Siberian huskies are an amazing breed – in addition to their stunning beauty, they are highly intelligent, friendly and good-natured, engaging, and each one has a unique personality. If you’re thinking about bringing a husky into your life, here are some facts you should know…
HUSKIES NEED LOTS OF EXERCISE
Huskies are very high energy dogs who need a lot of exercise. In addition to plenty of running and playtime in a large secured play area or yard, they need interactive exercise with their owners such as walking, jogging, running, hiking or other outdoor activities. Be prepared to hire dog walkers for additional exercise if there are times when you are personally unable to meet the high exercise demands of your husky. If huskies do not have enough exercise, this can lead to excessive chewing and digging and other destructive habits.
HUSKIES ARE IMPRESSIVE ESCAPE ARTISTS
Huskies are impressive escape artists, even when they are happy in their home environment. They love challenges and the call-of-the-wild instinct runs deep in this breed. Just search escaping huskies on youtube, and you will be amazed by the feats they can achieve. They can be high jumpers, diggers, and fence climbers, and they are very smart so they can figure out how to undo latches and how to open doors. All huskies require minimum 6-foot fences, and be prepared for the necessity of additional security reinforcements depending on your husky’s particular tendencies and skill set.
HUSKIES SHED A LOT OF FUR
Huskies shed a lot of fur, especially when they shed their thick winter undercoat that comes out in clumps of fur at a time. The upside of husky fur is that they are incredibly soft and cuddly, and because they cycle through new fur, they don’t stink and they tend not to have the traditional “dog smell” of most other breeds.
NEVER SHAVE A HUSKY
Huskies should NEVER be shaved under any circumstances. There is a common misconception that shaving husky fur keeps them cooler in the summer, but the opposite is true. Their fur is designed to insulate them from the cold but it equally insulates them from heat. Without their fur, they completely lose their ability to self-regulate body temperature, and they are more prone to heat stroke, not to mention that the lack of fur puts them at high risk for sunburn and other skin ailments. Furthermore, if huskies are shaved at the wrong time in their fur cycle, their fur can be permanently damaged and may never grow back properly – it can grow back in splotchy patches or not at all. Once the damage to husky fur is done, it cannot be fixed.
HUSKIES CANNOT BE TRUSTED OFF-LEASH
Huskies should never be trusted off leash in areas that are not securely fenced. The innate call-of-the-wild can cause a husky to run fast and far away given the right trigger, even for the best-trained huskies.
HUSKIES TEND TO HAVE A STRONG PREY DRIVE
Most huskies have a strong innate prey drive, so cats, small dogs and livestock can be at risk. Each husky needs to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. There are without question some huskies that get along peacefully with cats and small dogs, but since prey drive is a high risk in this breed, extreme caution and supervision must be exercised when introducing huskies to smaller animals and around livestock.
Many huskies love to dig. Often it results from boredom and inadequate exercise, but it’s also part of their innate instinct to dig holes in the ground and lay inside to help regulate their temperature.
HUSKIES AND TRAINING
Like all dogs, huskies should have standard obedience training. Many huskies can also excel in advanced training in areas such as agility. Huskies are super smart, and they get bored easily. They can have “stubborn tendencies” during training when they are not interested. However, because they are so intelligent, with patience and perseverance, and by finding out what motivates your specific husky, huskies can ultimately achieve fantastic results.
KEEP HUSKIES AWAY FROM CHOCOLATE, RAISINS AND GRAPES
As with all dogs, huskies can die from ingesting chocolate, raisins, or grapes. Although it’s less well known, macadamia nuts can also be fatal, and a dog can die from ingesting as few as six nuts. If your dog has accidentally eaten any these items, a vet should be consulted immediately. Other foods that are especially hazardous for dogs include onions and garlic, yeast, avocados, alcohol, tea, coffee, and any form of caffeine. Be careful of prescription medicines, pesticides, poisons, household chemicals, cleaning products, and cooking supplies such as baking powder and baking soda. Huskies can easily chew through the plastic containers. Also be aware of poisonous plants.