Huskies love that too. They are very interactive dogs. :D

  38. NIcki says

    I have a 14 month old husky named scout. My husband and I decided on a husky for my at the time 1 year old son and 4 year old doggy son Max…..Needless to say I did not do as much research and ask enough questions. BIG MISTAKE! As a puppy Scout was amazing but as soon as testosterone hit he became the menace of my mind and any energy I had. Shedding was the least of my worry’s due to the fact we have a great groomer for cheap. But the problem is the chewing the diaper grabbing out of the trash (even if we put it in the cupboard) if we leave he will destroy the living room and dump the water dish he chews my sons toys up. I mean we hid everything…But even though he is our butt head I’m here to tell you there is HOPE. With simple love and proper punishment of bad behavior we have come a LONG way in just weeks. At night we no longer cage him, we decided to give our son a twin size bed and give scout his baby bed with sheets and a crappy pillow now we no longer wake up and deal with pee on the outside of the cage or the caged pulled in trapping his head at 3 am he sleeps comfortably with a fan on his body ALL NIGHT LONG! Before we leave now we do still pick up everything we love or need…shoes gaming devices, blankets, socks, toys ect, and then we sit the two big dogs down give them a treat and tell them both NO BAD BOY DESTROYING and we say it in a very stern tone and we come home now to a lot less damage which in turn either gets him a treat if there was no damage or out door on a leash for 20 mins for bad boy destroying. I have learned that which each dog the same punishment does not work as good with all dogs. For example My Chihuahua we have to cage her for bad behavior my older dog max simple gets told hes a bad boy and that pretty much does the trick and hides under the desk until daddy calls him over and scout gets put on a leash for 20 mins and the reason why its so terrible for him is because he has a short leash where he can only walk a short distance and look at the half acre yard he cant play in and when the 20 mins is over he has to come inside. IT works JUST FIND WHAT WORKS FOR YOU ITS HARD REALLY HARD but I’m doing it and I have a two year old 3 dogs 2 cats a husband my elderly grandma and a baby on the way it will work just take your time and you will see improvements. Good luck!

    • Clare Kotacka says

      How did you get him to be ok with cats? I’m bringing home a 6mo old husky soon and I have 2 cats they love to play they are not mean cats. But they do run around the house like crazy how do I get the husky to not eat them

  39. ashley says

    I have a beautiful (very vocal) 7 month old sibe named Kaido. I am getting worried though, It has been a horribly hot summer so the fleas have been bad but I have controlled that. My problem is that he is not only a picky eater but he doesnt seem to be gaining weight. To get him to eat his dry food, I mix wet food in with it. I do this two times a day and he fills out after meals but the next morning he looks too skinny again. Could this be because he is growing? I have checked every time he poops to make sure there are no worms, and there arent. He isnt showing any signs of decreased activity but he pants alot even in the AC. Should I be worried? this is my first husky so I dont know if they are normally thin dogs or if there is somthing wrong?

    • shibashake says

      Hmmm, what brand of dry and wet food are you currently using? Does he get treats and other food in addition? How much total does he eat per day?

      For comparison, here are some pictures of my Husky Lara (she is the grey colored one) at around 6-7 months of age.

      Here are some pictures of my Husky Shania at around 7 months of age.

      I have checked every time he poops to make sure there are no worms

      Yeah, worms can sometimes be difficult to detect because they do not come out with every poop, and sometimes they are not on the surface. I usually look over a period of at least several days, and I look inside the poop as well. Sibes are especially susceptible to tapeworms because they like hunting for rodents and other earth critters. Our vet told us that now, even birds are carrying the infected fleas.

      but he pants alot even in the AC.

      Yeah, both my Huskies heat up pretty quickly during hot weather. Here are some things that I do to help them cool down.

      If there are health concerns, I also give my vet a call and ask them my questions. They are usually helpful, have good suggestions, and can tell me what to look out for.

  40. Dean says

    Hi, what dry food do you feed your huskies. You say that your huskies eat and eat, but mine has been really picky and I’m deciding to switch dog foods. I have my 2 year old husky on Taste of the Wild, but thinking either Acana, Wellness Core, or Blue Wilderness, in that order.

    I want my husky to have a more meaty look as he is on the slim size. I was told that within 3 years, a husky’s fur would grown out and that would give my dog a fuller appearance.

    Any advice you could give me?


    • shibashake says

      We are currently using Wellness Core Original. Shiba and both Huskies enjoy it, and it seems to suit their digestive system. Both my Sibes have sensitive tummies, so I always have to be careful when introducing anything new into their diets.

      I was deciding between Wellness Core and Blue Wilderness. They both have very similar ingredients, so I picked the one with potatoes, since I know my Sibes are ok with that. I wasn’t totally sure about tapioca.

      Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Peas, Potatoes, Dried Ground Potatoes, [Wellness]
      Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Peas, Tapioca Starch, Tomato Pomace [Blue Wilderness]

      For ingredients-
      Deboned Turkey > Turkey Meal > Poultry Meal

      I actually really like Orijen, but unfortunately it contains fish, and Shania is allergic to some types of fish.

      More on how I pick kibble.

      In terms of fur, Shania got her more fluffy look after over 1 year. Here are some of her earlier photos. Lara inherited shorter hair from her mother, so she has that more puppyish look (she is currently 2.5 years old). I actually really like the shorter-haired slim look. :D

      Big hugs to your Husky boy. Please post me a link if you have pictures of him online. Would love to see him.

    • Dean says

      I am really glad to see your response now. I tried Acana Red Meat Formula and he seemed to liked it the first day, as he only picked Acana out of the Taste of the Wild Mix I made.

      In the end, I have returned all four of my TOTW bags and switched them for Wellness Core Ocean Formula. He is doing great so far and I hope he won’t get “bored” or become picky over time.

      He smells a bit fishy, but I am hoping the best that his fur (from many reviews) will work wonders and become fuller and more shiny.

      However, today’s second meal, I had to somewhat force feed him by placing the dry food in his mouth and then he would start eating it, then stop. Then I would have to repeat, and then he would start eating it again. He eats one kibble at a time and I’ve noticed that he likes eating them on the ground, lying down, instead of the eating it in the elevated bowl.

      Is there a way to make my husky eat “freely”/more enjoy or get excited when I put down his dry food? He has been spoiled by my parents with real human food (of course boiled meat, etc). Also, how many cups of Wellness Core do you feed your lovely huskies?

      I wish I could paste a photo in this comment section, but I do not have a direct link to any of his photos posted online.

      Thanks again!

    • shibashake says

      Also, how many cups of Wellness Core do you feed your lovely huskies?

      Lara gets about 3/4 cup kibble, and then she gets little pieces of plain boiled/microwave chicken for doing grooming and commands at home. She also gets some chicken jerky strips during walks. There have been some recalls on jerky strips lately, so I only get ones that are USA made. Total, she probably gets about 1.5 cups worth of food.

      Shania gets about 1/2 cup kibble, and then she also gets boiled chicken and jerky. It probably comes up to about 1 cup per day. She is older than Lara and a tripod, so I monitor her weight carefully.

  41. Joanne says

    I have a 9 yr. old liver Lab -M- Neutered, and a 5 yr. old Rot/German Shepherd-F- Spayed.
    Now we have Bridget that is 8 months old and a “dirty-faced” Husky with gray eyes. We were going to have her spayed early July but we had to go through one cycle, according to the vet. She will be spayed in early August. My question, she is very sweet and lives with these two beasts but little dogs keep attacking her. Any advice?

    • shibashake says

      My question, she is very sweet and lives with these two beasts but little dogs keep attacking her.

      Is this during walks? What do you mean by “attacking” – lunging and growling, barking, biting, puncture wounds? Are all the dogs on leash?

      During walks, I make sure to protect my dogs. I only let them meet with other friendly dogs that we know well, who are calm, and who are not fearful or dominant. I make sure that their dog-to-dog encounters are positive or at worst neutral, so that they gain confidence and learn to trust me to keep them safe. Here are some things that I do when meeting other dogs during walks.

      More on the friendly dog.

  42. Ambur says

    Like most of you I’m absolutely in love with the husky breed and I always have been. I’ve been doing a ton of research on the breed and I just keep falling more and more in love; I’m even thinking about renting a house so my husky can have a yard to play in, and pricing local puppy daycares for when I’m at work, I’m also near several dog parks, tails, and places to take him running, However, I’m a single parent and though I know SH are great with kids, my fear is what if we (my daughter and I) aren’t the right family for the breed. Is there any other info or web site I should know before committing myself to a SH. Thank you for your comments and help in advance.

  43. selina says

    Hi im in need of some help and advise ,
    i have a husky she is 8 months old and 2 weeks ago she came into her first season i also have a male jack russle who has not been spade with the vets advice i was able to seperate my dogs from each other for 2 weeks now so they couldnt mate and desaster struck yesterday when my son accidently let the jack russle out and he mated with my husky im worried sick that she could be pregnant and she is so young i dont know what to do .

    • shibashake says

      Yeah, it can be difficult to manage an un-spayed female, especially when there is an un-neutered male around. I would discuss this with her vet, and also ask about future spaying options.

