Thinking about adding a Siberian Husky to your family? There are 10 Siberian Husky Dog Facts you should know before you buy or adopt a Husky. It's important to research the breed of dog you want before you actually bring that dog home. It can determine whether or not the dog you've chosen to share your life and home with will be a great fit, or a potential failure.

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Siberian Husky Dog Facts

Huskies are easy to fall in love with. They are strikingly beautiful, resemble their wolf ancestors, and their personalities are delightful! But I've said it many times, a Husky is not for everyone. This is especially true for first time dog owners.


Approach owning a Siberian Husky knowing the facts about this dog breed, as well as their common behavior quirks. That way, you are more likely to make a great dog and owner match! If you ignore the Husky's breed characteristics, you could end up unprepared to properly care for a Husky and regretting that you decided to get one. 

In the worst cases, the innocent Husky the person brought home may end up being surrendered to an animal shelter or a Husky rescue because his owner couldn't handle him.

Siberian Huskies Shed like crazy! 

Huskies shed so much, there were times when it actually appeared to snowing inside our house!  Needless to say, a Husky needs to be brushed a Lot. If you want to prevent your home looking like dog hair was your home decor of choice, you'll need to brush your Husky at least several times a week. 

The worst time for shedding occurs when your Siberian Husky puppy goes through her first "molt" at about 6 months to a year old. It can be quite jarring to see the tremendous number of tufts of fur all over your Husky's body the first time they shed their puppy fur! Don't freak out, that molting doesn't happen again after that first one. But expect continuous shedding, with heavier shedding during each change of season.

Huskies Are A Super High Energy Breed!

Siberian Huskies are one of the most high energy breeds out there. Huskies need huge amounts of exercise every day.  When my Husky, Icy was growing up, frequent hikes in the nearby mountains and doggie day camp saved us!  A Husky needs to burn excess energy every day. A 20 minute potty break twice a day just doesn't cut it for a Husky. 

We were so relieved when we found a great doggie day camp, and we were very lucky there were mountains close to our home. A dog friendly beach or a great dog park would have been good as well. We took our Husky to doggy day camp for a full day of play at least twice a week, and on weekends we went for long mountain hikes, usually about 1.5 to 2 hours at least.

Huskies are a great breed for active people. They are absolutely NOT a dog breed you can leave alone in the house for hours while you go out for the day, unless they are well exercised before you leave the house. If a Husky gets bored or has a lot of excess energy to burn, she'll likely become destructive in the house. Very destructive. 

If you must leave your Husky alone for many hours, be sure to exercise her well and tire her out beforehand. As they say, A Tired Dog Is A Happy Dog! This goes double for Siberian Huskies! In my opinion, this is the most important thing to understand about a Husky - their extreme high energy level.

Huskies Pull When Walking On Leash

Huskies were bred to PULL a sled long distances over the snow, so leash pulling is almost always an issue! You can try to train this strong breed trait out of your Husky, but it may not be easy - or even effective! And it may frustrate your Husky if you try to stop her pulling. The one thing that has worked well with our Siberian Husky, Icy, is using a No Pull Harness. This type of harness is a bit different than the common dog harness you see in pet supply stores. It gently discourages pulling.

Siberian Huskies were bred to Pull sleds long distances

Keep your Husky well exercised so she isn't bouncing off the walls waiting for her next walk or trip to the dog park. Use both leash walking dog training and a no pull harness to curtail the dog's leash pulling.

I don't suggest letting your Husky run off leash unless you are in a secure dog park or other securely fenced area.  If your dog's recall is extremely strong, maybe she can run on a dog friendly beach or a trail that allows off leash dogs. If your recall isn't totally solid though, a Husky is likely to take off running, possibly for miles before they stop to consider where they are - or where you are!

This is just one of the reasons I'm a huge supporter of microchipping dogs, especially a Husky! In fact, after 8 years volunteering at an animal shelter I can attest to the importance of microchipping every dog. Any animal shelter, rescue, or Veterinarian's office should have a scanner and can scan a dog for a microchip.

Microchipping gets lost dogs home and saves lives! Please consider it for any dog you share your life with.

Huskies Can Be Hard to Train

A Husky may not be the easiest dog breed to train. They can be very strong willed and sometimes even a little stubborn. That is actually a breed trait. The Siberian Husky dog breed was created thousands of years ago, mainly to pull sleds across harsh snowy terrain. 

As part of that breed trait a Husky needed to ascertain if and where the snow or ice was unstable. If the human directing the Husky and sled was directing the dog to take a direction that the dog could feel (underneath his feet) was unsafe, the dog needed to be smart enough to defy the human and circumvent the unstable terrain, choosing a different direction.

Huskies can definitely be successfully trained. My Husky is incredibly well trained. In fact, I trained her to be a registered Pet Partners Therapy Dog. 

It took a lot of time, patience and consistency, but with the right training classes my Husky's training went extremely well. I strongly recommend that any Husky owner start training as soon as their Husky puppy is old enough, or as soon as their adult Husky joins the family.

Known to be Escape Artists

Siberian Huskies are smart dogs! It's great to have a smart dog, but one of downfalls is that smart dogs often figure out how to get out of the yard. Huskies are known escape artists, so please secure your yard and home to keep them safe. 

