Siberian Husky Ownership: A Rewarding Challenge

Siberian Husky Ownership: A Rewarding Challenge

Siberian HuskiesSiberian huskies are a beautiful dog breed and many people are drawn to their fluffy, soft coats, intriguing markings, and captivating eyes. However, they are not usually recommended for first-time dog owners. There is much that lies under the surface with these furry friends. To be sure, they can make excellent companions, but your chances of success are greater when you plan on dealing with some of their quirks.

Challenges

  • Potty Training
  • Shedding
  • Loneliness
  • Exercise
  • Digging
  • Escape Artistry

Tips

Potty Training – this can be difficult with huskies, but the key here is patience. They will get it eventually. Try not to freak out when the accidents happen and calmly take them outside to finish if you catch them in the act. Huskies can also be somewhat territorial, so be careful about outside dogs in their area. If an outside dog marks a spot, a husky may continually try to mark over it. In that case, make sure you use an enzyme cleaner if you want to avoid this.

Shedding – Huskies are made for the cold and they have two coats. The outer coat is typically shed in excess once or twice a year, though many owners are too accustomed to constant shedding to distinguish this “blow-out” that others have noted. If you’ve never had this type of dog, be ready for more fur than you’ve previously dealt with.

It is a good idea to brush a husky frequently with a brush that is designed to pick up loose fur. It is also wise to keep them off furniture and things where you don’t want any loose fur to show up. However, no matter how well you keep up with brushing and keeping them off furniture, you will probably still notice a fair amount of fur ending up in the air and on surfaces. A good floor vacuum and hand vacuum – especially ones that are easy to empty frequently – are a must for an indoor husky.

Loneliness – Huskies are social animals and like to be around other dogs, so it will be more of a challenge if you plan on this being your only dog. Further, if they are left completely alone, they can experience separation anxiety and may howl in your absence. They do best in situations where they can spend most of their time with a human and/or another dog.

Exercise – Huskies are an active breed, having served a role as a work dog through their development. They generally have a lot of energy to spend and this is something that needs to be taken care of if you want to avoid other behavioral problems. Having a dog run is a good idea as your husky will make good use of it and you will have a much easier time meeting their exercise needs when you are busy with other things. They love to run, play with other dogs, and pull things with a harness on. Indulge them as much as you can to tire them out so that you have a happy husky that gets into less trouble.

Digging – exercise helps here, but many huskies have a natural desire to dig. You may want to section off areas that you don’t want disturbed by your husky’s curious paws. Where this is impractical, the best option is to redirect the dog’s attention to something else that engages its mind.

Escape Artistry – many have had problems with huskies finding ways out of containment and running away. It is a good idea to crate train them as young as possible so that they will feel at home there. This will keep them out of trouble when your attention is needed elsewhere. Still, they are more likely to attempt escape if they are not getting enough exercise and attention.

It is also a good idea to microchip huskies in case they do run away. They have a tendency to follow their own interests regardless of what you want and they instinctually have a fairly high prey drive. They may chase after a small animal that would serve as food to them in the wild and get into trouble because they are so focused on that. Letting a husky off leash in an uncontained setting is a bad idea until you have enough experience with the dog to know what it will do.

Siberian HuskyRewards

Happy Siberian Huskies are sweet, even-tempered dogs that are great for active people. They love the outdoors and make a good companion for those who share that love. Running, cycling, hiking, skateboarding, and similar mobile activities can be enhanced by the company of a husky. Huskies also love to play in general indoors or out.

If having a well-trained dog appeals to you, huskies are also a good option. They are very smart dogs and usually do not take too many repetitions to learn a command. Though they may be known more as a work dog, they do fairly well at obedience in most situations.

Husky owners also get to enjoy the bevy of people drawn in to greet their dog by the remarkable appearance shared by many huskies. As a husky owner, I cannot count the times someone has commented on what a beautiful dog I have and stopped to pet her head. Their outer coat tends to be soft and smooth, which is a universally lovable characteristic.

The challenges that come with a husky are not to be ignored going in, but they are manageable if you put in a little forethought. If you are considering getting a husky, don’t change your mind because owning one can be tricky. Not just for sled teams, they are adaptable animals and with a little work, you may have the dog of your dreams.

Adam Holmes is a nature enthusiast and dog lover who enjoys communicating his passion through the written word. When he is not training or playing with his dogs, he freelances for havahart.com, which specializes in progressive and humane wireless dog fences.

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