Siberian Huskies are beautiful dogs. They look like wolves, and have thick, soft coats, that make them infinitely cuddly. They have piercing eyes, and wonderful masks, that give them a roguish and unique look.
Siberians can make very good family pets. If properly trained, they can be very good with people, children, and other dogs. Indeed, Sibes are commonly known for their friendliness toward people.
Although they may look like fierce wolves, they have the heart of Casanova. All my Huskies want to do, is greet everyone and give them licks.
However, many people have trouble with this breed, and many Sibes get surrendered every year.
Consider these Siberian Husky facts, before going out and getting a puppy. The Siberian Husky is a very special and lovable breed, but they may not be the right breed for everyone.
1. Siberian Huskies Shed a Lot!
Be ready to have dog hair all over the house – floors, carpets, clothing, furniture, everywhere.
If we are allergic to dog hair, or like our home to be very clean, then the Siberian Husky is not for us.
When I was looking for a Sibe, I talked to a few breeders in my area. The first thing they all said was, “Siberians shed a lot”. I mentioned that my other dog, a Shiba Inu, also has a double coat, and also sheds a fair amount. However, they all said, “Siberians shed a lot more”.
And they do! A whole lot more.
Therefore, it is very important to train our Husky puppy to enjoy the grooming experience.
- I start with a soft brush, and lightly comb my dog’s body for a short period of time.
- I do this often, and pair it with food rewards.
- Once my puppy is comfortable with the brushing process, I very slowly extend the length of our grooming session.
- Finally, I repeat the process with a more solid brush, such as the Furminator.
Frequent brushing is a good idea to keep our Husky clean, and clear out loose hair. The more hair on the Furminator, the less hair on the floor.
About twice a year, my Sibes blow their coat. During this time, there will be more fur than ever. To keep things under control, I try to brush every day. Remember to always keep brushing sessions fun, rewarding, and not overly long.
2. Siberian Huskies Make Awful Watch Dogs
Because Huskies look like wolves, many people assume that they are fierce dogs. Some people may even think that they are wolf hybrids.
However, a Sibe is more of a lover and less of a fighter.
When confronted with a stranger, my Husky will usually run up to him, give licks, and beg for food. As a result, Sibes do not make very good watch dogs. They will not only welcome everyone into your house, but will also give them the royal lick treatment.
If we want a dog that is only loyal to us and our family, then the Siberian Husky is not for us.
My Huskies are naturally happy and trusting dogs, who like to be with everyone. That is one of the things that I love most about them.
The Siberian Husky is not a watch dog, although those ignorant of his true nature may be frightened by his appearance. If you want a dog with aggressive guard-dog instincts . . . don’t buy a Siberian.
Leave your home in the care of a “guard” Siberian and he will most likely welcome an intruder with open arms, fetch (for the first time in his life) your valuables and show him the best route of escape–after all, Siberians are great escape artists.
~~[Siberian Rescue Site]
Note – This does not mean that Huskies will never be aggressive toward people. A dog’s behavior is determined both by genetics (breeding), as well as by training, socialization, context, and past experiences. A dog may become aggressive as a result of improper training, bad social experiences, insufficient socialization, and more.
For reasons of safety, it is important to ensure that our companion dogs are not people aggressive. Most companion dogs today guard us, by sounding an alert when unknown or strange people come close to our house. These dogs are not people aggressive. They do not bark, lunge, or growl at passers-by during walks. They are not aggressive toward guests and unknown visitors, who may need to work in or around our house. Their job is simply to alert us, when unusual events occur close to home. Anything more would quickly become dangerous and risky.
Highly trained guard dogs, such as those employed by law-enforcement, may be trained to attack or restrain an intruder. However, they are always under the control of their handler, are extremely well managed, and will only attack on-command or when they think their handler is in clear danger (as defined during training). They also do not bark or growl at pedestrians.
3. Siberian Huskies Have High Energy
They are intelligent, athletic, and were bred to pull sleds for extremely long distances, in the freezing cold. Therefore, be prepared to provide a Husky with a lot of mental and physical exercise.
