Siberian Huskies are beautiful, intelligent dogs that catch the attention of many would-be owners. Between their wolfish stare and perpetual puppy playfulness, people are often eager to get a Husky without much further thought. But there is a lot that goes into making a Husky a well-mannered, happy and healthy member of any family. If you’ve been thinking about adding a Husky to your house, you should ask yourself the following questions before picking one out.
#1 – Can I Provide Enough Exercise?
Huskies don’t just pull sleds – they were bred to pull sleds an average of a hundred miles a day. Just because your Husky was born in the middle of the city does not mean he doesn’t still have that energy in him. A Husky needs to have exercise. If you don’t provide him with enough, he will be destructive. So make sure your lifestyle is active enough to keep a Husky happy before bringing one home.
#2– How Often Am I Away From Home?
Although Siberian Huskies are sometimes thought of as “aloof,” they do care about their family and do not like to be left alone. Huskies are prone to separation anxiety, a very serious and destructive behavioral issue that is not easy to fix. If you have a job that includes lots of travel and/or long hours every day, another breed of dog may be better fit.
#3 – Am I Willing To Train Him?
Siberian Huskies have independent minds and can be a little bit difficult to train. Often, they will stare at you as if they are asking “what’s in it for me?” when you want them to do something. This attitude means they are smart and also very receptive to positive reinforcement training (which provides “what’s in it for them”). Be sure to start training your Husky early to help with this independent streak. Training also tires your dog out, so it’s important for a Husky. Learning something like agility or skijoring is even better, as it combines mental and physical stimulation that wears your Husky out faster.
#4 – Do I have a Secure Enough Home & Yard?
Huskies are known escape artists. Not only can they jump fairly high, but they are also good at squeezing through spaces and even climbing. Yup, if you have a fence with a few cross-boards on it, Huskies have been known to use those to climb over 6-foot-plus fences! So be prepared to secure your property thoroughly before letting your Husky off-leash. When you are not at home, it’s best to keep him inside…as long as your windows and doors are secure, too!
#5 – Do You Have Small Animals?
While any breed of dog can have a high prey drive, depending on the genetics that are passed on to them, Huskies are known for chasing. This means cats, smaller dogs, birds, bunnies, anything small that moves. While not all Huskies chase, if you have small animals, be prepared for a lot of training or to keep them separate. In addition, this can make them reactive on walks, so that means more training as well.