  44. Paige says

    I have an 18 month old called Locky, we bought him in october last year from someone who could no longer give him the time and attention he need’s since the owner was going back to work, they had done a fantastic job training him, he never potty’s in the house, doesn’t dig, doesn’t try to escape the garden, and never chews anything except his own toys, he responds to a lot of basic commands and i have reinforced this training consistently since he came to us, the only 2 problem’s we have are; jumping up at people when they come in my home (and i mean he launches himself at them nearly knocking them over and jumps all over them when they sit down) ive tried many things but he just get’s so over excited that eventually i have to put him out the room, the second is pulling whilst walking, from what i understand his previous owner NEVER walked him and gave him no leash training what so ever, the result is me nearly having a dislocated shoulder every time we go for walks, again ive tried everything i can think off to stop this, including stopping walking until he stands beside me, except he doesn’t stop, he continues to pull and his paws scrabble against the pavement in his efforts to move forward as we whines and yelp’s (which he does the entire time he’s out for a walk), if i pull him back to my side and try to gain his attention with treats, he totally ignores the fact im there or that i even have his favorite treat and lunges forward again, ive tried the 180 trick or even turning round and walking back the way we came, he still lunges and pulls (along with the persistent whining and yelping), no matter which direction he’s going, it’s like all he cares about is moving forward no matter what and is completely oblivious to everything, it’s getting to the point where i absolutely dread taking him for a walk, please help, any advice would be great

    • shibashake says

      Re: Jumping on people
      What works well for my dog is to put a lead on her *before* letting guests into the house. Then I can bring her away from the people to a quiet area until she is calm. Distance helps to weaken the “new people” stimulus.

      Once my dog is calm, we try to approach again slowly and on-leash. As soon as she pulls or jumps, I no-mark and bring her away again and repeat. In this way, she learns that-
      Pulling and jumping = Move away from people,
      Calm and feet on the ground = Move toward people.

      For a really over-excited dog, I do people desensitization exercises first, in a structured and controlled environment. This helps to raise my dog’s reactivity threshold and teaches her to use alternate behaviors for dealing with excitement.

      Re: Pulling
      With pulling, I find that consistency and persistence are both very important. I need to consistently stop or turn around every time the leash gets taut, and consistently move forward when my dog calms down. Initially, we don’t get very far, but I do frequent and shorter walks so that neither of us gets too frustrated.

      I also start in a very quiet environment, e.g. I first start leash training in the backyard or even inside the house. In this way, my dog can get used to walking together with me in a very low stimulus environment. Once we are good with walking in the backyard, I *very slowly* increase the environmental challenge. For leash training, I use a 6 foot leather leash and a no-slip collar.

      Another possibility is to use the head-halti, but that has its own pros and cons. *Do not* use a head-halti with a flexi-leash. More on the head-halti.

  45. matt j r says

    I understand that this type of dog has some problematic behaviors, kicking up dirt without regard to cleanness for instance. But if I can get help on the specific major problem he’s having when I leave, that would be great. I understand the process of desensitization to, what in this case are truly, abandonment issues manifesting shortly after departure. I recorded him it truly is saddening; pacing and quiet baying for long periods. I’m wondering if huskies require different responses during this period than those commonly proscribed to. Or even if a dog that may have been in dozens of homes before can be helped in this regard. I found him at SPCA. I give him a short goodbye and upon return attempt to comfort a little, though he is jumping around excited. A level of exuberance unusual for this 7 year old dog. Does not appear to be time dependent. Will defficate on floor shortly after my departure. I have gone on at least two short jaunts a day, three to 15 minutes, and longer ones on days when I have to. I am aware that this is likely not at all enough. Afraid he will injure himself while trying to tear through thick front door. Had to put on kick plate for a spot on the front door. Also felt necessary to employ chemical chew deterrent for his physical well being, it works. If he went after all the doors this would be very difficult. I don’t want to give him up cause he’s a rescue. And I don’t believe just about anyone else would be so frequently present or tolerant. He is great inside, stubborn outside in yard, and gives some pull on leash. Knows commands but will not perform, except for treats when hungry. Feed him once a day therefore. Does not make concerted effort to escape. 7 years old and pretty laid back.

    • shibashake says

      Does he show any signs of stress when you are in another room? Is he ok with being in the backyard by himself?

      With my dogs, I start very small at the beginning. For example, I would just leave the room and then come back. I repeat that many times throughout the day until they are comfortable with that. Then I *very* slowly lengthen the time that I am away.

      The key is to start at a point where my dog can be successful, and then make progress from there.

      Here is more on separation anxiety and what I do.

      During retraining, I make sure to only expose my dog to situations that she can handle. If I will be away for a longer period of time, I put her in daycare or arrange for a caretaker. This is important because the desensitization process works by helping to build up my dog’s confidence, and helping her to associate alone time with being calm. If she still keeps experiencing negative or high stress alone time, then it would very quickly undermine my retraining process.

      Getting help from a good professional trainer can also be helpful because dog behavior is very context dependent.