A young Husky needs activity almost all day round. At around one-year old, my Sibe puppy sleeps for perhaps 3-4 hours during the day, and about 10 hours during the night. That leaves about 10 hours during the day where she is on the go.
She drains her energy most by playing with my other dog, a Shiba Inu. However, even my Shiba cannot fully keep up with her.
In addition to the playing, she works for all of her food, has long walks in the park several times a week, has structured dog play sessions, dog obedience training sessions, and still has energy left over to explore and dig in our backyard.
If bored, a Husky can become unhappy. He will likely escape, or use our house and belongings as chew toys. Unless our backyard is extremely secure, he can easily jump over or dig under a fence, in order to find adventure elsewhere.
If we are away at work for most of the day, then the Siberian Husky is probably not for us.
Siberians like having company and activity all day long. It is possible that a Husky can keep himself occupied if we have other dogs, but he may also lead our entire pack into mischief!
Sibes do best when there is frequent human supervision, throughout the day.
Siberians are a gregarious lot and need the company of other dogs or of people at all times.
The Husky needs lots of exercise and entertainment. They love to run and play, but must be allowed to do so safely.
4. Siberian Huskies Are Independent Thinkers
They have a very independent mind and spirit, and will only perform, if we make it worth their while.
If we want an obedient dog that only lives to please us, then the Siberian Husky is not for us.
A Sibe is not a “yes sir, no sir“, kind of dog. To live well with him, we need to be fair, but firm. We need to consistently enforce our house rules, or he will take over the house.
The best way to train a Husky, is through the control of resources. Teach him that the best way to get what he wants, is to first do what we want. I use reward obedience training, and follow the Nothing in Life is Free program. Harsher techniques can make a Siberian distrustful, and ruin the natural free spirit of the breed.
Huskies are independent hunters. Their original breeders, the Chukchi of Northeastern Asia, would let their dogs free during the summer months to hunt for food on their own.
This has two very important consequences for living with a Husky today –
- A Siberian is not to be trusted with cats or other small animals. He can be trained to live with cats, but his instinct is to hunt them;
- A Siberian is not to be trusted off-leash. If he sees a small animal, he will likely bolt after it, and forget about cars, commands, and everything else. By the time he comes to his senses, he may be lost and far from home.
I have gotten a few comments about cats lately, so let me be clear …
Sibes can be trained to live with household cats. However, they usually have high prey drive, and will likely want to hunt and chase small animals, including squirrels, mice, and cats. Just because a Siberian gets along with our house cats, does not mean he will treat other neighborhood cats in the same way.
Huskies are bred to run and pull. This makes them more difficult to leash train than many other breeds. To train a Husky to walk on a leash, we need to have an immense amount of patience. Always be firm and consistent with the no-pulling rule, and reward good behavior.
If we do not have a large backyard, bring our Sibe to an enclosed park or soccer field, so that he can have some nice off-leash time to run, run, run.
5. Siberian Huskies Are Not the Easiest Dogs to Potty Train
Certain dogs, like the Shiba Inu, are naturally clean and absolutely do not like soiling their living space. Because of their natural cleanliness, they are extremely easy to house train.
Sibes do not have that natural sense of cleanliness. In fact, they do not mind playing, and running around in their own waste products. Therefore, we must make it worth their while to potty outside.
Supervise our Husky puppy at all times, until he is fully house trained. Reward him well for pottying outside with high priority dog treats, play, and praise. If we are consistent with our puppy potty training, he will learn quickly, and be happy to go outside after a few weeks.
In addition, as Gigi points out, potty training difficulty is very dependent on what the dog or puppy is used to, in his previous environment. Puppy mill and pet store puppies are caged, most of the time. As a result, they will be harder to house train, because they are accustomed to going in their crates.
Where to Get a Siberian Husky Puppy
If we still want a Husky, then visit the Siberian Husky Club of America for a breeder list. Also consider adopting one from a local Husky rescue.
It really makes a BIG difference to get a puppy from an accredited breeder.
Please do not buy a puppy from online puppy sites or pet stores. Most of their puppies come from backyard breeders or puppy mills. Buying from them, will only help support and continue the dog cruelty of these unscrupulous puppy breeders.