A 4 foot fence is not going to keep a Husky from escaping the yard. In fact, many Huskies can jump a 6 foot fence. They are also adept at digging underneath fences. Please never leave your Husky in the yard unattended, it's a recipe for disaster.  Keep a close eye on him at all times and watch for signs of your Husky looking to escape! Keeping your Husky well exercised will help, he won't feel desperate to get out there and explore the world!

Huskies are loyal and love their pack

A Husky will quickly take to her family, or pack. They are incredibly loyal dogs and have a strong tendency to look out for every member of the pack. When we go on walks with Icy and our other dog, Icy is always looking back to see where we are. The few times I've wanted to turn back to go home with my other dog, Icy became agitated and simply refused to go on without us!  

Siberian Huskies are Gentle, Affectionate, and Friendly 

Huskies are very friendly and affectionate dogs. They love people as well as other dogs. They are very social animals and enjoy meeting new people and associating or playing with other dogs. They're definitely not solitary animals. When we go to a dog park or event Icy insists on meeting all the other dog parents. Then she loves to meet and play with all the other dogs. 

When family and friends come over, Icy gets so excited. She can't wait to greet everyone and she seems certain they have come over just to see her! One downside of their loving friendly nature is that they may not be the best watch dogs because they are so welcoming to people.

Strong prey drive 

If they're not knowledgeable about the Siberian Husky breed of dog, most people don't know that Huskies actually have a strong prey drive. Huskies will definitely chase small animals like cats, birds, rabbits, squirrels, or hamsters!  It shocked me when my sweet Husky puppy killed a few birds and 2 squirrels in our yard. I was horrified!

Amazingly, our Husky didn't see our cat Maggie as prey, but she was obsessed with her! Icy would chase the cat around the house because she just wanted to play with her. She loved our cat but sadly, it was an unrequited love. Maggie-cat didn't want anything to do with her! 

Thankfully, we taught our rambunctious Husky puppy the invaluable Leave It! command. It took awhile for that command to sink in, but once it did we finally had some peace in our home.

Huskies Prefer cold climates but are very adaptable 

Some people think a Siberian Husky can't live anywhere but in a cold Northern region. But that's not true, they can thrive in virtually any climate. 

When we got our Husky we lived in Phoenix, Arizona. After 9 years we moved to New York and then to Florida. She's 13 years old now, and has thrived in all 3 geographical areas.

Sure, Icy really comes alive in cold weather or snow, but she adapts quite well to warmer climates too. During Summer in hot climates we don't take her out mid day, we keep walks or adventures to early morning or after sunset. We vacation up North a lot so she definitely gets to play in snow!

Siberian Huskies are a healthy breed 

Overall, Huskies are a very healthy breed of dog. There are only a few potential genetically based health issues that can effect the Husky breed. Certain eye disorders and Hip Dysplaysia are two such potential ailments.

There you have it, some of the most important Siberian Husky traits to be aware of before getting a Husky. Being aware of these important Siberian Husky facts can help you better understand the breed. Still think a Husky is the right dog for you? Read more here to help further determine if a Siberian Husky is the right dog for you.


What you should know before bringing a new puppy or dog home

Questions to ask before you adopt a dog

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FiveSibesMom said...

From one Husky momma to another, this is an excellent post and everything a potential new Husky parent needs to know! While extremely intelligent, and yes, stubborn - they can feel like they already know all the training they need to! Classes were fun with mine - once they learned something, which was very quick, they'd sit like, okay so that was easy, what's next?! BOL We had Fort Raftery at our house - a specific Husky-proofed and Husky-approved (x five) yard where they were so happy and were able to run, dig, and play to their heart's content...but oh, that small prey drive! Great post, Cathy! Sharing with my Husky-loving followers!

Tail Wag Wisdom said...

Great information about Huskies! People don't realize Huskies are a unique breed with unique needs. You've done a great job detailing what to expect if you're thinking about getting a Husky. That's very interesting to read how Icy has adapt to different climates. While you were very aware of Icy's needs in these different climates, not everyone understands this basic notation. For instance, a couple of years ago, I was visiting my bother in Las Vegas toward the end of Spring. When we were out running errands around 1pm when the temperatures were 95, we passed someone running with a Husky. I wanted to get out of the car and smack the person. The Husky was panting and having a hard time keeping up. The person didn't even have a bottle of water with him. Perhaps that was the only time he had to exercise his dog, but it wasn't acceptable. I've often thought about that dog. Since that visit, I've seen more Huskies and other thick coated dogs out during the heat of the day in Las Vegas while visiting. I'd love for you to do an article on how to care for a Husky or thick coated dog during the hot months or in a hot climate such as Las Vegas or Phoenix. I'm sure you have a ton of tricks, which obviously people need.
I'm sharing this excellent article with all my dog parents!

M Dawson said...

I am so glad you wrote this. Some people have no idea that a Husky needs a huge amount of care and exercise. No way could I own one but anyone who loves the outdoors active life is going to adore having a husky and enjoy making them aprt of their lives!

LaylasWoof said...

I love them, they are such graceful beautiful dogs and only wish I could physically look after one but for me it would be too difficult unfortunately. Great post thanks

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