Is a Siberian Husky The Right Dog For You?

Wondering if a Siberian Husky would be a good dog for you?  What is it that makes a Husky so irresistible?  For starters, it's hard not to fall in love with a Husky's Striking looks. Their wolf-like facial features, thick double coated fur, and beautiful eyes; blue, amber, and bi- colored, are stunning! Hardly a week goes by without at least one stranger saying "What a beautiful dog!" when they see me with my Siberian Husky, Icy.  

Then there's the impressive athleticism of Siberian Husky dogs, their friendly loving personality, and of course their impressive role in the historical Serum Run of 1925. Teams of sled dogs saved an Alaskan town from a Diphtheria epidemic by transporting life saving anti toxin through punishing blizzard conditions and rough terrain! 

With all that going for them, who wouldn't admire and desire a Siberian Husky dog? But is a Husky right for you and your lifestyle? Sadly, Huskies are often bought or adopted and then abandoned once they are no longer puppies. Their owners soon realize they aren't able to handle the once adorable and easy to manage Husky puppy they brought home.  


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My Husky Icy on a hike. Siberian Huskies are a super high energy breed!


A Siberian Husky is not the right breed of dog for everyone. To determine whether a Husky is right for you, let's delve into their key traits. Once you have the facts you can make an informed decision about whether or not you are able to give a Husky the care and attention they need to thrive.

Physical Attributes of the Siberian Husky dog


Huskies are a medium sized dog:


🐕 Weight is approximately 45 to 60 lbs

🐕 Height is about 22" tall at the shoulders
 
🐕 Females are smaller than males

🐕 Fur is thick, and double coated of various shades and pattern

🐕 Eye color varies. Eyes can be brown, blue, amber or bi-colored (eg. one blue eye and one brown eye)

🐕 Facial features are of the Spitz (wolf or fox like) type 

Siberian Huskie are often confused with the Malamute breed, which looks almost identical to the Husky but is considerably larger and heavier.


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Icy playing hard in the snow. Siberian Huskies love to run!

Many people think Huskies can only live in cold, Northern climates, but that's not true. We were living in Phoenix, Arizona when we first got Icy! We've lived with her in Phoenix, New York, and Florida. I will say that during very hot Summer days we try not to have her outside in mid day. Early mornings and after sunset during very hot weather are best. I've learned that as the days get cooler her energy level spikes dramatically! She seems to really come alive in colder weather. You should see her when it snows - we literally can't get her to come back inside the house!  She loves running along the beach just as well. Like most Huskies, my girl Icy is very adaptable.

Siberian Husky Temperament


A Husky Dog's Personality draws you in right away. Because they are family oriented with a wonderful temperament, loving and often goofy personality, huskies can be a very good family dog. Most Huskies love people and other dogs. Icy was raised with our cat Maggie and learned to love cats as well as other dogs. I'm not sure every Husky would become besties with the family cat, but if a Siberian Husky puppy is raised with a cat the odds of them being friends will probably be higher. Huskies have a prey drive though, so small pets such as birds or hamsters should be kept out of reach of a Husky!

Huskies aren't necessarily barky dogs, but they do tend to be quite vocal, expressing a wide variety of vocalizations from howls to sweet chirping type sounds. If you're looking for a quiet dog, the Husky might not fit that need! 

The Chukchi people of Eastern Siberia created the Siberian Husky dog breed. It is estimated that the breed was created by the Chukchi thousands of years ago, and only brought to Alaska around 1908! They were used by the Chukchi not only as endurance dogs to pull sleds carrying food and other goods over long distances, they often acted as baby sitters because they were so good with kids and family.

Siberian Huskies need Exercise, Exercise and More Exercise! This is probably the most difficult thing for Husky owners to commit to providing on a daily basis. A 20 minute potty walk twice a day is NOT going to cut it for a Husky. Not by a long shot. Having a big yard and letting your Husky run around for half the day is Not going to cut it either. 