If we are concerned about the initial cost of a puppy, consider that backyard breeders and puppy mills frequently produce unhealthy and unbalanced puppies. They will end up costing us a lot more, in terms of vet bills, dog training bills, and property destruction.
Siberian Huskies Are Wonderful Dogs
I love my Sibes. However, just because I think Huskies are wonderful dogs, does not mean that everyone else will think so as well; nor does it mean that they will fit into someone else’s lifestyle.
Clearly, each dog is an individual and will differ in terms of prey drive, energy level, obedience, and more. However, general breed characteristics and information from reputable sources, will give us a better idea of what to expect.
Often, there is conflicting information on the web. Therefore, one good place to start is with the AKC-recognized national breed club – The Siberian Husky Club of America.
Captivating in their beauty, grace and childlike demeanor, Siberians catch the eye of adults and children alike. They can be wonderful dogs for the well-informed or experienced Husky owner. However, they are NOT the breed for everyone and definitely not for first time dog owners. Too many wind up lost, in shelters, killed on the highway, abandoned or abused because the owner didn’t understand the breed and it’s challenging traits.
Hi, My Siberian huksy is 2 and half year now, last week we changed our house and shifted to new flat, earlier she use to stay home for 5-6 hours alone, now when ever we leave and lock the door she is being howling and barking and keep sitting next to the door, she is not even eat the meals properly. earlier she was very active and naughty but now she is very quite and sits at once place, can someone help me out.
My husky puppy is a tan combo he loves my other dog he is 2 m old he humps my female dog lol
I have a husky/shiba mix. he’s mostly husky. any pointers for a mix of the two? I’ve had two huskies in the past. High strung, run out the door at the sound of the knob turning. Lovable and great with my cats.
My boyfriend believes my declawed kitten, 9 months old, will kill our 8 week old puppy….(who is larger than the cat, by the way.)
I have a 5 month old husky. Potty training took 2 weeks. I had to follow him around bc he would use the bathroom in the house.. it was a control issue between him and I.. he sleeps all night, loves my wood floors. He is easy to train, he shakes, sits, and lays down. I trying for tach him to crawl. We spend a lot of time with him. He always wants to go. He gets along with the cat, he stays inside. He jumped out the car window, no windows down. Very playful, friendly, and jealous. I love my baby. Best and smartest dog I’ve ever had.
Jesse Streich says
This article is completely opposite of my Husky. I have a 3yr old husky that’s never been keneled in my house. He’s never chewed on anything or went potty in the house. I’m at work for 12 hours a day and no problem. He’ extremely protective of the house and yard. If I’m not with him and someone tries to get close to him he will growl extremely. If another dog comes in the yard he will attack it. If I walk with him there will be no problem. I barely even worked with him and he does what ever I say. I’he treated him very nice and play a lot with him. I don’t ever need to walk him with a leash and never chain him in the yard. He live in the house with me. He’ s very intelligent. If I ask if he wants to go for a ride he will walk to my car and open the door and jump in. I do have to keep a bungee chord on my fridge though. Even if he wants to go outside he will grab the door knob and turn it to let him self out. This is my first husky and I live in town. I’m very impressed with him. It seems strange to me how he listens so damn well. When ever I talk to him he looks me in the eye and does what I say.