  46. Kelly says

    In need of some help =)
    My husband and I have a year old Siberian Husky with 1/4 Malamute mix and a year and a half lab, border collie mix. I am 7 months pregnant and we’ve been noticing that our husky has been digging massive holes. She’s always been a digger but not to the extent it is now. We’ve noticed that previously when she would did it would be to find tree roots to chew on or just explore where they go. But now the digging is becoming a safety hazard. We’ve tried multiple different methods of trying to teach her to stop digging in the whole yard, and to dig in “her spot” but as I am getting even more and more pregnant, she’s digging more and more. My husband came up with an idea to put a pair of baby socks on her feet after she digs and we take her to the hole and tell her “no, bad girl. no dig.” then she loses outside privileges for about 30 minutes to an hour. My dad also suggested building her a doggy sandbox with toys and stuff buried to keep her entertained there and to deter her from digging in the yard.
    Do you have any tips? I’d really like to have a safe yard to play in and not be so frustrated when she digs massive holes. And how would we go about teaching her it’s okay to dig in the sandbox and not in the backyard?

    Thanks so much!

    • shibashake says

      To train my Sibes not to dig, supervision was very important. I need to be there while they are digging so that I can let them know that it is an undesirable behavior, and redirect them to dig in a different place or to doing something else. Correcting them after the fact does not work because they will not know what behavior caused the correction. They only know that I am angry or unhappy with them but do not know why. They may show appeasement behavior (head down, tail tucked) during correction, but it will not change their digging behavior.

      To stop my Husky Lara from digging in the landscaped area of my yard, I had to supervise her closely. Every time she starts to dig on the good grass, I no-mark, body block her from the area, and lead her to where she can dig. Otherwise, I get her to do something else. If she keeps trying to dig, then I bring her inside and she loses outside privileges for a short time period.

      I also practice letting her out and then supervise her from inside the house. If she tries to dig, I no-mark from inside the house. If she ignores me, then I go outside and bring her in. In this way, she learns that even when she is outside alone, she is not allowed to dig on the good grass. Supervision is key because I need to time my no-mark for when she starts the behavior. This will make it clear to her which behavior is undesirable.

      In addition, I give Lara many other ways to fulfill her need for digging. We left a large area of our yard non-lanscaped, so that she has a place to dig for earth critters that is sanctioned. I also take her out on many hiking trips, to places where she can dig.

      I make sure to exercise Lara very well with long walks (around 1.5 hours daily), fun games in the backyard, and supervised play-time with my other dogs. Both my Huskies are very energetic so they need many positive but structured outlets for their energy.

    • hannah says

      I had the same problem with my seven month old husky. Every day it was a new hole I had heard from my trainer to sprinkle cayenne pepper in with the hole also I’ve heard of vinegar in the dirt, but what worked best for me was to take her poop put it in the hole and let it sit there for half a day or so. Than I would come back and cover it with some dirt and grass. After doing this to three or four different holes she stopped but this has been a constant process for us

  47. Aisha says

    Hello, i have a 14 weeks siberian puppy. he does everything right the full day. since one week we noticed he eats his poop every night. we get up every hour in the night to check. we are really worried about his health. we do not want him to get sick. please help and advise how to stop this behaviour. your urgent reply is highly appreciated. thanks

    • shibashake says

      What techniques are you using to teach him not to poop in the house during the day? Is he crate trained?

      With my Husky puppy, I use a crate at night. I put her crate in the bedroom with us. If she needs to go during the night, she will make some noise, we wake up and take her out.

      Here is more on how I potty trained my Husky puppy.

      Big hugs to your Sibe!

    • Aisha says

      Normally he has a habit of making poop immediately after his meal in the toilet, which is after each meal. in the night before we go to sleep he also does the same. sorry he does not live in the crate. we leave our toilet door open for him to go. he makes his pee and poo there, but at times when he is stressed he may do it in the hall. we also clean up the place immediately after he has done his business so that the toilet is always clean for him. he used to make noise on our door but he does not do it anymore. i am afraid this will continue and it will become his habit. i tried the training pads but he tears it into piece.

    • shibashake says

      In general, I find that it is best to train my dogs to do their business outside. If they poop inside the house, they may try to clean it up themselves. From the dog’s point of view, he is helping out his family by cleaning up the den.

      To stop our dog from eating poop we need to be there to supervise. Clearly, we cannot supervise all the time, especially during the night, which is when crate training becomes a useful tool. Here is a good article from the San Francisco SPCA on crate training-

      Here is another article on crating from the Humane Society-

  48. Caroline Hamer says

    Hi Loved reading all the comments. HELP PLEASE, I have a 11 month Serberian Husky his name is Akino, he is georgous, loveing, playful and brilliant with all my family (husband, daughter, son), he can play nip But with me he can be a bit to rough and now my son. My husband read it is dominant, he is showing . But how to stop this, I have tryed treats and this works for about 10 minutes

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