A Siberian Husky is a super high energy dog. They don't want to lay around, they need to run or be taken for very long walks daily. When we first got Icy, we knew she was a high energy breed but we were not prepared for the amount of energy she needed to burn every day! If a Husky doesn't get enough exercise they will become destructive - like, eat the couch while you're out food shopping destructive! 

We would literally hike with Icy in the mountains near our Phoenix home for 2 hours. We would be ready to keel over from exhaustion and Icy would look at us like "What, you're done already?!

A Siberian Husky is a good choice of dog for very active people or families, IF you consistently have the time and energy to provide ample opportunity for your Husky to be very active and burn lots of energy.

A Husky will love to engage in activities with you like running, very long walks, hiking in the mountains, running along the beach, playing fetch or tug, and puzzle games. They will also love to snuggle with you after a long day of fun and exhilarating physical activity! 

My husband and I both worked the first few years of Icy's life, we couldn't always keep up with exercising her daily. To help her burn energy during the work week we took her to Doggy Daycamp two or three times a week. It was a Godsend! Taking her to the dog park to run around, play and burn energy for an hour or so also helped a lot. The key to providing lots of exercise for your Husky is that it needs to be consistent, not 2 days of exercise and then sit in the house for 5 days. That will not work! Your dog will become bored, with pent up energy to burn. That will lead to unwanted behaviors.

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Is a Siberian Husky the Right Breed of Dog For You?


Huskies are known for being excellent escape artists! If you leave them unattended in a fenced in yard, they are likely to jump or climb that fence. Or, they might dig themselves a massive hole under the fence and escape, just out of sheer boredom.

Training a Siberian Husky


Huskies are very intelligent and learn quickly. They enjoy learning new things and being mentally challenged. Training a Siberian Husky can be challenging if you're not up to the task.  It requires a lot of consistency and patience, probably more so than many other breeds.

Siberian Huskies can be independent and headstrong, with a mind of their own. This served them well as sled dogs, when they often needed to make decisions about which direction to go on ice and snow. A sled dog sometimes needed to defy their musher's commands in order to steer the sled toward a safer direction. This strong mindedness can make Huskies more challenging to train than other dog breeds. 

One of the most maddening things about a Siberian Husky is that - no surprise - they love to PULL.  Pulling a sled is what they were bred for, right? As Icy grew, she started pulling like crazy on the leash during walks! She practically dragged me across the county every time I put the leash on. It got to the point where I didn't even want to walk her anymore, and that made me really sad.  

Fortunately, I learned some tips on how to curtail all that leash pulling. Click here for tips on How to get your dog to stop pulling on leash . The most important tip I can share with you here is to use a No Pull harness to walk a Siberian Husky. Not a regular dog collar and leash, and not a regular harness with the leash clip on the top, that will actually encourage pulling! A No Pull harness has the leash clip on the base of the harness, at the chest area. 

I found that continually training Icy keeps her engaged and mentally challenged.  I enrolled Icy in puppy class as soon as she was old enough, about 16 weeks old. She aced that class! To continually keep her engaged I enrolled her in just about every dog training class I could find; intermediate and advanced training classes, tricks training classes, agility and obedience rally classes, and therapy dog classes. She excelled in every class.

All these training classes were great bonding experiences for us.  It definitely brought Icy and I closer together and forged a really strong bond. A bond I consider to be unbreakable!

A Husky can easily become dominant if the owner and other family members, aren't strong enough to take on the role of pack leader. I don't mean that an owner or family member should be domineering or rough in any way. You don't need to do that in order to show leadership. Consistent basic training, using positive, rewards based training methods are all you need in order to show your Husky that you are the pack leader. If you're a weak leader who doesn't make the effort to train their dog and doesn't set boundaries for the dog, your Husky will likely feel compelled to step into the role of pack leader. You don't want that! Training and setting boundaries for your dog is a good way to prevent him from becoming the dominant member of the family.


Do Huskies Shed a Lot?