Thanks so much for all of your informative information! I knew Huskies were high energy escape artists that like to invite stranger burglars in the house and show them the silver for treats. LOL! BUT I didn’t know they were hard to potty train! I honestly thought I was doing something wrong with my 4.5 month old puppy! I’m glad to know I am doing okay! I first read to crate train and to take them on long walks. Well, she LOVED the walks (not so much the crate hehe!). She either went in the crate or went right when we came back from a walk. Part of that is my fault. My almost 6 year Cocker Spaniel was bit by a Rotti and refused to go outside after that. We had to then potty train the Cocker inside. We knew a second dog would be a great addition so Sport would feel more confident going outside. The hubs always loved the husky breed and I caved once I saw Luna. It was love at first site. I have fibromyalgia (a mild case with the doctor’s help) and I had to stop working a “day job”. I now write at home in between training Luna. I knew Luna would be a challenge, but I honestly didn’t think I would get this far with her this quick! She knows come, stay, sit, down and sometimes does it WITHOUT being told! I was trying to concentrate her potty training to the front yard because I honestly was getting tired of cleaning up the carpet LOL! BUT my neighbors got pissed at me and one wrote me a nasty letter saying I wasn’t “doing enough walking” with her. She’s pretty good with pee pee. I can get her to do it outside– even now that I’m walking the girl more for my stupid neighbors. We power walk every day in between sniffs. I can’t walk her for more than 3 blocks at a time with the fibro, but she gets at least 3 walks by me, personally, per day and 1-2 from my husband and kids. So 5 times a day she is out for a 3 block walk and that’s why the potty training must have been suckish I guess LOL! She’s great with my cat and other dog, plus the kids, but she’s got the puppy manners for everything else when excited. The pulling is a little hard sometimes, especially when a neighbor approaches me with their dog. With my condition AND with her being independent, I’m trying to train her to not go after cats, dogs, people, cars, and birds while walking. I make her sit and I pet her until she calms down (and hopefully the bird or whatever goes away). I do treats too, of course. This seems to work for me. She has been sitting on command while out in our yard. The walking will take time, I know. BUT having a retractable leash REALLY helps me. She is learning that when she on a short leash it is because I am telling her something. I CANNOT recommend this kind of training for everyone because it does take a lot of patience on the human’s part. You also have to understand the escape in them. If they don’t want to listen to you– they WILL either try to get out of their harness or pull you. If you try to attempt this, I would suggest walking your husky during the times when fewer people and dogs are out. I’m in an established neighborhood so I know when the neighbors (and the neighbors dogs are out) and I don’t walk her at those times. BUT aside from all my jibberish, I want to thank you for making me feel better! I really felt awful when that neighbor (who NEVER bothered to tell me her name in the letter) told me I was being creul for not walking the dog so SHE could see the dog being walked. AND I felt bad that I wasn’t doing enough with the potty training. Thanks again!
I think your nice thorough input was great to read. It really helps me see what to expect. Too bad your neighbor decided to be so nosy! Wow!! Well sounds like you all love your dog and it’s doing fine. Good job!
i love huskies
Me too they are cute i have on.
I have two female huskies 7 month old and an 11 week old both adopted and they are the best dogs ever and Bella my 7 month loves Layla (my puppy) so much they do everything together, it’s like in a way she’s kind of become her mother. When I first got Bella she was a little hard to train but now does wonderful. They are the best dogs ever so loving and kind
Hi I’m Mariah I just adopted a 10 week old baby boy! I also have a 2 year old great date I wanted to know how soon I should let them meet. My Great Dane is a teddy bear and rarely gets out of hand. Also I work nights but I’m home most of all of the day ! I’m gone from 11 at night until 7 in the morning but I’d be coming home on my break to take him out . Would this be okay ?
We have a 3 year old male husky who grew up around small animals like ferrets, cats, and smaller dogs, but when we adopted a female husky puppy, he was became very annoyed. At first it seemed as if he was curious and just overwhelmed by the puppy, but the day we got her, he attacked her. There were adults in the room. People were busy and not watching the two dogs very closely and the male husky bit her, breaking her jaw and nose. This was extremely shocking. We are assuming that he was jealous or territorial and his wild instincts kicked in. He has no previous history of aggressiveness and is generally a sweetheart. The had to wear a sling-like muzzle until her jaw was healed. We are very lucky that she was not killed. The male is now not allowed to be alone with the pup and the two now have very closely monitored play-dates.
Satvik Chethan says
Hey.I have two Siberian huskies and they are twin bros and they enjoy each other’s company.My biggest problem with them is the fact that they keep pulling out the grass which forced me to construct a fence separating the grass from the verandah but during the summer it gets really hot for them and I have to leave them unleashed on the grass but I’m scared about the fact that they might rip out the grass when I’m asleep…Need your Advice