Well, I'd start growing a Pinocchio nose if I said Siberian Huskies didn't shed a lot. Huskies shed like crazy! I'm talking so much fur that during peak shedding times (twice a year) it can look like it's snowing.... indoors! A Siberian Husky should be brushed often, especially during shedding seasons to keep all that hair under control. If you have an aversion to dog hair, please don't get a Husky!

Now that you know what to expect, do you still think a Siberian Husky is the right dog for you?  If so Great, they are awesome dogs! Please take the time to do your research and select a very reputable Siberian Husky breeder or a reputable Siberian Husky Rescue. There are lots of great Husky rescue organizations, just search online for Siberian Husky Rescue near [insert your city name].  Search in cities and states you'd be willing to drive to as well. If you search online, please only search reputable sites and be aware of puppy mills or unsavory individuals looking to sell or "adopt out" a Husky!  

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15 comments:

  1. For as long as I can remember I have NEVER heard not one negative thing about Siberian Huskies. They are sweet dogs and so beautiful and fluffy! Well as Icy's mom, I'm sure you know all this. I had no idea that many pet owners abandon them as they grow out of the puppy stage not realizing what they got themeselves into. That's tragic and infuriating. Pets are a lifetime commitment. Thanks for sharing more about Huskies. This is very informative. I'll be sharing this post.

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    1. Huskies really are amazing animals, I love my girl so much! As with any breed, people need to do their research to ensure they can handle the breed and provide all the exercise and training they'll need. Puppies are easy, it's when the dog gets bigger and has more demanding needs that the bar gets raised.

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  2. I have to admit that I'm a sucker for floppy ears. And I like that Rotties need very little brushing too ;-)

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    1. LOL! Good points. Huskies definitely do NOT require only a little bit of brushing. It can be quite a chore, believe me.

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  3. This is such important information - a great example of why every prospective dog parent should take the time to do their research into the different breeds and their needs. We have a German Shepherd mix in our house and it's a similar challenge in that she needs LOTS of exercise. It's great for us as we're active people that love hiking and other activities that she will join us on. However, for a more laid back family, she would be 'too much' lol

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    1. Absolutely! Breed research is super important, every dog breed has some different needs. High energy breeds that shed like crazy can be difficult for some folks, especially if they're not prepared for it. The training takes more time w/ breeds like Huskies & Shepherds too!

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  4. They are such elegant beautiful dogs but for me as a shortie LOL I could not have one it would be too difficult for me to handle, Icy is just adorable and your photos are just beautiful.

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    1. Thanks for the compliments! Huskies are definitely not for everyone, you need to be ready for the exercise requirements, shedding, and training demands.

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  5. Thanks for sharing this honest description of Huskies. A lot of people added Huskies to their families after watching Game of Thrones. Unfortunately, many of them did not do their research and ended up rehoming those dogs. While I love Huskies, I know that they wouldn't be a good choice for me.

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    1. Ugh, that makes me so sad. Movies and TV shows portray the "romantic" side of Huskies, but they are not a simple breed to have. My hubby & I joke that they are not an older person's dog and that we may be getting too old for a Husky, LOL!!

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  6. I keep seeing people with Huskies, but I have too much respect for the dog to own one myself. They are not for the inexperienced dog person.

    I wish people would do their research. The right dog in the right home in a perfect world.

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    1. Great point! They're not great for inexperienced dog owners for sure. I had dogs before but my husband never did. You can imagine his shock & surprise the first 2 years of having Icy, but hey, I warned him.... LOL!

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  8. I love Huskies - the way that they speak and show their emotions is amazing! There is no doubt when a Husky is talking 'at' you. They are beautiful and smart dogs - and definitely a breed that requires good amounts of exercise. We dog sit a friend's Husky and am always worn out by the time he leaves - but in a good way. Their goofy personalities are the best!

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    1. They can be so irresistible! I'm laughing at you being worn out by your friend's Husky - Yup! that's a Husky for ya LOL!

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